SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CIY, La. — When the band, Bush Hawg, takes to the stage before the Bassmaster Classic weigh-in at the CenturyLink on Saturday, Feb. 25, fishing fans will have an opportunity to hear a blend of music that combines elements of country and hard rock from the Nashville-based group. The concert will be presented by Bassmaster Classic sponsor Evan Williams Bourbon, a family-owned distillery that traces its roots back to 1783 when a forward-thinking man, Even Williams, founded the first commercial distillery in what would become the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1792.
Craig Hand, lead singer of Bush Hawg, said it’s an exciting venue for the band to play, because its members have long been outdoorsmen.
“I grew up in St. Augustine, Fla., and I spent a lot of time bass fishing as a kid,” Hand said. “A lot of us hunt and fish, so it’s exciting for us to do this.”
Hand, who declines to name a favorite for victory in the Classic, said he remembers following bass-fishing icons Bill Dance and Orlando Wilson when he was young.
He believes fans at the Classic will identify with his band’s lyrics.
“I think the crowd we’re singing to get what it is we’re writing about,” Hand said. “Many of them are people like us who grew up hunting and fishing. Being out in the woods and from the country does influence our music.”
The band has been colorfully described as “a blend of backwoods, blue-collars, bar-fights and Bibles, wrapped in an American Flag and washed down with whiskey, you'll feel as if you've just been pistol whipped, then given a keg of beer to help ease the pain.”
While Hand won’t prognosticate about the angler who’ll take home the trophy, he will comment on the methods he often uses for hooking a bass.
“When I fish, the lure I choose all depends on the color of the water I’m fishing in,” Hand said. “But I’m a plastic worm fisherman. I love my worms and a weedless hook.”
Bush Hawg is also slated to play Bassmaster Elite tournaments as a part of the Evan Williams Bourbon Concert Series including the Douglas Lake Challenge in Tennessee, and at Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, which is to be announced.