Shed Archive: SMH-D’s 1st and 2nd Anniversaries with Big Head Todd & The Monsters

This week’s Shed Archive celebrates Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson’s NOT So Sweet 16 Birthday Bash (which is taking place this Thursday through Sunday complete with awesome food and drink specials, vendors on site, and tons of great riding), by looking back at the first ever Birthday Bashes which both featured one of The Shed’s favorite bands! You can see that even in 2005, Big Head Todd were very well aware of where the music business was heading and correctly predicted the future. Be sure to check out the video below where you listen to the full show from the 2006 performance!

Big Head Todd and the Monsters help Harley Dealership Celebrate One Year
By Steve Wildsmith (Originally published in The Maryville Daily Times)
September 2, 2005

Todd Park Mohr has neither an oversized cranium nor a gigantic ego.

It’s not a stretch to make that assumption, given the band’s sideshow-like nom de guerre. In fact, it might be more apropos to call the band Big Loud Todd and the Monsters, given the band’s monstrous guitar chords and blues-rock foundation.

But Big Head Todd and the Monsters has worked for almost 20 years, so there’s no point in changing the name now. After all, Mohr and his two bandmates, bassist Rob Squires and drummer Brian Nevin, have been functioning just fine under the unusual nomenclature since they were students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

“I just think that we’re a great rock ‘n’ roll band,” Mohr told The Daily Times during a recent interview. “We have eight albums out, so we have a lot to draw from. We have all kinds of material from all kinds of genres. Basically, I’m a guitar-playing singer-songwriter, and my bag is being a songwriter.

“Plus, our friendship is our basis for being a band. When you have a great friendship, just like a great marriage, there’s not a lot that you can’t achieve. I’ve always felt strongly about not writing the same song twice and never making the same album twice. I’ve always been really concerned about doing things that are sincere and new for me.”

It was in the mid-1980s that Mohr, Squires and Niven formed Big Head Todd and the Monsters, at the University of Colorado. Their high school alma mater would go on to make tragic headlines for the massacre of students and teachers several years later, an event that the band members keep close to their hearts, even today.

“Obviously, that was a shock for everybody, and America kind of changed when that went down,” Mohr said. “Everybody sort of realized this could happen to their school, and it did happen to ours. The worst part of it for me is that my memories of my high school experience are forever changed.

“As a band, we’ve always been committed to music education, and Brian and I went through the music program at Columbine. Since the shootings, we’ve had the opportunity to play shows there and give a ton of money. Plus, we go visit periodically, mainly for ourselves and to feel connected to what was happening and the healing process.”

In the band’s early years, the members got noticed when they sold 58,000 copies of two independently produced albums — 1987’s “Another Mayberry” and 1990’s “Midnight Radio.” Both of the records, straight-ahead rock anchored by killer guitar riffs and Mohr’s rough singing, got them signed to Giant Records, which released the platinum-selling “Sister Sweetly.” That album spawned the radio hit “Bittersweet,” which has been a bit of an albatross for the band to carry since hitting the airwaves in 1993.

“The downside of it is that from a record label standpoint, they want to make Sister Sweetly over and over and over again,” Mohr said. “It’s been kind of a long learning curve for our audience, but it’s been really gratifying now to have an audience that really respects us for our whole catalogue instead of a hit single.”

That catalogue includes the follow-ups to “Sister Sweetly” — “Strategem,” “Beautiful World,” “Riviera” and “Crimes of Passion,” released last year. Each one is a blend of several different genres, all anchored in solid, guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll.

“I write a lot of different types of genres, and obviously our group is kind of known for being somewhat eclectic,” Mohr said. “I’m writing in 12 different categories, from blues to folk to R&B to hard rock. We’re already looking ahead, but to be honest, we’re kind of waiting to see what label we’re on and the group of minds that will be helping us before getting specific on what the next record’s going to be.”

In the meantime, Mohr has plenty to keep him busy — in addition to a heavy tour schedule, the band does a six- to seven-week run every winter and wrapped 30 dates at various festivals throughout the summer. He’s also written and produced a song for NASA, and in October, the band is recording a track with iconic engineer Alan Parsons, who worked with both The Beatles and on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album. Mohr is also keeping an eye on the evolution of digital music.

“So much is going on right now in terms of pod-casting and mp3 delivery, so I’m sort of looking down the line of different avenues to really get our music out,” he said. “I really like the notion of having a career where new music is always coming out, instead of the traditional cycle of putting out a new record every two years. There’s a lot to be said in my mind for the Internet in terms of rewriting the rules of what new music can be.

