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The Band

Take It Easy – The American Classic Rock Show was formed in 2021 by Nigel Minchin as an outlet for his love of performing the music of American bands from the 1960s to the present day. The opportunity to perform songs from the huge catalogue of American classic, country and blues-based rock music was too tempting to leave any longer. Similarly-minded musicians were found and rehearsals started in the late summer of 2021. Please check the shows page for details of upcoming performances.

Nigel Minchin image

Nigel Minchin – Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica and Mandolin

Nigel began his musical career in the choir at primary school. After taking up the electric guitar in his teenage years, he played in numerous bands during the 1980s, mainly blues, psychedelic and goth rock as a guitarist and lead or backing singer. After several years hiatus during the 1990s, he was persuaded to join a Neil Young tribute band, Broken Arrow and played the great man in various venues over a 4-year period. Nigel has also sang in the chorus of a local opera production, Alban. He first heard American rock music on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the mid to late 1970s – Lynyrd Skynyrd playing Freebird, Neil Young playing Like a Hurricane and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers playing American Girl. He was also forever changed when he saw The Last Waltz on BBC2 around this time. Currently Nigel also performs at Tom Petty in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. Visit his music website for more details – Nigel Minchin Music. Favourite American band – Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Edwin Harvey bassist Petty Criminals

Edwin Harvey – Bass and Backing Vocals

Obsessed by music and sound (particularly bass and 12-string guitars) from an early age, Edwin bought his first bass in his mid-teens. The following decades have seen him playing almost every type of music with various bands, both on the London circuit, and at many festivals. Highlights so far include playing to a packed Royal Albert Hall, and Barbican. Edwin also performs as Ron Blair in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. Favourite american band – The Doobie Brothers.

Philip Raby as Benmont Tench

Philip Raby – Keyboards

After many years moving and storing his late father’s VOX Continental organ, Philip decided to have it restored to full working order. It was a simple matter of taking this iconic piece of the British 60’s music scene to the experts and parting with sack full of cash. Six weeks later in October 2010 Philip became the poorer, but proud and privileged owner of a fully working Vox Continental II organ. The next step proved to be a little harder: Learning how to play it! Philip is self-taught, learning to read music, play scales and chords and then, progressing onto his local live music scene. When there’s room on-stage, the Vox Continental is in the show along with the Hammond, piano, synthesiser and Leslie speaker. Claim to fame? Some years ago, Philip jostled Alan Price at the bar to get served at the Bull at Barnes. Philip also performs at Benmont Tench in the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band Petty Criminals. There are many great and popular American bands that have captivated Philip and influenced his playing and musical preferences; The Doobie Brothers, Tom Petty, Doors, Eagles, and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. Favourite american band – Steely Dan.

Rich lewis - guitar and backing vocals

Rich Lewis – Guitar and Backing Vocals

Rich has been playing guitar since he was 16 when his mind was blown watching Jimi Hendrix in the Woodstock movie, inspiring him to form his first band while still at school. Since then he’s appeared in numerous bands playing a variety of genres including powerpop, blues, grunge and psychedelia. Alongside Take It Easy, Rich also performs in Totally Floyd and Cambridge-based originals outfit Phoenix Road. Among his favourite North American bands are Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Doors and The Black Crowes. As a big fan of 12-string jangle though it’s no surprise that his favourite American band is The Byrds.

Jake Schneider guitar and backing vocals

Jake Schneider – Guitar and Backing Vocals

Jake first picked up the guitar at 9 years old and he never looked back! 20 years later he is a full time musician and has hundreds of shows under his belt. Taking influence from guitarists such as George Harrison, Johnny Marr, Roger McGuinn, Pete Townshend, Don Felder and Joe Walsh to name a few, Jake loves a mixture of playing soaring leads to jangly style rhythms to decorate the bands he’s playing in. Being a lifelong fan of American bands such as The Beach Boys, The Eagles and The Band, Jake has a deep affinity for vocal harmonies and has since developed a natural ear for harmony arranging within bands. Alongside Take It Easy, Jake performs as a guitarist/backing vocalist in the 60’s tribute band, The Swiftbeats, regularly performing at functions, parties, weddings and other events. See jakeschneider.co.uk.

chris heyes drummer

Chris Heyes – Drums

Chris Heyes fell in love with drums when he first picked up some sticks as a kid – and he hasn’t stopped drumming since. His varied career to date has seen him perform pretty much every genre going, including songs he co-wrote as well as covers, in venues big and small. He has also recorded at some of the most prestigious recording studios in the UK and abroad, and has performed at uncountable festivals, theatre shows and private events. Equally at home playing rock, jazz, Motown, drum and bass, musical theatre. Chris lives in St Albans, and alongside his busy gigging schedule, he records and teaches drums from his own well-equipped studio. See stalbansdrumlessons.co.uk for more info.

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