Published July 03, 2008 11:02 pm - Ottumwa Iowa - Courier

Handling may get a boost in her musical journey


By SCOTT NILES Courier staff writer


OTTUMWA — Ottumwa singer/songwriter Jennifer Handling may have a ticket to stardom.

One of her original songs “Talking to Myself,” was on her Myspace page and happened to be viewed by just the right people. One Sea Promotions, a company that helps young artists get established and possibly picked up by a label, heard her song on the page.

“She is incredible,” said Doug Harper from One Sea Promotions in a brief phone conversation. “We want to try and get her established. She has an amazing voice.”

Handling said music became a passion for her at a very early age.

“When I was in elementary school, my teacher used to take me to the nursing homes and church events to sing,” she said. “I absolutely loved it.”

Handling began singing at age 4 when her grandmother paid for her vocal and piano lessons, continuing until she was 15. In high school, she sang in the choir and honor choir.

“I’m definitely not a stranger to performing,” Handling said.

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter performed at last month’s Wapello County Fair, giving an outstanding performance. She also has performed at other amateur events, including one at Prairie Meadows where she was invited back to sing at a VIP party and at the races in August.

Handling is working with a local recording studio owner to try and get some of her songs recorded.

“Harold Clark has helped me out tremendously and been a huge inspiration to me in this whole thing,” she said.

Handling said she has quite a few people in southeast Iowa that know her and her songs.

“One of the best feelings is when you are playing somewhere and people are singing along to your song,” she said. “It is just wonderful.”

Some of Handling’s original songs include “Talking to Myself,” “Gone” and “Only the Rain.”

She said her inspiration just comes to her.

“I don’t know exactly where I get things from, but all of a sudden I will think of something and have to go write it down,” she said.

Handling said one of the funny things is, people think the song “Talking to Myself” is about her getting her heart broken by a guy, when really there is a silly story behind it.

“I was working at Excel after high school and I wanted a break and no one could hear me and I felt like I was talking to myself, so as soon as I went on break, I starting writing lyrics,” she said. “It has nothing to do with getting hurt.”

Handling said this is her dream.

“I would love to make a career out of this,” Handling said. “That would be ideal.”

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LETTER TO EDITOR - Pittsburg, Kansas Morning Sun Newspaper

 

Dear Editor,

 

I am writing today to address a story that was in the paper about the concerts at Foxtown. I feel that I offer a non-biased opinion, as I am from Nevada, Missouri, and I have been to many concerts at the venue. I am no stranger to the music biz, as I have worked in most areas at one point in time. I was a DJ at a country radio station, manager for a band, soundman at music fests, and for the high school show choir contests. I was a drummer for a band, a mobile DJ, I have been a promoter, handled bookings at clubs, a guitarist in the praise and worship band at my church, and not to mention also being a professional touring bass player for a country band. My point here is if anyone understands how this whole thing works, I believe that I have a well rounded knowledge of this whole situation from many points of view, and have even been the guy saying wow this is just too vulgar, and way too loud. I went to a concert at Foxtown to support a band from my hometown and, said wow it is not loud enough, I was standing right there not 20 feet from the main speakers and could not even feel the subs, let alone hear them, I thought it was quiet. This kind of volume control is of the most professional quality, you basically had to be right in front of the stage to hear and feel the music. I went to the restaurant while one of the bands was playing, and could not hear it at all inside the Cove. I understand that sound will carry some when you are out side, but in my professional opinion (14+ years working with sound, and music) if you were at one of the houses near by, the sound could not have possibly have been any louder than a truck passing by, a small boom box playing, or a lawnmower. I heard absolutely no profanity at that concert, and I would have felt comfortable bringing a youth group from church, with the church pastor included. So I begin to wonder if the residents of the area leave their windows open at night? It is rather easy to block out outside sound in ones home these days, as companies make great new improved windows seals to go around them, it blocks out sound and keeps in cool air. To make a situation better, it goes both ways, and both parties must compromise. I feel that the Foxtown staff is doing a great job to comply, but after being at an event recently, I begin to wonder if the area residents are really trying as well.

 

Sincerely,

Doug Harper

 

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Harper to perform free concert

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In 1997, Doug Harper earned an award for his guitar soloing ability from the Missouri Jazz Educators, at Drury University in Springfield. Later that year he recorded with the Num Nutz band, co-writing most of the songs for their album.

