Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) –A host of new faces will make their way to the 2008 Blues Before Sunset stage this summer, as the popular summer music series returns to the State Historical Building June 6.
The event will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays on East Locust Street in front of the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust in Des Moines. The event is free and family-friendly with beer, wine and an assortment of beverages available for sale. Food vendors will be available on site. Guests are asked to bring their own seating.
The weekly outdoor event has become a favorite start-of-the-weekend activity for metro workers. Now in its 7th year, Blues Before Sunset supports the local Blues scene by hiring homegrown talent.
“This year we’re focusing on exposing the audience to new talent, so a lot of the names they see might not be familiar to them” said Sarah Oltrogge, event coordinator. “Regardless, every band on the roster is top-notch local talent. Then we’ll end the season on a high note when we welcome Bo Ramsey, whose distinctive guitar playing is well known across the country.”
The 2008 Blues Before Sunset schedule includes:
June 6: Hot Tamale & The Red Hots
Hot Tamale & The Red Hots features Cindy Grill who provides a dynamic range and the soul of a true blues vocalist. Founding member Kevin Bodtke wails on harmonica and is backed by the experienced talent of Bobby Cassady on drums, Rod Moulin on bass and Alan Smith on guitar and vocals.
June 13: The Andy Schneider One-Man Blues Band
To introduce him as a one-man band may not prepare you fully, nor do justice to the authenticity of the music. Schneider preaches the blues: playing 8-string guitar (a combination of both bass and lead guitars), harmonica, drums and singing simultaneously. With a reverent nod to his blues and country roots, Schneider reinvents the traditional bluesman’s role, igniting the music with a fire and passion that leaves audiences breathless.
June 20: Blues Bureau
Jody Bodley and Dewey Cantrell lead this band that has been a staple on the Des Moines Blues scene for several years. With Bodley’s vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin, and master guitar player Dewey Cantrell, the duo covers a range of songs to satisfy every taste.
June 27: Jonny and the Rectifiers
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, the band played for 9 years as The Delta Kings. With a new rhythm section in 2005 the Rectifiers were born. Playing the Iowa club circuit and private parties and blues festivals, the Rectifiers favor vintage instruments, tube amps and a live audience to fuel a party. Sets vary with the mood of the room from smoky Chicago and Texas blues to vintage rockabilly rants. Front man Jon East, a second generation Iowa veteran musician, handles vocals and guitar chores. The band also features keyboard/Hammond organ player Jeff Daniels, Scott Hartung on drums and Jeff “JB” Baker on fender and upright bass, a disciple of the late Keith Ferguson and Ronnie James Weber of the current Thunderbirds.
July 4: NO SHOW – 4th of JULY HOLIDAY
July 11: Lady Blue
Formed in the summer heat of 2005, Lady Blue features Tina Haase Findlay, who has been belting out her passion for more than 20 years. The band includes Findlay’s husband, Brandon Findlay, on lead guitar and vocals; Ben Williams on guitar, vocals and percussion; Randy Ramaekers on drums; and Kevin McGinnis on bass and vocals. With her band by her side, Tina continues to celebrate the richly diverse history of the blues and its vibrant future.
July 18: The Bob Pace Band w/Steve George
This can range from rockabilly to delta blues to country to what Pace calls “blues with a rock edge, in the style of Jimi Hendrix or Johnny Winter.” Throughout his lifelong musical journey, Pace has developed a guitar style all his own, although he admits to being heavily influenced by Carlos Santana, Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton. The band is led by Iowa Blues Hall of Famer Steve George, a veteran of the Des Moines music scene who performed in clubs on the legendary Center Street of Des Moines.
July 25: Erick Hovey Band
Erick Hovey is a fifth-generation farmer from Fort Dodge. His central location allows him to absorb music from all over the country and develop a style that blends the best of what he likes. The result is music built on a sturdy foundation, with easy-to-identify subject matter and sharp arrangements. Hovey and the band play with genuine heart and engaging personality, producing an unstrained delivery and easy grace that makes the material seem utterly uncontrived. At times smooth and wistful, at times rockin’, but always cloaked in cool blues.
Aug. 1: Bo Ramsey
Despite the title of his new album, Bo Ramsey’s guitar playing and songwriting are anything but fragile. Perhaps most widely recognized for his amazing guitar prowess on Lucinda William’s Grammy award-winning CD “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road,” as well as his work playing on and producing records for the preeminent singer/songwriter Greg Brown and rising star Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey will release “Fragile” April 8, 2008. This is his first new album of all original music in 10 years and somewhat ironically, his strongest work to date. The album, the 11th in his 30-year career, features 11 new songs all written or co-written by Ramsey, and finds him firmly at the forefront of a resurging Iowan musical renaissance, tastefully supported by world-class, Midwest-based musicians. The demand for Ramsey’s unmistakable imprint on other artists’ work has tended to keep his own work on the back-burner, but Ramsey is a fine, evocative and passionate writer in his own right and a commanding singer and performer.
Blues Before Sunset is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa and Central Iowa Blues Society with promotional support proudly driven by 100.3 The BUS and Capital 106.3, “quality music from then and now” and additional support by Baratta’s restaurant.
The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.
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