The four guys in the band named Doghouse were certainly not in the doghouse with the crowd at the Keller Williams concert last Friday night. The audience loved every minute of the performance by Mark Rocka, Bob Jablonski, and the Monk brothers, Jim and Jeff, on a beautiful evening at Kings Harbor on Lake Houston.
Billed as a classic rock band, Doghouse started out playing hit rock and roll covers from the Eagles (“Lying Eyes”), Roy Orbison (“Pretty Woman”), and Chuck Berry (“Johnny B. Goode”). But they soon deviated from that mold, showing their diversity by introducing county, pop and Latin genres.
“We were going for a little something for everyone,” said lead vocalist and guitar player Mark Rocka. “Our theme is: just fun.”
“We all are in it for the fun,” confirmed guitarist Jeff Monk. “None of us want to be in the doghouse with our wives if we get too serious about music.”
To insure family togetherness, Rocka brought on stage during the first set his daughter Megan to sing with him “Gitchi, Gitchi Goo,” a song made popular by the children’s TV show Phineas and Ferb. The crowd joined in clapping and barking “bow wow” at the appropriate spots.
To accompany the song “What I Like About You,” Rocka put down his guitar and picked up the harmonica for a spontaneous solo. According to his wife, Keller Williams’ agent Amy Rocka, he can “play anything,” except the fiddle. That is another story.
During the band’s break, Keller Williams Master of Ceremonies Roland Duhon introduced Cindy Brocker, representing the guest charity, the American Heart Association. She explained that she got involved with the cause after being the victim of a heart attack herself and encouraged the audience to pay close attention to the warning signs of the disease. Her husband Bert Brocker from Texan GMC then spoke as the concert’s band sponsor. He said that he has teamed up with former Texan player Aarron Glenn to hold a youth football camp at Turner Stadium in Humble from May 31 to June 2.
The band came back on stage rocking to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” which caused the kids in the audience to hop excitedly around the Plaza dance floor. It was Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You” that got the couples out to dance. They stayed on to slow dance to an original song, “Look at Us Now,” written and sung by Rocka.
No one could sit still when the band played “Rock Around the Clock,” packing the dance floor. The band then “went Hawaiian” to showcase drummer Jablonski’s skills with an instrumental number: “Pipeline/Wipeout Surf Medley.”
Just before the band’s second break, a fire truck and two ambulances visited the Harbor, adding some excitement to an already action-packed concert. That did not deter Duhon from calling out the winning raffle tickets and teasing a winner that he got a “gift certificate and a free ride on the fire truck.”
The final set was where Doghouse showed their true musical diversity switching back and forth between musical genres. They played Zac Brown’s “Free,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” They even threw in an “‘80s hair band” song, sung by Jeff Monk, called “Ride the Wind.” A nice breeze off the lake and a full moon added to the affect of the music.
It was the last song which probably made the biggest impression on the crowd. Rocka performed what he dubbed the “Ukulele Song,” singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while strumming on the ukulele. The soulful rendition, made famous by the Hawaiian IZ, captivated the audience and stopped them from packing away their lawn chairs to savor every last note.