Band Members

Chuck Brown - Lead Vocalist


Mike Butler - Bass Guitar


Jack Spillane - Lead Guitar


Mark Wheeler - Drums and Percussion


Jeff Triplett - Multi Instrumentalist


Chuck Brown - Lead Vocalist

My love of music started at a very early age. My maternal grandparents were bluegrass musicians. My grandfather grew up playing fiddle in the hills of Northwest Virginia. He could play anything with strings on it. Fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar. I spent many hours sitting in the living room of their house listening to Fox On The Run, Faded Love, Orange Blossom Special, etc. My Uncle Buddy played bass and my mom and my Aunt Ginny sang harmonies and it was there that my love really grew. I adored the alto harmonies they sang. There was a lot of gospel and country coming out of that little living room. 

My father was a true rock and roller. He couldn’t sing or play anything but he was an audiophile and had the best equipment he could buy. When I got in the car with him there was Jim Croce, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc. my childhood was filled with great musical influences of rock and country. I’m so thankful for having a family that loves God and music. I am truly blessed.


I began to take music more seriously in high school. I signed up for choir classes and met the woman who would shape the future of music for me. My choir teacher Jacquelyn Prater. She immediately saw something in me and spent the next 4 years shaping my young voice. I’m forever indebted to her. She was an amazing teacher who cared so much for her students. During high school it didn’t take me long to realize that singing was the way to a young lady’s affection. Of course this only spurned me on. Lol!! 

After high school I dabbled a bit with music. Won a few talent shows, sang with a few garage bands, but in 1993 I won a contest at Donk’s Theater in Mathews Va and was asked to join the full time cast. It was my first time singing with real, full time, talented musicians. I flourished. Came out of my shell, learned what it was like to really interact with an audience. Big thanks to all the cast of Donk’s throughout those years! 

Life came along and with it all the things that take up time. Marriage, career, etc. I worked shift work which made it unable to pursue music any longer. In 2014 after getting a day shift position I joined a rock band with some great musicians. I’m forever grateful for the time spent with Group Therapy. We were a great band and the name really applied. It was therapeutic. 

But country was still my heart and soul. When I heard someone was putting together a country band with a steel guitar player I immediately asked “where do I sign up”? And here we are today. Singing with some of the best musicians I’ve ever known. One of the keys to having a great band is chemistry. I can honestly say we have that. You couldn’t have hand picked a more jovial bunch of guys to play with. Our personalities complement one another perfectly. When you come to our shows you’ll hear us hitting each other with one liners all night. I’m thankful for these guys. I say it all the time and I really mean it. They make me sound good. The talent in this band is limitless. 

Favorite artists: 

George Strait, Sturgill Simpson, Freddie Mercury, Garth Brooks, Layne Staley, George Michael, Cody Johnson, Cody Jinks, Dwight Yoakam, Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard

Favorite Bands: 

Brooks and Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Styx, The Police, Casting Crowns, Dire Straits, Great White


Mike Butler - Bass Guitar

I simply eat, breathe and sleep bass. In high school I played the Tuba, so I learned bass ideology at a young age. Started playing bass in my church, then played several well known bands for the following 30 plus years,

Frank Cole, Virginia Wranglers, Hole Shot, Southern Blend, Cory Daniel Band and This Time Around just to name a few. Now laying down the low end with Southbound 17. Truly enjoying this band, a great bunch of fellas.

Other things I like to do when theres not a bass hanging on me, I love building models, mostly cars, and have had some of my work published in a global car model magazine. I enjoyed bowling, putt-putt golf, and playing softball until a knee issue put an abrupt end to those hobbies.

I guess that is the price of senior living!

Favorite Bands

Grand Funk, Diamond Rio, Tears for Fears, Pink Floyd, Chicago, Desert Rose Band

Favorite Musicians

 Box Burrell, Vic Wooten, Mark King, Glen Campbell, Peter Cetera


Music Man and Fender basses

GK 400, 800RB  Amps


Jack Spillane - Lead Guitar

My fascination with guitars started with seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. I got serious about playing in the late 70's when I was in the Navy. One of my shipmates would give me lessons on duty nights and it kind of grew from there. In addition to those lessons, I learned a lot by playing along to Allman Brothers and Merle Haggard records!

I started playing in bands when I was stationed here in the early 80's and have been playing off and on ever since. During the journey, I've picked up the dobro, banjo, and mandolin, but the majority of time is spent playing guitar. I enjoy most styles of music, but old school country and bluegrass are what's most likely to be playing in the car. 

I've been with Southbound 17 since May of 2017. Mark, Mike, and I were playing together in another band that stopped due to medical issues with another member. The chance to play with a steel player was too good to pass on, so I joined up. It's fun to play with musicians that challenge you, but the personalities of the members are what make this band so much fun to be in.  

