Friday, October 21, 2016

Camp Leaky@H.E B.Foundation Park  Saturday, October 15, 2016

Last night we played a show out in Leaky, beautiful Echo Valley, for a re-union of hundreds of counselors whom had volunteered and served at the camp,one time or another, over the past 40 plus years.There were folks there my age who had volunteered at the camp back in the 80’s, along with their 18/19 year old sons and daughters who are now counselors themselves.  My song “Deep in the West” has been the camp’s theme song over the past several decades. It’s always, always, played as the last song of the camp dance.  It’s even in the camp’s song book. Throughout all these years of performing around Texas, every now and then someone will come up after a show, somewhere, and say they know my song ‘Deep in the West' from the time they had been camp volunteers at Laity Lodge and had sang the song or danced to it.  It’s always nice to hear that and their thank you’s for having written the song.  This has been going on for years…Well last Saturday night it all came together and the stars aligned….

I was the  ’surprise guest’ for the end of the party and dance.  I think the kids were hoping the guest was Justin Beiber or Miley Ctrus,
but their parents thought it might be me.   We were to perform my song and their song, “DEEP IN THE WEST” and then carry on into a set of music for everyone.  As we began to play the song people gathered in front of us.  Some danced and some stood or simply sat and sang along.  As we finished the song the crowd went… WILD….  I mean CRAZY….
Bananas!… W I L D!!!   It was like I had scored the winning touch down at the super bowl;  As if I’d just hit a walk off homer in the bottom of the 9th, game 7 of the world series!  The steady roar and cheers from everyone seemed to go on and on, for over a good very long  while. Michael Hearne turned to me, laughed and said, “It’s just like the Beatles!”  WOW!

Thank you Brian for asking me to be there for the event,  and all of you who love the song so much!  It’s a moment I’ll long remember for the rest of my life.  What an awesome tribute to the song, and how much and for how long it has been an important song to all of you at the camp. I thank you all for such a unbelievable opportunity   I'm so proud to be a small part of your group of wonderful, good hearted souls, who help so many young people along their way in life.

God Bless you all and may you carry on the good work for decades to come.


Sunday, October 16, 2016


I’m back home and glad to be, recovering from our meandering trip home from California. We had a great time seeing the sights… the Grand Canyon, Sacred Sedona, and all the points in-between.  What a memorable journey it was. The Grand Canyon was a jaw dropping magnitude of wonder and beauty Sedona…a valley surrounded by gigantic mountains of red rock shooting up from the earth. 

We stumbled upon an historic restaurant called “The Relic” where I enjoyed a delicious birthday 
di nner with Dee.  After wards we took a tour of the historic building. The place was built in the thirties and even has an in house ghost happening there.  Back in the day, many Hollywood stars, while in Sedona area making movies, dined there and downed a few cocktails in the saloon in next room over from the dining area.  If anyone is ever in Sedona check it out.  I highly recommend the food, and the warm ambiance  of the establishment.  You’ll  enjoy the hospitality of the owner,  Mr. Jerry De Salvo. as he greets you at the front door when you  enter the restaurant. Google it and check it out online!  It’s a very cool place.

 I’ll tell you, with all the panoramic vistas, red rock cliffs, and painted desert, I felt like I was riding in an old John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart western movie.  I could see the wagon train rolling and the Calvary riding in the distance. Many of the old westerns were filmed out in this neck of the country. This is the heart of the Navajo Nation, encompassing an area equal to the size of West Virginia. The home of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni people. We were traveling through the middle of it.

On up the road we pulled into a little whistle stop called Winslow, Arizona.  I  even stood out on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, looking for the girl in the flat bed Ford. I didn’t see her, but I did see a lot of other people. The corner I was standing on was right on Route 66 which runs through the heart of  the town.  There was a classic car convention/congregation partying in town while we were there.  There were a bunch of ‘baby boomers’ ( like myself ), with all the beautifully restored and refurbished early 1960’s Corvettes.   Other vintage automobiles were also parked on the side streets.
There was quite a crowd gathered all there celebrating Route 66, and waiting for a photo op next to a statue of Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey.  ‘The Eagle’s Greatest Hits ‘ album playing from a corner souvenir store providing the perfect soundtrack for the surrealistic moment. Yes, I was definitely …’taking it easy.’

As the sun was sitting in the West we headed on up the highway towards New Mexico.  We circled the wagon for the night in Gallup, NM then we galloped out of there bright and early the next morning, making our way home to the Texas State line.

