Photo provided by Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center

Talking about Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers with Southern Accents

A cover band with as much love for each other as the art they’re paying tribute to? That’s Southern Accents, and they’re coming to our area with a lot of passion, talent, and that aforementioned love.

A team of ace musicians from the Nashville studio and touring circuit, Southern Accents recreates the music, style, and sound of the late, great singer-songwriter-guitarist Tom Petty. Whether it be T.P.’s solo material or that which he created with his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, the Heartbreakers, Southern Accents will present their signature immaculate precision and wildly contagious enthusiasm on January 20 at URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center. 

Tickets to the show are $30-$40 and an additional $25 and $29.50 respectively for preferred parking and a pre-show dinner. For more about Southern Accents, visit their website, and enjoy the following interview with frontman Ronnie Gregg.

How many tour dates do you do a year?

We usually do around 50 to 60 shows a year. 

Who is in the band, what instruments do they play, to which Heartbreaker are they paying tribute, and how did you get together?

Ronnie Gregg, myself, on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Paul Jones, bass; Nick Swan, lead guitar; Tony Mac, drums, and Jeff Hollandsworth on keyboards. We formed the band in 2016 out of mutual love of Tom’s music.

Is Paul Jones a fan of John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin’s bassist?

Paul is a fan of John Paul Jones! We all love Led Zeppelin. 

What do you admire most about Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers? 

[I] always loved their style. In my opinion, they were always one of the coolest bands.

Why and how is Tom Petty the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songwriter? 

He wrote about life and love unlike any other songwriter I’ve ever heard. He is one of the few artists that makes the hairs on your arm stand up.

Besides Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, what is the greatest musical common ground of the members of Southern Accents? 

We just have a certain music chemistry between us that works. I’m very blessed to work with such a talented bunch of guys. 

How often do you play in New Jersey?

We have only played New Jersey a few times, mainly in the Vineland area, so we’re totally excited to be coming to a new area of New Jersey. 

After Carteret, when will you be back in Jersey and where? 

We plan on being back in the New Jersey area hopefully next summer or early fall. We have a date, but unfortunately we can’t announce it just yet.