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Eight years after they broke up, the late Missoula rock band Oblio Joes still has a cult following.

You can bet that they'll be there singing along Saturday, when the group's songwriter John Brownell, plays a rare solo acoustic set to kick off the fundraising campaign for "I'm A Patriot."

He'll draw on his deep catalog of witty, catchy songs he wrote for the Oblios and tunes he penned as a member of power-pop group Secret Powers.

He figures it will be a 45-minute to hourlong set, consisting of songs from those groups and some new material that he's been working on.

"If it feels good and people are into it might go longer," Brownell said with a laugh.

For the past six years, Brownell has been busy with Submittable, a Missoula-based startup that creates online submissions software. He co-founded the company and handles the technical side for the Y Combinator firm, which serves more than 8,000 organizations and many more individuals.

Brownell signed on to write the "Patriot" score because he needed "something that forces me into the studio," he said.

He sees the score-writing process, which is new to him, as a challenge.

"It's just a totally new way of approaching music," he said. He's not sure yet whether it will be all instrumental or include songs with lyrics.

Those unfamiliar with Oblio Joes can pursue the group's oeuvre on, where Brownell posted their entire catalog about a year ago.

After realizing he probably wasn't ever going to sell the "1,500 to 2,000 CDs" in his garage, he culled all the material he could find and posted it online, for free.

He has a separate blog,, where he periodically posts new material.

He's done some home recording, and played some with musician friends, and hopes to record some solo material at Club Shmed Studios in the near future.

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