So Adios California,  Bye, Bye Arizona! and Howdy Texas!
Now it is time to re- string and polish the guitar, get back to work and get ready for the upcoming show.  Next one is Poodies in Spicewood this Monday night, Oct. 17th with George Ensle.  So please stay tuned!  I’ll see you all soon, somewhere in Texas.


P .S.   On arriving home, I received more updates and good news on airplay my new CD: “” This Little Bright Band of Light”, and my new CD with Michael Hearne, “Only As Strong As Your Dreams” are getting in Germany.  My solo CD is also number three out of top ten CD’s being downloaded on music website.  The Original Texas and Red Dirt Country Music Source.

Onward and upward we climb.

Monday, October 10, 2016

BY THE TIME WE GET TO PHOENIX…We still have a ways to go!

I must admit at my advanced age…I’ve never driven to California.  I’ve flown over that part of the country many, many times, but never put the pedal to the metal on I-10 West or checked out route 66…you know…really see this part of our country. Since we had a couple of dates booked in California, I thought it’s time to scratch one off the ‘bucket list’. So, we left Spring, TX. and we took off and landed in Las Cruces, NM the first night and into Arizona and through the Sonora Desert  and then on to the California state line the next day.  Friday morning we made our way across the desert and… v e r y…. s l o w l y… through Los Angeles and up highway 101 (VENTURA HIGHWAY).  It felt like… if you can imagine… like driving from Houston to Dallas in bumper to bumper traffic, stop and go  on I-45 all the way!  “If I can just get off of this LA. freeway without getting killed or caught…”

We made it!!  Well, here I sit on a cliff overlooking the mighty Pacific ocean in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. We arrived in Santa Barbara Friday evening, just in time for a barbecue  dinner “at the point” and watching a wonderful sunset
settle over the ocean.  After dinner we built a bonfire and Michael, Don Richmond and I picked a few tunes around the  campfire. Good food and great people!  I’ve only been in California for a day and I swear my hair’s turning blonde.
I woke this morning humming beach boy songs!  Yep…I’m California dreaming.

On Saturday night we played  a venue in Thousand Oaks, CA, hosted by old friend Steve Brogden.  And it was magical.  We had a decent audience  for a couple of unknown Texans. Saturday evening we played  a sunset, house concert on ocean front property in Santa
Barbara hosted by Suzanne and Ross. What a magnificent home estate they have overlooking  the Pacific.
Thanks you for your hospitality and making us feel welcome.

Monday we are heading  home to the place I love best!  TEXAS!!!  On the way back we’re going to check out the Grand Canyon, and also that corner in Winslow, Arizona that I’ve heard so much about, then down to Sedona, for a little ‘spiritual awakening’ sacred place and then over and through the painted desert and the petrified forest on our way back thru to New Mexico and Texas.

Going back to Houston, Houston, Houston.

See you soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

After the Show at The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe

Mike Roberts and I had a great show Saturday night in Galveston.  The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe was packed wall to wall.  Thank you for coming out.  Even Wrecks Bell showed up for the night to introduce us and crack a few one liners, first time since his stroke and we were honored.  Wrecks has turned the keys and reins to the club over to a new young couple.  He and Janet will still be in the picture, kind of like the King and Queen of England, they will make appearances and wave to the crowd from time to time.
This Thursday night, Sept. 29, Michael Hearne, Mike Roberts and I will be at  McGonigels Mucky Duck in Houston.  Showtime is 7:30
Friday night, Sept. 30, The trio is at the Rock Room in Austin.There are two shows 6pm and 8pm. The 8pm  show is sold out,  but there are still seats for the 6pm show. For reservations or more information,  please email  
This Saturday night we are off to Kerrville,TX. for a house warming party out in the beautiful hill country.  It doesn't get much better than this!  It’s going to be a busy long weekend and full of music.  Life is good.

