Two weekends, six bands unite to raise funds for middle school music
The format, the location and the bands may have changed, but the heart behind the beat is still the same.
"Rock & Remember is a great opportunity to bring some excellent music to people, to get some of the local musicians involved, and at the same time raise some money for music programs at area schools to help out the next generation of musicians," said Rod Bramble, local music promoter who has worked along with a number of volunteers to make the concert an annual event.
Proceeds this year go to St. Mary's Middle School in Storm Lake and Cherokee Middle School. Each year, different local schools share the revenue.
Previously held at the Marathon Community Center, that venue did not work out this year. Rock & Remember moves to the Laney's Corral locations in Newell and Lake View, and it becomes a four-night, two-weekend show for the first time.
The fun begins Friday, March 31st, with a Karaoke by the Music Factory with Storm Lake's Frank Bade t at Laney's in Newell. Admission is $3.
On Saturday, April 1, Laney's in Newell hosts three well-known bands, with $5 admission.
The line-up includes Two and a Half, the classic rock band led by Truesdale guitarist Steve Bavaro with 11-year-old son Tyler on drums. Doug Adama, a bass player who moonlights as a potato chip route driver, is on bass. The band, which is now doing its own CD, is a hit from last year's concert. The show begins at 6 p.m.
They will be joined by The Ski Band, a veteran party band based in Fort Dodge, at 8:30. Fans will hear classic rock as well as newer alternative tunes, from this group that has just marked its 25th anniversary. At 11, catch the popular area band Two for One.
The next weekend, the action moves to Laney's in Lake View. On Friday, April 7, Karaoke by The Music Factory returns, with $3 admission.
On Saturday, April 8, three more live bands rock the stage. Top Iowa musicians emerge in two brand new bands, MACK at 6 p.m. and Lazy Suzan at 8:30. Wrapping up the show is one of the hottest bands in western Iowa, the local group Tantrum 2 Blind, at 11. Named after a boogie-board ski trick, the band is comprised of young artists from the Newell and Storm Lake area with a singer out of Fort Dodge, Scott Kreyser. T2B was a real hit in their appearances in 2004 and 2005 at R&R. They specialize in newer alternative and groove music, with some old favorites mixed in. They have recorded original music as well at the legendary Junior's Motel studio in Otho.
Space is limited, and music lovers are urged to come early for the concerts.
The events will also include a silent auction, live auction, door prizes and plenty of fun!
Music Matters, Inc., the non-profit organization that keeps Rock & Remember alive, and Laney's Corral, are co-sponsoring the events.
Organizers hope that fans will never forget the "remember" part of the R&R name.
"The Rock & Remember concert got started after our bass player in a band called Wild Childhood, Paul Sievers from Storm Lake, died in a car accident in 2000. We wanted to have some kind of memorial for him, and we hoped to raise some funds for Paul's family. We decided to do it with the music he loved," said Bramble, who was a bandmate of Sievers.
"A lot of friends jumped in and got involved, and it turned into a huge outpouring of support and a really big deal for live music in our area."
The next year, Al Sorenson, the lighting man for the Ski Band, passed away from a massive heart attack, just as his wife was struggling with breast cancer. The concert was reborn as a memorial to both of the lost friends of rock 'n roll, and a portion of the proceeds were for the first time set aside for a student scholarship fund.
"Ever since then, we have kept it going both as a memorial and as a way to give something back to young people," Bramble said. "Al had been the one to suggest that we do it for the kids.
"We all read the papers and know that schools are in need of money for arts and music. Most of us who are playing in bands today got our starts in school music programs - I know I caught the bug somewhere in that 12 or 13 age. It only seems right to try to help out the schools to keep music going."
The concerts have raised over $10,000 for schools to date - providing help to send kids to band camp, to buy new instruments, and a previous concert allowed Storm Lake to get some badly-needed new music stands.
While it serves as memorial and fundraiser, the Rock & Remember Show doubles as a way to encourage more live music in the Storm Lake region.
"There is a lot of talent around here, and the more we can get people out and appreciating what a live music show is all about, the more music we are going to have," Bramble said.
Other sponsors for this year's shows include: Auen Distributing Co., Al's Liquors, Buzz's Salvage, Citizen's First National Bank, Color-ize, Eddie Brothers, Fitzpatrick Auto Center, Fort Dodge Music Center, Grillers Choice Barbecue Sauce, Heartland Insurance Associates, KAYL Radio, Malarky's Pub, Puffs, Runaway Saws, Security Trust & Saving Bank, The Bike Shop - Fort Dodge.