2008 - Band
Sky Dancer (originally Dancer) was conceived by Steve Dykmann. After taking a year-long break from performing, he was ready in early 1976 to put together a new group. With the capable help of Lou Scorpiniti, he began to put together the various players. First to join was Danny Nissly, and after holding extensive auditions, Bob Pace was asked to join on as the bass player.
This group was very versatile. Steve, Lou, and Bob all contributed original material. They could double on each other's instrument, and all could sing lead vocal. The main focus of the group was their own original material. During a four-set performance 50% of the tunes would be their own. They also had a very ambitious group of cover songs.
Their Des Moines debut in May 1976 was eagerly anticipated, and drew an exceptional crowd. The band began playing most of the big venues in Iowa and neighboring states. They did a couple of shows at the Roof Garden (one on July 4th).
It was about this time that Lou decided he would rather concentrate on engineering and producing. In need of a keyboard player, they found a fellow from Marshalltown named Doc Lawson. Doc had been playing in bands since his teens. He had a very soulful voice and was a master of the Hammond B3/Leslie. This revamped line-up produced some memorable shows. When Bob left the group, Randy Zirbel was brought in to play bass, and the next line-up was set.
By late 1976 new musical trends were changing the midwest music scene. One of the guys in the band called this period "The Winter of Our Discoteque." Many of their favorite clubs had transformed themselves into discos and it was tough to find places to play. The band signed with a different agent and went from being a regional band to a territorial band. Suddenly they were traveling a nine-state area; playing fewer clubs and more one-nighters. The band did manage to squeeze in six separate weeks at the legendary Royal Grove in Lincoln, Neb.( a record at the time) They also recorded their album there in July 1977.
A&R Studios in Ames was very well-known in the 70's, as was the owner Steve Monroe. He took all of his studio components, put them in a Winnebago, and parked outside a night club for 3 nights to record Sky Dancer live for their debut album. Bill Knight, the editor of the Prairie Sun Magazine, reviewed the record personally, and had high praise for the material and the performance, employing phrases such as: "transfixing guitar, mind-blowing moments of percussion, and heavy blast furnace rockers.”
During that time period Sky Dancer played all sorts of venues, and saw a lot of the country. By September 1977, Doc had tired of the incessant touring. His place was taken by Jim Priefert, guitarist and song-writer. The touring continued, new fans were made, and the band's rep was spreading. The elusive recording contract still had not materialized. The guys disbanded in autumn 1978. The group was highly regarded over a large part of the Midwest. People still talk about their live shows. They join the elite Class of 2008 for their style and creativity!
Guitarist and Waterloo Musician Warren Doc Lawson passed away December 8, 2013, in Marshalltown. You can view his obituary here.