A trio of fabled Montana bands is on the road this month for concerts benefiting a variety of law-enforcement organizations, including the Kalispell Police Association and Mountain States Tactical Officers Association (Mission Mountain Wood Band), Flathead Valley Crimestoppers (Bop-a-Dips) and the Montana Narcotics Officers Association (Ringling 5).
Mission Mountain Wood Band: 7 p.m. May 7 at Great Falls High School Auditorium and 7 p.m. May 6 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell. The legendary group is back on the road with its feel-good brand of bluegrass-flavored, Montana-grown rock ’n roll. MMWB first came to national prominence in the ’70s, touring the country, making television appearances, and playing Missoula’s infamous Aber Day keggers.
In the words of Jim Casto, long-time stage manager and bus driver, the group represents “a way of living life, an attitude, and more than anything, in the deepest, most profound sense, the Wood Band and their fans became a family.” Original members Rob Quist, Steve Riddle and Greg Reichenberg join David Griffith, Craig Davey and Trevor Krieger on this tour. Tickets are $33-$35; call 393-2581.
The Ringling 5 (aka The Norwegian Studs of Rhythm): 7 p.m. May 18 at Polson High School Auditorium, 7 p.m. May 19 at the Bedford Building in Hamilton, 7 p.m. May 20 at East Middle School Auditorium in Butte and 7 p.m. May 21 at Park High School Auditorium in Livingston. This popular group of rancher-musicians, which numbers more than five, hails from the Shields Valley in southwest Montana. They channel their inner Norskis on originals, backed by a snappy country sensibility.
While contemplating life in the modern West, they sing about the struggles of sorting cows with your wife, lament trading in your horse for a four-wheeler, and wonder what life would be like if Jesus had been born in Norway. Tickets are $27; call 406-393-2576.
The Bop-A-Dips: 7:30 p.m. May 14 at the fairgrounds in Kalispell. Eight college students got together in the 1970s, lured by the dream of meeting girls and impressing friends. Since then, this good-time band has evoked the music of the ’50s with tight vocal harmonies, comedy and an energetic, rockin’ stage show. Tickets are $30; call 406-885-1065.
At all shows, children 14 and younger are admitted free with adult ticket-holders.