“One of the most popular bands in Kansas City History”, says the Kansas City Star/Times. Since 1974, Riverrock has been a name country music fans could count on for an exciting show of hot pickin’, tight harmonies and spontaneous fun. They have shared the stage with dozens of recording stars, the likes of Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Hank Williams, Jr., Alabama, Suzy Bogguss, The Oak Ridge Boys, Minnie Pearl, Charlie Daniels, Wanda Jackson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Tracy Byrd and Emmylou Harris. Many of these performances were at state and county fairs, concert halls, music festivals, rodeos, college campuses and popular night clubs.
The band has toured from Alberta, Canada, through the Rockies, the Southwest, the Plains States, and East as far as Maryland in cities and towns of every size including the Country Music Capital, Nashville, Tennessee, where they have recorded with some of Music City’s best, such as Vassar Clements and Randy Scruggs. From these sessions came their Midwest Man album, a Billboard Magazine “Recommended LP” from which selections have been played on radio stations across the U.S.A. and Europe.
Now, after decades of incarnations and permutations, original Riverrock members John Mumma , Paul Mumma and Dan Smith have teamed up with another K.C. legend, Allen Blasco. Along with being multi-instrumentalists, everyone in the band takes their turn as the “lead singer”. This keeps the song list fresh and never boring.
The band’s mission is to bring back the classic country and rock sounds of the 60’s and 70’s made popular by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Eagles, CCR and The Beatles mixed in with a sprinkle of contemporary songs of the 80’s, 90’s and now, including old time country and adding a few surprises along the way.
What’s Been Said About Them
“Riverrock, one of the most popular bands in Kansas City history…” - Leland G. Rucker, Kansas City Star/Times
“Musicianship is good on a wide range on instruments. Beat is lively and volume is constant.” - Variety Magazine
“What’s that washboard player’s name? He’s great!” - Minnie Pearl
“This versatile group can set Doug Kershaw’s fast paced Cajun music to a slow waltz tempo and make it sound good. Every performance draws a crowd. To me, listening to Riverrock is pure fun.” - Shifra Stein, Entertainment Editor, Kansas City Star
“Riverrock plays Bluegrass as well as any we’ve heard, and lots better than most.” - Country Music Review
“Riverrock excels at concert with Jerry Lee Lewis and Emmylou Harris…it was Riverrock who stole the show.” - Country Times
After Riverrock’s appearance with the Ozark mountain Daredevils; “One very important comment I heard many times was that Riverrock was better than the featured band.” - Bob Glanzer, Manager, South Dakota State Fair
“Each member is a fine musician and they convey a spirited love of playing along with their professionalism.” - Ronald E. Butler, Tulsa World
“Whenever Riverrock plays, there’s a barrage of foot stomping and hand clapping.” - Susan J. Stone, Kansas City Star Magazine
“Riverrock is a group whose hard work, tenacity and dedication to their craft, have earned them a celebrity’s crown in our city’s music scene…without a doubt Kansas City’s most popular bluegrass group.” - Tim O’Rourke, The Town Squire
"I had a chance to work with Riverrock...Now there's a group Kansas City can be proud of...I've never worked with a band with a better vibe." - Mike Morelock, 61 Country All-Nite Truckin' Host
Major Shows & Events
National FFA Conventions. - Coors National Convention - Missouri State Fair - North Dakota State Fair - South Dakota State Fair - Nebraska State Fair - The American Royal - Tulsa Opry Live Radio Broadcasts - International Country Music Festival Live Radio Broadcasts - Four Hour New Year’s Eve Live Radio Broadcast, WDAF 61 Country - Muskogee State Fair - Hallmark’s Crown Center Friday Night Concerts - Greater Siouxland Fair and Rodeo - Kansas City Rodeo - Variety Club Telethons - Neewollah Festival - Jim Tyler’s WDAF 61 Country Chicken Fly Radio Broadcasts - Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days as Cargill Seeds Musical Ambassadors (six seasons) - Possum Trot Celebrations (six seasons) - Kansas City Spirit Festival (ten seasons) - North Central Missouri Fair - Cowtown National Auto Show - Show-A-Rama, United Motion Picture Association - KMBC, WDAF and KCPT Television Specials - Kansas Special Olympics’ Benefits
