By Curt Yeomans
Lee and Lindsey Smith, of Rex, and their friends, Robbie Croy and Matt Howard, both of Stockbridge, have attended the lighting of Macy's Great Tree at Lenox Square Mall for several years to hear the bands play, and to take in the atmosphere as the Christmas season got started.
The Smiths, Croy and Howard are in their own band, called The Regulars Band, and they've been dreaming of playing at the event since forming their group three years ago. Each year, they sent a tape to the event's producers, but to no avail.
However, luck was on their side this year. The band will be the Macy's Rising Star act at this year's Lighting of the Macy's Great Tree, which will begin at 7 p.m,. on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 27, in the parking lot of Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta.
"We're not so much nervous, but prepared for this because we've wanted to do it for so long," said Croy. "It's more like an anxious feeling, because we can't wait for that night to get here."
The event will be headlined by folk/pop artist Jewel, and will also feature performances by Cirque du Soleil; the Harmony Chorus, and Tony Award winner Heather Headley, who will sing "O Holy Night" as the tree is lit.
"We like the fact that they've [The Regulars Band] been attending this event for years, as well as the brother- and sister-angle [Lindsey and Lee Smith are siblings], but quite honestly, they just have a lot of talent," said Angela Coley, the producer for the Lighting of Macy's Great Tree.
The Regulars Band was formed three years ago for a talent competition at Eagle's Landing High School. The quartet has known each other for several years, having all gone to Cornerstone Baptist Church in Stockbridge.
Croy, 21, and Lindsey Smith, 19, who were students at Eagle's Landing, decided to sing together for the talent show. Croy was going to play the guitar while Lindsey sang. They asked Howard, 18, a recent graduate of Community Christian School, to join because they knew he could play the drums.
Lee Smith, 23, a 2004 graduate of Morrow High School attends Georgia State, then joined as a keyboard player, alternate lead singer and manager. "Lee writes all of the music and we all add our own styles to it," said Lindsey Smith.
The band members pull music styles from a variety of sources, including Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder. On their web site, www.regularsband.com, the band members say they are "Not your daddy's funk-rock band."
Their first Extended Play (EP), a self-titled album was released this summer and is available for $6 on their web site. The variety of music styles they pull from helped them determine their name, which Lee Smith said was determined within a day.
"We're pretty regular kids who play irregular music," he said.
On the net:
The Regulars Band: www.regularsband.com
The Regulars Band on MySpace: www.myspace.com/theregularsband