Tribute band performs at Graceland

The group was the closing act on Aug. 16-17 in Memphis. There are 16 members of the band, which promotes a full horn section.

“We also have a gospel-style backup quartet,” keyboard player Rick Wills said.

The band members are Dustin Malone and Jeff Kirk of Beavercreek; Gary Simon and Tim Woodland of Bellbrook; Frank Meade and Tom Lees of Centerville; Ryan Roth of Englewood; Mike Pilkenton of Kettering; Rick Wills and Brooke Wills of Miamisburg; Scarlet Ashworth of Tipp City; Andrew Owings and Cheryl Coffman of Vandalia; Lynn Blakely of Versailles; JD Brown and Rachel Brown of Xenia.

“We have worked very, very hard at copying note for note the original Elvis recordings,” Wills said. “If they closed their eyes they would think they were at an Elvis show.”

The group practices in Centerville biweekly and the goal is to create an authentic Vegas-style Elvis performance. Wills and a friend started the band about three years ago

. The group has been with lead singer Ryan Roth for three or four months.

“It was really crazy,” Wills said. “There were people of all nationalities dressing like Elvis. We did the Graceland tour and there was a candlelight vigil. All along the driveway were floral arrangements. I saw things from the Elvis fan clubs in Dublin, Ireland, England and all over the world.”

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