As the saying goes, “When it’s too loud, you’re too old.” However, there’s a group of guys in North Webster for whom it never got too loud – and likely never will.
The seven members of the band Short Term Memories have all long since left the age of 50 in their rearviews. In fact, trombone player Bernie Wilson is 72, but he and the other guys aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. The group can be found rocking stages, just about every weekend, all over the Michiana area.
“We’re not your average guitar band,” says the band’s founder, Ralph Luce, who also handles guitar and trumpet duties. “The songs we do, we try to bring back memories, hence the name.”
Short Term Memories are a cover band (though they have an original, “Thin/Fat Woman Blues,” which they have a lot of fun playing), specializing in hits from the late 60s and early 70s. Concert-goers should expect everything from Van Morrison to Delbert McClinton.
“We do Chicago,” says Luce. “We’ll throw some blues out there. We’ll throw some Santana at you.”
And the guys do these classic tunes justice. Short Term Memories lean on a horn-heavy Memphis sound, and all the guys have mics, giving the songs rich, uplifting vocal harmonies.
Luce says people will come up after the show and say, “I remember those songs.” For many fans, it takes them back to younger days or stirs up fond memories.
“I love the music we’re playing,” says drummer Tommy Jernigan, the band’s newest member. “This type of music is still exciting,” adds bassist Kurt Kruger.
There’s more than 300 years of combined musical experience in Short Term Memories, and most of the members play multiple instruments. John Hinsdale, the group’s lead guitarist, has been playing since he was a preteen. He’s been with the band for 10 years and makes a living building custom speaker cabinets.
Kruger is a fifth generation musician. Scott Crothers (trumpet, flugelhorn) was a charter member of the Lake Area Community Band. Wilson, who’s been playing for 60 years, also spent some time in LACB and also with the Grace Wind Ensemble.
Keyboardist Keith Huff started out on guitar at the age of 14. “I found there were a lot of guitar players, so I switched to keys,” he says. He also considers himself to be the eye candy of the band.
Jernigan started drumming at the age of nine – playing out by age 12. In his younger days he opened for the likes of Gregg Allman and Molly Hatchet.
The seasoned vets of Short Term Memories have a special project, very near and dear to their hearts, that is made possible by their musical skills. From time to to time group hosts the Wounded Warrior Jam.
Luce says the group was inspired by actor Gary Sinise’s work with the USO and Hope For the Warriors. They decided to do what they could to help local veterans.
“Whatever we make, we turn over to the North Webster Legion,” say Luce. “We did four of them last year.”
Expect another Wounded Warrior Jam this fall. In the meantime, Short Term Memories can be found playing in or around Kosciusko County just about every weekend. Check the Weekend Entertainment Listing for shows.