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The Rainmakers

Prototypical Midwestern roots-rockers, the Rainmakers ironically achieved their greatest commercial success overseas, despite generally good reviews in their homeland. Chief songwriter Bob Walkenhorst's playful wit and topical lyrics set the Rainmakers apart from their Heartland bar band peers, though musically they drew from the expected roots rock influences (Chuck Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, etc.). The band was originally formed in 1983 in Kansas City, MO, as a trio called Steve, Bob, and Rich; naturally, the lineup consisted of guitarist/vocalist Steve Phillips, guitarist/vocalist Bob Walkenhorst, and bassist Rich Ruth. This group recorded an independently released album (titled Balls) that helped get them signed to Polygram, upon which point they added drummer Pat Tomek and changed their name to the less specific Rainmakers. Their self-titled official debut was released in 1986, producing the British Top 20 hit "Let My People Go-Go" and quite a bit of good press both at home and abroad. The band embarked on a relentless touring schedule and found an unlikely fan in horror writer Stephen King, who quoted the band's lyrics in two of his books. The 1988 follow-up Tornado didn't attract as much critical attention in the U.S., but the Rainmakers' European audience continued to grow; by the time of 1989's The Good News and the Bad News, the band was concentrating mostly on that area, recording the concert album Oslo-Wichita Live solely for its Scandinavian fans. In 1990, tired of the road life, the Rainmakers disbanded, ostensibly for good. However, Scandinavian interest in their music held strong, and Polygram's Norwegian division requested a new Rainmakers album in 1994. The band obliged and recorded Flirting With the Universe on their own in Steve Phillips' basement. The album was a smash in Norway, achieving that country's equivalent of gold sales within two months, and the band was encouraged enough to stage a full-fledged reunion. They signed with the independent Kansas label V&R, and Walkenhorst wrote a concept album about pornography and its effects on human sexuality. Ruth left the band during the recording sessions, with accounts divided as to whether it was due to the lyrical content or the fact that he had moved from Kansas City to Nashville; regardless, he was replaced by Michael Bliss. The resulting album, Skin, was released in 1996 to mostly good reviews. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Awesome.
Saw these guys open for Berlin in Salt Lake City in 1986 and have been a fan ever since. The self-titled album is still one of my favorites!
No joke, my uncle is Rich Ruth the bassist. Once i turn 21 ( im 20) ill be able to get into the Record Bar shows.
willie.ward6 2
Where is Rainmakers 1986
tjnelly75.aw
Well, the guys are back together again! Playing 2 nights @ Record bar;Nov.23 &24 7pm. Be there or U'll miss a great show! Support local musik! B-)
Walkenhorst is arguably one of the best songwriters of the generation.
Had the opportunity to see them live in a small club, one of the most memorable shows for me.
In case anyone was wondering the NEW CD is done. you can order it at http://www.v i l l a g e r e c o r d s . c o m / p r o d u c t _ i n f o . p h p ? p r o d u c t s _ i d = 6 8 4 9

They are doing a tour in Norway and a few dates in the states. May 13th Springfield MO at Lindberg's. May 14th in KC at Knuckleheads . June 4th in St Joseph MO, venue yet to be released. You can see all this info at www.rainmake r s . c o m .

Hope to see all the fans at the show!
my is greg horton i lived in xc 1976 to1994 i first saw steve bob an rich kc summer fiest at kc memorial monumet it was freesh xn very clean sound i was hooed at past me thar bottle p.s.s im black hello
The Rainmakers ARE getting back together. As of TODAY 12/27 they will be doing a photo shoot for a Tour in Norway. YES oversees where they saw most of their success. They are shooting for end of March and beginning of April and possibly some festivals in the spring/summe r . Jeff Porter will be playing guitar. Rich Ruth will be back playing bass. And they will be in the studio possibly at the end of January to record some new stuff. So get your passports dusted off.
(cont) ...getting back together with Jeff Porter taking the place of Steve Phillips.
Bob Walkenhorst is one of the strongest song writers out there. For $5 every Wednesday nite, you can hear him and Jeff Porter share their art for two whole hours at the Recordbar in KC MO. Folks, do yourself a favor and take in one of those shows. As for Steve Phillips, he is as happy as can be playing with one the BEST Celtic bands going....The Elders. To the previous poster: Thanks for the update on Rich. News around KC is that he and the Rainmakers are.....
My Uncle was the original Bassist. Rich is a great guy, still plays gigs here and there with a local band in Nashville. He is working the the movie, tv, video production industry. We often talk about the touring days in Europe and The States.
they have some of the best lyrics ever, rocking at the t-dance is a great example, or information or war of the roses or... they really knew how to rock a place too, great live shows, great music, though i gotta say, i really miss the hair...
Bob still plays in the Westport District in Kansas City, MO as a solo act. Still does some of the hits...
Every fall in the early 80s, they (Steve, Bob and Rich) played a welcome back concert at Kansas State University. Playing frisbee in the old stadium, sneaking beers in, listening them play Big Fat Blonde and Government Cheese...goo d times.
I saw the band twice live and just thought it really captured the sass and in your face qualities that rock-n-roll is based on.
If you don't know these guys, you should! Best midwest band ever....KB

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