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Illinois Band Rocks New Small-Town Kansas Venue

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Country Grass Power Trio Clusterpluck rolled into St. George, Kansas, and brought the party with them as the first music group to ever perform at the newly opened Purple Door Events, a space shared with the local coffee house, The Kawfee Pot. Hailing from southern Illinois, the trio’s fusion of bluegrass, country and rock shook the tiny venue and turned locals into newfound fans on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

“I feel like right off the bat people here tonight, they showed up ready to hear music and ready to support music,” guitarist and banjo player Chris Rader said. “You could tell people came wanting to hang out but they [also] wanted to hear the music, and you could tell people were listening.”

The band, who have been together as a group for over 10 years, say traveling to small towns like St. George is rewarding to them as musicians.

“[The support] is everything,” bassist Justin Torres said. “Without people in towns like St. George we couldn’t do this. To be able to come here and have this awesome respect and hospitality right off the bat, and they don’t know what to expect from us, it was great.”

Rader agreed; the unexpectedness and unknown of playing for small communities is what makes nights like this one special.

“Towns like this especially, when people come up and get a card or buy merch and say ‘I’m gonna keep in touch with what you guys are doing, and when you come back I’m going to be here,’ in towns like this people actually mean it.” Rader said. “They will be here.”

As the first group to perform at the Purple Door Events, owner James Willbanks and his father James “Pops” Willbanks were incredibly happy with the turnout and the events that evening.

“Everybody has told me they love the music,” James Willbanks said. “This used to be a little bar, kind of a breakfast cafe sort of thing so everyone that was from the area and remembers it says they love what the place looks like now and they're excited for the music.”

As a long-time musician and supporter of local musicians, Pops Willbanks is looking forward to the future of Purple Door Events and music at The Kawfee Pot.

“We’re here to support local musicians as well as people just coming through,” Pops said. “We’re just here to have a good time and as long as we can do things the way we want and have a good time, we’ll continue making it better all the time.”

With a new crowd of fans out here in Kansas, ClusterPluck says they have new music on

the way with a new album coming out late spring of this year.

To stay up to date with the band, you can follow them on all social media platforms as Clusterpluck and on their website

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