Last Month I did a short article on how I ran across Shawn Mayer who is in The Nashville Star competition on NBC. Shawn Mayer - Nashville Star
Last week was the home town portion of the competition. It was short of notice for me to take off from work and get up to see the performance. According to reports from various news papers the town of May City, Iowa, grew from a population of 45 to an estimated 5,000 people to support Shawn. Not too shabby of a turn out at all.
But the real reason for writing this post is about the back up band. They are all musicians who jam at my home away from home The Gathering Place. A great bunch of guys that take the time at jams to help other musicians learn licks, riffs and chops.
Here's a quick run down on them. Steve A. (he hates to have his last name published) is on Keyboards. He's an electronics tech who spends every bit of spare time playing. His basement is crammed with equipment including a Hammond B2 organ with Leslie Speakers. Don Dumars - Bass, Don is on his way to making it in the business. He'll play for about anyone. My good friend Jimmy Davis - Rhythm Guitar, Jimmy has been in bands from Florida to California over the years. Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Randy Martin - Acoustic Guitar, A member of The Dodge Boys and The Sioux City Symphony. Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Paul Sleezer - Drums, another member of The Dodge Boys. And last but not least Mike Hoover - lead guitar, a man much too modest to talk about his accomplishments and the "stars" he has been credited with teaching guitar to.
A group of musicians can be pretty special. Special enough that Shawn opted out of having a band from Nashville Star back her up and chose her own friends to do the job. I stopped in to The Gathering Place the night before the performance to BS with the guys. They were busy learning 11 songs that they never played before for the concert. Amazingly enough they accomplished it. Without sheet music or tabs. They just popped in a demo CD sent to them and went at it. I watched them pull out of town about 2 in the morning to head 40 miles north to set up for the concert.
Musical dedication, willingness to help others and small town dedication at it's finest. I love this place.