Visitors to Storm Lake can enjoy Star Spangled Spectacular Fourth of July entertainment from 5 p.m. Thursday, July 3 until midnight July 4. New this year are concerts in the evening in Storm Lake's parks, leading to the fireworks at dusk. Three different bands will provide music, including one musician with Storm Lake roots.
Rock Bottom Blues Band - Frank Starr Park. Music fans can enjoy blues at Frank Starr Park the night of the Fourth from 8 p.m. until midnight. The music will pause for the fireworks show, then continue until midnight.
A proud member of the Storm Lake High School Class of 1968, Charlie Erickson is ready to come home to perform with Rock Bottom Blues for old friends and new fans.
His first experience with performing with a band was actually in high school as part of a group, "The Outcrowd," with Tony Bedel, Dick Moore and Kyle Eichhorn. The teens played around northwest Iowa.
Erickson said "music took a backseat for 33 years." In 2001, he discovered fellow Storm Lake musicians Gary Jacobs and Charles Luebke in the Minneapolis area. They formed the group Midlife Crisis that performed in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota until 2004 when some of the musicians moved out of the area.
"I then signed on to play for a singer/songwriter out of Glenville, Minn., up until 2007," Erickson explained.
He said four members of that particular group left to join two other musicians to form Rock Bottom Blues. Locals will also enjoy this group at the Storm Lake High School Class of 1963's reunion - as Erickson has a brother in that class!
Rock Bottom Blues includes Erickson on bass, Theo Black on keyboards and vocals, Matt Karayan on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Kim Brown on lead vocals and keyboards, Bill Marshall on percussion, Jeff Hoyhtya on lead guitar and vocals.
"We are very appreciative that the Star Spangled Spectacular was able to work us in on the program this upcoming Fourth of July. I hope to see many old friends on the Fourth."
More information is available at www.rockbottomblues.net.
Tom Gary Blues Band/Erik Hovey Band - King's Pointe Beach area. Tom Gary Blues Band of Storm Lake and the Erik Hovey Band from Fort Dodge will be performing at the King's Pointe Beach area from 6 p.m. until the fireworks begin. The Tom Gary band will perform the first set, with the Hovey band providing the second set.
"You will get two bands for the price of one," Gary said of the Hovey band joining the local blues group for the Fourth. The Tom Gary Blues Band is also featured at the Sunset Park bandshell the night of July 3.
To alleviate parking problems at King's Pointe, the Rides bus will be available to shuttle visitors from the Storm Lake High School parking lot to the beach from 5 p.m. until midnight. The shuttle will make frequent stops at King's Pointe beach and the high school for the convenience of those enjoying the concert at the beach.
Those attending can bring their own refreshments, or the King's Pointe concession stand will be open for concertgoers.
The Tom Gary Blues Band will feature Tom Gary on piano, Jimmy Davis on guitar, Don Demers on Bass and Paul Sleezer. This band captured the attention of the Star Spangled Spectacular Committee after the January 2007 Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival.
"I was surprised when we were asked," Gary said. I'd been here for a few years and liked what goes on on the Fourth. It's a big deal, it's nice to be a part of it."
Spectators at the King's Pointe beach will enjoy music with sounds of jazz, blues, rock and roll and more.
"We'll be playing music everyone should like - no reason to leave and a good reason to stay," he said.
Gary previously worked as a professional musician in the Kansas City and Des Moines areas, but said "it's a hard way to make a living." He will be teaching art for Laurens-Marathon School District, and is also an adjunct history instructor for Buena Vista University.