New band brings different style to Lake live music scene
Camdenton resident Christopher Crane was looking for a side project when he formed The Astro Katz in October 2019. A regular in the live music scene at Lake of the Ozarks, Crane says he hit the jackpot when looking for members to make up the band and didn’t have to go far with the amount of talented musicians in the area.
“When this band was formed, I was already in a local rock band, but I really wanted to bring something different to the Lake music scene. Something that would be really fun and positive. Being a lifelong fan of rockabilly music, I really had it in my heart to put together a band that belonged to this genre. I will admit I was apprehensive. I wasn’t really sure if people would really dig this, or if we would only appeal to an older audience. I felt like it was a gamble, but I had to give it a try.”
It worked. The Astro Katz rockabilly quartet began playing to packed crowds at waterfront restaurants bringing their style of early American rock’n’roll to audiences of all ages.
What is your style of music? What would we hear if we came to one of your concerts?
The Astro Katz are primarily a rockabilly band. We are dedicated to preserving music history through live performance, and we have a ball doing it! We love to honor the biggies of the genre such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent, but we also do some surf stuff too. After all, we do play a lot at the Lake!
We also like to play modern rockabilly hits from the Stray Cats, and some swing numbers as well. We want to give our audience something to dance to, sing along to, remember way back when, and even make some brand new memories. This style of music is all about one word — fun (remember fun?). We want to give our audience a new experience by playing songs that they may have never heard played live before. Lets face it, this last year has been a tough one for everyone, and great rock ‘n’ roll is some seriously good medicine! We are proud to be a part of that prescription.
What is it about performing that you all enjoy?
Performing to a live audience is amazing. Any musician will tell you that when the band is tight, the groove is perfect, and the dance floor is full, it is pure bliss. But we often get to experience something that I think is unique, and on two different fronts. The first is that older couples come up to us all the time and share stories that a certain song we played has special meaning to them, and they haven’t heard it played in decades. They listen and dance, and we get to go with them in this musical time machine. You cannot buy that kind of experience. It’s just so cool.
The second is enthusiasm from younger people, especially kids. We have seen so many kids jump on the dance floor and really have a blast. I often wonder how many of these kids, having had so much fun at one of our shows, go home and start going through their grandparent’s record collection. That puts a permanent smile on my face.
What is your upcoming schedule?
This year is going to be an epic year for The Astro Katz. Our calendar is filling up fast for the upcoming season, and we are excited to see old friends, and make some new ones along the way. Last year was a whirlwind. We had so much fun frequenting Blondies (which will always have a special place in our hearts), Bulldog’s, Shady Gators, Dam Good Slice, LOTO Lounge, Papa Chubby’s, and a whole host of others. We have really been blessed with a warm reception from the LOTO community. We are so happy to be a part of such a vibrant music scene.
Who’s in the band
Christopher Crane: Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals
• Lives in Camdenton.
• Has been performing live for years in various bands including Cuz I Said So, 2 For Flinching, and Strange Brew.
• Teaches English/Language Arts at Stoutland High School.
Eric Meyer: Bass Guitar/Vocals
• Lives in St. Roberts.
• Has been performing live for years in various bands including Texas Toast and Jam, Christiana
• Teaches English/Language Arts at Plato High School.
Valarie Davis: Drums/Vocals
• Lives in Lake Ozark.
• Has been performing live for years in various bands including Denim and Lace, Thursday’s Child, and The Super Jam Band.
Stonewall Crippin: Lead Guitar/Vocals
• Lives in Camdenton.
• Has been performing live for years in various bands including Life of the Party, The Sunburns, Boomchux, 6120, Stonewall Jackson Band, Toast, Pawn Shop, and flavor Country Turnpike.
www.astrokatz.com, The Astro Katz on Facebook
June 12: BoatHouse Lakeside Bar, 1-5 p.m.
June 19: Bulldogs Beach House, 5-9 p.m.
June 25: LOTO Lounge, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
July 9: Papa Chubby’s, 6:30-10:30 p.m.
July 11: Dog Days, 2-6 p.m.
July 16: NautiFish, 6-10 p.m.