Punching the Clock: I'm with the band

Everyone has a rock star fantasy, right? I mean, who hasnít pictured themselves standing on stage before a crowd of adoring fans, awing them with a stunning display of musical talent and insightful lyrics?

Unfortunately, there are a few things standing in the way of my dreams of stardom. Namely that I canít sing, donít play a musical instrument and Iíve never been a fan of leather pants. Besides, one musician in the family is enough and I could never compete with my big brother Dennis (who still has a fan club from his Levi Hatfield days.)

I finally had an opportunity to satisfy those long-suppressed yearnings Friday night. Well, sort of. Thanks to Nate Gross, I had the chance to play roadie (you know, the guys in all black that set up?) for the local band Panhandle during a gig at the Stadium Sports Bar in Oxford.

Despite the required heavy lifting, I knew it would be as close as Iíd ever get to doing the rock star thing and I jumped at the chance.

First, let me tell you about Panhandle. Nate is the bandís lead vocalist and guitarist. He is joined by his brother Ben on bass guitar, Jeff Landry on drums and Craig Rogers on guitar.

When I first met Nate, he described the groupís sound to me as Ďroots rock.í I didnít really understand what that meant until I heard them play. Their music, all original, is heavily influenced by folk, blues, country and good old rock Ďní roll.

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