“I would rather have half a million people download one of my songs for free than sell 40,000 records, because to me, it’s about getting your music out to as many people as you can. The more people that get exposed to our band, the bigger it impacts our career. I also think that free music and free content is good for our society, because it’s going to create more diversity and give us more altruistic reasons for creating art.”

Tonight, Big Head Todd and the Monsters are poised to get their music out in Blount County, kicking off three days of entertainment at the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson dealership on West Lamar Alexander Parkway.

“We’re very receptive to what the audience wants to hear, and a lot of times our setlists are very loose,” he said. “It’s a Harley-Davidson dealership, so I imagine it’ll be pretty fun and heavy on the rock ‘n’ roll end of things.”

 

SOME KIND OF MONSTER: Big Head Todd returns to the Harley ‘Shed’
By Steve Wildsmith (Originally published in The Maryville Daily Times)
September 1, 2006

It would not be advisable to call the guy who fronts a band named Big Head Todd and the Monsters a cyber-geek.

It’s not that Todd Park Mohr has a reputation of resorting to violence, and it’s not that his band, despite the foreboding moniker, plays some intimidating genre of metal.

He is, however, on the cutting edge of using the capabilities of the World Wide Web to his advantage when it comes to promoting his music. And given the cutthroat nature of the music industry, that makes him technologically savvy, a much cooler term than “geek.”

“We put out a podcast (a sort of Internet radio program that can be downloaded to computers or digital music players for anytime accessibility), and if you go to iTunes, we’re releasing about three songs a month or so on that, and a lot of them are unreleased studio tracks,” Mohr told The Daily Times this week. “It’s just been a great way for us to keep connected with our fans, because everyone who has a computer can use it. And if they subscribe to our podcasts, when we put out new songs, people automatically get them.

“We’ve had a lot of fans requesting that sort of thing on our [Internet] message boards, and it’s a great way for us to keep our fans current on our ongoing musical career. These days, there are a lot of fans that don’t buy a CD, and I think it’s essential for any band to do things like this. That where you’re going to reach out to new audiences and younger audiences, because that’s where they’re going. That’s where you’re interacting with their culture.

“It’s essential for most bands, if not all bands, to reach out into those venues,” Mohr added. “Our career is a lot more niche-oriented. We’ve never been a major-label, smash-hit group, so it’s even more important for us to take advantage of alternative or digital media.”

For a band that marks it’s 20th anniversary this year, the willingness to use technology and adapt to the changing musical times is a testament of Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ willingness to survive. It was at the University of Colorado that Mohr and his two bandmates, bassist Rob Squires and drummer Brian Nevin, first formed the band after graduating from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

In the band’s early years, the members got noticed when they sold 58,000 copies of two independently produced albums – 1987’s “Another Mayberry” and 1990’s “Midnight Radio.” Both of the records, straight-ahead rock anchored by killer guitar riffs and Mohr’s rough singing, got them signed to Giant Records, which released the platinum-selling “Sister Sweetly.” That album spawned the radio hits “Bittersweet” and “It’s Alright,” as well as a couple of other minor hits.

On its follow-up records, the group rarely deviated from that successful formula, occasionally coloring outside the lines with the blues but always finding its way back to what it does best – guitar-driven rock that shakes the rafters with triumphant bombast and lulls a crowd to quiet introspection on some of the moodier songs. The themes are universal ones – love and life and death and legacy – that have adapted easily to a live setting, evident by the band’s 1998 album “Live Monsters” and 2004’s “Live at the Fillmore,” the group’s most recent release.

“We’re working on the follow-up to our last studio record, ‘Crimes of Passion,’ and fans should expect something out at the beginning of the year,” Mohr said. “We’re writing and working on it now, and we’ll be back on tour again in January or February.”

In the meantime, the Monsters have plenty to keep them busy. According to Mohr, they just finished a song called “Blue Sky” for NASA, written to commemorate the shuttle program. In addition, the guys recently collaborated with Alan Parsons, the studio engineer behind the genius that is Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album and leader of the Alan Parsons Project, on a version of that song.

Saturday, the band performs at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville for the venue’s two-year anniversary. Big Head Todd and the Monsters performed there a year ago, a show that Mohr remembers well.

“It’s the only time we’ve ever played at a Harley dealership, so it was quite memorable,” he said with a chuckle. “Half of our guys went out for rides, so they were thrilled. It was a fun day, and there was even some moonshine involved, to my recollection.”

The band recently completed a tour with Toad the Wet Sprocket, another icon of the ’90s modern rock scene, and after Saturday’s gig, Mohr said, he’s looking forward to getting home and enjoying a much-needed break.

