Cousins Daniel Jones and Tommy McElrath claim their family’s natural talent for music has passed them over, but the promoters are certainly doing a good job making up for it. On Aug. 1, their Murray-based company, Ground Zero Promotions, will bring the multiplatinum recording artist Filter to the stage of the Robert Cherry Civic Center.
Fans of alternative music will recognize Filter’s hit singles, such as “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” and “Dose,” from the band’s 1994 album “Short Bus,” and “Take a Picture” from 1999’s “Title of Record.”
While Ground Zero isn’t exactly new to the promotions game — they’ve worked with such popular regional acts as The Legendary Shack Shakers — Jones and McElrath acknowledge that a show of this size marks a departure from the ordininary for the Paducah music scene.
“(Filter has) never played in this area, and I think they’re trying to hit markets they’ve never hit,” McElrath said. “They’re jokingly calling it their ‘hole-in-the-wall’ tour.” The band will bypass the usual venues in such cities as Nashville, Tenn., and St. Louis, drawing a metropolitan crowd to Paducah.
Breaking with the ordinary is part of Jones’ and McElrath’s larger mission. The first goal of their nonprofit project, Purchase Area Live Event Organization, is to book national, alternative acts that are often underrepresented in the Purchase region, McElrath said.
Through these efforts, PALEO hopes to provide local talent the opportunity to open for big-name bands. “(This type of show) allows local acts to network with agents and managers, people they would never dream of talking to,” McElrath said.
For this concert, Ground Zero booked Paducah-based rock trio Thick as Thieves to fill one of the opening slots. “We felt really privileged to be asked to participate,” said Jason Griffith, the drummer for Thick as Thieves. “So far, the reaction that I’ve gotten from other people has been really positive. I think it’s going to be well-attended, and (concerts like this) will be an ongoing thing.”
PALEO has confirmed two additional shows for the upcoming months. Jones and McElrath said they will continue to reach out to local and national musicians, as well as comedians and other live acts that have yet to be seen in Paducah venues.
The promoters said that local music fans can help PALEO’s mission by attending the show, even if Filter’s music is a bit outside their comfort zone. “We love the music scene here. It’s as good as it is in any major city,” McElrath said. “But we can’t have consistent national acts (in Paducah) without crossing some boundaries.”
In return, PALEO’s founders will practice what they preach. “A lot of promoters confine themselves to a small area or genre. It’s not their fault. They do what they know and are comfortable with,” Jones said. “But we don’t want to go with our id and just bring in what we like.”
McElrath and Jones said they will continue to seek live music acts, but also are looking into other acts, such as comedians. A survey on brownpapertickets.com will allow audiences to have a say in future acts, as well. “We’re always open to suggestions,” McElrath said.
Call Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.