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Cool Water: Refreshingly eclectic band spans many genres

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Members of the Cool Water Band practice at a home in Prescott Tuesday afternoon. The Cool Water Band will be playing at Barnes and Noble bookstore at the Prescott Gateway Mall 3 p.m. Saturday.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier Members of the Cool Water Band practice at a home in Prescott Tuesday afternoon. The Cool Water Band will be playing at Barnes and Noble bookstore at the Prescott Gateway Mall 3 p.m. Saturday.

PRESCOTT - The Cool Water Band plays some cool music.

"We like music that's pretty, that sounds good," said Dick Jonas, singer, songwriter and guitar player. "There's a lot of noise out there masquerading as music."

The five-member band plays folk, classic country and rock, Western, gospel and military songs. Jonas, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, writes the military songs.

"Most of the lyrics on my military songs are not suitable for mixed company," he said with a grin during a recent rehearsal. Jonas produced the band's two CDs, "The Cool Water Band Sings Folk" and "The Cool Water Band Sings Country and Western," at Erosonic, his music production company in Chino Valley.

"Not everyone agrees about what that is, but we sing country and we sing Western," guitarist and singer Tom Calvert emphasized.

And then there are the band's classic rock covers including The Eagles, and classic country/folk songs by artists such as John Prine.

The band is a self-contained unit. Band members write songs, play and sing at concerts, record and mix their music, and produce their CDs.

Besides mixing and editing the band's CDs on his two Macintosh computers, Carl Brehmer builds his own instruments.

"I'm a luthier," he said. Luthiers build string instruments such as violins, mandolins and guitars. "I do it as a hobby because it's too much work to make them for other people."

Brehmer, Calvert, Dick and his wife, Mary, met while individually jamming at Prescott's Monday Night Blue Grass Jam nights.

"We thought we'd sound better if we added Tom and Carl's vocals and music," Mary said. She is the band's tech-head, sound mixer, and all-around "roadie."

The band formed two years ago, and the four members have performed at various venues around the county. The fifth member, bass-player Cameron Calvert, Tom's son, recently joined the band. At 29 years old, he is the youngest member, "I've been playing guitar since I was nine," Cameron said. "Dad asked me to move out (to Prescott) and join the band after my married brother kicked me out of the house."

"It worked out good for us," Jonas said.

Although the band members play amplified acoustics, with Mary adding in some hand percussions, they do not necessarily play mellow. Their repertoire includes numbers such as Jonas' foot-tapping song "Red-Headed Woman" that will get the dancers dancing.

From 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, the band performs a free concert at Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Prescott Gateway Mall, 3250 Gateway Blvd. The band plays at the Prescott Veteran's Hospital the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Cool Water Band CDs are available online at www.erosonic.com, Amazon.com and CDBaby.com. To learn more about the band and Jonas' military music CDs, visit the Erosonic website. To book the band, call 636-2259 or 866-810-7750, or e-mail dickjonas@cableone.net.

"People have as much fun as the band does at the concerts," said Patsy Calvert, Tom's wife.

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