Vocalist CHERYL RUTZ began singing at a young age, largely encouraged by her father. He put her in the spotlight at the tender age of ten, after countless hours, months, and years in the basement of their rural Kansas home – dad on guitar as he coached her to sing. She would continue to sing with her dad for many years, as well as other local country bands around the Kansas region, …and then she found the blues. Introduced by a great friend, Cheryl felt an immediate connection with blues music and has been singing it ever since. Most recently she was the lead vocalist for DownsideUp. Excited to back in the music scene, she is thrilled to be sharing the stage with some of her favorite musicians.
Backing her are the men that make up Lewis St. Soul, composed of musicians with many years of combined experience and exceptional talent:
Guitarist, AMOS VEGA, known for his fiery guitar work, has played with many local bands over the years including Troubled Times, The Five Heartbeats, Slight Return, Salad, 100 Mile Radius, Jimmy Lewin & The Kingtones, Zafaja, The T-N-T Rhythm Band and Bruce Lacey. Always the blues and roots enthusiast, influenced by greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and B.B. King, Amos has been blessed to share the stage with many greats such as Berry Harris, Pat McJimsey, Jimmy Lee Robinson, Major Handy, Myra Taylor, Marquise Knox and Jimmy D. Lane.
Tearing up the organ is local favorite PAUL DRAPER, who played his first gig at age 14. Paul has continued playing for the past 52 years with various musicians and bands in Kansas and Massachusetts. His musical travels have taken him all over the nation coast to coast, recording in many studios, such as those in Hays, KS; Salina, KS; Blue Springs, MO; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; and Albuquerque, NM, with a solo album to his credit.
On bass guitar, providing the band’s smooth low end, is RANDY GOBLE. Randy grew up in a musical family with grandpa playing the banjo, and mom, brother, aunts, and uncles all playing in many bands. Continuing the family gift giving, Randy has blessed many bands in the last 45 years, playing all types of music including Country, Rock, Gospel, and Smooth Jazz.
Keeping the band in the groove is drummer DAVE RUTZ. Dave also started as a youngin…at age 15 he was playing in a house band with Bob Jennings & The Big Beats. He also was part of The Troupers (sporting some rock star hair with many stylish tuxedos and platform shoes!!) He is most known around the area for his drum stylings with the Freed band, LIX, and DownsideUp.