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Doug Nightwine is tour manager and front of house engineer for Shinedown, and a respected veteran in his field. Joining him is his longtime colleague, guitar tech Galen Henson. The two met 12 years ago when Nightwine was Joe Satriani’s tour manager and Henson was Satriani’s rhythm guitarist. Shinedown is currently performing in arenas and theaters, playing two-hour shows on a three-nights-on, one-night-off schedule.
Kevin Padilla is front of house engineer for Sick Puppies and Hurt, with whom Sick Puppies shared a summer co-headlining tour. When Hurt went on break, Padilla joined Sick Puppies. “It worked out perfectly,” he says. “I went from one tour bus to the next.” Since he began his music career as a guitarist, Padilla understands the instrument’s place in the mix, which is crucial in this case because there are only three musicians onstage and every note has to count.
Shawn Hammer is front of house engineer and tour manager for Adelitas Way, whose selftitled debut was produced by Johnny K. With two guitarists coming from two different schools of rock, Hammer—whose resume includes a year and a half as drum and monitor tech for 10 Years—has the challenge of separation and balance on both sides of the stage, in both arenas and clubs.
Billy Kirk is front of house engineer for Blackberry Smoke, a two-guitar country/ rock/bluegrass/blues band that Dann Huff saw playing in a club and decided to produce before they even had a record deal. Kirk also has a background in monitors, and has worked with Patti LaBelle for the past 11 years, in addition to stints with Eric Benet and Vanessa Williams. When we caught up with Kirk, Blackberry Smoke was on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and preparing for a stunning 22-date back-to-back run of their own in Europe.
Hugh Johnson is in his 21st year as front of house engineer for Vince Gill and is Gill’s production manager. Johnson also taught Live Sound Reinforcement at Belmont University in Nashville. An English major/Broadcasting minor from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, Johnson credits “the school of hard knocks” for his music industry education.