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‘Hometown boys’ set to be opener for Bowlful of Blues

(Submitted Photo)
The five members of Poppa Neptune have a good time with each other. The Newton- based band is set to open up the 21st Annual Bowlful of Blues show at Maytag Park on Aug. 31.

With all of the big names taking part in the upcoming 21st Annual Bowlful of Blues show on Aug. 31, one band may have a louder reception than the others. Newton’s own Poppa Neptune opens the show at noon with a guest appearance from Detroit’s Larry Davidson, a Quad City native and virtuoso on the harp.

Poppa Neptune consists of Trent Derby (drums), Lee Eckles (bass), Veronica Hanson (vocals), Mark Hembry (keyboards), and Nick Knudsen (guitar and vocals), and they are excited about the guest appearance from Davidson.

“We met him at a show in Davenport,” Knudsen said. “He came with a friend of his and watched us play. Somebody told us he was a heck of a good harp player and that I should invite up to the next show. And, yeah man, he is amazing.”

Poppa Neptune was formed in 2004 and while members vary from locale, they consider Newton their home base.

“Newton, we’re hometown boys,” Knudsen said. “We all met up around Newton. When we started playing (together), it was when we were in Iowa City, to go to college. That’s where Poppa Neptune started, when we were out there.”

The band said they try to fuse different styles to form their music, but really love electric jazz and Miles Davis.

“It’s nice to show people what we are doing,” Knudsen said. “Our band is a lot better live and we are really spontaneous. We like to improvise and play to the crowd a little bit. We never have anything set in stone, so it’s nice to let people see what we do, instead of the actual rehash of a recording and all of that kind of stuff.”

Knudsen also said the band is ready to entertain their hometown crowd.

“I think this is the first time in a while that a band that’s playing at Bowlful of Blues is from Newton,” Knudsen said. “I know that they consider being from the Des Moines area as being local, but I think we are the first Newton band to play there in a while. I have been lobbying to get us in and we finally got some Newton boys up on stage.”

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.