Appaloosa To Bring High-Energy Performance Back To Downs Park


Get on your feet, Pasadena. Appaloosa is playing at Downs Park on Sunday, September 23.

Though Appaloosa has taken the stage at Downs Park on several occasions, this performance will feature a new group. Since last fall, Appaloosa has brought on three new members: Joel Brengle, bass, joined last fall; Franco Theodore, guitar, joined in January; and Rudy Kilma, lead vocals, joined in mid-July.

Chuck Ansell, keyboards, and Mike Flaherty, drums, are the two remaining original members of Appaloosa, which formed in 1971.

“I had been in seven other bands, and I started to see what I thought was a successful formula,” Ansell said.

In the last 47 years, roughly 20 people have rotated through Appaloosa, Ansell said.

Now, Appaloosa is a Baltimore-based cover band that plays shows most weekends within a 50-mile radius, Ansell said. While most of their repertoire is music from the “golden age of rock ‘n’ roll,” which was from 1965 to 1985, they do add current music into their performance. New additions have been Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”

“We hear something and we think how will it appeal to most people and will we do it well. It’s kind of hard,” Ansell said. “If we learn anything new, we gotta make sure we do it well and it suits us.”

However, Appaloosa wasn’t always a cover band. In their beginning years, Appaloosa put out three records and dubbed themselves “The Beatles of Baltimore.”

“I kind of molded it after The Beatles: John, Paul, George and Ringo; I coined it, ‘Jimmy, Chuck, Mike and Frank,’” Ansell said, speaking of the original members. “It worked very well at the time. It was extraordinary, the chemistry we had. It was the right place, right time.”

During the early ‘80s, Appaloosa determined that, despite their local fame, the national fame they were seeking was not coming, and they transitioned to the band being their part-time jobs.

When Appaloosa performs at Downs Park on Sunday, September 23, they will add to their lengthy list of outdoor concerts this summer.

“It’s a great venue, a beautiful park, the stage is nice and the people are great,” Ansell said. “It’s laid back and they bring their blankets and their chairs and their kids. Downs Park is probably one of the nicest venues that we play. It’s right here on the bay in a rural setting. It’s really a nice place.”

The audience can expect a high-energy show and the same “power pop rock” and classic rock songs Appaloosa has worked to perfect.

“We’re very interpersonal. We try to include the crowd, and we try to put songs where they can sing along,” Ansell said. “It’s a good show, and we really work on songs to get them right and get the harmonies right. We take pride in, after all these years, we still sound good.”


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