Prairie Wind

Prairie Wind

BandRockAdult Contemporary

We deliver Rock and Roll Memories! Playing covers of all the hits from the '60 to today! We bring smiles to your patron's faces as our songs send them back to better times. We'll show up on time, play hard, and deliver the goods for your function!

Biography

Playing 1960’s and 70’s top-40 radio-inspired rock and today’s most danceable tunes, Prairie Wind (Joanna Wall, vocals; Albert Mani, electric bass; Rick McClellan, guitar, vocals; Jeff Steele, guitar, vocals; Bret Overholtzer, drums) are considered by some to be Kansas City’s hardest working dance band. Combining the best of today’s pop and country tunes with the beloved party and dance tunes of the 60’s and 70’s, Prairie Wind provides a dancing experience not seen since the disco craze of the late 70’s! Prairie Wind’s set list reads like a veritable greatest hits list for the popular music enthusiast.

Prairie Wind's lead guitar-rhythm guitar-electric bass-drum instrumentation is augmented with Joanna's vocals, enabling a broader repertoire than most traditional cover bands. Albert's walking bass and Bret's rock solid drumming provide the canvas for Jeff's lead guitar licks and soloing artistry. Rick provides the texture and nuance with his rhythm guitar riffs and vocals. Joanna completes the picture with her inspired interpretations of yesterday's and today's popular songs. The dance floor is always crowded when Prairie Wind launches into a string of well-known-but-seldom-heard favorites.

Formed in 2002 by Rick McClellan and Bret Overholtzer to serve as an outlet for their musical yearnings, the band truly blossomed with the addition of Jeff (Magic Fingers) Steele on lead guitar and the talented Joanna Wall as vocalist and mistress of the shaking thingys. When Albert Mani joined to add a funkadelic bottom, the band crystallized into a steamrolling, churning urn of burning funk!

Although they all currently live in the Kansas City metro area, Joanna, Albert, Rick, Jeff, and Bret's origins are geographically different, but their love of music and their desire to provide a danceable entertainment experience bind these diverse friends into a cohesive group, working hard to please the audience with their musical talents. Embrace the Prairie Wind way of life and you'll find that world is a great place to live, love, and groove! We play the songs that you like to hear and sing along to!

Discography

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES…

ALBERT MANI - bass
For Albert, Rock and Roll began when Jimi Hendrix took the stage. As a lad, Albert was intrigued by Jimi’s screaming 1969 Stratocaster, and inspired Albert to jump on the electric guitar craze. Albert’s formative days were spent listening to guitar legends: Clapton, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Richie Blackmore, and Santana.

When, at the age of 18, Albert and his mates decided to form a rock trio, Albert was somewhat surprised to find himself drawn to the electric bass. Since then, Albert has refocused his musical influences, listening to Stanley Clarke and Larry Graham for the funk grooves, John Paul Jones for the rock bass feel, and Level 42’s Mark King for the slap bass riffs.

Albert uses several basses to achieve different feels and tones as the music requires, including a ’69 Fender Jazz, a ’92 long scale Fender Jazz, a 5-strinng TRB Yamaha, and a 6-string signature JP Yamaha. A Yamaha B-100MKIII head bi-amped through Peavey fuels his Trace stacks.

RICK MCCLELLAN – guitar and vocals
Fade in . . . a Springfield, MO family gathers around their black and white Zenith television on a Sunday night early in 1964 to watch the Ed Sullivan show. Ed introduces a four piece rock band from Liverpool, England that catches a small boy’s eye. They sing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and he is never the same again . . . Fade out.

Later that same year a four piece band was formed in the same town by Rick (Ricky at the time), his sister, and two friends. This band of second and third graders rocked away the hours in the alley behind their house under the name of the Insects covering Beatles tunes from their cartoon series. It was in these formative years that Rick developed his lightning speed, accuracy and creativity on the air guitar.
The rigors of elementary school, junior high and a couple of house moves put music on hold for Rick (note the name change) until the early seventies when new sounds came across his portable GE AM/FM radio. The hard driving acoustic sound of Jim Croce, tasty licks of James Taylor, heartfelt lyrics of John Denver and rock-the-house-down sound of Elton John pushed Rick into his first guitar purchase at age 16, a Conn six string acoustic. Along with pianist and lifelong friend Rodney Reeves, music and a little bit of magic happened in talent shows, city parks and living rooms across Springfield.

Fast forward to the early 1980s. Music lessons from former Crayon’s lead guitarist Brent McCann lead to an appreciation of classical guitar as well as a new found love of the Beatles music. Classical music led to several appearances at music competitions, weddings, coffee shops and other events in the Kansas City area but the flame of rock music still flickered. In the early 1990s, the opportunity to join a work-place band “Diamonds in the Rough,” appeared and the metamorphosis continued in small town bars and corporate events. Rick learned to love the finer aspects of electric guitar distortion playing “Gimme All Your Lovin’, Bad Case of Lovin’ You, Play that Funky Music White Boy” and many others through the late 1990s when the Diamonds called it quits.

Rick has played in Kansas City church worship bands for the last six years and is currently playing acoustic guitar at Johnson County Christian Church in Overland Park, KS. Prairie Wind gives him the much needed outlet for rock and pop music. Rick’s main ax is a Taylor 514ce along with a Gibson Les Paul Standard double cutaway. If the tips are big enough, you might get him to play air guitar.

BRET OVERHOLTZER – drums
Born in Dodge City, Kansas, named after Bret Maverick, and raised in the lush loess hills of south-western Iowa, Bret has a solid mid-western mindset combined with the suppressed wanderlust spirit of a would-be biker rebel. Barely missing the heady psychedelic days of the ‘60s, Bret was influenced early by the Top-40 music that abounded on the AM radio band throughout the 1970s: Three Dog Night, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Guess Who, Elton John, Chicago, and Steppenwolf.

Bret was drawn to the drums at an early age, after finding an old snare drum in the attic of his grandparent’s farmhouse. When piano lessons didn’t pan out, Bret took up drums at the ripe age of 10, practicing on a plastic snare that he earned selling Christmas cards. Bret received his first drum kit in 7th grade and gradually learned the basics of rock and roll drumming by playing along with the radio and his meager selection of LPs.

High School brought participation in the school jazz band, and a change in musical influences to funk and fusion, including Tower of Power, Return to Forever, Weather Report, and the jazz standards. A brief stint as the drummer for the New Earthstone Band brought Bret back to the rock genre, playing covers of Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, REO Speedwagon, BTO, and Grand Funk Railroad. In college, jazz standards held the day, as Bret partic

Set List

Rock and Roll Standards
« Wild Nights - John Mellencamp
« Take it Easy - Eagles
« Pink House - John Mellencamp
« Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin, - Journey
« Small Town - John Mellencamp
« Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
« You Wreck Me - Tom Petty
« Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin/LeAnn Rimes
« Jack and Diane - John Mellencamp
« Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller Band
« Never Been to Spain - Three Dog Night
« Joy to the World - Three Dog Night

Ballads and slow songs
« Travelin' Soldier - Dixie Chicks
« Picture - Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow
« Landslide - Stevie Nicks/Dixie Chicks
« Angel - Sarah Mclachlan
« Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
« Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

Oldies but Goodies
« Mony Mony - Tommy James/Billy Idol
« Brown-eyed Girl - Van Morrison
« Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum
« Draggin' the Line - Tommy James
« Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band
« Wild Thing - The Troggs
« I'm a Believer - The Monkees
« (not your) Steppin' Sto