Tyler band Take 2 rocks out the oldies

copyright 2012 Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph Take 2 classic rock band from Tyler, Texas Left to right: Jack Harris, keyboard, Greg Murphy, guitar, Paul Turk Henry, vocals, Tony Marsh, guitar, Tom McGowan, drums, bass Take 2 plays at Liberty Hall in downtown Tyler Saturday May 12 at 8 p.m.

Local band Take 2 transports its audience back in time, with the best music of the '60s and '70s, but it isn't your typical cover band.

The group pushes its talents to the limit, mastering more than a dozen unique sounds the way they originally were recorded.

"When I got the idea for this band, my idea was to do the songs the way they were written, like when you bought the LP," Guitarist Greg Murphy said.

The band members come from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Murphy works in clinical research for a cardiovascular group; keyboardist Jack Harris is an allergist; drummer Tom McGowan is a music instructor at Tyler Junior College; and vocalist Paul "Turk" Henry coordinates with local schools to provide band instruments through Tatum music. The band also features Tony Marsh on guitar.

The current incarnation of the band has been together for eight years, playing a variety of shows, from the Longview Hot Air Balloon Race to a performance alongside a 50-piece orchestra.

Turk joined the band in 2006, when Take 2 was searching for a new lead singer. The nickname Turk comes from his time overseas when he was growing up on Air Force bases. In the 80s, he was the front man for the band The Hobbit, which saw success playing with bands such as Cheap Trick and Quiet Riot.

A job as an alcohol counselor brought him to Tyler Junior College, where he met McGowan.

"They didn't know I could sing until after we got Turk," McGowan said. "I kept telling them I could sing and they …"

"Said shut up and play the drums!" Turk chimed in.

Take 2 shares an easy chemistry. The band members' common life experiences influence their interactions and allow them to come together in a way most younger bands can't manage.

When Murphy decided to start the band, he approached his neighbor, Harris, about joining. Harris agreed, but he had a condition.

"I'm busy, I work hard, and I want the band to be fun," Harris said. "If I'm playing every Friday night, it's going to become a job."

So instead of playing gigs every weekend, the band focuses on playing one great show a month and is selective about the music they choose.

"It's sort of the perfect storm, because I'm 58, and all of the great music, I believe, was written when I was growing up in the late '60s and the '70s," Murphy said.

The diverse and perfected shows they offer require the group to rehearse extensively.

"That would be easier, if all we did was the Rolling Stones or the Cars, but what's very hard is, Saturday we'll cover 20 different bands for our show," Murphy said. "In order to be diverse, you have to choose correctly, because we're only going to choose things what we feel we can do to that level."

Murphy once spent three months trying to perfect a signal chain by David Gilmour. Harris enjoys perfecting melodies on his synthesizer in his spare time.

The band's shows attract audiences of all ages, including some of McGowan's students.

"They come every once and a while," McGowan said. "It's a good opportunity for them to see that their teacher is out playing."

Local audiences can see the band at 7 p.m. Saturday at the KE Bushman's Center in Bullard, 1565 Farm-to-Market Road 2493 E. Tickets are available at outhousetickets.com/Event/Event6579/

For more information, visit take2band.com.

Twitter: @TMT_Cory



Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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