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THE DOWNSHIFTERS / Press

“Paxton, lead vocalist and guitarist of the Downshifters, loves to spin tales. "We come from Las Vegas, and played our first gig in Anchorage, Alaska," the tattooed motorcycle enthusiast said. "Wally (Edwards), our manager, found us one day walking down some railroad tracks." Drummer Scott Dyers chimes in. "Yeah, I was actually tied to the tracks, and Wally saved me," he said. Of course, none of that is true. The guys in the Downshifters have been part of the music scene for so long, they're tired of all the trappings that come with the territory. That includes articles on bands that read like a bad movie review: "Non-stop, high-energy entertainment from start to finish! The feel-good band of the year!" In reality, the Downshifters are a new incarnation of Screwface, an intense, in-your-face rock band that broke up Dec. 7 - yes, that's right, Pearl Harbor day - after four years of playing up and down Tampa Bay.”

"Highway Miles," the 16-song, sophomore CD completed by Bradenton bad boys The Downshifters, is a true street tally, even recorded "on the road" live, at the Heritage Motorcycle Rally in Charleston, S.C., during its opening set for the Marshall Tucker Band April 18, 2003. Further proof is in engine-powered theme songs such as "Backseat Driver" and "I Wanna Ride." Farther along are a couple of Johnny Cash covers from the rowdy-natured rock-a-billies. Despite raucous mannerisms, Paxton (vocalist/guitarist), Mike Zouhar (guitarist), Kevin Kuras (drummer) and Cory Karish (stand-up bassist) are excellent musicians and down-to-earth, fun individuals. Their live shows overflow with the energetic camaraderie of rockabilly/hillbilly/psychobilly shindigs of 1950s socials, where one might see greased pompadours, cigarette packs rolled into t-shirt sleeves, poodle skirts 'n' ponytails.

“While The Downshifters may not be welcome by most of the clubs in their hometown, the rest of the Southeast seems to be rather fond of the raucous renegades. Especially here in Charleston, where a real rockabilly movement struggles to emerge, thanks to the help of local rockabilly champions The Defilers. The Downshifters return to Charleston and will help shift that movement into overdrive this Saturday when they team up with The Defilers at Johnny Ola’s Anchor Café, a still fledgling music venue that has given its full support to this “outsider” genre of music.”

“The event was organized by P-man, aka Paxton (no last name) and his band The Downshifters, which includes bassist Ross Godfrey and drummer Scott Dyer. The rest of the hard hitting greaser lineup included Orlando's T-Bucket Terrors, North Port's The Psycho Devilles, Cocoa Beach's The Obscene, Jacksonville's The Gonowheres, Orlando's Randy Dickens and from Charleston, SC, The Defilers. Each act wailed through its set as motorcycle and hot rod engines roared from the street outside. The several hundred in attendance ranged from crusty old biker dudes to couples in their early 20s wearing the requisite greaser duds. ”

“Rock and Roll isn't dead, and won't be as long as the Downshifters exist. Combining searing guitar, an upright bass and machine gun drumming, these guys play the kind of music mothers warn their daughters about. Inspired by everything from Social Distortion and Johnny Cash to a 327 with a high-rise intake and chrome sidepipes. There's never a dull moment when the Downshifters hit the stage. ”

SKIPPERS - SKIPPERS SMOKE HOUSE