Even then, however, you’ll probably find him in front of his computer, tinkering with new ways to keep up with shifting musical tastes in the Information Age.

“It’s an interesting world for music out there now,” he said. “We’re moving into a different world, one where the CD is becoming obsolete. I have an iPod, and I refer to the actual discs very infrequently. I think we’re moving toward a point, quite quickly, when all music is digital. And that’s too bad, but at the same time, it’s opened up new doors for us.

“It’s been really fun for me to be able to continue to work on a song and release songs and demos to our fans. We can release those different versions and still be able to feel like they can develop as a composition or a recording. That helps me to feel free to be a lot more creative and not be so bound by genres or marketing handles.

“Those are exciting possibilities that our fans want from our music, and I think it helps everybody,” he added.

Whiskey Myers returning to The Shed in 2021!

The Shed is so excited to announce that crowd favorites WHISKEY MYERS will be returning in 2021 to play not 1, but 2 huge shows! Mark your calendars for August 20 & 21, 2021!

Tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday, 9/4, at 10AM EST

Shed Archive: The Shed’s First Concert Season

Introducing The Shed’s Archive Series! We’re going to be exploring different articles, publications, and clips that trace The Shed’s history all the way from our humble beginnings to our record sold out shows! To start off the series, Steve Wildsmith and Scott Maddux have a conversation about the very first concert season at The Shed! Make sure to check out the pictures at the bottom to see what the stage looked like in the very beginning! Humble origins indeed…

PARTY ON THE HARLEY SHED: It’s all part of Scott Maddux’s rock ‘n’ roll fantasy
By Steve Wildsmith (Originally published in The Maryville Daily Times)

Scott Maddux doesn’t deny it — he’s a teenage boy at heart living out his dreams.

After all, not too many grown men get to play with motorcycles, listen to rock and blues music on the weekend and get paid for it all. Maddux does, and he’s sharing those two passions with the citizens of Blount County by opening up his motorcycle dealership, Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson & Buell, to the public every Saturday through October.

Granted, Maddux’s job isn’t all play, and the dealership is always open to the public. But on Saturdays, the covered stage next door to the main building lights up, the speakers crackle to life and musicians from across the country will be stopping by to play free concerts for anyone who wants to come by.

“I really have two passions when it comes to hobbies — one is motorcycles, and the second is music,” Maddux told The Daily Times this week. “I’ve been riding motorcycles from a very early age, and I started playing music, taking lessons and things like that, from a very early age. Those are two things that are very close to me and pretty much at the core of who I am.”

`”When I started looking at becoming a motorcycle dealer, part of my model was a way to incorporate those two things into one business. I knew I wasn’t going to become a professional athlete, and it looked like being a professional musician wasn’t going to pan out either, so selling motorcycles was third on my list.”

Maddux and his wife, Monet, first opened Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in 2004, and from the outset, Maddux knew that music was going to be part of the grand design. Occupying the former location of Lowe’s hardware store, the main building has 19,000 square feet of retail space housing more than $500,000 in Harley-Davidson brand parts, accessories and general merchandise.

Sitting on 7.2 acres, the site features 18 service bays, several wash bays where travelers can stop to clean “road grime” off their bikes and a 15,000-square-foot outdoor pavilion complete with barbecue pits. Known as “The Shed,” the pavilion is where the concerts take place.

“I found the property, and we said this was perfect,” he said. “When it was the Lowe’s building, that area was used for the lumber shed, so what we did was box it in and build a stage, because I knew I wanted to have permanent lighting and sound in place. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to set up and get going.”

After The Daily Times wrote about the dealership’s opening at the end of last summer, a local cyclist stopped by — Mark Akers, a veteran of the music industry. From that meeting, Maddux said, a partnership was born.

“He told me he was into the same things I was and that he wanted to help us out,” Maddux said. “We started talking about what equipment we had between us, and together, we had as good a sound system as you would expect in any high-end club.”

“Now, Mark kind of acts as director, managing all the sound and lighting, and he’s helped us fill in the blanks as far as our equipment and lighting needs went. He helped build the stage that we have, and he’s constantly working to improve that.”

“The Shed” is more than just a covered pavilion. Maddux has gone to great lengths to give it a warm, weathered feel. He’s torn down an old barn on his great-grandfather’s property in Buffalo Valley and used a lot of the wood for the pavilion, and he just won online a 6-foot brass chandelier that used to hang in a Memphis hotel.

“We’re going to hang that in there, because I really want to have a place that really feels like what you would expect in a good theater,” Maddux said. “We’re working on a very rustic feel, and I’d also like for it to look dated, like an old blues shed or barn.”

