Hey, Folks! The Battle is just two days away!

Over the next few days, we are running profiles of each of the bands who are competing for title of Best Band and the opportunity to play this year's 54th Annual Heritage Days.

Today, we introduce the Smokin Jokers from Columbus, Ind.! Vocalist and bass player Darrell Strahl recently spoke about the band's origins and sound, as well as its greatest musical inspiration and what fans can look forward to hearing Saturday night.

Band name: Smokin Jokers
Band members: Darrell Strahl, bass, vocals. Bryan Autry, guitar, vocals. Mark Cook, drums
When band formed: Darrell and Bryan are original members, since1997. Mark joined the band 5 years ago.
Hometown: Columbus, Indiana

How did your band get its name? And, how would you define your sound? What genre of music do you gravitate to?
We are just joking Smokin Jokers. Classic rock/blues.

Who has been your greatest musical inspiration? Why?
There are many that inspire us. Mike Donaldson. He showed professionalism, and socialization.

Please offer a bit of background regarding places/events you've played.
We've played in bars in surrounding areas. family restaurants. Also, private events.

How would you describe your fans? How do you energize your fans when you take the stage?

All American good people, loyal. Play good rock and roll and let the music do the job.

If you could share the stage with any band past or present, who would it be? Why?

Rory Gallahger, he's a guitar God. Kansas. Was able to go onto their bus. Got to talk with them. They taught me what I needed to do.

What are your thoughts going into this competition?  
EXCITED!!

What can the audience and judges expect to hear the day of the Battle?
Gut and soul of rock and roll that built this country. A band that does things professionally.