Vince’s Notes: Das Boton — a fun band and a musical asset

Bill Dolan and Das Boton (Photo provided)

By Vince Chiarelli

Rockford has had many great artists come and go. But, one of my personal favorite musicians to have come from this city is Bill Dolan. Dolan was born and raised in Rockford and, in my opinion, is one of the best guitarists around. He doesn’t sing, but he doesn’t have to. His music is so original that it makes you have to pay attention to try to figure out how he’s playing that music.

When Bill picks up a guitar, it’s like watching a piano prodigy play a Beethoven sonata. The music is so intricate and well written that it pulls you in and makes you want to try to classify the genre being played, but you really can’t. To me, his music is a mix of instrumental funk, jazz, blues and rock.

His great talent allowed for Dolan to be signed to the indie record label Sub Pop Records. He put out albums with the band 5ive Style, which included bassist Leroy Bach (of Chicago funk group Uptighty, the first Liz Phair studio band, and Wilco fame), drummer John Herndo, and keyboardist Jeremy Jacobsen. Dolan was also in the band Heroic Doses and is currently fronting his band, Das Boton.

Das Boton is a great band and an amazing musical asset for the city of Rockford and the community. Dolan is joined by bassist Karl Ropp (formally of The Snaggs, a pop band fronted by Holland Zander, daughter of Cheap Trick singer Robin) and drummer Jeff Werkle (also playing with The Vince Chiarelli Band, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, and Mana Kintorso). Das Boton is a very fun band to go out and see. Dolan constantly amazes on guitar, Ropp enthusiastically thumps the bass, and Werkle is just plain cool.

Das Boton will be playing at Kryptonite Bar this Saturday, May 24. They will be playing with The Mutts and Audio Abduction. This is a show you will definitely not want to miss. You can also purchase Das Boton’s CD, Soda Drip, on iTunes, along with other Bill Dolan CDs.

If you would like to hear my interview with Bill Dolan on my Rockford College Radio show, Rockford Originals, go to and search Billy Dolan.

From the May 22-28, 2013, issue

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