"We are the answer to whatever fans want," says Jeff Myers, lead guitarist and singer for the Fort Wayne-based The Answer Band. "We love to play music for people, so we decided to really make it a customer-oriented band. We love to hear when someone says how much of a good time they’re having.”
Since forming in 1993, The Answer have grown to become one of the Tri-State area’s top rock n' roll dance bands. The Answer, featuring - Ralph Tourkow, bass; Amanda Kittredge, vocals; Chad Reichert, drums; Mike Clark, on keyboard; and Myers on guitar - have performed at several hundred weddings, private parties, Legions, country clubs and bar mitzvahs. Myers and Riechert have each been performing for more than 25 years.
"Chad is well known among other area musicians for the rock-solid groove he lays down every time he plays," says Myers. "Keyboardist Clark “accumulated many road miles while touring with Vice Squad and has run sound or played keys with a number of local bands," Myers says. "Our bass guitar player Ralph has experience ranging from jazz to rock. Ralph's versatility is a perfect fit for the band," he says. "Simply ‘amazing’ is the only way to describe the phenomenal talent of Amanda," he adds.
The band’s blend of cover tunes ranges from 50s pop tunes like “The Twist,” “jailhouse Rock” and “Pretty Woman” to recent hits “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears and Carlos Santana’s “Smooth.” Along the way, the band performs Shania Twain and Patsy Cline country tunes, rock ballads by Bob Seger and Eric Clapton and standards like “Misty” and “Unforgettable.”
"The concept was we wanted to show that the band could play all different types of music," Myers says. “If it’s danceable, we play it. When we formed we decided we would be a fun-loving group. We are really customer-oriented. We take a lot of requests. Requests work out well, because they get the crowd going.”
Myers says the band hasn't gotten too many unusual requests. He recalls, however, playing “Stairway to Heaven” for one bride and groom’s dance song. “It was odd,” he says. “We’ve played some different international wedding songs. We played an English girl's wedding one time. She wanted to hear ‘Hi Ho the Silver Lining.’ One time we played for a bride who was from Denmark.”
In 1994, The Answer were at a wedding gig at the Tippacanoe Lake Country Club in Pierceton. During the band’s show, a fire broke out at the club.
"Smoke was billowing out the vents during the bride and groom song," Myers says. "We saved a couple of people. The lady singer we had at the time got someone out of the ladies’ bathroom. I rescued a drunk from a bathroom upstairs.” The smoke and flames from the fire ruined the band’s instrument cases. They were able to save their instruments, however," recalls Myers.
Myers also recalls a wedding the band played in Huntertown. "The day of the wedding had been rainy, leaving the outdoor venue muddy. “They had a tent out in the field. The entire area was mud. Everyone was muddy. That was a year ago and we’re still finding mud in places."
Each year the band plays the St. Jude’s Festival. "We feel like the Beatles each time we play the festival," Myers says. "All the fans come up and ask for our autographs afterwards."
Although the band does not play original tunes at shows, Myers says he and other members have written and recorded original material as side projects. Myers himself produced and recorded a record several years ago.
The band recently finished recording a demo tape at Fort Wayne’s Tempel Recording Studio. The tape, Myers says, will be sent to potential customers when the band is booking gigs. “We are doing a video to go with it. Part of it will be like a music video. We shot part of it in Los Lagos grocery while the store was open and people were shopping.”
Myers says the band also has a previous similar video which won a Community Access Network Video Festival Music Award in 1997. The film features interviews with the band and shows the different styles of music the band can perform
The Answer Band will be performing at the American Legion Post #241, 7605 Bluffton Rd., on May 10, from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
To book the Answer, call Jeff Myers at 484-1664, or email the band at TheAnswerBand@bigfoot.com. The band’s website, www.theanswerband.com contains a complete songlist as well as up coming gigs, pictures and a short band biography.
