Brad - lead guitar
Brad grew up in a musical family with a pianist for a dad and all three kids playing the violin. He studied violin formally for many years and then somewhere around the 7th grade he heard the first Van Halen album for the first time and his musical future was altered forever. The guitar playing on that album captured Brad’s attention and interest more than anything had before – he just HAD to play the guitar!! Finally, he received his first guitar in the 10th grade and has been playing ever since. That was about 25 years ago and he is just as enamored with the guitar as ever. The formal training on the violin has allowed him to become a self-taught guitarist and he continues to learn to this day. Music is not what he does for a living, but music is one of his true joys in life and, therefore, one of his mottos has become “No music, no life!” As a member of roundabout, Brad looks forward to every time he gets to share some of the great rock songs of the past several decades with the listeners and the guys in the band.
No music, no life! -- That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.
Gary - rhythm guitar
Music – what an important piece of my life! Music has moved, shaped and formed my life since having memories as a small child. From sneaking into my sister’s room and playing her records when she wasn’t around to stop me. Remembering sitting in front of the family console record player – staring at the album covers, and the excitement when I brought a new album home!
Around the age of 13, I began to play the guitar and by the time I was 14, I was in my very first band (can’t even remember the name of the band now!). Over the years I have changed styles from rock, country, alternative rock and then back to rock (interestingly enough now called 'Classic Rock'). The round-a-bout thing I guess…
There are SO many songs I love and would love to play with this group of guys, I just don’t know where to start. Knowing the talent of the rest of the band, there's very few songs we couldn't play if we wanted to. I'm pretty confident we could play them very well too!
Tom - Drums
“My earliest musical “education” probably came from listening to my mother play piano as I was growing up. I started percussion and was a member of the band at Exira Community Schools in western Iowa. I began picking up guitar and bass guitar later in high school. Our first band was called “440-Relay” back around 1981. We tried to play classic rock, though I’m sure some would use the word “play” loosely. Since then I’ve been a member of more than 20 bands in southeast and central Iowa, ranging from country to country-rock to classic rock. I usually played bass or drums, but there were a couple bands where I played rhythm guitar and another where I played “rhythm keyboards.” I most recently was bassist for another Des Moines-based band.
I have been an avid record collector for more than 35 years, and still troll the internet for rare albums, CDs and books on music, usually biographies - much to the chagrin of the wife, I might add. I’m very honored to be a part of Roundabout. It’s the perfect combination of great guys, great musicians and great songs.”
In his home studio, Petersen has written more than 150 songs and recorded four albums worth of original material. He has a minor in music from Iowa State University.
Steve - Bass
Steve has been on hiatus from the live musical scene for a number of years, (okay...decades) but recently gave in to 25-years of prodding from fellow bandmate Tom, whom he’s known since the early ‘80’s. Somewhat reluctantly, the dust was blown of the ‘ol ‘76 Rick, and Steve found that he still had a few notes left in those fingers. A self-described musical “hack,” Steve played bass in a number bands back in the ‘70’s and 80’s, playing a lot of “Top 40” ….Interestingly, it’s the same musical genre that round-a-bout plays now. The only difference ...it’s now called “Classic Rock.” In the years since “live music,” Steve has occasionally been spotted taking out his aggressions on his old Roger’s drum kit, and so in addition to the bass, you’ll find him drumming on a few tunes as “Thombus” slides over to the keyboards, and Gary to bass.
Denise - lead vocals
I can’t remember a day that I didn’t have a song running through my mind. Music has been with me at the happiest moments of my life and has also been a companion that has helped me to get through some of the saddest times. My parents were very supportive of my love for music and got me started taking piano lessons when I was three years old. My mom still has a picture of me around age 6, standing on top of a picnic table with a long tree branch, (my microphone, of course), singing at the top of my lungs to an imaginary audience. I’ve been singing ever since, but now I get to use real microphones and perform with amazing musicians and I feel like one of the happiest people in the world!
I sang in every choir possible during my elementary, high school and college careers. I was blessed to have a music teacher that I believe was one of the most inspiring teachers to ever walk through this world. He was the biggest reason that I knew early in life that I wanted to become a vocal music teacher. Over the years, I have enjoyed working with students of all ages. I have run an early childhood music and movement business in West Des Moines for over 10 years. Each time I get to teach the families in my classes I get to witness the joy that music brings and even the youngest babies feel it and can react to the music they experience.
I am so glad to get to be a part of round-a-bout and to get the chance to share great music with the band, my family, my friends and all of the audiences we've yet to meet.
Music to me is like breathing - I don't get tired of breathing, I don't get tired of music. - Ray Charles
Jerry - keys
Growing up on a farm in Iowa, music was always a big part of my life. My early influences were my mom (who still plays organ at church) and my big sister who starting playing piano and writing songs at an early age. I started listening to the “Piano Men” (Elton John and Billy Joel) at about age 10 and decided to teach myself piano. This led to involvement in bands in high school and college. I still listen to the scratched up Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. My family and I have moved several times in the past 25 years but I have remained rooted in music with my Yamaha! I’m excited to get back into playing in a band after a good long while and to be with my good friends Steve (from elementary school days) and Tom (from college days). I’m fortunate to be playing with a very talented group and am looking forward to our next gigs.