Michigan band Rivertown Underground bring experience to Evart


EVART – Thursday nights are a sacred moment for a group of three Evart musicians, who make up the group “Rivertown Underground”.

The three meet in the bassist’s basement, where they have a small stage and bar, and continue to drink beers, relax, and play songs for their next show.

Encompassing decades of experience in the Evart rock scene, the power trio consists of Chad Gudding on bass, Raylon Saskatchewan on drums and Jon “Gus” Foster on guitar. All three members sing, alternating who does the lead part while the others provide harmonies.

Foster explained the meaning of the name. “Rivertown” comes from Evart, which is known as a river town to some, and the “underground” part comes from how the band promoted shows.

“The underground thing is you don’t know where we’re going to play next,” Foster said.

The band used to promote shows by going to parties and keggers and slipping pieces of paper with a time and place on them for the band’s next show.

According to Foster, this “underground” method of promotion keeps their followers on their toes and builds anticipation for the next show.

As for being a threesome, the members said there was less drama, there was more money to spend, and they thought it was a magic number in some way. so.

Having been members of several bands over the years, Rivertown Underground have a pearl on the history of music in their area, having played shows in venues that no longer exist alongside musicians who have become local legends.

“It’s been passed down from generation to generation over the years,” Foster said.

TK Kelly, Chet Walker, Levi Elder and Steve Booker are just a few of the names they mentioned.

“The roots are musically deep. I guess when you’re talking about musicians in general in this field, if we don’t know them, they probably haven’t been here very long,” Saskatchewan said.

The group all agreed that there was “something in the water” when it came to music in their part of Michigan.

“The cool thing about this neighborhood is that it’s a special neighborhood for music, you won’t find it anywhere. Because of where we live, music is an outlet and its connection to people. And we all have a connection that we’re pretty proud of,” Foster said.

Most of the region’s musicians have given up on being rockstars, according to Saskatchewan, and they did so “a long time ago”, relieving the pressure of trying to break into the industry and allowing them to focus on the fun and do it because they like it.

“If it gets to the point where it’s no longer fun, we’re not going to do it,” Foster said.

Saskatchewan accepted.

“When you’re an entertainer and you’re in music, you just do it to get it done,” Saskatchewan said.

As veterans of the area, Rivertown Underground thrived because fellow musicians gave them a chance to shine and taught them the ropes. Now they hope to do this for less experienced musicians in the area and have loved seeing certain bands grow over the years.

“It’s amazing to see the progress children can make if they sit down. It’s time. it takes time,” Gudding said.

According to the guys, music is in the DNA of every member of “Rivertown Underground” and every musician in the Evart area. They feel the urge to express themselves through music as often as artists in any other medium might aspire to practice their craft.

“We can all have it at some point because the worst is when you can’t play. When you don’t play for a while, you get that itch,” Saskatchewan said.


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