Band Bio

Member’s Bio
Alan Godage
Danny Gadacz

Rick Jenkins

Donny Blonigen

Pete Yanke
Barb Gadacz

Alan Godage

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Alan Godage is the man behind the name. He is the Lead Singer and the best classic Country singer your ears have ever heard. Alan is a songwriter and plays Rhythm Guitar for the band. He has been playing since the age of 8. He has never strayed from Classic Country Music. You may hear a 50’s or even a Gospel but will never hear anything that is not tasteful for his crowd. He has 5 kids and 13 Grandkids. His hobbies are hunting, fishing, and loves having a garden. His Birthday is October 14.

Dan Gadacz

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Dan Gadacz is the drummer for our band. He is also our youngest son. Dan started drumming on the pots and pans at age 2. By the age of 12 he had his first set of real drums.  They were old when he got them but that did not detour him from listening to classic country music and playing along with the songs he loved.  Dan’s drums were set up and every waking minute they were being used. It wasn’t long  and  Danny was setting in with some of the drmmers we had, first just a song or two then a set, then the crowd started asking for Danny as he was steady and they liked real drums but that Dan never played loud.

By the age of 14 Dan was playing with his dad’s band on a regular basis.  It had been a dream of  Danny’s to play in his dad’s band and become a regular at our shows.  Danny had the opportunity to play Clubs and Casino’s which was nice as he also got paid for something he loved to do.

Danny is a such a help to the band other than just a drummer.  He is our get it done kid who loads and unloads the trailer. He is our “I” can get it or I will help figure out what cord is not working.  I’m not sure he even know’s how much he is appreciated because he is  not only the drummer but our kid.

If you have talked to him or ever want to Danny will never walk away or be rude. He is a all around good guy we are proud to call him our son. If you want  to talk about drums or classic country music or hunting  then you will always have a topic to talk about.

Danny has been married to our daughter inlaw Jodi for 9  years in June. They are the proud parents of 3 boys Bryar 8 and Kaden  5 and Hunter Alan 3. Danny’s birthday is Dec. 27.

 

Rick Jenkins

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Started playing with my Dad early on. Was playing chords on the ukulele  for
him starting about age 3, really I have pictures to prove it. :-)
My first guitar was a cheap Montgomery Wards Audition brand guitar. First
good guitar was a 1962 Gibson ES 330 I got when I was in about the 5th grade
(1973-74)
Not really played with anybody to speak of. I have met some people but
nothing big really. Got to hang out with Willie Nelsons band one day. Jodie
Payne, his guitar player, came in the club I was playing at in Rochester MN.
He liked my playing and invited me to hang out with him the next day so I
did. We played some, hung out on the bus and walked downtown. I had dinner
with Shelby Lynn that night. This was back when she had hair! LOL She was
opening for Willie so that is why she was there. Grady Martin was also
playing with Willie at the time so I got to meet him.
I also used to play at a little club in Ok some. One night Lorreta Lynn’s
band came in. They sat in with us for a bit. Also Ricky Van Shelton’s band
showed up at the same club on a different night.

I’ve never really opened for anybody but I did play on the same show once
with the Four Seasons. Oh wait…I did play with a group that opened for a
show called  “The next Generation.” It was 3 women. One was James Garners
daughter, I believe the others were Lorreta Lynn’s Daughter and one of
Johnny Cashes daughters but not Rosanne or Carlene Carter…can’t remember
her name.

Never had any lessons. My Dad started me and Chet Atkins and Roy Nichols
showed me the rest through their recordings. :-)

I really like about anything that is done well, can appreciate it anyway. My
main influences are of course Chet Atkins, Roy Nichols. Also you could
include Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, Eldon Shamblen (SP??) any of the early
Western Swing guitar players.

Favorite song?? hmm… boy not sure, so many good ones Probably any Chet
Atkins song I’m playing or listening to at the time…same could be said for
Merle Haggard.

Hope this helps you out some. There really isn’t much to say about me I
guess. I just try to play to fit in, and enjoy what I’m doing and hope
others do also.

