By JACK CLARK
MT. VERNON — —
After under-going a hiatus and some changes to the line-up, Trampled Under Foot soldiers on.
Founding members Keith McAlexander (drums), Ron Baker (vocals) and Steve Saunders (keyboards) are joined by Ed "Led" Nation (guitar) and Paul Shank (bass).
Shank, from DuQuoin, credits Saunders with bringing him into the band.
"Steve hooked me up with these guys," said Shank. "They needed a bass player pretty quickly."
Saunders, from West Frankfort, plays with TUF, but remains a member of other Southern Illinois bands.
"I'm generally in about a half dozen bands at any given time," Saunders said. "I do this for a living."
With several projects going at the same time, Saunders doesn't have a lot of free time, but that's the way he likes it.
"I'm at a practice somewhere two to three nights a week," Saunders said. "And I try to keep myself booked somewhere every Friday and Saturday night; a lot of traveling and a lot of work keeping the music separate, too. It does get a little confusing after a while."
Baker is excited with the new sound of the band, even after only three weeks together.
"I love the new lineup," Baker said. "I can't wait to do the next gig. I'm really inspired by what we're doing. It took off instantly. I cannot wait to take this lineup out in front of a crowd."
McAlexander remains a driving force behind the band.
"We all love Zeppelin music," said McAlexander. "We're doing this for the love of it, not money. Where else do you get to play "When the Levee Breaks?' Who does that? It's just fun."
McAlexander said that TUF has added some other Zeppelin tunes to their act.
Among the newer additions to the TUF repertoire are: "When the Levee Breaks" and "Babe, I'm gonna leave you."
The band is also working on a number of other salutes, including "Stairway to Heaven" and "Achilles Last Stand."
Trampled Under Foot will be playing next at the annual Mt. Vernon Fall Fest, scheduled for Oct. 18 through Oct. 20.
The 2013 Ash Bash will be held Aug. 17. The event honors the memory of Ashton Ilbery.
The official music lineup has yet to be set, but I can tell you that organizers plan to offer event T-shirts for sale with all of the proceeds going to lymphoma research.
I'll have more on the 2013 Ash Bash as it becomes available.
Don't forget to check out musicallyspeaking.mvn.net
And remember, don't drink and drive or text and drive!
The Illinois State Police are counting on it.