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The Purple Heart Band

Cover songs are the bread and butter of many local bands, and Purple Heart has stored up some 300 in its musical larder — chiefly rock, funk and blues from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, with some late 1990s and early 2000 rock to add a little spice.

The Purple Heart Band will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the Little Brown Jug, 104 S. Pacific Highway, Talent.

The musicians, most of whom have been playing together for 18 years, have discussed writing some original songs, says lead vocalist Sami Stanek. But people like to hear the familiar ones, and it's where the group's passion rests, she says.

Stanek's husband, Donnie, is in the band on rhythm guitar. Linda Lou Frederick, known for her long locks of hair, is the drummer. Gary Hink, lead guitarist, can break out a banjo or keyboard to add a little versatility to the mix. George Morse plays harmonica, and Scott Chase keeps the rhythm flowing on bass.

Though their songs are well-known, Purple Heart does change them up a bit, including adapting the lyrics for Sami Stanek's female versions of the Stones' "Satisfaction" and George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone."

"We have a clientele of all ages — 21-year-olds come and dance to songs they remember from their parents or babysitter," Stanek says. "We have an older couple, in their 70s, from Butte Falls that drive out to come see us."

Band members will occasionally get out on the dance floor, playfully flirt with the audience and encourage patrons to participate by putting a microphone to their mouth, says Stanek.

Last year the group toured from Eugene to Redding, Calif., sleeping in a motor home. This year, they've decided to relax a little and try to ensure a couple of weekends a month for personal time as they hold down day jobs, too. The Purple Heart Band is booked through New Year's Eve, and is among local bands lined up for the Jackson County Fair July 21-26.

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/thepurpleheartband.

Dawn Hatchard is a freelance writer living in Gold Hill. Reach her at dhatchard@gmail.com.

The Purple Heart Band