The legend of the Internationals
The Internationals was formed in 2008 by Cumming, GA, natives Jody Abernathy and Mark Mundy to showcase their original country music. Whether it’s a packed three-night run at The Bluebird Cafe, a sold-out opening slot with Jeffrey Steel at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindley, or a raucus night at one of Atlanta’s honky tonk bars, The Internationals deliver a show loaded with superior musicianship, compelling songs, and strong vocals, perfectly in keeping with the long tradition of American country music.
The band’s dedication to the art of live performance is demonstrated on their latest recording, Live at Smith’s Olde Bar, recorded at the famed Atlanta listening room. A subsequent trip to France, playing for enthusiastic audiences, gave the band a chance to really earn their name. In January 2010, the band teamed up with Nashville recording gurus Tony Cottrill (Jamey Johnson, Ronnie Milsap) and Thomas Johnson (Porno For Pyros, Mike Watt) to present a successful showcase of the band’s music at Belmont University’s Curb Cafe.
Jody Abernathy (lead vocals & guitar) has been a musician ever since teaming up with his friend Mark Mundy while still in high school. After playing in many bands, in every genre that caught their interest, the two decided together to focus on the country music that was closest to their hearts. Jody is a skilled, evocative songwriter, able to capture a wide range of emotion and experience in his songs, and in 2007, was one of only 12 songwriters chosen to participate in Jeffery Steele’s Songwriting Bootcamp in Nashville. His strong vocals recall the best of country’s old-school stylists, with a broad range and emotional delivery.
Mark Mundy (lead guitar & vocals) was born into music, he says. “My parents, brother, cousins, grandparents, and even my great-grandfather were all musicians.” Though he first learned music in bluegrass groups, rock & roll and country music, the electric guitar became his true calling. After a tour in the US Army, he dove head first into performing in bands, including Allgood, The Urban Shakedancers, The Hooplas, and many others. “I am happier with this line-up of musicians than I have ever been,” says Mark about The Internationals. As you listen, you can easily hear his eclectic list of influences including Tony Rice, Doc and Merle Watson, Eddie Van Halen, and George Harrison, to name a few.
Mark Van Allen (pedal & lap steel guitars) first heard Buddy Emmons’ version of “Wichita Lineman” back in 1976, and it was all over! He bought his first pedal steel and joined his first band that same day. It was a case of “learn to play or get fired”, so he spent a lot of time in the woodshed! 35 years and 300 bands later, he’s still in love with the steel guitar. Mark has played in 48 states and 25 countries with many artists including John Berry, Jimmy Herring, Gov’t Mule, and Sugarland. A skilled producer and engineer, Mark also runs the Music Farm recording studio, and is almost always working on one musical project or another.
Ryan Sauls (bass guitar & vocals) grew up learning music by playing churches and revivals in north Florida & south Alabama with his parents’ gospel band. After attending music school at the University of North Florida, Ryan spent time developing his chops in the Pensacola-area music scene, playing jazz, rock, and pretty much everything else at every opportunity. Ryan went on to tour with Pensacola’s highly-regarded jam-band, Buttermilk, performing on stages all across the country before moving to Atlanta in 1996. A lifelong student of music, Ryan brings a distinctive approach to country music bass guitar, solid and melodic, but never in the way.
John Langdon (drums) calls himself a “heavy handed working man’s drummer.” A drummer for over 20 years, John comes from a drum corps background and taught himself to play the kit. He has played in bands with Mark and Jody since he was 19, and with various artists including Derek St. Holmes, opening for a variety of major acts, from White Lion to ELO! John was part of the southeast’s biggest and longest running 80′s band, The Breakfast Club, for three years, and toured up and down the East Coast. He considers The Internationals the best iteration of the John, Mark and Jody partnership to date.