Next week we head west to California for a couple of shows in Ventura and Santa Barbara.  We're looking forward to spending a couple of days along side the Pacific Ocean before we head back home to Texas and catching some sites on the way back we have never seen.  I'll keep you posted as we head west and keep you up to snuff on what we are doing and our where-a-bouts!   Heading Deep in the West, stay tuned…   Shake

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Last Saturday night we played at Bob Moore’s House Concert in Riverside,TX.  The theme this year was Bob’s full moon Luau party. There were Hawaiian shirts everywhere(Jimmy Buffet land) and colorful leis were handed out as you came into the events entrance.  I laughed and thought to myself, Hey, I just got leid at Bob’s Luau
There’s a song there somewhere or at least a  tee shirt or bumper sticker! There were palm trees, grass skirts, a tiki totem, surf boards, Blue Hawaii. It was an island night in Riverside!  We all sang along on “Tiny Bubbles”.  I felt like I was channeling Don Ho.   There were guests singing with me on the song: Bob Dylan,  Elvis, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan all joined in on a verse. Mike Roberts wrote an ode to the event called "Luau on the Lake",  which he performed on the Ukulele.

During intermission we had a really ‘special guest' performer…
80 year young hula dancer Ms. Shirley Stroud charmed the audience with her beautiful and lovely authentic Hawaiian hula dancing.  It was the perfect touch to the night.

Into our second set, as the evening grew later, even a conga line broke out led by Father James '‘more cowbell’’ Carroll.I think I even saw a limbo bar too!  Annette and Frankie were doing the limbo rock!  Anyway, it wasn’t our usual house concert to say the least, but it was  a lot of fun and one to remember and to tell you about!! How we all got leid at Bob’s Luau.  Thank you Bob, Teri, Larry, James and Sandy for all the work you put into turning Bob’s backyard into paradise and  making it a memorable night of fun and music for everyone!

THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, Sept. 23…. We’re back in Austin.  Michael Hearne,  Mike Roberts and I will be at The Strange Brew Coffee House .  It’s a great venue in South Austin for live music.   The club has great sound and up close intimate sitting.  Our show starts at 8pm. There are still seats left! I hope to see you there!

SATURDAY NIGHT, Sept. 24th  we’re heading down to Galveston for a show  at The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe.  Wrecks is selling the place, so this may be our last show there.  We’ll sure miss Janet and Wrecks and all the love they poured into that beloved establishment !  We hope the new owners will continue bringing music to the island!
 Come on down to the Island.     Aloha!  Shake

Friday, September 16, 2016


I’m back from the mountains, Taos, NM, and “Michael Hearne’s 14th Annual Big Barn Dance.”  It was held again this year in Kit Carson Park, located smack dab in the middle of Taos. It’s just a short walk from the old historical plaza. I was there from the first day on Thursday and already a lot of you were there and ready to listen to another year of music and to experience the vibe of the big barn dance.  It was great to see and say hello to all our friends from Texas. The Texas contingency was strong and well accounted  for.  At one point during the concerts, when the announcer asked if there was any one from Texas in the audience?  a loud roar erupted that filled the air. I talked with quite a few, some of you who told me this was your first trip, and you had heard us talk about the Barn Dance at one of our shows.  That had made you want to check it out and you were so glad you had,  and how much you were loving it!!!  I’m  happy you love and enjoy the event as much as we do.  (Hey!  Maybe Michael needs to think about doing one of these down in Texas?)

All his usual musical cohorts were there: Jimmy Stadler, Tom Faulkner, Jed Zimmerman,  Kelly Mickwee, Jimmy Davis, Lari White, Chuck Cannon,  Walt Wilkins, Trout Fishing, Gary P. Nunn , Buzz Cason, Claude Butch Morgan, HonEyhouse,  Terri Hendricks and Lloyd Maines, Susan Gibson, The Rifters,  Bob Livingston and myself.  Michael also brought in several new performers to the barn dance this year: Chris Arellano ,Jay Boy Adams, The Malena Brothers, George Ensle.  One of the new performers were the TEJAS BROTHERS from San Antonio.  They are led by front man and accordionist, songwriter, and story teller, David Perez,  I particularly loved their song “Rich Man”.  They gave a big time, first time performance to close out the first night of the barn dance.  WARREN HOOD and MARSHALL HOOD performed the next day and immediately won everyone over with their well written songs and  vocal harmony blend.  Warren’s violin and Marshall’s guitar playing reminded me of a young Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.   It was very impressive musicianship and song writing from these young men.  I hope they’ll be back next year. Another new addition this year were BRUCE ROBISON and KELLY WILLIS from Austin. They turned in a beautiful set of music that felt right at home at the big barn dance, I was happy and surprised when they chose to close their set  with  “You’ve Got A Lover”. Thank you Kelly and Bruce for the wonderful version and heartfelt performance.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  It was an honor to have two such fine songwriters pick one of my songs to sing.   Thank you both.
Then….add to that…. yet another new, first time to appear, The legendary songwriter/performer JACK TEMPCHENYou know, he wrote ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling ” and ‘I’m Already Gone”  which were big hits by the Eagles, plus dozens of other hit songs you know  and you’ve heard on the radio at one time or another in your life. I mean this guy has some serious mailbox money coming in.

