Think Elvis Presley meets Van Halen, Hillbilly Casino singer Nic Roulette said as he left a message for drummer Andrew Dickson about auditioning. With a strong Rockabilly core, the Hillbilly Casino isn't afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. To The Hillbilly Casino there are the obvious masters, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Brian Setzer/Stray Cats, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins. Yet don't be surprised to hear some Social Distortion, Ramones, Hank Williams, Black Sabbath, George Jones, Jason and the Scorchers and Cheap Trick thrown in for good measure. The band consists of singer Nic Roulette (Blue Moon Boys), bassist Geoff Firebaugh (BR5-49), guitarist Ronnie Crutcher (Tobasko Kat, Brian Setzer's Nashvillians) and drummer Andrew Dickson. Nic Roulette has much to be proud of since he formed The Hillbilly Casino in late 2004. Without any representation, management or label support, the band was invited to open 7 dates on The Brian Setzer Orchestra's 2006 Christmas Extravaganza tour. The most notable shows being the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, House Of Blues in Chicago and the Gibson Amphitheater (formerly the Universal Amphitheater) in Los Angeles with other stops in Detroit, Aurora, Mesa and Kansas City. The band has also shared the stage with such acts as The Legendary Shack Shakers, Rev. Horton Heat, The Cramps, The Supersuckers, Asylum Street Spankers, Wanda Jackson, Flatfoot 56, The Twistin' Tarantulas and Billy Burnette. On top of success in Rockabilly/Punk circles, the band has earned a healthy corporate resume as part of Gaylord Opryland's Summerfest '06, where the band honed their honky-tonk chops as they performed up to 25 hours a week. When not touring, the band still performs regularly in Nashville at The Opryland Hotel along with their weekly gig at the Lower Broadway honky-tonk Layla's Bluegrass Inn. Speaking of touring, the band has played the Rodeo Bar in New York City , the Blue Comet in Philadelphia Pennsylvania , Headliners, Jim Porters and Pheonix Hill in Louisville Kentucky , Young Avenue Deli in Memphis as well as other venues in Virginia , Alabama , Missouri , Kentucky and Tennessee . The band has a cover repertoire of over 5 hours but also embraces the chance to do 45 minute original showcase sets. Be it a honky-tonk, a smoky rock club, a corporate private party or a middle-of-nowhere bonfire throw down, the Hillbilly Casino just likes to entertain.
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Easily one of the best bands to ever grace Roanoke and I am including the acts the show up at the Civic Center. If you have an eclectic taste in music or just love Rockabilly, I cannot emphasize how much you need to check this band out. They are tight musically and the show is so high energy that you get winded just watching them.
Being a musician in the Roanoke Valley I make it a point to go out weekly and support the local music scene. I have lived in DC, Houston TX and have seen many great bands over the years. This is the best band I have ever seen at a bar or for that matter much larger venues. If you get a chance, definitely check these guys out. This is a total professional act. A really fun show.