To understand Prohibition Band, you have to understand our roots. We hail from a rural and agricultural culture in southwest Washington state with rich musical and live performance history. It’s in our blood.
The Playquato Ballroom (1938-1975)
Lewis County’s own Grand ol’ Opry Barn dance
If you ask most any lifelong west Lewis County resident over the age of 60+ and you’d be hardpressed to find someone who doesn’t remember the old Playquato Ballroom. The Playquato hosted concerts between Adna and Chehalis for decades before it’s untimely (and firey) end. Countless local musicians were inspired by the artists who traveled through the area. Memories surrounding the old Playquato are woven into the memories of numerous local families.
The Newaukum Mountaineers (1970 & 80s)
Pride of the Newaukum Grange
The Newaukum Mountaineers were most active in Lewis County in the 1970s and 80s. Jack and Marion Moon, along with Bummy and Herb Yantis, Gilbert Moon, and others, formed the group together as members of the Newakum Grange west of Chehalis, Washington. The group performed all over Lewis County and southwest Washington for a variety of events. Many events they performed were benefit events or concert events to raise funds for community projects. No doubt, they would have all been familiar with concerts and events at the Playquato Ballroom.
Jack Moon (1921-2016)
Lewis County’s Original Cowboy Singer
Jack Moon, with his favorite Martin guitar, was one of Lewis County’s original “cowboy” performers. We think his obituary sums it all up best:
John Henry “Jack” Moon was reunited with his beloved wife, Marion, March 24, 2016, when he passed on from this world. Jack was born June 25, 1921, on Moon Hill Road in Curtis, Wash., to pioneer parents, Alex and Jennie Belle Shortridge Moon. He attended schools and played all three sports at Boistfort, as well as driving school bus there when he was 16.
He married Marion Graves in August of 1941 and they bought a home in Littell, where they spent many enjoyable years raising their three sons. Jack picked ferns for $10 a week for about eight months, then began his career in the logging industry, where he first worked for Mole Wilson Logging and later for Weyerhaeuser. His logging years ended when he broke his back while he was on the cutting crew for Weyerhaeuser in 1968.
Forced into early retirement, yet never idle, Jack kept busy as a member and later an officer of the Newaukum Grange. Another favorite activity was playing music and singing. Jack played by ear and loved to play the guitar, banjo and harmonica. He and Marion, along with several Newaukum Grange friends, formed a band called the Newaukum Mountaineers and entertained various groups, family and friends for many years.
Just like one of his music heroes, Hank Williams, Sr., Jack would deal with pain from a broken back and other injuries the rest of his life, but it would not stop him from playing and performing music for decades.
Marion Moon’s Songbook Collection
Banjo player & vocalist for the Newaukum Mountaineers
Clearcut Band (1990-2000s)
Street Dances, Maxmillian’s, Parkerosa 4th of Julys
If we’re talking about band history, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the influence of former local musicians surrounding the group “Clearcut” who was most notably active in the 2000s in the Chehalis and southwest Washington area regionally. Former full-time band members, Ron Parker and Sean Ghere, were both members of the group at one point that would later become the early core Prohibition Band group. And, Brittany, current member, grew up listening to Clearcut and attending events where they performed and practiced. The original Clearcut members still speak fondly about all those gigs at old Max’s in downtown Chehalis. Ron Parker, former Prohibition Band leader, was also heavily influenced by his own family’s country music roots, as well. Musician “Uncle Ronnie,” Ron’s Uncle, who he grew up listening to, has performed with us from time-to-time. Ron’s family music influence on Prohibition Band is still seen in our current setlist.
The Matrix (1990s & 2000s)
Where the local music scene across genres found a home
Many local artists in the 1990s and 2000s frequented open mic and performed at The Matrix in downtown Chehalis. Honorable mention for The Matrix in the Lewis County music scene. One venue that provided opportunities always led to another one.
Flipstick & Almost Heroes (2000s)
Adna High School
Flipstick and Almost Heroes were local garage bands that performed while Jake & Brittany were in school at Adna. Jake & Brittany didn’t know each other in school, but both current band members remember numerous live events. They were very successful and well-known locally. There were CDs and merchandise, too.
Eight Dollar Bill (2000s)
Adna High School
While Clearcut was playing the local bar and festival scene, Brittany was in a garage up on Penning Hill with her first band (high school). Three members of the original five band members would go on to perform and be involved with music professionally:
Almost all of these connections started in middle and high school band in public school. #SupportMusic