Friday night’s concert was closed out with Trout Fishing in America.  Keith and Ezra were tearing it up and taking no prisoners and leaving the folks wanting more.  On Saturday they got more.  The action started early with dance lessons being offered at 10am and  a song writing workshop hosted by Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines.

The music kicked off at noon with Tommy Alverson and Friends.
Then HonEyhouse brought some gospel to The Church of Michael Hearne . Everyone was moved by the spirit,  Then,  Bob Livingston delivered his brand and blend of cosmic energy into the mix.  Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds were up next.  Dana Louise is an exciting up and coming new artist.  Michael introduced her to the barn dance audience a couple of years ago. She’s the daughter of Ezra Idlit from ‘Trout Fishing.'  (Ezra plays drums and Keith plays bass in the combo, they are two of the Glorious Birds).  Dana Louise is a natural. She writes great songs in her own catchy, original, and refreshing style. You’ll have to check her out live or on line to see  and hear what I mean.  We will hear much more from her.

Please allow me to digress…..Speaking of Dana Louise being Ezra’s daughter,  I must say it was also cool to see Kevin Welch and his son Dustin performing together,  Warren Hood following in the footsteps of his father Champ Hood, and Rod Taylor’s son Ry, and Tommy Alverson’s son Justin, who plays guitar with TheTejas Brothers.  Just like their parents they are all following their passion and love for music.  It is good to see  here at the barn dance the future of music and songwriting in very good and young capable hands.  The torch will be passed and carried on.

Now, back to the show…..

Bill Hearne followed with some hot picking (He taught Michael everything he knows)  Michael joined him for some fun. He introduced and brought  Ms.Bonnie Hearne up for a couple of songs.  Bill finished his set with the entire Hearne family all on stage to sing Michaels classic “New Mexico Rain”, with young Braeden Hearne playing guitar with them!

Then it was our turn… 
We kicked it off with “This Is What Happy Is” and yes being at the barn dance is what happy is!  I even changed a few lyrics to fit this auspicious occasion.   Michael and I and Mike Roberts were joined by Ezra on drums, Don Richmond, fiddle, mandolin and banjo, Jimmy Stadler on piano, Carmen Acciaolli pedal steel, Clyde Butch Morgan jumped in on a couple and Bob Livingston played a little harp on “Deep in the West” and more cowbell on Loser’s Gumbo. It was the big band at the big barn dance.  During our show we took a moment to remember the late Lorraine Wyant.  Lorraine had known and worked and helped Michael for many years. She was an integral volunteer of the Barn dance.  We lost her last year right after the barn dance .  We felt she was there watching and listening as we played one of her favorite songs, which she always requested, “Irish Prayer”.
                  ‘’your voice and your laughter are missing…
                   ’it’s an absence felt throughout the house….”   We miss and love you Lorraine.

The Rifters performed after us, playing songs from their new CD, “The Architecture of a Fire”.  Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros finished the concert portion. Then they cleared the dance floor of all chairs and spread the saw dust….
Then Texas own, Mr. DALE WATSON brought his style of honky tonk to the party!!  I could see by all the boot scooting going on that the dance floor was now officially declared open.  With bonfires glowing and people gathered around  them, the barn dance carried on with Michael and his band SXSW playing the favorites and calling all of us up on stage for a couple of songs.  He called me up for “My Acadian Angel” and “The Dare of an Angel”.  As I stood up on stage singing I looked out and saw hundreds of people standing up to the front of the stage, your faces looking up smiling, some singing along, bodies swaying to the music, having fun, and just above and over their heads… just behind them was a swirling circle of dancers moving as one.  I thought to myself…. what a scene, what a picture, what a lot of fun to be a part of and a witness to. This is what happy is!

I drove back home to Texas thinking maybe this had been the best one yet……I mean……so far. I was thinking…Thanks and congratulations Michael, Sarah Hearne and Jacy  Meador  and all of the great volunteers on number 14.  Here’s to the 15th annual Big Barn Dance.   I’ll see you all there!