In with the Nouveau: #1 Rodeo’s rapid rise

If you go

What: Nouveau Rock Music & Art Festival 2011 with #1 Rodeo, The Zou, Third Class, Fillmore Jive, DaKreek, Pictora, Sexy Pig Divas, Zhopa Mira, Braille, Tullsen Brothers and Shiloh Hawkins

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cedars Lounge, 23 N. Hazel St., Youngstown.

Info: call 330-743-6560.

Place:Cedars West End

702 Steel St., Youngstown

By John Benson

Apparently, stoner-rock act #1 Rodeo — Bill Lowery (vocals, guitar), Cory Snyder (guitar, vocals), Jerry Hanhold (bass, vocals) and Shawn Logan (drums) — likes to play loud and showboat. At least that’s what the quartet learned at a recent Akron show where the bar owners literally pulled the plug on the group early in its set.

“We got kicked out of the bar because we were too loud,” said 2000 Cardinal Mooney High School graduate Hanhold, formerly of the local group Asleep. “I don’t know how it happened. I’ve been playing music for a long time, and that’s never happened. Honestly, it was like a place where it seems an ’80s cover band would play. It was funny. It happened three songs into our set. We were playing, and they turned the PA off. We got into it with the people, and this lady said, ‘You’re done. You’re showboating. You’re crazy.’ To me it’s like, I’m a rock musician, of course I’m showboating.”

Showboating and more is what the band hopes to bring to the Nouveau Rock Music & Art Festival Saturday at Cedars Lounge. Formed roughly a year ago, #1 Rodeo came together when Hanhold and his fellow Boardman Guitar Center employees, all veterans of the Youngstown music scene, decided to put together a band.

The only thing needed was a group name. It didn’t take long before fate danced with destiny for inspiration to strike.

“It’s probably not a news-paper-appropriate story,” Hanhold said, laughing. “Where we worked, there was this family who always came in. One of the guys I worked with said something is not right about that family. Well, this guy comes in and puts something in layaway. When he came back, he was dressed in full drag, but he had a beard and had his whole family. It was like, ‘This guy is disgusting. He’s like 400 pounds and he was wearing this sundress.’ And on his arm he had this really crappy prison tattoo that said #1 Rodeo. We thought it was a perfect band name. It was the junkiest homemade tattoo.”

Junky with a flair for showboating is an apt description of #1 Rodeo, which Hanhold describes as having an MC5-meets-Jesus Lizard sound that quickly has caught the attention of the local music scene.

“It’s sort of ’90s grunge, alternative type of stuff,” Hanhold said. “It seems to be getting a good response in this area. I just think people are open-minded around here to hearing different things, and there’s a strong arts scene downtown that seems to kind of respond to that kind of stuff.”

Plans call for the outfit to hit the studio soon to record its debut EP for a summer release. Among the songs in the mix are the in-your-face “White Lines,” the simplistic “Knuckle Lock” and the drinking song “Gold.”

In fact, Hanhold said the band’s entire catalog can be described as nothing more than drinking tunes. With that in mind, who does more — the band or the band’s audience?

“Well, both are active,” Hanhold said. “I’d say it’s not the only way to experience #1 Rodeo, but it’s probably the best way.”

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