Good music, great company, and even better brews
By Erica Vilkus
Shawn Scheller and The Contenders played an energetic set at Marker 48 Brewing on Saturday July 10th, that encapsulated a perfect Floridian summer night full of good music, great company, and even better brews.
The Central Florida based band ranges from the trio, seen on the Marker 48 stage, to a six member group. Shawn Scheller is lead vocalist and guitarist. Scheller has a voice that works with many genres while maintaining his own sound. Scott Lockhart mans the drums while providing backing, and occasionally lead, vocals. Lockhart’s higher vocal register lends even more versatility to the band and he makes playing the drums look effortless. Junni B. is the bass player who gives every song a strong foundation and swinging rhythm. Watching him riff and really get into the music is a delightful sight. The well balanced trio had palpable chemistry and charming stage presence that kept the crowd grooving until 10:30pm.
The Contenders describe themselves as a "dance-rock and soul" band and that sentiment surely translated in their set of classic crowd pleasers ranging from Rod Stewart to Nirvana.The group's unique sound that combines familiar melodies with swinging bass lines gives old favorites a soulful twist that sets the perfect mood for the adventure coast brewery.
Being locals, we are aware that our state has more to offer than beaches and theme parks. Places like Marker 48 encompass the often overlooked side of the real Florida lifestyle. Where the Gulf meets the Withlacoochee River and where the beaches wind into the trails. The sound of the crowd singing along with nostalgic hits, craft beers in hand, soaking in the last remnants of the sunset in the beer garden of the local brewery feels especially Floridian.
The Contenders have been playing at Marker 48 for nearly six years. They looked very comfortable, almost at home, on the small stage. Crowd interaction and encouraging everyone to dance and sing along made it a lively night. There was witty banter between band members and storytelling that connected to the audience and added to the casual atmosphere of the venue.
The group graciously appeased the crowd with an encore of Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” ending the night with a cross of rock and country which was fitting for the Marker 48 and the night’s crowd.
Shawn Scheller will be performing with The Contenders in Key West for the 40th Annual Hemingway Days Festival lasting from July 21st to July 27th. To round out the month, Scheller will be at Bogota Kitchen and Bar in Palm Harbor with Ezara Sanders.
To keep up with Shawn Scheller and The Contenders like their Facebook Page “Shawn Scheller & The Contenders” or follow Scheller on
Marker 48 Brewing is located at 12147 Cortez Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34613. Keep up with their hours, tour times, and events by liking them on Facebook or by simply stopping in during business hours to check out the event calendar.