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Live music: Light to shine on Midnight Special

by Cyndi PalmerSky-Hi Daily News
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Local band, Midnight Special, is scheduled to play the Willow Creek Bar & Grill starting at 9 p.m. this Saturday.The band, which plays mostly classic rock, blues covers and dance tunes, consists of original member Bill Schade, his son, Nick, and Siji Reveles. Bill offers up lead vocals and plays six-string electric guitar. Nick plays bass, and Reveles plays drums. Local drummer, Matt Raynak, joins Bill and Nick for the Oct. 27 performance.Bill has been playing guitar for about 40 years and has been in several bands since he was 17 years old. He played with Crosstown Traffic 1971 and 72 and, from 1974 to 1988, Bill played popular tunes in a four-piece band called Justus & Shade. I was just fascinated with the guitar, he said. The Beatles really came on at that time.He also teaches music and offers lessons on several instruments, including the violin, fiddle, banjo and bass; and hes written three guitar method books and one for bass for the lessons. Four of his students performed at the Grand County Blues Festival last year, which is quite an accomplishment and proud moment for Bill.His son, Nick, has been playing guitar since he was 14. Sure he was influenced by my playing because I played all the time, Bill said, but Nick pretty much taught himself. Hes just musical; hes always been good at it.Reveles has been playing drums for about 15 years or so. Youd think hes been playing all his life, Bill said. Hes a real musician. He can also play bass and guitar and has super rhythm. Hes got perfect timing and his solos really get the crowd going.The band has been playing since 2001, originally with Jeremiah Hyslop, who started the band, on harmonica and vocals. Other original members, most of whom have also moved away, were Steve Snapper Scarlatta on bass and Mike Pierce on drums.Inspired by the song performed by Credence Clearwater, the guys just kind of took the name for the band. Back then, Bill had been working for the railroad, doing a little bit of everything for the Rio Grande company and did so for 25 years.Everyone wanted a railroad name, he explained. According to the song and legend, the Midnight Special was a train whose light, if shown through a prison window in Texas, would indicate that the prisoner had a parole or release in his/her near future.Once Hyslop and Scarlatta moved away, Bill started looking for a new drummer. His wife worked at Safeway with Reveles, whom she found out played the drums, and soon she introduced the two. With Nick on guitar, the band was complete once again. Since then, its been a pretty solid three-piece band, Bill said. Everybody understands each other and we feel really tight together.Its fun, Nick said. Its great to play with musicians whove been playing for decades. Its fun playing at all the local places. We try to do songs people recognize, and were trying to get more public (gigs) to get more locals to come.Every now and then, Bill and Nick also play in an unnamed bluegrass band Monday nights at C Lazy U with Mike Crosby on fiddle and Jim Hoyhtya on banjo. Bill also sometimes puts on an acoustic campfire performance by himself out at the guest ranch. Hes also played at the old Stagecoach and Pancho & Leftys in Grand Lake, and at the Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill in Kremmling.Bills very appreciative to all the businesses that have hosted him and his band. Id just like to say thanks to those that book us. We appreciate it.For right now the tight trio is gearing up for Saturdays show and Bill said the Willow Creek Bar & Grill has a good audience and good acoustics. I still love it. I look forward to it all the time, he said. I love to watch my son play and develop as a musician. What were into most is getting people to dance and have a good time.


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