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Regroup: Musician steps back to move forward
Judd Hoos, featuring Bob Zwarte, formerly of the band Zwarte, plays rock 'n' roll. They play at 9 p.m. Saturday at Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis. Pictured are Chris Hornick, Shane Funk, Bob Zwarte and Drew Lerdal. (Courtesy photo)

When Bob Zwarte left the popular regional band Zwarte, he never expected it to be so hard to regain name recognition.

After a year of performing with his new group, Judd Hoos, it's finally starting to happen.

"It was a reality check," he said of the experience. "It was a big adjustment because you don't have the credibility."

Luckily, he had enough contacts in the business that Judd Hoos got booked. And fans of the band Zwarte soon showed up to hear what the new band sounded like.

Slowly but surely, things started to happen.

Today, Judd Hoos is working on its first album and performing throughout the region. They will play Saturday, March 12, at Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis.

For 14 years, Zwarte and his brother Randall performed together in the band Zwarte, a hard rock band that gained a large regional following. Known for putting on a big show, the East River-based band knew how to please its fans.

But despite the success of the group, Zwarte had grown weary. He believed the live shows were slipping, and he wanted to have more opportunity to write music and sing. "I felt like I was being underused," he said.

He broke off from the band, which, in turn, became the Randall Zwarte Band.

Zwarte went to work creating a new group. He hired Shane Funk on drums, Drew Lerdal on guitar and Chris Hornick on bass. In contrast to Zwarte, Judd Hoos plays a softer version of rock music. They play both originals and covers.

As for the band's name, it's really just a name. When the band couldn't find a yet-unclaimed band name, they turned to their technical guy. "He said to me one day, 'I went to college with a guy and his name was Judd Hoos. I always thought that would be a cool name for a band,'" Zwarte said.

With his former group, Zwarte played drums and sang.

In Judd Hoos, Zwarte sings, writes and, basically, runs the show. And he isn't afraid to set the bar high for his new group.

"I want to be a rock star and make millions of dollars," he said. "I think if you have a lot of get up and go, you can break out of anywhere."

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If you go

-What: Judd Hoos in concert.

-When: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 12.

-Where: Loud American Roadhouse, Sturgis.

-Admission: $5 in advance; $6 day of show.

Contact Lynn Taylor Rick at 394-8414 or lynn.taylorrick@rapidcityjournal.com

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