Boyd 'Bump' Blomberg. Vocals, guitar, anecdotes.
Pete 'O' Caritas. Mostly just guitar.
Mark 'Munchie' Collins. Drums, drums and more gosh darn drums.
Chris 'Ryder' Ryder. Bass, vocals, sherpa.
Formed in 1986, the Gooneybirds are part of the neo-hippie movement of the late 80's that saw the Grateful Dead begin selling out football stadiums and the rise of the modern jam band genre including Gooney contemporaries Phish, Widespread Panic and Blues Traveler. Like the many of the originators of the San Francisco pychedelic sound, the Gooneybirds have always been interested in the roots of American music and culture wrapped so tightly into the that music. The Gooneybirds have always appreciated a well crafted song. Drawing from folk, blues, country and straight up rock 'n roll, they try to churn it all up into something unique to themselves. In addition to a rich library of original material, the Goonies have covered songs by artists ranging from Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash to Ike and Tina to Woody and Leadbelly and rock luminaries such as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
The Gooneybirds played professionally from 1987 to 1996, traveling around the Midwest, Rocky Mountains and points South and East. They had a house gig on Sunday nights at the Cabooze bar in Minneapolis from 1989-1992 -- Gooney Bucks anyone? The Goonies recorded two albums of original material. The eponymous The Gooneybirds recorded at Paisley Park studios in 1989 and Step into the Light recorded live at the Cabooze bar in 1992.
In 2002, the Gooneybirds reunited for a memorable show at the Cabooze, bringing back some original members who had strayed, including Bump Blomberg and vocalist Jessica Schwartzbauer. Sadly, it would be the last time the entire original lineup would play together. Schwartzbauer and her 2 young children were tragically murdered by her estranged husband in 2003, shortly before another reunion concert was to take place. Over the next several years, the band played occasional reunion shows. But in 2011 tragedy struck again. Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and founding member Steve Rummler died of an accidental overdose after struggling for years with chronic pain.
The Gooneybirds continue to play a few times a year. Blomberg has been busy writing and recording new music with his duo Pushing Chain. Collins plays regularly with Kung Fu Hippies, Momentary Lapse of Floyd and other local outfits. Ryder and Caritas mostly drink good beer and watch baseball or live music. And, of course, look forward to seeing you at the next Gooneybirds show!