"Dangerous Doug Harper" has performed more than 1,000 career performances and has recorded on 12 album projects. He was baptized in 2001, making yet another change in his life, and a change in his music. He now merges all of this together forming his own style of novelty-pop music.

"From serious songs to some funny songs, he takes a whole new approach that catches his audience off guard, interjecting new songs, styles and sounds," promoters said.

Now residing in Nevada. Harper will give a free performance. 7-9 p.m., at Capone's in El Dorado Springs, Mo., Friday, April 25.


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Annual Local Ear Awards announced

Friday, March 7, 2008

Nevada's community of musicians has made a tradition of honoring its members with special awards. The Fifth Annual Local Ear Reader Choice Awards was held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Sunrise Family Restaurant in Nevada.

With a primary goal of promoting the local music scene and of helping local musicians have opportunities to showcase their talents in a variety of venues, the Local Ear group takes time each year to recognize the efforts of local musicians as well as those who make sure the show goes on through their efforts behind the scenes.

About 43 people attended the event to see the 26 official awards that were determined by the 110 votes that were received via the voting ballot online at www.myspace.com/localear.

Previously, 37 people sent in nominations and those nominees along with several write ins established those on the ballot for each of the categories. Twelve other special awards were also given out recognizing other outstanding performances, all derived from the musicians of Vernon County.

The top awards, and winners include:

Favorite Artist or Group: Berlin Drop; Favorite Live Act: Down 'n' Out; Favorite Country Artist or Group: Eric Lane and the Doghouse Band; Favorite Rock Group: Berlin Drop; Favorite Solo Act: Matthew Harper, Hero of the Year three way tie: Matthew Harper, Aaron Rorabaugh of Berlin Drop, Jason Moomaw of Cedar Ridge Recordings; Favorite Christian Artist or Group: Matthew Harper; Female Vocalist of the Year, tie: Kelly Garrison of the Death Trolley band and Dawn Jones of the Joneses; Male Vocalist of the Year: Aaron Rorabaugh; Favorite Actor: Kevin Jaynes; Favorite Actress: Kelly Garrison; Drummer of the Year: Aaron Rorabaugh, drummer for the bands Down 'n' Out and Doghouse Band; Bassist of the Year: Drew Bauer, formerly of On Autumn Drive now playing for Down n' Out; Guitarist of the Year: Nathan Rorabaugh of Berlin Drop; Keyboardist of the Year tie: Dan Keller, Nathan Rorabaugh who also plays keys for Baby Fingers; The Multi-Player Award: Aaron Rorabaugh, who plays bass, guitar and drums; Favorite Jazz/Blues/Rhythm and Blues Group: Eric Lane and the Doghouse Band; Best Poet: Lonnie Polk; Best New Act: Kent Street; Singer/Song-writer: Dan Divine; Best Album or Demo: Baby Fingers, "Dreams for the Day and Mares for the Night;" Favorite Americana/Blue-grass: Wildflowers, Dan and Lorrie Divine; Favorite Folk Singer: Matthew Harper; Best Duo: Baby Fingers; Promoter Award three way tie: Whitney Mosher, Nathan Rorabaugh and Dangerous Doug Harper; Favorite DJ: Sheena Dickey; Vernon County Sound Man: Cody Reed; Guitar Guru: Nathan Rorabaugh; Most Enthusiastic: Bobby Bittner; Keeping the Music Scene Alive: Andy's Pizza; Best Producer/ Engineer: Matthew Harper.


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Chili cook-off heats up Octoberfest

Thursday, October 11, 2007

If it's October it must be time for Oktoberfest and that means chili in these parts. Peggy Tedlock, United Way executive secretary, said that more than 10 teams have registered already but "the more the merrier."

The cook-off will begin at 8 a.m. and the musical entertainment will begin at 10 a.m., Oct. 13.

The cook-off is to take place on the vacant lot north of the TeamBank building. Teams will compete for first- second- and third-place prizes of $100, $50 and $25, respectively. Check-in will be at 7:30 a.m. and teams must provide their own supplies and ingredients, including a minimum of five pounds of uncooked meat. Contestants must provide all of their own cooking equipment as well, tables, chairs, utensils and ingredients as well as a grill.

All cooking takes place on the site, and chili must reach and maintain a temperature of 140 degrees before the judging, which is set for 11 a.m. Judges will evaluate the entries on aroma, appearance, taste and aftertaste.

