"Rainmaker is one of the tightest bands I've seen in ages. They are incredibly adept at mixing sophisticated jamming with tight arrangements and crowd-pleasing pop sensibilities. Rainmaker is a band worth paying attention to." -Jim Greer, Producer for Galactic
Rainmaker is quickly becoming one of the most talked about bands in the Bay Area's jam band scene. In their young careers, Rainmaker's members have performed and recorded with: Paul Simon, members of: String Cheese Incident, Garaj Mahal, ALO, and many others.
Rainmaker began when Berklee College of Music friends Jon Chi (guitarist/singer/songwriter) and John-Paul McLean (bassist/singer) made their way to California's Bay Area in 2003. Leaving behind their Boston folk-rock outfit The Blend, the two immediately began playing shows in the Bay Area as an acoustic duo. At nearly all shows, the two are mistaken for brothers, due somewhat to similar appearance, but more so to their seeming in-born musical connection during jams and a blending of vocals that can only be described as family harmony.
Chi and McLean, both producer/engineers, also began making their mark in the recording industry at In the Pocket Studio in Forestville, CA. The two have worked on records for an array of artists, including: Charlie Hunter, Galactic, New Monsoon, Bill Frisell, Jolie Holland, Vinyl, Bernie Worrell, Garaj Mahal, The Ex-Centric Sound System, and Samantha and the Ritual among others. Slowly but surely, being immersed in this melting pot of music began to influence the duo's writing, production, and musicianship. They began to mix elements of Americana, World Music, New Orleans Funk, Latin and Gypsy Jazz, and good old Rock and Roll in their compositions, all the while relying on their own unique chemistry to guide their creative choices.
In the midst of this creative stew, Chi and McLean met veteran Bay Area keyboard player Mike Emerson. Emerson shares a similar jones for genre bending and style hopping and the chemistry amongst the trio was immediate. Emerson's musical know-how (he has toured/performed with Melvin Seals, Zigaboo Modeliste, Bobby Vega, James Armstrong, Percy Sledge, and Daniel Castro to name a few) and interactive spirit immediately brought the music to another level and deepened the group mind.
Soon after, the trio began collaborating with drummer Ian "Inkx" Herman. Inkx has toured with Hamsa Lila and Paul Simon (among others) and has worked with artists such as Sting, Duran Duran, and Manfred Mann. The driving force of Inkx's drumming has been behind every recording that Rainmaker has made since their initial sessions together.
With a nucleus of creative and talented musicians, and an undeniable chemistry, Rainmaker is quickly compiling a catalog of compelling original material. Their sound is a mix of strong songwriting, inspired instrumental compositions and jams, and rich vocal harmonies. Their live shows are bolstered by choice cover tunes and standards, such as their take on Miles Davis' "So What", Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released", and a rollicking version of the Allman Brothers' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed".