Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns is a nine-piece band that originated in Door County and started playing at the Bayside and Salmon Eddy’s in the early ’90s. Its members are Jay Whitney, vocals and guitar; Rick Piumbroeck, vocals, percussion and bass; Matt Buchman, keyboard; Paul Sowinski, bass; Danny Lueck, drums; Patrick Phalen, trumpet; Steve Johnson, saxophone, flute and clarinet; Marc Jimos, saxophones and flute; and Bill Dennee, trombone.
Vanessa McGowan (VM): What or who first got you into music?
Marc: I had a very influential band director in high school. His name was Jim Borgaro. He was a fantastic saxophone player and teacher. He had a huge impact on a number of us when we were growing up.
Danny: My cousin Ron Conley. Showed me my first drum beat in 1980!
Paul: Playing guitar and bass in middle-school garage bands with friends who shared common tastes of music: The Allman Bros, Beatles, Joe Walsh.
Steve: I joined band in fifth grade, playing cornet.
Jay: I first got into music for free soda and popcorn.
(VM): How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Rick: Funky soul with a kiss of the blues.
Patrick: Uplifting, positive, listener friendly, fulfilling, challenging.
(VM): If you could open a show or play for any artist, who would it be?
Paul: Neil Young.
Steve: Tom Waits.
Jay: I’d like to open for a comedian like Steve Martin.
(VM): When you’re not making music, what’s your day job?
Bill: I am the band director at Denmark Middle School.
Patrick: Director of instrumental music at UWSP-Wausau.
Danny: AV design engineer at Camera Corner.
Rick: Automotive sales at LeMieux Toyota.
(VM): What have you missed the most with the lack of gigs in 2020?
Bill: I miss the guys in the band! I miss making great music with great musicians! I also really miss my friends that come out to see the band.
Jay: I really miss playing and interacting with the extremely talented musicians that I have the privilege of knowing.
Marc: I miss hanging out with my friends in the band. I also miss playing for people in live situations. I think we have all grown to appreciate that a little bit more because of everything.