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The Recliners rock the Mill

BY ISAAC HAMLET | SEPTEMBER 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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With such a wide variety of genres and subgenres coloring the music scene, it can be difficult to decide on a favorite sound when posed the question, “what’s your favorite kind of music?”

It is even more difficult when people with competing interests try to form a band with a single focus. But in the case of local band the Recliners, they don’t have to.

“[As] a fairly large group with different influences, we learn a lot about other’s favorites,” said Jack Stapleton, one of the group’s guitar players. ”For example, I’d never heard of Richard Thompson before joining the band — and we play a lot of his songs.  He’s become one of my favorites.”

The Recliners dabble in traditional Turkish tunes as well as classic rock and a hand full of other genres for good measure. At 7 p.m. Friday, the eclectic band will take the stage at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., to display its musical arsenal.

“Since most of our shows are in the Iowa City area, we like to keep our music fresh and interesting for those who attend our shows,” said Ann Aschoff, one of the band’s lead singers. “It is much more satisfying, from a musician’s point of view, to play a variety of music and frequently added new material.”

The Recliners have inhabited the Iowa City area for roughly 21 years. This longevity has allowed more than a dozen musicians to contribute their musical flavor to the group.

“The Recliners are a great group of people,” said Bahri Karacay, a former member. “It has always been fun to play with them, be it at practices or at the gigs. Although music brought us together initially, our friendship kept us together for all those years.”

Band members said these friendships are kindled through their passion for music.

“We really have a lot of fun performing together, and have fantastic support from our spouses as well,” Aschoff said.

Even with day jobs and other obligations, its seven members still tackle the difficulty of scheduling gigs with what time they can find.

“We are good friends, enjoy each other’s company, and love playing music together,” said Paul McCray, one of the band’s founders. “Even though we all have busy professional lives, we are drawn to making music and have consistently made time for it over the years.”

The band has been through a lot, from saying farewell to veteran members to having to change their original name — Lazy Boy and the Recliners — after the La-Z-Boy Furniture Co. cited it as a violation of copyright. Through it all, band members believe they have left an imprint on the local community.

“I must say that my most fond experience with the band were the times when we would play Turkish music and have the audience do Turkish line dancing,” Karacay said. “I would show them the basic step, and they would start dancing with the music. I would go back to stage and continue to play and watch them dancing joyfully.”


What: The Recliners
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: The Mill, 120 E. Burlington
Admission: $6


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