The Hometown Sampler has been supporting the Steele County Food Shelf since 1994. The event invites local bands to perform to raise money during FoodShare Month. Hometown Sampler will be at the Little Theatre of Owatonna, 560 Dunnell Drive this weekend beginning tonight at 7, Saturday will have two shows at 3 and 7PM and Sunday a matinee at 1:30.

Admission to the Hometown Sampler is a nonperishable food item or monetary donation. Dave Otto and John Havelka will emcee each event. The four bands to perform are The GOGS, Mile 5 Band, Hot 'N Bothered and Bad Tangerines.

David Dow of The GOGS sent lots of information about the group. They first formed in 2000 as PJ & The Pedagogues. "Pedagogue" means "teacher," and most members were teachers. Pastor John is PJ. Members have changed throughout the years. Two original members include:

  • Front man Dan Leer: sings lead and harmony, also plays guitar and mandolin.
  • Once bass guitarist John Weisenburger is now the drummer, percussionist and plays acoustic guitar. Sometimes singing lead and harmony if the group lets him.
  • Co-founder of the Hometown Sampler, David Schroeder has been with the group since 2003 and plays acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, banjo and harmonica.
  • Also joining in 2003, Dow plays bass guitar, sings lead and harmony. He is president of the board for the Steele County Food Shelf.
  • The Anderson family -- Mark, Marcia and Karin -- joined in 2014 as a horn section and all sing harmony. Mark plays trombone and accordion. Marcia plays trumpet and keyboards. Their daughter Karin plays trumpet.
  • Lead vocalist Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa joined last year.
  • John's daughters, Anna and Lydia, have joined them playing the violin.

The GOGS sing country, pop and folk.

Together for about five years, Mile 5 Band, 2014 Owatonna High School graduates, performs pop music mixed with rock soul and country.

Logan Johnson, Noah Dekam, DJ Chatelaine and Gavin Glynn all play guitar and Ben Konold is the drummer. As a soloist, Johnson has played at the Steele County Free Fair. Most recently Dekam and Johnson have been performing as a duo. They have been at the SCFF and the 11@7 Concert series in Central Park in Owatonna. They also have been recording music and traveling.

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