At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 13 and 14, the five-member band Tusk, including local resident Tom Nelson on drums, will perform “The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute” in the Deane Center’s Coolidge Theatre at 104 Main St. in Wellsboro. Only 100 tickets remain for the Wednesday night performance. The Thursday night concert is sold out.
“We formed Tusk by accident,” said Nelson who lives in Liberty in Tioga County, Pa. “In March of 2008, a friend of ours asked if we would do a tribute to Fleetwood Mac for one night at his club. We are now in our 12th year as Tusk,” he said.
The group leaves no stone unturned in replicating the sounds of one of the world’s best-loved, top-selling bands.
Solo artist Kathy Phillips (vocals) fronts Tusk. Vocalists Scott McDonald plays guitar and Kim Williams, keys. Randy Artiglere is on bass and Nelson on drums.
Phillips captures Stevie Nicks’ vocalizations and stage presence. Nelson expertly fills the shoes of drummer Mick Fleetwood. Artiglere brings his 30 years of experience to produce the style and tone of Fleetwood Mac’s bass player John McVie. Williams duplicates Christine McVie’s tight vocal harmonies and deftly switches from the rhythm section to solid lead without missing a beat. McDonald reproduces Lindsey Buckingham’s singing style and rhythmic guitar playing.
“The five of us grew up in New Jersey,” Nelson said. Today, he and McDonald live in Pennsylvania and Artiglere, Phillips and Williams in New Jersey. Nelson and McDonald played Little League baseball together in middle school. Williams and Nelson both joined the high school band and then they and McDonald began performing together with other bands. In 1987, 32 years ago, Williams, Nelson and McDonald graduated from high school.
In 1999, the three met Artiglere and Phillips when they were recorded for Phillips’ original music project. The five went on to perform originals and covers with different bands in New Jersey, oftentimes together.
“We have all left full-time jobs to perform regularly as Tusk,” said Nelson who retired in January of this year from his position as North Penn-Liberty High School band director and instrumental music teacher in Liberty, Pa. An Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Nelson holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Music Education along with a letter of endorsement in Instructional Coaching. He studied drumming under the tutelage of world-renowned jazz drummer, the late Joe Morello, a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Nelson maintains a private drum lesson studio and is sought-after as a clinician and guest performer. A member of the Vic Firth Private Instructor Team, he is the author of his own method book, “Nelson’s Great Big Drum Book.”
Williams retired from her job as a middle school orchestra teacher in June of 2018; Phillips continues to work in advertising but part-time on a flexible basis; Artiglere continues as a programmer working part-time from his home; and McDonald retired in September of 2018 from full-time work finding jobs for disabled people.
During 2019, Tusk has performed 106 concerts in 23 states across the country.
Admission is $35. For tickets call the Deane Center at (570) 724-6220 or visit www.deanecenter.com.