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Local band is headed to Nashville

Randy Bauer1 / 3
A.J. Waters2 / 3
Pete Humphreys3 / 3

Smokehouse is heading to Nashville and in order to get there, the band is having a CD release and gas money party at the Eagles Club in Bemidji Oct. 15 from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

"Smokehouse has been invited down to talk to a couple of producers and record a spot on the Shotgun Red Variety Show," said band leader Randy Bauer. "This is a really big deal for us."

The band, which plays country is also known for rocking the house with boogie woogie, swing, jive and more!

They are regulars at Shooting Star Casino and the Northern Lights Casino, the LCO Casino in Hayward, WI, the Potawotami Casino in Carter, WI and the Dockside in Bottineau, N.D. and this year, they played Moondance, Kickin' Up Country, Toby Keith's and River Fest.

"This is really exciting for us," said A.J. Waters. "This is a very important step toward the big time. It means the right people have noticed us, and really like what we do, how we give a show."

The band consists of Bauer on lead vocals, keyboards, saxophone (and occasionally the accordian); Waters on lead guitar and vocals, Drew Thompson on bass and Pete Humphreys on drums and vocals.

Bauer grew up in Blackduck and started playing music at the age of eight. By the time he was 15, he had made it a full-fledged career.

Out of high school he went on the road full time with several acts including Macarthur Park, a funk band out of D.C. He also started his own two-piece band called 2's Company, a show band that played five-piece rooms.

His talent has led him to perform as a member of several national groups such as The Shirelles, The Coasters, Tommy Roe, Sha Na Na and the Drifters just to name a few. He also has provided production and sound for many national acts including Gary Allan, Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard, Staind and many others.

His abilities as a composer gave him the opportunity to score the movie Bemidji Between the Wars 1918-1941. He brings the boogie-woogie funk edge to the Smokehouse band's wildly varied sound, allowing them to please a wide variety of musical tastes.

Waters hails from Missouri and began playing at the age of six. He joined the service at 17 and was stationed in Germany, where he continued to hone his craft until his return to Kansas City. Enjoying much success with a regional act called Trick Ryder, he got the opportunity to travel full time, opening for many national acts.

Humphreys has been playing drums for 25 years. He began his career in music in the United States Marine Corps with the FMF Pac Band, Pearl Harbor, HI.

During his stint in the Corps, he played for two presidents and traveled to Australia to play Sidney's Royal Easter Show. After the Corps, he was based in Minneapolis playing professionally on the road and locally.

In 1996, he moved to Bemidji to attend Bemidji State University. While majoring in music, he led the Red Line Swingers pep band and received two prestigious scholarships. He continues to play and teach in the area.

Thompson just joined the band as bass player and hails from North Carolina. He is also band leader for the famous 1960s act The Platters.

Getting the band to Nashville is not the only reason to raise money. This would be a chance to help Bauer fulfill his lifelong dream.

For more information, go to their website, or e-mail or call 218-239-0247.