By: Kurt "Swingcat" Johnson
It was Valentine's Day party night at the All Star Sports Lounge in
Hillsboro. With the classic rock band Rhemedy performing sizzling renditions
of ‘60s and ‘70s rock favorites, the crowd was whistling
and hollering its approval and clamoring for more! Add a packed dance
floor and it was just the right mix for a jammin' Saturday night dance.
Located at 250 S.E. Washington in downtown Hillsboro, The All Star
Sports Lounge features a huge pool room, a full bar and a breakfast
lunch and dinner menu all day long. The bar hosts a pool league on
Monday nights and provides Karaoke Wednesday and Sunday with a dance
DJ on the weekends.
Live bands appear on special occasions. Owner Joe Kindel explains how
Rhemedy came to play at the lounge; "One night Rhemedy was jamming
with The Famous Unknowns, who play here on Tuesday nights. I listened
to them and was impressed so we sealed the deal for Valentines Day." He
continues, "The response from the crowd is excellent. There's
a noticeable bump in business with Rhemedy here."
Kindel further explains the goal of the bar for its customers; "We
want our customers to have an overall good experience. We have more
things to do in our bar than any other bar in town. And Rhemedy just
adds another dimension to our entertainment experience. And that's
what we want our customers to remember and take home with them. So,
if you've never been here, come out and meet us, 'cause we're the newest
and biggest in town!"
Fronting Rhemedy is lead singer, entertainer and rhythm guitarist Joe
Pacello. With a look and stage presence that screams rocker, Pacello
sports a shiny suitcoat, a pair of glittery sunglasses and an energy
and edge that would overwhelm performers much younger! Think of a mixture
of the coolness of the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and the
wildness of The Kinks’ Ray Davies and you'd have Pacello exactly.
The band is Pacello on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; drummer Rhonda
Rutledge; bass player Ron Sleeter; and music director and lead guitarist
Robert Dehaan. The band plays with a high-energy, pounding, hard-driving
sound. With punchy, growling bass grooves, sizzling and blistering
guitar solos and tight, hammering percussion, the vocals and harmonies
are impassioned and emotional. The sound is that of very tight power
rock and precision muscianship.
The bottom line is this: Rhemedy’s songs are those that most
other bands don't play. With selections ranging from the classic Mustang
Sally and Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl to Creedence Clearwater's Who'll
Stop The Rain, the songs are always presented with clever and new arrangements.
And judging by the whistling and applause from the crowd, their arrangements
are a big hit. They have a modern edge without losing the pain and
emotion of the original compositions.
First time visitors Doug and Jill Tesdal took in the show. Jill had
this take; "What's interesting is taking some of the ‘60s
tunes and making them his own. I recognize them but they have his quality.
He's put his own style into the old standards and you know what? It's
making me feel young again!" Doug adds, "I'm just along for
the ride. We're having a four-year reunion and I think Rhemedy would
be a great group to get the blood flowing again!"
Pacello describes the band's goals; "Our vision is to find premium
venues like this one that are diamonds in the rough that are poking
along with Karaoke and DJs because they are convinced there's no excitable,
inspirational live music. I've been playing since the fourth grade.
I've been in more bands that you can think about. I always take something
from each band and try to incorporate it in the next one. One thing
I've learned playing for over 40 years is great musicians are a dime
a dozen. But what's unique is being able to hold a band together as
collaborators in music for many years and still be friends. I love
it, I live it and I want it. Our premise is originality, originality,
originality. You'll never hear us do covered songs note for note. We
always rewrite it the way it should have been!"
Music director and guitarist Robert Dehann talks about the band's musical
direction; "We have a CD in the works. We hope to have it ready
in two to three months. Our direction is to take classic songs and
add our own flavor, upgrade and bring them into today's time. My role
is to act as arranger. We develop them together, we experiment and
everybody has input. We're working on original compositions for our
CD and they'll be in the classic rock context too. We want to be a
step above just musicians. We're here to entertain."
Drummer Rhonda Rutledge describes her role; "My role is the backbone
of the band. I set the tempo and I start and stop the songs. They follow
me. We all work together, but they depend on me to keep the foundation
and beat together. It takes all four of us to catch that sweet groove
and make it all work."
Bass player Ron Sleeter explains what he brings to the band; "The
bass player takes the rhythm and harmony sections and if he's doing
his job, he brings them together. Bass guitar adds an element that
people feel. They both hear and feel the beat. I want to become the
best bass player I can be. That's my goal. I really want to thank my
bass teacher, Dave Kahl. He's helped me a lot to be where I am."
It all came together when the band played The Animals’ We
Gotta Get Out of This Place. With a hard driving, modern edge and a creative
arrangement, the band put it all together to produce a completely unique
musical experience. Come out and take in one of their shows, you'll
think so too!