Big In Iowa
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Big In Iowa

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The best kept secret in music


"Big In Iowa Gets Big Movie Break"

Published March 17, 2006

HAMILTON - "Geezil Pete," the newest album from Hamilton's Big in Iowa, isn't even out yet, but the band is already garnering attention for its songs.

Four songs from "Geezil Pete" are included in a re-editing of the independent film "Dead Horse," filmed in Cincinnati by director Paul Geiger and featuring veteran Hollywood character actor Daniel von Bargen.

A native of Cincinnati, von Bargen has appeared in 84 films and TV series, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, including a stint as Commandant Edwin Spangler in the FOX situation comedy "Malcolm in the Middle."

"The film is about a yuppie salesman who finds himself blackballed from the industry," said producer Matt Hader. "The only job he can find is in an old carpet store."

Its staff includes Stu, played by von Bargen, who is obsessed with killing his married lover's husband.

"Our hero gets sucked into his scheme," Hader said, describing the film as a dark comedy.

The film premiered in 2004 at the Dances With Films festival in Santa Monica, Calif. That version of the film featured well-known country and country rock songs from the 1960s and '70s, Hader said. Because it was a festival submission and not a commercial release, the producers did not have to secure rights to the songs.

But in doing the work for upcoming commercial and DVD release, the producers discovered that getting rights to the music would have cost more than the original, undisclosed budget for the film itself.

"So we sought out local musicians that would let us have the rights to use their songs," he said.

"Beautiful Women Foolish Men," "Every Time I Fall In Love," "Hamiltucky Honky Tonk Hero" and "If These Walls Could Talk" are the tunes that will be in the film, said Big in Iowa's Ken Glidewell.

"Dead Horses" will also feature tunes from the Cincinnati-based The Thirteens.

Hader said they particularly liked "Hamiltucky Honky Tonk Hero," which talks about some of Hamilton's more notorious landmarks, including the Grand Hotel and the Vagabond Lounge, both of which have been demolished in recent years.

"It plays like a character in the movie," Hader said. "It has a great alternative country sound to it and has a comic feel. You know something bad is going to happen - but funny, too."

Big in Iowa includes bass guitarist Ken Glidewell, Mike Gray on vocals and guitars, Dan Andrews on vocals, guitars and other stringed instruments, and Randy "Spike" Wilson on drums and percussion. They all live in Hamilton.

"This a good boost to have even before the record comes out," said Glidewell, who is currently in Austin, Texas, at the South-by-Southwest music festival seeking national distribution for "Geezil Pete," which will be released locally sometime in the next month.

(c) 2006 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The JournalNews

- Hamilton Journal-News


Big In Iowa "Geezil Pete!" available now. Four songs from the CD will appear in Dead Horse, a film starring Daniel VonBargen (over 30 appearances in major motion pictures and network television programs such as O Brother Where Art Thou, Malcom In The Middle, Seinfeld, Law & Order, and Silence of the Lambs)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Big In Iowa

Big In Iowa hails from Hamilton, Ohio. The present lineup of bass guitarist Ken Glidewell, Mike Gray (vocals, guitars), Dan Andrews (vocals, guitars and other stringed instruments) and Randy "Spike" Wilson (drums and percussion) bring a new sound to an internationally known name.

Big In Iowa comes out of your speakers with a classic southern flavor reminiscent of the 1960s and ’70s. The lyrics of the tune “Hamiltucky Honky Tonk Hero” sums up the band’s stylistic quirks. Vocalist Mike Gray lamented that at the age of ten, “I used to watch Buck Owens and Roy Clark pick and grin.” “There’s no doubt that we are influenced by bands of the 60’s and 70’s as well as some of today’s artists,” said Glidewell. “We grew up listening to that stuff.” The band’s musical talents allow it to carve its own niche from influences that clearly include the aforementioned as well as Credence Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones, Hank Williams Jr., Muddy Waters, ZZ Top, Johnny Cash, The Charlie Daniels Band and more.

Big In Iowa has performed stints in several nightclubs and festivals, playing in the Tall Stacks 2003 line up that also featured BB King, Ricky Skaggs, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Steve Earle and others. The band’s new C.D., “Geezil Pete,” carves another notch into grassroots country and southern-spiced rock. Local listeners will be drawn to the toe-tapping “Hamiltucky Honky Tonk Hero.” Songs like “Headache,” “All I Can Do” and “Black Hearted Woman” offer fast-paced jamming while “This Old House” and “The Zoo” provide more of a laid-back classic country groove that could remind one of George Jones. The band sums up the album with the blowout country rock song “Cheap Drunk,” a statement of Big In Iowa’s incredible musical talent and an energetic compilation finale.

“Geezil Pete” is a change of direction for the band.” When we went through the changes in personnel, we played to the band’s strong points,“ said Glidewell. “Mike’s voice leads the band, and when we were in rehearsals writing I knew exactly where we needed to go to make this new disc.” The production stems from the band’s mix of influences and personalities, giving the album a variety for Big In Iowa’s local, national and international fan base to enjoy.

Four of the tunes on the new Disc will be featured in the Indie Film “Dead Horse” starring Daniel VonBargen known for his role in O Brother Where Art Thou, Silence Of The Lambs, Seinfeld, Malcom In The Middle and dozens of other major film and Television appearances.

For more on Big In Iowa, visit or contact Under A Rock Management, P. O. Box 13268, Hamilton, OH 45013. (513) 868-7064.

Credits: Songs published by Burrito Boy Music BMI, all material copy-written by Burrito Boy Music BMI, photos by E.L. Hubbard, band biography by Mandy Gambrell. Additional musicians: Bob Kennedy, piano and organ; Rick Nye, piano; Jackie Marie, Katrina Hallon and Charlotte Hicks, backing vocals and Kenny Holycross, pedal steel.