WHISKEY TRAIN was formed back in 2012 by Johnny Smoke and Rich Sorenson as a vehicle to pay homage to their favorite guitar heroes. Since that time, Johnny led the band through many classic guitar-based songs by such timeless artists as Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. As the years went on, the band continued to widen their net, covering such other guitar rock artists as ZZ Top, Kenny Wayne Shepard, UFO, Golden Earring, CCR, and many others. After putting the band on hiatus for a few years, Johnny met Florida transplant Scott "The Professor" White while playing in another popular area band. With Scott's dynamic bass playing style, Johnny immediately felt the chemistry the two shared on stage and discussed bringing the WHISKEY TRAIN experience back to the local music scene. Reconnecting with Rich, Johnny and Scott decided to bring back the 3-piece, guitar-based rock and roll they all love and share it with everyone. Over the years, the guys have played such high profile local shows as the Burning Girl Festival, the Relay for Life Benefit, Harley-Davidson Street Vibrations, the Reno-Tahoe Festival, California's annual Death Ride, as well as many of the Carson Valley area's smaller indoor venues. The band's number one criteria has always been that the songs stay pure and uncluttered by trickery such as MIDI backing tracks that are used by so many of today's live acts. WHISKEY TRAIN believes that true live rock and roll should be played 100% raw and live to maintain its purity; for that reason, what you hear at a WHISKEY TRAIN appearance is only pure live rock and roll. Whiskey Train is also a fully self-contained band with full lights and PA, capable of handling any small-to-midsize indoor or outdoor event. With all professional equipment and a small stage footprint, the band are just as comfortable on a small club stage (or floor) as they are on the big stage.
Johnny, born and raised in the Bay area, was always into the electric blues guitar sound. Deciding that he too wanted to become a six-string blues master, John taught himself how to play by listening to his idols and honing his craft. Playing the local blues circuit for many years, John eventually relocated to the Lake Tahoe area. Once there, he continued to make a name for himself in the local scene playing in such well-known area bands as Skychurch and Above & Beyond; John eventually went on to form his own band Whiskey Train and so the legend began. With a distinct sound that reflects his love of guitarists such as Robin Trower and Jimi Hendrix, John uses only Fender Stratocaster guitars and Marshall amplification to get there.
Since his first stage performance at the age of 6, Scott has always felt right at home on a stage. It was only natural that this would lead him to pick up a guitar and start performing at a young age. After playing his first paid band gig at 14 and first weekly club gigs at 16, he has never looked back. After taking some time away from the music business to serve his country in the US military, Scott returned to the Florida music scene to pick up where he left off. During the years that followed, Scott has had the privilege of sharing a stage with such well-known bands as .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Great White, and Atlanta Rhythm Section, to name just a few. Much like the pioneers of old though, Scott felt the pull of the West; searching for that elusive musical gold, he packed up all of his belongings and headed for the beautiful mining town of Reno, Nevada. Now as the newest member of Whiskey Train, he's ready to tap into that musical gold mine.
Hailing from the Bay area of California, Rich grew up watching many of the great late 60s acts at famous venues like the Winterland and the Fillmore West. Seeing great blues artists such as Paul Butterfield, Taj Mahal, and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Rich was bitten by the performance bug at an early age. Starting off playing the blues harmonica professionally at 15, Rich later switched over to drums. Eventually he formed his own band, Factoryedge, that remained together for 10 years. Rich even got to hang out at the infamous Chateau Liberté in the Santa Cruz mountains back in the early days, with such bands as The Doobie Brothers (not to mention many members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club as well). Eventually relocating to the Carson City area, Rich connected with Johnny back in 2012 and Whiskey Train was born.
April 21st, Saturday Night
1237 Baring Blvd
April 27th & 28th
507 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV
Johnny's Birthday Bash
1433 US Highway 395 N, Ste A
Keep checking back for more upcoming appearances.
A sampler of several live audio clips....just click on play and enjoy.
Live video from 2018.
Guns and Roses
Stevie Ray Vaughn
The Guess Who
Kenny Wayne Shepard
and more being added all the time