Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Arthur Cope bringing pop-folk-funk to scene

Also news from Country Heart, Kid Gloves, Sam Clay, Driver 8, Phil Schurger

Arthur Cope is a new band on the local music scene.

Nick Braun

Whatzup Features Writer

Published September 7, 2022

Please welcome to the scene Arthur Cope, a five-piece pop-folk-funk band comprised of out-of-state musicians who now call Fort Wayne home. 

Hailing from such states as California, Michigan, and Washington, these guys found their way to the Summit City and are all working as Sweetwater sales engineers. 

With Jared Bobcean on guitar/vocals, Jesse Hauser on keys, James Holk on drums, Matt Stalnaker on guitar/banjo/mandolin, and Tommy Lansidel on bass, this band’s journey began as a solo project of Bobcean, who used the project as a means of self-expression for the things that were too hard for him to say. Once he moved to Fort Wayne, he found the other members who were able to help him flesh out the project. 

They have played only a few shows, such as at Open Streets and Wunderkammer Company, but will be releasing a five-song EP, Growing Pains, this month. This fine collection was recorded while Bobcean was still in Grand Rapids and fully instrumented by him. 

The band is in the process of writing another EP to incorporate everyone’s abilities. 

“Until then, it’s nice to see where it all started with Growing Pains as a solo project, and where it can go as a full-fledged band,” Bobcean said. “We call ourselves pop-folk-punk, but we write just about anything and everything and would like our listeners to add their own label as they see it. We are just happy to be here.” 

Stay tuned to Whatzup for upcoming Arthur Cope shows.

Change of Country Heart

Country Heart have rebranded themselves as Janice Anne & Power Train

“The Country Heart name suggested, too much, that we are a country-only band,” drummer Brent Straley said. “We actually play a popular classic rock and modern country variety. The variety blends really well and allows us to connect with a wider audience.” 

The band came to fruition when Straley and his wife, Janice Anne, met through music and wanted to put together a band so they could play together for their wedding reception four years ago. 

“Well, four years later, we’re still at it, and we’re blessed to have assembled a top-shelf lineup of bandmates,” Straley said. “Janice sings lead and has past experience in the Branson, Missouri, show scene at Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers Theater. Our guitarist, Jeff Gastineau, you may remember from his time in the Sweetwater All Stars, and our keyboardist Greg Savino is a triple-platinum artist who has recorded and toured with ’80s superstar Debbie Gibson. I’m admittedly the weak link in the band.” 

Upcoming shows include Spikes Beach Grill in Warsaw on Sept. 17, American Legion Post 241 in Fort Wayne on Sept. 23, and Huntertown Park for the Huntertown First Friday Concert Series on Oct. 7. 

Kid Gloves opening for Pink Droyd

It’s hard to believe that a local band that started in the summer of 2018 just recently played their first show in Fort Wayne. 

That was the case for Kid Gloves: A Tribute to Rush who played their first local show at Rock the Plaza in July. 

The trio of bassist John Reuille, guitarist Eric Bair, and drummer Jim Graham played a handful of shows prior at the Eclectic Room in Angola, sharing stages with The Iron Maidens, Absolute Queen, and Last in Line, but for whatever reason couldn’t get anything else lined up. 

Good news, folks: Kid Gloves will perform their second Fort Wayne show Friday, Sept. 23, when they open for Pink Droyd at Sweetwater Performance Pavilion. Hopefully, this will become a pattern. 

Sam Clay makes solo recording

Passing time between his gigs with Hillbilly Casino, Loveseat!, and Uncle Muscle, Sam Clay has been writing and recording. He recently released a handful of songs that can be found on streaming platforms. 

Injector Catalyst is the title of the EP and includes such songs as “Need Me,” “Even If You Won’t,” and “Epinephrine.” 

Clay performed all the instruments proving this cat has more talent than growing a fine mustache.

Another chance to see R.E.M. tribute

If you made it to The Smithereens show at Piere’s in June, hopefully you got to take in the opener Driver 8, Fort Wayne’s only tribute to the great R.E.M. 

It’s been almost 14 years since the legendary R.E.M. performed, so it was nice to hear those treasured songs played live again. 

If you missed the Driver 8 debut, good news! They will be back at to Piere’s on Saturday, Nov. 5, for a performance in Stan’s Room. Joining them will be Beautiful Day: U2 Tribute, and We Are Checkmark.

Phil Schurger and all that jazz at fest

Still riding high from sharing the stage with HR of Bad Brains last month at The Ruin, Phil Schurger has another worthy show lined up.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 2-6p.m., his trio will supply jazz numbers at the second annual Plein Art Invitational at The Art Farm in Spencerville. 

Come stroll the five-acre restored 1860 farmstead and observe 10 professional artists creating paintings onsite, a cash bar, light fare, and live music by Schurger. Tickets are available via Eventbrite. 

In addition, you can catch Schurger hosting the all-ages Jazz Jams at The Ruin every Thursday from 8-11 p.m. 

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