About Second Wind
Second Wind is a polished and powerful band featuring a tight rhythm section,top notch vocals and a tight and powerful 5 piece horn section. The band covers a wide variety of music ranging from the 50’s through the present in a style that often outclasses the original hit. The band takes great care in performing its songs in ways that are true to the original versions, but musically savvy listeners will hear depth and elements in Second Wind’s interpretations that are often not present in the recorded tunes that they’ve heard over the years.
What kind of music do we play?
The music presented by Second Wind includes Motown, classic rock and roll from the 60’s on, R&B, and a few tunes thrown in just for fun. A typical evening’s set list might include tunes from Chicago, Santana, The Beatles, Elvis, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, The Blues Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Huey Lewis, The Righteous Brothers, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Brian Setzer, Steppenwolf, James Brown, The Ides of March, Blue Swede, The Temptations, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, and many more.
How did our group get started?
Second Wind began its life as a 5 piece group with no horns in the early 90’s. Members of the original incarnation of the group that remain to this day are Steve Witherby on guitar and Curt Busick on drums. For several years they played clubs around town and the occasional festival and concert. In the mid 90’s, due to several factors, the group began to scale back its playing schedule, and eventually got to the point that it was just playing a couple of times a year for repeat customers that requested them back year after year.
The other “half” of the band had a similar beginning. What eventually became a 5 piece horn section was recruited and developed by Second Wind trumpet player,Tom Heitkemper,to supplement a band that played at his church festival at St Margaret of York once a year starting in 1992. Eventually the one time a year festival became twice a year when they started lending their talents to nearby St Susanna for their festival as well.
In the fall of 1997, baritone sax player Paul Wessendarp invited his neighbor, drummer Curt Busick, to come to the St. Susanna festival to hear the band and horn section that he played in. Curt came to the festival and watched and listened. While he was somewhat unimpressed with the band in general, he came away thinking that the horn section might sound REAL GOOD with the band he was playing in, and possibly give the band a much needed change of direction and style. Curt encouraged Paul to invite the horns to a Second Wind rehearsal at bass guitar player Fred Conrad’s house in Springfield Township, and within a couple of weeks, the 5 musicians showed up, horns in hand, each “half” of the band anxious to evaluate the halves and the whole.
After a few moments of introductions and discussions about music in general, it was time to see what worked and what didn’t. The band decided to play “Workin’ for A Living” because both halves already played the song and it would be an excellent way to hear the band as a whole. They then went through a couple more songs that everyone already knew, and worked a bit on The Buckingham’s “Kind of a Drag”, a song that the horn players had done that the rest of the band wanted to learn. After about a half hour of playing together, the horn players were asked to go upstairs so that the other members could discuss what they’d heard and what they wanted to do. After a quiet discussion that lasted less than 5 minutes, the horn players came back downstairs, and were informally asked to become part of Second Wind. The band literally doubled in size in the span of less than one hour!
One member of the original horn section,trumpet player Mark Hagee,felt that he could not commit to becoming part of the group because of the time involved. John Perdiue was quickly recruited as a replacement, and the 5 piece horn section was intact. The 10 piece version of Second Wind was born featuring Hank Mayberry on vocals, Steve Witherby on guitar, Fred Conrad on bass guitar, Dave Frey on keyboards, Curt Busick on drums, Tom Heitkemper on trumpet, Don Hudson on trombone, John Perdiue on trumpet, Mark Greiner on tenor sax, and Paul Wessendarp on baritone sax.
The group began practicing once a week, and quickly reserved some studio time in order to cut a demo. They scheduled their first job at the East End Café in January of 1998 to unveil the new group to their friends and fans. This engagement was quickly followed up with a return engagement, and the group has never looked back. Since that time, the group has performed hundreds of engagements including weddings, community concerts, parties, bars, and festivals, and has developed a strong local following.
The players in our group
The ten members of the group remained constant until late in the year of 2003. Hank Mayberry decided that 40 years of live performance was enough, and decided to permanently “hang up the microphone”. Mark Greiner reluctantly decided to leave the group because the time requirements had become difficult for him to handle because of family and work responsibilities. Sadly, Fred Conrad was forced to leave the group due to health related issues.
These 3 members were vitally important in the birth and development of Second Wind, and their contributions were immeasurable. The other members of the group are deeply appreciative and extremely thankful for their friendship and for the use of their considerable talents for so many years. As always, with change there is opportunity, and Second Wind welcomed in 3 new members in early 2004. Brian Reaves was recruited from Checquered Past to become the new lead singer, Ric Fallon, a long time friend of Steve Witherby, became the new bass guitar player, and Kent Stine, an acquaintance known to all the Second Wind horn players for his work in the Sound Body Jazz Orchestra, was recruited to play tenor sax. In June of 2009, we said goodbye to founding member, Dave Frey, who left the band to pursue other opportunities, Bill Houston was recruited to fill his slot on keyboards, and adds considerable abilitties as well on the saxes, flute, and guitar. These new members have enabled the group to maintain their high standards and have each added in their own way.
The individuals that make up the group come from a variety of musical backgrounds, and the common thread that runs through all of them is that they share a deep passion for playing and performing. Second Wind is a labor of love for each and every member of the group, a fact that becomes very apparent to the audience soon after Second Wind takes the stage. The band likes to have fun, and it is their goal to see to it that the audience has at least as much fun as they do each and every time they perform.
Bill Houston-Keyboards, Saxes, Flute, Guitar John Perdiue-Trumpet, vocals, percussion
Jeff Driever-Sound Technician