Nashville’s Old Time Pickin’ Parlor - Worlds of Fun - Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary - Fort Leavenworth - Kansas University - Kansas State University - Missouri University - Tulsa University - Pittsburg State University - Emporia State University - Northwest Missouri University - Oklahoma State University - University of Wyoming - Casper College, Casper WY - Ft. Lewis College, Durango CO - University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg MO - University of Missouri at Kansas City - Park University, Parkville MO - Johnson County Community College, KS - Kansas City Kansas Community College - Maple Woods Community College, Kansas City MO - Longview Community College, Kansas City MO - Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake of the Ozarks - Argosy Casino, KC - Harrah’s Casino, KC - Isle of Capri Casino, KC - Sam’s Town Casino, KC - Harvey’s Wagon Wheel Casino, Central City CO - Millstone Lodge, Lake of the Ozarks - Kemper Arena, KC - Municipal Auditorium, KC - Uptown Theatre, KC - Memorial Hall, KC - Municipal Auditorium, Topeka KS - Bicentennial Center, Salina KS - Little Bear, Evergreen CO - Summit Motor Inn, Breckenridge CO - Red Lion, Vail CO - Bridge Street Station, Vail CO - Ozark Inn - Lawrence Opera House - Charlie Parker Jazz Foundation
First Runner Up, Grand Ole Opry Contest, KC - First Runner Up, Wrangler Country Starsearch Contest, KC - Town Squire “Best in Kansas City” - KWKI Radio “Critics Choice” - International Jazz Hall of Fame Entertainer Award - American Truckers Benevolent Association Outstanding Performance Award
Professional Jingles For
Phillips Petroleum - United Telephone - Migro Seeds - Northern Natural Gas Company - Zarda Bar-B-Q - Felix Camera - Gilbert Robinson Restaurants - Patron’s State Bank and Trust
Riverrock has shared the stage and billing with some of the best
Alabama - Asleep at the Wheel - Bobby Bare - Norman Blake - Suzy Bogguss - Bryan Bowers - David Bromberg - Tracy Byrd - The Carter Family - Carlene Carter - Tommy Cash - Billy “Crash” Craddock - Alvin Crow - Charlie Daniels - The Dillards - Donna Fargo - Narvel Felts - Freddy Fender - Vince Gill - Lee Greenwood - Tom T. Hall - Emmylou Harris - John Hartford - Roy Head - Jimmy Henley - Wanda Jackson - Janna Jae - George Jones - Dicky Lee - Jerry Lee Lewis - Barbara Mandrell - John McEuen - Roger Miller - New Grass Revival - The Oak Ridge Boys - The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Minnie Pearl - Pure Prairie League - Mike Reid - Riders in the Sky - John Wesley Ryles - Frank Sinatra, Jr. - Ricky Skaggs - Cal Smith - Red Steagle - Jud Strunk - Marty Stuart - Hank Thompson - Buck Trent - Tanya Tucker - Leroy Van Dyke - Steve Wariner - Dottie West - Sharon & Cheryl White - Don Williams - Hank Williams, Jr. - Trisha Yearwood
Midwest Man Reviews:
Billboard Magazine, June 28, 1980
Billboard’s Recommended LPs
RIVERROCK – Midwest Man, Produced by Michael, Joe Meyers.
This Midwest group spans a pleasant variety of formats in its debut release. There’s an easy country-rock feel to many of the tunes contributed by a gamut of writers, and the production is solid, focusing on clear, bright instrumental tracks and soft harmonies. The LP was cut in Nashville and draws on well-known studio players for support, but Riverrock acquits itself nicely here. Best cuts: “Until Your Love Found Me”, “Play Me Away”, “Jubilation”, “Midwest Man”, “Tennessee Girl”.
The Kansas City Star, Tuesday, June 24, 1980
Countrysides by Gary Rice
Midwest Man, Riverrock
Riverrock’s previous album was a rough-and-tumble electric bluegrass affair recorded before a hoot-and holler audience at Putch’s Strawberry Patch in Kansas City.
On the band’s new album, Riverrock has gone uptown. It went to Nashville to do the recording and added a very visible battery of sessionmen, including such heavy artillery as Randy Scruggs and Vassar Clements.
Bluegrass is no longer the order of the day. The album straddles the line between country pop and country rock, although a couple of token bluegrass-styled songs are thrown in.
It’s a mighty slick, well produced package. The individual instruments and vocals seem to jump out of the speakers. That’s the way it should be. Although the album suffers a bit from too much smoothness and too little spontaneity, it’s far from being over-produced.
“Jubilation”, a rousing country rocker that seems to periodically explode, and “Tennessee Girl”, a medium tempo, Kenny Rogers-styled ballad, are the pick of the litter. Although “Jubilation” owes a lot to the studio sessionmen, the group also can do a rollicking live version.
“See the Grown Man Cry”, “Until Your Love Found Me” and “Play Me Away” all fit in the Kenny Rogers style of crossover pop. “Midwest Man”, with a sharp electric guitar break, is a mild-rocking tune with cowboy lyrics.
Riverrock keeps evolving with new personnel and new directions. This is the group’s first real venture into the world of commercial country music. Whether it’s successful will depend on the exposure and airplay the album gets.
Country Times, March 1980
A Monthly Entertainment Publication
Sherry Wood Owner & Publisher
Just got a sneak preview of Riverrock’s new album, “Midwest Man” and it deserves nothing but a rave review.
The release date has not yet been announced for “Midwest Man” but it should be soon. Watch for it – this one is too good to miss!
