dUUdes was the house band at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines. We played contemporary and classic rock and folk songs, and occasional original songs, chosen to fit or complement the message of a particular service or sermon.

Five singers, Doug Hoffman, CW Smith, John Morrow, Evan Miller and Mike Schoonover, rotated lead and harmony vocal duties, and switched instruments as appropriate to the song. Pianist Bruce Martin, drummer Pat Bell, and other UUs and guests would join in as time permitted.

We’ve often been asked how we came up with our name. CW likes to joke that it’s an acronym for “Des Moines Unitarian-Universalist Diversion and Entertainment Society.” Doug is more forthcoming: we wanted to use “UU” in our name, but after struggling with ideas like “Upstaged Unicorns,” CW emailed back with a one-word response: “dUUdes.” And the name stuck.

The dUUdes’ mission was to promote the Seven UU Principles through the popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and through the original compositions of our members.

The dUUdes officially disbanded in the summer of 2012, but may still get together occasionally for special events. In the fall of 2012, guitarist Doug Hoffman joined up with CW Smith again in CW’s band The Grape Ape Trust.

Doug Hoffman: vocal guitar, bass

John Morrow: vocal, guitar , harmonica

Mike Schoonover: vocal, guitar, bass

CW Smith: vocal, guitar, bass, drums

    Pat Bell, Andy Lamont, Bruce Martin,

    Kellie Patterson, Rob Straughn

Des Moines, Iowa

The Beatles, Neil Young, Steely Dan, America, Van Morrison, James Taylor, The Police, Makem & Clancey, Eagles, Big Star, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Who, Crowded House, Jethro Tull, Simon & Garfunkel, Trampled by Turtles, Rolling Stones, Old Crow Medicine Show



A leap of faith