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Chrome Union
Okoboji, Iowa
Edmondson, Matt - Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals
Newhouse, Nate - Drums/Vocals
Samuelson, Steve - Guitar/Vocals
Sorbo, Scotty - Bass/Vocals
It was a cold February day back in 2002 when little baby Chrome Union was delivered from the womb of its mother, “Beer,” as her boyfriend, “Good Times,” held her hand in his.

Just kidding, but you know that if Chrome Union was a baby, it would definitely have been born an illegitimate child. Chrome Union is a party band from Okoboji, IA. It was founded by Matt Edmondson, Scott Sorbo, and Nate Newhouse, three childhood friends who have been playing music together since 1995. The trio got going in early 2002 in preparation for a summer run in the Okoboji music scene under the name “Last Call.” The group started out playing the right mix of 90s rock and 00s pop punk covers in demand by the 20something bar crowds.

In the fall of 2002, the group agreed that a fourth member would be necessary. At that time, a guitar player from the Spencer area named Matt Kenny joined the group, and the name “Chrome Union” was adopted. In 2003, the group enjoyed another successful tour through Okoboji, while adding some private parties and a couple trips to Cedar Falls to the mix. In January of 2004, Matt Kenny left the group. Shortly thereafter, lakes area native Steve Samuelson (Cavale) joined the group. Steve brought with him the affinity for 80s arena rock which would round out the Chrome Union sound.

That spring and summer, Chrome Union played almost exclusively at the Ritz and Murphy’s in Okoboji, along with some dates in Pella and Mankato. During this time, Chrome Union also began to develop their original music and it became a bigger part of their live shows. A documentary released in the summer of 2004, “Party Okoboji,” featured the Chrome Union song “Neverending Season.”

Labor Day of 2004 was a particularly eventful weekend for the Union as a marathon day led to a series of performances at a new venue. Whiskey Dick’s had contacted the guys that week to let them know they were needed to fill in for an absent headliner (Dazy Head Mazy). So, after performing a 4 hour show in the afternoon at the Ritz that Saturday, the boys literally packed up their stuff in a trailer, hauled it to the other end of the strip, watched the end of the opening band’s set (What The Funk), set up and played to a full house at Whiskey Dick’s for 3.5 hours with no breaks. After that, it was Halloween at Dick’s, Thanksgiving at Dick’s, New Year’s Eve at Dick’s, and Winter Games at Dick’s.

Winter Games 2005 at Whiskey Dick’s was a farewell show for Chrome Union, as Matt was preparing for a move to Phoenix and Steve was following his religion to Salt Lake City, Utah. Just kidding. About the religion part, anyway. The gang couldn’t stay apart long, however, and the first Chrome ReUnion was held in the summer of 2005. The ReUnion featured stops in Storm Lake and Okoboji with shows at Whiskey Dick’s, Murphy’s, and Okoboji Boat Works. Over 600 people were at the OBW show, which was recorded for a live album.