As a performer, session player, instructor, and clinician, Matt Crowning is more than a “drummer’s drummer.” He is a “musician’s drummer” that brings a wealth of talent, experience, and style to each situation. With a diverse performance background that ranges from Country to Pop and Alternative to Big Band, plus Jazz and R&B, Matt understands and appreciates each artist. His work includes performances with Alex Bach, Vanilla Monk, Matt Farr, Alexx Calise, LifeChurch.TV, Inter Vision, Kerrie Roberts, and, most currently, Matt is performing with Country artist, Amber Leigh on tour and in the studio. These shows include support act performances with The Wreckers, Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, Fergie, Lady Antebellum, Cowboy Troy, Gloriana and many others.
Matt Crowning proudly endorses Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, PureSound Percussion, Future Sonics, KickPort, HQ Percussion, DrumFun, and HillBillyBrand.com artist apparel.
Randy James — who happens to be Amber’s dad, has been playing music all of his life. He is originally from South Dakota, where he fronted his Jr. High rock band, “The Nowheremen,” named after a Beatles tune. Randy played bass, sang, and was highly influenced by Mr. Paul McCartney. Randy’s family then moved to Detroit Michigan when he was a freshman in high school. It was in Detroit where Randy received a musical mixture of Motown, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, and later on, acoustic music such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Cat Stevens, and James Taylor. He then added the acoustic guitar into his arsenal in his college years. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Randy taught Broadcast Arts program in Royal Oak, Michigan, while playing bass in a funk/disco band for three years. He also recorded an album with Detroit rocker, Bob Boyle. Randy then got the itch to hit the road. He packed up his 1960 Fender Jazz bass, an acoustic guitar, and a suitcase in his old Ford Mustang and moved to Boca Raton, FL, where he’s been residing ever since. Over 30 years ago, Randy, and then duo partner Marilyn Max started playing in Delray Beach, FL at a famous beach-side club called BOSTON’S ON THE BEACH. Randy has been at Bostons ever since. A new partner was introduced to Boston’s 15 years ago. 11 year old Amber Leigh hit the stage with her dad and has been playing ever since. Randy produced, wrote and recorded Amber’s first 3 CD’s. Randy is also a professional educator, having designed and built the Television facilities at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton. He has been teaching Broadcast Media for the past 28 years. Randy is also a certified Personal trainer, a licensed Master Scuba Instructor, loves running marathons and spends many hours in the gym. Randy resides in beautiful Boca Raton, FL. He shares his home with his lovely wife, Jacqueline, their two dogs, and tuxedo cat. Randy collects, loves, and plays the “King of the Flat-tops,” the GIBSON J-200 acoustic guitar.
AKA – Rockin’ Ralph –A graduate from University of Buffalo with a BA in Music and an MA in Math, he plays a variety of styles from jazz to rock, but prefers the New Country scene. He’s noted for a quality sound, while displaying a continuous rocking motion. This guy can’t hold still. He met up with Big Daddy “Randy James” 20+ years ago, and has been his bass player du jour ever since. Rockin’ Ralph goes back to the days of early Amber, when Mom “Jackie James” would take her to a gig. Then, the 6 year old Amber would come up on stage and sing or play a new song that Dad had just taught her. The band has gone through many changes, and Rockin’ has been there for ‘em all.
HOLLAND RYAN: Sound Engineer
I have loved music my entire life and have always wanted to be involved with it. Whether I’m behind a mixing console or playing on stage, I find great joy in making the most of each performance. I have been playing guitar since the age of six and have performed in Jazz, Swing, Rock, Alternative, Country and Punk bands. As a native Floridian, I have attended FAU, PBCC and BCC where I trained in Jazz Theory and Arrangement, Photography and Graphic Arts. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, baking, fishing and boating.
I have been running sound professionally for 14 years. For the past eleven years I have been working as the Head Sound Engineer for a Performing Arts Center in South Florida. Additionally, I have maintained part-time employment with several sound and production companies in the area over the last twelve years. Most recently I have been touring and recording with Amber Leigh and her band! We’re very excited to be back in the studio and recording new music for you all to enjoy!
As a sound engineer I have worked with amazing people and performers. Some of the most memorable were:
Amber Leigh, Calle Ocho 2011, Taylor Swift, Clint Black, The Wreckers, Collin Raye, Eddie Money, Etta James, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Gin Blossoms, Blues Traveler, Sister Hazel, Los Lonely Boys, The Resolvers, Little Feat, Three Dog Night, Little River Band and Joey Gilmore.
Broadway Stars: Sutton Foster, Shoshanna Bean, Adam Pascal, Christina Andreas, John Tracy Egan, Sam Harris, Lucie Arnaz, John Gabriel, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, Rita Gardner, Pat Boone, Jason Graae, Liz Callaway, Sandy Duncan and John Davidson.
Stage Performances: Kathy Griffin, Joel Grey, Rosemary Clooney, Neil Sedaka, Kenny Rogers, Frank Sinatra Jr., Marvin Hamlisch, Robert Goulet, Linda Eder, Chuck Mangione, Moscow Stars on Ice “Broadway Nutcracker”, St. Petersburg stars on ice “Nutcracker”, The 10 Tenors, Manhattan Rhythm Kings and New Christy Minstrels.
Outdoor Benefits: Davis Cup, Chris Evert Celebrity Tennis Event Featuring: President George H.W. Bush, Chris Evert , Chevy Chase, Gavin Rossdale, Matthew Perry, Jon Lovitz, Bud Collins, Jimmy Connors, Mary Joe Fernandez, Tommy Haas, Luke Jensen, Murphy Jensen, Martina Navratilova , Jana Novotna , John McEnroe, Andy Mill, Mary Pierce, Andy Roddick, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Monica Seles, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Bud Collins, Linda Evans, Buddy Hackett, Stone Phillips, Michael Rapaport, Brooke Shields, Alan Thicke, Anna Kournikova, Jeffrey Donovan and Matt Lauer.