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Former REO Speedwagon Singer Still Having Tons of Fun

November 11, 2014

Tons Of Fun Pic 1

Tons O' Fun Band

The stages may be smaller, but original REO Speedwagon front man Terry Luttrell has returned to performing crowd-pleasing music in the heart of his Midwest roots.

Luttrell is one of the 10 talented musicians making up the horn-infused Tons O’ Fun Band that’s performing at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall Theater on Saturday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the college’s performing arts series.

The group’s show features tunes of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s -– featuring the works of Phil Collins, Van Morrison, Joe Cocker, Huey Lewis, Chicago, Peter Gabriel and Steely Dan. There’s some original material as well.

“I've truly enjoyed it," says Luttrell, who was lead vocalist for REO Speedwagon (1968-1972) and Starcastle (1973-1979). He stepped away from performing for nearly 20 years before being asked to contribute to a group of musicians for the Champaign-Urbana area recording a Christmas song.

“I hadn't been singing in quite a while. I'd been involved in some productions, but hadn't been singing," he states. "I just decided it might be fun to do that. I've been doing it ever since. It's really been a very enjoyable time. I have a good time with these guys. There's some very talented musicians in this band."

Keyboard player Steve Schmidt and drummer Larry Fredrickson were members of popular band Ginger in the 1970s.

The Tons O’ Fun Band has been together for more than 15 years, and performs approximately 30 shows annually within driving distance of their Midwest hometowns. The group started with five members, but has doubled over the years, creating a richer sound that’s allowed the band to create unique arrangements of classic tunes. Most of the band’s musicians have academic music degrees.

Not surprisingly, trumpet player Steve Shaw calls the group "horn-driven," with a four-piece brass section that “rocks the house.”

"If you like horns, you will really like the Tons O' Fun Band," he says.

The show’s patrons over 21 years old can enjoy a complimentary beer tasting, starting at 7 p.m., courtesy of Dever Distributing.

Tickets for this special show, sponsored by Terre Haute’s Ellis Law Office, are $20 for adults, $15 for youths, and free for Rose-Hulman students. Purchase tickets in advance through www.hatfield.com, calling 812-877-8544 or visiting the Hatfield Hall ticket office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays or noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets may also be available at the door before the show.