Hoopla

Dickie Prall to perform at CSPS Hall Friday in Cedar Rapids

Singer/songwriter Dick Prall (left) and multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton perform as the duo Dickie, coming to the CSPS
Singer/songwriter Dick Prall (left) and multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton perform as the duo Dickie, coming to the CSPS stage Friday night (1/31). Waterloo band Twins will open. (Dickiemusic.com)

Dick Prall is leaving Cedar Rapids, but he’s not saying goodbye to the music industry.

The singer/songwriter, who owned Dick’s Tap and Shake Room, has been in town for the past five years. Prall, the leader of the band Dickie, is moving to Des Moines to work in office management. However, he’ll focus on creating music and will tour.

“I’m joining a unique company,” Prall said while packing up his Cedar Rapids home. “I’m excited. I’ll be leaving tomorrow. But I’ll be back before you know it.”

Prall, 50, isn’t kidding. Wilco’s former road manager will showcase songs from his latest album, “Minus Thieves” on Friday (1/31) at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids.

“I have no problem driving all the way back to play CSPS,” he said. “I haven’t played CSPS in a long time, so I couldn’t be more excited about the show.”

Multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton, the other half of Dickie, helped Prall create “Minus Thieves.” The album, which was produced by Pat Sansone (Wilco, The Autumn Defense) and Josh Shapera is composed of baroque string arrangements and pretty harmonies. The initial single, the anthemic “Believe,” recalls ’80s alt-rockers Let’s Active. The hooks are big and there’s a message with songs like “The Last Breath of Rock & Roll.” The catchy cut is inspired by how music is received.

A generation ago, rock was an essential part of the diet of a music fan. There doesn’t appear to be as many rock obsessives in the download generation. Prall conveys how much has shifted and how some have left the game.

When he was approaching 40, he strongly considered leaving behind his passion for creating and playing music. Prall’s daughter, who was 9 years old at the time, convinced her father to continue writing and performing songs.

“I remember walking with my ex-wife, who was my wife at the time,” Prall said. “I was talking about quitting music and my daughter Elizabeth was way ahead of us, and I didn’t think she was listening to us. I was getting older and it just had not clicked for me (professionally). I had some near misses.

“Elizabeth said, ‘Dad, you can’t quit music.’ I told her how tough it was for me to be away from her. I told her that I’m getting older. She said, ‘You’re not old. Look at Jon Bon Jovi. He’s older than you.’ I explained to her that Bon Jovi made a lot of money when he was young. But it’s cool to have a kid who understands what makes me happy and for her to be passionate.”

Elizabeth Prall is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh now, and like her father, she hopes to break into the world of entertainment.

“She wants to write comedy, and she’s heading to New York as soon as she graduates,” Prall said.

The Pralls know what it’s like to play and even own clubs. Prall wishes that Dick’s Tap and Shake Room, which was short lived, had a longer life span.

“We got hit with a bunch of things at once and we just couldn’t keep it afloat,” Prall said. “I never gained traction here in Cedar Rapids. Now it’s time to move on, but I can come back and perform like I will at CSPS. I have a lot of great memories here. Some people will remember me.”

Get Out!

• What: Dickie with Twins opening

• Where: CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 8 p.m. Friday (1/31)

• Tickets: $15 advance, $20 door; CSPS Box Office, (319) 364-1580 or Legionarts.org/events/upcoming/

• Artist’s website: Dickiemusic.com

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