QC all-girl band to celebrate debut album with Saturday show

It’s been an extremely busy spring for Ava Rowland of Bettendorf, who just graduated from high school and is quite literally a rock star.

The lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and primary songwriter of the all-female band Been There Done That (BTDT)the Bettendorf High 2022 alum will celebrate with his three longtime bandmates in a special on Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at Davenport Redstone Hall (2nd and main streets).

The four women of Been There Done That – Katie Quinn, left, Hazel Khoury, Ava Rowland and Izzy McChesney – formed the group when they were just 11 to 13 years old.

Featuring lead guitarist Katie Quinn (who just completed her freshman year at Iowa State), bassist Izzy McChesney (who completed her freshman year at Scott Community College), and drummer Hazel Khoury (who completed her freshman year at North Scott High), BTDT will perform during the release of their debut album, “Blame the Stars”, recorded last summer at QC Rock Academy in Davenport.

The band worked closely with QCRA’s lead guitar instructor, Billy Gardner, who plays in the band Kronos Resistor.

“I’ve been with Billy since I was seven,” Rowland said Friday after studying with him. “He’s our band instructor and also teaches me and Katie guitar lessons. So he also produced the whole album for us, which is amazing. It sounds really good and it sounds very professional and I was very impressed.

QC’s only all-female rock band, BTDT began their musical journey together as a cohesive group in 2016 (when they were between 11 and 13 years old). But their origin dates back earlier when the girls grew up listening to a variety of musical genres which played an influential role in shaping their path and ultimately led them together, according to their biography.

The all-female rockers have already achieved a lot in their young lives.

Talented and mature beyond their years, and ultra-competitive, Been There Done That has a long list of accomplishments, including the 2018 winner of the Iowa Rock & Roll Music Association’s Youth Rocks competition and winner of the Battle of the bands QCRA 2016 and 2019. They earned a spot on 97x’s 40th Anniversary album and a spot on I-Rock 93.5’s Local Stage CD, plus a bonus track.

Rowland was co-winner of the 2020 Voice of the QC competition and the band opened the local iHeart Radio Socially Distant festival in 2020. BTDT’s debut EP “Pretty Lies” was recorded at Catamount Recording Studio.

As well as singing in several BHS choirs, Rowland performed the plum role of Ursula in “The Little Mermaid” in April at school.

First complete disc last June

BTDT – with advice from Gardner – chose eight of its best originals to record at QCRA last June.

The cover of the band’s first full album, ‘Blame The Stars’.

“We picked a day in June last summer and came to Rock Academy at 4 p.m., and stayed there until 10 a.m. the next day, to have an all-nighter and record as much as we could” , remembers Rowland. “We finished most of the recording over that summer and then there were a few things we had to add. So Katie did that during her winter break when she was here for a month.

The band’s song “Darling” is based on Rowland’s first breakup, when she was a junior in high school.

“It was a tough thing to go through, especially during COVID-19, when I couldn’t really see my friends or anything to feel better,” she said. “Then there are other songs, like ‘Rollercoaster’, which is the first track on the album and that one, I just wanted to start with a good, fun summer song.

“Because I feel like it’s really easy to write about sad subjects because they’re so emotional,” she said. “When you’re writing about something happy, which is just as important, it’s a lot harder, but I was like, I wanted to challenge myself and do it and write an awesome song about having fun with your friends in the summer.”

Rowland, a 2022 graduate of Bettendorf, will attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall.

The title of the album, “Blame the Stars”, is not its own song, but a line from “Anyone But You”.

“There’s a line in there that says, ‘I blame the stars for our bleeding’, which I mean translates to ‘I’ll blame this whole situation on everything but us because I just want us to practice'”, Rowland said. .

“It captures the essence of the album because it’s like things are going to happen and there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” she said. “This is exactly what the universe wants to happen. It’s just what had to happen.

Nice to be in Redstone

BTDT is thrilled to be back at Redstone Room at River music experience.

“I love the Redstone room. I love the atmosphere there,” Rowland said. if it was crowded. I love the atmosphere of everyone in there and being close and it makes everything 10 times better. And their sound system is amazing.

Been There Done That will play Saturday, June 11 on the shores of Burlington and Saturday, June 18 at Bass Street Landing in Moline.

The band will have copies of the CD for sale, as well as BTDT merch. The disc is also available on all major streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.

“I think it’s so amazing that we’ve been so close and been together for six years now,” Rowland said. “We kind of grew together because we started this band when we were 11, 12 and 13.

“Now we’re going to college and graduating from high school and it’s so awesome,” she said. “I also think it’s really important to show other women in the area and just in general that you can do so many amazing things that aren’t going to school and going to college and being a nurse or a teacher. .

“You can be an entrepreneur and you can be brave and courageous enough to do it because you are worthy enough to do it,” Rowland added. “If you want to be a teacher or a doctor, that’s your passion, go ahead and do it. We show that women can follow their passion as much as they want and you should see if that makes you happy.

She will study music this fall at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, dreaming of a future where BTDT could set up shop full-time in Music City. The band will perform Saturday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m. on the Burlington Riverside (200 N. Front St.) and June 18 at 6:30 p.m. for a Pride Party at Moline’s Bass Street Landing (17th Street and River Drive).

Mo&Co is an American group led by Mo Carter (second from left).

Saturday’s Redstone Room concert will have two opening acts (totaling approximately one hour) – Done Ya Lookanother group from QCRA, which includes Rowland’s brother, Cooper, and Mo&Coan American women’s front group, led by Mo Carter.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show. For more information, visit the BTDT website.

Previous "Dreaming Zenzile", a bio-musical by Makeba
Next The Rolling Stones: the Edinburgh group TV21 recalls having supported Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones at the Playhouse