Quarter Draw Band
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Quarter Draw Band

Wood River, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Wood River, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock

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"When someone brings in a new song, we've pretty much given up trying to decide if it's a country song, or a rock song, or a blues song," Richter said. "If we like it, we go with it, especially if it's something that makes you want to hit the dance floor, or drop a dollar in the jukebox."

Victor Kreuiter, one of the members of the Quarter Band, is a happy man. His daughter, who lives in Germany, is about to give birth, and can count on the love and support of the future grandparents.

What's more, the first album by Kreuiter's Quarter Draw Band was just released, and instead of getting the usual aniseed comfits (a traditional birth treat in the Low Countries -- transl) we were surprised to receive a copy "For Sale by Owner."

To RootsTime's great delight we can say that this delivery was a very successful one and that we’re really looking forward to further additions to the Quarter Draw Band family.

Kreuiter and his bandmates are from Wood River, Illinois, where they’ve been playing in country, blues, hard rock, psychedelic and lounge bands for ages. A number of these styles are evident on this album.

Bass player Jody Jones talks of "a big musical jambalaya," while Victor prefers to call it "rhythm & Midwestern." We would classify "For Sale By Owner" as "good roots music."

The opening songs, "Put it Back on Me" and "Blind Leading the Broken," are the kind of bluesy, swampy numbers patented by Tony Joe White and the late Luke Walter Jr., with solid blues harp playing and wonderful-sounding guitar licks.

They precede the rocker "B-Movie Love Affair." The opening guitar lick was borrowed from Chuck Berry, and as the song evolves you can hear references to Mark Knopfler and early Dire Straits.

The remark that "if the Quarter Draw Band was a dog, it would definitely be a tail-wagging, beer-lapping, two-stepping mutt" is true: the Quarter Draw Band butters its bread on various sides.

With "Jefferson County" and "Gatlinburg," they shift to classic Southern rock, and the honky tonk-ish "Beer Dreamin" and the twangy two-stepper "Heartache" show the Quarter Draw Band's country side. The happy, swinging "Loretta" should turn into a real sing-along song, especially live.

The real barroom rockers among us will undoubtedly greatly enjoy "Literary Masterpiece," and still appreciate a simple traditional blues like "Chase Them Blues Away." A beautiful storytelling song, "End of the Gig," fits perfectly with the rich, colorful palette of these 11 self-penned tracks.

It's nothing earth-shaking, but it's an excellent album with something for everyone.

QDB can count on a promising future, a kiss by the schoolmistress and an approving ear!
- Francois Braeken


BY TERI MADDOX
News-Democrat

You’ve probably never heard of the Quarter Draw Band. You’ve never seen its members perform, at least not together. You’ve never heard its eclectic brand of American roots music.

That’s because the five Madison County musicians spent their first two years refining and recording original songs before taking the act public.

“We didn’t want to throw together the standard play list and go out and play bars,” said Victor Kreuiter, 57, of Glen Carbon, who sings and plays keyboards, blues harp and saxophone. “We’ve already done that, and it was fun. People were really nice. But that’s not what we wanted to do this time.”

The band is inviting the public to its CD release party from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday at Lil’ Peeps, 115 N. Bluff Road in Collinsville. Admission is free.

The audience will hear a mix of originals from the CD, “For Sale By Owner,” and covers of artists such as the Rolling Stones, Tennessee Ernie Ford, the Grateful Dead, George Jones, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, J.J. Cale, Elvis Presley and The Band.

“We’re doing everything from classic rock and southern rock to greasy blues and bar-room country,” said singer and guitarist Marty Richter, 44, of Collinsville. “We do a lot of twangy stuff.”

The other three band members are singer and bass player Jody Jones, 58, of Wood River, singer and guitarist Claude “Clyde” Crisler, 57, of Troy and singer and drummer Derik Reiser, 36, of Maryville, who also plays dobro. All have performed with other bands.

Kreuiter and Jones go back the furthest. They played in a high-school band call the Jagged Edge in the late 1960s and later teamed up with the Impalas in the late 1990s.

“(The Jagged Edge) played the old Collinsville Park and the teen dances around Edwardsville, Collinsville, Alton and Wood River,” Jones said.

Kreuiter and Richter are members of the band Pro Bono & the Non-Billables, which consists of employees at Fleishman-Hillard, a public-relations firm in St. Louis. They perform mostly at charity events.

“Quarter Draw” refers to a small beer that could once be purchased for 25 cents at blue-collar taverns, symbolizing the band’s focus on music for the common man.

