The Moxie Band

Band Bio

The Moxie Band brings you the highest quality  Big Band Swing, 50’s, 60’s, Beach, Motown, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and Top -40 Dance Music!

Richard Tatgenhorst
Drums, Lead Vocals, Percussion, DJ, Master of Ceremonies

Rich has been playing drums and singing since 1967. A native of Cincinnati and a graduate of Otterbein College in Theater Performance, Rich had the leads in all his high school and college musicals but came back to his drums performing in nightclubs all over the country until 1986. He came to Atlanta in 1984 with a band and joined the Axtell Productions team in 1986. MOXIE was formed the very next year and since then history has been made. MOXIE performed for Atlanta’s biggest wedding reception (Ted Turner and Jane Fonda), the Buffalo Bill’s Super Bowl party, the UPS 1996 Olympic parties, and the most important event in history . . . Yours! Rich’s life has been performing either in great musical groups or on stage, but his biggest honor is being a husband and a dad to his three precious children.

Terry Emery

Terry started on saxophone at age ten and taught himself keyboards at fourteen. He played in bands through high school, after which he spent three years at a house job playing blues with a locally famous blues artist. There he had the privilege of playing for visitors BB King and Count Basie, as well as Duke Ellington and his lovely wife, who sat right in front of him. He then joined the band Detroit, Mitch Ryder’s band after the Detroit Wheels. During his time with Detroit, he met guitarist Steve Gaines, with whom he moved to Oklahoma to start a band. There, working on a recording deal, he was asked to join Lynard Skynard. While in Jacksonville, Florida, with Lynard, he met 38 SPECIAL and recorded several albums with them. Following this, he moved to Nashville and spent one year playing piano in the demo studio of Tree Publishing, the largest publisher of country music in the world. Terry then moved to Atlanta and played with various bands, performing several jobs for Jimmy Carter, such as his seventieth birthday party. Terry has played keyboards with MOXIE since 1997.

Tony Hill
Guitar / Lead and Background Vocals

Tony is the latest addition to Moxie. He comes to us after a 17 year run with Trammell The Super Band. He is known around Atlanta as the “Funky White-Boy” guitarist whose eclectic style came of age during the heyday of the classic rock guitar heroes of the 70’s.He attributes his diverse singing and playing approach to growing up in the melting-pot culture of an army-brat living overseas. After years of touring with several groups such as The Resistance, Radar, Trammell, and Rockola, he has settled in Atlanta to pursue songwriting andrecording. However, he still loves the thrill and magic of live performing and brings to Moxie a seasoned and energetic presence that spells F-U-N!!!!

Chris Ortiz
Bass Guitar/ Lead and Background Vocals

Chris born in Flowery Branch, GA and has lived in Georgia most of his life. Having grown up in the deep south, Chris was exposed to an amazing variety of music…from country to blues, pop to classical & rock. But it was when he heard “Meet the Beatles” for the first time that he became “bitten by the music bug” at age 5. It wasn’t until he was 13 yrs old that he began to pick up the bass at the urging of his brother, who saw he had a knack for the instrument. While he developed his talent on the instrument, he was still being recruited as Lead Vocalist with various high school bands. And this experience eventually paid off with Chris, at 23, going on a USO tour in 1982 which took him through Canada, Europe, and Greenland. He traveled the world and loved it, but knew that playing bass and singing was his true calling. Upon returning, he never sang “up front” again, focusing on playing bass and singing.

His first full-time bass job was with a moderately successful band, Night Flight in 1984. It is here where he began to develop the tight rhythmical quality that is a part of his trademark today. But his rhythm skills were mastered while playing with Funkadelic drummer, Ben Powers.

Eventually, the musicians of Night Flight (Chris included) decided to go out on their own as a band and created the group, Lifeline in 1986. The band did a wide variety of music, mostly working the “Buckhead Scene” and from that, culminated in jobs where they backed up such acts as Little Anthony, Billy Preston, The Drifters, Chuck Levell (Allman Bros, Rolling Stones)…playing in venues such as the Fox Theatre and The Omni. This also led them into playing quite the number of “one-nighters”. The band’s trademark was their incredible mixed vocals attracting many local musicians out to see the band.

