Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Energetic duo charges ahead with familiar tunes


J. Hubner

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 17, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 3 years old.

Do you ever come to the weekend and feel like going out to hear some live but familiar music? Something that takes you back to the weekends of your youth, with Petty, Seger, KISS, Eagles, Steve Miller Band, and the Stones blasting through the car speakers?

The Motor Folkers have you covered. The mostly acoustic duo of Greg Reszel and Jeff Lauer hit local stages with familiar tunes and deliver them with a fresh take.

How did these two excellent musicians come together?

“Greg and I have known one another for around 30 years,” said Lauer in a recently interview with Whatzup. “Greg worked at a local music store and I took some guitar lessons from him.

“In 2014 Greg started doing a solo act. I saw him playing at The North Star Bar, suggested a duo, and Greg said sure! Between the two of us we have over 50 years of professional experience playing.”

In those 50 years between the two of them, the guys have played in bands such as Blah Blah Blah, Rhino, and Borrowed Time, as well as Dash Rip Rock and Junkyard Band.

The guys call the Motor Folkers “energy-driven acoustic music.”

“Originally the idea was that the Motor Folkers would stick to playing acoustic instruments and try all kinds of folk and rock songs delivered with energy. We set out to not be boring,” Lauer said. “That has evolved into using electric instruments and programmed drums along with the acoustic guitars.

“We play music from the 1950s through the 2010s. We’ll try just about any song. Greg says, ‘No song’s safe from us!’”

The guys pull from a wide range of bands for influence and inspiration for the Motor Folkers song choices. Growing up, the guys were influenced by artists as diverse as Al Dimeola, Jean Luc Ponty, Kansas, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and Eric Johnson.

So you walk into a local American Legion or winery and the Motor Folkers are taking the stage. What can you expect?

“One can expect to hear a variety of music played with passion and energy,” Lauer said. “For a duo, the Motor Folkers sound fuller than many ‘full’ bands. We play two or three times a week or more in northern Indiana, but we have played in northwestern Ohio as well.

“The Motor Folkers have some things lined up in New York for private events. We are willing to negotiate going anywhere, Hawaii, Florida, U.K.,” Lauer laughed.

When the guys aren’t hitting stages across Indiana or Ohio, Reszel is a luthier at Sweetwater Music and Lauer is a teacher. Acoustic jams aren’t their only loves, either. Lauer likes Judo, Reszel likes snowboarding, and both enjoy barbell training. So keep that in mind if you decide to heckle the Motor Folkers at an upcoming show. Not a good idea.

Where can fans catch Reszel and Lauer playing their energy-driven acoustic music?

“The Motor Folkers play many American Legions and private parties, as well as clubs, wineries and brew-pubs,” Lauer said. “These can all be found online at motorfolkers.com and FaceBook and in Whatzup.”

In the colder months, the Motor Folkers’ gigs shift from outdoors to indoors but does not slow down.

Lauer summed up the Motor Folkers for those wanting a little more information.

“The Motor Folkers have an interesting setup and sound. We take turns singing lead and backup vocals as well as bass guitar and lead guitar,” Lauer said. “The one playing bass guitar often will add percussive slaps and thumps to mimic drums as the song is played.

“The Motor Folkers have the ability to play small venues such as dinner music for restaurants but also large shows that require a wider coverage type of PA, such as the sandbar at Lake James. We can adjust to what each event calls for musically and in terms of the type of show desired.”

Keep up with the Motor Folkers at motorfolkers.com as well as on their Facebook page.

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