Rick

Don Blonigen, Pedal Steel Guitarist

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My experience playing pedal steel spans over 40 years.  I started playing on lap steel at the age of 8 years old.  I played many house parties and talent shows with my dad who was also a proficient lap steel guitarist as well as a lead guitar player.  In my early teens I switched to and taught myself to play bass guitar.  I never lost my love of the pedal steel guitar.  I worked with several Old Tyme bands in the central Minnesota area even played lap steel in some of them along with the Bass. When I was 21 I bought my first single neck pedal steel guitar from Mac’s Music in St. Cloud MN.  I was on winter layoff from a road construction job and that winter I started teaching himself to play the pedal steel by using books and listening to, and playing along with records. I continued to play bass and pedal steel in variety bands until the opportunity presented itself to play pedal steel for a country band called the Country Haywires.  When the Haywires disbanded in 1976, I started a group called Southbound along with Ed Duevel.  The group progressed in popularity until in the early eighties when it was decided to take the group on the road playing six states and Canada.  The group traveled for about 2 years when I left the road to spend more time with my family and go back to working a day job.  I then teamed with Janet Essery to form a group called White Lightning Express. After about a year or so Janet left the group to pursue other business opportunities.  I continued the group and Bill Turck became my partner, the band name was shortened to White Lightnin’ and it became a very popular weekend group working up to 50 weekends a year and known for their tight 3 and 4 part harmony.  The group also always got on stage in full uniform.  In 1994 I decided to take a leave of absence from playing.  I didn’t retire because I didn’t sell my equipment.  I continued to play occasionally around home or sit in with groups at weddings and parties.  In 2004 I started doing club work again with several bands that needed a steel guitar to fill in.  In early 2006 I joined Jack Franzen and the Muddy Water Band.  The band was well versed and highly respected in Brainerd and the surrounding area.  In late 2014 I joined Alan Godage and Sundown and continue to enjoy and work with the group playing pedal steel and singing backup harmony to Alan.  They display the kind of professionalism I am used to and insisted on in my own bands. And, they truly care about their audience.

 

My earliest influence on the pedal steel was when I got to see Jim Reeves’s Poor Boys Band after his death. I was about 14 years old.  They had a Pedal Steel and that planted the seed for me to get a pedal steel.  I listened to Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown, Faron Young and others that used a lot of steel in their records. My favorite Steel Guitarist’s are John Hughey, Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Buddy Charlton and Jeff Newman My favorite country artist is probably Faron Young because of his wide range of voice and his use of pedal steel in his records.  He is followed by Ray Price and George Strait.  I love any artist, who keeps it country with good flowing words and beautiful melody and of course pedal steel. I don’t however just listen to country.  I also enjoy big band music and have learned a lot about fills and scales from them.

 

I am married to my wife Lois for 40 years and she has always supported my music.  Together we have 2 children, a daughter and a son.  Through my son and his wife we have 3 grandsons age 5, 4 and 1 ½.  The 5 year old is expressing an interest in music.  My daughter lives in Florida with her husband.  They have no children.  My occupation is computer technician.  I have been a technician for 26 years and am certified as a network engineer.  I currently own my own business with my son as a junior partner.  We have several employees.  My hobbies are my music and I enjoy restoring old and collector cars.  I currently own 4 collector cars and have restored and sold several more.  I enjoy going to Carshows and displaying my cars and talking cars with fellow enthusiasts.   I also collect old car memorabilia and some toys.  I also have a nice collection of old guitars and amps.  I currently own and play 3 Sho-Bud pedal steel guitars.

 

 

 

Peter Yanke  Bass Player (Will have a Picture soon)

I have had a kind of round about trip to get to playing classic country. I started playing the bass guitar in high school. I am still at it some 45 odd years later. Like a lot of people in the late 60s I was going to be a rock star. A Kingston guitar with an amplifier from Musicland and I was ready to go. Oh well… the rock and roll did not pan out as planned. I knew that playing music was something that I was going to keep doing. During this time I played with polka bands, rock and roll, and a variety band which played a little of everything including country and jazz standards. In the late 70s my wife Kathy and I moved to Rochester, MN. It was the time of Eddie Rabbit, Waylon Jennings, John Denver and Willie Nelson. I joined a primarily country group that did the 70s country along with some of the older country tunes. A couple of years later we moved to Lake City, MN where I hooked up with a singer/guitarist who grew up in Chicago. That made for some interesting music. We worked as a duo most of the time. After coming back to the St Cloud area in the mid 80s I did a short stint with Sue Mages. Shortly there after I met the guys in the White Lightnin’ Band. As a group we spent the next ten years doing the 2 step around central MN. It was the drummer in this group, Jimmy Lee, that taught me how to play country. I have done a couple of other short term country gigs since 1997. In 1997 I took a job as a computer consultant. Something I still do today. Early on it put a hold on my doing any steady playing. The job entailed a lot of travel around the country. With technology today the travel requirement is greatly diminished. It’s one of the reasons I can work with Alan. I also like the caliber of the other musicians so I tweak my schedule to give me the time. “Retirement” is just around the corner. Kathy and I have been married since 1974. We have 3 daughters and a son. They have given us 7 grand children. We spend a lot of time camping. We also like to go to concerts and other live theater. It would be really hard for me to pick a favorite artist or group. Our tastes include classic country, but also a number of other genre’s. I would never turn down a ticket to see Merle Haggard or Charlie Daniels again. That being said some the best concerts we have been to include Carlos Santana, Roger Miller and

Barb Gadacz

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Barb Gadacz is the Manager and Booking agent for the band. She is the biggest supporter and promoter of Alan Godage & Sundown. She does everything from answering the phone to signing the contracts. It’s Barb who gets the credit for the band sounding as good as they do. She knows how Alan Godage & Sundown should sound and she never settles for less than the best. Her band is always willing to give her what she needs to get the sound that has made them the reputation of the band that never plays to loud. The odds are pretty good that before the show is over Barb will have greeted every person in the room. She loves her job. Her Birthday is May 10.