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CEDAR FALLS - The Three Blind Mice, a trio of acoustic musicians, formed five years ago to play at a benefit concert for the Cedar Valley Acoustic Guitar Association.

The band's first song, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills and Nash, took four months to perfect. The musicians pulled out all the stops, hiring a vocal coach and meeting for extra practice sessions. The process was exhausting and exhilarating, but in the end, the group's hard work paid off. Their rendition of the classic tune earned applause at the show and created a demand for more performances.

On March 5 the group will return to its roots. The Three Blind Mice are one of a handful of performers scheduled to take the Oster Regent Theatre stage at this year's "Music on Main" show. All proceeds support the guitar association.

"Crosby, Stills and Nash is what brought us together and we're coming back to that," said Rick Nees, who plays guitar and percussion with the group. "‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' was our first song and it's one of the songs we're playing again this year."

Other headliners include The Ramblers, Raldo Schneider and Friends, Karla Ruth and Uncle Chuck and the Imaginary Band. Eacret and Ledeboer, Dave Malam, Kim Nicholson and Zach Messerschmidt also will perform. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance at Bob's Guitars in Cedar Falls or at the door on the day of the show.

"People self-nominate, and then people vote for who they want," said Rick Vanderwall, a member of The Three Blind Mice and a founder of the guitar association. "It's pretty competitive. When you get a chance to play on the stage it's a big deal. Everybody, I think, spends a lot of time preparing."

The Three Blind Mice will play three songs at the show, including "Nowhere Man" by The Beatles and one "mystery song" that the trio has never performed live.

"We're keeping it a surprise for our four or five fans," guitarist Bill Guernsey said during a break from rehearsal last week. "Overall, the show is just a lot of fun because it gives us the opportunity to play the type of music we like to play. Hopefully, the audience will enjoy it too."

Vanderwall nodded in agreement.

"It's local music at its best," he said. "From covers to original tunes, there's really something for everyone."


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