Matt Downey went out with his wife for karaoke and drinks in 2017 on St. Patrick’s Day at the Rumors Sports Bar and Grill. Sticky floors, dense air, and a smell of frying filled the space. The bar rings clinking glasses, cracking cues against billiard balls trying to find a home. Friends laugh, making it hard to hear the person at the microphone trying their best to “Shack of love,” “My dear Caroline,” or a moan “Wonderwall”.
Then the sound of a female country singing voice went through it all and stopped him in his tracks – and he doesn’t like country so he knew it was something special.
“I’m not a huge country fan and she kept doing Dixie Chicks or other country songs, but I was still blown away.” said Downey.
Downey has been jamming with his brother Mitch and Jeremy Linsenmeyer since 2011. He said they were just having fun in the basement and weren’t really looking to add anyone – but when country girl Sam Vance walked in on stage, the band knew they had to do it. to reach.
“Turns out Jeremy knew her a bit, so he called her…”
And she said no thanks.
“At first she said no, then called him back a bit later and accepted the offer. Since then, it’s been a joyous ride ”, said Downey.
Sam Vance is a real estate agent at 1st Rate Real Estate and has stated that she was in no way a singer before joining Exit 185.
“Being in the band was one of the coolest experiences I never expected to have,” said Vance. “The guys in the group have become family and I cannot thank them enough for making me feel welcome. It has been such a privilege.”
Vance took his exit from exit 185 on Friday at Dave and Sally’s Bar and Grill in front of a compact crowd of tight-knit fans. There were tributes to friends who had passed and birthday celebrations. Guitarist Mike Smith often interacted and spoke with the crowd between each song. While it was a well-produced performance full of well-known covers, it felt more like a family reunion.
The owner of the place, Denny Gray, was delighted with the participation and the energy. He posted photos on Facebook during the show. A full house on a Friday during Oktemberfest is good for business – he also appears to be a fan of the band.
“It was a great night. Impressive crowd. We appreciate all those who came to see Exit 185 and all the bands who have played and will continue to play in our venue,” Gray said.
Dave and Sally’s yard is a unique and must-see place to see music in Marshalltown. The stage is surrounded by aged brick walls and they have started projecting graphics and images at the top of the building to the left of the stage.
Vance has said she will be moving into a new position at 1st Rate Real Estate, which is why she is stepping down from the group.
“We are very sad to lose Sam, she definitely helped shape our group much more than it was … we were able to create so many memories together and I am very happy with the friendship we have developed and which will last long after the group. , “ said Downey.
Exit 185 went through a long audition process to find a new singer for the group. In the end, they decided to bring in Ashley Holloway to fill in what Downey said were chunky shoes.
“Ashley definitely came out on top. We can’t wait to have fun with her,” said Downey.
As Vance takes his exit and picks up speed on a new ramp, everyone walks forward with optimism and rock n ‘roll memories to last a lifetime.
And there’s a good chance Vance isn’t too far off.
“Sam will succeed in her new challenges and we look forward to an occasional appearance from her,” said Downey.