Who played the IPR Stage at 80/35?
Some of the best kept secrets shouldn't be kept secret. Here's who we had at the IPR stage at 80/35.
We had a fantastic line-up of musicians at this year's 80/35. And yes, we may have kept the line-up secret a bit too long, but, all the best things eventually have a big reveal. If you missed who was there, here's the rundown so you can catch them later!
If you start reading and get to thinking, “man, I’d like to hear that set,” stay tuned. We drip Grateful Dead energy from our pores at Studio One, and we recorded all these sets and will be airing them on All Access in the coming months.
J. JEFFREY MESSEROLE
“I don’t live in Des Moines, and I’ve had serious FOMO about the Monday Night Live! series at xBk,” Tony Dehner, IPR Studio One Tracks and All Access host said. "So when I heard that Scot Sutherland, Dave Ducharme-Jones, and Russ Tomlinson were bringing the act to the IPR stage on Friday night of 80/35, I was grateful for the opportunity to learn what all the excitement was about."
"I’ve enjoyed J. Jeffrey Messerole’s music for years, and had the opportunity to speak with him in May when we hosted him for a solo performance in our studios. Messerole’s old-fashioned storytelling meshed perfectly with the backing band, as songs that I’d heard a few times before took on new life. If there’s any justice in the world, 'Henrietta, Queen of the Highway' will one day be a sing-along standard at a bar near you."
“80/35 is all about music discovery, and that’s true even for the most Serious of Music People. Of the three artists who performed with the Monday Night Live crew at 80/35, Jenny Kohls was the only one whose music I wasn’t familiar with,” Tony said.
“Apparently I was the only one, because the crowd was more than ready for her performance! Kohls instantly won me over with her voice and guitar playing. Checking out her Bandcamp page after the festival, I saw that she’s got multiple releases available, including an album that came out in March. I always feel a little guilty when I’m a few years late to the party on an Iowa musician, so Jenny, if you’re reading this, let’s make something else happen soon!"
“Followers of the Iowa music scene will certainly be familiar with Dustin Smith, who is the lead singer of The Maytags, and also performs solo under the name D. Smith. Smith is no stranger to 80/35 or performing for IPR, so bringing everything together in one event was a treat. I hadn’t seen Smith in several years, between the pandemic and his time spent in Nashville, and hearing him sing again, at a festival that we’d all missed dearly for three years, felt like returning home,” Tony wrote. “It was also a treat hearing Smith, along with Kohls and Messerole, speaking with Anne Ducharme-Jones in between performances. Artist interviews are a key part of the Monday Night Live! experience, and I’m glad we were able to include them at our stage.”
“Prior to 80/35, Ames guitarist and songwriter V Ellsbury was one of several musicians who I only knew through email and social media interactions. It was great to finally meet them in person, and I was looking forward to catching two of Ellsbury’s bands at our stage: Bitter Canyon, who were scheduled to perform Saturday afternoon during our live broadcast, and Ellsbury’s newest band, Eleven Moons.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that all of us at Studio One are big guitar nerds, and during Eleven Moons’ set, we were all in heaven. The band’s sound is strongly evocative of ‘60s psychedelic rock, and Ellsbury’s guitar prowess is second to none. It really felt like we were witnessing something brand new that also felt instantly familiar. The crowd was extremely into it as well and really made me want to catch a show in Ames sometimes. Between Eleven Moons and Bitter Canyon the next day, it’s clear the Ames music community is something special,” Tony said.
THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND
“The Diplomats of Solid Sound, an Iowa City mainstay who play a fantastic blend of funk, soul and Americana, were first up Saturday. It was the perfect introduction to the afternoon. As I approached the stage the harsh midday sun disappeared behind the trees and surrounding buildings of the park, and I posted up near the soundboard to enjoy the music. The Diplomats are an incredibly tight band with an impressive stage presence. They have an iron-clad rhythm section that lays down a never-ending groove, and Saturday was no exception. I found myself increasingly transfixed by the bass playing, although there was no bass player in sight. I deduced that the keyboardist was deftly pumping out some of the grooviest basslines of the entire festival. This, combined with the brilliant harmonies and choreographed Motown-style dancing, kept me locked in for the entire set,” wrote IPR B-side contributor Dallas Tuttle.
“Despite me living in Ames for five years and knowing at least three fourths of the band members, I had somehow never heard Bitter Canyon in this configuration. They immediately jumped into a Grateful Dead jangle jam that felt perfect on an outdoor stage. I was immediately taken by how well the lead vocal cut through the mix and the soulfulness of every tune. I took these good vibes as a sign that I should pursue a beer," Dallas shared.
Now, Tony’s story about Juliano Dock’s set is going to sound made up. I promise you – it’s not.
“If you’ve been to 80/35 before, in any capacity, you know there’s a bit of a crash that happens in the middle of the day on Saturday. This year, we wrapped up our live All Access broadcast at 4 p.m., during which we’d been sitting almost directly in the sun. Next on our schedule, we had a couple of slots open that we hadn’t filled yet. We were hungry, and had been sitting still for a while, and the caffeine was starting to wear off. And I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “We need somebody like Juliano Dock over here right now.”
"So when I looked at the updated schedule and saw that we’d managed to book the actual Juliano Dock, it took a second to register. Had I willed this into existence? Honestly, probably not. But it was exactly what I needed at that moment. His set, where he was joined by DJ T-Max Da Kid and other area rappers, concluded with an encore of 'Trappa Juli' that will go down as a classic moment in the history of our stage."
"Also: shout-out to Des Moines hip-hop fans, for turning out for their favorite performers, and for the enthusiasm that gave me the second wind I needed!"
"Rush took the stage and brought to mind thoughts of Frank Ocean. He could easily blow up. He is young, stylish, and vocally gifted with a wildly talented backing band who lays down incredible grooves. Notable was guitarist Dan Padley, who I found myself dialed into for large chunks of the performance, and drummer Justin LeDuc, who would sit behind his kit barefooted and effortlessly laying down wicked fill after wicked fill. And let’s not forget Blake Shaw on bass guitar," Dallas wrote.
ANTHONY WORDEN + THE ILLTERATI
"Energy built around the stage we waited for Des Moines rockers Anthony Worden and Friends to take the stage. Worden, who typically plays with a set cast of characters dubbed “The Illiterati” was, today, playing with a broader group of acquaintances, including Nick Fisher - former frontman of Hex Girls - and new act Mr. Softheart. Worden ripped through noisy rocker after noisy rocker and kept the crowd thoroughly energized with each tune. Worden, sadly, will be leaving Iowa soon. This was one of his last sets before Illiterati-Fest, a goodbye part at Gabe’s Oasis in Iowa City on July 16," Dallas said.