2013 GA Music Award Winner Unbreakable Bloodline is comprised of six distinctly different individuals, working out of Southern Georgia, who hail from different walks of life. We came together to create music that we love to play and listen to as well. Our different backgrounds, allow the band to create music that has its influences from hip-hop, rock, reggae and jazz. The individuals who make up Unbreakable Bloodline are:
Vernon Cruz "Chief H" Cruz (Vocals)
Jay "O-Z" Osborne (Vocals)
Tiffany "O'She-Tyght" Thomas (Vocals)
Chad Basko (Drums and Percussion)
Ryan Myers (Bass and Vocals)
Dusty Ashberry (Lead Guitar and Vocals)
Unbreakable Bloodline is known for our high-energy showmanship and musical professionalism that earn us the title of Georgia Music Awards Hip Hop Band of the year in 2013. This has also earned us the honor of opening for people such as George Clinton, S.O.S. Band, Lake Side and Bubba Sparxxx. We have developed a following and reputation around South Georgia and North Florida. We also have experience with playing large and small venues and to a wide variety of audiences.
ATLANTA -- A pair of Southwest Georgia groups emerged as the best bands in the state at the recent Georgia Music Awards at the Buckhead Theatre here.#The Albany hip-hop collective Unbreakable Bloodline received the Georgia Award for Hip-Hop Group of the Year, while Dawson/Leesburg-based Highway 55 was named Country Group of the Year.
The ceremony marked the second year of the Georgia Music Awards.
"It really took a little while for this to sink in," UBL drummer Chad Basko said Monday.
"You get the award, they shuffle you out and suddenly you find yourself backstage just looking around. Then there are photographs and interviews. ... It was a whirlwind.
"But the last couple of days we've had an opportunity to think about it, to think about where we are as a band. We've worked hard to get here. The ball's rolling pretty well for us right now."
The GMA comes on the heels of the successful release of Unbreakable Bloodline's self-titled debut album. The band's work is currently available on iTunes, Spotify, Google and will soon move into rotation on Pandora Radio.
Winning awards is nothing new for Highway 55: vocalist Cody Smith, guitarists Skyler McCrary and Grover Mims, bassist Paul Harrell and drummer Jason Plowden. The group, which is currently working on its second album, was named Band of the Year at last year's Georgia Country Music Awards as well.
Next for UBL is the Music in Our Veins benefit concert for the Red Cross at the Crisp County Middle School Auditorium Saturday. The band will also play at the city of Albany's Independence Day celebration at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds.
"May was a huge month for us, and now (with the Georgia Music Award) we have even more momentum," Basko said.
UBL set to unleash debut album
ALBANY — Things are about to change for the high-energy Albany band Unbreakable Bloodline.
A best-kept local secret for the better part of three years, UBL are going to expand their fan base exponentially with the release of their self-titled debut album, which will be available at an unveiling concert at the State Theatre Saturday.
“This album — these 14 songs — validates us,” Vernon “Chief H” Cruz, one of three MCs who front the hip-hop/rock hybrid six-piece, said before a recent UBL rehearsal at guitarist Dusty Ashberry’s Radium Springs-area home. “I listen to a playback now, and I hear each person: I’m reminded of whose idea a particular piece was, who headstronged what song.
“These songs are a timeline of all the things we’ve been through to get to this point.”
Unbreakable Bloodline’s story may not be unique, but it certainly has enough twists and turns to offer a sense of divine intervention — or at least a Stephen King novel — that brought the band members together. Chief H, Tiffany “O’She Tyght” Thomas and Jay “O-Z” Osborne were members of a local hip-hop unit that had its 15 minutes before imploding.
Bassist Ryan Meyers was playing with the hard rock band Echo Valve before running into the trio of MCs at a local function. They hit it off, and Meyers ended up working with Chief H, O’She and O-Z on an acoustic version of one of their songs, “Realize.” The four liked what they did together but decided they wanted to flesh the sound out more.
Meyers called on fellow rockers Ashberry and drummer Chad Basko, who had established a regional following with the bands Holley Drive and Drive Down Holley, and the six met up at Ashberry’s home. There was immediate magic.
“Everything with the band just kind of happened organically,” Ashberry said. “I think for all of us we pretty quickly realized that we could go places musically with UBL that we’d never gone before. We had a very small period of getting to know each other, and things just clicked.
“There’s a song on the album, ‘Fly Away,’ that’s built around a guitar riff I wrote 10 years ago. And the chorus is something O’She had written 10 years ago. When we put the two together, it worked.”
As the members of UBL discuss their album, it’s quickly apparent that the six have a deep-running respect for each other’s talent.
“Everyone brings some really amazing stuff to our mix, and you hear it on this album,” Basko said. “It’s honestly one of the most diverse albums I’ve ever heard. There are so many flavors — because of the talent of all the people in the band — that there’s something for everyone.
“I’ve been living with these songs for a long time, but I have not taken the CD (of various cuts of the songs on the album) out of my CD player for the last year. I also think it’s significant that we can put together an album of 14 hip-hop and rock songs, and there is not one cuss word and not one single use of the n-word.”
The album — which also includes such live performance favorites as “Irish Frank” (“That came from a riff I had from back when I was a kid,” Ashberry said.), “Good Life City (The Bany),” “War,” “Service,” “Blood Sweat Tears” and “La La La” — is indeed a sterling showcase of the diverse talents in the band.
