When Sheryl Crow burst on to the pop/rock music scene in 1994 with the infectious “All I Wanna Do,” she began a mainstream music career that would ultimately lead to the sales of 50 million albums worldwide, 32 Grammy nominations (with nine wins) and a legacy of girl power that continues to this day.
Honoring this catalog of hit songs, which includes “If It Makes You Happy,” “Soak Up The Sun,” “A Change Would Do You Good,” “The First Cut is the Deepest,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Every Day is a Winding Road,” “Run, Baby, Run,” and “Picture,” local singer Rachel (Ayers) Tipton will parlay her Crow look-a-like/sound-a-like status into the debut performance of a Crow tribute act named Maybe Angels. The full band, featuring Legends In Concert drummer Tommy Tipton (Rachel Tipton’s husband), performs at 11 p.m. Saturday at Klocker’s Tavern (4807 U.S. 17 Bypass) near the Back Gate.
Rachel Tipton first moved to the beach in 1997 to work as a dancer with tribute kings Legends In Concert, an international theater brand, which had a Surfside Beach location at the time. “It was while I was working for Legends that I first got the idea about a Sheryl Crow tribute,” she said. “People would randomly tell me ‘Hey, you look a lot like Sheryl Crow, which I guess I do.” Tipton would work for Legends off and on, leaving the area to work in Montreal, Canada, before moving back to reestablish her job with Legends. All the while a Sheryl Crow tribute was never too far from her imagination. After marrying Tommy Tipton, who is concluding his stint as Legends’ drummer next week, she scored a Crow tribute audition with the legendary tribute artist production, but nothing came of it.
“Legends passed,” said Tipton, “because they didn’t think Sheryl Crow was a “legend,” as they told me. I guess she isn’t showy enough. I get it.” Rachel Tipton no longer works for Legends and owns and operates a successful fitness company and is a personal trainer.
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She plans to make Maybe Angels into a tribute that Legends may be sorry they passed on, and she has the resume, skills, and team to pull it off. The Tiptons are joined by Curtis McDonald (lead guitar), A.J. Rownd (keyboards), Brent Pace (bass). Trey McManus (formerly of The Drag) will sit in on guitar for a “song or two,” according to Tipton.
Tommy Tipton is in his last weeks at Legends In Concert; the six-night per week schedule proving to be limiting. The Tiptons plan to stay in the Myrtle Beach area for a while, as they own a home in Pawleys Island, and are raising their young daughter here, and have always managed to find work in and out of the area, with Myrtle Beach as a base. “This is a great place to live,” said Tipton who hopes to take her band on the road and to also do fly dates.
Part of the plan for Saturday’s show is to capture plenty of video footage to develop into a “proper” promotional package. “Every booking agent we’ve spoken with is asking for video,” said Tipton. “We hope to be able to do fly dates, like I do with ABBA Gold, a 10-piece ABBA tribute band I sing with,” she said.
Tributes are big business; just take a look at the House of Blues concert schedule to confirm this. The Tiptons, who have years of experience in the tribute industry, are well suited to move forward with this new concept. Though Maybe Angels is not the only Crow tribute act in the national marketplace, the Tiptons are betting that club owners and audiences will warm to a group singing the songs that had have had radios turned up for two decades.
“I’ve been training like a madman,” said Tipton. “Sheryl Crow is so skinny. Her music is so much fun, and Tommy and I both love her stuff.”