Chili connoisseurs traditionally also enjoy this event. The chili's available for purchase, with prices starting at $2 for a 12 ounce bowl. Serving begins at 11:30 a.m.

A familiar face will begin the entertainment, Tim Wilson will be first to sing followed by Gabby Gire at 10:30. Carla Bledsoe will sing from 11 to 11:30.

At 11:30 the winners of the chili cookoff will be announced and a pet costume contest will be held, sponsored by the Vernon County People for Pets. Registration is from 10-11:15 a.m., at the VCPFP booth, and the contest begins at 11:30 a.m.

From noon to 1 p.m., Marci Klotz, with Doug Harper, will entertain the crowd; and at 1 p.m., reigning Nevada Idol David Bishop will sing. The entertainment will finish with Ike Richmond from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Booths with a variety of information and activities will also be open Saturday. All activities benefit Vernon County United Way.

For more information or to enter the chili cook-off, contact Angie Nichols, (417) 667-8444, or Carrie Mason at (417) 448-8155.


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City rings with music on festival's second night

Friday, June 15, 2007
(Photo)
This year's Nevada Idol winner David Bishop prepares to tickle the crowd's ears with a song.
[Click to enlarge]
Nevada Daily Mail

The second night of the 2007 Bushwhacker Days celebration featured fun, food and music -- mostly music, as local performers shared the stage on the Square, offering an eclectic mix of performances. Meanwhile, the stage at Mojo's restaurant, also on the Square, was the site of more local entertainment, featuring Matt Harper, joined by his brother, Doug Harper.

Tonight, the main stage will be the annual Colgate County Showdown, followed by Candy Coburn and Duke Mason on the main stage; and at Mojo's, Doug Harper is slated to perform.

(Photo)
The Coleman Musicmakers entertain with bluegrass-style flddin'.
[Click to enlarge]
Vendors will be setting up tonight, and vehicles are asked to vacate the Square by 5 o'clock to avoid delays and to make way for the vendors.

Nevada/Vernon County Chamber of Commerce director Kathi Wysong said vendor sites are sold out this year, so festival-goers will have a wide variety of things to see.

On Saturday, more music is in store as Ricochet, known for such songs as "Daddy's Money" and "What Do I Know," is slated to perform at 8 p.m.

(Photo)
Matt Harper, left, and Doug Harper, entertain at Mojo's restaurant on the Square.
[Click to enlarge]


 

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Concert to feature popular Christian artist

Friday, December 29, 2006
(Photo)
Christopher Jordan performs at a summer Christian music festival, held at Marmaduke Park, Nevada, in June 2006.
[Click to enlarge]
By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Dangerous Doug Harper, a Nevada music promoter, has a new project, the Made by Machines/All for Love Concert featuring Chris Jordan, at the Days Inn, Thursday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m.

Jordan is a Christian solo artist from Chicago, Ill., who has toured nationally. Jordan's performance will be followed on-stage by Harper, Berlin Drop, Vernon County Red Metal Rockers and Kalatria.

Kevin Jaynes will be master of ceremonies for the show.

Tickets are $4 in advance, $6 at the door. The doors open at 7 p.m.

The concert features a special deal in conjunction with Mojo's restaurant. Matthew Harper, Doug's brother, billed as America's Beatnik Poet, will be appearing there from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and people who eat at Mojo's and bring their receipt to the Days Inn for the Chris Jordan concert will receive a reduced-price admission of $2.

Local Ear Music, a group of local musicians who have banded together to promote music and tourism in the area, also recently hosted an annual awards ceremony, honoring several area artists.

The winners are:

Favorite artist or group

Eric Lane and the Doghouse Band

Favorite live act

Crazy Julie and CRS

Favorite rock artist or group

Berlin Drop

Hero of the year

David Byerly

Favorite Christian rock group

Harvest Blue

Favorite solo act

Matt Harper

Favorite Christian act

The Joneses

Favorite female vocalist

Marci Mitchell

Favorite male vocalist

Eric Lane

Favorite non-musical

musician

Bobby Bitner

Best actor

Kevin Jaynes

Best actress

Kim Bessey

Drummer of the year

Aaron Rorabaugh

Bassist of the year

Cody Reed

Guitarist of the year

Nathan Rorabaugh

Keyboardist of the year

Dan Keller

Player of the year (Multi-instrumentalist)

David Byerly

(mandolin)

Favorite blues/jazz/R&B group

Eric Lane and the Doghouse Band

Favorite country artist or group

Eric Lane and the Doghouse Band

Best poet

Drew Bauer

Best new act

Fastlane

Favorite singer/songwriter

Eric Lane Gulliford

Best album or demo

Baby Fingers

Favorite Americana/bluegrass group

Wildflowers

Favorite folk artist

Matt Harper

Favorite hardcore/alternative group

Berlin Drop

Favorite duo

Just Harper

Promoter award

Lorrie Mallard

Producer/engineer

Jason Moomaw -- Berlin Drop, Red Metal

Favorite punk artist or group

Down and Out

Favorite emo artist or group

Matt Gardner

Keeping the music scene alive award

Andy's Pizza


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Local Ear Web site plans to promote tourism

Friday, December 1, 2006
Nevada Daily Mail

One of the things that "Dangerous" Doug Harper plans to do with his Web site, www.localearmusic.com, is to continue to uplift the Nevada community, and continue promoting the downtown business district.

Harper wants to give back to those who have supported him and those who continue to support his musical journey. The ""Bands from the Back 40" ad campaign began in August and will continue promote just how great Nevada is. "I want to let the world know about my favorite place --in a loud way," Harper stated to friends and associates at a meeting in August.

Harper plans to produce posters and signs about concerts and events throughout Missouri mostly, promoting people to come and check it out for themselves. The CD is now available in all 50 states, creating an interest in the Nevada, Mo., community, Harper said.

He will also be producing some national ads as well, though some have already launched, and more ads will begin to surface as the spring tourism season approaches.

Of course this will benefit the popularity of his Web site as well, with a little extra promotion the Web site will generate interest in other Nevada news, Web sites and history.

Local Ear simply wants to gain national exposure for our music scene, and hopes to advance the community while doing so. In fact hope is not really the best thing to say here, these things are really already happening. The results are beginning to unfold, Harper said.

Harper also said that he has enjoyed promoting tourism, just to help the community as a whole.

"I feel that I should be active in promoting tourism in Vernon County even though I am not officially involved in any of the existing organizations, and not always present (in town) as of late. These organizations do great work but this is a big job and the more people that will take on this type of pride for there community, the faster it will grow, and then begin to spread good news back to the world. This will be a drawing point of interest to outsiders that may potentially visit our community. This type of attitude will be beneficial to all that live here," Harper said.

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Connie Smith, Marci Mitchell to perform at the 2006 Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 3, 2006
By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Oktoberfest will feature Connie Smith and the Marci Mitchell Band in concert Saturday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. in the Nevada High School auditorium. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Smith began her career in 1963 when she won a talent contest in a park, Frontier Ranch, near Columbus, Ohio. Smith signed with RCA Victor and recorded her first record, "Once A Day," written by Bill Anderson in July, 1964. The record went to No. 1 on the country charts and stayed there for two and a half months.

More Top 10 hits followed along with guest appearances on major country music television shows. Connie's albums on various labels included both country and religious songs and were highly successful.

A born-again Christian (her eldest son Darren is a missionary), she has performed gospel music on the Opry and recorded an album of Hank Williams' gospel songs.

Smith made her Grand Ol' Opry debut in 1964 and has made several appearances since then.

After taking time off to spend more time with her family, Smith rejoined the Opry cast in 1971.

Smith has recorded more than 40 albums and has received numerous awards in her distinguished career. Smith sings gospel, country gospel and country-pop songs.

The Marci Mitchell band features Nevada native Mitchell, who is more than an accomplished musician --she's an ace on the volleyball court and an academic powerhouse who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Pittsburg State University.

Mitchell and her band have toured more than half of the country and have opened for Ty England, Sammy Kershaw and others.

Another Nevada native, Dangerous Doug Harper, plays bass in the band as well as on his own projects. Drummer Robert Jones, Stover, Mo. and multi-talented Lou Davidson, North Radley, Kan., round out the band.

Tickets for the concert are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, Wal-Mart, TeamBank and the Phone Booth in El Dorado Springs.

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Local 'ear album' features variety of sounds

Sunday, September 17, 2006
By Lynn A. Wade

Herald-Tribune

An eclectic montage of budding local musical talent is being released Sept. 19.

The Bands from the Back 40 compact disc is ready and waiting for listeners. Copies are available online through www.localearmusic.com and from featured artists at performances.

It's a unique sampling of local artists performing in a variety of genres, each at his or her own stage of development as musicians and songwriters. All of them, though, have some things in common. They all have roots in Vernon County, they all have put heart and soul into sharing their music and seeking to help grow the talents and opportunities to showcase the talents of local artists; and they've all created unique, original works incorporating style and a big dose of creativity into each song on the CD.

It's sort of like a musical box of chocolates, with several different types of music, each with its own flavor. Most people will hear something they like in this collection, from a toe-tapping country-blues style ode to the freedom of the road to bluegrass-style gospel tunes to mournful songs of love gone bad in alternative rock and pop styles.

Here's what's on the CD:

Marci Mitchell's "Road Trip," written by Mitchell herself and M. Oliverious, suits her rich, earthy voice well. It's an upbeat, country tune with a sound and a theme that's both classic and modern at the same time. As the title implies, it's about friends hitting the road on an adventure, this one to Daytona. The destination's no more specific than that, but this has definite potential as a theme for race fans who make pilgrimages to the Florida beach town... or for anyone who just likes the idea of getting away.

Another tune by Mitchell, "Lovers to Friends," is about the breakup of a romantic relationship, in a traditional country style.

Then there's "Cake and Ice Cream" by Elisnore. It's an acoustic, joyful-sounding love song of sorts. This one is fun and easy to relate to. Youthful and bouncy, the tune's repeating themes are catchy. This one has an urban feel, plenty of movement and inspires the temptation to sing along.

"Jezebel" by Baby Fingers is a soulful alternative tune about the pitfalls of getting involved with the wrong woman. Performed with the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar, the sultry melody communicates both the mystery and danger of the song, and it's a work full of promise for the future.

Matt Harper has two songs on the CD, both of them with a distinctly bluegrass/traditional gospel feel. "Long-haired friend of Jesus" and "Morning Guy" both have themes of celebration, rejuvenation and praise in plain, everyday words. He doesn't slip into religious clichés or overworked analogies. His frank, conversational lyrics will bring in some listeners who might otherwise dismiss such songs.

"Right by Your Side," by James McIntire, is also performed acoustically. The title's a double entendre -- right, as in it's not wrong but right; and right, as in being in close proximity. Promoters call this one a "Violent Fems meets Green Day" sort of song. The bare acoustic guitar accompaniment makes this piece fell genuine and honest.

"A Little of Your Time," by the Joneses,is a modern version of a protest song. Songs that show us how we can make a difference never get old. This one is no exception. The vocalist's voice is light and friendly, and the message is one of caring. It's worth a listen, and then worth acting on the message in the song.

A band with an alternative sound leaning more toward traditional rock (his promoters call it progressive punk rock) with some electronic experimentation, Worba rounds out the CD with a tune, "Fall In," that shows off an interesting range of abilities in a unique blend of instrumentation and vocals.

"Dangerous Doug" Harper, an active force in promoting local artists, has a tune of his own on the CD. A quirky, fun play in sound effects and overall performance style, a live version's on the CD. "I Found Myself a Monkey" one of those set-closing, just-for-fun tunes sure to get a smile from the listener.

The Local Ear's Web site calls the new CD a keepsake that could be quite valuable in the future, as these bands grow and evolve.

For more information about these and other popular local musicians visit www.localearmusic.com.


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On Autumn Drive signs recording deal

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

(Photo)
The band On Autumn Drive is preparing to go on a 21-date tour.
[Click to enlarge]
Four local teens may well be on the way to stardom. They have recently signed a recording deal including a 21-date tour throughout several states.

Drew Bauer, a Nevada high school graduate, joined the already established band On Autumn Drive, last November. He plays bass guitar.

Other band members include Caleb Cox, a Bronaugh graduate who plays guitar and does vocals. Two Kansas youths were founding members. Huston Hamm plays guitar and Derek Early plays drums.

"I've known Caleb for a long time," Bauer said, "and I met the others while in college at Fort Scott."

The band had lost one member and when asked to join, Bauer jumped at the chance.

"My cousin Jeremy gave me a bass guitar years ago and I learned to play it on my own and with Doug Harper giving me some lessons," Bauer explained.

The band's sound is well-known to the younger audience. Bauer said, "I guess it could be called alternative music. It's somewhere between rock and punk.

"Our audience is high school and college age, mostly 18-19 year olds."

The band will next be performing at Mound City as part of the STAR program for the school district there. Check out the band's Web site www.myspace.com\onautumndrive or call (417) 667-8729 for more information about future appearances.

