Kimberley Dahme lives her dreams as the only woman in the power-rock band Boston.

BY CHRIS SHULL
The Wichita Eagle

After years of trying to get ahead in the music business -- as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and solo recording artist in Nashville -- Kimberley Dahme finally hit it big in the most unlikely of places, a bass-player and back-up singer for the progressive power-rock band Boston.

A gig at the Fiesta Bowl in December 2001 was her first with the band. She's toured with them ever since, the first woman in Boston since the group was founded by Tom Scholz in the mid-1970s.

"It means the world," Dahme said. "I grew up listening and loving Boston. To actually be playing on songs like 'Don't Look Back' or ebony porn 'More Than a Feeling' is truly a pinch-me situation."

Boston will play the Wheatland Jam at Lake Afton Park next week. The band's performance on July 24 will be the grand finale of the three-day rock festival that starts Thursday.

Dahme said that Boston perfectly fits her musical personality. She grew up in California, studied voice seriously, and pursued a career as a singer-songwriter in Nashville before meeting Scholz while she was touring the northeast. He suggested she'd make a great bass player. So she took some lessons and practiced -- a lot. Then he hired her.

"I was doing country, blues, jazz, rock, you name it," Dahme said. "As I have matured, I make more of a statement with rock and blues. I can get wild out there. My craziness is acceptable onstage -- it's great."

Dahme said many years of vocal training make her a great fit with the other powerful singers in Boston, especially Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo.

"I hope I add a dimension to the voices on the albums that now we can recreate live," Dahme said. "On the albums, Brad had to sing a lot of those (backing-vocal) parts and now I can do what he's doing. That frees him up to do the lead vocals."

Before Boston hit the road for its summer tour on July 14, Dahme said that the band rehearsed for six or eight hours a day, tweaking each line and part, working out the musical details. Scholz is known as a perfectionist, an attitude Dahme encouraged.

"Tom's a genius, there's no doubt about it," Dahme said. "And he's just trying to get across to us what he really wants to hear.

The result is not only a musically precise performance, but a relaxed one.

"Tom's a perfectionist up until showtime," Dahme said. "Then it's fun."

And what is the most fun for Dahme, living her rock and roll fantasy?

"Everybody in the band rocks," Dahme said. "They amaze me. It's a great bunch of people making a lot of great noise."

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