The Rainmakers are a roots-rock band from Missouri. They started as a trio in 1983 named Steve, Bob & Rich for members Steve Phillips (guitar and vocals), Bob Walkenhorst (vocals, drums, and guitar), and Rich Ruth (bass and vocals). They released one independent album, Balls, in 1984.
They signed to Polygram Records, added drummer Pat Tomek, and renamed themselves the Rainmakers. They released their self-titled debut in 1986. Four more studio albums followed from 1987 to 1997. Rich Ruth had left in 1994 and was replace on their 1997 album Skin by Michael Bliss.
The band were then inactive for more than a decade, during which time frontman Bob Walkenhorst released a solo album and collaborated with Jeff Porter, who joined the Rainmakers when they reunited in 2011. Steve Phillips and Pat Tomek returned to the fold as well.
After three more studio albums, the band again went dormant during which time Walkenhorst collaborated with his daughter Una for a 2018 album and released another solo effort in 2021. He has also recorded two albums, known as Spare and Spare Vol. 2, of stripped-down, acoustic versions of his songs with and without the Rainmakers. Also appearing on this list are a few cuts from the 1977 album The Last Adventure by the Walkenhorst Brothers.
Click here to see other best-of lists from performers and here to see other best-of lists from songwriters and/or producers.
Check out Dave’s Music Database podcast: The Best of Bob Walkenhorst and the Rainmakers based on this list. It debuts August 24, 2021 at 7pm CST. Tune in every Tuesday at 7pm for a new episode based on the lists at Dave’s Music Database.
Top 100 Songs
Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards.
DMDB Top 20%:
1. Let My People Go-Go (Steve, Bob, & Rich: 1984; The Rainmakers: 1986)
Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:
3. Downstream (1986)
11. Suspicious Minds (2015)
21. Another Guitar (1984)
31. Thirty Days (1989)
41. Kansas City Times (2011)
51. Life Can Turn (Bob Walkenhorst, 2003)
61. Just Another Joe (Bob Walkenhorst, 2003)
71. No Abandon (Bob Walkenhorst & Jeff Porter, 2009)
81. Punching Bag (Bob Walkenhorst, 2003)
91. Kissses from St. Louis (1993)
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First posted 6/17/2021; last updated 8/24/2021.
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