Bob Dorr and the Blues Band “Last Goodbye”

By Ric Holmquest

Bob Dorr and the Blue Band will officially call it quits with the Last Goodbye Tour, ending their long and storied musical career with their Eve of New Year’s Eve event at CSPS in Cedar Rapids Saturday, December 30 and their annual Happy Blue Year Celebration in Johnston, Iowa on New Year’s Eve.

Dorr shares, “I’ve always wanted to perform at CSPS and was stunned that the room was available that night. For a regional act like the Blue Band to perform there is a fantastic thing! This performance is a catered event, with food from the Village Meat Market & Café. CSPS was our closest venue to the Village Meat Market and presented the best opportunities, with the various rooms for the different featured artist’s that will perform on two stages.”

The Last Goodbye Tour concludes with performances at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort January 12 and 13 with Duke Tumatoe opening and a Last Goodbye Encore to support Iowa Public Television on Saturday, January 20 from the Iowa Public Television’s Maytag Auditorium. Dorr affirms, “I’ve worked with the family that owns the casino for almost as long as the band has been together, beginning with our Blues Cruises on the Mississippi Belle” adding “there will be no cover charge, you just have to be 21 to get in the casino for one of our last gigs.”

The legendary Blues front man, Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fam inductee and award winning Iowa Public Radio host started the Blue Band in the summer of 1981, a remarkable 36 years ago. The band averaged 125 dates per year, opening shows for B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Robert Cray, Roomful of Blues, Tower Of Power and many others. The band has over twenty five album releases on Dorr’s own Hot Fudge Records label.

The Blue Band’s incredible music journey through the years has enjoyed the talents of a seemingly endless list of contributors that looks like an Iowa Blues music Who’s Who. Jeff Petersen is an original member and still handles guitar, lap steel and vocals for the band. Molly Nova added her signature electric violin, bass guitar and vocals from 1981-2001.

Blue Band drummers have included; Bryce Loshman, Turk Krause and since 2003 Steve “the Chief” Hayes. Blue Band guitarists and bass players have included; E. Scott Esbeck, Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ron DeWitte, Bryce Janey and Iowa Blues Hall of Famer Dan Johnson. Dan Magarrell was a multi-instrumentalist from 1987-1996 providing sax, guitar, percussion, vocals and songwriting.

The Blue Band’s horn section has included; “Wild” Bill Cannon, Bob Thompson, Gary King, Nathan Peoples, Heath Alan Pattschull, Nolan Schroeder, Brian Crew and Al Naylor. Keyboardists included Ellery Temple and Iowa Jazz and Blues Hall of Famer Sam Salomone on his mighty Hammond B3. Phil Maass has provided his expertise as technician and advisor since 1984.

Bob sums it up with “the Blue Band has had more Iowa Blues Hall of Fame Inductees than any other band on the planet. Without Jeff there would not be a Blue Band all these years, plain and simple. We’ve been lucky to have the talent from the likes of Ron DeWitte to Molly Nova. The core four were together for fifteen years; Jeff, Molly, Bryce and myself. I feel very fortunate to be like the Pittsburgh Steelers, in that you don’t rebuild, you reload.”

Bob Dorr is far from done entertaining. His BlueMississippi will be the opener at the Friends Blues Blowout February 10 with Sonny Landreth. Landreth won the Blues Music Awards (BMA’s) Guitar Player of the Year, from the Blues Foundation in Memphis. The Iowa Blues All-Stars are the host for the Thursday night Blues Jam at Bryan’s on 4th in Waterloo. The Blue 2 will be joining the Parlor City Jam Band on the final Tuesday of each month. Bob affirms, “although the Blue band has run its course, we will still be involved in music as the opportunity presents itself.”

The remaining Last Goodbye Tour dates can be found at https://www.theblueband.com/shows

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