WGNA presents The Battle of the Bands at Vapor in Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

Meet Cryin' Out Loud!

Your Name: Gregg Simmons (Click to learn about Gregg Simmons solo project)
Title: Dude that books the band, hotels and plane flights.

Q: Who are the members of your band and where are they from?

A: Kimberly Wilder (Lead Vox) - Indian Lake...Gregg Simmons (Lead Vox/Trombone) - Rotterdam..."Jesse" James Mahoney (Guitar/Vox) - Schenectady...Joe "The Hit Man" Gaetano (Trumpet/Cowbell/Tambourine) - Clifton Park..."Super" Dave Laurey (Sax/Vox) - Utica...Brian "Cornbread" Thornton (Drums/Vox) - Troy...Timothy "Grits" Keenan (Bass) - Latham...Adam "The Kid" York (Keys/Sax) - Warrensburg...Craig "Chief" Thaler (Fiddle) - Ballston Lake

Q: How and when did the group come together?

A: How? Hmmm I think Kim said she found Jimmy, Joe and Dave on Plenty of Fish.com, Cornbread and Grits on  Match.com Craig and Adam on eHarmony.com and me on Christian Mingle of course. We all showed up at Kimberly's house at the same time which was kind of awkward.....But seriously folks, we've been Rockin' since 2000 and How we got together is a blur but I'm glad we did! I love these guys, and girl.

Q: What do you consider as your group's career highlight?

A: This is going to be confusing and also where my ADHD comes in so here it goes. Career highlight would have to be when we decided to put together a sister band called Loose Cannon in '07 comprised of the same band members of the COL lineup but we added instrumentation and geared the sound to almost all Country, with Southern Rock , and Classic Rock mixed in while keeping COL as a seperate wedding/party/club band playing Pop hits and Dance tunes.  We were together at that point for 7 years as that type of band, and thats how we were recognized.  We figured with LC we could play the music we were falling in love with, as well as take on a new challenge, hopefully play festivals but also play weddings as COL which generated nice money.  In '07 I believe (I could be wrong, but that was when I was introduced to it driving home, going thru radio stations and happening by Keith Urban rockin' on 107.7) Country music marketing was breaking major mainstream with multiple artists then only Garth, Faith and Shania and it ROCKED! Keeping a long story short we ended up keeping the Cryin' Out Loud name which had been out there for 7 years and rather have two personalities, we put more Country Covers in our set making us what I call a "Crossover" party band, only we crossed over to Country. Also, there was another local band called Loose Cannons from the area and people were showing up thinking it was us when it was them and vice versa. Loose Cannon morphed into COL. The idea totally works because NOW, Country and Pop mix, the audience has grown, got alot younger and now we have Country music fans hiring us for weddings because our songlist has a ton of Country and enough Pop, Classic Rock and Dance tunes they enjoy. Pop music fans are hiring us as well because we can play just enough Country and plenty of the other stuff they are into. See what I mean by confusing? (Deep Sigh)  Anyway, The career highlight I would say was Loose Cannon playing CountryUSA in Oshkosh Wisconsin for 5 straight days and nights in '09 performing on the same mainstage as Taylor, Brad, Dierks, Montgomery Gentry and Gretchen Wilson. Get this, the afternoon spots were Little Big Town, Lady A, and Jake Owen who of course are HUUUUGE now! We ate lunch with them, got to share the stage with them, hangout backstage, it was a week we will never forget! THEN, we come back home and the following Saturday, we open for WGNA Countryfest featuring Montgomery Gentry! And Finally! the week after that we play the Empire State Plaza opening for Steve Azar, it was an awesome run.

Q: How would you describe your bands sound and image?

A: Kinetic, Tenacious, Delicious, Hungry and Horny. We fly by the seat of our ripped jeans and Kim's leather!

Q: How did your group decide on it's name? 

A: Oh, I don't know. LOL!!!  You don't want another 4 paragraphs do ya Kevin?? I know this, when you see and hear us? You'll get it. Rock n' Roll - Over and Out my friend See ya on the 14th! BTW, congrats on a great job with Country Idol and all the great stuff you do on and off the radio and for your charity work.