SouthSide Drive records RnB, Soul, Rock (and some Country) music all with an RnB swagger. We feature Gwen Hana's smooth soul voice combined with Randy Bowling on lead guitar. Gwen's RnB voice along with unique guitar styling makes a sound that sets SouthSide Drive apart.
We travel throughout the South performing at private functions and venues such as The Nashville Palace and BB Kings in Nashville TN. Our music is recorded and produced by Pat Holt Productions, Nashville.
Our release of "Your Love Rescued Me" hit #6 on the Power Source Magazine Inspirational Country Music Chart in 2015
SouthSide Drive"s R&B Cd "One on One" features RnB/Soul hits recast in SouthSide Drive's modern style. You will recognize the songs on this CD and love the presentation.
Gwen Hana's voice unites dynamite RnB power with smooth as silk soul. This along with Randy's unique guitar styling makes a sound that we think you will love.
SouthSide Drive is based out of the Wilmington-Myrtle Beach area.
Press Release December 2014
Southside Drive is one such duo which is recognized for talented singers and guitar styling. 'Walking Louisiana', their first ever solo contribution to the musical arena has brought about a great fame for them. This song has won Gold and Silver Awards on Beat100. Their first release to radio, Your Love Rescued Me, immediately went to the TOP 10 in Nashville's Power Source Magazine Country Gospel Music Charts.
Their CD titled SouthSide Drive A NEW Sound in Country Gospel Music is available and features a compilation of wonderful Country Gospel music with a RnB swagger that we promise you will love.
Randy Bowling and Gwen Hanna
We are Bentley Records recording artists. Our music is written by some of the nation's top song writers. SouthSide Drive music has a unique sound , We perform both original and cover music for your event.
Soul - Country
Over the years, North Carolina native Randy Bowling has played a lot of good country music.
Bowling usually writes his music late at night, and one particular night, things changed as he wrote a song called Walking Louisiana.
“One night an idea popped into my head about a girl who was walking through the valley of the shadow of death: She was about to die and singing to her best friend named Louisiana,” Bowling said. “I wrote that song in about 10 minutes. Words are not easy for me, but these words came very easy.”
He said this song stemmed from a dream that he believes was clearly an important message. He saw it as a gift that would open doors for him.
I immediately partnered up with Gwen Hana to form the dynamic duo SouthSide Drive.
Although the two don’t fit into the stereotypical Nashville musicians that are portrayed in magazines and in videos, the two have such a presence on stage that audiences love them. Bowling is in his 60s and Hana is a plus-sized singer. Both Hana and Bowling share a love for Christ, and they enjoy singing gospel combined with country and blues. “They want to hear good music and see a good show,” Bowling said about the people who come to hear them play. “Why not give the people the choice…. We write songs about faith and love; we don’t write about drinking and cheating.” Hana added, “When you look at it, there’s nothing wrong with being a size 2, but there’s also nothing wrong with being a size 14. People like what they like.”
Gwen Hana sings with confident faith.
When Gwen Hana steps out on stage, the audience takes notice. Although, Hana may not look like the typical new-on-the-scene singer, but that is quickly forgotten when she belts out the smooth rhythm and blues style of music she sings with her musical partner Randy Bowling.
While Hana was pursuing a career outside of music, she also moonlighted as a background singer several bands. She had always dreamed of becoming a lead singer, but she had decided that because she didn’t fit the stereotypical mold of the young, thing singer, it wasn’t possible for her.
After the birth of her second child, the mom of three adult children said she had packed on a few extra pounds, and she shied away from the thought of having a successful career as a lead singer.
“Pretty much at that point, I took on projects as a background singer and a studio demo singer, and I pursued my first love as a songwriter,” Hana said.
She has taken part in opportunities for various artists on the verge of becoming stars, and through those meetings, her dream of becoming one of them faded even more.
“While in those meetings before actually meeting the singer, I would hear questions like, ‘What does she look like?’ ‘Is he or she skinny?’ ‘Is she beautiful?’ ‘Is he muscular?’ The question of if they could sing would likely be the last one asked,” she said.
Hana was fine with being a background singer in bands until she met Bowling, a singer songwriter from North Carolina. She and Bowling formed the band SouthSide Drive, which is predominantly a Christian band.
“We both share a love for Christ, and we both enjoy singing gospel,” Hana said. “To be honest, I never rally imagined that we would get this far. It took on joining Randy’s band just to have an outlet for the joy of singing and just to be heard. That was good enough for me.”
Considering it a platform to quench her desire to sing, her view soon changed when she saw the reaction of her audiences.
“Seeing the reaction of the audience after I would sing a song, made me feel accepted and more confident about being a plus-sized singer,” she said. “Then finally, I was like, ‘OK, I can do this. It’s gonna be OK.’”
Now, she said she feels confident about not being a thin singer.
“I’m still working on my weight, but I’m not stressing myself about it. I’m more focused on being healthy and being the best singer that I can be. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and we all matter, and we are all important. Being mature and plus sized is just as awesome and beautiful as being young and thin.”
Bowling, who doesn’t fit the Nashville singer mold either, agrees with Hana.
“We don’t fit into the mold of what the record companies in Nashville want,” Bowling said. “There record companies only want singers who are very young.”
Bowling, who is in his 60s, believes that the general public just cares about good music and seeing a good show, no matter the age or size of the artists.
“I believe in us, and we’re going to push through,” Hana said. “God is in charge.”
Hana became a Christian in her heart when she was 13, after attending Sunday school classes and watching television preachers.
“I didn’t know very much about God in depth as a child, but I did know that I just wanted to please him,” she said. “I was grateful that he died for my sins.”
From then on, Hana said she had decide to be kind and supportive to others.
Hana loves being able to convey her strong Christian faith to her audiences through song.
“I feel God’s anointing me at times when I’m singing,” she said. “I can feel the emotion and responsibility of the words I sing.”