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.



  1. Shake, when I was a camper at LLYC, I listened to your album with Dana Cooper incessantly. I memorized every song. When I became a mom, I sang "Deep in the West" to my babies.

    Their first year at camp, my kids did fine until the rodeo, when they played your song. On the way home, my son burst into tears about how homesick "Deep in the West" made him. It is funny, but every time I hear or sing that song (I am no singer, but I can sing it ok for babies), I am homesick for LLYC.

    I am 50 this year, and your music still brings a smile to my lips. Thank you for coming to the reunion.

  2. We LOVE you Shake! Thank you so much for being there. We actually started playing your music at camp in the 70's!

  3. Always great to you and Michael, Shake. I had always planned to learn to play Silver Hearts for my grandparents when they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. I'm sad I never did it... but that song reminds me of their incredible marriage and live for each other. Thanks for doing what you do!

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  5. Shake, I remember many years ago, probably in the late 90's, after one of your shows at the Mucky Duck in Houston telling you about LLYC and Deep in the West. We even discussed how great it would be for you to perform Deep In The West live after one of the dances. I didn't get to make it to the reunion but SO, SO glad to hear you finally got to perform it live in Echo Valley. Such a special place, and such a special song!