PERFORMANCE TIME: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, Plant City Observer Stage
Comprising Plant City residents, Faces South has been together for three years, but the playing experience of the members dates back much longer.
“A lot of us have been playing most of our lives,” says Terry Speer, a founding member and the keyboard and harmonica player.
In its three years, the five-person group has performed at numerous events in Plant City, including the Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City Rotary Club events, the Wild Game Cookout for the Elks Lodge and last year’s Diamonds and Denim benefit for South Florida Baptist Hospital.
Faces South has performed at Keel and Curly Winery on several occasions and was a Saturday performer at last year’s event.
“It was a real nice turnout,” Speer says. “There are a lot of craft booths there and great bands and, of course, Keel and Curley selling its wine.”
A variety band, Faces South specializes in playing music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. When taking in a show, you are likely to hear anything from classic country and classic rock to blues and doo-wop.
“We try to appeal to all ages and try to adapt the songs we play to our crowd that night,” Speer says.
With the youngest member around 50 years old, the band is experienced and has a large song catalog. They musicians also know what it means to be true entertainers.
“We try to get out and meet and interact with the crowd,” he says. “We usually have a lot of people that get up and dance at our shows.”
Band members include Speer, his brother, Ken, Mike Franklin, Andy Fristch and Ben Waters. Mike Hilberth is the sound technician for the group. Although Walters is the lead singer for Faces South, all five members provide vocals during shows.
“We try to play upbeat music,” says bassist Franklin. “We try to play stuff that makes you feel good and puts a bounce in your step. Having fun — that’s the main thing.”