Anyone who is a connoisseur of rock music knows of the Van Zant family from Jacksonville, Florida. Known as the “First family of southern rock”, the family has produced three major bands: Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, and the Johnny Van Zant band. Now there is yet another band born into the “first family”: Shanytown from Jacksonville, Florida. And the Van Zant legacy continues…
Shanytown is comprised in part by Robbie Morris (Drums) and “Lil Ronnie” Morris (Lead vox/guitar)–the nephews of the late Ronnie Van Zant, and Donnie and Johnny Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special. Robbie’s and Ronnie’s musical roots are deep and as fine as their uncles’, and like their uncles they are the real deal.
Although Ronnie Morris visually resembles his uncle Ronnie, and reminds audiences of how greatly his uncle is still missed, Ronnie has never played off the resemblance or similar vocal prowess. Ronnie is his own man, his own voice, his own talent, which began vocally and musically as a child. His nickname “Lil Ronnie” is not new; his mother (Uncle Ronnie’s sister) named “Lil Ronnie” after his uncle and he has carried the moniker his entire life. Ronnie expected his nephews Robbie and Ronnie to carry on the family tradition, and they have done just that with their band Shanytown.
Robbie Morris, Shanytown’s drummer, learned drums at age ten and began his professional career at age fourteen when he and his uncle Johnny established the “Austin Nichols” band which segued into the “Johnny Van Zant Band”. Together they made six albums and toured for years until Johnny joined Lynyrd Skynyrd. Robbie is an acclaimed drummer both in the states and Europe, and played with several bands until Shanytown was established. He retains a worldwide following from his days with the Johnny Van Zant Band, and now with Shanytown. It is said that a band is only as good as the drummer and Shanytown, no doubt, has one of the best drummers in the industry.
Bassist Charles Moody has been playing bass the majority of his life, and has played with some of Nashville’s finest artists. He is well known on the Florida circuit as is Kevin Williams (guitar/backup vocals)
Kevin is best known for his incredible smokin’ leads that leave one breathless and in awe. Duane Johnson, (guitar/vocals) has also been playing since a teenager and has played with several bands. Duane grew up with Robbie and Ronnie and is a life-long friend of the Van Zants.
Together, the band carries on the Van Zant family tradition forging a new path with their own style that rivets audiences. Shanytown cannot be pigeonholed as “Southern Rock’ or “Rock”, or “Country”, even though they incorporate all the genres. Shanytown melds the genres into its own unique sound that brings something to everyone, whether they are fans of county, rock, or southern rock.
Shanytown enjoys radio play in the United States and across the globe from Japan to France, Australia to the UK and all points in-between, as well as consistently strong global CD and MP3 album sales. We have been #1 in sales for our genre multiple times on Amazon.
Our fans are as diverse as our radio play, hailing from Hong Kong to Thailand, South Africa, Indonesia, Romania, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland,