Rightfully categorized as a heartland rock band in the vein of John Mellencamp, The Rainmakers are one of the most notable bands to emerge from Kansas City.
They remain local favorites more than 30 years after the group’s formation.
3 reasons we’re listening to The Rainmakers this week:
1. The Rainmakers’ self-titled debut album was released by Mercury Records in 1986. Two tracks, “Downstream” and “Let My People Go-Go,” were minor hits.
Like many songs written by bandleader Bob Walkenhorst, “Let My People Go-Go” is filled with irreverent biblical references. The Memphis Horns contribute organic textures to “Let My People Go-Go,” and the track has 1980s production that evokes the era of big hair.
2. Speaking of vintage: Kansas Citians of a certain age have fond memories of hearing the group that would later become The Rainmakers perform under the moniker of Steve, Bob & Rich at area bars like Blayney’s in Westport.
3. They headline the Spirit of KC Fest at Crossroads KC on Friday, August 12. The Kansas City bands Not a Planet, Yes You Are, Kangaroo Knife Fight and Pink Royal open the show.
Bill Brownlee’s writing appears weekly in The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine. He blogs about Kansas City’s jazz scene at Plastic Sax.