Grand River Crossing
THE BALCONY IS OPEN.... You'll find us, usually once a week, in the basement of a 92 year old movie theater appropriately called The Coliseum. The room we jam in has been dubbed Choices by the local university students. IT ALL STARTED... in 2001 when Brad Carr began putting together a band which consisted of himself as lead singer/guitarist, Jack Vanderflught on drums and Dennis McElroy on bass guitar and background vocals. The following year, Rhonda Mickelson joined the group as keyboardist and lead/background singer. We started out as Flashback, playing strictly Classic Rock cover tunes. After honing our sound, we began writing originals. The first song Better Days inspired the new name: Grand River Crossing. BAND BIOS Brad grew up in a big old house full of guitars, pianos, brass, woodwind, percussion and other strange noises. When the music grew too loud for practical family living conditions, he and his siblings were exiled by their parents, Berk and Joyce, to the smoke house; a tool shed on their farm where the music played on. Brad organized the band on the campus of Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa after a short 14-year sabbatical. Previous work includes, electric bluegrass with Homegrown, new and classic country with Ramblin' Fever, classic rock with Storm, and alternative rock with The Decibels. Brad's influences: Jesus, Mom and Dad, Leonard Rummery, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Brad's favorite thing in the world is spending time with Sharon, Tim, Alex and Jack. Dennis joined GRC in September of 2001, after moving back home from Ames, Ia. He previously played with the Arizona band Rampage and Iowa-based Sikivit, Ethos and Keystone Fog. Dennis brings diverse experience to the band having played jazz with Iowa State University's jazz ensemble, ragtime on the Golden Rod riverboat in St. Louis and country and rock 'n roll over the years. Dennis' style has been influenced by such greats as Grand Funk's Mel Schacher, REO Speedwagon's Gregg Philbin and Dartanyan Brown of Chase. In his spare time, Dennis enjoys family, antique cars and being the second coming of Tim the toolman Taylor. Jack has played drums as long as he can remember. Playing and performing together was his family's tradition. Even though he was too short to reach the pedals at age 3, Jack would sit on another drummer's knee and help out with his parents' band. At age 7, he became the only drummer for the family band The Country Ramblers. Eventually, when other siblings were old enough to perform, the band became known as The Vanderflught Family. They stayed together until high school activities interfered with their ability to travel. Jack's previous experience includes performing in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair, playing drums for the high school band and various bands throughout his college career where he was known as a drummer for hire. He eventually played for Cross Country, along with his dad, who together toured the state of Iowa for five years. Jack later joined Heartland and has played drums for various church praise and worship groups. Jack's influences: Alabama, Sawyer Brown, Bryan Adams, Heart, Def Leopard, John Cougar Mellencamp, Petra, and Cactus Moser of Highway 101. Rhonda's mom claims she sang before she spoke. She has also been totally obsessed with an old beat up Gulbransen piano since the age of 4 (a family treasure from her mother as a graduation gift). Rhonda played and sang for a couple of rock bands throughout high school and college and appeared as a guest singer for The Stone Church band in Independence, MO. She landed lead roles in various musicals throughout the same years. She has donated countless hours sharing her passion for music with students from several school districts in Iowa and Missouri, and performing for weddings, funerals, and other church/community activities. Rhonda traveled with Ceaseless Praise, a Contemporary Christian group for thirteen years. She has spent many hours in the recording studio producing Contemporary Christian albums. Her influences: teachers John Nielsen, Les and Darlene Wight and Guy and Bonnie Clark, Miles and Mary Ruth Horn performers; John Denver, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Amy Grant, Cindy Morgan, Alison Krauss and many more!! She enjoys family, country living, weed-less flower gardens, collecting quotes, and watching her children play baseball or fishing or four wheeling.