Music at the Mansion
The Rigbys to bring sounds of the Beatles to Lanier Mansion
When not playing as The Rigbys, they play other music
Music at the Mansion
• 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Lanier Mansion 601 W. First St., Madison, IN. Free. Bring lawn chair.
• (812) 273-0556
(August 2019) – “The Rigbys” are not just another Beatles tribute band. They have been immersed in the music of the Beatles for the past 13 years. But don’t expect wigs, costumes and makeup. It’s not about the visuals; it is completely about the music. Billed as Louisville, Ky.’s premier Beatles cover band, The Rigby’s are scheduled to perform at “Music at the Mansion” on Aug. 17 at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site in Madison, Ind.
Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, wine and cheese, and other snacks. Settle in for a fun evening with The Rigbys from 7-9 p.m. The event is organized by the Friends of the Mansion group.
Band members include Gary Metcalfe, guitar and vocals; Eric Kerr, bass and vocals; Troy Clampitt, guitar and vocals; Mark Beyer, keyboard, and Duane Smith, drums. After listing all of the band members, Smith, 58, added, “I don’t look like Ringo, either!”
Beyer and Clampitt were the original driving forces for the band that included Metcalfe and Kerr, according to Smith. When Smith met them, they were looking for a drummer for an upcoming Beatles tribute gig. He met them, jammed with them and did the fill-in. They had such a great time together that they all said, “Let’s do it.”
The Rigbys are a popular group who play all over the Louisville Ky., and southern Indiana area.
“Mark Beyer lives and breathes the Beatles. He has Beatles posters all over his house. He has met Paul McCartney several times and has McCartney’s autograph.” Beyer, 58, not only plays the keyboard, he provides all of the orchestration and “background magic.” Beyer also tours internationally with the show “RAIN, A Tribute to the Beatles.”
In case of rain, the Brown Gym provides an alternate, air-conditioned venue. The monthly series is sponsored in part, by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The event is free, but donations to the Friends of the Mansion, are encouraged.
When they are not playing together as The Rigbys, Kerr and Smith perform with “Brutally Handsome,” an Eagles tribute band in Louisville. Smith has recently moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he is working in music full time. He plays rock, country, everything except jazz. Back in the 1990s, he played with Shelby Lynne. After she won a Grammy for “Best New Artist” in 2001, he spent his life on the road traveling to performances.
Now he just enjoys his musical opportunities. He said he doesn’t miss the travel. Smith said his favorite Beatles song is “A Day in the Life of Sergeant Pepper” because it is the most adventurous and creative song.
“People love Beatles music. We decided if we weren’t doing wigs and makeup, we would just do really good music,” said Clampitt, 53. They studied the music and tracks, note by note, to learn how the Beatles played it. They shared information with other musicians. They also learned from those musicians.
For more than three years they studied the “what and how.” Each one learned his specific part and perfected his own performance. They would break down the parts and figure out how they fit together. Beyer was able to isolate tracks so they could hear each instrument individually.
“Most bands figure it out in practice.,” Clampitt said. “When we walk in, everyone knows his part. We have rehearsed individually and are ready to go. That way, it is easy to have fun.”
But they still rehearse together as a band. The vocals are the most difficult. For example, Clampitt explained that in the song, “She Loves You,” the last chord in “yeah, yeah, yeah,” is an augmented seventh chord. It is not the traditional pattern of harmony. It is very tough to learn. Clampitt’s favorite song is “And I Love Her” because the guitar part is so much fun to play.
The show is a celebration of the Beatles – the songs, the history, and the trivia. “We talk about what John was thinking when he wrote a particular song,” Clampitt said. “The Beatles recorded 215 songs; we do 150 of them. At the show, we will do about 20 songs during each hour. We can pull things out if there is something specific the audience wants to hear.”
Often, the show becomes a giant sing-a-long, he said. “Kids love our shows. My 14-year-old daughter’s favorite song is ‘Yellow Submarine.’ What really makes our show? We’re funny guys, and we have fun together. We’re just five guys who love this music!”
Smith added, “If you love the music of the Beatles, come out and you’ll have a good time.”
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