Started by Sioux City native and music lover John Glaza, the Rock n Blues Reunion, a concert that brings old Sioux City bands back together, is returning for its 10th anniversary at 7 p.m. on Aug. 2 at The Marquee (1225 Fourth St.).
Born and raised in Sioux City, this 14-year owner of Pierce Street Laundry grew up in the 1960s around the music scene. Most of the people he hung out with were musicians, but he couldn't wrap his head around playing it.
"I tried to play various instruments," said Glaza. "I'm incapable. I have a tin ear, as they say. I was still a roadie, a sound man and a light man for years."
The Rock n Blues Reunion came about after a friend of Glaza's became ill. A lot of the musicians he knew in the '60s and '70s hadn't played together for years, so he decided to try to get some of the bands from yesteryear back together. It worked.
"We got some of the guys from the bands back together like Legs Diamond and some others," said Glaza. "We wanted to put on a show just to see how it would go. It was a one-time deal. That was 10 years ago and we've been doing it ever since."
Since then the Reunion has had 25 bands come through using their old names from the '60s, '70s and '80s. All-in-all there have been about 125 different musicians that have played in this festival since its origins.
"This year we have over 30 musicians who will be on stage playing with four bands," he said. "A lot of the players this year are inductees to the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"The show is a way for me to give back. It's never been a money-making thing for me. It's just a party we put on with a lot of help from a lot of great people."
The show has evolved over the last decade. In the beginning, it was mainly resurrected bands. Within the past few years it has started to include younger bands in addition to the resurrected bands.
As for the reason it lands on the night before the Tommy Bolin Fest: saving money.
"We (Johnnie Bolin and Glaza) share expenses for the artists we bring in like Russell Bizzett, Phil Kelly, Mark Engel and other people from out of town," said the concert founder. "There are a lot of people who play both shows."
Normally this concert garners a crowd of 120 to 160 people, so if you want to get a good spot by the stage, be sure to come early.
The bands playing the reunion include Tom Kingsbury's creation, The Pacemakers (old time rock and roll), Russell Bizzett's East/West (jazz/blues), Blue Moon (blues/rock from the early 2000s) and Ben Grillet and The Black Bloods (red dirt country meets rock). Cool 99.5's Big Daddy will be emceeing the night.
Why does Glaza feel it is important to reunite people from old bands every year?
"It feels really good to me," he said. "I try to keep a positive outlook on things and this concert has turned into a positive experience for most people who attend."
He feels it is a night with a varied selection of musical genres, so there should be something for everybody. Also, he thinks that with a $10 cover, you get a lot of value considering there will be four hours of music. And there is a reason it is held at The Marquee.
"There is a great sound system and Josh (Ronfeldt) is the best sound man in town," he said. "With the sound and lights, this is the best place in town. The staff at The Marquee has been so good to us and all the performers.
"I think it's a cheap ticket, actually, but I didn't want to raise the price because $10 is a round number, and people like round numbers."