Jones and Crisler produced the debut CD in Jones’ basement, where he has a small but professional recording studio.

“I think we ended up with a pretty good product,” Jones said. “It took a little while, but we’re all very proud of it.”

The CD release party will begin with an acoustic performance by singer-songwriter Vijoy Rao of St. Louis. Denise Turner or Crestwood, Mo., will join Quarter Draw Band on stage to sing a few songs. Rao and Turner are members of Pro Bono & the Non-Billables.

Over the years, all the Quarter Draw Band members have pursued other careers. Reiser is information-technology director with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Jones is a maintenance instructor for Trans States Airlines and Crisler is retired from AT&T. Kreuiter is a graphic designer and Richter is a public-relations specialist at Fleishman-Hillard.

“We’re going to take (the band) as far as we can,” Richter said. “But I don’t think any of us have an illusion that we’re going to quit our day jobs and tour full time … It’s just an incredible feeling when you’re playing live and the audience is getting into it. That’s why I do it.”

For more information or to hear music samples from “For Sale by Owner,” visit the Web site at http://www.myspace.com/quarterdraw.
- Belleville News-Democrat


Discography

"For Sale By Owner" -- 12 song CD, independently produced and released. All original material. Has received airplay on KDHX-FM in St. Louis and on various roots- and blues-focused podcasts.

QDB was selected to contribute a cover of "Death of a Clown" that was included on a Dave Davies tribute CD produced by the Kinks Preservation Society.

QDB is hard at work on its second full-length CD, which should be out later in 2008.

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Bio

Rock 'n roll. Barroom country. Full-tilt southern boogie. Greasy blues. Honky-tonk. Twang. Americana. Roots music. If the Quarter Draw Band was a dog, it would definitely be a tail-wagging, beer-lapping, two-stepping mutt.

Based in Wood River, Illinois, Quarter Draw Band consists of five Southern Illinois musicians who have been around the block a few times. OK, maybe a lot of times. Between them, they've been in dozens of bands, dating back to 60s - country bands, blues bands, lounge bands, hard rock bands, horn bands, psychedelic bands. Bass player Jody Jones, for example, played in a country band in England, and in a heavy-rock band cover band in the Persian Gulf in the '70s.

On its debut album, “For Sale by Owner,” QDB's material veers from curb to curb like a 2 a.m. drunk leaving the corner tavern. It ranges from the bluesy groove of “Put it Back on Me” to Southern-fried rockers like "Gatlinburg" and “Jefferson County,” from cinematic boogie tunes like "B-Movie Love Affair" to suds-soaked odes to booze and jukeboxes like "Beer Dreamin'."

The disc is available on CD Baby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/quarterdraw) and iTunes, and songs have been featured on podcasts in the U.S., Germany, England, Wales -- wherever podcasts are tasty. Reviews from as far away as Belgium (Francois Braeken, “Roots Time”) call the release an “excellent album with something for everyone,” and cite influences ranging from Chuck Berry and Dire Straits to Little Walter and Tony Joe White.

A CD Baby reviewer says QDB’s music “makes me want to drive out into the countryside of southern Illinois, have a kegger at someone’s parents’ farm, put this on the boombox and get sloppy drunk and try to make out with a chick, and drive my car into a ditch.” And to be honest, playing these songs kinda makes QDB feel the same way. As the reviewer says, “listen to this and expect to get your fingernails dirty.”

QDB is currently at work on its second album, and is honing new material in shows at clubs, bars and festivals across the St. Louis and Metro East areas.

The band was selected to contribute a version of “Death of a Clown” to a Dave Davies (of The Kinks) tribute CD, produced by The Kinks Preservation Society.

Along with its original material, on any given night the band might cover songs by artists ranging from JJ Cale and The Band to Robert Johnson and Bobby “Blue” Bland, the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers to Tennessee Ernie Ford and Merle Haggard, the Grateful Dead and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils to George Jones and Elvis Presley.

Victor Kreuiter, who plays keys, sax and blues harp, calls QDB’s music “rhythm and Midwestern,” and Jones thinks of it as “a big ole musical jambalaya.” Guitarists Claude Crisler and Marty Richter and drummer Hank Burge round out the group; all the members write and sing.

“When someone brings in a new song, we’ve pretty much given up trying to decide if it’s a rock song, or a country song, or a blues song,” Richter said. “If we like it, we go with it, especially if it’s something that makes you want to hit the dance floor, or drop a dollar in the jukebox.”