|Tennessee Flying Goose opens for the Seldom Scene in 1974.|
Mark Rogers (acoustic guitar, bass, and vocals) describes the band’s sound as “Americana,” noting it’s a mix of country, bluegrass, folk, rockabilly, blues, and rock.
Dan Mead (guitar and vocals) and John Lowe (guitar, mandolin, and vocals) started playing music together while in the fourth grade at Canterbury Woods Elementary School. Rogers and Tony Stephan (guitar, banjo, and mandolin) joined the band a little later.
They played at private parties and local swimming pools while attending Frost Middle School and Robinson Secondary School, Rogers recalls. They moved on to play gigs, unpaid for the most part, at the area’s top music venues.
In 1973, Tennessee Flying Goose played the Birchmere before it moved from Shirlington to Alexandria. The following year, they opened for the Seldom Scene, the area’s top bluegrass band at that time, at a show in their high school. And in 1975, they performed at the original Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna.
By the summer of 1976, Tennessee Flying Goose was put on hold, as the boys headed off to college and eventually married and moved away, but it never really disbanded. “Every few years, we find a way to get together and play,” Rogers says, often in someone’s house. “It’s been a long-term thing with us.”
Music has continued to be a big part of their lives, even as they worked in regular jobs. Rogers headed to Los Angeles after graduating from college where he played in various clubs and eventually moved back to the D.C. area.
Lowe lives in Burke and is part of a duo that plays at wineries throughout Northern Virginia. Stephan plays in coffeehouses, and Mead is in a Beatles cover band. For a while in the early 2000s, Lowe and Stephan performed at festivals and small venues as part of the Lowe Runner Band.
Last year they got the idea to record an album with the band members contributing their best original songs. They recorded “The Grey Album” by sending digital tracks to one another. The album can be downloaded from the group’s website, iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon.
Proceeds from album sales go Justin’s Place, a program that supports young men struggling with drug abuse and homelessness.