Before Managing Silver Laughter, Art Smart Played Bass

From his Facebook page. Art "Smart" Stenstrom.

From his Facebook page. Art “Smart” Stenstrom today.

That's Art second from the left leaning against the ladder. That's Bob Parker (African-American) on the other side of the ladder.

That’s Art second from the left leaning against the ladder. That’s Bob Parker (African-American) on the other side of the ladder.

Click here to listen to “Too Heavy To Carry” by Sunday Social.

Updated 4/9/13 – Art “Smart” Stenstrom came to us as a manager after we left Big G Enterprises in Des Moines. If memory serves, we played the Geisler Showcase in mid February of 1975 and left shortly after that to join Art after very few jobs came of it. With so many bands to manage, we didn’t feel Rick Geisler was giving us that much attention. Art had worked as an agent for Big G so he came with a lot of connections with club owners. As a result, we made the split and went with his newly formed Entertainment Services Concept.

Fortunately for us, Art worked in a print shop when he was not busy booking us or arranging recording sessions. This is the reason we had so much printed promotional material. He told me the owner would let him do pretty much what he wanted, so he took full advantage of the opportunity.

What many of Silver Laughter friends didn’t realize was that Art had been in a popular band of his own called Sunday Social. They have since been inducted into the Iowa R&R Hall of Fame in 2010. He was the bass player for the band. Though they never released an album of original material, they did have a few of their own songs.

With Art’s permission, I am posting one of them, a tune called “Too Heavy To Carry” which has a little of the Blood, Sweat and Tears soul influence to it. The track features musicians Bob Parker on keyboards, Steve Ryan on guitar, Ed Kelly on lead vocal, Gary Suddeth on drums and Art Stenstrom on bass. According to the liner notes, this song was recorded at Audio Tek Recording in Minneapolis. The 3 piece horn arrangement was done by Bob Parker (who also arranged horns and strings for “Sailing On Fantasies”. The cut was produced by David Sandler.

Mick Orton

Categories: History, Music

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