LEONARDTOWN, Md. – On October 20 and 21, Wes Ryce and The Copper Pennies will be holding a tribute for the ages for the one and only Lynyrd Skynyrd at The Rex Theatre.
Wes Ryce, best known for his time with No Green JellyBeenz, has performed in the Southern Maryland area since 2004. Ryce, a Skynyrd fan for most of his life, dreamed about performing a show like this for a long time.
“As long as I can remember, being a little kid riding around with my Dad, my Dad would be listening to Skynyrd. My Dad was in a couple of St. Mary’s County cover bands, and they played a handful of Skynyrd songs. So my Dad was a fan, which kind of introduced me to them,” Ryce told The BayNet.
“The more I listened to them, the more I liked them. I can remember being in high school, and the trip from my house to school was the perfect amount of time for me to listen to ‘Free Bird.’ I was kind of not just a fan but a Skynyrd nerd. I knew everything, watched all the videos, and paid attention to the band.”
Ryce mentioned that back in 2017, he wanted to host a tribute show for the anniversary of the infamous 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but the circumstances just weren’t right.
However, during a conversation about Skynyrd with George Matthews of The Copper Pennies in March of this year, Ryce realized the anniversary fell on a Friday, prompting the idea of finally hosting the tribute show.
“So I mentioned it to him, he talked with the rest of the guys in the band, and everybody was interested,” Ryce explained.
Ryce also mentioned that they needed a third guitar player for the show. Ryce recommended Darren Reeder, who actually ended up officially joining The Copper Pennies because of how well he meshed with them.
“So the whole thing really fell into place almost immediately. And everyone is really excited,” said Ryce.
When tickets officially went on sale in June, almost five months away from the show, the show completely sold out within five hours! Which prompted The Rex to add a second night. Since then, The Rex has also added 50 extra tickets to each show!
“That just kind of added a whole different energy to the whole thing. To know that people are that interested,” Ryce stated.
The group will perform 20 songs each night, and each night will have a different setlist. So you might hear some songs on Friday that won’t be played on Saturday. But your classics like “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” will, of course, be played on both nights. Ryce said he is most excited about performing “Don’t Ask Me No Questions.”
Ryce also wanted to shout out Joe and Kiera of The Rex for allowing the show to be hosted at the venue. Ryce is also thrilled to share the stage with The Copper Pennies for the first time and for everyone who hasn’t seen them perform live before to witness their outstanding talent.
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