Sunday, October 14, 2018

SKOOK MUSIC: Rude Groove

Highlighting another Schuylkill County group of Musicians, Rude Groove.

By Megan A. Hepler

Local band, Rude Groove gave a humorous interview this week. The members of the band enjoy playing music and joking around. The band, however, is serious about their upcoming show opening for Fuel in October; it will be their biggest opener yet. Rude Groove has plans in store for their fans and future shows.

In 2016, vocalist Dan Jenkins and drummer Zach Venable began discussing the possibility of starting up a band. They brought in rhythm guitarist, Mike McGovern, after hearing that he was looking to join a band again. Then, Jenkins asked his brother, Steve Spiess, if he was interested playing bass for the forming group. Lastly, Venable suggested they contact Mike Muffley to be their lead guitarist and Rude Groove was born. In 2017, Jim Heller entered the band as the new rhythm guitarist when Mike McGovern exited.

Dan Jenkins, also known as Jenks, is from Schuylkill County. He grew up around music at the Old Buckhorn CafĂ© in Saint Clair and has been singing since childhood but has only been performing publicly for about eleven years. He is a former member of the bands Diluted Bar Minds and Adrenalyn. He also reported that he, “had the opportunity to share the stage with Jeff LaBar from Cinderella, covering Judas Priest.” Jenkins is now the lead vocalist for Rude Groove.

Zach Venable is from Lansford. He began learning drums at seven years old. He has performed and spent time in studio recording with a variety of bands such as Mr. Roper, The Firbanks, The Credits, Happenstance, and Wildcat. In addition, he was also in the Erie Thunderbirds Drum and Bugle Corp. “Overall I enjoyed being able to hit things with sticks,” said Venable. He also plays bass guitar, guitar, and piano. Venable currently gives drum lessons and is also the drummer for Rude Groove.

Steve Spiess, sometimes referred to as Pizza Boy. “If I ever come to play in your area please point me into the direction of the nearest pizza place,” Spiess joked. Spiess is a Schuylkill County native. He began playing bass since he was about fifteen years old, approximately fourteen years ago. He was formerly in garage bands and played with Heroes & Hooligans. He is currently Rude Groove’s bass guitarist.

Mike Muffley, or Muff, is from Lehighton. He began playing trumpet as a child and studied jazz and classical guitar at Lafayette College. Muffley stated that he also performed in “the Dixieland band ‘Perseverance Jazz Band’ which was started and still led by my grandfather for over sixty years.” He has performed with a variety of bands and recitals. He is also a member of the bands Rock Villains and Boomerang. Muffley is currently the lead guitarist for Rude Groove.

Jim Heller is from Pine Grove. He began playing various instruments since the age of nine: including guitar, drums, and bass. Heller began performing on stage with his first band, Legal Action, at sixteen. Then, he went on to play with bands Nebula, Re-Entry!, Guess Again, Branded Planet, and Adrenalyn. In addition to paying rhythm guitar for Rude Groove, Heller also plays in his band …the beaten path… Heller explained, “I started …the beaten path… an acoustic project with my son, where I sing lead and play twelve string and some bass.”

The band has a secret Facebook group where they frequently joke around or discuss potential songs for their setlist. It was in that group that the name Rude Groove was created. Jenkins explained that after, “a few weeks of hilarious word combinations, Mike McGovern mentioned the word groove. Shortly after, I was listening to one of my favorite bands, Volbeat. I started thinking about the words beat and groove. The prefix “vol” is sometimes is associated with words in a negative way, such as Voldemort from Harry Potter. After some thinking, we came up with the word rude. ‘Rude Groove.’ Basically, I guess you can say we are a Harry Potter band. Just kidding.”

Rude Groove considers themselves a party rock band doing primarily covers, though they are working on original songs also. They plan to release a single album by next year. Rude Groove performs in various venues: such as bars, block parties, weddings, and clubs. They pride themselves on being accommodating to their audience and switch between 80s rock, heavy rock, dance, and other similar genres.

Trent Noll of Fallen Pride said, “we’ve played with them! Great bunch of guys who put a twist on some great 80’s-90’s tunes! Seeing Dan and Jim back together, you don’t want to miss these guys!”

“They’re a good band. It's great to see both Jim and Dan are in a band again. The band collectively got great chemistry, fun songs as well as the musicianship is done very well,” said Jason Corby of bands Fatal Aggression and Social Coma.

Ron “Rad” Dembinsky stated, “I was surprised when I did sound for them that they all sing, each one gets a vocal mic.”

Rude Groove feels that their biggest challenges is finding time to practice. Right now, the band is gearing up for their biggest show yet. Rude Groove will be opening for Fuel on October 27, 2018 at One Centre Square in Easton. Rude Groove also has several changes in mind for the future. They are raising funds to buy a new PA system. In addition, they are working with Schuylkill County artist, Duane Allen, on creating a graphic novel. Jenkins stated, “he is designing a graphic novel with the band as a character, ‘Groovy Rudy.’ We plan on incorporating this into our shows in the near future!”

Rude Groove acknowledges Mike and Rae Lynn McGovern, and also Jodie Jenkins for their help bringing the members together. In addition, Dan Jenkins would like to thank Mike Galuda from Goodfellas, “Mike has always treated me like family.” They also thank all their fans and venues that have supported them along the way.

To find out more information on Rude Groove visit their Facebook page at

You can see Rude Groove at their upcoming shows:

October 27 – With Fuel at One Centre Square, Easton
November 3 – Celebrity Masquerade Party Fundraiser, Mahoning Valley Ambulance, Lehighton
November 21 – 1st Street Sports Bar, Lehighton
November 24 – The Mineshaft Cafe, Ashland
December 1 – 1st Street Sports Bar, Lehighton
December 15 – McNiff’s Irish Pub, Mahanoy City
January 12 – Pine Grove VFW, Pine Grove
January 26 – Strikers Pub, Pottsville
February 16 – Hot Rod Bar & Grill, Cressona
March 9 – Hot Rod Bar & Grill, Cressona