The Talent: Derrick Patterson (lead vocals), Terry Kasuboski (guitar), Darren Siebrands (drums/vocals); Buddy Aschbrenner (guitar/vocals) and Scott Rhoads (bass)
If you are a new bar in Iowa featuring live music, a good choice for opening night might be a band that covers both country and classic rock. That is exactly what Cedar River Landing did when they had Smokin’ Guns play for their grand opening last month.
With roots all over the area, including Marion, Waterloo, Waverly and Cedar Rapids, Smokin’ Guns’ original line-up was born in the late 1980’s. After a hiatus for over a decade, three of the original members reunited to give it another go. They found a new drummer and bassist and discovered 10 to 15 songs to learn and work on.
“It wasn’t until after Thanksgiving that we started practicing every week. That came about with a New Year’s Eve booking at Hoochie’s Bar in Evansdale. The stage was set for the return of the “Smokin’ Guns,” says the band.
Focusing essentially on country, Smokin’ Guns has a few surprises up its’ sleeve, mixing in random rock like Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” or metal in the case of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The lead singing duties are shared, with most of the rock tunes sung by drummer Darren and the country left to the cowboy-hat-wearing Derrick. Inexplicably, while having a drummer who sings, they do not yet play any tunes by the Eagles or Genesis. So much for clichés.
“We believe that the reason we are so different than other groups is that we all have a variety of tastes and styles in music. Our inspirations range from Dierks Bentley and Joe Diffie to Buddy Holly and The Eagles,” says Derrick. “We are exited to get our name back out there, make great music and have fun.”
The band has been doing a lot of gigs in neighboring towns like Waverly, Evansdale, Carpenter and Cedar Falls but is now setting its’ sights on Cedar Rapids. In addition to several shows coming up around the area, they have booked multiple sets at Cedar River Landing due to the solid turnout and performance at the grand opening.
The members’ connection and friendship of more than 15 years is obvious in the tightness of their playing as is the enjoyment of the material. If country is your thing, it will be hard to avoid getting up to dance. If it isn’t, you will still find it difficult to keep your toes from tapping.