After Lifeline, Chris began experimented with other music later trying his hand at blues with the band, Atlanta Heat. Later on, he recorded originals with the former group, the Results and showcased their originals at Jerry Lewis’s in Memphis in 1993. He continued playing in a variety of bands but also honing his skills at acoustic guitar. Wanting to move in a completely different direction, he co-founded a power trio called Jack Wylde, in 1997. It was very rewarding, both personally and professionally. The band lasted 4 years and worked constantly in the Atlanta music scene.

In Moxie Chris is the back bone to the hard driving rhythm, including DJ on drums, that keep guests on the dance floor yelling for more!

Marcus Petruska
Drums/ Lead and Background Vocals

Marcus Petruska is a Grammy-nominated, first-call drumset artist who has performed with some of the biggest names in the music business. He has played on many studio and live recordings including the triple-platinum-certified “The Foundation” by The Zac Brown Band, which yielded six Billboard  hits, including four #1s.

He has toured with Corey Smith, The Zac Brown Band, Donna Hopkins, Mike Veal, Francisco Vidal, Justin, Andrew Black, Big Atomic, Garrison Field, Brighter Shade, Soul Food, and The Cadets of Bergen County.

Marcus had the honor of performing as the featured drumset artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in their Gospel Christmas program at Symphony Hall. He has also been a featured clinician for Sonor drums and Sabian cymbals, and served as a judge for the Guitar Center Drum-Off finals.

Marcus joined the Moxie Band in 2013 and has been laying down the groove and keeping us in the pocket ever since.

Melanie Denard                                                                                                                                        Lead and Background Vocals

Melanie is the latest addition to the Moxie band! She is truly a breath of fresh air with her strong, soulful, energetic “take no prisoners” voice. Melanie has been entertaining audiences at venues of all types and sizes around the country for the past several years with her soul-drenched stylings of “slammin’ high-octane rock, pop, modern country, and sultry delta blues. Known by her fans for her abiding love of all things rustic and “down home”, Melanie is widely hailed for “packin’em in and gettin’em dancing” out on the floor or in their seats. She is also celebrated for her powerful, earthy voice and for transforming songs into unforgettable listening experiences.

 Melanie received the coveted Music Row New Artist Discovery Award from esteemed Nashville music critic Robert K. Oermann who stated: “This sassy belter has been noted for her dynamic delivery in this column several times..she has a very appealing huskiness in her voice, full of barely suppressed fire. I’ll bet she can really take charge of a stage. Promising, indeed.” “All I Ever Did Was Love You” reached #69 on MR Country Breakout Chart;  #3 on New Music Weekly (NMW) Main Chart, #2 on NMW Indy Country Chart; #1 for 2 consecutive weeks on the Indie world Country and the Independent Music Network charts. Melanie won Breakthrough Country Artist and Favorite Country Single for 2010, for New Music Weekly and Independent Music Network, respectively. Melanie’s single,“Dare to Live”, reached #7 on the national PowerSource CC chart.

 Melanie wowed national and international TV audiences with her performances on VH1’s “Born To Diva” TV series, where she was proclaimed Top 5 performer for Atlanta and NYC for her unforgettable renditions of “I Will Always Love You”, It Hurt So Bad”, and “Fallin”, for which she received rousing standing ovations.

 SOME ADDITIONAL KUDOS & DISTINCTIONS (abbreviated list): “Girl, You Rock!”, T. Graham Brown, country blues legend; “Southern Soul In Every Note!”, Bruce Burch, noted hit songwriter & country music expert; “Wow!! That about says it all. Wow Looks. Wow Vocals. Wow Personality. Melanie Denard is the whole package.”, Jim Kay KVVP-FM PD/MD; “Terrific Vocals, Dynamic Performer”, Robert Case, Music Connection; Top 5 WKDF FM  Colgate Country Showdown, Nashville 2008;

Top 3 Favorite Radio Singer for Atlanta (STAR94 fm, Atlanta, GA 2002.)

Nick Longo                                                                                                                                     Saxophone, Lead Vocals

Nick has been performing with MOXIE since 1995. He holds a degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University and has been playing professionally for the past 20 years. He works consistently, playing all genres of music, and has worked on stage and recorded with such well-knowns as Greg Allman, Al Cooper, Charlie Daniels, Lynard Skynard, Don Henley, Francine Reed, and The Coasters. In addition, Nick has worked with jazz greats Nick Erignola and Randy Brecker. You can hear his work on commercials for Delta Airline, Kroger, Eureka, Hud Homes, BellSouth, as well as on the CBS program “Nightman” and the Cartoon Network.


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