(Photo by Mike Leckband)
The May City native, who recently gained national exposure and an impressive local following with her outstanding success on NBC's "Nashville Star" last year, arrived from her home in Nashville, Tenn. to get together with her new band that features some of the Cherokee area's best musicians.
Mayer and her band, simply called the Shawn Mayer Band, performed in Spencer on Friday night and are fine-tuning their act for a series of shows that is very personal to Mayer.
(Photo by Mike Leckband)
This is one of three concerts that Mayer will be performing for the vets. One of the other concerts will be in Cherokee at the Gathering Place on Friday, April 17 at 8 p.m., and the other will be in Vermillion, S.D. on April 18. The cost for the Cherokee performance will be $25 and seating is limited. You can pick up tickets starting this week at the Bookvine or The Copper Cup in Cherokee.
A reported 20 percent of the Cherokee show proceeds will stay in Cherokee County and go towards the annual Veteran's Appreciation Day held at the Cherokee County Fair Grounds in September.
Monies raised from these benefit shows will help assist veterans and their spouses when an unexpected financial crisis arises. Also, it will support various programs at the VA hospitals in Sioux Falls, Omaha, and the Veterans Home at Marshalltown.
The American Legion's 9th District, along with Cherokee's American Legion Treptow Post #230, hosted the benefit Concert in Spencer Friday night.
Mayer began her association with Cherokee a couple years ago when she was a guest on KCHE's Cherokee Connection program and was then invited to a jam session at The Gathering Place. From there, Mayer struck up a relationship with Jomi Anderson and Jimmy Davis. Last year Mayer, who was a contestant on the NBC Show "Nashville Star" returned to her hometown to give a performance as part of the show.
As part of the concert held at Mayer's hometown of May City, she asked Davis to form a back-up band for the show and he summoned fellow Cherokee musicians Mike Hoover, Randy Martin, Steve Alingh, Paul Sleezer, and Storm Lake resident Don Demers. That event drew thousands to the small town of May City to show their support for Mayer.
Mayer has won the support of many area fans, and with the Iowa tradition of giving back to those who have given her support, Mayer begin to organize the Veteran's Tour.
Once again, Mayer called on Davis to form a band for not just one concert but for several. Davis, who is the lead guitarist, called on Cherokee keyboardist Steve Alingh, and bass player Don Demers of Storm Lake, both who Davis has played with many times.
Demers, who has played and lived for a time in Nashville, was extremely familiar with the Country Music culture and called upon Dave Hinners of Truesdale for drums. Hinners, who also has an ear for country music, helped round out the band.
While Mayer was still in Nashville and the concert dates fast approaching, the band got together without Mayer and started to learn her songs and a play list by using a stand-in for Mayer.
Then on Wednesday, when Mayer arrived at The Gathering Place for their first rehearsal, a seamless transition happened with only a few minor tempo and style techniques to be ironed out. The group then had one more practice session on Thursday before heading to the stage in Spencer.
The act should be extremely polished by the Cherokee Show to be held on April 17 at The Gathering Place at 8 p.m.