by Jonah Crismore
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Click on the headings below for full calendars
Fantasy of Lights — Drive-thru Christmas lighting displays, 6-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 7-8; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 11-15; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 18-22; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 23-24; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, Dec. 25-29; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 30-31,Franke Park, Fort Wayne, $5-$10 per carload, $10-$15 per 15-passenger van, $25-$30 per bus or trolley, 755-1900
Festival of Gingerbread — Gingerbread creations made by preschoolers through professional baking artists on display, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 7-8; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10; 12-5 p.m Sunday, Dec. 11, History Center, Fort Wayne, $4-$6, 426-2882
Drowning Pool w/Gemini Syndrome, Red Tide Rising — at Rusty Spur Saloon, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m., $18-$50, 755-3465
Natalie Grant w/Danny Gokey — Country at Honeywell Center, Wabash, 7:30 p.m., $20-$50, 563-1102
Fort Wayne Comedy Connection — Comedy at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Open Jam — Hosted by G-Money at Nick's Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, (260) 482-6425
Open Mic — Variety at Pedal City, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m., no cover, 415-6167
Open Mic — Hosted by Chilly Addams at Beamer's Sports Grill, Fort Wayne, 8-11 p.m., no cover, 625-1002
Shelly Dixon & Jeff McRae — Variety at Riverview Tavern, Decatur, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 724-3500
American Idol Karaoke w/Brian — Variety at AJ's Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., 434-1980 , no cover
SureShot Karaoke w/David — Variety at Bar 145, 8 p.m.-12 a.m., 209-2117 , no cover
American Idol Karaoke w/TJ — Chevvy's, 9 p.m.,
American Idol Karaoke w/Josh — Karaoke at Columbia Street West, 9:30 p.m., 422-5055 , no cover
Three Rivers Karaoke — Dupont Bar & Grill, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., 483-1311 , no cover
WiseGuy Entertainment w/Josh — Variety at Martin's Tavern, 10 p.m., 357-4290 , no cover
Shooting Star Prod. w/Stu — Variety at Office Tavern, 8 p.m., 478-5827 , no cover
Karaoke — Variety at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, 10 p.m., 485-1038 , no cover
Great Russian Nutcracker — Holiday performance by Moscow Ballet, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, $32-$178 thru Ticketmaster and Embassy box office, 424-5665
Click header for complete Movie times
Alexandra Hall — Whimsical painting, giclee print and ink drawings, Tuesday-Sunday thru Dec. 31, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Alumni/Faculty Exhibition — Works from alumni and current and retired faculty from the School of Creative Arts, Monday-Friday thru Dec. 18 , Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Art for the Holidays — Handmade ornaments and Nativities from local artists, Monday-Saturday thru Dec. 31, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Festival of Wreaths — Holiday exhibition of Christmas wreathes, daily thru Dec. 30, Creative Arts Council, Bluffton, 824-5222.
Fort Wayne, American Monologue — A new body of Fort Wayne-based works by Oakland, California-based artist Brett Armory, Tuesday-Sunday thru Feb. 26, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
John Baeder Takes Wing on a Higher Road — Hyper-realist art from one of the 20th century’s most important artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan 22 , Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Master Prints — Diverse collection of prints acquired by the university over the past 15 years, Monday-Friday thru Dec. 22, Lupke Gallery, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Nature’s Thread — Works by Nancy Fritz and Lizabeth Yager, daily thru Jan. 16, 2017, The Gallery at Pranayoga School, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Regional Art Educators’ Exhibition — Works from educators in secondary school art education, daily thru Dec. 8, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6977
Robert Kipniss: The Whispering Light — Recent painted and printed works by American artist, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan. 22, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
SOCA Student Highlights Exhibition: Animation — Works from students enrolled in USF’s School of Creative Arts’ animation program, Monday-Friday thru 18 , John P. Weatherhead Gallery and Goldfish Gallery, Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
SOCA Student Postcard Show — Small works by students enrolled in USF’s School of Creative Arts, Monday-Friday thru Dec. 18 , Spotlight Gallery, Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Women in Art: A Celebration — Works by Gwen Gutwein, Barbara Nohinek, Patricia Weiss, Cara Lee Wade, Elizabeth Wamsley, Marcy Neiditz, Suzanne Galazka, Diane Groenert and more, Tuesday-Saturday thru Jan. 15 , Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Artlink Educational Programs — Art classes offered by Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, dates and times vary, Artlink, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-7195
Fort Wayne Dance Collective Workshops — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, dates and times vary, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574
IPFW Community Arts Academy— Art, dance, music and theater classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa
Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, call for pricing, 432-8176, academy.sweetwater.com