Ok so some of you have never heard of The Rainmakers. I get it. They are a band out of Kansas City and in the ’80’s they were the hottest local band in town. I loved this bands first 2 albums and was always befuddled why they didn’t reach a higher level of popularity. In 1986 they released their classic eponymous debut album. Somewhere in the ’90’s after several releases that did not sell well, they ended their run…got back together and then broke up again in 1998. In 2011 they reunited (mostly) to release 25 On, celebrating 25 years since the release of their first album. What a wonderful, unexpected surprise this CD was. It finds Bob Walkenhorst (lead singer,songwriter and main Rainmaker) using an older much more mature voice in his songwriting. That doesn’t mean that he is any less witty in his song-crafting, just don’t expect to hear an updated version of Big Fat Blonde or Government Cheese.
Bob still maintains his legend as a local musical hero with songs like “Kansas City Times” and the catchy “Missouri Girl” . But it is the more introspective songs that standout on this disc. The strongest song of the set is the sadly beautiful “Last Song Of The Evening” where Walkenhorst tells the story of a Missouri farm wife in the first person. There was quite a few nights I spent in my girlfriends old garage listening to music, drank and smoked where I would close out the night with this tune. My other favorite song on the disc is “Like Dogs” a mid tempo rocker. A song about a man who is being warned about how his superficial life is going to lead him to loneliness.
25 on is a slid offering from start to finish and hopefully is not the last we hear from the greatest band to ever come out of Kansas City.