You just can’t help but love pop song covers by talented servicemen and -women. The latest comes from an Air Force Band unit based in Missouri.
A group of Air Force Band musicians headquartered at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are gaining viral video fame this week for their cover of British singer Adele’s hit single “Rolling in the Deep.” The 10-member rock band, Sidewinder, is part of the 571st Air Force Band, also known as The Band of the Central States. That unit is one of 11 regional Air National Guard bands in the country and is part of the 131st Bomb Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard.
Sidewinder is on a 45-day deployment performing throughout the Middle East. A performance in Afghanistan yielded this gem — and it is a gem.
According to CBS St. Louis, the video’s renown has spread to Britain and New Zealand, and “The Voice” producer and former MTV personality Carson Daly tweeted singer Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson with an offer to help her audition for the TV talent show.
The St. Louis-based military band is talented, but there’s a higher purpose for its performances, its commanding officer (and keyboardist and fiddler) says:
“It’s all about troop morale,” added Capt. John Arata, of Eureka, Mo., the band’s commanding officer. “We know that troop morale is a force multiplier and, in some cases, a life-saver. We are motivated to bring our audience a quality product – to involve them and make sure they have an enjoyable time.”
By the way, my high school principal in suburban St. Louis was an Air Force Band veteran, too. He was a French horn player during the Vietnam War. There’s still plenty of traditional music, but this is a pretty far cry from French horns.