Hitching Post Mainstay Tries a New Sound
by Karen Cotten Wyoming Tribune Eagle

For 28 years Michael DeGreve has sung solo classic acoustic rock covers tunes and his own originals in the lobby of the Hitching Post Inn of Cheyenne.

DeGreve now plays solo in the Saddleback Lounge Mondays through Thursdays and his new band, Night Fire, joins him in the Saddleback Lounge on Friday and Saturdays.

DeGreve said his solo show is the same-just in a different location at the Hitch.

Owner Paul Smith asked DeGreve to put a band together. DeGreve said as soon as he agreed to it he asked himself, “What am I doing?”

DeGreve was given three weeks to find members. He was fortunate that three local bands were going through changes just then.

DeGreve called Bob Pollack, a lead guitarist, who’s formally from the local rock band Nasty Habits.

He produced two albums with his second player, Rob Tenario, who has been in the bands, Fatt Cat Freddie and Black White and Blues Band. Tenario is now DeGreve’s drummer.

Gary Lord, the bass player of Night Fire, was in the local band Avenue.

Kris Rietinger, DeGreve’s girl friend, sings back-up for Night Fire. She has performed in several venues locally around town.

The musicians in Night Fire have enough professional experience that private rehearsals weren’t needed for the band.

The band performs classic rock and roll, early Rolling Stones, Eagles, and Santana.

“It has 60’s songs in its set, adding 5-10 songs new songs weekly,” DeGreve Said.

The new songs are mainly DeGreve’s originals that will be put on DeGreve and Reitinger’s upcoming albums.

DeGreve said the band is working on completing DeGreve’s third studio album, “The Promise.”

Reitinger will record a solo album between the making of the Night Fire and The Promise albums.

DeGreve’s band mates now crack jokes on stage during performances and ask where DeGreve’s stool has disappeared to - a stage staple for the last 28 years.

“Now I’m rock n rolling it, there’s nothing like having three other voices in the band,” DeGreve said.

DeGreve said he likes the challenge of finding his part in the mix of voices and sounds in Night Fire.

He also said that he loves the fact he is using electric guitars in the band that have been sitting in his home studio vault for years.

“ Michael has never gathered a band for himself and it’s neat that he called us,’ Lord said. “ Michael has all the experience and the contacts in the world. For him to call us is a privilege.”

All the band members said they were all honored to be in Night Fire. They also have been long time friends.

Pollack said he has played music with Tenario and DeGreve over the years.

Reitinger said she used to haul all her own equipment to performances and is grateful she has a house band and other members to help out with the equipment.

When she was act she said she used to sacrifice good heavy equipment for smaller cheaper equipment.

She also enjoys the fact that she can share music with DeGreve.

“ It’s fun and I get to voice my opinion,” she said. “ We do a lot of things together.”

Each member also brings their musical influences to the table.

Lord said he has always been a fan of DeGreve’s originals and he also likes Crosby Stills and Nash. He met DeGreve 1n 1982 when he came to Cheyenne as a member of the U. S. Air Force.

Reitinger likes Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, and Stevie Nicks.

Tenario brings heavy metal influence to the band, but he also soul, disco, blues, and all of the great rock bands of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Pollack’s musical interests are Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and the three kings B. B., Albert, and Freddie.

In the future DeGreve said the band wants to add modern rock and country to its mix mix.

“ Classic rock was the easiest to get together and they’re great songs and we love to play them,” DeGreve said. “ We don’t want to be stuck in an oldies band. We want to be a contemporary and an original band. I love playing with these guys so much and I’m able to concentrate on my original material,” DeGreve said.

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