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New band combines little bit of rock with a whole lot of country

By APRILL BRANDON
Jan. 3, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.

New Victoria band Southern Rose formed in May of this year and has been rocking venues with their Texas country sound. From left, are Danny Monroe, Opie Pena, Steve Soliz, Dennis Shows, Mark Perez and Ruben Alvarez.

UPCOMING SHOWS FOR SOUTHERN ROSE:Jan. 29 - Dodge City

Feb. 12 - Shooters

Feb. 24 - Opening night of the Victoria Livestock Show in the biergarten

It all started with three bandmates, a whole bunch of food and beer, and some sticky notes.

Opie Pena, Ruben Alvarez and Danny Monroe knew they had the start of something good in regards to the new band they were forming. But first things first. That band needed a name.

"So the three of us were sitting around, writing words on sticky notes and putting them on the wall," Pena said. "We were hoping something would jump out at us."

Opie and the Good Old Boys?

No.

Yellow Rose?

Nah.

Southern Rose?

Bingo.

Thus, the South Texas band was born, and after a somewhat rocky start that included a few lineup changes, Pena, Alvarez and Monroe were joined by Steve Soliz, Mark Perez and Dennis Shows. Since then, Southern Rose has been performing all over Victoria and Port Lavaca, spreading their Texas country sound. It was a big change for many of the band members, most of whom had played in rock bands in the past.

"When my band at the time, Slap Jesse, took a break, I realized I wanted to go in a different direction. So, I got with Opie, who didn't want to sing so much rock any more and then Danny, who had been playing drums the past 20 years, but wanted to give being a frontman a try," Alvarez said. "And we just clicked."

Led by both Monroe and Pena as lead vocals, with Alvarez on bass, Soliz and Shows on guitar and Perez on drums, Southern Rose plays everything from Lady Antebellum to George Strait to Kevin Fowler. All veterans of the local music scene, their long-term hope is to eventually start writing and recording their own music, Alvarez said.

"Right now, we do straight covers, but who knows? In the future, we'd love to do our own music. There's been so many changes to the band in the beginning, but right now, we have a good lineup," he added. "What we have now is really, really good. Really solid."

So just what makes Southern Rose stand out from other local bands?

"There's not another band around here that has a male/female lead, let alone just a female in the lineup. That right there sets us apart," Pena said. "We also have awesome guitar players."

As for the immediate future, the band only has one goal in mind.

"We'd love to bring back the outdoor concerts Victoria used to have, either in the park or downtown, and get other bands in on the action," Monroe said.

For more information on booking Southern Rose, contact Danny Monroe at 361-935-3416.

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