October 14, 2010
The Wright Brothers, who will perform two free shows at Indiana Live! Casino on Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23, have toured with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Bob Hope, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson.
Formed in 1972, The Wright Brothers are a high-energy band who will put their musical talents on display when they perform for the first time at Indiana Live! Casino. Both shows by the band will take place at Center Bar from 9PM to 1AM. Fans must be at least 21 years old to attend.
“A fella who wrote an article recently called us ‘legendary’ because we have been together so long , done so much and performed in just about every county in Indiana over the years and a lot of the United States. That word never crept through my mind,” said Tom Wright, self-appointed master of ceremonies for The Wright Brothers.
“I guess if you have been around for so long and survived, there has to be key elements to that survival. Not only is it the talent of the people in our band, it’s the fact that we appeal to such a wide variety of people that our following stays up. We really count our blessings every day that we still get to do this after all this time,” he added.
Tom and his brother Tim are the only two original members of the band that has developed a huge following by playing a variety of high-energy songs that date from the 1950s to the present. They live in French Lick, Indiana. Tom keeps the band’s fans entertained between songs with jokes and ad-libs. Tim plays a variety of guitars and the five-string banjo.
The Wright Brothers will be joined on stage at Indiana Live! Casino by John McDowell, a Carmel, Indiana, resident who plays the base guitar; Frank Bradford of Indianapolis who plays keyboard and lead guitar; and drummer Bryan Chrisman, from Bismarck, Illinois. All five band members sing.
“We can perform for the young as well as people that are our parent’s age because we do such a wide variety of music, from Bluegrass to classic rock-n-roll. We just cover it all,” the 60-year-old Tom said. “We do music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even today’s music. We cover all our bases.”
Songs on The Wright Brothers’ list of musical offerings include everything from “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” to “Friends in Low Places.” The band also recorded “Shot Down in Hot Blood,” the soundtrack for the 1987 movie “Overboard,” which starred Goldie Hawn. The Wright Brothers even made a brief appearance in the movie.
The group has performed on the “Grand Old Opry” and the “Today Show” and appeared 12 times on “Nashville Now.” They garnered national attention in 1982 with their song “Made in the U.S.A.,” a patriotic piece that sparked pride in products produced in the United States.
“People think we’re a country group because we recorded in Nashville for Warner Bros.,” Tom said. “We do country music, of course. But it is contemporary and progressive country music more than anything. We’ve never been what you would call an ‘Alabama’-type act.”
Tom called playing at Indiana Live! Casino a “real coup” for The Wright Brothers.
“The material that we’re going to be doing at Indiana Live! is not necessarily our concert material that most people are accustomed to hearing from us,” Tom said. “It will be more like party time. It will be old classic, baby boomer rock-n-roll.”
The Wright Brothers first performed at a casino in 1979, when they put on a show at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
“We love playing casinos because the atmosphere is party time,” Tom said. “We’ve been together 38 years. We’ve been around and done about everything you can imagine. Casinos have been a mainstay for us. Out West, we’ve worked all the big ones.”
After so many years of success, Tom said he and his fellow band members are content with their place in the music industry. Unlike a lot of performers searching for a big break in the recording business, The Wright Brothers have no illusions of touring as a national act again.
“My brother would still go out on the road. He’s not married,” Tom said. “I wouldn’t get back out on the road again. That’s a young man’s game. I’m a little too old to be running around the country again.”
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