Hall of Fame band celebrates 20 years at Sheriff’s fundraiser

Friday, February 8, 2019

The incomparable northwest Iowa band, The Expressions, will be the featured entertainment at this Saturday’s 2019 dance and auction fundraiser for the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Reserves.

The public is invited to celebrate the band’s 20-year celebration as they support a good cause at Alta Community Center on Feb. 9 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Free will donations will be accepted for the Reserves. Live and silent auctions will be held.

The rock and roll band was founded in 1967 with its current line-up together since 1985. Four members together—Mike Berkland, Craig Phillips, Kevin Christie and Rollie Jensen—have performed at more than 1,500 gigs. They were inducted into the Rock ’N Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

Berkland founded “The Family Expressions” in 1967 with an uncle, guitars and amps while learning how to play the guitar. Over time the duo found gigs all over northern Iowa and southern Minnesota playing at small town bars, with family members providing transportation until they were old enough to get a driver’s license.

Berkland’s younger brother, Jeff, joined as a drummer, allowing them to play at weddings and town celebrations.

When Mike’s uncle and brother left the band, “Family” was removed from the name. Mike lives in Lakeside and keeps the band going with booking management.

Phillips, an Eagle Grove native, joined in 1976. Now from Pocahontas, he is the bass player for monthly jam sessions at Havelock Bar.

Christie of Ida Grove joined as a drummer in 1982, moving to lead guitarist in 1986 when Jensen joined as a drummer.

Jensen, previously a show drummer for the Miss South Dakota Pageant for 16 years, taught band at Pocahontas Middle School for 23 years. He has performed at Humboldt Community Chorus and Big Band for 25 years, the Karl King Band in Fort Dodge and the Cherokee Symphony. He has also directed Pocahontas Community band in addition to his contributions to The Expressions.