Roberta's Blog - Summer Weekends with Friends

In the Quad-city area we have some venues that have become well-known to touring bands, and have become a destination of choice for up-and-coming bands. Places like Codfish Hollow, Rozz-tox, The River Music Experience and RIBCO have hosted regional and national bands, as well as bands brought here by Mr. Daytrotter, Sean Moeller.

Thanks to these venues and others, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and become friends with some of those touring bands. Union Specific out of Austin, Texas and The Rushmores out of Detroit, Michigan are two such bands. I previously met both groups at Codfish Hollow. So imagine my excitement when I learned both bands would be playing at Rozz-Tox on Friday night. I had known for weeks about Union Specific’s expected visit, but learned later that the Rushmores would be joining them.

The two bands have distinctly different sounds. Union Specific has more of an indie country sound, utilizing acoustic instruments and a stand-up bass. They choose to travel as a trio, without a drummer. The Rushmores have a bit harder edge, transitioning from rock to pop punk easily within their set. Opening band Bones, Jugs N Harmony from Urbana made Friday night a very diverse package. For the record – I bought my own set of bones that night, have added them to my collection of handheld percussion instruments and fully intend to learn how to play them correctly.

Saturday I set out to catch some local bands. In a tent behind The Doc’s Inn, Silvis, I found FlashPoint… well, actually I heard them rocking that tent from the parking lot out front and followed the sound. Flashpoint covers a variety of music, and I was happy to hear a Fleetwood Mac cover that was off the beaten path.

Next up was downtown Moline. The Funnies were rocking the River House plaza, and the crowd was crazy thick. Just my luck, I caught them right after the big show at the iWireless let out, and much of that crowd joined the already large bunch at the River House.

My next stop was Bierstube, where Powell was providing background music for folks having a beer on the patio there.

Tiffany and Shawn Biehl hosted another barnstormer at Codfish Hollow with Cory Chisel and friends on Sunday. Last year, Chisel brought The Candles and Norah Jones with him. This year, Adriel Denae and Pete Remm (Invisibleman) were joined by Jim Oblon, Noah Harris and Heyward Williams. In his introduction, Chisel described Jim Oblon as the best guitarist in Nashville – or possibly anywhere else. Yes, he really was that good. The music ended sooner than I wanted, but then, good music usually does. There are some really great shows scheduled for the next couple of months at the barn. If you haven't been yet, you should really check it out. I was happy to see so many QC friends there Sunday!

And that was how I spent my weekend. This weekend, there is so much going on, we haven’t been able to get it all into the calendar. This weekend is Coal Valley days – there are local bands there. I will be at Great River Days in Muscatine for the country bands Friday and there will be rock bands Saturday. The Friday night headliner is Shanandoah. They have a QC area connection in Jacob Seales. Jake’s father Jim is a member of the band. I’ve heard a rumor that Jake will be joining his dad on stage. There’s Metalfest at the Bierstube on Saturday and the Bix street fest in downtown Davenport. Get out and enjoy a summer weekend in the Quad Cities, hang out with your friends, and make sure to support some local music while you’re at it.