Judd Hoos ready for rocking return

December 27, 2018 GMT

They share concert bills with national recording artists often these days, but Shane Funk still remembers years ago when his band, Judd Hoos, regularly stopped in Columbus.

There was a venue then affectionately known as Little Bo’s, where the band would play.

“We used to drive through Columbus all the time. We loved the support we got there,” Funk recalled. “That’s how we built an audience there and in all of those little towns and areas around there. It was a lot of fun.”

Judd Hoos will make its return to Columbus on Monday night as part of the Ramada Hotel and River’s Edge Convention Center’s annual New Year’s Eve concert, marking the second time in three years the band has played the show.

“Production-wise - the sound and lights will be bigger and better. The venue is huge,” said Funk, the band’s drummer. “It’s a hotel complex, so people can stay there and don’t have to drive. It’s not your typical show. It’s really a rock concert, and that makes it a lot of fun from our standpoint and I think the crowd’s standpoint.”

Columbus will get to experience the band at a special time, as Funk, lead vocalist/guitarist Tyler Bills, guitarist Andy Young and bassist Chris Hornick are gearing up to go into the studio to cut some songs for their next studio album just days after the show. As a result, the members, who share vocal duties in various capacities, will likely test out some of those new tunes on Monday night.

Rest easy, though. The band will also mix in plenty of crowd favorites from their last LP and their latest single, “Dirty Work.” They’ll also weave in covers people will recognize from various genres, including songs by the likes of Foreigner, Metallica and The Eagles. Additionally, audience members can expect to hear something unusual for a rock band – pop music, like a cover of a Shawn Mendes song, Funk said.

In reality, though a rock band, Judd Hoos is a melting pot of sound – mixing rock, Americana and pop into its performances in various ways.

“In the cover world, we like to keep people guessing and entertained. We just like to mix it up,” Funk said, laughing when mentioning the possibility of the Mendes cover. “We like to pick stuff we can always do a really good job on. It’s kind of a unique part of what we do. If we’re going to do a cover, we’re going to do something people really like and don’t hear all of the time but know.”

An added bonus for the show is 35th and Taylor, an alternative rock group with a heavy blues influence fronted by Anna Taylor and also featuring Evan Kaler, Max Miller, Jack Osborn and Spencer Andresen. The Sioux City, Iowa band will serve as the opening act.

Tickets for the 21+ show are $15 in advance at the hotel, 265 33rd Ave., or by calling it at 402-564-1492. Tickets can also be purchased for $20 each on the day of the show at the hotel.

“They’ve always done well. They’ve got a great fan base that follows them and they’re very entertaining,” Ramada General Manager Matthew Nelson said. “They’re both good bands and provide quality entertainment.”

The Ramada is also taking reservations (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.) for NYE at its restaurant, Bistro on the Loup.

Doors for the show open at 7:45 p.m., with 35th and Taylor taking the stage at 8:45 p.m. Judd Hoos will perform from 10:45 p.m. until 12:45 a.m.

Judd Hoos has a busy few months ahead. Besides recording its next album and the Columbus concert, the band is scheduled to perform with Puddle of Mudd in January in Lincoln. Despite their success and wherever it takes them, the South Dakota-based group will likely always consider Nebraska home.

After all, it’s where Funk went to college (Chadron State) and came up with the band’s name.

“I went to college with a guy by the name of Judd Hoos. I thought it was a cool sounding name, and we knew it would be unique,” Funk said. “So I called him up and he said, ‘yeah, go for it.’”

Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at matt.lindberg@lee.net.