Dakota Crossing

Dakota CrossingDakota Crossing is modern/new country showcase band is an 7 piece band based out of Fresno, California. Jim Belt, the bassist and co-founder of the very successful Foreigner tribute, Foreigner Unauthorized (www.foreignerunauthorized.com) built Dakota Crossing to be primarily a showcase band who’s set-list is comprised of current country radio hits from the past 5 years. Utilizing the same model that Foreigner Unauthorized used to create their successful Fairs, Wineries and other corporate focused shows in creating Dakota Crossing. Pulling musicians from several sources, Dakota Crossing brings a strong 3-5 part vocal presence combined with solid pro-level musicianship to the modern country genre. The musician configuration includes banjo, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitars, keys, drums and bass. We can also provide special guest fiddle when a particular show requires. If required, Dakota Crossing can also streamline/reduce the musician configuration in order to fit a particular venue need.
Dakota Crossing is very fortunate to have 3 powerhouse vocalist, each with their own unique vocal style that allows the band to provide a wide variety of modern country hits with stunning vocal accuracy: Jill Douty is an exceptional vocalist who’s vocal styling allows Dakota Crossing to include Carrie Underwood material with stunning closenessDakota Crossing to Carrie, herself. Paul Haugen brings the modern male vocal styles of Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban and more to the Dakota Crossing arsenal of material. Jim Belt’s vocal work allows the band to easily perform Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and more. Dakota Crossing primary target shows/venues are corporate, fairs, wineries, casinos, etc where a 1-2hr showcase concert experience is desired. We provide an entertaining 2hr modern country concert experience that is high energy and audience engaging from the very first song to the last encore. The band loves this music and loves even more performing these fun and well know current country hits.
Jim Belt
(Vocals, Guitar, Band Leader)
Jim’s musical roots are deeply formed in country, so Dakota Crossing is a great opportunity for Jim to return those country roots and hit the stage with some phenomenal musicians and singers and make some awesome modern country music! Jim started his musical endeavors in church over thirty-five years ago. Learning bass Dakota Crossingguitar for the small country church where his dad was leading worship. From those early days, he’s always maintained involvement with the music department of whatever church his family has been a part of. He’s currently playing electric guitar for New Covenant Community Church (www.v2.newcov.com) in Fresno, CA. Outside of Jim’s church involvements, he’s the bass player and was a cofounder of Christian Ska-Reggae-Rock band, Wishes Were Fishes (www.wisheswerefishes.com). This band has been hitting the roads of California for over 20 years, playing festivals such as Spirit West Coast, coffeehouses, CR events; the list goes on and on.
Jim’s other main musical project is Foreigner tribute, Foreigner Unauthorized (www.foreignerunauthorized.com). Jim has played bass with this phenomenal showcase band since its inception in 2011. Foreigner Unauthorized is managed by TEI and performs throughout CA and Nevada at Fairs, Casinos (including Harrah’s in Tahoe and Reno), wineries and other showcase concert events. In addition to all of Jim’s live performance projects, Jim has a long lineage of recording projects that he’s either playedDakota Crossing bass, guitar or produced over the years.
Rik Wilmitch
(Bass Guitar)
Born and bred in the “Rust Belt” of Northeastern Ohio, Rik grew up around some of the industry’s finest. Centrally located between Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh Rik was exposed early to artists like Chrissie Hynde, Joe Walsh, Donnie Iris and Rick Derringer to name a few. While an engineer at Peppermint Records in Northeast Ohio, his musical talents were often recruited to perform on various recordings as well as arrange and sing lead and backing vocals, guitars and keyboard. Rik wrote and produced commercial jingles and arranged original compositions for solo artists and songwriters.
In 1990 Rik hooked up with the Chicago Style Blues Band “Mars Needs Women” playing harmonica, Organ and Piano sharing the stage with the likes of Blues greats, “Fat Boy Slim” and “Bobby Blue Bland.” In 2008 Rik”s sights turned “Westward Bound”, moving Dakota Crossingto Fresno, CA. Rik joined Country ban, “Hillbilly rock Star” and was quickly hired as a Recording/Live Sound engineer at Pyramid Recording in Fresno. In addition to the position of Bass Player for “Dakota Crossing,” Rik is currently playing Central and Northern California with Foreigner Tribute-”Foreigner Un-Authorized”, Latin Jazz Duo-”Gypsy Moon”, Variety Duo-”Deidre and Rik” featuring Deidre Contino and local Classic Rock/Country Band-”Montage.”
Paul Haugen
(Vocals, Acoustic Guitar)
Paul Haugen is the energetic and sometimes goofy singer and acoustic guitar player for Dakota Crossing. Since picking up the guitar in college Paul has played in and recorded with bands all over California. His influences range from Garth Brooks to Boyz II Men and everything in between. His first love is country music because of the ability to tell aDakota Crossing great story and have a hell of a good time doing it!
Chris Bohrman
(Guitars, Banjo, BU Vocals)
Chris Bohrman has been delighting audiences for many years all over the west coast, as singer/guitarist in the band Wishes were Fishes and as a solo recording artist. His “Valley History” dates back to the 80’s Tower District scene with his band Radio London and also The Pep Boys. With 14 albums of original songs, he has made hundreds of concert appearances from Santa Barbara to the Canadian border, sharing stages with artists like Huey Lewis and the News, Barry McGuire and many others.
Dana Pellerin
(Drums)
Dana has a been a staple of the Fresno music scene since arriving here in the late 80’s. Dana drummed in several metal and rock bands before joining popular Top40 / Classic Rock band “Hard Times” and spent well over a decade playing venues throughout the valley. It was during that time that Dana was asked to join powerhouse Pop/Punk band Dakota Crossing“South of Shaw”. Dana performed on, recorded, and mixed their sophomore album “June” and the band toured California sharing the stage with acts such as Plus 44, Angels & Airwaves, Sum 41, The Ataris, 30 Seconds to Mars, and others.
Dana has also been a regular on the worship teams at Clovis Hills Community Church and Two Cities Church, and has recorded half a dozen records with various christian rock artists such as Amanda Duran and Alan Yerxa. After playing such a variety of music, Dana leapt at the opportunity to play Modern Country with Dakota Crossing and is looking forward to entertaining fans everywhere.
Jill Douty
(Vocals)
As one of the lead vocalists for Dakota Crossing, Jill has been singing all her life. According to her family, she was “born singing.” Performing in musicals in elementary and high school, singing in choir, vocal ensembles, and singing in church, Jill is no stranger to performing. In 2010, she recorded lead vocals on an original Christian album, “The Avenue.” She regularly leads singing at Two Cities Church every weekend. Her major musical influences throughout her life have been Shania Twain, Celine Dion,Dakota Crossing Kelly Clarkson and of course, Carrie Underwood. She is very excited to be a part of Dakota Crossing!
Tim Douty
(Keyboards, BU Vocals)
Tim has played music all his life since taking piano lessons as a kid. As an adult, Tim joined the band playing keys and singing background vocals at Clovis Hills Community church for several years. He has played with various bands in the valley and now regularly plays each weekend at Two Cities Church in Clovis, CA.

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