Last night for the first time in maybe 7 years I played with Chucks Wagon as a three piece band, in fact I have never played just as a three piece in Chucks Wagon! I cut my teeth on lead guitar in a Texas Style Blues band called Warning in my 20’s, but I was always a much more enthusiastic player than skilful. ( Pentatonic Scales and Modes learnt by route got me through.) Loved Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Early ZZ Top, Rory Gallagher ( I know He is Irish!), Robben Ford, the list went on. Once I started to slowly drift from Texas Blues to Texas country, I realised it was always in me. My father was a Johnny Cash fan, and my mother a Banjo player, but I rebelled against when I was a kid. Found my own way into music, so it’s interesting the effect of those earlier influences and how I have ended up back worshiping at Johnny Cash’s feet. It was that pure power and emotion of Johnny Winter and force that a trio can become that always impressed me. The way Highway 61 ripped in , made you forget Bob Dylan even wrote the song. Johnny owned it now. Then there was that boogie that ZZ Top cooled on in with, La Grange, Tush, Just got Paid Today, Jesus just left Chicago, amazing, but then when I first saw the Cold Shot video by Steve Ray Vaughan, well ,well ,well, that took it all another notch up. These guys are why I started Warning, and I was an unashamed fan, so folks, I was in love….
When I started Chucks Wagon, I just wanted to focus on song writing, singing, and being a front man, and hire great lead Guitar Players,and it has been an amazing bunch of guitar players I have had the pleasure to play with, I’m not lying when I say that there has been some Legends among them, but that’s a story for another day.
So last night , at Harbord playing with our friends the Chickenstones, I simply couldn’t get one of the regular Wagon Guys, so Friday night, out came the Harmonica’s, and I tweaked the effects for lead , and just went through the paces out at Dodge Dave’s place with Henry on sticks, workman on the tools, sounded ok, all sorted, lets go for it. Saturday played at home going over the harps songs, Little Marshal set up his make shift drum kit, went through the songs again with him counting in , One Two Seven , Six! ( he is 2 1/2!), and that was a lot of fun. Then it was off to the show.
Nice winters night, cosy crowd, and hit off with San Antone, and first solo, tube screamer pedal volume on 0, so clean it was, after that it was smooth sailing. Henry’s still picking up the songs being new, but there was the space you can find as a three piece. Letting rip in I Play Country, Burn It Down and Texas, well that reminded me of my old blues rock days. All in all job done, not to stressful at all, and fun to boot. Hanging with the Stones is always fun because they are all good men and gentlemen. They had a relatively new drummer and he was fantastic, really suited the band, and they are simply going from strength to strength. Always thought having the Stones in their name was apt, as like the Rolling Stones, it’s the weaving the guitars do that makes their sound, that and raw energy both Keith and Ronnie have , makes the two of them mightier then the one could ever be. The Old Doc and the Preacher pull the same thing off in Chickenstones, infectious foot tapping rock and roll, played cause they love it to people who come cause they simply love the boys. I stayed out the back the whole night, under the starry winter sky, shooting the shit and feeling good about playing again for the first time in awhile. My guitar was the thing that was suppose to get me out of the Bronx, give me a different life, well on that night, I was along was from where I started out and it felt good.
When the alarm went off on the Sunday, the morning after , there was no time to fiddle about, apart from go get the 2 year old ( we already had the 6 month old in bed, ) Heat up a bottle, watch a cartoon, then head off to the Country Road’s Radio show on 2RRR with Ronnie Boy. Ronnie has been very supportive of the Wagon, and it was a pleasure to be on the show promoting Family Man, our latest single, and he played the first single I Played Country and Miss Texas Tonight. Love the pedal steel and fiddle in Miss Texas. Tommy Detamore just makes that song. Early show, early home, and it was an awesome Sunday with Family, friends. To be honest it’s bath time right now, and I have to go and help out , bye for now folks. See on the road. Love the ones your with folks, they needs it to.