TEXAS: Part II
In 2001 we moved back to Texas and during the first couple of years, the only music I did was at home (Dawn generously allowed me to have one bedroom for that). Over the next couple of years Wes and Alex, and later James, at various times lived with us and we played occasionally. “After we moved to Red Boot Ranch in the country and I took over the garage as a music room, I also started learning how to do home recording and put together a couple of CD’s of cover songs just to have some material to “learn on.” You can learn more and listen to songs from this era if you click on “Recent Projects” and then on the “Forrest ‘n Me,” “Second Album” or “Under Construction” buttons.
In 2006 I hooked up with a new faculty member (a guy I had actually help recruit to TAMU) – a great guitar/harp player, vocalist, and front man extraordinaire – Dr. Tim Elliott. Tim has been in numerous bands, the Sandspurs was the last one before his move to Texas. Lots of You Tube videos of “da spurs” if you want to hear some.
Tim joined Justin, James and me (by this time James and Justin had moved to Texas), and we played on and off for a couple of years. Having young families became a conflict so Tim and I have morphed through a number of other bands/rhythm section players. We played with some great musicians and some fun variations in style and instrumentation.
One of those was the Brazos Blues Band consisted of Tim, myself, Ryan Sheridan on bass, Steve DiMarco on rhythm guitar and Tom Bianchi on drums. Steve and Tom are/were faculty members at Texas A&M and Ryan was a doctoral student and friend from church. There are some videos of the band on YouTube although I'm not particularly happy with them. Be warned, it was a HOT September afternoon with a single mic/video camera so you don't get a very good picture or sound! If you really wanna watch/listen here's "Go My Mojo Workin."
Pictured to the left is a more recently group I played with, the Brazos Valley Sandspurs with Stephen Garza and Ryan Sheridan - undoubtedly the best rhythm section I've ever played with - these guys are amazing. Gave Tim (Elliott) and I the freedom to really expand on what we're playing. An iPhone live recording of Tampa Red's "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" features Tim on harmonica.
Pre-COVID I also played Thursday nights most weeks with Brent Sewell, Aaron Hildreth and Kevin Basquez. Writing some nice stuff - will post some demos when ready for public consumption.
For a number of years I’ve held “jam nights at Red Boot Ranch.” Kinda of open invitation to lots of musicians to come and “sit in.” Probably done it 5-6 times and had some great experiences. It’s been fun to see folks moving out of their comfort zones to try different things musically and gain experience in different ensembles and formats. If I ever get any decent recordings I'll post some here.