Favorite Bands/Artists
Allman Brothers, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Allison Krauss, Conway Twitty.

Favorite Musicians
Duane Allman, Roy Nichols, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, John Hughey


Mark Wheeler - Drums and Percussion

I started playing the drums when I was about six years old.  In elementary school, I began formal drum instruction in the usual way with concentration on learning snare drum rudiments (which I can now appreciate), however; I wanted to learn how to play the drum kit.  After many years of this type of instruction (through junior high school), I decided to teach myself how to play the kit with some formal instruction along the way.  

After years of lessons I started looking into the band scene and played locally with numerous bands for a number of years.  My musical influences and band history primarily revolve around classic rock. The next phase of my life was spent in college, getting married, graduate school and Residency, raising a family, and working a day job and the occasional free time to play my drums. 

With the support of my wife and kids, I answered an ad at a local musician’s bulletin board for a drummer/percussionist and have played professionally locally for the past 10+ years with various bands.  I entered the world of country music a number of years ago and had a lot to learn to adapt to a new style.  I have enjoyed the challenge and hope that I represent the music and style appropriately. I do my best to play to the song and maintain signature licks that the audience may be expecting of their favorite songs.  

I began my journey with Southbound 17 in 2015 and haven't looked back!  My goal is to provide a solid rhythmic foundation and add a layer of texture to compliment the band's musical style.  I am excited to play with such a fine group of musicians and even finer people, if that’s possible.  I am especially fortunate to anchor the rhythm section with one of the finest bass players I have ever worked with, Mike Butler. Together, Mike and I lock in and provide the foundation for these fine musicians!

Below are some of my musical influences:

Favorite Band(s):

Chicago, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Steely Dan, Eagles, Journey, STYX, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Beatles, Spyro Gyra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dave Brubeck Quartet

Favorite Album(s):

Breakfast in America (Supertramp), Frampton Comes Alive (Peter Frampton), Paradise Theater (STYX), Escape (Journey), Hell Freezes Over (Eagles), The Wall (Pink Floyd)

Favorite Musician(s):

Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel

And this is what I play:

Tama Starclassic Bubinga - Natural Cordia finish

  • 20” x 22” kick
  • 6.5” x 14” snare
  • 10", 12”, 16” toms
  • 22” Zildjian Rock Ride
  • 18” Sabian AAX Crash
  • 18” Sabian HHX Crash
  • 14” Sabian HHX Hi-Hats

Tama Iron Cobra bass drum pedal

Tama Iron Cobra Hi-Hat stand

Tama Roadstar Tom and Snare Stands

Tama 1stChair drum throne

Promark 5A drumsticks (natural)

Westone UM Pro 30 In-ear monitors

Carvin wireless transmitter/receiver


Jeff Triplett -Multi Instrumentalist

I have been playing music now for over 40 years with much of that time in organized groups. 

Initially started out on guitar at the age of 15 after seeing a boy I went to church with play and sing John Denver songs noting the girls loved it. Who knows what will turn out to be successful motivation, but that was it for me.

Early music influences included the Beatles, CCR, The Beach Boys and some of the 70’s groups. I got my first taste of being in a garage band at 16, but like many we never actually got out of the garage. During this period my dad had a Southern Gospel Quartet, being from a Christian upbringing I actually joined my dads group as a guitar player at 17 with a whole lot to learn. 

A few years into it I actually took up keyboards learning to play the quartet style which had allot of similarities to Floyd Cramer/country style playing. During the 80’s and early 90” the group traveled to churches and concerts throughout the Mid-Atlantic performing to thousands gaining much needed experience in front of audiences.  I continued until the group retired after 26 years.

Throughout that time I took up and continued develop  skills on various instruments which included pedal steel, bass, banjo and mandolin, much of which I use today in Southbound’s performances.

Dependent upon the song we are going to play at a SB17 show, you will likely see me on keyboards, pedalsteel, acoustic and electric guitars or the mandolin on a few tunes. But pedal steel is my primary instrument though and definitely my current passion.

By the way, the motivation around girls being attracted to guitar players actually works. I met Chris now my wife of over 38 years at a rehearsal when I was playing guitar.

Favorite Bands/Artist

Classic Rock - Beatles, CCR, Three Dog Night

Gospel - Kingmen Quartet

Country - George Strait, Alan Jackson

Favorite Albums

Beatles-Rubber Soul

George Strait 50 Number Ones

Favorite Muscians

Pedal Steel, Lloyd Green, Weldon Myrick, Buddy Charleton

Piano, Floyd Gramer

Guitar, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Brent Mason