What better way to reintroduce an evening of fun, than a musical western swing/ country/ rockabilly band, playing the Swingin' Christmas Ball at the Elks in Livingston combined with a holiday fund raiser. Hope we see you there!


Ric & Linda started performing together in 1997 under their own last names of Steinke & Hausler. By 1999 they had begun using the 'band name' of Open Range after a performance at East Glacier Lodge in Glacier Nat. Park. While taking a drive through the Park during the day & passing through the Blackfeet Reservation they drove past a sign, familiar in western rural areas; Open Range. They adopted the rural signage as their band name.

The musical style of their duo was a mix of western songs, folk and original music, eventually leaning toward a western swing sound. By 2004 they were playing more of the western swing sound with added band members, making up a full western dance band. They figured that the dance band had to have a different name since most of the material was geared toward dance hall crowds instead of the acoustic/folk listening sound of Open Range. After weeks and weeks of deep thought with the wringing of hands & much perspiration there was a sign. Seeming to to be written in a cloud in the big Montana sky on a beautiful summer sunset evening were the words: Lucky Pockets & the Melody Rockets. Suddenly a name was born!

The band began playing jobs under the new name Lucky Pockets & the Melody Rockets. Instead of the more listenable cowboy songs, you might hear some Hank Williams or Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys, Patsy Cline, Asleep At The Wheel, or even a little rock-a-billy thrown in. At the same time Ric & Linda could still perform as a duo under the original name of Open Range when the larger band was not needed by a particular venue or if the call was for a smaller house concert setting etc.

Things rolled along for a few years until it was time to make a new recording. Ric had a handful of songs he had written, in a western & swing style. The question arose, If a recording was released with the name Lucky Pockets would that just confuse the public who were used to hearing the name Open Range? They eventually decided to drop use of the name Lucky Pockets. They would continue to use only the name, Open Range, since that was the name they'd been using since 1999 plus it was more easily recognizable from their tours throughout other surrounding states.

Over the years, every now and then, people would ask or mention, “whatever happened to that band you had, “Lucky Pockets & the Melody Rockets”? After usually a short explanation of why we quit using the name that would be the end of it. Most recently someone mentioned that they also had always liked that name and half joking said that if we weren't going to use the name, that they'd like to use it. Well, that got me to thinking about it and that's how we came up with the idea of using the theme of “Open Range presents the return of Lucky Pockets & the Melody Rockets”. Kind of like maybe we were abducted by an alien space craft but have now returned. Lol. We have some of the original band members participating in this event such as Dean Anderson (recording technician, member Open Range) on accordion, vocals, Nancy Padilla (from Montana Manouche gypsy swing band) on fiddle, Don Scott (Ringling Five, plus too numerous to count local bands) on drums, Wes Horton (Billings MT via Goodlettesville TN, bands) on upright bass and of course Linda Hausler guitar, vocals and Ric Steinke on guitar, vocals, steel