Former Cut Bank resident J.R. Hanson, singing, and his band SunsAh406, will be performing both in City Park and at the Street Dance this weekend.

No matter your age, no matter your musical preference, there is just something wonderful about hearing a band perform live, on stage. This weekend at the Cut Bank Lewis and Clark Festival, you get to hear not one band, no, not even two, but four different bands playing at different times in the Main Street City Park and one of them playing for the Street Dance on Friday evening. 

The line-up for this weekend, July 26-27, for the bands at Lewis and Clark is as follows: 

Wheelhouse playing on Friday, July 26 from 1-4:30 p.m., Living Room playing from 6-10 p.m. in the City Park and SunsAh406 playing for the Street Dance starting at 9 p.m. 

On Saturday, July 27, Common Ground will be playing in the park starting at 1 p.m. and SunsAh406 will start playing at 6 p.m.

Now you know the times for the bands, read on to learn more about the bands that will be providing great entertainment this weekend. 


This band was formed just two years ago and is made up of two people, Dave Alvestad and Gwen Heaton. Dave plays acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica and drums and Gwen plays bass and acoustic guitar. They both share in the vocal part of this talented duo. 

Most of the time they play for smaller type venues, like coffee houses, bars, private parties, breweries and indoor and outdoor events. They played at Lewis and Clark last year during the Chili Cook-off. 

“We love to play anywhere we can, but especially love playing in Cut Bank,” band members said. “We had a great time playing at the Lewis and Clark Festival last year and are so happy to have been invited back. It is a relaxed, fun atmosphere and the people of Cut Bank seem to love our music.”

Both are from Shelby, with Dave having been born and raised there and Gwen having lived there for the past 11 years. 

Living Room

This band has been playing together for the last five years and they have literally been practicing in a living room of lead band member Tom Benson. He is joined by Jon Dolen, Zane Zell and Stephanie Dulmadge. They are all from Shelby.

Tom plays lead and rhythm guitar and banjo, harmonica and adds into the vocals of the group. Jon plays bass guitar and also sings vocals. Zane plays drums and other percussion instruments and Stephanie sings vocals and plays guitar, mandolin and ukulele. With all of the different instruments this group plays, they have found a multitude of “new genres for the band to explore,” said Judy Benson, Tom’s wife and the band’s publicist.

“Anytime the band plays, whether it is rehearsal or performing, they always focus on everyone having fun, with music being the catalyst for each of them to unwind and enjoy life to the fullest,” she added. “They like to make great memories with each other and for those who come to listen and enjoy the experience with them.”


This band joined together in 2017 and enjoy playing at bars, parties, weddings, fairs and festivals. The group consists of Jarred “JR” Hanson who plays guitar and is lead vocals. Jarred is a former Cut Bank resident, having graduated from Cut Bank High School. 

Scott Oyler also sings vocals and plays the harmonica. Chad Sigafoos plays the guitar, fiddle and sings vocals too, along with Carrie Stewart who plays the fiddle and sings as well. The last two members are Al Valverde who plays bass guitar and sings and Jim Devine who also sings and plays the drums.

SunsAh406 plays a host of different music genres including blues, rock, country and classical. They play songs everyone knows and they play their own original music written by members of the band. 

Two years ago they played at Cut Bank’s Lewis and Clark Festival and at that time, they were just a four-piece band making great music. Just think how they will sound now with six members in the band!

Common Ground

In 2013, when this band was formed, it was just two people, Nikki Herzog Peterson and Dusty Peterson. Since that time, they have added two more members, Logan Darlington and Richie Kapphan. They play just about any type of music the crowd would enjoy hearing.

Nikki is lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar, while Dusty plays lead guitar and also sings vocals. Logan is the drummer and joins in with other instruments and Richie plays bass guitar.

They play at restaurants, bars, breweries and private events. They are best friends loving what they do. 

“We are excited to be part of this year’s festival. Anytime we can be involved in a small town, family-oriented affair, we are happy,” band members stated.

There is the introduction to the four great bands playing this coming weekend. Come hear one or come listen to them all. They bring their own original sound and fun and will be four welcome additions to the entertainment line-up at this year’s Lewis and Clark Festival.

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