The man behind the curtain: Lincolnton man in charge of sound for the Marshall Tucker Band | Culture & Leisure

LINCOLNTON – This is the band member you don’t see when The Marshall Tucker Band takes the stage, but if he wasn’t there and wasn’t as good at his job as him, the band might not sound as good as it does.

Spending much of his childhood in Lincolnton, Alan Wentz grew up as a music lover. He graduated from Lincolnton High School and performed in the band under the direction of Don Peach, and is now the sound engineer for the Marshall Tucker Band.

“I’ve always loved music,” he says. “Some of my friends from school, they were brothers, one was a drummer and the other was a guitarist. They had a group and were training in their basement, and I was going to hang out. I started playing with the soundboard and that’s how it all started.

Over time, Wentz bought his own equipment and began working with small garage-type groups in Lincolnton. Eventually he opened a store on the corner of Aspen and Pine called “AW Productions”, which he kept open for a few years before finding “real” employment.

“I worked this job for a while before I found myself unemployed, so I came back to my true love which was music and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “I started working for Carolina Beach Music and worked there for 13 years. I worked with The Catalinas for three and a half years and then I started working with a band called The Craig Woolard Band and was with them for almost eight years. I woke up one day and decided I wanted to move to Nashville.

Wentz packed his family and moved from North Carolina to Hendersonville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.

“I was hungry,” he says. “I took everything that fell on the table. I never said ‘no’ whether it was the lighting, the stagehand, the stage construction, the sound, the monitors, it didn’t matter. I have worked with many artists.

Over time, Wentz ended up as production manager and sound engineer for Clay Walker where he remained for a little over three years. Meanwhile, Wentz returned to North Carolina, so he was commuting from Lincolnton to Nashville.

“Clay would do a West Coast race twice a year, which would be 12 to 17 shows across the entire West Corridor,” he said. “The Marshall Tucker Band went through one of the same stages two days after us, and their tour director complained that he needed a good sound engineer and asked the event coordinator if he knew someone and the coordinator recommended me.

A month later, Wentz started as a sound engineer for The Marshall Tucker Band. That was a little over two years ago.

“It’s pretty awesome,” he said. “They are obviously a legendary southern rock and roll group. Every show is always exciting for me. Doug Gray who is the leader / owner of the band and the only original member on stage is the nicest and most down to earth person you could ever want to meet. Everyone in the group is awesome.

While some people may think that being a sound engineer is as easy as walking up to a console, mixing the band for the show and then walking away, that’s far from the truth, a declared Wentz. It’s unloading the equipment, setting everything up, making sure everything is working, doing on-the-fly repairs and modifications to make sure the show goes, then doing the show, taking everything apart and the reload. Then there is the journey. From July 1, Wentz practically toured the United States, traveling with the group.

Back in the days he worked in basements and garages in Lincolnton with local bands, Wentz couldn’t have predicted he would work with The Marshall Tucker Band, but he knew that over time he would work. for a renowned group. .

“What I learned in Nashville is a bit of the opposite of the saying, ‘this is who you know’,” he said. “This is totally incorrect. I know a lot of people. I have met a lot of people. It’s about who knows you. Your work speaks louder than anything else. If you work hard and care about what you do, people will notice. The people of the Nashville area, that’s what they want. It’s not the whole “sex, drugs and rock and roll that cares” mentality that people think it is. Work ethic and doing a good job is important. This is why I did not refuse to work, with the intention of eventually working with a national artist.

Wentz has refused other work since starting with The Marshall Tucker Band because it is “a happy place”. He is also very happy to be back in Lincolnton as it is a good place to raise a child.

“I am humble in what I do,” he said. “I don’t feel that ‘better than you, I’m responsible for the sound’ mentality. It is a coexistence. The group must play well. They need to be comfortable and it is your responsibility to make them comfortable so that they can play their best. Then take what they give you, accentuate it, and give it to the audience. Anyone, be it a musician, sound engineer, or someone in between, who takes all the credit for what is presented to the audience is very arrogant and narcissistic.

Of course, if there is a mistake, the party members will quickly make sure he knows it. Still, Wentz is working at a job that many would think would be a dream job and he is quite happy with it.

“I can’t imagine myself doing anything else,” he said.

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