“Last summer we had talked about maybe winding things up this year, but we’re really having a lot of fun playing,” said Banks Burgess, who with Paul Shane formed the band in 1972. “We decided we’ll keep playing as long as people want to listen to us.”
They want to listen a lot, said Christy Nickles, special events director at the nonprofit Heritage Sandy Springs, the concert promoter.
“People have been anticipating it all year, waiting, calling and asking for tables, which I’ve been sold out of since April,” she said.
Banks & Shane fans returning annually to the Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green are of all ages, Nickles said.
“It’s fun to see some of the older folks come out in Sandy Springs, but the younger generations are loving it just as much,” she said about the band’s repertoire.
The 64-year-old bandleaders have some surprises for Sunday’s show, Burgess said.
“We have learned a few new songs and a few new routines,” he said.
Shane said one of the band’s hallmarks is the variety of songs played.
“It’s a broad and colorful spectrum of Americana,” he said. “We never had a hit, so we haven’t been pigeonholed. We can play what we want.”
Surprises for the audience are equaled by surprises on the bandstand, where every song they know is up for grabs.
“We don’t have a set list. We just play,” Shane said. “We don’t even talk anymore. We just do it. It’s like second nature.” The leaders’ improvisational antics often throw supporting musicians off-balance.
“We love throwing them curves,” Shane said. “Dennis [Law] is probably the most fun one to throw curves to because he’s our new drummer; he’s always been under a very structured musical environment.”
Law, Shane’s younger brother Chuck on bass and Jim Durand on electrical and acoustic guitars help the band deepen its musical footprint and have fun at the same time, Burgess said.
“I think one of the things that has sustained us for so many years is all five of us in the band have musical likes and tastes that intersect, but everybody brings something separate and different to the band,” he said.
If you go
What: Banks & Shane concert
When: Sunday at 7 p.m.
Where: Heritage Green, 6110 Bluestone Road, Sandy Springs
Information: (404) 851-9111 or www.heritagesandysprings.org