DMMC Member Spotlight: Cathy Vrentas

Last week we went behind the scenes with Patrick Tape Fleming of The Poison Control Center to get a glimpse of his favorite 80/35 memories and what being a member of the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition means to him. We’re excited to share another member spotlight with you this week, featuring DMMC member and Events and Festivals Committee volunteer, Cathy Vrentas.

Name: Cathy Vrentas


Hometown: Grew up in PA, currently live in Ankeny


Company: Government scientist in Ames

DMMC Member Spotlight: Patrick Tape Fleming

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a DMMC member? To celebrate our upcoming annual membership drive and event, Music Saves, on December 4 at Badowers, we’re going to feature a few of our DMMC members to give you a glimpse into their experiences and what being a DMMC member means to them. Up first is Patrick Tape Fleming of The Poison Control Center

LBF preview: The Workshy

The Workshy, a five-piece band from Ames, will bring their blend of funk, fusion and jam sounds to the Hotel Fort Des Moines on Nov. 18 as part of Little Big Fest.


The group began playing together in 2008, and have since shared the stage with acts such as Radio Moscow, Euforquestra and Family Groove Company. Their influences range from Led Zeppelin and The Beatles to Bob Marley, Miles Davis and Santana.

Ruth Moody Band kicks off Live at the Temple Concert Series

Singer/songwriter Ruth Moody and her band will kick off the 2011-2012 Live at the Temple Concert Series on Nov. 17 at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines.


Moody is known for her vocals and multi-instrumental talents. She is a founding member of The Wailin’ Jennys – which has appeared on the Billboard charts – and has made more than a dozen appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion.”

LBF preview: Omega Dog

Omega Dog are what people point to when they say they listen to jam band music. They are also a perfect example of why people would and should listen. They utilize the full spectrum of music. Modern pop, classic rock, reggae, old school R&B, classical, all styles seem to be represented to produce a medley of sonic purity but never once leaving behind their pop sensibility. This isn’t just a jam band or an excuse to screw around with instruments while people twirl in place. These are skilled musicians who make music for everyone.

LBF preview: Lightnin’ Ridge

When people say things like “this ain’t your father’s…” they say it to mean that this is a new and different way of looking at something. The thing about Lightnin’ Ridge, though, is this is your father’s bluegrass. This is the music that came up through the generations from the front porches and backyards of people all over the country. Lightnin’ Ridge plays bluegrass music. They play it in a way that most people imagine when they hear “bluegrass.” They play it well, they play it tight and they play it fast. They play bluegrass.

LBF Preview: Mr. Baber’s Neighbors

Iowa has always been a rural society. Its black soil and the folks who work it have long been its backbone and its greatest strength. Even as the Hawkeye State becomes more urban and more metropolitan, it is nice to be reminded of our rural strengths. It’s why we have the world’s best sweet corn. It’s why we can enjoy festivals devoted specifically to bacon. It’s why we have a band like Mr. Baber’s Neighbors.

LBF preview: Rebel Creek

Rebel Creek, a band known for it’s distinct fusion of psychedelic, bluesy jam rock, has been making quite the impression throughout Iowa—both because of their age and because of their rare talent.

Music University: M. Shawn Crahan at Drake Nov. 15

MU_100The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition’s Music University and Drake University’s Entrepreneurship Program present M. Shawn Crahan: On Living Your Dreams, Slipknot and Life. Shawn will share his experience with making your imagination into reality, the success of his work, and getting busy in life before it’s too late. He will also share many stories about his journey in the music industry. The free seminar will be held at Drake University’s Meredith Hall Room #101 on Tuesday, November 15 from 6-7pm.

LBF profile: MooseKnuckle

“Tell everybody to bring a towel,” says MooseKnuckle singer-keyboardist Nate Finestead regarding his band’s upcoming Little BIG Fest performance, Nov. 18 at Hotel Fort Des Moines. “And they might want to have an extra set of clothes, too, because they’re going to be wet from dancing.”