The band Cantageus will play at the Fern Fest FREE concert tomorrow night in Memorial Park starting at 6 p.m. in Calvert City. Cantageus features talented local musicians who play a wide range of music. Remember to bring a lawn chair or blanket.
Fern Fest free concert in Calvert City's Memorial Park
(Filed September 6, 2013) Calvert City- Memorial Park on Fifth Avenue in Calvert City will be alive with music this Saturday, September 7 at the annual Fern Fest. This year the featured band is Cantageus from Paducah and they are bringing their own special sound to the park. The band also played for AmeriBration in Calvert City on the Fourth of July this year and were a bit hit with the crowd. Fern Fest is FREE admission and begins at 6 p.m.
Band members include drummer Nick Nesler, one of Cantageus' junior players, Nick hasn't always been a drummer – but almost. The guardian of meter played drums standing up when he first started working the kit; that's because he couldn't reach the pedals if somebody put him up on the throne.
While contemporaries grooved to millennial pop, hiphop, metal or rap, Nick came along playing a previous generation's music. He heard current stuff, yet gravitated to classic rock. He found drumming role models among old school rockers. Nick put his beat to work, first playing out in the region with classic rock and blues-oriented Timeless. Following came gigs with Xander before that rock ensemble transitioned into Cantageus.
Cantageus' oldie/moldy guitarist, Steve Vantreese played classic rock back when it was just rock with Paducah-based bands – The Palisades, Clockwork Orange, Hemlock, Kite and Sawmill – picking around in the four-state region way back in the day before an extended break.
After decades of hiatus and the better part of a newspaper career, Steve slipped back into guitar labors. He played traditional country with Due South and sat in with various other country-flavored bands before making connection with some present Cantageus members that brought him back to a full rock repertoire.
Influenced by about everybody who's ever made a living with a Stratocaster, Telecaster or Les Paul, Steve remains inspired by the ancients of classic rock who still perform today.
The bass has been Larry Nesler’s sonic implement of choice since early on in his high school days. Before his first actual bass, he got started on the upper four strings of an old Silvertone guitar. Later, he thumped a real four-stringer in various kid rock bands. As a grown-up, he took his play to the County Line Band, delving into the country side of popular music in far western Kentucky.
In more recent years, Larry has phased back to his classic rock roots, playing and singing with alignments of American Thunder, Timeless and Xander. With changes in personnel, Xander morphed into Cantageus for which Larry presently lays down the bottom end and a share of the vocals.
Never straying far from the essence of rock as he hears it, Larry's playing flavor points back to bass lines from Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Led Zepplin, Credence and others whose music once annoyed his parents.
Keyboardist Tom Allen has been flailing on Hammond B3 organs since he was a California school kid. He tickled assorted keyboards in rock and pop ensembles until founding the Ian Shelter Band, a fixture of the Sacramento club scene from the 70s and 80s.
An audio engineer as well as player/vocalist, Tom took to the road as the sound guy with numerous national name acts until hanging up traveling shoes to be more the family guy in the early '90s. It allowed him to play more, however, becoming a regular with artists in the northern California blues scene.
Relocating to Kentucky, Tom merged with Cantageus, with whom he flashes a style of organ/piano influenced by rocker greats Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey) and Gregg Allman.
Ben Leonard is Cantageus' other youth movement representative. He and drummer Nick, in addition to being current bandmates, have been best friends since elementary school days.
One song's lyrics assert that we don't need no doctor, but Cantageus requires Dr. Leonard for what he brings to the practice – soaring vocals and smoking guitar leads. He can cure what ails you with either treatment.
Ben is another not-so-old old-schooler when it comes to musical tastes and influences. He thrives on classic rock that arose in the 1960s and drove in the 1980's. He pays homage to guitar giants Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton in his Stratocaster licks.
Self described, Ben is the Cantageun equivalent of a mullet, all business during the week but a party on the weekends.