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From ’20s to ’90s in an 8 Second Ride

Marques Puckett & 8 Second Ride debut Friday at Sidetracks in Bristol, Virginia

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8 Second Ride

8 Second Ride, a new band focused on resurrecting the sounds of ’90s country music, will soon perform at Sidetracks and The Cameo.

A new band for the new year looks back into years gone by.

Established in late November, Marques Puckett & 8 Second Ride embrace a style steeped in country music circa the 1990s.

After nearly two months of rehearsals, Marques Puckett & 8 Second Ride make their bandstand debut on Friday, Jan. 21, at Sidetracks in Bristol, Virginia. The band, whose name refers to the movie “8 Seconds” and Jake Owen’s song, “Eight Second Ride,” features a cross-pollenated style.

“I hear Dwight Yoakam and Brooks and Dunn, right up the middle between the two, and Alabama,” said John “Scabbo” Snyder, co-founding member of 8 Second Ride.

Snyder’s a longtime veteran of such local bands as The New Conspirators, Anthony Wayne Vibe and the Flaming Napalm Love Gods. In addition to playing pedal steel guitar, fiddle and keyboards with 8 Second Ride, he also plays steel guitar for Moose “Trainwreck” Roberts.

“8 Second Ride has the gritty twang like Dwight Yoakam,” Snyder, 50, said. “But it also has that big, fat lush touch of Alabama. I really like the gritty part of it.”

A month after the debut, catch Marques Puckett & 8 Second Ride on Friday, Feb. 18, as part of the Country Triple Shot Tour at The Cameo Theater in Bristol, Virginia. Tickets are on sale now.

Puckett sings lead in 8 Second Ride. Dan Herrell picks lead guitar while Chris Massie augments on rhythm guitar. Jacob Eller occupies bass, and Jason Malone keeps time on drums.

“Everyone in the band is a seasoned professional,” Snyder, of Bristol, Tennessee, said. “Right now, we want enough solid stuff to play the show at Sidetracks on Jan. 21 and at The Cameo in February. We can do a three-hour show.”

Eventually, Snyder added, 8 Second Ride will compose its own songs. For now — and as with many newly minted bands, their repertoire bulges with material from the ripe catalogs of established singers and bands.

“We’ll be doing songs from Brooks and Dunn, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, Alabama,” Snyder said. “We’ll probably be doing something from Garth Brooks, eventually. How can you do ’80s and ’90s country without Garth Brooks?”

To reiterate, Snyder said that 8 Second Ride intends to expand its scope of songs beyond those of other musicians. Hopes point in the eventual direction of inclusion of their own material.

“Very high,” Snyder said. “We’re totally about it.”

Chances are, then as now, 8 Second Ride will bear a distinctive ’90s country touch. For those who may wonder as to that sound’s hallmarks, ’90s country typically turned the volume up and featured heavy drumbeats amid dramatic songs that dipped and rose to bombastic crescendos.

Material-wise, ’90s country bore its own set of thumbprints.

“It’s pickup trucks, homemade wine and fishing at the river,” Snyder said. “To me, ’90s country got away from the Nashville sound of the ’70s, the polish, but it kept the production values. It’s very well-written, very well-produced.”

Ultimately, 8 Second Ride embraces a style that emphasizes neon moons, happy people and rowdy Saturday nights. For some, it’s rock ’n’ roll with a fiddle and steel. For others, it’s simply rural music gone to town.

“This is just about playing good, fun music,” Snyder said.

Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He may be reached at features@bristolnews.com.

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