In the summer of 1994, Lara Pucik, an environmental science grad student at Rice pulled together her friends, Rob Butera, Karen Alfrey and Mark Nelson, all electrical engineering grad students, to form a singing group. Lara had been in an a cappella group at Berkeley as an undergrad and was itching to get one started at Rice. After their first rehearsal in which they sang, [Laurie] believes, “Wasted on the Way” (CSN), Laurie Feinswog was invited to join the group due to her vast experience singing both in the shower AND in the car.
By the end of that summer, the five were joined by Paul Engle, Phil Pippinger and Karen Evans and were officially performing in public, primarily in front of Valhalla, the grad student bar in which most of them were tending bar.
Over the years Lager Rhythms has lost and gained a variety of members, and have played all over Houston: coffee shops (some now defunct), several Rice University venues, the Mucky Duck, Anderson Fair, Saint Arnold Brewery, the Wortham Theater, the (now defunct) Boat Yard, the (now defunct) Ale House, and even a glorious debut at the (now renamed) Summit — the national anthem for a hockey game. When you think about it, we’ve outlasted about 80% of our venues. We can neither confirm nor deny any causal link implied by this information. We’ve even done a Texas tour…all the way to Austin, and are planning even more far-reaching musical endeavors.
After 20+ years and four CDs, Lager Rhythms has gone from being a pick-up a cappella group to an older pick-up a cappella group. It’s still what we do for fun.