Nostalgia for 1980s music is at an all-time high, and Dallas is the home of a slew of tribute bands, such as Def Leggend, Infinite Journey, Back in Black and Queen for a Day.
The Iron Horse Pub will introduce yet another Dallas-based tribute act at 9 p.m. July 16 when Saints & Sinners, a Whitesnake tribute band, makes its Wichita Falls debut.
David Roberts and James Michael McLester began the Whitesnake Tribute Band, Saints and Sinners in June 2015 and named the project after Whitesnakes’s fifth album, “Saints & Sinners” (1982).
Whitesnake was founded by singer David Coverdale in 1978 after he left the legendary English band Deep Purple.
Whitesnake has been an on-again and off-again band since 1978, with the group going through numerous members, including a number of top-notch guitarists.
The band’s best-known period was the 1980s, and its best-selling CD was “White Snake” (1987), which went platinum eight times over and features the guitar playing of John Sykes.
Veteran Dallas-Fort Worth drummer McLester (formerly with Solinger) and Roberts were in original bands when they formed Saints & Sinners. They both saw a burgeoning market for tribute groups.
“I am a big Whitesnake fan because I was a big Tommy Aldridge (drummer) fan, and Coverdale is one of my top three rock blues vocalists,” McLester said.
When he heard Roberts sing, he said, “If anyone can do Coverdale, it’s him. You don’t start a Whitesnake tribute band unless you have a guy who can nail it. That was the beginning. The other musicians came in one by one.”
To make the band work, the founders developed a pool of working musicians.
“Unless you move to Vegas and do a residence, you have to get enough guys to be able to cover all of your dates,” he said.
The group primarily focuses on Whitesnake songs from “Slide It In” (1984) through “Slip of the Tongue” (1989), when guitarist Steve Vai joined.
Saints & Sinners’ repertoire includes “Here I Go Again,” “Still of the Night,” “Is this Love,” “Fool for Your Loving,” “Slide it In” and other popular songs, plus a few surprises.
But McLester said Saints & Sinners doesn’t just begin and end with Whitesnake.
“We will focus on that, but when we get to a three-hour set, people will get songs from them, Deep Purple and others.”
The group already has begun to add Deep Purple tunes, such as “Burn.”
While Saints & Sinners conveys a cool rock image and plays professional gear, there’s more to the band than just that.
“At the end of the day, if you really can’t hold that connection with the audience (you lose them). They have only so many hours away from life to romance those times in ’87 when they were 20 years old and the women were dressed up in the leopard miniskirts waiting in line at Reunion Arena to see Whitesnake with Motley Crue. That’s what the people want to relive.”
IF YOU GO
What: Saints and Sinners Whitesnake tribute band
When: 9 p.m. March 25 2017
Where: The Iron Horse Pub, 615 Eighth St.
Admission: Call the pub at 767-9488