Instant Blues Machine

2014 - Band

Band Members:  Lance DeMers, Steve Hope, Harry Kantrovich, Charlie Larimer, Mark Lehman,
Al Vellinga, John Wimmer, Johnnie Bolin

Instant Blues Machine, otherwise known as IBM was formed in the mid 1960s by Richard Samore, son of then Woodbury County Attorney Edward Samore. The band consisted of a group of friends attending Sioux City North Junior High School and subsequently Sioux City Central High School. The original band consisted of Rich Samore as the lead guitarist and vocalist, Charlie Larimer playing a homemade Vox organ, Rick Haas on rhythm guitar, and Dirk Lohry as the drummer.

Rick left the band after about 6 months, and was followed by Stan Lipman.  Stan left after only about 3 months with the band, and Steve Hope joined as the rhythm guitarist. IBM had a myriad of drummers in a short period following Dirk Lohry.  Scott Anderson took over from Dirk, Lance DeMers became the bands third drummer, as he was joined by Al Vellinga as the new front man for the band. Both Al and Lance had previously been with the Jaydes when asked to join IBM. By early summer of 1967, John Wimmer became IBM’s bass player. That same summer, Harry Kantrovich who had been playing with Jerry Smith and the Blue Soul Six was added as the band’s initial horn player. Mark Lehman joined the horn section a few months later. By that time, Gevan Hiser had replaced Lance DeMers on drums until Norm Reitsma, brother of well known guitarist Glenn Reitsma, became the full time drummer in early 1968 when Gevan moved out of state. Norm, a versatile musician, made the switch to keyboards when Charlie Larimer left the band in late summer.

Johnnie Bolin, brother of Sioux City’s own Tommy Bolin, took the reins as IBM’s drummer. John Wimmer was with IBM until late 1970 when Steve Hope took over as the band’s bass player. IBM now had the final members in place; Rich Samore (guitar, bass and vocals), Al Vellinga (lead vocals), Steve Hope (bass and guitar), Johnnie Bolin (drums, guitar and keyboard), Norm Reitsma (Hammond B3 and drums), Mark Lehman (trumpet), and Harry Kantrovich (trumpet and flugelhorn). IBM was a 6 person rock, blues and soul show band, performing primarily around Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

The band played everything from high school and college sock hops to homecomings, proms, and lounges such as The Dunes, The Loft and The Rathskellar.  IBM participated in the KMNS Rivercade Battle of the Bands for four years, placing second two of those years.  The band’s range of music stemmed from Temptations to Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears to Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Three Dog Night to Earth, Wind and Fire, and Santana.  Although IBM never recorded, they remained a popular band until their final gig the summer of 1971 when Rich, Steve and Harry all left Sioux City to attend college. Since then music has played an important role in everyone’s life.  Some continued on as recording artists, performers and producers, others as genuine patrons of the art.

Unfortunately in 2008 the world lost a talented musician and producer when Richard Samore passed away. The legacy of Instant Blues Machine will continue to be the legacy of Rich Samore.

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