The Cemetery Surfers have combined Surf, Rockabilly, Punk, New Wave, and Jazz sounds to create their own style of Progressive rock tunes. The music has a horror/sci-fi theme that is designed to be entertaining and humorous in a Monty Python sort of style. The lineup includes: Rockabilly hall of fame guitar player Jeff 'Ugly Shoes' Harris, Dr. Mark Burtman on bass ,and Gary Cowart on drums.
Their stage show includes zombies, an electric chair and more. They have shared the stage with such acts as The Misfits, Kittie, Black Oak Arkansas, etc.
They have been described as "a cross between the beach boys and vincent price" (Columbus Dispatch) and "The Best live act of 2007" (MS Sound magazine). Their soundtrack music has recently been used by Omegacon in their advertising campaign.
booking: Jeff662.419.2074

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Will be performing at a number of Scifi cons this year including Omegacon, sci fi summercon, constellation etc.


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The Cemetery Surfers

The Cemetery Surfers are Jeff ‘Ugly Shoes’ Harris on guitars and vocals, Dr Mark Burtman, the bass playing Obstetrician and Gynecologist, and Silent Jody Evans on drums. It all started in February 2005. That’s when I first contacted Jeff Harris. At the time I had no thoughts of becoming a musician of any kind. Instead, I had developed an interest in ghost hunting after taking a haunted history tour in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Jeff was the head of Northern Mississippi’s primary ghost hunting society called SPIRE. After meeting we became very close friends. Jeff has been playing various forms of rock for the last 30 years, while I have been primarily devoted to playing major poker tournaments and practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology. In fact, while I was busy promoting my first poker novel, “A Girl in the Game”, and winning $62,000 at the World Series of Poker, Jeff, under his stage name of “Jeff Ugly Shoes”, had created a demo CD and secured an invitation to play at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame Benefit Concert in Jackson, TN. He needed a bass player and asked me if I would try it. I had played classical guitar on and off for the last 20 years myself, so I thought I was up to the challenge, though I had never played in a rock band before. Thus, the Cemetery Surfers were born. What at first seemed like a one time gig grew into an obsession for both of us. Amazed at how quickly I settled into the bass, we suddenly found ourselves expanding on Jeff’s excellent material and began writing copious amounts of music. I was coming up with bass riffs that Jeff was able build entire songs around. We finally added a full time drummer, Jody Evans, who has played in many bands over the years. I met Jody because his daughter was my patient and I delivered Jody’s grandson.

Our influences are Rockabilly, Surf, New wave and Punk music along with influences from Jazz and other heavy metal sounds. Because of our interest in the paranormal most of our music has a horror or SciFi theme. Our main obstacle to our continued creative efforts was the great distance of 70 miles that separated Jeff and me. We finally found a remedy for this problem as I have had an opportunity to purchase The Princess Theater in downtown Columbus, MS. Jeff, Jody and I will work together to renovate/re-animate the theater. We hope to showcase various forms of music from local artists and national acts alike while also providing a venue for plays and alternative movies.

We released our first CD, “Ghost Hunt”, around Labor Day 2005. We are releasing our second CD already March 6, 2006, “The Monster That Ate Mississippi”. We already have ten other songs ready to record once we decide to go back into the studio. Not bad for spending less than 3 hours a week practicing due to the great distance we were having to drive to see each other. There is no telling how prolific our song writing will be now that we’ll live in the same town.

Jeff is an excellent entertainer. Our shows include trivia questions about “BAD” horror movies , Goofy dance contest in which he gives away a souvenir air guitar and then invites the winner to play on stage. Other songs feature Jeff singing to a corpse, playing guitar while wearing a straight jacket, as well as playing guitar in a variety of positions before finally being placed in an electric chair. I see him as a combination of Alice Cooper meets Rodney Dangerfield. He arrives at every concert in his restored hearse and brings his little model corpse in its own coffin to the shows. I enjoy playing my role of holding the melody with the bass line as Jeff runs around the stage performing his antics and solos.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be buying a theater and attempting to play in a larger scale rock band I would have laughed at you, but here we are and the music is great.

  • Member Since: 2006
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