Midwest Coast formed in 1981 and continued performing nationally until 2018. The name Midwest Coast came as a response to the often-asked question, “What does your band sound like?” The response: “We don’t have an East Coast sound or a West Coast sound. We have a Midwest Coast sound.”
Original members Myron “Skip” Kubel from Tyndall, Dave Burns from Murdo, and Kent Smith, Mike Theye and Greg McDonald, from Rapid City, rocked the Black Hills of South Dakota. When Kent decided to step away from playing bass and run sound for the band, Mike English from Hot Springs was hired for bass and vocals. Shortly thereafter, Kent left the band and Tom Plambeck took the role of soundman.
With five lead vocalists, Midwest Coast’s harmonies were unparalleled. The ability to change up the lead vocalist gave the group an edge on playing all genres of music. From current hits to rock n roll to soul and funk, often adding trumpet and trombone, the band could fill any club owner’s needs.
Midwest Coast covered all of South Dakota, playing at the Gaslight in Rockerville, the Alex Johnson, Dan’s Backporch, Toomey’s Mill, Holiday Inns throughout the state, Groveland Park, the Embers, Old Style Number 10, Dakota Territory Saloon, and the Starlight, then onto Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Minnesota, the Pacific Coast, and into Canada and Hawaii.
After relocating to Southern California, the group’s popularity grew quickly. The band was hired in rotation for the nationally recognized Red Onion Nightclub circuit. The band opened for and worked with Edgar Winter, Lover Boy, Dionne Warwick, Elvin Bishop, Ronnie Montrose, Coco Montoya, Casey and the Sunshine Band, and Micky Thomas of Jefferson Starship.
Hired to perform with Elio Rota of Rota Max, Midwest Coast traveled to Seattle, Vancouver and Los Angeles, working and recording for A&M. Corporate events for major companies included Ghirardelli chocolates, Mondavi wines, Microsoft, Bongo, Coca Cola and the Disney Family picnics.
Highlights included sponsorship by Coca Cola and playing on the Lollapalooza stage for the 1994 World Cup, the 1995 Super Bowl and a bandwagon party for a major presidential candidate. Regular gigs included Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm and a few side gigs with wet-t-shirt competitions, mud wrestling and dancers for ladies’ night. They did it all.
Briefly renamed Dakota Territory as a nod to their South Dakota roots, the band entered and won the Jimmy Dean Country Music Showdown for the state of California. For the next three decades, with many reconfigurations, Midwest Coast made a living playing at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and private country clubs for TV and movie stars and famous athletes. After 37 years, the band Midwest Coast retired, but all the original guys, Greg, Skip, Mike T., Mike E. and Dave, still play in California and South Dakota.
They are all proud of their South Dakota roots.