"We will be traveling a lot to promote our CD," Bauer said. "All the songs on the CD are our own original material."

The album should be available this summer.

Bauer said that with the upcoming tour schedule, he may have to postpone finishing college for a while.

"All the families have been supportive and have backed us with our decisions," he added.

When breaking the news to his parents about leaving college for the road, Bauer was pleasantly surprised.

"My parents kept saying 'we have faith in you and we know you can do this,' which was kind of surprising to me."

He encourages fans to keep checking the Web site for future appearance dates and a release date for the album.

"On Autumn Drive is a good band," Bauer said. "Come see us perform and you won't be disappointed. If you want to see a good show, I know you'll get your money's worth."


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Readers Choice Awards honor local talent

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
(Photo)
Marci Mitchell, center, performs at the Local Ear Music Readers Choice Awards, held at the Days Inn, Nevada, on Nov. 22. Accompanying Mitchell are Brian Craford, drummer; Doug Harper, bass guitar, and Lou Davidson, guitar. The group performed three of Mitchell's newest country songs that evening.
[Click to enlarge]
By Afton Bugg

Nevada Daily Mail

Local Ear Music hosted the third annual Readers Choice Awards at Nevada Days Inn Nov. 22, to give Vernon County musical artists recognition and to reward local musicians for their success.

There were numerous artists involved with this event, which was kicked off by a showcase of local talent. During the showcase, new artists performed for people who have not heard their music yet.

One group performing was Down and Out, a soft rock band that likes to "rock people to the early morning," playing 70s and 80s rock. The band includes David Furry, guitarist; Aaron Rorabaugh, drummer; Drew Bower, bass guitarist; and David Bierly, guitarist and lead singer.

Berlin Drop, a band that plays originals and covers, is known for being the "loudest band in Vernon County." Members are Zac Oteno, Josh Smith, and Nathan and Aaron Worba. The band got together in the fall of 2003. They started out as a Christian rock band and now play more modern rock. They have played in Kansas City and Nashville and have recorded their own demo CD.

Doghouse Band also entertained. This country blues band tours mostly in Kansas and Missouri. They played at Maverick's, in Nevada, on Halloween. One of their most recent gigs was in Iola, Kan., and they played at the Road House in Nevada last Saturday night. They love to mix their style of music up, and play anything with a beat.

The Marci Mitchell Band performed before the Awards Ceremony, treating the audience to three of her newest songs that have not been released yet. Mitchell is a country singer-song writer who has piqued the interest of recording labels in Nashville. She grew up in Nevada and considers this her home, and comes back every now and then, sharing her music with her hometown. Mitchell performed in Nevada during the 2005 Bushwhacker Days celebration.

Doug Harper of Local Ear Music noted that he hopes the eclectic mix of bands that entertained during the event will help the public to better understand the mission of Local Ear, saying, "The community, as a whole, is not sure what we are doing. Most think we are just for the rock bands, but we try to find a place for all musicians."

Harper was inspired to start the Readers Choice Awards to create awareness of the underground music and take it to the next level.

Harper said, "There was a need for this event in Vernon County, to bring more awareness to local talent. It gives them mic time and they are able to interact with not only the community but each other. It brings the veterans out and gets the young and old musicians together."

There were 27 awards presented Tuesday evening to Vernon County artists. People voted for their favorite band or singer online, through a poll that received more than 200 votes this year.

Awards began with Favorite Rock Band, Berlin Drop. Another award was The Hero of the Year, which is someone that has gone above and beyond. That award went to David Bierly from Down and Out. It was given to Bierly because he always gives it his all and always wants to play. Favorite Solo Act was Matt Harper, a solo singer-songwriter, from Nevada.

Every year, there is an award given to a Community Council for the Performing Arts member, because of all the support they have given to Local Ear Music. This year, the Favorite Actor award went to Scott Hillier and Favorite Actress award went to Jenna Weston.

The Favorite Bass Guitar award went to Cody Reed of the Doghouse Band and Favorite Piano award went to Randall Elders, a solo keyboard and guitar player. The Favorite Guitar award went to Nathan Worba of the Berlin Drop band. The Favorite Drummer went to Jim Bones, drummer for Dog House band. Favorite Acoustic Vocalist was Tammy Clark, a local resident who sings at events like Bushwhacker Days and Octoberfest.

