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Two residents have formed a music promotion company to help raise the profile of local bands and their first gig is Saturday at Double Down in Gainesville with Steel Bridge of Cross City and and Crosstyz of Bell.
Michael Michalis, an agent with Don Martin Insurance in Fanning Springs, and Rod Whited, an agent with Nothwestern Mutual insurance, have formed RAM MAN Productions.
"I felt like there was a need to end the competition and animosity among the local bands and it's like Rodney King said Can't we all get along?" Michaelis said in an interview just days before King died. King, whose beating by Los Angeles police officers was videotaped by a private citizen and aired on national TV, posed the question after the officers were acquitted and riots erupted in LA.
Michaelis said that the company is looking to get bands to work together instead of competing for fans. "We're looking for the cross pollination of fans," Michaelis said. By introducing fans of Crosstyz to Steel Bridge and vice versa, the bands will grow a bigger audience and get a higher profile to win a shot at a recording contract.
Crosstyz is a reformed band from the early 1990s that opened for big-name bands like Neil McCoy, Diamond Rio, Darryle Singletary, George Jones, and Toby Keith. Now the group will open for Steel Bridge, a band that plays rock/Southern rock.
The members of Crosstyz are Robert Osteen, lead vocals / lead guitar; Matt Federico, vocals/ guitar; Gene Raulerson, bass; Toby Witt, drums; and Mike Gilland, steel guitar, and Darryl Valentine.
The members of Steel Bridge are Jamey King, vocalist/bass; Thomas Earl "Tommy" Chapman, lead guitar; Steve Fremen, guitarist; Jessie Wall, drums; and Ryan Fulford, rhythym guitar.
Saurday's venue is a smoke-free concert hall and fans must be at least 18 years old to get through the door.