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The Rhythm Rockets: Bios

Artists Covered

Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Al Green, Bill Withers, Dobie Gray, The Commodores, Wild Cherry, Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison, Albert King, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Freddie King, The Blasters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Son Seals, Eric Clapton, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy Reed, Grand Funk Railroad, Muddy Waters, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Etta James, Elmore James, The Band, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Santo & Johnny, Dan Penn, John Dillon, Boz Scaggs, Carl Perkins, Billy Lee Riley & The Spooks, Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, Taj Majal, Delbert McClinton, Sam & Dave, Robben Ford, Keb ‘Mo, Phantom Blues Band, Bonnie Raitt, Big Joe Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tony Joe White, Robert Cray, Box Tops, Jimi Hendrix, Free Bob Seger, Bad Company, The Beatles, Doobie Brothers, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tower Of Power, Buddy Miles and many, many more!

Joan Anderson - Keys & Vocals

Some of my earliest memories are of lying under the grand piano & listening to my mom play. (Try it sometime- it’s the way a piano was really meant to be heard!!) Piano lessons started in grade school, and I was recruited into my first band when I was a freshman high school. I went to the Conservatory of Music at UMKC for 2 years but quit school to form a band with other Conservatory cohorts, and never looked back. One band led to another, I met John Anderson, and we soon were playing together. We performed early on w/ Colt 45 (they went on to become the KC Blues band), and we formed Poppin’ Fresh.

John and I got married in ’77- yeah, 30+ pretty darn swell years- and still my best buddy! Poppin’ Fresh performed across the country and in KC for over 20 years in various forms, and I retired from the band business in 1997 after having 2 kids (with John, of course!), getting my RN degree, and started working those wacky nursing hours. When our son Jamie started playing guitar w/ the Rhythm Rockets (so half of our family was there already) I was persuaded to come out of retirement, and we are now able to enjoy some quality “family time” (it really doesn’t get any better than this!)—AND enjoy playing some classics again. We always manage to share some good music as well as some laughs. Yep- it is such a pleasure to get to funk-out with one of the best rhythm sections in Kansas City.

Jamie Anderson - Guitar & Vocals

Jamie picked up one of his dad’s guitars early on in high school and a love affair had begun. After several months, he had learned many tunes on his own, but was ready for more structure. He started studying with a great guitar teacher, and his ear improved even more. Though leaning more towards rock and roll initially, he soon found blues and enjoyed expanding his licks. Jamie was constantly looking for new artists to learn from, and especially enjoyed expanding the various genres he was adding to his repertoire. Jamie started studying recently with Kansas City’s master guitarist, Jay Eudaly, and has thrived under his guidance. Jamie started sitting in with the Rhythm Rockets in 2005, and flourished with the experience of playing with some of Kansas City’s most seasoned pros. As he has grown musically, he has taken on a more central role as a regular guitarist with the Rhythm Rockets. Jamie plans to continue to play with the band as well as in other groups as he pursues a bachelor’s degree in music.

John Anderson - Vocals & Bass

I grew up in the Kansas City area, a child of the 60's. Like most people around my age I was moved by the British Invasion, more specifically, The Beatles. Some of my other big influences were Tower Of Power; Earth, Wind & Fire and most anything that lays down a funky beat. I went to High School with Rick Bacus at Shawnee Mission North and I've played in many area bands. One of my first High School Bands was with the infamous Larry Van Loon called Medicine Wheel. Later, we founded Colt 45 with Mike O'Neil and my musical partner and future wife, Joan. We also played in Poppin' Fresh with Brian Turner, Rick Bacus and David Williams for too many years to count. Joan and I are the proud parents of two boys, Cory and Jamie. Now, I play with The Rhythm Rockets as often as possible, or when Boy Scouts, Church and other commitments will allow.

Keith Mallory - Drums

At the age of 5 my father took me to a concert of the Count Basie Orchestra. From that point on I knew I wanted to be a musician, performing in every style from Rock to Country to R&B and Jazz. I've toured internationally with many performing artists including; Reba McIntyre, Tanya Tucker, Roy Clark, the Bellamy Brothers, Gatemouth Brown and Johnny Rodriguez. Also an educator, I am the Assistant Marching Band Director and Director of Marching Percussion and Pep Bands at Washburn University. I was the Assistant Marching Band Director and Marching Percussion Specialist at the University of Connecticut from 1987 to 2003. I continued my teaching by flying back and forth from Kansas City to Hartford, CT from 1994 to 2003. I'm also the Marching Instructor and Drum Instructor for the Lee's Summit North High School Marching Band and Fort Osage High School Marching Band. I appeared in a sold out show, Sticks of Thunder, that ran for 2 years at Union Station. I currently give drum clinics and marching clinics throughout the nation at both colleges and high schools. I was a founding member of the house band at The Drum Room, Boko Maru, and have performed with many Kansas City greats; Karin Allison, Kevin Mahogany, Julie Turner, Angela Haggenback, Joe Cartright, Stan Kessler, Danny Embry, Mary Moore, John Paul Drum, Lisa Henry, Wayne Hawkins, Bill Crain, Todd Wilkinson, Ida McBeth, Teri Wilder, Everett Devan and The Rhythm Rockets.

John Dillon - Guitar & Vocals

I was born and raised just up the river in Omaha, one of eight children. My parents let all of us indulge ourselves in music. They listened to the popular music of the day, Bobby Darin, Ray Charles, Jackie Gleason, Patsy Cline and Dean Martin. I picked up the guitar at the tender age of 6 and performed every chance I could get. The Beatles, CCR, Carl Perkins, and of course, Elvis Presley caught my attention early on. Later, it was artists like Eric Clapton, Brian Setzer, Big Joe Turner and Freddie King that tripped my trigger. From Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa, I like to listen to most any kind of music, as long as it's good. After playing around the Midwest in bands such as The Shakes and The Sons Of Savalas, I moved to Kansas City in the late 80's, just as the live music scene was starting to wane. I was fortunate enough to befriend many of the Kansas City areas best musicians and founded John Dillon And The Rob Roys with the late and great Ed Yokley, Norman Bryant and Joe Miquelon; and later, The Rhythm Rockets. I've shared the stage with many infamous and famous musical greats, Dion, Dwight Yoakam, Modern English, BB King, Charlie Burton, Koko Taylor, Sleepy La Beef, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Magic Slim, Johnny Rivers, Lonnie Mack and The Beat Farmers. There is nothing better than making music with your friends, especially when they can play like these cats play! It's a feeling that's hard to describe when an audience goes along with you for the ride of your life. I've released one record of original music, Pompadours and Circumstance and I am working on the follow up, Rodeo Cool. I collect vintage amps, guitars and cool cars.