I was barely four months in to PML before I heard the name "State & Water." Frankly, there is so much to learn and take in with the Peoria music scene, it took me a while to figure out exactly what State & Water was and exactly who Jerry Kolb was.
Still, I happily accepted the invitation to come cover the State and Water "Spring Fling" at the then brand-new Monarch Music Hall, excited to be part of what seemed to be a big event.
As I stood at the Monarch and listened to one amazing band & artist after another, I was trying to wrap my brain around it. Because as much as I love Peoria and was coming more and more into the belief that this is a city that should be known for music, I couldn't believe a show that brought in this much amazing talent was here… and on PBS!
Since then, I have talked to Jerry almost weekly about live music and what's going on in Peoria. In fact, I've run into him at more shows than I can count.
While no one person can make it to all the best shows, if you look around and see Jerry at a live music event, you should expect to see something amazing. In fact, if a band isn’t that well known yet, and you see Jerry at their show or talking to the band, you should probably get some autographs, just in case. He has an innate ability to know what people are going to want to hear next.
If Jerry’s passion and talent revolved around baseball instead of music, professional teams would be offering him million dollar contracts to scout for them.
I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you he couldn’t do it without an amazing team. The shows I saw in the studio were fun, intimate performances and that translated well onto screen. The word was just getting out about the show and I have no doubt that the tickets were going to be much harder to come by soon.
While I didn’t yet know of everyone who was to appear on Season 4, I was when I heard one of them was Samantha Fish, it actually physically hurt me a little. I’ve wanted to see her for years and had several near misses.
The show has been a mix of local and touring bands. Through State & Water I have found many new bands & artists to love and excitedly watched some I was already fond of record shows that I knew would bring their art to a broader audience. I know I’ll miss some, and these are in no particular order… but those included:
The Accidentals, The Wild Reeds, Harvest Sons, PhanieRae and the Soul Shakers, The Deep Hollow, The Bogart Jones Band, Sarah & The Underground, Chicago Farmer, The Way Down Wanderers, Roundstone Buskers, Still Shine, Stone & Snow, The Brazillionaires, Upstate, Good Morning Bedlam, and Woodland Remedy. They were, in all likelihood going to hit their 100th show this season.
And if anyone wants to question if Jerry Kolb truly has his finger on the pulse of up and coming music, we have to look no further than the CEFCU Center Stage last Friday night, June 7th 2019 down on the riverfront.
It was a beautiful summer night. Packed, excited crowd. Three bands. The Blank Stairs, Harvest Sons, and The Way Down Wanders. Those last two bands can be seen on State & Water Seasons 3 and 1, respectively. And The Blank Stairs were one of the bands slated for Season 4, which no longer has any upcoming production or air dates.
While WTVP said in a Facebook comment about the possible cancellation that "No decisions have been made about the program as of yet." At this time, all performances for Season 4 have been cancelled. And as news is breaking about the show, more and more of Peoria is saying, “Why didn’t I know this was happening here?”
I hope they still get a chance to experience it in the future. So they too can say, Thanks, Jerry for sharing your passion with all of us and creating State & Water, the epitome of “If it plays in Peoria.”
WTVP could not be reached for further comment before this posted, but I will update this if I hear back from them. Edit: See quote from WTVP.
In the mean time, if you care about Peoria continuing to be on the forefront on the music scene in the Mid-West, or if you love State & Water, or even if you just believe in Jerry's ability to make amazing things happen when it comes to music, please reach out to WTVP through Facebook, Email, US Mail, or by phone. The contact information is listed below.
101 State St
Peoria, Il 61602
Call (309) 677-4747
You can also find all of the episodes online here: https://www.wtvp.org/local-programs/state-water/