Jim Kooser joins Rio Neon on percussion. - Dec 12, 2012

One just never knows what can happen when one sits in with another band.  Bob Smith was asked to fill in for the ailing bass player of John Weniger’s  Smokin’ J’s at their Around Town 2012 Folk Festival gig.  Percussionist Jim Kooser popped in for the band’s last two sets, and Bob must have heard something he liked!  An offer to play percussion for Rio Neon’s December 2 release of their new CD, Coffee Love, was extended and accepted.  Kooser was asked to sit in for a “warm up” gig at the Barking Spider in November, and all the musicians saw the possibilities opened by the addition of “bangy things”!  Jim plays a variety of hand percussion instruments, using congas, doumbek, djembe, bodhran, shakers and the drum kit to add color and spice to the tasty folkjazz that Rio Neon serves up.

Jim was the original drummer for the Ed Head band back in the late 1970’s.  He was the percussionist for the acoustic quartet Willoughby Run, and currently performs with Up Til Four, Martha’s Mistake, and of course, Rio Neon.

Rio Neon News - Sept 29, 2010

We regretfully announce that our fiddle player, John Reynolds, has left Rio Neon.  You can still hear John's wonderful playing with the Crooked River Stompers and sometimes with the Smokin' Fez Monkeys.  It's been a wonderful seven years and we wish John the absolute best.  He is an amazing fiddler and brought a tremendous amount of musicality to Rio Neon.  Good Luck John!

New Tech (new to Rio Neon, that is) - March 24, 2010

Some recent technical improvements:  the band has gone to an in-ear monitor system that’s so much easier on our backs (no hauling), very quick to set up and never leads to feed-back on stage.  Also, we have replaced our Bose PA system (sounded great) with a new system from QSC that sounds even clearer, better and, like the new monitor system, lighter.  We are happy technological campers.

Special Thanks – March 24, 2010

A special thank you goes to Tom Simpson and the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio. The Kent Stage is a wonderful place to play and we appreciate its support of local musicians. When you go on stage you can feel the “ghosts” of the old vaudeville shows. It’s a tremendous asset to have the Kent Stage in our local community and a great facility for a performance.

Rio Neon Trivia Q&A from the CD Release Party - Aug 12, 2006


Q&A from the Rio Neon CD Release Party

Saturday, August 12

Q1 Who flew to Las Vegas to buy a guitar?     Bob

Q2 Who drinks the most beer?     Roger

Q3 Who visited a brothel in Quito, Ecuador?     Sally

Q4 Who has a PhD?     Sally

Q5 Who has trouble reading music?     Red

Q6 Whose spouse recently published a book?     Sally

Q7 Who studied classical piano for many years?     Roger

Q8 Who has nine brothers and sisters?     Red

Q10 Which two band members were in the same high school class?     Red & Sally

Q11 Who bought their first pair of shorts last year?     Roger

Q12 Who separates the wheat from the chaff?     Red, Star of the West mill

Q13 Who recently had their cat shaved?     Bob

Q14 Who named the band?     Roger

Q15 Who belongs to an elite society called BLISS?     Bob

Q16 Who is the youngest band member?     Sally

Q17 Which band member is an RN?     Bob