BDD books familiar favorites for 2018 entertainment

Route 66 (right), featuring BCL alums and area residents Vic and Van Switzer, will perform on the main stage Friday night from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. (Photo via the Route 66 Facebook page)

 

Wheelhouse (left), a four-piece string band from Madison, Wisconsin, will play for the third straight year from 8:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. (Photo via the Wheelhouse Facebook page) 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

           

Patrons at this year’s Black Dirt Days festivities in downtown Conrad will almost certainly recognize the names of the headlining bands for Friday and Saturday nights: Route 66, comprised of BCL alums (and brothers) Vic and Van Switzer, will entertain crowds with their popular mix of country and classic rock covers—and Vic’s maestro steel guitar skills—while Madison, Wisconsin’s Wheelhouse is back for the third straight summer with a hybrid sound lead singer Frank Busch has described as “psychedelic red dirt bluegrass.”

           

Route 66—featuring Van, Vic, Dave Elliott and Ronnie Bole—last played at Black Dirt Days in 2015, and they’ll rock the stage on Friday night from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. From a brass band in the 1970s to their longtime group Gold Rush around the century, the Switzers have plugged in at nearly every bar, dancehall and outdoor festival in Iowa and the surrounding states, but there’s still something special about doing it in front of the home crowd.

           

“Just being here in town, it’s kind of a luxury,” Van said. “We’re going to mix it up real well and try to get something in for everybody that night.”

           

Wheelhouse, which evolved from the Mighty Short Bus, has captured the attention of audiences with a high-energy string band approach and a mix of original and cover songs—local fans will almost certainly recall a 10-minute plus fiddle jam on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” from a few years ago. 

 

Read the full story in the Black Dirt Days section of this week's Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here.