There was also a Kamikaze award where all the winners and the Favorite Bass Guitar, Guitar, and Drummer got together with Marci Mitchell and played Sweet Home Alabama, by Lynard Skynard.

The Favorite New Act went to Jolly Roger, a punk rock band; and Favorite Live Act went to Berlin Drop. The Favorite Singer-songwriter award went to Erik Gulliford of the Dog House band. The Non-Musician award is presented to someone who went above and beyond just playing in a band. It was awarded to James McIntyre, a newcomer who has been playing drums for about a year and guitar about four months. He is hoping to start a band in the near future.

The Keepin' The Music Alive award is for local businesses that have helped and supported local talents. This award went to Daylight Donuts, located on the east side of the Square.

The Favorite Poet award went to Aaron Worba of the Berlin Drop band and Favorite Punk Rock Band award was presented to Jolly Roger. The Hard Core Alternative Band award ended in a three way tie, going to Berlin Drop, Head Up, and Man Down.

The Favorite Christian Rock Band award went to Berlin Drop and The Favorite Christian Act to Matt Harper. The Coolest Girl award went to Marci Mitchell. The Favorite Blues Band award, The Favorite Blue Grass Band award, and The Favorite Country Band award all went to Dog House Band.

The Favorite Album or Demo award was presented to Berlin Drop making this a total of five awards for the evening. The Favorite Artist award went to a band that came home with 10 awards that evening, Dog House Band.

After the awards ceremony everyone enjoyed a concert that included artists like Randall Elders, a veteran keyboardist and guitar player who has played in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Las Vegas. He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the Las Vegas Desert Inn.

Other bands participating in the event were Dog House Band and Harvest Blue, an acoustic duo.

Local Ear Music also makes a CD every year, compiling songs from Vernon County Artists. There is still some space on this year's CD for artists' songs. Anyone who would like to be included on this CD may send a master CD of the song and a money order, made payable to Disk Makers, in the amount of $35 per song to Local Ear P.O. Box 892 Nevada, MO 64772.

Checks are not accepted. Include the title of the song, band name and contact information.

Contact Doug Harper for more details at (417) 684-1732.

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Local Ear musicians' group to hold awards ceremony on Nov. 22

Friday, November 18, 2005
Nevada Daily Mail

Local Ear Music is holding its annual Local Ear Readers Choice Awards at the Nevada Days Inn, on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The purpose of the awards show is to recognize local bands for their talents and to give local artists the the opportunity to get their name before the public.

The showcase event will start at three in the afternoon. Marcy Mitchell will be playing her newer, original songs beginning at 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., the awards ceremony will began. Local talent will be given certificates of honor for categories such as, best live band, best solo artist, and drummer of the year.

"Dangerous" Doug Harper, owner of Local Ear Music, said, "This event is like a miniature Grammy Awards for area bands to get recognition."

Following the awards at nine p.m. there will be a concert held through midnight featuring a blues band, Dog House Band and Harvest Blue, an acoustic duo playing rock.

Forty bands are expected to attend this event, with veteran bands like the Crooks Band making appearances as well.

There will be refreshments and a $3 donation is appreciated. To vote for local favorite bands visit the group's Web site at www.localear.ws. Polls will be open through Tuesday afternoon.

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Musicians offering 'praise alternative'

Sunday, June 19, 2005
By Lynn A. Wade

Nevada Herald

While Bushwhacker Days performances took place outside, inside the Daylight Doughnuts shop on the Square, a group of four young musicians shared their gospel message of praise, alternative-style with those who gathered to listen.

Doug Harper -- locally known as "Dangerous Doug," when he performs -- is a musician himself and helped bring Thursday's band to town via the Local Ear, an organization aimed at promoting live music in the area -- especially music with a Christian message.

On Thursday, and again on Saturday, the Christopher Jordan Band appeared at Daylight Doughnuts along with Berlin Drop and Matthew Harper on Thursday and another guest on Saturday.

The four-member Christopher Jordan Band comes from the Chicago, Ill., area, and is in the middle of a 60-appearance national tour. Its members -- Zack, age 15; Kyle, age 18; Roy, age 16; and Chris, age 20 -- have been together a short nine months, although Jordan says he's been playing music for about five years.

Self-described as a Christian worship and praise band in the "alternative, punk style" the Christopher Jordan Band fills a unique niche for listeners.

