The Hard Times Band formed in 2012 with the desire to become the best classic rock band in Southwest Michigan. Based out of Allegan, the line up consisted of Bruce Hoyer, Sherman Kniss, Garry Bouwman, Chris Conley, and Steve Rasmussen.
We knew what we wanted the identity of the band to be….a hard driving rock band with major southern rock and blues influences. Focusing on songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, and ZZ Top, launched us quickly in that direction and the band immediately started making a name for itself in the local bar scene as a great party/dance band!
As happens from time to time, life rears its ugly head and changes things in a hurry. Steve and Chris left the band and we went through several line up changes while always retaining the core group of Bruce, Garry, and Sherman. There was even a time when the band almost gave up because we just couldn't find musicians that seemed to be a good fit.
Finally, after much searching, we were fortunate enough to find two new members from the Grand Rapids area, Brian George and Frank Chrisman. Both accomplished guitar players and vocalists, they added a new dimension of experience and range of songs we had never had before.
For two awesome years this lineup rocked venues all over the area, never failing to deliver the best classic rock in West Michigan whenever we played. We worked well together as a team and all of us enjoyed ourselves immensely, but again... change is inevitable. December of 2017 saw the final performance of this lineup as Garry and Frank decided to move on. We almost hung it up, but after some discussion and soul-searching (and Craigslist searching) we decided that we just weren't ready to quit and we brought on Jeff Rairigh and Brent Russell to get ourselves back up to speed. The new lineup sports three guitarists, giving us the ability to get as intricate as we need to get in our arrangements... or to just lay down a wall of sound that will blow your mind!
Hard Times is an extremely hard working band, especially in the areas of practice and presentation. No song makes the set list until we are confident we can play it to perfection. That practice has paid off big time as many of our fans continue to tell us how impressed they are with the band's musicianship.
Hard Times is also a "people's band." We love our fans, and have a great time just hanging out and having fun with the folks that come to our shows. If you haven't seen us yet, we would love to have you come to our shows... and be sure to come up and introduce yourself. It would be great to meet you!!
"You Can't Have a Good Time Without the Hard Times!"