We are a 5-piece band with a big, full sound that dancers find irresistible.
History of the band
Raise the Roof was formed about 6 years ago. One of the band members, Paul Larson, was in charge of an Annual Barn Dance at Springhill Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Previously, the church had hired an outside band to play for the event. Paul knew the church had excellent musicians who played on the weekly worship band, and that they had quite a few upbeat gospel tunes that would "drive people out on the dance floor". The resulting band did not have a specific name; however, people in the congregation would call the group The Barn Dance Band.
The band played for the annual summer event for three years, helping drive attendance to approximately 1000 people. After the 3rd summer of playing for The Barn Dance and being begged by dancers to continue playing after the event's scheduled quitting time, band members looked at each and said, "These dancers are having a great time... and so are we! Maybe we should continue playing as a dance band for other events."
We adapted our song list to include not only upbeat gospel tunes, but also classic dance hits from the 50's through current day. It was at this point that we chose the band name Raise The Roof. Almost immediately after enlarging our musical breadth, COVID hit... which pretty much shut down the live music world for a year and half.
Since that time, though, we have been very busy playing for weddings and other private events, along with an increasing number of public events. Our greatest joy in the band is to see the energy and enthusiasm with which people respond to our music. We continue to have people begging us to continue playing beyond the scheduled ending time! Our goal is simple... to be Montana's premier dance/party band.
Pictured (left to right): Daniel Hartzheim (vocals, keyboards), Paul Larson (vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar), Kody Van Dyke (vocals, percussion), Chris Naro (vocals, drums), Blake Simpson (vocals, electric guitar)
What moves us
Music has a way of touching people’s souls. Have you ever noticed what happens when preschool kids hear music with a good beat? They are incapable of remaining still… their bodies naturally move to the beat. Unfortunately, most people have managed to cover up this natural instinct through social propriety or, perhaps, self-consciousness.
Raise the Roof seeks to tear down people’s resistance to moving to the rhythm of a good dance song. We do this by playing classic songs with irresistible beats. We change genres frequently, so the music remains fresh but always with a great groove. Our greatest joy as a band is to see people “cut loose” and lose their inhibitions about dancing… we can’t resist moving ourselves! We see and feel the release, freedom, and joy that occurs among a group of people dancing freely. We mix in slower songs where couples get to move and sway together in unison, bonding with their dance partner.
For those people who just won’t get on a dance floor, we seek to touch them also. Songs take people back to the era(s) when they listened to those songs, typically evoking vivid memories and strong emotions. We strive to take people on a “stroll down memory lane” and allow them to feel warm feelings from another era. They love this.
All of us in Raise the Roof love music and feel the exhilaration of playing skillfully as a band. In the end, though, we know that what we do is “not all about us”… it is all about the people we play for, so we work very hard to ensure that our music is “just right” for them.
Recently added songs
Check out some of the new songs we've added to our set list based on requests and danceability.