The Expressions

2011 - Band

Band Members: Kevin Christie, Michael Berkland, Rollie Jensen, Craig Phillips

The Expressions consists of musicians with varied experience and a deep-rooted love of rock and roll. The Founded in 1967 and is still playing today, the current lineup has been together since 1985 and has performed at more than 1500 gigs.

Members for the past 26 years are: Mike Berkland, rhythm guitar/keyboards/vocals; Craig Phillips, bass/vocals; Kevin Christie, lead guitar/sax/drums/vocals and Rollie Jensen, drums/trumpet/vocals. Their vast experience and musical backgrounds have afforded The Expressions the ability to perform numerous styles of music through the years.

Mike Berkland, along with his Uncle Bob Potratz, founded “The Family Expressions” in 1967. They got guitars and amps while Bob took four guitar lessons and then passed on everything he had learned to Mike. While in junior high, they were singing and playing for high school assemblies and at the local teen hangout in their hometown of Fenton. Over time the duo branched out to small town bars in Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota. Family members drove them to gigs since they were not old enough for a driver’s license. Once Mike’s younger brother Jeff got a drum set and the boys got their licenses, The Family Expressions began playing for weddings, town celebrations and any other events.

Bob and Jeff left the band and the word “Family” was removed from the name. However, Berkland feels that all of the members who played with the band from 8 to 36 years are truly family. He currently resides in Lakeside and continues to keep the band going; handling bookings, the calendar and hauling the equipment.

Craig Phillips joined the band in 1976. An Eagle Grove native, he now resides in Pocahontas. In addition to playing with The Expressions, he is the house bass player for the monthly Havelock Bar jam sessions.

Bill Lake took Bob Potratz’s spot in the band in 1978 as lead guitar and vocalist. He left the band in 1986 when he relocated to Independence.

Kevin Christie of Ida Grove auditioned in 1982 to replace Jeff Berkland on drums. In ’86 he moved to the front to take over lead guitar when Rollie Jensen joined as the drummer as well as add some sax numbers to the band’s repertoire.

Jensen grew up near Brookings, SD where he played with a variety of bands for several years and was the show drummer for the Miss South Dakota Pageant for 16 years. He moved to Pocahontas where he taught Middle School band at area schools for 23 years. He has performed with the Humboldt Community Chorus and Big Band for 25 years, the Karl King Band in Fort Dodge, the Cherokee Symphony and directed the Pocahontas Community Band. He continues to play with The Expressions and is the house drummer at the Havelock Bar jams.

With such longevity, the band is now playing for the silver wedding anniversaries for couples they entertained at their wedding dances! The Expressions extend their appreciation to their families, friends and wonderful fans who supported and followed them throughout the years. Music is a big part of their lives! They credit their parents, teachers and all the musicians with whom they have ever played. The Expressions’ goal has always been and will continue to be keeping Rock and Roll alive!

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