Local Musicians Gaining Notice


Pensacola's music scene is enjoying a resurgence as local bands receive attention both locally and elsewhere.

Honky-tonk punk singer Willie Heath Neal recently signed a record deal with a British record label, who will re-issue his debut CD, as well as a new one planned for release early next year.

The Underdogs scored yet more visibility for their music when their song "Florida Bound" was chosen for a "Snazziest MP3's on the Web" CD-ROM included with the June issue of Spin Magazine. The band recently added guitarist Steve Surber to their line-up, and are working on their second CD.

Pensacola legend Bobby Purify is back in the recording studio. The Grammy-nominated artist had several Motown-style hits in the 1960's and '70's, including "I'm Your Puppet." Purify's current work has impressed those who've had a chance to hear it.

Jazz-jam group Forty Til Five plan a blues and roots festival to celebrate the release of their new CD on June 17. Local businesses are supporting the effort, which will include other bands as well.

Jam group Wave are recording their second CD to be released soon. The band played New Orleans' prestigious Tipitina's recently.

Each year, SpringFest's Discovery Stage hosts a competition for new bands, with the winners receiving studio recording time and a slot on a main stage at the next year's festival. This year's winners were Ill Element in the Adult category and The Uneven in the Youth category. Ill Element's hip-hop metal performance at the Discovery Stage had the crowd really pumped up.

Stay tuned for more in-depth news in later issues of Boogie Pensacola.