The Band

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Kara McKee

Lead Vocals

Kara is originally from Pittsburgh, PA where she received her BA in Dance from Point Park University and trained as a classical vocalist with instructors from Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Opera. Kara has performed on the national tours of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Alice) and Rugrats (featured tap dancer, original cast) which took her to 49 US states. Kara’s regional theatre credits include; Cinderella, Peter Pan, Annie Warbucks and the Pittsburgh premier of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Stock credits include Funny Girl, Ruthless, Will Roger’s Follies, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Crazy for You.

Kara has been seen in Hollywood Fashion Machine (as Norma Shearer) for A&E and been featured in the film Jimmy Bones (with Costas Mandylor). She has been seen on TV as a hip hop dancer for the UK artist “Billie” during the Women’s World Cup, as A Chorus Line dancer for Japanese TV and even had the opportunity to tap dance on The Today Show. While in NYC, Kara also performed at the world famous Radio City Music Hall.

Kara’s versatile vocals took her around the world to 50 countries while singing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and Crystal Cruises. She has been a singer in a capella groups at Disney’s California Adventure and Universal Studios. She was selected to sing the theme song for the unveiling of the new Porsche model cars and was named Best Vocalist by Callback Entertainment for her performance in The Golden Rainbow AIDS Benefit in Las Vegas.

Kara has owned and managed one of the top performing arts schools in Las Vegas. During the time that she ran the school, she won numerous national titles and awards for her choreography and instruction. She has also choreographed the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol and Little Shop of Horrors, for which she was nominated for a Gene Kelly Award. Kara is currently the President of GetDancewear.com, an ecommerce dancewear company and has designed and owns patents on products for dancers.

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Lyle McCuistion
Keyboards / Vocals

Lyle is originally from Canby, Oregon and has called Las Vegas home for just about a year. He started playing keyboards at the age of 12 and has had the music bug ever since. Throughout his high school years Lyle played in several classic rock bands.

Lyle attended college in Oregon, originally majored in music, but soon changed his major to his other interest, Criminal Justice Administration. He soon became a Deputy Sheriff and continued with this professional pursuit spending 30 years as a Law Enforcement Officer.

Lyle formed a country band which consisted of other Deputies working for his Sheriff’s Office called “The Kaen Road Cowboys”.  Their popularity grew and the “Kaen Road Cowboys” became one of the most popular, in demand country bands in the Portland area. “The Cowboys” played all over the state of Oregon, as well as on Norwegian Cruise Lines. “The Kaen Road Cowboys” also had the opportunity to perform in Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, and right here in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lyle has also played with another great Portland area country band called “The Mckenzie River Band” which enjoyed remarkable local success and had numerous gigs traveling through the states of Oregon and Nevada.

After retiring from law enforcement and moving to Las Vegas, Lyle wanted to continue his musical pursuits and feels extremely fortunate to have met the other musicians in High Rocktane. Lyle looks forward to performing for and meeting everyone at our next gig!

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Rick Watson

Bass / Vocals

After getting an early musical start from his trumpet playing grandfather (Who had worked with Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Lawrence Welk), Rick has been playing professionally for over 40 years (started in nightclubs at age 13….really!) In that time he has played in almost every musical situation imaginable including Rock, Country, Jazz and Classical. At age 18 he was rated as the top High School Bassist in his home state of North Dakota.

As well as playing with local groups in casinos and showrooms through the years, Rick has toured with some big names including: 2 years with LIPPS INC. (International #1 hit “Funkytown”), 2 years with THE COASTERS (“Charlie Brown”,”Yakity Yak”), and KOKO “Queen of the Blues” TAYLOR. Rick has also backed up: THE BOX TOPS, THE GUESS WHO and JESSIE JOHNSON of THE TIME among  others.

Rick has worked with some of the top bands for CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES from 1992-1997 and has played for: RICHARD SIMMONS, KATHY LEE GIFFORD, DAVID FOSTINO of “Married with Children”, BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN of “90210”, BETTY WHITE, Sir HENRY BOWENS of “WAS NOT WAS” and many others.

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Tony Benach

Drums
Tony Benach, born in Cleveland, Ohio and it was at the tender age of thirteen that he first played the snare drum in the school band. He had many offers to play football, but declined knowing that it would take away from his passion for playing the drums after getting home from school.

Tony’s family moved to California where he continued to play throughout his high school years. He got his first band together with some neighbors and high school buddies and started to cover songs by Led Zeppelin, The Who, Moody Blues, and one of his all-time favorite drum solos back in the day by Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly in the song In A Gadda Da Vida which Tony’s first band covered for neighborhood parties.

After moving to Los Angeles he joined a band named The Demobilizers that he played with throughout his time at Pierce College. He received extensive classical training at this time and played for numerous college recitals.

Throughout the years Tony has covered drumming for several bands in Portland, Oregon where he and his family spent 22 years. Bands like “Father John and the Holy Rollers”, “Papa Jamma”, “Article 5”, “The Love Handles” and more. His style of playing has not changed much, and he still loves the classic rock, however, has tried emulating the drumming abilities of some greats like Danny Carey of Tool, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vinnie Paul of Pantara and Matt McDonough of Mudvayne.

Now playing with “High Rocktane” rocking out the local Las Vegas scene Tony has found a great group of like musicians and singers. He continues to learn something every time he plays and tries to make each limb as independent as possible. He looks forward to the continued drive and passion for playing in front of a live audience. To him, there is nothing like engaging the audience you play for and watching them enjoy every minute of the band music. It is the means to an end of all the hard work this band puts into their playing.

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Chris Hambre

Guitar/ Vocals
Chris has been playing guitar for over 40 years. A native of southern Texas, Chris grew up in Southern California, where he learned to play the guitar at the tender age of thirteen.  He grew up listening to a wide variety of music, but it was the rock & pop sounds of the 70s that Chris loved most. Bands and artists such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan,  Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Bob Marley, and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of Chris’ major influences, and this variety is the reason Chris is such a versatile guitarist.

Chris is adept at playing both the acoustic and electric guitars, as well as electric bass, piano and percussion. Chris’ rhythm playing is described as “extremely solid and groove oriented” while his soloing has been called “melodic and soaring”. As a young working musician, Chris played with many bands in Southern California before relocating to Las Vegas NV in 1990 to continue his career as a professional musician.

Chris has played with many cover acts in Las Vegas, including casino bands Crown Avenue, Double Standards and Sexton Blake.

Chris uses Gibson and Fender guitars, and Mesa/Boogie amplifiers.

 

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