Stagelife Magazine is back with another local fan favorite - the band called "Four Barrel" !

Based out of Callahan, Hilliard, and Jacksonville Florida, this band has a following all over the U.S.A. !

If you like New Country, Traditional Country, New Rock, Vintage Rock, Southern Rock and Originals - These guys play it all !

This band mostly consists of members from another band that played under another name - "West Wind", a local favorite for so many years.

Here's the current band members -

Shawn Copher - Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar; - Great vocals and plays the guitar very well onstage -

Has a great personality and very good songwriter too !  This guy can hunt , play guitar and drink moonshine if he wants to !

Michael Creel - Lead Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin and Lap Steel Guitar; - Man with many great attributes - musically and mentally -

His blistering tight leads are awesome ! He knows every trick in the riff book, and fans flock to see him play that boogie woogie !

Michael Schmeltz - Bass Guitar; - Professional in every sense - has the patience and ability to make the bass sound different for each song -

And a great guy to watch on stage - he makes it look so easy !  Does he have six fingers or 5 ?  A real solid player in the game !

Duane Washburn - Drums & Lead Vocals - steady bam bam bam - and already the fans are dancing from the first song -

Has a great beat and vision on the band !  He keeps the bottom tight with his splash cymbal accents !  Bam Bam Bam !

These guys are all veterans of the classic rock era - and they all bring fresh new Southern Fried hits with them on stage !

These guys are laying down some great riffs, southern style, classic, boogie woogie -

- and making classic songs sound fresh with wonderful leads and change ups !  You instantly are tapping your feet !

If you are a fan of classic rock, then this band will definitely make you smile, and want to hear more from them !

We caught up with the band on tour in May - and here's the exclusive interview for the fans !

Hello Four Barrel ,

Thanks for taking the time between gigs to answer some questions for the fans !

How does it feel to play live music together with this killer band -

- that has the fans wanting more at every show ?

Shawn Copher -  I love a great audience,  and the more they get into the show, so does the band !

Michael Creel - Awesome !   This is what fun is all about !

Michael Schmeltz, Duane Washburn and myself, started playing together as a group many years ago as "The WestWind Band" (1978-80).  

We played in many different bands together after "WestWind" broke up,  for quite some time thereafter.   

Shawn Copher and I, played together in a couple of bands before "Four Barrel" was created.   So we are all friends from way back !   

This is a very important element for creating a fun band like ours !!  it's just plain "Awesome"!!!

Michael Schmeltz - Playing out live is a high in itself.  

Playing out with your friends and watching others enjoy what you're bringing is the ultimate.

Duane Washburn -  Playing in this band is a blast -

"Mike C" and "Mike B" and I, have an extensive history of playing together on and off for 3 decades, -

- then you add the "Shawn" factor, and we have a perfect formula for rock and roll !

Good time for everyone - and no place I'd rather be.

Tell us about this very cool New CD - called "Southern Grunge" -

What's the story line ?  Do you personally have a favorite track ?

Shawn Copher -  Our third C.D. "SOUTHERN GRUNGE" , is a lil heavier than our previous two, back to my 80's - 90's roots ,

- and it should be released by late summer, but "Dirty Swamp Music" seems to be a song a lot of fans relate to off our 2nd C.D..  

My favorite song is usually whatever new one i'm currently working on !

Michael Creel - We are in the studio still recording our 3rd CD.   It's called "Southern Grunge".   

I don't have a favorite track yet because we are still recording them. But some great stuff already !

Michael Schmeltz - Hard to pick a favorite.  Slow or Fast ?  

With every new song I like to think we bring something new to the table.

Duane Washburn - Hey , I play them all , I love them all !

What is your current gig equipment ?  Brands you use onstage ?

Shawn Copher -  I love that fat , thick "Marshall" sound, but I sure hate carrying the heavy s.o.b.!

Michael Creel - I use an "Epiphone SG" standard guitar.   And a "Peavey Transtube Special" with 2x12 Sheffield Speakers !

And I have my "Boss GT-6" floor processor.  My rule of thumb is;  Never play your expensive gear at these clubs or parties.   

I learned this the hard way.   My price tag limit on guitars and amps  ($300.00).   

I have played the most expensive gear and the cheapest gear.   It's NOT the gear that makes the player sound good !!!   It's the player !

Michael Schmeltz - My favorite bass is a 1976 Fender P Bass.  Ampeg SVT Classic Bass Amp

Duane Washburn - Currently playing a "Mapex Saturn" set I really like the feel and sound of this kit - and on top "Zildjian" cymbals.

What is your input on the New CD ? Any personal writing ? Producing ?

Shawn Copher -  I usually write the basics or hook of our songs then let the band bring them to life !

Michael Creel - Just started writing the album with the other members - getting song structures down - lead solos come later.

Michael Schmeltz - I just play it the way I feel it.

Duane Washburn -  My input on the album ? Usually Shawn and I, will jam on his new stuff, till we get the sound -

- and the feel he likes, then we record guitar and drums as a click track for the other guys to play to, and build from there.

