The Weekend Getaway Band is an Atlanta-based, 7-piece band that brings together the warm combination of R&B, Jazz, Soul, Motown and Carolina Beach Music. Their classic sound and performance versatility makes The Weekend Getaway Band a hit wherever they play.
In addition to being great friends, the members of the band are all accomplished performance and recording professionals. Centered around well-orchestrated harmony vocals, solid upbeat instrumentation, and a kickin' horn section, a Weekend Getaway Band performance is sure to "get the good times going". Their music will take you back to younger days when life was a bit more carefree.
The Weekend Getaway Band was formed around a vision to bring together a group of talented musicians who share a passion to perform, promote and help preserve the rich heritage of R&B, Jazz, Soul and Carolina Beach Music. In 2012 and 2013, band co-founders Marcus Vess and Gary McKinney wrote and recorded several new Beach Music songs and had an idea of forming a "hip and happenin'" band to perform both classic covers of the genre as well as their original material.
The writing duo had realized some regional success with the release of "Let's Shag On The Beach" and "Having A Good Time". Both songs received radio and internet air play and caused a bit of a stir in the Myrtle Beach area (Shag capital of the the world...).
Following the positive feedback received from their new songs and after sharing their vision and heart-felt passion for the music, The Weekend Getaway Band was launched.
Multi-talented keyboardist and lead front man, Allen Cook was one of the early members to be recruited. Cook quickly embraced the vision for a R&B/Beach Music band with a dynamite horn section and agreed to join the group. With Cook leading the musical direction of rehearsals, a search was undertaken to find other like-minded musicians with the right combination of talent, attitude, personality, passing, and most importantly "heart" for each other and the music.
During the search, Cook invited Vess to hear the KWB (band) at "Ray's On The River" in Atlanta. "Sitting in" with the group was renowned saxophonist (phenom) Ollie Patterson. During a break, Cook introduced Patterson to Vess and the two immediately connected. After a brief conversation, Vess (somewhat prophetically) mentioned to Patterson that "We need to stay in touch. We're going to do something together."
Within weeks after this chance meeting, Cook and Vess met with Patterson to share the vision of WGB and pitch the idea of him joining the group. He was also presented with the opportunity for taking on the leadership role for the horn section and writing horn arrangements. The three found that they shared a kindred spirit for the music, a common Christian faith, and new friendships were quickly born.
With Cook on keys and lead vocals, McKinney on guitar and vocals, Vess on drums and vocals and Patterson forming the foundation for the horn section, realization of the vision for The Weekend Getaway Band began to come into view.
Still early in the process of forming the band, Patterson approached his friend and long time Atlanta trombonist Gil Estes. A talented and sought after trombonist, Estes plays with jazz/pop bands and orchestras across the region for both recording and live performances. Additionally, ever the educator, Estes leads the nationally recognized Atlanta Trombone Ensemble and the Atlanta Bone Collective (an ensemble made up of premier players from across the area). Together, Patterson and Estes bring a warm, supportive and friendly culture to the band.
To round out the horn section, Patterson and Estes invited long time friend and trumpet "heavy-hitter" David Klausman. Klausman has an extensive background of arranging, directing and performing in numerous Jazz, orchestral and big-band groups around Atlanta. His soaring trumpet range brings incredible power and punch to the group. With the tremendous talent and ability of Patterson, Estes and Klausman forming the horn section, Weekend Getaway was well positioned to take on covers by groups like Tower Of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, and Chicago as well as the continually emerging new material from Vess and McKinney.
After auditioning several bass players (and through a timely and coincidental recommendation from a mutual friend), the group found Felton Dunn as a very capable and talented player to provide the bottom end foundation. Additionally, Dunn possessed tremendous vocal ability. Dunn is a seasoned music veteran and from the very first session with Weekend Getaway, it was clear the Dunn was not only the right musician but a warm and friendly "brother" to join the WGB family.
With Cook, McKinney, Vess, Patterson, Estes, Klausman and Dunn, the band was formed. Although not a specific requirement for the group, it turned out that all seven members shared a common Christian faith. The group begins each rehearsal with prayer and firmly believes that God has assembled them for playing music together as part of a larger purpose.
More recently the WGB family has expanded to include Eugene Owens on guitar and vocals and Kenneth Bentley on bass and vocals. Both "new brothers" bring their own unique flair and style to the band. With Gene and K.B. in the group, the energy and on-stage dynamics continues to grow and build. McKinney and Vess continue to write new material and the band is regularly adding new covers to keep their shows fresh and "happenin"!
Beginning with the first rehearsal and through the transitions, the members of The Weekend Getaway Band found a shared passion for the music, their friendship and fellowship with each other. They refer to themselves as "a band of brothers" and bring high energy performances to their audiences centered around music that communicates a message of positive values.
From their debut performance in Athens, Georgia, the band has garnered rave reviews for their warm, rich sound and song-list of classic crowd favorites. Each song is delivered with tight and dynamic musical energy and, of course, with the complex vocal harmonies they have become known for. Wherever they perform, audiences can't help but get caught up in the good time and memorable music. These guys clearly have a great time playing music and enjoy being together. Their camaraderie and connection is apparent and their "good time" contagious.
The Weekend Getaway Band performs to enthusiastic audiences at festivals, clubs and concerts through the Southeast and continues to write and record new, fun and engaging original music. Their songs are available on iTunes, Amazon and other music outlets.
'"The Weekend Getaway Band was absolutely phenomenal! We couldn't have asked for a better band. Everyone was having such a great time. I would definitely recommend them for anyone who needs a band. You could not pick a better quality group. The horn section was fantastic and they were so easy to work with. We absolutely LOVED THEM!"
Myrtle Beach SC
"You all were just fantastic! Thank you for playing."
Mark M., Dir. of Golf, PGA
Cherokee Town & Country Club
"You all put on a fabulous show!"
Christine G., Asst. Theatre Mgr.
The Classic Center
, Athens, GA
"It's so cliche, but they ROCK!!!
Old songs you'll remember and new ones you won't forget."
Michelle J., Fan and Friend