Getting you ready for one last summer hurrah with the second edition of MusicBoxPete's annual "Bands of Summer" shirtless photo special. Always an enjoyable and carefree way to see a different side of musicians than ever before, while also being humorous and spontaneous at the same time. This year's edition boasts a vast assortment and array of musicians including rising stars Benson Boone and Cole Barnhill, country newcomer Jordan Rowe, Ryan Sulken of Cincinnati based indie outfit Harbour, Yoke Lore, and a special non-musical entry from Christian Braun of the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets. And to close out Summer 2023, here they are:
Kicking things off with rising R&B/pop artist Benson Boone. Based out of Monroe, WA you may have seen him as a contestant on American Idol, melting hearts with his beautiful voice and winning over fans from all over with his immense musical gifts that he has to share with his audience. One thing that he has a penchant for at concerts is taking his shirt off much to the joy and delight of his fans as you can clearly see from above. He has no problem with bearing his skin for all other to see, and it also shows what a beautiful soul he is inside and out.
Also joining this year's list is Austin, TX native and rising country newcomer Cole Barnhill. Cole's voice has a down and dirty dexterity to it, that allows fans to grow quickly accustomed to his Southern flavor and down home charm with a frenetic live set that adequately displays what a true Texas southern rock band is all about. One thing that is a constant is Cole's shirt being completely gone by the beginning of the set, allowing fans to get the full treatment and leaving them wanting more all throughout the night.
Another rising country artist beginning to make waves is Adel, GA native Jordan Rowe. Jordan brings back the aura and essence of 90's era country with his thick Southern accent, undeniable charm, and ability to connect with fans from all over with his melodic voice and dynamic stage presence that is really starting to cultivate and build a following. One thing about Jordan is his good looks, which he has displayed above proudly with his ripped physique on display for all to marvel at. Jordan truly is a dynamic and gifted performer, and there is much more to come from him down the road.
Ryan Sulken (Harbour)
Making another appearance on the list is my good buddy Ryan Sulken, drummer of the Cincinnati based indie outfit Harbour. You may remember him from his prior band, BoyMeetsWorld who were a pop-punk band that Ryan played in with his brothers Craig and Brad that were quite a hot ticket for a while with spots on the Vans Warped Tour to name a few of the stops. Now a part of Harbour, one habit that never dies is Ryan's appearance behind the drum kit sans shirt. His shiny and sweaty body flaying about is a hallmark of a Harbour show, and he is a lovely and gentle soul whenever you talk to him after a show and I'm proud to call him one of my best friends and brothers for life.
The Bloody Kerouacs
Coming in scorching hot from Monterey, CA comes the melodic indie rock trio The Bloody Kerouacs. The group consists of Rutger Sperry on drums, Dashiell Stokes on lead vocals and guitar, and Quinn Murphy on bass. The guys might be relative unknowns to you, but they pack quite a punch with their brand of melodic indie rock that will transport you to places that you've never thought you'd travel to before. One thing that you'd probably never dream or imagine about was seeing the guys in the nude as they've demonstrated here with some strategically placed instruments. The guys have no qualms about showing off their goods, and it shows their laid back and carefree personality that is clearly evident right here.
Closing things off with an entry from Christian Braun, shooting guard for the NBA World Champion Denver Nuggets. Christian has been a champion all his life, won the state high school championship three times in his native Kansas for his high school Blue Valley Northwest, won the national championship in college for his beloved Kansas Jayhawks. Now this past June, he won his 1st NBA Championship with the Denver Nuggets, becoming only the 5th NBA player in history to win back-to-back college and NBA championship trophies. One thing about Christian is his impeccable physique, ans you can see from this pic from the championship parade back in June in all his barechested glory. Christian is clearly loving the spotlight, and has gained a legion of adoring fans including myself who love him for everything he is.