“One of the most popular bands in Kansas City History”, said the Kansas City Star/Times. Since 1974, Riverrock has been a name 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, Hank Williams, Jr., Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Minnie Pearl, Charlie Daniels, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker and Emmylou Harris. Many of these performances were at state and county fairs, concert halls, music festivals, rodeos, college campuses and popular night clubs.
Riverrock was signed to the management of the Jim Halsey Company in 1977. Other acts on that roster included Roy Clark, Hank Thompson, Freddy Fender and the Oak Ridge Boys.
In 1980, Variety Artists International signed Riverrock. The agency's roster included Amazing Rhythm Aces, Asleep at the Wheel, Badfinger, Jeff Beck, Vassar Clements, Papa John Creach, Dixie Dregs, The Guess Who, Head East, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Carl Perkins and Pure Prairie League.
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” of which selections have been played on radio stations across the U.S.A. and Europe. Riverrock’s latest album, Shuddup & Party!, has been played on the radio in fourteen countries and features guest musician, John McEuen, founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Riverrock was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2011 and they were the most visible act represented at the “We want to rock!” Exhibit in Kansas City's Union Station that ran from October of 2012 through May of 2013. The band artifacts that were on display are from the archives of the Kansas City Museum who administered the exhibit. In 2015 Riverrock was nominated to the Missouri Music Hall of Fame.
The band began at the end of an era when night club musicians often worked five or six nights a week, sometimes as “house bands” on gigs that could last weeks or even months. They could make a living, building a following without the help of social media. Fame was not the result of “going viral”. It took time and a love for the music.
Riverrock survived a well documented “mob war” in Kansas City's River Quay entertainment district, a flood on the Country Club Plaza that made the national news, endless waves of “new music” that threatened the extinction of the status quo and road gigs that were remembered as much for the van breakdowns and equipment repairs as for the music they played and the fans they made.
Now, after decades of incarnations and permutations, original Riverrock members John Mumma (banjo, steel guitar, bass and vocals), Paul Mumma (guitars, fiddle, mandolin and vocals) and Dan Smith (drums, washboard and vocals) have teamed up with another K.C. legend, Allen Blasco (guitars, bass, harmonica and vocals). Along with being multi-instrumentalists, everyone in the band takes his 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.
Riverrock circa 1975, River Market, Kansas City MO, Photo by David H. Moore
2011 Kansas Music Hall of Fame Inductee - 2015 Missouri Music Hall of Fame Nominee - First Runner Up, Grand Ole Opry Contest, KC - First Runner Up, Wrangler Country Starsearch Contest, KC - Town Squire “Best in Kansas City” 1979 - The New Times "Best of Kansas City" 1991 - KWKI Radio “Critics Choice” - International Jazz Hall of Fame Entertainer Award - American Truckers Benevolent Association Outstanding Performance Award
Kansas Music Hall of Fame Awards, Photo by Allen Blasco
"Dan, it was a teenage dream to be in a 'radio band', travel , and in some town, walk up on stage and sit in with a band you did not know.. Riverrock, YOUR cool band, was that perfect thing to fill out one KC night looong ago. And - you are the best washboard player I have ever met.. AND THE LOUDEST!!!" - John McEuen, Founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
“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
Review in Western Mail (Germany)
Alabama - Asleep at the Wheel - Bobby Bare - Norman Blake - Suzy Bogguss - Brewer & Shipley - Bryan Bowers - David Bromberg - Tracy Byrd - The Carter Family - Carlene Carter - Tommy Cash - Central Standard Time - Roy Clark - Billy “Crash” Craddock - Alvin Crow - Charlie Daniels - The Dillards - Barbara Fairchild - 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 - Tommy Jennings - George Jones - Rodney Lay - Dicky Lee - Curly Lewis - Jerry Lee Lewis - George "Goober" Lindsey - Rudy Love - Barbara Mandrell - John McEuen - Jody Miller - Roger Miller - New Grass Revival - The Norton Buffalo Stampede - The Oak Ridge Boys - The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Minnie Pearl - Pure Prairie League - The Rainmakers - Mike Reid - Riders in the Sky - John Wesley Ryles - Frank Sinatra, Jr. - Ricky Skaggs - Cal Smith - Red Steagle - Tate Stevens - Jud Strunk - Marty Stuart - Hank Thompson - Mel Tillis - Buck Trent - Tanya Tucker - Leroy Van Dyke - Steve Wariner - Bobby Watson - Freddie Weller - Dottie West - Shelly West- Sharon & Cheryl White - Don Williams - Hank Williams, Jr. - Jimmy "Sweet Lips" Wilson - Johnnie Lee Wills - Trisha Yearwood
Concert poster circa 1979, promoting Jerry Lee Lewis, Emmylou Harris and Riverrock.
Union Station, Kansas City (Riverrock display at We Want to Rock! and Science of Rock & Roll exhibit through April 2013) - KKFI Local Showcase Radio Broadcast - 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
Union Station, K.C. MO, We Want to Rock! September 2012 through April 2013, Photo by Dan Smith
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 - Ameristar Casino, KC MO - Knuckleheads Saloon KC MO - Liberty Hall Lawrence KS - Argosy Casino, KC MO - 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
Riverrock at Knuckleheads Saloon, K.C. MO, Photo by Steven Smith
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 fish logo by Phillip Smith