U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band goes viral
By Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff
/ Published August 12, 2011
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Fan video of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command band "Sidewinder" went viral Aug. 9.
Without microphones or sound equipment, Sidewinder performed a half-hour acoustic set for 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron Airmen working the night shift at the passenger terminal palette yard Aug. 8 at an air base in Southwest Asia.
The fans uploaded video of vocalist Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson belting out a cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" to YouTube where it garnered attention from celebrities Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest, as well as members of the Good Morning America staff. The video has been seen more than 400,000 times and is now hosted on popular sharing sites such as Reddit and Break.com.
"Proud 2 say @angiekjohnson does have an official audition to be on @NBCTheVoice! [sic]," said Carson Daly, host of NBC's "The Voice," on Twitter. The Voice is a reality TV singing competition with celebrity judges, such as Cee Lo Green and Christinia Aguilara, who are also the contestant's vocal coach during the show.
The news hit while the band was traveling from Shindan Airfield to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to perform for the troops there.
"It's been incredible, but sureal," said Johnson. "We're so far removed out here, I don't think it's hit me yet."
Running on two hours of sleep the last two days, members of Sidewinder have been keeping up on the news through social media and family back home.
"The band is getting e-mail interview requests and random Facebook friend requests," said Johnson. "It's been crazy."
Staff Sgt. Ransom Miller, who normally plays trumpet, has received many comments about his blue egg shaking abilities which have been likened to the infamous Will Ferrel "more cowbell" sketch on Saturday Night Live.
Miller joked that all his egg shaking dreams have come true.
The band currently is touring Southwest Asia bringing deployed service members a little bit of home with popular music, including the songs "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys, "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green.
Sidewinder is part of the Missouri Air National Guard's 571st Air Force Band. They are deployed as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band, which is part of the Air Force Bands program, a family of 12 active-duty Air Force bands and 11 Air National Guard bands. Military bands not only boost morale for the troops, but they also play a key role in building and strengthening relationships with host nations and coaliton partners. Sidewinder will return home next month.