The Rainmakers are a Kansas City, Missouri-based original rock band whose members include: Bob Walkenhorst, Steve Phillips (later a member of The Elders), Rich Ruth, Pat Tomek, Michael Bliss (replaced Rich Ruth in 1995). Missouri has long boasted of being the home of two of America's greatest artists, Mark Twain and Chuck Berry. However, it wasn't until The Rainmakers thundered into the national music spotlight in 1986, had anyone combined the guitar power of Berry with the social wit of Twain into a unique brand of Missouri rock n' roll.
Steve Phillips (later a member of The Elders),
Michael Bliss (replaced Rich Ruth in 1995).
Missouri has long boasted of being the home of two of America's greatest artists, Mark Twain and Chuck Berry. However, it wasn't until The Rainmakers thundered into the national music spotlight in 1986, had anyone combined the guitar power of Berry with the social wit of Twain into a unique brand of Missouri rock n' roll.
Originally formed in 1983 as a 3-piece bar band known as Steve, Bob, & Rich, these Kansas City rockers became an instant favorite throughout the Midwest. Soon, fans were standing in line to see this trio they described as "energetic," "intense," but most importantly "fun." Within months of finishing their first independent release, Steve, Bob, and Rich had signed a multi-album contract with Polygram Records, added a fourth member, and had changed their name to The Rainmakers.
Heralded as "America's Great Next Band" by Newsweek Magazine, The Rainmakers were soon drenched in critical acclaim. Feature articles in Rolling Stone, CMJ, USA Today and others poured in singing the praises of this hard working Midwest band who provided new life to a traditional rock format.
Critics particularly enjoyed the unique writing style of Bob Walkenhorst, whose talent for choosing unusual and sometimes controversial subjects provided an eye-opening perspective of life, sprinkled with sarcastic humor. The Rainmakers received notoriety for their songs' lyrical content, including Music Connection's award for Lyric Line of the Year: "The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys," and in the unlikely source of author Stephen King, who twice quoted lyrics from Rainmakers songs in his best seller The Tommyknockers, and again in his 1991 novel Gerald's Game.
But success did not stop at the U.S. borders, as European countries supported the band increasingly with each new release. The song "Let My People Go-Go" gave the Rainmakers their first Top-20 single on the British charts in early 1987. Critics abroad sang the band's praises, with feature articles in New Musical Express, Kerrang!, Rock Power, etc. Frequently, The Rainmakers could be spotted on European television with live appearances on Top Of The Pops, and The Tube, and video play on MTV Europe.
European concert dates grew in number each year, with The Rainmakers often enjoying headline status on festival bills. Their reputation as an electrifying concert act eventually led to the recording of a live album at a sold-out show in Oslo, Norway for release solely in Scandinavian markets.
In 1990, after four albums, five videos, 500,000+ records sold, and concert dates too numerous to count, The Rainmakers put band business on hold to allow time for their personal lives and agendas. In 1994, the band returned to the studio to record a new album, entitled Flirting With The Universe - an album which achieved GOLD certification in Norway within 2 months of release.
Overwhelmed by the response to Flirting..., The Rainmakers reemerged from the studio in 1996 with Skin. With this effort, Bob Walkenhorst has again proved that no subject matter is too controversial by taking aim at pornography and its societal impact, via his unique perspectives - a Rainmakers trademark. A release, which in true Rainmaker form, is designed to provoke.
The Rainmakers are: Bob Walkenhorst (Vocals, Guitar); Steve Phillips (Lead Guitar, Vocals); Michael Bliss (Bass, Vocals); Pat Tomek (Drums)