THE RAINMAKERS The Rainmakers lp 1986 cd 2006
Rockin' At The T-Dance / Downstream / Let My People Go-Go / Doomsville / Big Fat Blonde / Long Gone Long / The One That Got Away / Government Cheese / Drinkin' On The Job / Nobody Knows / Information /Carpenter's son / Rockabilly Standard / Long Gone Long (acoustic version) / Doomsville (live).
Produced by Terry Manning .
The Rainmakers: B. Walkenhorst: lead vocals, accoustic guitar / S. Phillips: electric guitar, vocals / R. Ruth: bass, vocals / P. Tomek: drums.
Prototypical Midwestern roots-rockers, the Rainmakers ironically achieved their greatest commercial success overseas, despite generally good reviews in their homeland. Chief songwriter Bob Walkenhorst's playful wit and topical lyrics set the Rainmakers apart from their Heartland bar band peers, though musically they drew from the expected roots rock influences (Chuck Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, etc.). The band was originally formed in 1983 in Kansas City, MO, as a trio called Steve, Bob, and Rich; naturally, the lineup consisted of guitarist/vocalist Steve Phillips, guitarist/vocalist Bob Walkenhorst, and bassist Rich Ruth. This group recorded an independently released album (titled "Balls") that helped get them signed to Polygram, upon which point they added drummer Pat Tomek and changed their name to the less specific Rainmakers. Their self-titled official debut was released in 1986, producing the British Top 20 hit "Let My People Go-Go" and quite a bit of good press both at home and abroad. The band embarked on a relentless touring schedule and found an unlikely fan in horror writer Stephen King, who quoted the band's lyrics in two of his books. The 1988 follow-up "Tornado" didn't attract as much critical attention in the U.S., but the Rainmakers' European audience continued to grow; by the time of 1989's "The Good News and the Bad News", the band was concentrating mostly on that area, recording the concert album "Oslo-Wichita Live" solely for its Scandinavian fans. In 1990, tired of the road life, the Rainmakers disbanded, ostensibly for good. However, Scandinavian interest in their music held strong, and Polygram's Norwegian division requested a new Rainmakers album in 1994. The band obliged and recorded "Flirting With the Universe" on their own in Steve Phillips' basement. The album was a smash in Norway, achieving that country's equivalent of gold sales within two months, and the band was encouraged enough to stage a full-fledged reunion. They signed with the independent Kansas label V&R, and Walkenhorst wrote a concept album about pornography and its effects on human sexuality. Ruth left the band during the recording sessions, with accounts divided as to whether it was due to the lyrical content or the fact that he had moved from Kansas City to Nashville; regardless, he was replaced by Michael Bliss. The resulting album, "Skin", was released in 1996 to mostly good reviews. The band issued one further track in 1998, a collaboration with Brewer & Shipley in a new version of "One Toke Over The Line", before they broke up again.
In 2011, the Rainmakers reformed, with bassist Rich Ruth returning to the group in place of Bliss, while long-time guitarist Steve Phillips was replaced by Jeff Porter. On March 5, the band was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame with a ceremony and concert at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas. The following week, March 14, the last band's album, "25 On" (Buy It HERE!), was released. At the end of March, the band returned to Norway for a two-week tour. The band played two shows in Kansas City, MO on May 14, 2011 and May 15, 2011 at Knuckleheads Saloon. The second show was scheduled after the first show sold out very quickly. Source
Cross a more literate John Mellencamp with Webb Wilder and you have this Kansas City band sized up. The debut release sets the bar high with cutting social commentary and memorable tunes that include "Downstream" and the unapologetic "Big Fat Blonde." In the former tune alone, bandleader and songwriter Bob Walkenhorst mentions Mark Twain, Harry Truman, and Chuck Berry. From "Drinkin' on the Job" comes the classic line, "The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys." Source
Buy It HERE !