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Imperial Blues Band
After a long layoff, St. Louis' Imperial Blues Band is about to resurface, with lots of new material and some new faces.

Founding member Michael Finney, the drummer/songwriter/singer, has been battling fibromyalgia, a genetic nerve disorder that caused excruciating pain, balance problems, and loss of memory. After two years, and many different doctors and treatments, Michael has managed to get all the symptoms under control and is ready to begin performing again. "Dr. Peter Schoeb, a chiropractor/nutrionist has helped me get back on my feet, and he prescribed performing as the final key to getting this disease under control. Thanks to Peter, I hardly ever even use a cane anymore, and last year at this time I couldn't take a step without crutches!"

The makeup of the new incarnation of the IBB will probably change from time to time, as all of the former band members have moved on to other work. Rich McDonough, the remarkable guitarist and one of the other founding members, is now working with Keith Doder and the Blue City Band, but has said he will play with the IBB on the side. Bassist Larry Gassel, who joined the IBB when Fred Shaughnessy departed, will return, along with fabled sax player Dennis "Chicago Slim" Lansing.

New members Jon Erblich on harmonica and Brian Kern on guitar will manage to work the IBB into their already busy schedules. " This is a side project for everyone but me, so I will have to work around all of the other guys schedules. We probably won't be doing clubs every night, but I hope to book some concert shows where we can feature the amazing amount of talent these guys have. All I really want to do is play and feature all the new tunes I have been working on in the time I was off."

Michael is also looking to produce other artists in the St. Louis area. The last IBB recording project, " Does This Mean Something To You?" only took six days to record, overdub and mix." I have had many hours in the studio over the years, and I want to offer my services to all the great players around here who may need a little help getting their particular sound on tape. It's not the same as playing live, but I like to get as much of the live sound as possible on tape. It is a lot easier if you have someone in the booth who knows your sound and helps you reproduce it."

Michael hopes to have the band playing out by the first of the year." I wanted to do an 'I'm not dead' show around the holidays, but I couldn't get any open dates. I hope things open up a bit in January."

To contact Michael or the Imperial Blues Band, call 636-464-0978, or drop them an email