Dr. Bob plans to rock throughout the winter
December 2, 2014
Guitarist Jeffrey Howrey is one of Park City’s musical stalwarts. He played his first gig in Park City in 1977. In 1982, Howrey formed the Dr. Bob Band and has played in and around town and the Intermountain West.
This winter, the band will be busy as ever with performances at Collies and Mojo’s.
"We’re going to be the house band for these establishments," Howrey said during an interview with The Park Record. "We’ll be playing locally five times a week."
The band will play Collies, 738 Main St., every Friday and Sunday night.
"Sunday night will also be an open mic session there and we’ll be in charge of booking other acoustic acts there on Saturdays," Howrey said. "We will open things up for other people."
At Mojo’s, located at Park City Mountain Resort, Dr. Bob, who has been the house band since 2011, will perform après ski shows every Thursday, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
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"Like at Collies, we will book other local musicians for the Saturday slot," Howrey said.
The guitarist said playing live and booking live music for these venues is his sole musical mission.
"Nothing against DJs, but live music has been kind of run out of places in town these days," Howrey said. "I understand why, because of the cost to hire a band as opposed to one person. Also, there is no way to replicate the music the younger crowd listens to on the radio. In fact, the young people who are playing live music are playing ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Mustang Sally,’ because that music was made for live instruments."
This year, The Dr. Bob Band has added two members to its lineup. In addition to longtime members Howrey, guitarist Carl Roehmann and percussionist Greg Friedman, the band welcomed bassist Fab Rodig and harmonica player Richard "The Professor" Lesh.
"Fab has played internationally on the USO shows and is very good," Howrey said. "Richard is older. He’s lived in Park City for more than 30 years. We call him ‘The Professor’ because he has taught at Princeton, Columbia University, Perdue and the University of Indiana.
"Like many musicians, he had to work to do what he loves," Howrey said. "He’s just a great guy."
Every now and then the band will welcome former member and co-founder, vocalist Bets Pott, who flies in from Portland, Oregon, to perform.
"The band was formed in a house about a block away from Main Street and have remained local ever since," Howrey said. "We have played more than 2,500 shows since then."
In addition to local headlining concerts, the Dr. Bob Band has opened for groups such as The Ramones, The Doobie Brothers, Huey Lewis & the News, The Romantics, Wet Willie, Taj Mahal and The Rave-Ups.
"We also have played some shows in Nashville, where we opened for Delbert McClinton," Howrey said. "Bekka Bramlett, the daughter of Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, also performed at that show."
During Dr. Bob Band’s career, Howrey has recorded and released 10 albums, including the latest, "Self Portrait," a compilation of the bands best works, handpicked by Howrey.
"What I think of myself more than anything is a songwriter," he said. "Songwriting is something that I do. I like doing it and I have to do it."
Still, Howrey considers songwriting the heartbreak of his life.
"I’ve written more than 200 songs, and have limited success," he said. "But in order to keep audiences happy in this town, you do have to play covers. So locally, like many musicians here, I know hundreds of cover songs.
"I do try to play originals at my gigs, but to get the audiences’ attention, you play the Beatles, the Stones, James Taylor or Elton John, and all that," he said. "There isn’t anything worse than to play an original tune that is like a child to me, and everyone stands around talking."
But the musician in Howrey continues to task him, even during the time when he found it hard getting gigs because he speaks his mind.
"I have been run off Main Street so many times that I can’t keep track," he said with a smile. "So I’m really excited about Collies.
"This is the first time I’ve been able to play on Main Street for a while," Howrey said. "This is a foothold for live music. I’m psyched that they want to go for it because I live to play music for people. It’s the last buzz of my life."
For more information and to download free Dr. Bob music, visit http://www.drbobjdh.com.
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