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No ‘elevator music’ in tonight’s show

PARK HILLS – Grab your lawn chair or a blanket and head to Columbia Park this evening for a program of classic rock music provided by a group of musicians very familiar to many who grew up in this area, suggests Parks and Recreation Director Dennis (Dooley) Politte.

The Elevator Band takes the stage at the Twin Oaks Amphitheatre at 6:30 p.m. for a two-hour program of classic rock. Don’t be expecting the typical so-called “elevator music” in tonight’s show. The group will perform numbers made famous from such diverse groups as Chicago from the 1960s to the more modern Counting Crows.

Just as the Bob Kuban Brass has taken audiences on trips through popular music history in past concerts, The Elevator Band does the same with pure rock music. And just like Kuban’s group, The Elevator Band does it with musicians many area residents are familiar with because they have listened to them for decades in a variety of other bands.

There is Rockin’ Rod McCarron of Farmington who started out in 1969 with Truth, Time and Tenderness. The keyboard player and vocalist has performed with such groups over the years as Strange Tenderness, Skyeros, and Blackheart — all popular with local fans through four decades.

James Burmeister is a guitarist who also plays the bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and harmonica. The Middlebrook native who attended Lesterville High School started playing with Skyeros in 1976 and has also been a member of 3-R Trapper, Kartunes, and the very popular Beaver Brothers.

Bismarck native Steve Wright is the band’s bass guitarist but also plays the acoustic guitar and trumpet and also does vocals. His performing history goes back to Truth, Time and Reason in 1969 and includes Skeyeros, Gizmo, Dave’s Not Here, Shilo, Kartunes and several other groups.

Drummer Jimmy Brotherton now lives near Farmington but grew up in Marquand. He has performed as a member of such groups as Wakefield, Southern Fire, Crossroads, Santa Fe and the Beaver Brothers. He spent two years in Branson as drum tech for Johnny Cash and Ronnie Milsap.

All members of The Elevator Band also have other music affiliations going at this time, McCarron said. For him, “It is like being a full-time musician again.” He plays with three different bands, including the Christian rock band Inner Strength that performs each Sunday morning at a local church.

McCarron, who recalls playing at the Red Barn in Farmington many years ago, described The Elevator Band as “a web of friends who get together to play good music.”

Tonight’s concert is the first of seven programs that is part of the free Summer Concert Series sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. The series features a wide scope of music.

Politte suggested people bring either lawn chairs or blankets since there is no seating at the outdoor theater located on top of the hill in Columbia Park. They may also bring their own refreshments, but alcohol is not allowed.

While rain was being predicted for this morning, only isolated showers are expected this evening and Politte hopes they will miss the scheduled performance. In case of rain, there will be a recorded message concerning the concert that can be heard by calling 431-0478.

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