“A lot of people form bands with huge intent, but they never follow through,” O-Z said. “The sticking point is they can’t get product done, can’t get their work out there. We took (making the album) as a series of challenges. We had high expectations going into the process, and as soon as we got one challenge done, we’d move on to the next.
“It was amazing the way we worked off each other’s concepts and ideas. It was never about ‘I want to be out front on this song or that.’ We were pushing each other to get things from the other band members that we wanted to hear.”
Meyers, a creative artist who designed the band’s familiar logo and the art packaging for “Unbreakable Bloodline” — as well as the unique bodies of his guitars — said the genre-defying quality of the 14 songs on the album is intentional.
“It’s a jam-up album because of that,” the bassist said. “It doesn’t matter what genre of music you generally listen to, if you listen to this album you’re going to be able to find something you like. That wasn’t necessarily planned, but that’s the way we approach our music.
“I think the thing that pleases me most about the album is that it’s one you can pop in and listen to all the way through. You might have favorites, but I think all 14 songs are quality songs.”
UBL’s album release gathering, which will include performances by opening act Another Alien Astronaut — yet another excellent local band in the final stages of preparing its debut album — and surprise special guests, will kick off at 8 p.m. at the downtown State Theatre. Tickets for the 18-over show are only $5, and copies of UBL’s album, as well as other band merchandise, will be available. (The album will also be available on iTunes, amazon.com, reverbnation.com and cdbaby.com.)
Also planned is a raffle for a new Godin Art & Lutherie acoustic guitar, provided by event sponsor Godin. Other sponsors include The Athlete’s Foot, Then & Now Boutique, Basko Tactical Gear (B.T.G.) and Xcel drum sticks. The band has inked sponsorship deals with Godin and Xcel.
“This is going to be a release concert, not a party,” Basko said. “We’re going all-out to put on a show ... lights, quality sound, everything.”
Fans who have been with UBL from the beginning will note the growth of the band as they listen to “Unbreakable Bloodline.”
“The finished product is just awesome,” O’She Tyght said. “When I take a step back and look at it, I’m really amazed at where this thing has taken us. From a hip-hop group with Vernon and Jay, we’ve been able to take our music and translate it into an entirely different arena, to become a legitimate live band. That’s really amazing from a creative and a business standpoint.
“We’ve got an album that truly is a reflection of all our talents. You can sit down and listen to all the little tidbits, everything from all six members of the band. It’s been an amazing process to get to this point, but we’re just getting started. We still have so much more we can do.”
Local artists nominated for GA Music Award
ATLANTA — Southwest Georgia will definitely be in the house at the Buckhead Theater on June 8 when the 2013 GA Music Awards are handed out.#No less than five artists from the immediate area are among the nominees for the second edition of the statewide awards, given to fan-selected artists in a number of musical genres.
“We feel that our new album (which will be unveiled at a release concert Saturday) validates us as artists, and receiving a statewide nomination for the GA Music Awards validates us beyond our geographical boundaries,” Vernon “Chief H” Cruz with the Albany-based fusion hip-hop/rock band Unbreakable Bloodline, said of the nomination.
UBL received a GMA nomination in the Hip-Hop Group/Band category and will compete for fan voting with fellow nominees Clan Destined, Jubee & the Morning After, Brothers Under Different Skin, Kid Sync & Brandywine, and Tizzle & Streets.
“We’ll have an opportunity to play a big showcase (at Atlanta’s Terminal West Club) featuring all the hip-hop nominees before the awards are given,” UBL drummer Chad Basko said. “It’s going to get us a lot of exposure. We’re looking at it as another stepping stone as we continue to move forward.”
The six members of Unbreakable Bloodline — Cruz, Basko, Ryan Meyers, Tiffany “O’She Tyght” Thomas, Jay “O-Z” Osborne and Dusty Ashberry — will see plenty of familiar faces at the GMA ceremony. Cole Taylor (Country Male), Faith Jackson (Country Female), Highway 55 (Country Band) and Caitlin Gutierrez (Youth Rock/Country and Youth Video), all of whom are from the metro Albany area or have close ties here, are also among the nominees.
Highway 55, which was named best country band at last year’s Georgia Country Awards, will compete against Reluctant Saints, Laughlin, Lyn Averne, Georgia Red Clay, Brock, Southside of the Tracks and Cottonwood Canyon. Taylor, who also was a 2012 GCA winner, will compete against Tyler Brant Harrison, Ricky Gunn, Ben Wells, Alex Hall, Chuck Courtenay, Jared Wade and Scott Brantley.
Jackson, who joins fellow nominees Mandy Gauley, Angela Reign, Lauren Ashley, Kelly Ballard, Amy Taylor, Crista Lyn and Rebecca Collins in the Country Female category, and Gutierrez continue Leesburg’s strong country music legacy with their nominations.
Gutierrez will compete against Athens Band, Gabbie Rae, Emily Vance, Jordan Grassi, Aspen Countrymen, Cheyenne Knight, Katie Belle Akin and Madison Shaw in the youth category, and her “Country Air” video vies for honors over works by J’Plus the Entertainer, Rae, Vance and Miss Mulatto.
Fans of the artists have an opportunity to actively show their support by voting for each at the gamusicawards.com website. UBL fans can link to the GMA site at www.facebook.com/UnbreakableBloodline or at twitter.com/UBL6. Voting continues through June 1.
Advance tickets for the GMAs are $31 for orchestra seating and $21 balcony, and tickets are $36 and $25, respectively, on the day of the show.