Rural Missouri - November 2011 - (Page 29)

The hillbilly approach to the Woodstock nation For 40 years, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils have transported listeners to the rural Ozarks with their music photos courtesy of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils In this photo from their 1973 self-titled album, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils sit on the porch at Ruedi Valley Ranch in Aldrich. The 500-acre property became their “hang out” spot and location where the band recorded its second album, “It’ll Shine When it Shines.” Six weeks after signing with A&M Records, the all together to form a group. We weren’t so much a Ozark Mountain Daredevils were headed to Lonband, but a group that shared original material.” don to record their first self-titled album that was Before long, they were packing in the crowds released in 1973. It featured fan favorites such as with a strong local following. They started under the ohn Dillon rarely strayed from the rice and “Chicken Train,” “Standin’ On The Rock” and the band name, “Family Tree,” but at almost every show, soybean fields while growing up in southeast Top 30 hit, “If You Wanna Get to Heaven.” they would change to some outrageous name and Arkansas. In his world, nature’s beauty was the Riding the wave of success, the band headed back provide the crowd with not only good music, but a vast grasslands of the Grand Prairie that domito southwest Missouri to record its second album. bit of laughter that still is prevalent in their shows. nated the region. “The whole ‘It’ll Shine When It Shines’ album On weekends, the band would “Get back to the But when John left to attend Drury University in was recorded with a mobile truck out in the woods,” country” and work on songs at Ruedi Valley Ranch Springfield in the fall of 1965, he became infatuated says Steve Cash. “We were writing so many songs in Aldrich. For just a few dollars a month, Randle with the surrounding grandiose landscape of souththere. We had at least four writers in that group, and and his brother, Rusty, rented a 12-room, prewest Missouri with its mountains, it seemed every time we got together, we would be Civil War era mansion on more than 500 acres. deep valleys and clear streams he is working up songs.” “We would go up there and hone our craft proud to call home today. Not too long after the album was released in for days at a time,” says John. “Where I grew up, it was flat and you October 1974, the single “Jackie Blue” began climbThe band’s big break came when a can see forever,” says John, who currently ing the charts and became the band’s highest chart demo tape caught the attention of resides in Ozark. “It was this new-found Ozark topper — peaking at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 100 David Anderle at A&M Records. Anderlove that I had for the Ozarks that inspired • Chart. le and famous producer Glyn Johns, me to start writing songs.” During the next six years, the Daredevils would who worked with The Beatles, The Forty years later, John is still writing release four more albums, but none of them saw the Eagles and The Who, flew to Missouri to lyrics about the Show-Me State and playnational success of their first two records. Although catch one of the band’s performances. The two were ing with The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the band their mainstream fame faded, the band has kept a so impressed that they offered the band a record he and his buddies formed in 1971. The group — strong following going. contract on the spot, but needed one thing from the including John on vocals, guitars, harmonica and “For some reason, we never really quit,” says band: a name. other instruments, Steve Cash on vocals and mouth Steve, who still lives in Springfield. “We kept writing “One night, I coined the term Cosmic Corncob harp, Mike Granda on bass, Randle Chowning on new songs and enjoyed playing. Luckand His Amazing Ozark Mountain electric guitar, Larry Lee on drums and Buddy Brayily, our fans have been there since the Daredevils, but that was too long so field shining with his woodwinds, keyboards and beginning and have kept us alive.” we shortened it,” says John. “It worked percussion — became famous for its chart-topping The band currently plays around great for us. It puts emphasis on the hits such as “If You Wanna Get to Heaven” and Listen to the latest from The a dozen shows a year, including the region from where we get our inspira“Jackie Blue.” Ozark Mountain Daredevils final show of Wildwood Springs tion, and it denotes not only a place The band’s unique sound mixed rock ‘n’ roll and and Big Smith in the Lodge’s concert season in Steelville. on the planet, but a place in time as hillbilly folk into a humorous and foot-stomping online edition at A live album from last year’s show is well. Maybe it’s a place in your mind. style of music that turned the Daredevils into an now available. That’s what is great about this area.” overnight sensation that still consistently sells out To celebrate the past four decades shows across the country today. as a group, the Daredevils will play with John and his friends appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Big Smith national television shows such as “Don on Nov. 11 at the O’Reilly Family Event Kirshner’s Rock Concert.” They played to Center at Drury University. sold-out crowds in big clubs and small bars “It’s great to be able to share a stage from as far away as Glasgow, Scotland, to with bands like the Daredevils,” says Big the once-infamous Cowtown Ballroom Smith guitarist Mark Bilyeu. “We grew up in Kansas City. They opened for Jerry Jeff listening to their music while hanging Walker, partied with Paul McCartney and down at the creek. Their music definitely spent time working on songs at Headresonated with us and rang through our ley Grange in East Hampshire, England, ears.” which became famous after bands includEven though the band could have ing Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Fleetmoved anywhere, its members chose to wood Mac recorded and rehearsed there. call Missouri home throughout most of Long before the band’s success, it all their careers. started back in Springfield, when John was “I’ve been a lot of places, but this is attending Drury and playing at small bars. home,” says John. “It’s funny, I live in the “I had a gig at the New Bijou Theater small town of Ozark, and I feel like I have on Thursday and Friday nights called John more privacy and more freedom in this Dillon and Friends,” he recalls. “I would place than anywhere else in the world.” play original material, which at that time was highly unusual, and the other guys Current members of the Daredevils include, from left, Steve Cash, Michael Visit for merwould show up and join me. Then Randle Granda, Ron Gremp, John Dillon, Dave Painter and Kelly Brown. chandise information and concert dates. Chowning came up with the idea to put it by Kyle Spradley J NOVEMBER 2011 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2011

Rural Missouri - November 2011
Table of Contents
In search of Missouri mills
Co-ops take action
Best of rural Missouri
Out of the Way Eats
Second chance ranch
Grant takes command
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The hillbilly approach to the Woodstock nation
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - November 2011