The River Music Experience hosted “live” sessions of five bands on Monday, November 10, 2008 and the sessions were filmed by the Quad City Times for online posting. Arts and entertainment editor David Burke was there to cover the event, which promises to become even better on Tuesday, when the live sessions continue.
I missed the very first band because of an accident on the bridge and the slow traffic on the one-lane River Drive. They were listed as Sinjo Thraw Mash (noise).
Next up were The Unforgiven, consisting of Emily Majetic on guitar and vocals, Paige Kakert on bass guitar, Kayline Malzewski, and Austin Drake on drums. Austin is an 8th grader at Wilson Junior High School in Moline, and both Emily and Kayline are also Wilson Junior High School students. Paige attends Wood Intermediate School in Davenport. All very cute kids. Lots of chutzpah to get up there and sing when they are so young.
Second band was “Bumper Crop,” featuring Craig Smith on vocals and guitar, Justin Moulton on guitar and backing vocals; Dustin Roelle on bass guitar, Joe Hale on drums and Adam Smith on samples and turntables. One of the band members was holding an ice pack to his face moments before showtime and said he’d shut the car door on his head. The drummer for this group was especially good.
“40 Minute Detour” played next, featuring lead singer Chad Clarke, drummer Josh Morrissey and bass player Josh Elmer (AKA, “the new guy”). Josh Morrissey graduated from Wethersfield High School in Kewanee. He spent some time at Augustana before moving to DeKalb and attending Northern Illinois University, majoring in audio engineering. He has a physics degree in that field. When I said I didn’t know that Northern Illinois had an engineering program, he said he had constructed a contract major field where you write up your own major and submit it to the Powers-that-Be and that the field was mostly a physics degree. What does Josh do now for a day job? He works as a metal artist in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Josh is 30 years old, is very cute, and is unmarried.
I asked if he might not find that he has to move to a larger city to pursue his field and he did acknowledge, “I might have to move somewhere else.” One of the band members lives in Port Byron and they practice there “one to two times a week.” When asked what gigs they have played, Josh mentioned the River Music Experience and (in days of yore) the Brew ‘N View (Rock Island.) Both “Bumper Crop” and “40 Minute Detour” (so named because lead singer and songwriter Chad Clarke gets lost a lot and may suffer from “directional dyslexia”) were very good bands.
Also excellent was the evening’s closing act, Tennessee Tony Cavett and Greg Wilde on harmonica. Tennessee Tony has only been in the area about 4 years but that was long enough for him to meet and marry Connie, who works as a surgical nurse at the River Bend Animal Clinic. Born in Chattanooga, Tony said he had been playing music “since I was about 10.”
Tony’s grandmother was the bartender at the only bar at the Nashville airport and, as such, she met a lot of famous singers. She used to take pity on the struggling singers and songwriters she met and she ended up handling all RCA parties for FanFair. “One morning I came downstairs and there was Kris Kristofferson, passed out on our pool table,” said Tony, adding that this was before Kristofferson had made it big. He also reminisced about the time that Brenda Lee sang “Happy Birthday” to him on his 13th birthday. He has met many of the greats in Tennessee, such as Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.
It’s a long story that involves Hurricane Ike, the Rick Etheridge Tree Service in Moline, Tony’s being out of work and heading to the storm-ravaged area seeking employment. He didn’t find much work, but he met Rick and Rick invited him to come visit in Moline, Illinois if he ever got up here. (Tony was heading to Chicago at the time). One thing led to another and Tony spent the summer in Moline before meeting the lovely Connie and finding employment with a Wisconsin-based telecommunications firm called Network Engineering Techniques, which does all the telecommunications work for Sam’s Club and Walmarts in the Midwest. Tony mentioned “Jason and the Scorchers,” a band that was big in the seventies, and now is in to alternative C&W rock. The “Times” just did a story on them recently.
Tony’s set list, before he left with his lovely bride, included covers of “Midnight Special,” “Singin’ the Blues,” “Talk to Your Daughter,” “Ever Seen the Rain,” “Long Gone Loves Blues,” “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere,” “Hopelessly Hoping” and “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Two original songs that he and his partner sang were entitled “Surrender’s Ferry Lane” and “Painkillers.”
If you read this on Tuesday, stop on down to the River Music Experience where there will be another set of 4 to 5 bands playing “live” and being filmed for the internet. The price was right (i.e., FREE.)
Another attraction will be co-author Mike McCarty (Bram Stoker Finalist, 2005, and Midwest Writing Center Writer of the Year) and me selling and signing copies of our two new books: Ghostly Tales of Route 66 and the sci-fi thriller/romance/adventure novel Out of Time. (For more information on us, go to www.outoftimethenovel.com.) These will make great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for friends, are only $10 and $15 (respectively) and we’ll sign them. (Heck! I’ll even draw a picture of Snoopy on the inside cover if you ask me nicely!) How many other local authors with 80,000 word novels in print can you find while listening to at least five bands absolutely free. With the money you save on a cover charge, BUY A BOOK! (You KNOW you want to!!!)