Mars Cafe’s Sound Rover is Discovering Great Music for You

This month Mars Cafe presents the acoustic music series, Sound Rover, in which Iowa songwriters and touring musicians perform their original music. Sound Rover is a space to explore, for audience and artist alike. Each weekend this June, audiences will hear favorite tunes played in a new way or new material musicians are developing. Featured events this month include local favorites Paige Harpin and Bradley Turk as well as the brilliant Colorado act Rocktin Grove. Learn about all the shows below and at



Sound Rover presents Lukas Fox with Steve Kowbel and Home Grown

Friday, June 7 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Luke Fox has gained a strong following since his first appearing on the Verde Valley circuit about six months ago. His rhythmic guitar work, strong harmonica solos and passionate vocals evoke comparisons to Neil Young and the Avett Brothers. Like him on Facebook:

Here’s a video of Lukas Fox performing live:


Home Grown is back for their second appearance at Sound Rover. They planted their roots in early 2012 when 4 friends turned a few jam sessions into a Midwest band. Influences stem from funky blues jams mixed with jazz progressions and acoustic rock. The band’s lows are low and highs are high as they bring the feelings of pineapples and sunshine. Home Grown is a young band breaking into the music scene to be seen and heard.


Sound Rover presents Maxwell Jury and Lucca Soria

Saturday, June 8 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Maxwell Jury is an Iowa native who studied at Berklee College of Music. He recently recorded an EP with Scott Yoshimura of the Envy Corps.


Lucca Soria is a local artist who channels rock music, country and coffee-related lyrics in his songwriting. Soria makes music about living in the United States and writes about seven songs a month. He lives in Des Moines, eats about five or six pizzas a week, and plays in a rock-n-roll band, Captains of the Flowered Porch.

http ://


Sound Rover presents Rocktin Grove

Saturday, June 15 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Out of Boulder, CO and building from a love for funk, bluegrass, indie rock, classical, and world styles, Rocktin Grove’s sound is a tasteful blend. Smooth fades, euphoric builds, infectious grooves, and soulful harmonies mix to form music that sweeps you away.  They have played to packed crowds in Boulder and Denver including the Fox Theater, Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, The Denver Rock N Roll Marathon and headlined the USA Pro Cycling Boulder Stage. Marquee magazine wrote in their March issue: “At times, this cleanly harmonized band resembles the Avett Brothers- if the popular band had a horn section.”

Listen for yourself and you will hear a sound that sets itself apart and can most easily be described as “feel good music that keeps your attention on the groove.”

Here’s their website:

You can watch a video of their song “Ice Cream Cha Cha” here:



Sound Rover presents Skyscraper and DJ DJ Tanner

Friday, June 21 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Local artists and lovers of tapes DJ DJ Tanner and Skyscraper are teaming up for this installment of Sound Rover to create loops and sounds you’ve never heard before. Don’t miss this one.

You can listen to DJ DJ Tanner here:



Sound Rover presents Paige Harpin and Foxholes

Saturday, June 22 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Paige Harpin is one jazzy lady! As lead singer for the Paige Harpin Group, she brings back the soulful emotion found in blues singers from generations past. Once she opens her mouth and her sweeping vocals hit the air, you’re transported to a time when people went to clubs to hear live music, dance with their honey, and sip on gin–completely classic and intimate. While other groups are selling out for what’s hip these days, Paige reminds all those that hear her that music has a history. As a rare treat especially for Sound Rover, she’s sharing her originals in an acoustic space. Give her a listen here:


Foxholes is a four-piece indie rock band based in Des Moines featuring two guitarists, a drummer and cellist Jessica Villegas.  For this installment of Sound Rover, they are stripping down to an acoustic sound. Their influences include the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr.


Sound Rover presents Goodcat

Friday, June 28 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Goodcat is a Des Moines band led by songwriter Nels Dovre. They perform lyric-driven, deeply emotive music translated to the context of reality and are always moving forward to the beat. Check them out on Facebook:



Sound Rover presents Bradley Turk and Roland Garros

Saturday, June 29 at 7pm

Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave., Des Moines



Bradley Turk is a local artist known for playing an unusual instrument called the omnichord. He is one of the songwriters of the Des Moines pop band Doctor Dentist. Give them a listen here:


The man behind Roland Garros is Ryan Meier. He is currently the songwriter for the local band John the Bastard and has been behind several other prominent Iowa bands such as Beati Paoli and Golden Veins. He rarely plays acoustic shows so don’t miss this one!

Donate Today!

Learn More