While cold, windy, wet weather put a damper on last year’s Moondance Jam, this year a power transformer, which blew shortly before the first act took the stage, threatened the second annual event held at Moondance Ranch near Walker.
At 3 p.m. just as Sparky and the Time Pirates were about to hit their first chord, a loud explosion rendered everything requiring electricity useless. Unfortunately for promoters, the more than ample "horsepower" at the ranch was not the type they needed. However, the malfunction occurred early enough into the festival to allow relatively quick replacement of the transformer with one twice the size.
By 5 p. m. the transformer was replaced and the second act, Austin Healy, was revving up for a good time of Southern rock music.
As the night went on, festival goers were entertained with popular regional and national recording artists.
Clearly, one of Friday night’s favorite groups was the Minneapolis-based Hoopsnakes. Keyboardist Bruce McCabe, principle songwriter and singer for the 4-piece group, said he prefers not to categorize the band’s style of music. "People can call us whatever they want," he said. "We’ve been called a blues band a lot, which we’re really not at all." However, McCabe said his early musical influences were English blues bands, an influence obviously reflected in the Hoopsnakes original material. The group released two recordings in 1990 and plans to release a live recording before the end of the year, as well as a studio-recorded album. Release date on that is unknown at this time.
Badfinger filled in Saturday night for Dr. Hook, who cancelled due to the death of his brother. The internationally known rock band, which has one original member, has sold over 14 million albums.
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils closed out Saturday’s lineup. The five-piece band, of which three members were part of the original band which formed 23 years ago, treated the concert crowd to several of their biggest hits from the 1970s. As they closed their performance with a rousing rendition of one of their biggest sellers, "If you want to get to heaven," the skies opened up and soaked festival goers. Although the rain-drenched crowd wanted an encore, rain forced the light and sound production crew to shut down their system.
Monday morning, festival promoter Bill Bieloh, said he was pleased with how smoothly the event went, "except for when the transformer blew," he commented. "One of the biggest thrills of my life was going on stage and announcing next year’s Jam 3 (set for July 8-9, 1994)." Bieloh estimated the crowd at 3,000 per day over the two-day event.