What message is this band trying to get across to the fans ?

The fans have been dying for this type boogie sound for ages !

Shawn Copher -  We want our fans to leave sayin "Hell ya" !, that was "freakin awesome" !

I love it when they know the words and sing along !

Michael Creel - That we are doing this for fun !!!   We want our fans to have as much fun as we are having on stage.   

Sometimes we have a full stage of fans and musicians !  It gets crazy..We love it as much as they do !

Michael Schmeltz - We just want to have fun and convey that feeling to the people who show up for the gigs.

It's a party we like to share.

Duane Washburn -  The message I want, and I see in the fans, is to forget your day, and jam with the band, -

- Shawn is a big influence on this.

What music are you listening to this month ?  Be truthful !

Shawn Copher - Honestly,  I don't play the radio that much but "Lite 96.9" (Jacksonville Florida), if I do!

Michael Creel - Our "originals" and the "cover songs" we play for gigs - is mostly my playlist everyday !

Michael Schmeltz - I listen to my XM radio and pretty much enjoy anything from classic rock to classical music.

Duane Washburn -  I listen to all music that way I have different ideas of what, and most importantly when to play.

My favorite bands are Allman Bros, Doobies, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Yes, but I also like the blues !

What song on the New CD is your favorite to play live in concert ?  And the fans favorite ?

Shawn Copher -  "96 miles" because it tells a true story of band life,....."Riverside" is another the fans seem to really dig also.

Michael Creel - "Stay" .    Great Ballad or slow dance song !!!

Michael Schmeltz - I Enjoy them all !

Duane Washburn - "Stay" is a good one for sure !

What is Four Barrel doing in 2016 ?  More tour dates ? Studio time ? Festivals ?

Shawn Copher -   Besides our usual bar hopping, we have "Festivals" on the St Marys (Georgia) and Suwannee (Florida) are in the works.

Michael Creel - More "Openers" for big bands like "Blackberry Smoke," or "Jason Aldean".   Finish our 3rd CD. and play selective Clubs.

Michael Schmeltz -  Working on getting the new CD out is what we want to do - then we can fly !

Duane Washburn -  In 2016 - just looking to keep the grove and the good vibes going -

Try to do more bigger venues and less club owner sucking up to. Lots of bands out here with no decent venues to play at !

Is there a DVD in the works of the show ? Fans would buy it for sure !

I can see myself personally watching it a hundreds times a month !

Shawn Copher -  Dvd ? I'm up for anything positive,  we're still trying to finish the "Dirty Swamp" video!

Michael Creel - Hmmmm, .........we'll see.

Michael Schmeltz - This sounds like a great project !

Duane Washburn - Hey , I like the idea of a DVD down the line !  We'll see into that this year !

Do you play other instruments besides what we see onstage ?

Shawn Copher -  I play a lil bit of a lot of instruments but master of none !...always experimenting !

Michael Creel - Yes.   Banjo, Slide guitar and Mandolin.

Michael Schmeltz -  I started out playing drums as a teenager and we could never find a bass player -

- so I picked up the bass and never looked back. I play a little acoustic guitar and peck at the keyboards.

Duane Washburn -  I dabble with guitar and harmonica -

Only behind closed doors of course - quite embarrassing, I assure you !

What is next for you personally in music ?

Shawn Copher -  bigger venues, bigger fan base, bigger journeys!

Michael Creel - I play in our Church Orchestra. I plan to be more active in this because it is truly a challenge and very rewarding.

Michael Schmeltz - Just want to expand the horizon

Duane Washburn - What's next for a 59 year old drummer ?

Play as often as I can, and with as many musicians as I can. It keeps me thinking young and therefor feeling young.

It' an addiction - but a good one to have.

What songs on the New CD were the hardest to record ?   And why ?

Shawn Copher -  On our New CD, probably "Riverside", because of adding more and more ideas.

Michael Creel - Still recording the first few tracks - and have not made my decision yet - too early.

Michael Schmeltz - Just got started in the studio -

Duane Washburn -  Ask me later - we'll have answers for ya !

Thanks for the killer interview , any last words or requests from the fans ?

Shawn Copher -   Thank you so much for supporting local music, you inspire me to constantly get better and make our shows greater !

Michael Creel - Please give us a chance and listen to our music.  

There is always at least one or two songs on any of our CD's that people really like a lot !   

We get requests all the time when we are out playing gigs.   "Thank You" to all our fans and promoters !

Michael Schmeltz - Come out and check out the band.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Duane Washburn - Thanks Stage Life Magazine and Fans for this interview - come see us !

Here's a few links to the band - Go check out all the cool photo's !

Facebook -

Band's Email -

Band's Website -

Make sure you "Like" the band's Facebook Page - and ours !

Catch the band on tour in the U.S.A.,  and grab the New CD - It Rocks baby !

We'll be back with more music news from Four Barrel this Summer - stay tuned for details !
Leon Jonjock