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The Obvious was formed in the summer of 1981 (initially called The Kicks), and morphed into its final lineup of three women and three men making up the band.  Rex Martin, aka Gesualdo Bach, and Joyce Martin were the leaders with Joyce handling the lead vocals, and Rex performing lead and harmony vocals, keyboards and harmonica.  On guitar and vocals were Cathy Hall, aka Amanda Reckonwith, Cathi Swan, on bass and vocals, Billy Shaw on guitar and vocals, and Bruce “Little Oscar” McDougall on drums.  Although The Obvious was together just over a year, they were a staple at local clubs including Crazy Als (where they once opened for the Go-Go’s), The Patio and The Bluebird in Bloomington, playing a mix of covers and originals, written by all band members.   

THE OBVIOUS

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ABSTRACTIONS

Only a few months passed between the break-up of The Obvious and the creation of Abstractions in 1982 - so named because of the multi-faceted influences on the group’s music.   At that time, Rex and Joyce made a fortunate connection with Jack Gummer, guitar, and vocals, who had most recently been playing with local Indy musicians Kenny Pemberton on guitar, Mike Welch on bass and Mike Porter on drums and vocals.  With a trove of original music, stellar musicians and determined energy, the band quickly began securing gigs around Indianapolis – even opening for Meatloaf and Alvin Lee at the Vogue Theatre. 

Subsequent members of the band included Tony Cooley on bass, with the definitive Abstractions lineup consisting of Rex, Joyce, and Jack, with Rusty Humphrey on bass, Kevin Kouts on drums and Patty Schafer on vocals, sax and clarinet.  The band had a successful local following, and their pursuit of a national audience and record contract was chronicled in the Indianapolis Star for several years.

 

In 1982, Abstractions had released a 45-rpm featuring the songs Why Can’t it Wait and Ssss, and in 1985, the well-received Abstraction’s EP “Check it Out” was released.  Later that year, Abstraction’s music video of the song, “Wah-wah” written earlier by Joyce and Obvious alumnus, Kathi Hall, was featured on MTV Basement Tapes with that episode hosted by the great Frank Zappa.  Likewise, the video later appeared on USA Network’s avant-garde comedy and music show, Night Flight.  In 1986, all band members parted ways moving on to pursue other life goals and musical ventures.

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2B Stainless

2B Stainless began around 2010 as simple jam sessions with Rex and former Abstractions members:  guitarists, Kenny Pemberton, Jack Gummer, and bass player, Mike Welch.  Their shared musical history allowed them to easily master playing favorite cover tunes, and Abstractions original compositions.  For Rex, who was eager to begin recording a long backlog of songs composed over the last couple decades, these gatherings were an opportunity to introduce the new songs to these well-seasoned musicians.

In time, singer Laura Feltner, who hails from a family of accomplished musicians, joined up lending her powerful, soulful - yet saucy - vocals to Rex’s eclectic song repertoire. Additionally, drummer, Larry Connaroe joined the group, but after the first year, health challenges necessitated his departure, and former Obvious drummer Bruce “Little Oscar” McDougall took over for him. Initially, the band adopted the name Moon Rocks, but dropped it once it was discovered there was already another Mid-west band using that name.   Rex settled on the new name, 2B Stainless in homage to his job as co-owner of a small sheet metal fabricating company. Ultimately, 2B Stainless was most notable for incorporating a myriad of musical genres, such as Ska, Reggae, Classical, Country, and Blues, while keeping true to their rock and roll roots.  These styles are evident in the band’s 2015 CD, “Out of the Woodwork.”  Unfortunately, several band members struggled with health issues within the year after the CD was released.  Sadly, drummer, Little Oscar, passed away in January, 2018, and Kenny Pemberton, guitarist extraordinaire, passed in July of that same year.