With the venue ready to go, all Maddux needed was the musicians. At a show at Brackins in downtown Maryville, he met blues artist Jason Ricci, who passed along the name and number of a promoter out of Colorado. Maddux subsequently hooked up with him and started booking national acts.

“I try to book national touring acts, and what we’ve started doing is trying to book well-known local acts to play ahead of them,” Maddux said. “We try to have a good diversity of music. Basically, because I’m a fan of the blues and blues-inspired rock ‘n’ roll, we tend to lean in that direction a little more, but I can see as it progresses extending it to a Sunday afternoon and letting that focus be on something regional, like bluegrass or folk.

“The other possibility is using the venue beyond the concert series. We hosted the Smoky Mountain Blues Festival two weeks ago, but unfortunately, the bad weather didn’t get us the turnout we hoped. But we’re still going to keep at it. Right now, one of the local radio stations has contacted us and wants to book a national recording act, and for our anniversary at the first of September, I’m working to try and book Big Head Todd and the Monsters.”

“That’s a direction I’d like to see us go,” he added. “I’d like to see that side of our facility have its own image, its own customer base and its own following. I want people to understand that it’s not something just for motorcyclists and Harley riders — it’s about the music.”

Obviously, the motorcycle side of the business appeals to the biker crowd, but Maddux emphasized that the concert series is geared toward family. With barbecue pits on site, food is sold, and since the pavilion is covered, the concerts go on even if it rains.

“If it rains, it doesn’t stop us from having a good show,” Maddux said. “The turnout is continuing to grow every week. I’m as proud of what we’ve got going on over here as I am what we’ve done in the dealership. The artists we’ve booked rave about the quality of the sound, and we’ve not had a single artist who’s come out here yet who’s not asked us to come back and play.”

“It’s something we offer free, because I want to give something to our customer base and give them something to do on a Saturday night, but I guess the essence of it is that I just really like it. It’s open to anyone and definitely not something families should be intimidated to bring their kids to — it’s not a rough, redneck, stereotypical biker gathering. As far as everybody is concerned, chances are, if you go out to “The Shed” on a Saturday night, you’re going to see an act that’s going to be really top-notch.”

“Party on the Patio” Summer Concert Series 2005

WHEN: 7 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 29

WHERE: Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson & Buell, 1820-B W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville

SCHEDULE

Saturday: Blue Mother Tupelo

June 4: The Doug Shock Band at 4 p.m. with The Dixie Werewolves at 7 p.m.

June 11: Harmonica Red

June 18: The MacDaddies

June 25: Ethic with Porter-Davis

July 2: Jason Ricci

July 9: Jobe Blues Band

July 16: to be announced

July 23: The MacDaddies

July 30: Blue Mother Tupelo

Aug. 6: The Rockin’ Jake Band

Aug. 13: Jobe Blues Band

Aug. 20: Fresh Picked

Aug. 27: The MacDaddies

Sept. 3: Jason Ricci

Sept. 17: Todd Wolfe

Sept. 24: Brian Lee

Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22, Oct. 29: TBA

The Shed is looking towards 2021! 2020 Concerts Canceled

Hey Shed fans! It has been a hard year here and unfortunately there is just no way we will be able to have any concerts given all of the circumstances surrounding large scale events. However, we do have a lot of great things already lined up for 2021 and hope to make it the biggest year yet! See below to see how the following shows will be affected-

-Black Stone Cherry on 9/4/20 will now be moved to 5/29/21! All tickets purchased for this show will be good for the new date! An email with updated tickets was sent out this morning!

-The Kentucky Headhunters on 9/5/20 will now be moved to 9/4/21! All tickets purchased for this show will be good for the new date! An email with updated tickets was sent out this morning!

-Big Gun on 9/26/20 is canceled and all tickets are being automatically refunded. Don’t miss Big Gun kicking off the 2021 season in April!

-7 Bridges on 10/3/20 will now be moved to 4/17/21! All tickets purchased for this show will be good for the new date! An email with updated tickets was sent out this morning!

-American Floyd on 10/10/20 is canceled and all tickets are being automatically refunded.

-Departure on 10/17/20 is moving to 4/10/21! All tickets purchased for this show will be good for the new date! An email with updated tickets was sent out this morning!

-Pandora’s Box on 10/24/20 is canceled and all tickets are being automatically refunded. Be on the lookout for Pandora’s Box to be at the Shed in October 2021!

-Halloween featuring Skankbanger on 10/31/20 is canceled and all tickets are being automatically refunded. Skankbanger will be playing out Halloween show in 2021!

