THE RENT'S DUE BAND

Cogito Ergo Sum Ne (1977)
Brickyard Blues (2009)

The Rent’s Due Band was formed in early 1974 as a performance vehicle for aspiring singer-songwriter-pianist Bill Holland to get his songs out to the public. He had an interest and talent for writing songs in a wide variety of styles and genres – pop love songs, Americana rock and roll, funk, New Orleans R&B, and even songs with jazz and Latin-influenced grooves that gave ample solo space for his five piece band. On live gigs, these were leavened with a few covers of hard bop classics thrown in.

At the time, such a performing ensemble was unique (some said unusual or peculiar), and as a result, the band only ever achieved cult rather than popular status. While he and his band were admired and respected, they never were stars on the raucous local bar and saloon circuit. Some folks loved the variety; others, who were blues and boogie or country rock fans, found a Rent’s Due gig to be a well-played but confusing hodgepodge. Luckily, many rock critics praised his work – “A master of existential funk,” one wrote -- and alternative and college radio station DJs gave him generous airplay to tunes on his first three indie-label albums. Twice he was close to a major label deal, but it was no go. Eventually, exhausted and frustrated, Holland folded the group after eight years in early 1981.

At the time, such a performing ensemble was unique (some said unusual or peculiar), and as a result, the band only ever achieved cult rather than popular status. While he and his band were admired and respected, they never were stars on the raucous local bar and saloon circuit. Some folks loved the variety; others, who were blues and boogie or country rock fans, found a Rent’s Due gig to be a well-played but confusing hodgepodge. Luckily, many rock critics praised his work – “A master of existential funk,” one wrote -- and alternative and college radio station DJs gave him generous airplay to tunes on his first three indie-label albums. Twice he was close to a major label deal, but it was no go. Eventually, exhausted and frustrated, Holland folded the group after eight years in early 1981.

Today, some of the credit for the success and reputation of the band is connected to Holland’s choice of adventurous, talented, and schooled musicians to play alongside him. Throughout its history, the Rent’s Due Band became a revolving door of formidable young players. Many went on to record or tour with national acts, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Pointer Sisters, Glen Campbell. Emmylou Harris, John Gorka, Janis Ian, Danny O’Keefe, Frank Zappa, Tony Williams, Nancy Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Eva Cassidy, Danny Gatton, Chaka Kahn, BeauSoleil, The Nighthawks, Catfish Hodge, Tim Eyermann and others.

Holland left the music scene for most of the ‘80s. and took advantage of an opportunity to become the Washington Bureau Chief for Billboard (he had previous journalist experience), covering the Congress, courts and regulatory agencies beat. He returned to part-time playing in the ‘90s and into the ‘00s, this time mixing some earlier Rent’s Due favorites with new, more jazz-oriented original songs.

Rent's Due Band members Chronology 1974-81

Year
Guitar
Bass
Drums
Sax/Woodwinds
         
74 Gerry Mulé Mac Cridlin E. Scott Taylor Kurt McGettrick
  Gerry Mulé Mac Cridlin Rick Anderson --
         
75 Gerry Mulé Steve Wolf E. Scott Taylor Mike Roll
  Gerry Mulé Eliot Jagoda E. Scott Taylor Mike Roll
  John Bohanan Steve Wolf Rick Anderson Mike Roll
  John Jennings Gary Starr Rick Anderson Mike Roll
         
76 John Jennings Gary Starr Carl Holzapfel --
         
77 John Jennings Gary Starr Carl Holzapfel --
  Pete Kennedy Wade Matthews Rick Anderson Larry Strother
  Pete Kennedy Wade Matthews E. Scott Taylor Larry Strother
         
78 Keith Grimes Ron Newmyer Carl Holzapfel Larry Strother
  Keith Grimes Ron Newmyer Carl Holzapfel Larry Strother
         
79 Paul Bell Ron Newmyer Carl Holzapfel Larry Strother
         
80 Paul Bell Ron Newmyer Carl Holzapfel Larry Strother
    Ron Newmyer Chuck Sullivan Larry Strother
81 Paul Bell      
  Paul Bell Ron Newmyer Chuck Sullivan Larry Strother

 


Bill Holland, vocal, keyboards, Keith Grimes, guitar, Ronnie Newmyer, bass guitar and Chuck Sullivan, drums.
At the John Jennings Tribute, July 2014.