"It's different, but a lot of people like it," Harper said, noting that the band has played a broad array of venues, ranging from very small markets to very large events where they play to audiences of thousands. In fact, between Nevada engagements, they played at the Westport Theatre in Kansas City, and their schedule includes a June 30 appearance at the Cornerstone Festival, a large venue in Bushnell, Ill.

Jordan said he plays the music because "God called me to do this when I was saved."

"They're playing here, partly because they want to play as many places as they can and get their name known as widely as they can. I think it's also because Nevada is a cool place to be. Nevada's just cooler than a lot of other towns. And the music scene here is following the trend of Seattle in the early '90s. We're sort of a little Seattle," Harper said.

Out of courtesy to Elisha Ellis of Daylight Doughnuts, the coffeehouse performances paused Thursday evening while she performed less than a block away on the outdoor stage, but played many songs throughout the evening.

"We love them all, and we'd like to recognize them all," Harper said of the Local Legends performers on stage during the performances at Daylight, but due to Ellis' direct connection with the doughnut and coffee shop, "we wanted to do that for her."

Several people stopped by to hear the music, which had once been a Thursday night tradition at Daylight Doughnuts. Harper said only a few performances, to be announced later, will take place during the summer. Because listeners were spilling out into the street during events, concerns were raised about safety, so local music promoters opted to conduct the concerts when colder weather encouraged listeners to stay inside.

"We're still going to be very active," Harper said, in promoting performance opportunities for the benefit of both musicians and listeners.

In fact, the Christopher Jordan Band will be back later this year.

"They'll be here again August 11," Harper said.


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Good, clean fun

Monday, August 16, 2004
(Photo)
Two members of Down and Out, recipients of several awards for their music, got the crowd at Bru Java in the mood before the evenings headliners, Results May Vary took the stage. David Byerly, left, and Drew Bauer performed without Aaron Rohrbach but made up for his absence with an enthusiastic performance.
[Click to enlarge]
By Steve Moyer

Nevada Herald

It's a coffeehouse, it's a conversation club, it's a platform for musicians, and it's a lot more. Bru Java, a brainchild of the Maranatha Christian Fellowship, is a place for people to go and be entertained in a safe environment.

"We have about 50 people a week," Doug Harper, one of the organizers, said. "Musicians play music, there's free food and soft drinks, and we occasionally have guest speakers and comedians. We want to be an alternative to some of the things people do on the weekends."

On Thursdays Bru Java meets at the Maranatha Christian Fellowship at 300 S. Spring and offers local, regional and national Christian bands and singers. Saturday nights, the meetings are at Grandma & Papa's Little Diner, 1013 N. Osage.

"Thursday nights we start at 7 p.m. and go until 11 p.m. Saturdays we go from 7 to 10. Friday nights there are Sobriety Plus meetings so we have an alternative for people to go to on three of the nights that are most likely to have drinking involved," Harper said.

Each night has a slightly different crowd according to Harper. "A lot of younger people come on Thursday nights," Harper said.

Thursday night hot dogs and chips were served along with soft drinks and coffee. The crowd was a mix of young and old with the majority in their teens and twenties. One young performer, Justin Compton, seemed to have his very own groupies with one young woman wearing a "I (heart) Justin" shirt and another woman sporting a shirt with Justin's name on it.

The music, some Christian rock with a mix of other genres thrown in, started off with Jon Farley and Bryce Meehan on acoustic guitars giving the crowd a set of songs that met with loud approval. A bit of comedy was injected when the two told the crowd the person who helped them master the guitar was in the crowd and invited Josh Kaiser up to the microphone. Kaiser made a show of preparing to play, struck a discordant chord and shouted "Josh," before quickly putting the guitar down.

The second group up, Down & Out, was missing a member, Aaron Rohrbach, but the other two members, Drew Bauer and David Byerly, made up for his absence with an abundance of enthusiasm and élan.

The third group, Results May Vary, was preceded by one of their members, Matt Gardner, performing a couple of solo songs before the whole group joined him. The group; Gardner on lead guitar and vocals, Justin Compton on rhythm guitar, Nolan Ryan on drums, and Eric Good on bass, had the crowd's attention from the moment they took the stage.

The space provided for Bru Java is the only limiting factor on attendance.

The room was a classroom when the building was a school and by the time you get a band with a set of drums and other equipment set up the first row of people can literally reach out and touch the musicians.

"We would like to have more room," Harper said. "This is a great program and it can have a positive influence on people while giving them an enjoyable time."

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