Louisville band to close out summer concert series

They were featured in a pre-party event on NBC when the Super Bowl was in Indianapolis in 2012.

They also have displayed their musical talents on late-night talk shows and at the Grand Ole Opry.

Plus, they have toured all over the world, sharing the stage with Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Aerosmith and Luke Bryan, and played at several corporate gigs.

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On Thursday, The Louisville Crashers will perform in Seymour for the first time.

The well-known Louisville, Kentucky-based party band is closing out the fifth season of the Seymour CityJam summer concert series.

“We really love that because it’s putting us in front of an audience that has never seen us before,” said Howard Gittli, who plays trumpet and guitar. He’s also the lead vocalist.

“Our goal is to try to win over the crowd by playing a variety of songs, so we look forward to playing in new areas,” he said. “It’s fun for us because we’ve never been there before. We’re excited to come and play in Seymour. We can’t wait to meet everybody.”

The show goes from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday on a stage on Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and Ewing Street in downtown Seymour.

Food and drinks, served by The Pines Restaurant, will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m.

Southern Indiana Center for the Arts organizes the summer concert series and has volunteers collect donations toward the end of the show. Sponsors are JCB, Seymour Crossing, The Tribune, Seymour Main Street, Seymour Oktoberfest committee and Seymour Noon Lions Club.

The Louisville Crashers was founded in July 2008. Gittli is joined by his brother, Geoff Gittli, a keyboardist who also plays the saxophone and helps with vocals; Jesse Vest on bass; Shane Isenberg on guitar and vocals; and brothers Mark and Max Maxwell, who both do vocals. Max also plays drums.

Howard said the band members got to know each other by either working or teaching at Mom’s Music in Louisville.

“We put the band together to do some trade show events,” Howard said. “We had so much fun with it that we decided to see if there was more because we all loved to play, but we were all family guys. As our kids got older, we decided we would pursue this a little bit more.”

Each of them had played in different groups around Louisville before coming together to form The Louisville Crashers.

“It was really to go out and have some fun, and it really just snowballed into more than we ever imagined,” Howard said.

The band is known for performing mostly cover songs, but it also has written and recorded its own material.

Members of the group have been certified as gold- and platinum-selling artists by the Recording Industry Association of America and Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Howard said those attending Thursday’s show can expect to hear cover songs.

“It’s everything from Elvis to Bruno Mars,” he said. “If you like The Beatles and you like Motown and you like Bon Jovi and Journey, you’re going to get everything.”

He said they try to gauge what genres the audience likes and play that style of music. They have more than 400 songs in their catalog, he said.

“Every show is different, and every situation is different, so our shows change,” Howard said. “We have a set list we kind of go by, but we change it several times during the show.”

The goal is to appeal to the audience so people stick around for the whole show, he said.

“Our show is truly a family-oriented show, so we know how to entertain from a 7-year-old to a 70-year-old, even up to a 90-year-old,” Howard said.

“In the smaller towns, your spectrum is big, your audience is live, so you’ve got to be able to play something for everybody.”

By the time this year ends, Howard said the band will have played around 70 dates.

He said he’s glad to be along for the ride.

“As a musician, every night is different, and so for us as musicians, it’s challenging because we just try to cater to the event,” he said. “This band was put together under the whole thought that anything people ask us to play, we’re going to learn it. We put a set list together for what friends and fans tell us they want to hear.”

Howard said that’s what has made the band a success.

“I think the reason why it works so well is it’s not about us. It’s about the experience of the listener,” he said. “To me, I like seeing kids dancing and singing or older folks and when you play a song that brings back a memory. To me, it’s those moments that make this special.”

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What: Seymour CityJam featuring The Louisville Crashers

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and North Ewing Street in downtown Seymour (rain site is Knights of Columbus, 118 E. Second St.)

Cost: The show is free, but food and drinks will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m.