They Call the Band Cherry Bomb

Northland Band is Bringing in the Crowds

I once told a friend that the secret to a successful bar or restaurant is excellent live entertainment. The food can be mediocre. Shortly after that he brought in a popular singer and his business boomed. I was not even offered a free drink or a mediocre sandwich for my advice.

Giving the crowd what they want is the key to entertainment success, and the exact thinking of Northland band, Cherry Bomb. They are not trying to be nationally known or famous, they just have fun entertaining locally and the public is responding.

“The show is great for a variety of people, they bring a lot of energy,” says Mandy Sharp, Northland resident. “I would love to see them perform all the time.”

Cherry Bomb, a six-piece, show-dance band from Kansas City, Mo., features two female front singers. Cherry Bomb plays a variety of dance music comprised of retro 70s-80s and 90s as well as pop hits from the past 10 years. Venues are often packed when this popular band is performing.

“We purposely perform songs people want to dance to,” says Will Puckett, Cherry Bomb keyboard player. “We have two beautiful ladies up front that are like watching two tornadoes, side by side. You never know what they are going to do.”

Cherry Bomb’s song catalog is more than 100 songs. Add a fun side to their professionalism on stage and you get top entertainment that has landed top gigs in Kansas City Venues.

“We’ve been together about 13 years,” says Gene Declue, founder of Cherry Bomb. “I started with the same two girl singers while doing a lot of high energy cover stuff. We did a lot of disco and classical rock songs.”

Cherry Bomb has a solid background in music. Declue has been around the music business several years. He owned and operated a sound company/rehearsal complex, a booking agency, as well as producing several major events.

Puckett teaches guitar lessons in Parkville at Bentley Guitar Studios. Occasionally he is called upon to repair amplifiers for Parkville’s School of Rock. He currently plays for the Kansas City Ballet. He has recorded and produced artists in both the Northern California and Kansas City areas.

Amy Casey and Natalie Wessel, who started with Declue about 13 years ago, perform lead and dual-lead vocals and have plenty of formal training.

Wessel started singing in early school musicals and choir through high school and community college. She started with Cherry Bomb and also sings with the classic rock band, Sun King.

Casey was heavily influenced by gospel music and studied classical voice in her undergraduate work. She has a college degree in music education with a vocal performance emphasis. She started with Cherry Bomb and works in public education.

Cherry Bomb is always looking for opportunities to perform and recently a surprising offer surfaced.

“We are working a cruise this year, June 9-14,” Declue says. “A local travel agent has built a cruise package around the band. We leave for the Bahamas and go to various spots for four days.”

 Royal Caribbean Cruises says, “Cherry Bomb fans can look forward to a private set-sail cocktail party with the band, a beach day at the private island Coco Cay, a full day in Nassau, with an optional microbrewery tour and beer tasting with Cherry Bomb’s own Gene DeClue, who co-owns Rock & Run Brewery and knows his microbrew. The final event is a private onboard dance party the last night of the cruise.”

Although they are expanding to the high seas, the popularity of this band is centralized in the Kansas City North area, at least for now.  

"Our band played all over Kansas City the past few years, but economic downturns eliminated live music in most areas except the Northland,” Declue says. “Cherry Bomb will soon perform at Zona Rosa, Liberty, Gladstone and other areas—all north so check our website for more playing dates.”

Declue expects the live venues around Kansas City will open again because this has happened before. Sometimes it takes six months and sometimes a year. But for now, Northlanders have the band and the band has a focus.

“We are staying very busy,” Puckett says. “We are basically a band that wants to get people up and dancing. We are not excited about reproducing like a tribute band, nothing serious, just a lot of fun.”

Cherry Bomb is doing exactly what they like to do, working the local circuits, weddings and corporate gigs. They don’t have any plans besides having a good time while the audience has a good time, too.

For more information about Cherry Bomb shows, check their website at: or call 877.886.6915.