Garden Party Band
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Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

GENE ACKMANN plays keyboards, guitar, bass guitar and sings. Gene has been playing music professionally since 1978. He lists Rick Nelson, Johnny Rivers, Johnnie Johnson, Chuck Berry, Don Henley, Vince Gill, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Peek, and Paul McCartney as his influences. Gene is a founding and current member of Butch Wax & The Hollywood’s and Garden Party. He has played in Ruckus, Windfall, The Billy Peek Band, Route 66, and The Big Chill…

I love the stuff we are doing in Garden Party and it’s great having an acoustic guitar in the band and everyone singing. John, Richie, Liz, Ed, and Scotty are great band mates and friends and we have a blast playing together! Butch Wax is still the main band but it’s a lot of fun to go out and play some smaller shows and do a bunch of Oldies, L.A. Country Rock, and Rockabilly!

Gene Ackmann
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

LIZ HENDERSON is no stranger to the stage. By high school graduation, she had performed in several musicals and had appeared at the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and then moved to Nashville where she had the opportunity to sing and dance in shows at Opryland USA and perform with Porter Wagoner, Brenda Lee, and other country music legends on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Liz moved back to her hometown of St. Louis to be closer to family, raise her two (now teenage) kids and work with her mom in real estate for Coldwell Banker Gundaker. She has been singing in St. Louis for several years now and joined Butch Wax & the Hollywoods and Garden Party in the fall of 2016.

Her musical influences include Nancy Wilson, Linda Ronstadt, Anita Baker, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, Patsy Cline and Stevie Nicks. “I have met some wonderful people in my musical journey and feel privileged to be a part of two incredible St. Louis bands. I am so grateful for the gift of music and thankful for the many wonderful fans that appreciate what we do and come to hear our music.”

Liz Henderson
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

MIKE SCOTT plays acoustic guitar and electric guitar and sings. Mike started playing the guitar when he was in high school. Mike says his biggest musical influences first and foremost was his Dad. “He was the best guitarist I’ve ever known”. “He could pick up any guitar (or any stringed instrument) and start playing like a master!” So Mike started playing and has mainly played rhythm guitar over the years. He says “I was content to just be playing music and doing my part to make it blend.” “That helped me develop my ear which helps me with singing harmonies.” After seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show – mike was hooked. “I was primarily raised on country music but our house was filled with such a variety of music. Rockabilly, Motown, Big Band, Sinatra, Dean Martin.. I remember my sister asking my Dad what he thought of CCR ? After hearing Suzy Q by CCR he asked my sister to play it again and he played along with it note for note! His reply was “that’s some good stuff”! “Those memories are priceless and I’m so blessed to be raised with the appreciation of such a variety and love of music!” “So my view of music is – if it moves me I like it! Other big time musical influences for me were POCO, Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton.

Mike Scott
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

ED CALLISON started in the music business in his 7th grade marching band as a drummer. He bought his first drum set in the 8th grade and started singing and playing in a few bands including a band with his 3 brothers. The band “Travis” was later formed in 1971 with his brother Richie and a friend from high school, Jon Gillespie. After many high school dances, concerts, battle of the bands, wedding receptions, and Chuck Berry Park gigs, Ed broke off and formed another band called Kasper. He recorded an album with Kasper and after 2 years, the band split and he took a long break from the music business.

In the mid 90’s, Ed, Richie and Jon started a new band called "Blue" and performed all around Missouri and Illinois on almost every weekend throughout the next several years.

Early musical influences for Ed were always the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Free, Trapeze, Rod Stewart, Bread, Elvis Presley, The Guess Who, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Hall and Oates, Boz Scaggs, James Brown, Chicago, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and anything Motown.

Later musical influences for me throughout the 80's and 90's were Aerosmith, The Cult, ACDC, Collective Soul, Sade, Luther Vandross, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Kenny Loggins, Alabama, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bad Company.

There are not a whole lot of genres of music that I have not been influenced by over my lifetime and I love to perform all styles of music when possible and enjoy making music and singing with the “Garden Party Band”

Ed Callison
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

Like so many, Richie’s musical career began on February 9, 1964 when the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show to a US nationwide television audience for the first time. Soon thereafter, his first performance was in front of his grade school playing a cardboard cut out guitar along with the 45 single “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (the “drummer” that day turned over a 5 gallon bucket for drums and used two plastic bowling pins for sticks).

By the time high school rolled around he had actually learned how to play the (real) guitar and performed at high school events, eventually beginning to work in clubs around St. Louis. After a couple of bands, Richie joined a local favorite band The Facts O Life and traveled the country doing a variety of shows with them including music, comedy, dance shows from Florida to Lake Tahoe. Coming back the St. Louis, the music continued with local favorites USA the Band, and The Blast. The Blast eventually migrated to Nashville to tour with some of the biggest country artists of the day including Randy Travis, Martina McBride, and the legendary George Jones.

After that it was time to come home, Richie joined longtime St. Louis favorite Fantasy for a nearly 17 year stint, playing along with some of St. Louis’ greatest musicians including trumpet master Jim Manley. Along the line performances with another local mainstay Macks Creek kept him busy, as well as a variety of performances with longtime friend and co founder of the band Mamas’s Pride, the great Danny Liston, which included memorable performances at the Sheldon Theater and opening for the late great Chuck Berry at the Duck Room in U City.

“I’ve had a long and wonderful career doing what I love, but when Butch Wax and now Garden Party has come along, it feels all fresh and new again! I’m thrilled to be playing with some of the midwest’s finest.”

Richie Daniels
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri

JOHN VIDACAK plays Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar and Sings. John has been playing music since he was 6 years old. “My dad taught me the basics at that age and It has been my passion ever since. I grew up listening to Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Rick Nelson, and of course the great Chuck Berry. I can still remember going out on Halloween dressed as Elvis and singing Hound Dog and of course, that was when you actually had to perform a “trick” to get a “treat”. As a young boy, my biggest influence was Chet Atkins. I think my dad thought that if I was going to play guitar I should learn from his personal favorite and probably one of the best in his time. As a teenager, I was more influenced by artists like Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and The Beatles”. John has played guitar and sang with many St. Louis bands over the years including Bob Kuban, Clique, Nugget, and Walter Scott. He also toured with the original “Up with People” show in 1970. John is working part time with Garden Party as he recovers from a health issue and is our Production and Sequencing Guru.

John Vidacak
Garden Party Band - St. Louis, Missouri
Performing California Country Rock, Oldies, and Classic Country - from The Eagles, Rick Nelson, Patsy Cline, Vince Gill,
Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Rivers, Elvis, Brooks & Dunn, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dwight Yoakam, Tammy Wynette,
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Three Dog Night, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, and More!