The Rainmakers at Lindberg's
The Rainmakers are a Kansas City, Missouri-based original rock band, fronted by Bob Walkenhorst, which had a small string of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the United States and Europe, especially Norway.
The Rainmakers were formed in 1983 as a three-piece bar band called 'Steve, Bob and Rich,' which "quickly became popular throughout the Midwest," according to one Amazon.com review. They released one album, Balls, under this name. The addition of drummer Pat Tomek allowed Walkenhorst to switch to guitar and assume the role of frontman. The band changed their name to The Rainmakers when they were signed to Polygram by A&R man Peter Lubin.
The band's self-titled 1986 debut album received positive reviews in the U.S. entertainment media including Newsweek magazine, which dubbed it "the most auspicious debut album of the year," and reached #87 on the U.S. Billboard album chart. The band made a fan of horror writer Stephen King, who quoted the band's lyrics in his novels The Tommyknockers and Gerald's Game. The album, however, achieved its greatest commercial success overseas. In the United Kingdom, the single "Let My People Go-Go" broke into the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.
Their follow-up album, 1987's Tornado, peaked at #116 on the U.S. chart. The Rainmakers released one more studio album, 1989's The Good News and The Bad News, and one live album, 1990's Oslo-Wichita Live, which were successful in Europe.
However, Scandinavian interest in their music remained high, so they reformed and released a new album, Flirting with the Universe, in 1994. The album achieved the equivalent of gold record status in Norway in one month. One more album, Skin, followed in 1996 before the band broke up for good....or did they?
After returning to his old stomping grounds in Norway with the duo project Walkenhorst & Porter in 2010, Bob Walkenhorst saw that his music hadn't been forgotten by the old fans. 2011 would mark the 25th anniversary of The Rainmakers' debut album, and Bob saw the possibility of making it a special celebration with a reunion of the band.
With all but one original member onboard -Steve Phillips is too busy with his band The Elders--and new member Jeff Porter taking over the guitar duties, the scene was set for a grand celebration with a brand new album "25 On" and tour dates in both Norway and the US. And as the cherry on top, on March 5 2011 The Rainmakers were inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.
With newfound vigor The Rainmakers continued playing the midwestern area and 2012 saw them do two tours of Norway - one in the Winter and a second in the Summer.
2013 found the band performing only in the midwestern area, but once 2014 rolled on they shifted gears, recorded a new album "Monster Movie" in late January and embarked on another Scandinavian tour in June, this time returning to Sweden for the first time in 25 years with a gig at the famous Sweden Rock Festival and six concerts in Norway closed out the tour.
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