A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

Pop-rock band, Lit, and Country-Western band, Matt Poss & The Wild Bunch performed several back-to-back concerts here in late June.

***image1***Lit hit center stage June 29 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks. Matt Poss & The Wild Bunch went to familiar stomping grounds June 30 at the Kazabra Club on Vogelweh, and they did an encore here by playing at the Ramstein Rockin’ July 4th celebration.

The bands were here courtesy of Navy Entertainment and Armed Forces Entertainment. Both of the concerts held in June were sponsored here by the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The July 4th performance by Matt Poss & The Wild Bunch was sponsored by the 435th Services Squadron.

More than 500 people attended both garrison-sponsored concerts, said Valentine Pumphrey, garrison’s business operations division chief.

Based out of Orange County, Calif., Lit came onto the scene with their 1999’s major-label debut, “A Place in the Sun,” which yielded three smash singles: “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Ziplock,” and “Miserable.” In total, they have five CD’s to their credit.

***image2***Lit’s bass guitarist, Kevin Blades wrote June 30 on the band’s official Web site www.litlounge.com, about the visit and concert here: “Last night in Kaiserslautern was off the hook. Longest set in Lit history. We’re having an awesome time out here. While in Kaiserslautern we did a signing on the base where we met a lot of cool families and fans stationed there on the base.”
The band signed autographs at the PowerZone on Vogelweh June 29. After that, they went to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, hours before their concert on ROB.

“…We were taken to the hospital there on the base to meet some troops who had been injured,” wrote Blades. “Heart wrenching. Our prayers go out to them and to all who are involved.”

Lit went on to play in Spangdahlem, Rota, Spain, and Sigonella and La Maddalena, Italy.

Dubbed as high-octane Country, Matt Poss & The Wild Bunch are based out of Teutopolis, Ill., and have produced two CDs. In November 2005, Matt Poss was named winner in VH1’s Song of the Year for “Her Mama Don’t Love Me.”

Ball caps were flying onto the dance floor as Matt Poss & the Wild Bunch performed their original song, “Rolling Thunder” at the Kazabra Club.

***image3***“It’s an honor to play for them (servicemembers); they are the reason why we are over here because we want to show them our support,” said Poss. “We want to let them know that the country still cares about what they are doing.”

The Kazabra concert showcased more original songs as well as several country music favorites and classics. This was the band’s second trip here. They had headlined for The Kazabra Club’s New Year’s Eve party.

One of the first things the band did on this tour was to present a $2,500 check June 28 to the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center on LRMC. The money was raised during a benefit concert they held for wounded warriors on June 10 in Teutopolis.

“This money will be used to buy brand-new civilian clothing for our wounded warriors who come through (LRMC) from operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom,” said Chaplain (Col.) James Griffith, the hospital’s Clinical Pastoral Services chief, to the band members during the check presentation.

The band visited some wounded warriors, including Staff Sgt. Angel Wetzel, from the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, currently in Iraq, and Spec. Patrick Huizar, with the 66th Military Police Company in Afghanistan, at the Medical Transition Detachment on Kleber Kaserne.

While there, Poss and lead guitarist, Marty Williamson, who borrowed the detachment’s guitar, played an impromptu concert requested by the servicemembers, who are outpatients here waiting for medical appointments at LRMC.

“Thank you so much for coming,” said the detachment’s commander, Capt. Katrina Gawlik, to the band as they were leaving. “You boosted a lot of spirits today; I know you boosted mine.”