Listen Up - The Rumours are True
By Jules Taylor
Mekenzie Jackson, Doug Easterly, Adrienne Cottrell, Alex Thrift, Nick Whitson, and Daniel Morrison have been bringing Fleetwood Mac’s sound to stages across the country since 2014. What began as Mekenzie’s love for Fleetwood Mac as a teenager has grown into a commitment to exercising her talent as the voice of Stevie Nicks with her bandmates and dedicated fans along for the ride.
Alex and Mekenzie began the group in 2014 with just the two of them and a desire to simply “play some Fleetwood Mac.” After Mekenzie’s initial request, Alex quickly insisted that if this was going to happen, it had to be a tribute band. Alex’s neighbor, Adrienne, joined soon after on keys with Doug, Daniel, and Nick collected from various spots around the Atlanta music scene.
Inspired by diverse musical backgrounds including Korn, the 90s, Tom Petty, and the Beatles, the band now known as Rumours — taken from the name of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album — sells out shows to Fleetwood Mac/cover band lovers as well as opportunistic concert goers.
When asked about the balance of life, touring, and family, Doug credits FaceTime as a saving grace for maintaining his family relationships. Both Doug and Alex find that touring has surprisingly given them opportunities to see family members they wouldn’t otherwise see. All members agree that the thrill of touring and being on stage is worth it, even with the hours-long car rides that drive them crazy. Their fans, some of whom have seen the band upwards of 10 times, agree: Their hard work is totally worth it.
As far as advice for aspiring musicians, Mekenzie says, “Be really, really good.” Adrienne chimes in with a poetic warning, saying anything you do “has to move your soul.” These bits of advice are evident in Rumours. The passion each member has on stage, their dedication to music in general, and their natural talent merges to create a show that mesmerizes audiences and thrills their fans. In addition to their skillful musicianship, the vibe among band members is reminiscent of family. Laughter, jokes, and teasing one another is a regular part of the pre-show ritual, as Mekenzie curls her hair, costumes are donned, and everyone hydrates for the night ahead.
Undaunted by the shoes they are attempting to fill, Mekenzie loves that even though they are playing someone else’s music, “They [the audience] are experiencing our show; that’s what makes it different from other Fleetwood Mac tributes, too — it’s our own thing.”
Even in their own imitation of Fleetwood Mac, they find that others have begun copying their unique style. One example, Mekenzie says, is “sitting on the edge of the stage singing ‘Landslide,’” which was inspired by Butch Walker’s rendition of “Canyons” from the edge of the stage, without a microphone. She’s noticed that other bands have begun a similar tradition. It seems only right that this incredible tribute band should have their own tributes.
Imitation, after all, is the highest form of flattery.