Groove Weasel to play reunion show Saturday, Oct. 23

Four-time Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) award winners, the Groove Weasel present a reunion concert at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, at Kryptonite Music Lounge, 308 W. State St. Photo provided

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

While it’s been more than a year since members of Groove Weasel began talking about a reunion show, the date is set for Saturday, Oct. 23, at Kyrptonite.

Fans on the scene in the early ’90s remember Groove Weasel for its offbeat songs and borderline slapstick stage antics, which, at times, took shape as musical stand-up comedy. The band also won four Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) awards in its eight-year run.

Groove Weasel began in 1992 when brothers Rick and Dave Heffner joined Jim Koomar to form a power-pop outfit suitable for any stage. Before disbanding in 2000, a few lineup changes kept the band going and moving into several musical directions, including writing and recording impromptu originals that became part of a “never know what you’re gonna experience” live show. “She Likes My Car,” “Just Kill Me” and “Lying,” along with the ruffles of vintage tuxedos, daunt of an occasional makeshift drag persona and driving melodies, shaped opening sets for the Elvis Brothers, Edwin McCain and a host of regional acts. Getting back together for a one-time event seemed the only way to properly close a poignant chapter in musical history.

“It’s been roughly 15 years since Jim and the two (Heffner) brothers rocked the stage together,” drummer Rick Heffner said.

As procrastination lost out to a strong need to brush the dust off vintage Groove Weasel material, a reunion was born, one perhaps the Beatles or Led Zepplin couldn’t have orchestrated more perfectly. As the itch intensified, technological fail-safes were put into place just in case the cobwebs were a bit too thick to battle through.

“It has taken roughly over a year to put together, mainly because we’re lazy,” Heffner added. “We intended on lip syncing just a few songs so everyone gets their money’s worth, but, all kidding aside, we did have a few rehearsals.”

The show will include a set by founding members while players who had stints with the band and several special guests will help close the show. Guitarists Rich Gocken, Tim Lemke, Mark Hoffman and Al Altamore, who was with Groove Weasel for five years, will take the stage for the second set.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., with a set by the Vince Chiarelli Band. Kyrptonite Music Lounge is at 308 W. State St. Cover information can be obtained by calling the club at (815) 965-0931, or visiting

From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue

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