Singer Rick K. and the Band Change the Backing Concert to Classic Rock at a Car Show


RICK K., who once drove a 1965 Auburn Galaxy convertible, knows a classic car can escort one to another, perhaps a more idyllic moment. The same goes for the classic rock he and his band known as The Allnighters have played around the world, as well as during Super Bowl week, NBA All-Star weekend and God knows where. ‘other.

The two elements of the past mingle in a perfect storm of artful nostalgia for the annual outdoor extravaganza known as Hot Rods & Rock ‘n’ Roll on Washington Street in downtown Columbus from 3-9 p.m. September 17.

Over the years, the day of a car show and concert has attracted up to 6,000 people throughout the afternoon, including up to 1,000 people for the closing performance of the group, which takes place at 7 p.m. this year.

The band’s lead singer, speaking by phone from his home in Morgantown, West Virginia, on a rare day off the road, said he hoped the conversation and the upcoming party would be kept away from what he called the dreaded R-word. No, in his mind, the sun will rule the 106.1 The River FM Radio event.

“I so enjoy the atmosphere there,” said the man who keeps his surname abbreviated to a single letter for privacy. “My favorite part is seeing all the classic cars around. And all the radio station guys and girls there have always been great.

Nearly 300 vehicles were part of last year’s festivities, organizers said.

The Allnighters expect to mix tunes from as far back as the 60s and the Beatles with today’s tunes from artists such as Bruno Mars in a 90-minute show. They arrive these days without comedic and creative drummer Steve Moore, who became world famous a few years ago and suddenly landed on the covers of national music magazines after a video of him performing wildly with the Allnighters went viral. He is now on tour with a heavy metal band.

K. mentioned that the band’s 150 shows each year feature enough new entrants and scenery changes to help keep an occasionally evolving setlist. Plus, he sometimes deviates from the script for simple joy for a party-goer.

“We’ll even sing happy birthday,” he said.

He and his bandmates are known for their shimmering ’50s-style outfits in a rock world of ripped jeans and t-shirts. This year’s dress code will include white tuxedos.

“I always wanted to present more of the Temptations or a Las Vegas flash,” said the singer, who started performing at age 13 in clubs as a drummer with bands.

But the band puts a lot of work behind the surface flash. And few stop them. On a date in Ohio a few years ago, the power went out and the band members ventured into the crowds to sing a cappella with small groups of people gathered around.

He can’t imagine life without the band and the performances, though he admits he’s old enough to watch his three daughters grow up now.

“These days, people sometimes ask me, ‘Hey, when are you going to retire?’ “, said K.. “What am I going to do if I retire? Why the hell should I retire?

“It’s always what I like to do.”

The product of a rock drummer father with the added artistic influence of a jazz pianist grandmother appeared at the local car show for about 15 years and was a crowd favorite. A few years ago, when the radio station used another band, many attendees expressed their wish to see Rick K. and the Allnighters return.

“People really love his energy and the energy of the whole band,” said Bob Morrison, general manager of The River Oldies 106.1 FM. “And they know that Rick works really hard to update his music for the show, just like we regularly update the music on The River.”

“Over time, the show has advanced (in decades) as our audience has advanced (in preferences). And Rick makes it really fun.

Morrison said the same about event organizer Christine Nelson, the radio station’s business manager.

“She’s,” Morrison said, “a real rock star.”

About the event

What: Annual Hot Rods & Rock ‘n’ Roll car show and concert presented by 106.1 FM The River.

When: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 17.

Where: Washington Street in downtown Columbus.

Admission: Free.

Food drink: Available at downtown restaurants.

Concert: At 7 p.m. with Rick K. and the Allnighters.

Information: Facebook page of 106.1 Le Fleuve


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