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Billy O’Con – Route Note – Coming Soon!!
BIO: Good Man’s Brother
Good Man's Brother is a relatively new name to the local music scene but the story of this band actually begins nearly 10 years ago when Lead Guitarist/ Vocalist, Billy O'Con and Bassist, John Mallard first met.
"I'd just lost a bass player and John had just lost a gig", says O'Con. "We were introduced through a mutual friend and have been playing together ever since". That's often the way these things work out, a couple of random occurrences, a fortuitous introduction and, next thing you know, you've got something going on. So it was for these two.
Mallard tells us that, "Over the years, Billy and I have had a LOT of different musicians on stage with us and we've played under a few different names. We were 'The Yardcats', 'The Convix', we even played for nearly five years as 'The Executives' while backing legendary Blues and Mo-Town Diva, Betty Lewis. But, through it all, Billy and I were always the constant".
Flash forward to early 2009. O'Con and Mallard had gotten a nice big taste of the Festival Stages while playing with Betty Lewis and decided that putting together a Powerhouse Trio and marketing the Festival Scene would be something they'd love to try. "Ya know", says O'Con, "it never mattered who we were with or how many people we had on stage with us, we have always really shone in the Festival setting. We figured, why not? Let's give it a shot".
The only thing they were missing was a Drummer. "Over the years, Billy and I had played with some absolutely MONSTER drummers. Of course, as luck would have it, we were at this time rotating two different guys who, for various reasons, were unable to commit full time", says Mallard.
Enter another fortuitous introduction to long time Shreveport veteran Ron Petitt. "Yeah, we really hit the Jackpot with Ron", says O'Con. "From our first gig with him after just one rushed rehearsal, it just fit".
And so, here we are. The first reaction that people typically have when hearing this Trio for the first time is to look around for the other three musicians that surely must be hidden somewhere. These guys have such a HUGE sound that there's no way it should be coming from just three guys. But it does. The Music ranges from the old to the not so old and is a great blend of Funk, Texas Blues, and just good old fashioned in your face Rock-N-Roll.
"We don't have any gimmicks", says Mallard. "we're just three guys doing what we truly love to do. It's simple, it's honest, and it connects". Connect, it does. And it does so in a very LARGE way for such a very small band.
BIILY O’CON: Guitars / Vocals
When you say the name Billy O' Con anywhere in the ArkLaTex one thing comes to mind. Magical hands. Well, maybe two things. Magical hands and a voice that sounds like no one else's. When you say Billy O'Con in Natchitoches and surrounding areas another thing comes to mind. The Legend. The Icon. Of course, Billy will quickly(and humbly) tell you that he's no legend. His friends and fans will tell you otherwise. They will tell you that they proudly dubbed him The Legend at a very young age when he was playing every gig in Natchitoches and impressing people with his magical hands and distinctive voice. Billy picked up his first guitar at age five and never put it down, except of course, to trade it in for bigger and better or older and truer. The Icon has impressed some pretty impressive names in the music industry and, to his credit, has built up a list of very diverse accomplishments. The good news is, Billy O'Con just keeps on gettin' better and better and has no intention of ever giving up his passion. The Legend = GREAT SOUND and a TRULY MOVING MUSICAL EXPERIENCE !
Other Credits Include....
Starred as Jim Croce in the award winning “Last Night in Natchitoches” –( Best Music Documentary – New York International Independent Film Festival.)
Finalist in International John Lennon song writing contest 2009.
Guitarist for Star Search Finalist and CMT “Star of Tomorrow” finalist, Tareva Henderson
Guitarist and vocalist for blues legend Betty Lewis
Headlined for well known festivals throughout the Ark-La-Tex such as the Baton Rouge “ Fest-for-All” and the “Natchitochets Christmas Festival”.
Opened for nationally known artists such as Monty Montgomery, Little River Band, John Fred, Luther Kent, Wayne Toups and many others.
JOHN MALLARD: Bass Guitar
John Mallard's musical journey began at the age of 7 when his late father bought his first guitar. 37 years later his journey still continues. He played his first professional gigs at the age of 13 and, by 16, was doing Call-In Work as Tubist with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. He spends all of his Stage Time these days strapped behind a Bass Guitar. He's a founding member of Good Man's Brother and has played with Lead Guitarist/ Vocalist, Billy O'Con for nearly 10 years. Together, they formed two thirds of Betty Lewis' back-up band, The Executives, and played throughout the South Central United States. John also did time as the Session Bassist at Bossier City recording studio, Precision Digital Audio. "Those years were probably my most musically educational", John says. "On any given day I never had a clue what I would be doing until I showed up and started doing it. It definitely taught me to be versatile".
John can be found these days laying down the Bottom in Good Man's Brother with O'Con and Drummer, Ron Petitt. "I love this band", he says. "There are no gimmicks. no distractions. It's just three guys doing what they truly love to do. I think that's a big part of what people are connecting with". Whatever it is people are connecting with, there is definitely something going on with this band. We'll leave it up to you to hear it for yourself.
RON PETITT: Drums
Ron Petitt has been playing drums in the Ark-La-Tex music scene for the last 25 years. He has anchored the rhythm section for such bands as Open Eyes, Tangent, Double Duce, 3 Chord Truth, Chris Solomon Band, The Eric Craig Band, Identity Crisis, String Theory, Jerry Beech, The Core, Derek Gustafson Project and Double 11 just to name a few. Ron often gets the call when a live drummer is needed if one of his many local musician buddies has a spot to fill. Stylistically there is not much Ron hasn't experienced on the drums. From Heavy Metal to Jazz Swing, he has done it all. Now with Good Man's Brother, Ron is getting to utilize that experience. G.M.B. covers such a wide variety of styles and genres. "What makes it even better", says Ron, "is that this band knows when to jam on a song rather than just attempting to duplicate the radio."
When he is not busy playing he enjoys being out on the scene supporting his many friends on their gigs and making new friends as well.