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Music makers

New duo Whiskey Tango
is a crowd favorite

The band is a hobby for the two
who just like to entertain

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(August 2009) – Having known each other since both were 16 years old, David Arkenberg and Jeff Forrest thought it high time they formed their own band. After playing in various bands over the years, they’ve combined their talents into a unique repertoire that is a crowd pleaser wherever they go.

Jeff Forrest and David Arkenberg

Photo by Helen McKinney

Best friends Jeff Forrest (left)
and David Arkenberg formed
Whiskey Tango in November 2008.

“David and I have been best friends since we were 16 years old,” said Forrest. “We’ve played in other bands together, off and on, but never just the two of us.” That is until November 2008, when the duo formed Whiskey Tango.
Relying upon past experience, Arkenberg approached Forrest with the question, “Why don’t we put together a duo?” The result is a band that plays mostly classic songs from the ‘50s through the ‘80s and current country hits.
Arkenberg, 47, plays keyboard, harmonica and guitar. Forrest, 46 plays drums, guitar and percussion. They share lead and harmonizing vocals.
Whiskey Tango got its name when Arkenberg conducted an Internet search for names. He came across an add which contained the words “whiskey tango” and the name stuck, said Forrest. Forrest thought the name would go over better than his suggestion, Bob (short for Big ‘Ol Boys).
A Louisville native, Forrest is a self-taught musician. He has been interested in music since he was 14 years old and holds a day-job with Physicians Sales and Service.
“We do this because we like to do it,” said Forrest. “If we could support ourselves, we would do it full-time. If we get the jobs, it’s a plus. If not, we’re still going to sing.”
Forrest attributes Whiskey Tango’s uniqueness to his and Arkenberg’s personalities and the degree to which they go to involve the crowd through sing-a-longs and props. Audience members are often encouraged to don wigs and glasses and even come onstage and sing and dance.
“Our main focus is to be entertaining,” said Arkenberg, a La Grange resident. “We like for the audience to have fun.”
Arkenberg began playing music when he was 18 and was playing professionally by age 20. He is originally from the Okolona area of Louisville and runs his own business, DLA Sr. Insurance Agency.
Whiskey Tango has played in local venues in Carrollton, Eminence and can often been seen performing at the Holiday Inn in Clarksville, Ind. They perform at private parties, weddings and have even put on a show for the Indiana Sheriff’s Department.
When it comes to doing local gigs, “We’d love to do more,” said Forrest. But there’s “really no place for bands to play in Oldham County,” said Arkenberg.
Forrest said Arkenberg has put together a CD of original compositions and the duo has recorded a demo under the name of Whiskey Tango. Arkenberg said he has “made a stab” at writing some original songs, and the duo does perform some of their original music live. “We just don’t perform a lot of it in public, because it’s not what the people come to hear,” said Forrest. “They want to hear what they know.”
With Whiskey Tango, it’s all about having a good time. “We’d play somewhere every weekend if we could,” Forrest said.

• Whiskey Tango can be seen on My Space at whiskeytangolv. For more information, contact David Arkenberg at (502) 310-9159.

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