Naturally Southern began in 2011 without the intention of actually becoming a band. The three original members, Eli (acoustic guitar, vocals), Bill (electric guitar, vocals), and Matt K. (bass) would get together for an occasional jam. Matt, who at the time had no desire to start another band, recognized the potential in Eli, the inexperienced singer and acoustic guitarist, and Bill, the aspiring guitarist and vocalist who had yet to come out of his shell. Feeling the motivation and encouragement, Eli had the idea to form these jam sessions into an actual band. So, he brought in what would be the first of four drummers, who was just as inexperienced and rhythmically challenged.
So, with no shows booked, no band name, and a lot of inexperience (with the exception of Matt), the guys took their jam sessions to an old barn, where they would entertain over a hundred 18-24 year old friends on the weekends just for fun. A friend helped Eli come up with the name. “Naturally”, because Eli’s favorite beer at the time was Natural Light, and “Southern”, because the guys loved all things southern. The first official show was booked on New Year’s Eve of 2011. Although their inexperience shone through, the crowd reaction and excitement was enough to fuel their drive. Friend and songwriter, Johnathon Riggins, came aboard as co-songwriter and helped pen some of the band’s originals.
Years passed. More shows were performed. Experience was gained. Talent was groomed. Four drummers later, H. Aaron Strickland was called in to fill-in on a number of dates beginning in August of 2015. Also recognizing the band’s potential, Strickland officially joined in February of 2016. With the last piece of the puzzle in place, Naturally Southern has created a large following in South Georgia. The band has also enjoyed numerous high-profile shows, including opening slots for national artists Big & Rich, Kellie Pickler, The Lacs, The Swingin' Medallions, Chris Cagle, Confederate Railroad, Bubba Sparxxx, and regional festivals, including the Doerun May Day Festival.
The band went through two more changes in 2022. On January 1, Robert Morris (aka Bill, aka Oh Billyyy) retired from the band. As the band bid him farewell and wished him well in his retirement, they welcomed the new lead guitarist/co-vocalist, Billy Smith. That's right--another Billy! Billy has proven to be an excellent addition to the band with his strong guitar skills, awesome vocals (especialy harmony), and his terrific song-writing ability. On May 30 of the same year, Matt K. retired from the band. Caleb Barnes (aka Old Spice, aka Caleb The Barnes) joined the band as his replacement and the newest member of Naturally Southern. Caleb also brings a wide variety of skills to the band, including very strong vocals and song-writing ability.
The future for Naturally Southern is bright and limitless. What started as just a group of friends jamming for the fun of it has now turned into a South GA supergroup. With hard-earned experience, concert quality production, a wide cover song selection (Country and Rock), catchy originals, a high energy, fun, and interactive stage show, and an album in the works, Naturally Southern is setting standards and offering an unmatched caliber concert experience.