If you have tickets to one of the rescheduled shows and can not attend, you can request a refund by emailing info@theshedtickets.com with your order information. Refund requests are available until Friday 8/21/20. If you still want to support the Shed, be sure to stop by the Smokehouse for lunch or dinner or check out the shows on sale for 2021! Thank you all so much for understanding, we are completely bummed to. Onto the greener grass of 2021!

Blackberry Smoke to play TWO weekends in 2021!

Hey Brothers and Sisters, we’re proud to announce that Blackberry Smoke is going to be headlining not one, but TWO huge weekends at The Shed in 2021!

Our currently scheduled shows for September 18 and 19 will now be postponed to May 7 and 8 and two new shows on May 14 and 15 are ON SALE NOW!

If you have tickets to September 18, your tickets are good for May 7. If you have tickets to September 19, your tickets are now good for May 8. New tickets to both of these shows will be emailed to all ticket buyers today to reflect the correct date!

However, we understand that a change of schedule does not work for everyone, so if you need a refund, you can email info@theshedtickets.com with your order information and request a refund. We can not however transfer the tickets to any other shows. Refund requests will be available until Friday August 14, 2020.

All VIP Meet and Greets as well as tickets for the Roll Out Charity Motorcycle Ride this year will be refunded this week. New announcements will be made on both soon. Please email orders@blackberrysmoke.com for any issues.

We plan to have more events and music during the week between the Blackberry Smoke concerts, so keep your eyes open! We’re looking ahead to greener pastures, see ya in 2021!

August 2020 Concerts Moving to 2021 or Being Cancelled

Hey Shed Fans!

To continue our due diligence, we are going to continue to abide by the Governor’s orders for Tennessee through August and cancel all of our shows. Details for each show affected is below, some are being postponed until 2021. We have worked closely with each band to make this decision and truly believe this is what is the safest option for our community. We express our apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment, as we too are bummed about 2020. We hope to come out of this as soon as it is safe to do so.

Ward Davis on 8/1/2020 will now be rescheduled to 8/7/2021.

The Cadillac Three on 8/7/2020 will now be rescheduled to 8/14/2021.

Koe Wetzel on 8/8/2020 is being postponed to 2021. Once we have a new date, we will email ticket buyers with the info and allow for refund requests.

Ray Wylie Hubbard on 8/14/2020 is canceled. All tickets are being automatically refunded.

Colt Ford on 8/15/2020 is being postponed to 7/31/2021.

JJ Grey on 8/21/2020 is being canceled. All tickets are being automatically refunded.

Jackyl on 8/22/2020 is being postponed to 8/21/21.

If you have tickets to one of the rescheduled shows and can not attend the new date, you can email info@theshedtickets.com with your order information and request a refund. All refund requests must be made by 7/24/20.

The Cadillac Three Postponing Tour to 2021

 

Originally scheduled to appear at The Shed on 8/7/2020, The Cadillac Three will now postpone that show until 8/14/2021. If you can not attend the new date, email info@theshedtickets with your order information to request a refund. Refund requests must be submitted prior to end of day on 7/24/20

July 2020 Shows Canceled

Hey Shed Fans,

Well gang, in light the Governor’s order to limit social gatherings, as well as concerns expressed by some of the artists and crew, we are canceling our July concerts.

We apologize to all the fans ready to resume our concert schedule; and like you, we are disappointed. We were looking forward to being able to celebrate live music again. However, at this time, we feel this action is appropriate to best care for our staff, our bands, and our community.

Tickets that have been purchased for these shows will be automatically refunded to you. You should see them in your accounts within the next 14 days.

On a brighter side, The Shed is still open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and we will extend our hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 8:00 PM. We have a large outdoor patio and hope you will visit us for some of the best Southern BBQ and the coldest drinks in town (we will also be playing shows from past seasons on our screens to help you get your Shed fix).

Finally, Food Truck Thursday will still happen this week! She Rides Moto and the Black Dragon Breakdown are still on for this weekend and the Cannonball Run is still a go for July 18. We plan to resume our schedule in concert August.

-The Shed

The Steel Woods Add Another Night!

A second night of The Steel Woods has been added to make it a full weekend of incredible music!

Due to high demand and our capacity restrictions with Covid 19, The Steel Woods have added another night to make it a full weekend at The Shed!

Them Dirty Roses will be here to kick off the show as well as JB Strauss & The ‘Bacco House!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

New 2020 Schedule!

Take a look at the new 2020 Concert Schedule!
We kick off shows again next month!
Tickets on sale now!

NOTE: St. Paul and The Broken Bones originally scheduled show for August 29 is unfortunately not going to be able to take place. All orders have been refunded.