From the late 80s through the mid 90s, I was a big fan of The Rainmakers, a rocking band out of Kansas City, Mizzou. Slide geetar, powerful rhythm section, insightful yet witty lyrics, and a healthy dose of 4/4 rock-and-roll time. When I heard Downstream from their debut album, I immediately bought the CD from Turtle Records. I don't remember if I heard the single on the radio or saw an MTV video, but I know I was hooked the first time I heard it.
I bought their self-titled debut and two follow-up releases, Tornado and The Good News and The Bad News, but then I lost track of them. As with so many bands, I assumed they had just fizzled out, broken up, been dropped from their label, etc. Al Gore was still fine-tuning his top-secret recipe for that internet invention thang of his back then, so I didn't have the benefit of keying their name to a search engine and looking worldwide for more info.
But man oh man, I'm glad the former VP & never-elected-President Gore brought his invention to market because twenty years later a great website was launched for music lovers and explorers everywhere - Pandora.com. After setting up a few stations of artists I enjoyed a couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised when a song from The Rainmakers - Width of a Line - popped up on one of them. I had never heard this song, and it re-kindled my interest in the band. I learned two additional CDs - Skin and Flirting With The Universe - had been released internationally. I quickly sought them out on ebay and Amazon and also began to collect several bootlegs of their live shows.
Width of a Line - 1994-09-02 - Bodo, Norway
The front man for The Rainmakers was Bob Walkenhorst. Today, Bob and another singer-songwriter, Jeff Porter, play a standing gig each Wednesday evening at The Record Bar in Kansas City. About a year ago, I was fortunate enough to be in KC, attend the Wednesday show, and meet Bob. This week, I'm returning once again to KC and hope to chat a bit more with Bob and Jeff.
Here's a clip of Bob playing Reckoning Day - another great Rainmakers song...
If you remember The Rainmakers from many moons ago or simply want to give their music (and/or Bob's) a try, you can enjoy a ton of it free at Archive.org's live music archive.
Live Music Archive - Bob Walkenhorst
Live Music Archive - The Rainmakers