Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Boats: Downstream

The Rainmakers: Downstream


This band I was in in high school, a cover band, played two songs from The Rainmakers' self-titled album. (Me and one of the guitarists were fairly ga-ga over The Rainmakers for awhile.) "Downstream" is the only song I distinctly remember performing, though. The other was maybe "Let My People Go-Go"? I honestly don't recall.

Here, in case you are unfamiliar with the band, are some snippets from their bio:

"Missouri has long boasted of being the home of two of America's greatest artists, Mark Twain and Chuck Berry. However, it wasn't until The Rainmakers thundered into the national music spotlight in 1986, had anyone combined the guitar power of Berry with the social wit of Twain into a unique brand of Missouri rock n' roll.

Heralded as "America's Great Next Band" by Newsday, The Rainmakers were soon drenched in critical acclaim. Feature articles in Newsweek, Rolling Stone, CMJ, USA Today and others poured in singing the praises of this hard working Midwest band who provided new life to a traditional rock format.

Critics particularly enjoyed the unique writing style of Bob Walkenhorst, whose talent for choosing unusual and sometimes controversial subjects provided an eye-opening perspective of life, sprinkled with sarcastic humor. The Rainmakers received notoriety for their songs' lyrical content, including Music Connection's award for Lyric Line of the Year: "The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys," and in the unlikely source of author Stephen King, who twice quoted lyrics from Rainmakers songs in his best seller 'The Tommyknockers,' and again in his 1991 novel 'Gerald's Game.'

In 1990, after 4 albums, 5 videos, 500,000+ records sold, and concert dates too numerous to count, The Rainmakers put band business on hold to allow time for their personal lives and agendas. In 1994, the band returned to the studio to record a new album, entitled "Flirting With The Universe" - an album which achieved GOLD certification in Norway within 2 months of release.

Overwhelmed by the response to "Flirting...," The Rainmakers reemerged from the studio in 1996 with "Skin." With this effort, Bob Walkenhorst has again proved that no subject matter is too controversial by taking aim at pornography and its societal impact, via his unique perspectives - a Rainmakers trademark. A release, which in true Rainmaker form, is designed to provoke.

The Rainmakers are: Bob Walkenhorst (Vocals, Guitar); Steve Phillips (Lead Guitar, Vocals); Michael Bliss (Bass, Vocals); Pat Tomek (Drums)"


Anonymous said...

Love these guys, and they're still active. Bob Walkenhorst, lead singer of the Rainmakers, released a solo album a few years ago and plays weekly at a bar in Kansas City. The shows are recorded every week and are available for free from the Live Music Archive at Archive.org (use "browse by year" at these links to explore shows by Bob or the Rainmakers). Steve Phillips, the former lead guitarist, is active in a modern Irish music group called The Elders.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, messed up the Rainmakers link. But I see you actually have it in the text of your post (don't know how I missed it the first time).

Matt said...

Thanks for the info, Jeff!