Country Times, May 1980
A Monthly Entertainment Publication
Sherry Wood Owner & Publisher
“Midwest Man”, the Riverrock album released just last month, appeared for the first time in the K.C. Times area music survey on May 3, where it was placed in the No. 6 position, tight after “The Electric Horseman”…
The Town Squire, April 1980
By Tim O’Rourke
If you’re from or lived in Kansas City very long, the name Riverrock is bound to bring to mind good music, quality showmanship, and a group of musicians whose hard work, tenacity, and dedication to their craft, have earned them a celebrity’s crown in our city’s music scene. Riverrock plays a smooth blend of electric bluegrass, country ballads, and country swing, salt and peppered with rock, blues and a host of original works that set them apart in style and sound. Riverrock has trekked across the country playing fairs, nightclubs, colleges, and appearing with headliners like Minnie Pear, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Emmylou Harris, to name a few. Riverrock is without a doubt, Kansas City’s most popular bluegrass group. Riverrock is comprised of leader, Dan Smith, percussionist and vocalist; Paul Mumma, lead guitarist and fiddle player; Rick Harrelson, bass and lead vocals; and newly added member, John Monthei, banjo, steel and vocalist. Riverrock up until now, has two locally produced albums and a single to their credit.
In concert they provide the audience an atmosphere of excitement, tied with a generous amount of knee slapping and spontaneity. You might be wondering by now with all their obvious success and talent, why have we not seen Riverrock emerge to national act status, television, and hit radio air play. Well, with the release of “Midwest Man”, Riverrock’s new LP, if anyone has a chance at gold, it certainly should be found in their latest recording effort. The album is a smash! And having the privilege of being one of the first to review it, this reporter intends to devote the rest of the article to its contents.
“Midwest Man” was recorded in Nashville and took some four months from conception to finished product. Produced by Mike and Joe Meyers and recorded at the Sound Shop Studio in Nashville, “Midwest Man” competes in the national market place in quality and recording technique. It shows depth and versatility, both lyrically and musically. The album flows superbly from song to song and keeps your ears’ interest throughout. I was extremely impressed with the rhythm tracks and hook leads. The vocals are well mixed and command attention. The harmonies are tight and flavor beautifully.
Jubilation, the first cut on the record and my favorite of the ten, is a definite crossover and could be played on just about any radio format. Rick Harrelson’s vocal is on the money and the tune makes you move, telling us of new, good love. The harmonica work is excellent, and I would pick this tune to be the winner for air play. I’m Always Leaving Town, a beautiful ballad; and Midwest Man, the title cut; Tennessee Girl, a country song; and Takin’ Time for Makin’ Love, a bluegrass song: make the first side a listening experience. The second side includes Love’s A Game, sung by Dan Smith; it has power and a warming lyric. This tune would get my vote for being number two for air play. See The Grown Man Cry, a TEAR JERKER: Until Your Love Found Me, Play Me Away, my third pick for success, along with a novelty tune called Saturday Dance, make “Midwest Man” an exciting collection of music and a spring-board for Riverrock’s dive into the big league.
Three of the album songs were written by Larry Keith who has hits to his credit by Player, Dave & Sugar, and Dr. Hook. The cast of expert session men included Randy Scruggs and Vassar Clements. Riverrock’s new LP is an excellent piece of work and another feather for Kansas City’s music scene. I hope our radio stations give it the attention it so deserves. “Midwest Man” will be released in April on Hannah Records, and will be available at your favorite record store. 61 Country Radio will feature the album in an hour special sometime in early April. I encourage you to see Riverrock nightly at the Rawhide Bar in Martin City, and look forward to their new album, “Midwest Man”
LINER NOTES FROM “MIDWEST MAN 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION" CD
Riverrock (1980): Rick Harrelson, John Monthei, John Mumma, Paul Mumma and Dan Smith
Hats off to these pickers and singers (alphabetically): Stu Basore, Pete Bordonali, Clyde Brooks, Vassar Clements, Stephen Della Vecchia, Jon Goin, Larry Keith, Dick Krim, Terry McMillan, Michael Meyers, Johnny Meyers, Tony Migliore, Randy Scruggs, Timmy Tappan. Arranged by: Michael Meyers. Engineered by: Mike Bradley. Recorded and Mixed at: The Sound Shop, Nashville, Tennessee. Mastered at: Masterphonics, Nashville, Tennessee. Cover Art and Album Design by: Ann Willoughby.
30th Anniversary Edition
Remastered for CD and Manufactured by Disc Makers,
Art Layout for CD by Personal Marketing Co., Lenexa KS
Bonus Track (Ridin’ On the PSB&T) Recorded at Sound
Recorders (1982), Kansas City MO
Produced by Riverrock and Engineered by Chris Bauer
Riverrock (2010): Allen Blasco, John
Mumma, Paul Mumma and Dan Smith
Booking: Dan Smith Agency 2825 E. 8th
Street, K.C. MO 64124 816-214-6088
For song lyrics, acknowledgements, historical insight into
Riverrock and Midwest Man and everything you want to
know about Riverrock today, go to: