THE HOUSE BAND
Bootleg Rhythm & Blues
During the time of COVID, three life-long Wichita musicians gambled that they could safely gather, make music, and shed some of the pandemic blues. With most area live-music venues closed or permanently shuttered, the only available gig was the rehearsal space in the guitar player’s basement. Since the practice area greatly resembled a bar and already was referred to as The Rafters, the trio soon began calling themselves “The House Band.”
With no gigs on the horizon, the unwelcomed sheltering did, however, provide one unexpected benefit, the ability to explore musical avenues outside their rock ‘n’ roll and blues comfort zone. So, in addition to material by Taj Mahal, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Allen Toussaint, “The bands set list quickly grew to included songs made famous by such notables as Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra and George Gershwin.
Solid musicianship, tight arrangements, and a strong sense of camaraderie are points of pride for the group.
The House Band is comprised of Dan Monnat, drums and lead vocals; Phil Snow, bass; and Doug Davis Webb, guitar. Individually, the band members long have been a fixture in the Wichita music scene and actually have been the house band in numerous road houses, bars and taverns over the years. Monnat was a founding member of the Lion’s Mane and later the Crime Doctors; Snow was an original member of the Jokers as well as the FunTones; and Webb was a founding member of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame inductees Sawdust Charley and later Cady & Webb. Scroll down to view music videos of The House Band.
Videos produced by Jason Glover
Vocals / Drums
By age 14, Dan was drumming and singing in The Lion’s Mane, the house band at the downtown Wichita teen club, The Attic. That led to local gigs at the Odessa, the Phone Booth, the Hour Glass, The Fireside and to playing in Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco and back to Wichita-- most recently in The Crime Doctors and C Major’s The Jukes. Still always looking for another house band gig, Dan’s thrilled to have been approved for this one.
Vocals / Guitar
The first blast of rock ‘n’ roll on the radio forced this Wichita native to steal his older brother’s trumpet—which had been in the closet for several years. The horn was traded for a rented Stella and three free lessons from Chuck Dooling’s Paramount Music. Webb soon graduated to the electric guitar and never looked back, having performed with an array of bands over the years. Webb was a founding member of the 2016 Kansas Music Hall of Fame inductees Sawdust Charley.
Vocals / Bass
Music has been a part of Phil Snow’s life since before he was born! In fact, while still in the womb, he traveled with his mother as she toured the south singing with a ladies quartet. Born in the Ozarks with a family tradition of playing on the front porch and singing around a campfire, music was a natural way of life. “Until I came out of the hills I thought everyone sang and played,” Phil says. At 14 years old, an underaged Snow donned dark glasses and a fake mustache to perform at Wichita area night spots. The fake mustache is gone, but Snow still plays with the same spirit of enthusiasm and joy that he displayed in his early teens.
He’s been described as a “natural” because he makes it looks so effortless. However, Banjo has paid his dues, and on more than one occasion has collapsed onstage after a performance. He takes music very serious and expects the same from his bandmates. With impeccable timing, uncanny sense of rhythm, and dogged determination, Banjo has raised the bar for The House Band and subsequently taken the group to a level never expected.