Fertile Soil plays an eclectic selection of hits

Fertile Soil performs “an eclectic blend” of new, classic and country rock.  A typical set list from the band might include songs by Jimmy Buffett, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers, and Tom Petty.  Every night you can expect several songs from our “roots”—the Beatles and the Eagles.   If the crowd prefers something from the country charts, Fertile Soil is ready with tunes by Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Cash, or Little Big Town.  Some of the more mature wine drinkers might request an oldie from the ‘60s.  The band can answer that with songs by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Rascals. Prefer a little bit of soul?  How about something from Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight or Harold Melvin.  And if the crowd really feels adventurous they may want to jitterbug to our medley of “At the Hop” and “The Peppermint Twist”.

Fertile Soil made its first appearance in November of 2007.  It was intended to be a “one-time thing—a church fundraiser”.  But it turned out to be such fun that it grew to twice a year.  Then it was once a month.  Now the band plays almost every weekend.  The original Fertile Soil line-up included Brent Koeneman (lead vocals, guitar, percussion) and Bruce Harmsen (guitar, keyboards, vocals).  Brent and Bruce had been founding members and toured the Midwest with “Footloose” in the 1980’s. Drummer and vocalist Larry Willis (“Special FX” and “Blues Lifters”) was soon added to the mix.  Bassist and vocalist Mark Luebbers (“Cheyenne” and “Cuttin’ Loose”) joined the band in September of 2010.

Fertile Soil has made a couple of personnel changes that have greatly enhanced our overall sound.  Lead guitarist David Lee Halstead has been performing throughout the Midwest for nearly forty years.  He has a unique style that listeners love.  More recently, the band was fortunate to add Julie Lohmann to the line-up.  Julie has previously been a featured vocalist with Saxy Jazz.  She has a beautiful and powerful voice which always gets a huge crowd response.  Fertile Soil now has six lead vocalists that can be mixed and matched so that each song sounds fresh and just a little bit different than the preceding tunes.

Fertile Soil has versatile sound reinforcement and lighting equipment that allows us to adapt to any number of settings.  The band is equally comfortable in an outdoor festival type of setting—or a more intimate indoor venue.  We are often complimented for our ability to perform at a sound level that permits casual conversations to take place.

Fertile Soil is looking to book weekends in 2016. The past year, the band played regular monthly dates at The Bluff’s Winery as well as festivals, benefits, night clubs, bars, dance halls, and wineries throughout Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri.  The summer of 2015 found Fertile Soil playing outdoor gigs at the Apple Festival (in Murphysboro), Rustle Hill Winery in Cobden, and a return to the beer tent at the DuQuoin State Fair.  The autumn schedule included the Barrens Winery near Perryville, MO and the annual “grape stomp” at Hemmen Winery in Brazeau, MO.  

You can reach Fertile Soil at (618)317-4409

Email harmsen@myfrontiermail.com  Check us out on Facebook or at fertilesoil.yolasite.com.

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