A microphone is a relatively small object, but it contains awesome power. Performers prepare for years to stand on stage and convincingly sing into the small device. The goal is for the crowd to go into a wild frenzy, completely smitten by the mighty vocal display.
Quickly the talk starts of moving to Nashville and becoming a big singing star.
The premise behind a popular new band in Perry County, We Got It Covered, is the polar opposite of an act wanting to showcase individual talent in an effort to turn the heads of Music City talent scouts.
“We focus on how we can best entertain the crowd,” said founding member Keenan Rice of Du Quoin. “Everybody in the group is professional. We’ve all been musicians for a long time. The dream of making it big in Nashville is gone. We got it out of our system. Now, we just want to play music that makes the crowd happy.”
The group was loosely formed last year and toiled month after month, steadily building a solid local fan base. Many curious fans were attracted to 12-year-old fiddle sensation Amelia Eisenhauer of Du Quoin, who won the Texaco Country Showdown qualifer at Herrinfesta Italiana in June.
The group received major exposure at the 2012 Du Quoin State Fair when Jennifer Thompson of Sandoval, a good friend of the band, was scheduled to open for Lee Greenwood and her band backed out of the gig at the last minute.
Instead of canceling the performance, Thompson called on her We Got It Covered allies to help bail her out, unselfishly sharing the coveted main stage at the major venue. The large crowd in the grandstand repeatedly greeted the show with thunderous applause.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Rice said of the show.
A few months ago, the band won a Battle of the Bands at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion.
We Got It Covered actually has a dual meaning. The band can usually play any request the audience throws out, so long as it’s not too obscure and stays in the country vein. The name also describes a revolving door of cast members in the band. They routinely interchange lead and bass guitarists, in addition to utilizing a huge pool of singers.
“We have a list as long as your arm of people that play with us,” Rice said. “I do the booking. I make sure drummer Trey Ford of Du Quoin and myself are available. Then, it is just a matter of plugging holes with a pretty big rotation of players. It has worked really well for us.”
Regular members of the group include Rice, guitar/vocals, DuQuoin; Ford, drums, DuQuoin; Eisenhauer, fiddle/vocals, Nashville, Tenn..; Bob Priebe, bass, Pinckneyville; Bob Marlow, guitar, DeSoto; and Kevin Piper, harmonica/vocals, Elkville.
“We have a set list and it is crammed full of popular songs that people are familiar with, the kind of songs that make you want to sing along or get up and dance,” Rice said. “We are 100 percent about the crowd. We may play the same song two or three times.”
Rice said he moved to Nashville and battled for five years, trying to carve his name into the music business there, but it didn’t work out. His motive for making music now is different.
“The competition in Nashville was a little stiffer than I expected,” he said. “Everyone was so serious, trying to show how good they were. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. This band works so well because there are no high expectations.”
We Got It Covered will be in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Knights of Columbus hall in Pinckneyville. In a unique arrangement, the band will share the stage with 4Play, a local band specialized in covering more of a mainstream pop sound. There is a $5 cover charge at the door.
VINCE HOFFARD can be reached at 618-658-9095 or email@example.com.