Fleetwood Mac tribute band Tusk to perform group's hits at Maryland Theatre
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow,” is a famous lyric by rock band sensation Fleetwood Mac.
Tusk is a tribute to the British-American band, which is based out of New Jersey and doesn’t want to stop either — as they perform more than a 100 shows a year. They will bring their “The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, to The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.
Borrowing their name from Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 double album of the same name, Tusk tries to replicate the “Rumours” era of Fleetwood Mac in the mid-’70s.
“We have five members of the band, and each member plays the role of each member of the band,” said Scott McDonald, 50, guitarist and vocalist for Tusk, during a telephone interview from Spring Hill, Fla., where the band was set to perform. “We don’t have any backing tracks or recorded tracks, it’s just us. We play like it was right in 1975, when Lindsey (Buckingham) and Stevie (Nicks) joined the band. We try to emulate that era as best we can.”
Tusk’s cover of “The Chain” has nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.
“We were really shocked and surprised to the response to that clip,” McDonald said. “It just keeps growing, and that people have taken the time to watch it, and support it, is special.”
Coincidentally, it is one of Tusk’s favorite songs to perform.
“It’s a group effort — that song,” McDonald said. “Everybody’s putting effort into that song, so it’s fun to play.”
The band started out as friends who played together in the New Jersey bar scene wanting to play the music of one of their favorite bands.
“We were all friends, and we were all doing Fleetwood Mac in our respective projects,” McDonald said. “A friend of ours said that we should all get together and do a tribute, and so that’s how we came about. Plus we’re big Fleetwood Mac fans.They’ve been my favorite band, especially Lindsey Buckingham, for a long time, since ‘Rumours’.”
Tusk averages about 110 shows a year.
“Last year we did about 106,” McDonald said. “We do a couple of long runs a year, there’s a lot of stuff that’s fairly close to home. We’ll do like four or five shows in a row, and then we’ll take the next weekend off to be with our families. My wife and I have a 5-year-old son, and she’s very happy that I get to do what I like do for a living.”
McDonald has been playing Fleetwood Mac tunes in Tusk for more than a decade.
“We’ve been doing this band for just about 11 years, but we’ve all been playing in various projects on and off for just about 30 years,” he said. “We got our chops and learned how to play and perform at open mics and the local bar scene. We started where everybody starts and just had a good time playing and were able to hone our skills. We’re all from New Jersey, all five of us, Central New Jersey area.”
The band also writes original music that can be purchased at Tusk’s shows.
“We sell music that we write at our shows,” McDonald said. “We like really good music, really good hooks that people can sing along to. Some of it sounds like Fleetwood Mac, other stuff is a little heavier, but it’s very pop rock-oriented stuff. It’s called Stock and Bridge, that’s the name we use for our original music. It’s the same musicians in the Tusk band. We all write the music together and we all sing.”
Tusk enjoys everywhere they play, and is looking forward to playing in Hagerstown.
“We’ve been pretty lucky almost everywhere we go,” McDonald said. “We’re in Florida a lot, but we also love the Northeast. We’re heading out to Oregon this year, and we’re heading out to California. We’re excited about new territories, but mostly we play in the Northeast, but everybody’s great. Every place is different and everyone is nice.”