Thursday, June 18, 2009

Almost Friday: Looking forward to the weekend never sounded so good

Master Sgt. Rodney Galloway leads the band Almost Friday through a sound check before a show at Duffy's Hangar April 24.

For some people, joining the military provides a means to travel the world and enjoy a camaraderie unique to the armed forces.

Others join for the sense of adventure.

For two Oregon Army National Guard recruiters, their adventure begins every Friday night.

Left: Sgt. Maj. Charles Kovitch, drummer for Almost Friday, plays at a show at Duffy's Hangar in Salem, Ore., April 24. The band played five hours and performed 44 songs that night.
Recently, Sgt. Maj. Chuck Kovitch and Master Sgt. Rod Galloway unloaded one large case after another before a show at Duffy's Hangar in Salem.

On the cases, stenciled in large white letters is the band's name; 'Almost Friday.' The words commemorate the way this rock-n-roll band was formed.

For years the bandmembers would call, text or e-mail each other with these same words, anticipating an opportunity to get together for a jam session.

"'Hey, it's almost Friday,' is what we would say to each other, because we were looking forward to rehearsal," said Galloway, the band's lead singer and guitarist.

The band consists of five members, three of whom have no affiliation with the military.

But the influence of the Oregon National Guard is undeniable. One song on the band's debut release, titled On Point for the Nation, extols the pride these soldiers take in their service.

"On point for the Nation--and proud to stand tall--this modern day militia will answer the call--," sings Galloway to the audience.

Kovitch said when the band played On Point for the Nation at the Rose Garden in Portland in front of 7,000 people duing a Trailblazers' halftime show, the entire audience was "in synch" with the band.

"You could've heard a pin drop because the crowd was so in tune with us as soldiers singing that song--it was amazing," Kovitch said.

He said the best part about being in the band is the ability to write songs about being a soldier with an "inside perspective."

"I take a lot of pride in that," he said.

Kovitch looks forward to playing the drums for the band wherever they tour and says that when he retires he'll be a full-time drummer and songwriter.

The band has recently released its first studio album. Galloway says he hopes to become what he calls a regional band with performance dates throughout Oregon, southern Washington and northern California.

For more information on the band, please visit http://www.almostfridaymusic.com/.

Upcoming tour dates for Almost Friday:
- Saturday, June 27, Hermiston Wal-Mart, 2:00 p.m.
- Friday, July 10, Marion County Fair Main Stage, State Fairgrounds, 4:00 p.m.

Follow Almost Friday on Facebook here.


Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson,
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

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