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Suwanee's Gasoline Brothers to play in Duluth

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Special Photo Suwanee band, "Gasoline Brothers," with lead singer Ray Strickland will play in Duluth on Friday.

SUWANEE -- A Suwanee band that sees itself as part of the resurgence of Southern music will play at a benefit concert this week at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth.

The Gasoline Brothers, about two years into their latest incarnation, consider their influence as a mixture of Dwight Yoakam and a "country Tom Petty," a genre of music that the lead singer said music people in Nashville said is exclusive to Atlanta.

"There's always been these bands from Atlanta, they pull from country, but are also real plugged into English rock, the (Rolling) Stones, The Faces," lead singer Ray Strickland recalled hearing in the Nashville music industry. "It's a real wild combination that only comes out of Atlanta. We cover the gamut of people who like country music but also like classic rock,"

Strickland is the lead vocalist for The Gasoline Brothers, and also plays guitar and writes songs.

The concert, hosted by Eddie Owen, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The show also includes another Suwanee-based band, Young America, and the Gwinnett School of Rock. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The show will benefit the Wounded Warrior project, The Gasoline Brothers' top charity, where more than half of the proceeds from its merchandise are donated.

Strickland said the band is looking to honor the family of a Gwinnett wounded warrior during the show.

As for Young America, in which Strickland serves in a management role, the band is a younger version of The Gasoline Brothers.

"They're plugged into the same thing," Strickland said of Young America. "They're making it very original being a young band."

Strickland said the Red Clay venue reminds him of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and said the show would be diverse with really good song writing and visually entertaining.

Along with Strickland, other members of the band are Billy Pitts on drums, David Piper on bass and Jack Browning on guitar. Piper has played with Billy Idol, while Pitts has played with the Georgia Satellites and Mick Jagger.

Strickland said he's lived in Suwanee for about 14 years, and the band played at this year's Suwanee Day festival. The Gasoline Brothers expect its first national record release early next year, Strickland said.

"We're not your typical band of building fans on road and working hard, we're not necessarily flavor of month on Nashville radio," Strickland said. "There are all these different pockets of people you can reach without being on the radio. We're definitely blue collar small business."