Average House Band ready to rock again this weekend

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Longtime members of the Average House Band are (from left) Sandy Williams, Danny Martin, Fred Badalli, Bill Hamm, Steve Michael and Rod Kersey. (courtesy photo)

"The boys are back in back town ... the boys are back in town ... the boys are back in town ..."

The hard-rocking Irish band Thin Lizzy sang that back in 1976. Average House Band has been living it ever since.

Yep, guess who just got back today? Them wild-eyed boys that'd been away ...

Hoisting a banner into place to herald the coming of the Aug. 8-9 Average House Band reunion concert are Inn at DePauw employees Erica Davies and Ian Nelson. The seventh annual event is set for this Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. (courtesy photo)

And Friday night they'll be dressed to kill (Saturday) too. But it won't be down at Dino's Bar and Grill but at the Inn at DePauw in Greencastle, 2 W. Seminary St., when the Average House Band returns for its seventh reunion concert, partying like it's 1979.

The fun begins at 9 both nights with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are still only $10 per person, even though expenses for putting the show together have gone up across the board, organizers note.

The annual get-together not only brings back the principals of the Average House Band -- the local group perhaps most synonymous with the Greencastle music scene to this day -- but many of their friends and followers for what has become one of the local rock-and-roll events of the summer.

As always, the AHB lineup includes all the usual suspects -- Sandy Williams on guitar, Danny Martin on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Michael on guitar, Bill Hamm on bass with Rod Kersey and Fred Badalli on drums. This year the boys will be joined by Veronica Pejril on keyboards (she is the regular keyboard player for The Hauskatz, joining Michael and Hamm in that local group.)

"They've all got a little less hair or it's a little more gray, but the boys are all revved up and ready to go," says Michael who this past February was inducted into the Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame in celebration of his more than 40 years performing locally.

While the Average House Band was a staple of the local music scene over much of the 1970s and 1980s, band members have migrated to such warmer climes as California and Florida. Yet they haven't lost their desire to please their longtime hometown fans and faithfully return each summer.

Average House Band will entertain with rock and roll, blues and country numbers -- just like the good old days down at Old Topper Tavern Mr. Ron's, D.B. Cooper's or elsewhere.

Concertgoers Friday and Saturday will experience "the same old songs ... the songs they came to hear," Michael said.

"We'll play a couple new tunes that we used to play before and people have been requesting us to do," he said.

He's already taken reservations from California, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois for Aug. 10-11 shows.

"So again it's all roads lead to the Average House Band," Michael laughed.

After all these years though, little surprises Michael, he admits.

However, he was shocked back in early spring when a car pulled into his driveway as he mowed for one of the first times of the year.

Out popped an old acquaintance, Michael said, who paid him well in advance for three tables for this weekend's event.

"What really surprises me," he added, "is who we see there. It's amazing. We play and have a good time, and I look up and it's over."

Back in the day when not a weekend went by without AHB playing somewhere, "it was really a good time for music in general," Michael noted. "We were like big ducks in a small pond."

The event will include a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres menu, along with a 50/50 drawing with proceeds donated to the Greencastle High School Alumni Association. Aside from Martin (a Reelsville product) and Badalli (from Dyer in northwest Indiana), the band members are all GHS graduates.

Also, the Sam Adams brewery will be offering a tasting of some of its seasonable beers during the event, while two Coors Girls will be on hand passing out promotional items, Michael said.

In addition, his daughter, Mary Michael, will give a solo performance Saturday at a 5-7 p.m. cookout concert on the patio (corner of Seminary and Vine streets) of the Inn at DePauw.

Meanwhile, the Danny Martin "Touch of Mink" VIP Package is again available, featuring a reserved table with seating for 10 for $100. Full tables are gone for Saturday, however.

And the reunion concert wouldn't be complete without the annual mink coat (faux fur) drawings (admission tickets go into the raffle).

Persons may contact Michael for table reservations online at smichael@cinergymetro.net or by phone at 721-3913.

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