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The 100s Are:

Dave Pedersen - vocals

Jeff Schmidt - guitar, harmonica

Mike Daly - keyboards,

Tim Looney - drums

Vern McShane - pedal steel guitar, lap steel

Pete Raine - bass, vocals

The 100s ~ Band Bio

The "Americana Music" tent is a pretty big piece of canvas these days, one that stretches to encompass an assortment of traditional and contemporary performers, songs and styles.  Under this big top you'll find Midwest band The 100s, playing its own brand of roots-rock-country-folk music and building a loyal following through its live shows and its two CD releases, "Take the Gravel Home" (2005) and "Echoes" (2008).

The band's two founding members, David Pedersen (lead vocals) and Jeff Schmidt (guitar) have been collaborating and playing the Eastern Iowa open-mic circuit for most of the last decade, and in 2003 they looked to build upon their folk-duo foundation when Ken Kemper (bass, banjo, vocals) and Tim Looney (drums) joined the lineup.  Building the band into a formidable rock ensemble allowed the pair to stretch out on stage with the band's early live shows - performances that mixed countrified ballads with foot-stomping rockers, and featured covers from artists as recognizable as Bob Dylan and as obscure as short-lived '80s "Paisley Underground" stalwarts Green On Red.  Additional band members recruited from 2004 to the present day only served to bolster the band's unique amalgam of acoustic folk-based 'Rural Route Rock', leaning heavily in those early days on a multi-stringed arsenal of fiddles, banjos, dobros, acoustic guitars, and multi-vocal harmonies, with the occasional Telecaster-driven rock riff-laden set (lest folks forget that the band has a harder-edged bent to them as well, after all).  This melding of sounds led to the release of "Take The Gravel Home" in 2005, a folk-rock compilation produced by the band's guitarist/mandolinist Pete Raine, which was well received by the local press.  ("An enjoyable brand of folk, country and rock that eventually could make The 100s one of the area's most beloved bands," said The Cedar Rapids Gazette.  "It's arguable if there's ever been a rock band that has captured the modern rural Iowa zeitgeist with the posture-free accuracy of The 100s," said the Iowa City Press-Citizen.)

Years and lineup changes later, The 100s are exploring some distinctly different musical territory with the release of 'Echoes' in 2008. Fiddle and dobro have been supplanted with a pedal steel guitar sound delivered by newest band member Vern McShane, who brought his sizeable chops out of semi-retirement to take a whack at influencing The 100' sound.  Though one might think that this fundamental shift might lean the band in a particular sonic direction, the songs and the performances on 'Echoes' successfully span all the gaps from rock to country to folk to pop.  The twelve original cuts reflect a more matured, introspective songwriting style these days, and a tighter band than ever in the studio.  A little added experimentation with other instruments (piano, Hammond organ, cello) fleshes out this release into a "next-level" snapshot of a band which by now has started to find its true voice, but continues to seek out new ways to say its piece.

The 100s enjoy the live show as well - they've had the opportunity to play many notable Eastern Iowa festival shows, including the Springville Quasquicentennial Celebration, where the group opened for Nashville-based recording artists Little Big Town.  The band also has performed live on Iowa Public Radio stations WSUI ("Live from the Java House") and KUNI ("Live From Studio One"), and have been viewed on University of Iowa Television.

In 2012, the departure of Ken Kemper saw Pete Raine sliding over to the bass chores, and the addition of keyboardist Mike Daly saw yet another direction change for the band's sonic tack, delving into some pop-jazz arsenal to add to the repertoire while putting a brand new spin on the originals.  The musical story continues to evolve, which is what The 100s do best - keeping it fresh and interesting long after many bands have hung up their axes.

To sum it all up:  'The 100s sound' is for all folk - young and old, urban and rural, those hip to the current non-mainstream music scene, and those more set in their listening ways.  They combine honest storytelling with solid musicianship to create a sonic sense of place that's both unique and well-rooted all at once.  And hopefully, there's always room under the tent for a band like that...

Today, The 100s are...

Dave Pedersen: vocals
Jeff Schmidt: guitar, harmonica
Mike Daly: keyboards, backing vocals
Vern McShane: pedal steel guitar
Pete Raine: bass guitar, backing vocals
Tim Looney: drums

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