Old pop favorites: Boat House Band enyous playing local gigsOfficially, the Boat House Band has seven members. With a group that large, you can imagine that it’s difficult to get everyone together for every show.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Officially, the Boat House Band has seven members. With a group that large, you can imagine that it’s difficult to get everyone together for every show.
“Generally speaking we do four or five gigs a year together as a band,” accordion player Joe Lommel said.
With the exception of violinist Marcia Featherstone, Friday’s gig at River City Days was one of those rare performances. The band played their signature “old pop favorites” under the entertainment tent for three hours.
“We do stuff from the ‘40s, Scandinavian old-time music, regular old-time music … and very few country pieces,” Lommel said. “They’re what you’d consider sing-a-long pieces.”
A few people listening Friday afternoon not only sang along, but also grabbed a partner and danced, despite the lack of a proper dance floor.
“There’s always a few couples who seem to manage all right on the pavement,” Lommel said.
In addition to Lommel and Featherstone, band members include Rich Safe on drums, Chuck Baltos on guitar and banjo, Larry Clark on guitar, Dan Roff on electric bass and Warner Andrews on mandolin.
The Boat House Band has officially been around for about 35 years, Lommel said, though not all the current members are original. Up until around 12 years ago, the band went by the Powerhouse Pals.
“We just wanted to have a name that would be easily associated with Red Wing,” Lommel said of the name change. “Since we have boathouses in the harbor, that would be a good name.”
This is about the fifth year the band has played for River City Days, performing in Bay Point Park and just across from the boathouses.
“It’s very nice thing to play for friends and folks we know in the community,” Lommel said. “It seems like a lot of them invite friends from around town or out of town and we have visitors from all around for River City Days.”
Local bands Generation Country and Stiletto also played Friday night. On Saturday, Back Channel Blues will play from noon to 3 p.m. and the Pearl Brothers from 8 p.m. to midnight. The Sheldon Brass Band will play in Central Park 3 p.m. Sunday.