Shufflecats HistoryThe Shufflecats Band was formed in the winter/spring of 1991–1992 in Fargo, North Dakota. Made up of former members of a band, “The Blues Works,” Dale Stack, Frank McDaniels, Mike Jenkins, Steve Tweed, and Jon “Honeyboy” Hoover were joined by Bassist Denny Kingsley and Singer Mark Anthony. Within months, the new band was playing a healthy schedule at a time when Blues-Rock was making a comeback.
Like most bands, there were member changes with Guitarist Steve Tweed being the first to step aside in 1993. In 1994 Bassist Denny Kingsley and Guitarist Dale Stack also left and were replaced by bassist Munib Jewad, Guitarist Jon “Stan” Nyborg, and Guitarist Ken Rardin. During this time, the band was almost entirely a cover band.
This changed in 1996 with the collaboration of Ken Rardin and Mark Anthony as they started plans to make a CD of all original material. It was at this time that the band again went through personal changes. Drummer Frank McDaniels and Keyboardist Mike Jenkins decided to leave and Bassist Munib Jewad was deported. [He was originally from Ethiopia.]
In late 1996, the band started recording their debut CD in Bismarck, North Dakota, with new Bassist Craig Sturm and Drummer Matt Johnson. It was also at this time that the band became good friends with three up-and-coming young talents from Fargo: Jonny Lang, Shannon Curfman, and Mike Keller. After the release of their debut CD on May 31, 1997, the band was at the height of its popularity. They opened for several national acts including The Doobie Brothers, April Wine, Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, and Savoy Brown, just to name a few.
In 1998 Ken Rardin and Mark Anthony decided to make the move from Fargo to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to follow a music career. They reformed the band at that time with new members Doug Kohl on Bass, Tom “Ozzie” Osfar on Drums, and Bruce Barnes on Guitar.
With this lineup in place, they recorded their second four-song CD, “Light of Day,” in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, in 2000. Keeping the band together through the next decade was hard due to changes in music and members all playing with other groups to survive. Thus the band split in 2001 after a last main stage performance at Moondance Jam.
Occasionally, the band would reform for a show, but it wasn’t until 2010 that there was a true reforming of the group. With Ken Rardin and Mark Anthony as the constants, they have Ed Melberg on Keys and Maria Meade on Bass. 2012 marked 20 years for the band with the release of “Light of Day.”