Meet The Band

Biography

Enjoy First Rush, bringing a lifetime of experience and musical talents to the progressive rock music scene – performing at area club venues, private parties and wedding receptions. First Rush is a rock’n band that really cranks it out!

Enjoy our own original progressive rock songs with an accent on rich vocal harmonies, stand-out guitars, melodies and percussion, all performed with the collective legacy of untold decades of stage experience. Jam on our tunes, eye our pix, dig our show…


Mike Sauce / lead guitar & vocals

firstrush  Meet the Band -1Mike was born in Germany and has lived all over the world from Asia to Europe to many states in America. The passion for music hit him at an early age when he got his first guitar at age 8. He was so passionate about learning to play that he drug it behind his bicycle until there was little left that resembled an instrument. A few more years passed and by age 12 he had decided that he really wanted to learn. The Beatles, The Hollies and Jimi Hendrix were early influences. Now after many many years of performing in bands such as The Queens Rogues, The Great Pumpkin Syndicate, The Fables, Saratoga, First Rush, The Joe City Band, Polydor Recording Artist “Starkravin”, and the infamous “Inflatable Dates”, Mike still loves performing and the audience always gets the message.

 

 

 


Steven Holbrook / keyboards, guitar, & vocals

firstrush  Meet the Band - 2Steven Holbrook has been involved with music & show business production for nearly 30 years. A veteran of everything from small stage productions to arena and stadium production every show has his mark on it. Starting with an education of engineering and production by famed Grammy award winning Engineer/ Producer Phil York, Steve immediately went to work with Ricky Lynn Gregg as a monitor technician and stage manager. Stints with Restless Heart, Vince Gill, Steve Warnier, The Kentucky Headhunters, Keith Urban and then on to the Rock-n-Roll world, with positions in some of the top organizations have helped Steven to hone his production skills. A self- taught musician, playing Piano/ Keyboards, Guitars, Bass, Mandolin, Fiddle, Harmonica, & vocals has enabled Steven to add whatever a band needs in the way of production to make the final mix sound great. At times multitasking from the FOH board, adding keyboard textures, lead lines & backing vocals all while performing audio engineering for the live show has set Steven apart from normal sound engineers.  Steve plays Roland, Korg & Yamaha pianos & synths, Fender, Gibson & Taylor guitars, Peavey & Roland amps and sings through Sennheiser & Shure Microphones.

 

 


Mark Hicks / keyboards & vocals

firstrush  Meet the Band -3

The son of a Louisianan French Quarter jazz pianist and a Texan rockabilly singing guitarist, Mark Hicks grew up embedded in music. He joined his first rock band as a youth after building a Heathkit Vox Jaguar combo organ kit running through a hot-wired Leslie rig that would send an OSHA inspector bolting for cover; many ensembles later in the mid 70s found him performing in the North Central Texas rock band First Rush, with which he would later sign with Polydor Records. With a day gig as a teacher, he has rejoined the reformed First Rush. Mark gigs on a Yamaha MOXF  and a Nord Electro 5 through a QSC K12 amp.

 

 

 

 

 


Rick Johansen / drums & vocals

firstrush  Meet the Band -4Rick began playing drums when he was 13. As he was growing up, he juggled his schedule between athletics and music. His first professional band was called “Saratoga”, a band that he founded along with long time friend Mike Sauce. Saratoga featured a horn section and played in clubs around Texas from the early 70’s to the mid 70’s. From Saratoga he and Mike formed the original band called “First Rush”, a band devoid of the horn section which performed many clubs and shows throughout the southwest United States from the mid 70’s through early 80’s. First Rush would later go through a name change to “Stark Ravin” to release their first single on the Polydor label. Rick then joined another popular Dallas-Ft. Worth band called “Lynx”. This time he was the new kid on the block. Lynx had already released a song on the “Refined Texas Crude” album and was opening shows for national acts as well as playing in local clubs. It was in Lynx that he hooked up with Jimmie Wallace and David Newell. He was in Lynx through the mid 80’s. Rick began a teaching and coaching career in 1979. In the mid 80’s he, along with Mike Sauce and David Newell formed a new band called “The Inflatable Dates”. They played the local club scene from the mid 80’s to early 90’s. It was at that time that Rick went on to pursue his teaching and coaching career full time. In the spring of 2007 original Glory Daze bassist Ken Johnson, the bass player from The Inflatable Dates, called Rick, Mike Sauce, and original keyboardist Mark Hicks from First Rush with the idea to get back together and perform.

 


Kirk Powers / bass guitar & vocals

firstrush  Meet the Band - 5A native of New York City, Kirk Powers is a prolific bass player who has appeared on a staggering number of recordings, tours, clinics and other events. Growing up in the city exposed him to many different styles of music. With contributions to RIAA-Certified Gold and Platinum recordings, his resume includes collaborations with Roger Nichols (Steely Dan Producer), Deborah Gibson (Atlantic Records), Casey James (American Idol), American Tears (Columbia Records), Dave Lebolt (Keyboards with David Bowie, Billy Joel), Steve Hass (Manhattan Transfer), David Baker (Sony), Jellybean Benitez (Madonna), George Lynch (Dokken , Lynch Mob), Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent, Brad Whitford) and many others. Kirk also completed two world tours with pop star Debbie Gibson (Deborah Gibson) with video and record sales which earned him two multi-platinum discs. Credits also include broadcast commercials for Lincoln/Mercury, Island of Jamaica, as well as a string of other radio and TV ads. Some live and recorded television programs include the hit TV series The Wonder Years, American Music Awards, Late Night TV, Arsenio Hall Show, Entertainment Tonight, HBO Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary and  multiple Dick Clark productions. Kirk has also opened shows for Foreigner, Robert Plant, Peter Frampton, Foghat, Bonjovi, Phil Collins, Bee Gees, Belinda Carlisle, UFO, Led Zeppelin and others. In 2010, Kirk joined the legendary southern rock band Point Blank. With their hits Oh Nicole and Mean to Your Queenie, Point Blank toured again in Switzerland, France, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Monaco and the USA. Kirk is also the principal R&D person for Alleva Coppolo Basses and Guitars contributing to design features, ergonomics and electrical pre-amp magnetic pickup research, and has his own signature model Alleva Coppolo KBP4 and KBP5 basses.