Seven local guys entertain mid-Missouri with classic and contemporary hits.
by Lauren Sable Freiman
In the past seven years, Five Turn Knot has played everything from country to rock to ’80s tunes at bars, private parties, and charity events around mid-Missouri. Though their set list varies based on the crowd’s demographic, one thing remains constant for the cover band’s seven members — their favorite songs to perform are the ones that make the crowd go wild.
“I really love doing those songs where you play the first three or four notes and everyone knows it and everyone cheers,” says lead vocalist David Baker. “That’s when you get that jolt of energy and adrenaline. It doesn’t even matter what the song is, it’s the audience reaction to it.”
Though he currently spends his days working in medical billing, Baker (fittingly) attended Baker University, in Kansas, on a vocal performance scholarship and studied some opera along the way. When he met Conrad Hildebrand while working on a production of The Wedding Singer with The Capital City Players, the two music buffs got an idea.
“Conrad and I got to know each other while working on the show, and he approached me and asked if I had ever been in a band,” Baker says. “He said he had some people in mind, and it all took off from there.”
Five Turn Knot formed in 2009 with five members. The name came from a detail that caught Baker’s attention when, one day, he was relaxing in front of the TV and watching a show about Abraham Lincoln.
“They flipped to a museum plaque with a noose and referenced the infamous five turn knot,” Baker says. “I took it back to the band, and we decided we couldn’t be the infamous five turn knot, but we could be Five Turn Knot.”
Today, the band has seven musicians — Hildebrand on rhythm guitar and vocals, John Breeden on guitar and lights, Brad Barrowman on bass, Dana Johnson on drums, Cam Lupkey on lead guitar, Pat Carey on keyboard, and Baker on lead vocals.
“We started off doing the bar scene, and we still do some of that, but we play a lot of bigger clubs, especially at the Lake, private events, and quite a few weddings,” Baker says. “When we first started out, there were a couple years where we had a handful of weekends off and the rest we were playing. As we’ve gotten older, we try to take some weeks off to add to our production value, work on our show, lights, sound, and stage presence.”
Though they are always ready with old favorites, the band also strives to constantly learn new music. The variety keeps fans of all ages entertained, from 20-somethings to 70-somethings.
“When we’re playing at the Lake, we may have older people at the beginning of the night,” Baker says. “REO Speedwagon, Journey, they really get into that. As the night progresses, the younger kids will come in and you start playing the newer stuff, but hopefully you’ve intrigued the older people enough that they stay.”
Five Turn Knot’s ability to adapt and change with their growing success over the past seven years has kept the band fresh.
“We try to keep the old hits, but also add new stuff,” Baker says. “If something comes out on the radio that is really hitting the charts and the younger people are going crazy over it, we will do our best to learn it and create that party at every show we do.”
Baker says he and Hildebrand meet for lunch two or three times each week to talk about the band and its future. As it has been front the start, Five Turn Knot’s goal is to have as much fun as possible while getting gigs in new cities and venues.
“We are always looking ahead and spend a lot of time doing that,” Baker says. “We stay very busy.”