POINT PLEASANT — As the summer continues, so does the Mayor’s Night Out free concert series, and featured tonight is Neon Nickel, a local band from Gallipolis, Ohio.
Neon Nickel will take the stage from 8-10 p.m. tonight, Friday, July 13, at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater. Playing a mixture of southern rock, country, and classic music, Neon Nickel has several original songs including their newest “Made in the USA.” The band also recently released a single titled “You Can Hear the Mountains Cry,” which was based off of the 29 fallen miners in the Upper Big Branch Mine. The band also made a video of this song which is available to view on their website, www.neonnickel.com.
The five members of Neon Nickel include David Gwinn on rhythm guitar and vocals, Kendall Mullins on second lead guitar and vocals, Tom Lewis on bass guitar and vocals, Rodney Sexton on Lead Guitar, and Steve “Wolf” Owens on drums.
Many of the members of Neon Nickel have been involved with music since they were young. Originally from around Huntington, Gwinn grew up in church where he was encouraged to sing with his family. As he grew older, his love for music grew and with influences from artists like the Eagles, Lynard Skynard, and Journey, he began to pursue the career of a musician.
Owens, also growing up in West Virginia and Virginia, began playing drums at five years old, and says some of his influences include the Safaries, Beach Boys, Ventures, and Buffet. He also says he tries to do around 20 minutes of free hand rudiments as day, to make sure he can always play.
Growing up in Gallia County, Ohio, Lewis learned trumpet at an early age, and then rediscovered his love for music while serving in the Army. After returning from 22 years of service, he met Owens, and has played in several other bands together before finding Neon Nickel.
Mullins grew up in the southern hills of Ohio also in a large family of musicians. While in eighth grade, Mullins started a six piece band, which often played at school dances. After he was older, he and one of his brothers started writing songs, winning several song writing contests.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Sexton moved to Cheshire, Ohio in his teens and while listening to a Beatles album decided to learn how to play guitar. He lists some of his influences as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Eddie Lang.
Following this week’s performance, the series will continues with the following schedule: July 20, Paul Doeffinger; July 27, Two River Junction (classic country and rock). August 3, Rock of Ages (contemporary gospel); Aug. 17, Blue Z Band (county rock and blues); Aug. 24, Bill Hawks (county, rock and mix); Aug. 31, South of the River Band (country, southern rock, original).