As we prepare to welcome in the New Year and bid farewell to 2016, I thought I’d take a little time to reflect on the past year.
It has been, in many ways, an unbelievable journey. We, The Nace Brothers Band began the year on a high note with a new CD (Space in Time) which many believed was our best to date, many thanks to all involved, Andy Oxman, Tilney Erhardt, Paul Greenlease, Shawn Pelton, Elaine Casswell, and of course my brother Jimmy, who had a great group of songs and along with his guitar skills brought great vision and spirit.
After the CD was released we were invited to film a session with Jon Hart for Bridge TV, a weekly program on KCPT, we also received airplay on 90.9 the Bridge and 90.1 KKFI thanks to Diana Griffin Ennis.
Around that time Cory Thompson and Metro Ford helped us get set up with the Nace Brothers 2016 touring Transit, an amazing vehicle.
I would like to thank my wife Becky for always being there for me, and for reminding me that it had been a while since I had a complete physical check up, so I went to see Dr. Steven Gruenbaum on January 25th, there were some numbers that weren’t good, then on to a specialist/urologist, Dr. Lindsay Hertzig, February 18th, more tests, numbers not good, then a biopsy March 29th, we waited for results, went back April 5th, 12 samples were taken all positive for cancer, we arranged for more testing, CT scan and a bone scan, then the waiting not knowing the extent of the cancer, about 2 weeks finally got the call, it was not found in any of the tests, good news. It was a tough 2 weeks seemed like during that time all I did was make people cry, including myself at times, again, I am so thankful for my wife Becky and our Daughter Shelby for helping me through this difficult time.
Now time to fight… hormone therapy injections to the abdomen started in May, then surgery, a complete radical prostatectomy with 28 lymph nodes taken and tested, June 13th, all tested clear. I then took a little time off to recover from the surgery.
After canceling our annual summer Florida tour, and a few other dates, I came back to play, not quite full strength on July 9, probably overdid it, but continued. On July 11th we met with radiologist to schedule series of 40 radiation treatments, which started October 6th, our 26th wedding anniversary, not the best timing.
On October 8th team “Standing Up With David” formed by Jeff and Jamie Floyd competed in the Zero Prostate Cancer 5K, and together we raised $5495.00 for cancer research, thanks to all who participated and donated.
My last radiation treatment was December 2nd, my last round of shots December 5th, the team of Doctors, Nurses, and Therapist I’ve had have been the best one could ask for and I thank you all, I will go back February 6th to check numbers and make sure everything is ok, hopefully it will be.
I am still overwhelmed and so thankful for all the continued support and love shown through this journey, no one fights alone, and without my loving family and friends I could not make it.
The journey although difficult has
been eye opening, and though I’m still not yet 100%, I’m getting there and I am grateful in many ways.
So as we welcome 2017, please if you can, come celebrate with us as we ring in the New Year at Players Restaurant and Lounge in our hometown Warrensburg, Missouri.
There are hotels within walking distance. Thanks - J. David Nace
I would like to mention a few people who were willing to bend over backwards to help keep the band on its feet while Brother David was in the healing process. Originally we were going to power through the gigs without David and just get another drummer. We eventually chose not to, but the overwhelming support to help Paul, TJ, and myself was a true testament of musician brotherhood and kindness. So, Thank you: Terry Adams, Charlie Pautler, Buzz Collins and Glen Hockemeier! It means more than you know... -jimmy
We had a great year in 2014, but 2015 had a slow icy beginning. It’s great to be back on the road in full swing. Back in February we played at Misty’s, a new gig in Springfield that was really fun.
We left there and drove to Reeds Spring. It was 20 degrees and there was snow on the ground. We were staying the night at the Rockhouse and playing down town the next night. We got there about 2:30am and Bruce got out of bed and let us in. we then proceeded to drink brown party liquor and sing George Jones songs for couple of hours. Jeanette was gone so Bruce had to take one for the team. So here’s a big “Thank You” to Bruce, we couldn’t have done it without you. The only bad thing was it was starting to rain and it was still 20 degrees outside. So much ice on the ground we could hardly walk to the café the next day. People were canceling reservations and trying to sell their tickets. But when we got to the gig there were about 30 people that made it, and that’s enough to have a rockin’ good time. I think we drove all the way home at 30 mph.
What we didn’t know is we were in for a serious climate change. As if Tampa and Key West weren’t warm enough, David had been in negotiations with Connie and all the sponsors in Antigua for the Red Hat parade and music festival at the Mad Mongoose. By the time they had it all worked out, all the rooms and other accommodations were sold out. The only house Connie could find was a giant villa overlooking English harbor. I guess it was owned by a friend of hers that had gone for the season. Whatever the case, it was totally over the top we couldn’t believe it. We had complementary water taxi service to the gig, now that’s a first. Just when you think you’ve done it all. Wow, thank you Connie!
We got home and started working on the new record, its going good thanks to Andy at Sound Works studio in Blue Springs. He’s gone above and beyond the call of duty to make it happen for us. Don’t know when it will be done but we’re hoping by the end of the year. It’s good to be back in the studio.
We’re looking forward to one of our favorite gigs of the year at Knuckleheads Saturday August 1st with the Bel-Airs for Brother David’s birthday bash. The next day, Bar B Q and jam at Montserrat Winery for Mom’s birthday party. Covered dishes welcome. Always a good time.
Fall schedule is still coming together. The only major change will be New Years Eve; we will be at Knuckleheads with the Rainmakers bringing in the 2016 New Year. Sure to be a great time.
2015 and we’re still going strong. A little older, a little slower, but still going strong. When we’re hitting on all cylinders the music has never sounded better. Going into our 33rd year we started on a new cd which I think makes number 9 or 10? But we hope to have finished before 2016. Everything is going strong with Andy Oxman at Sound Works in Blue Springs MO. It’s always nice to have a great guitar player as the producer to bounce ideas off of. Not mention the fact that the facility is one of the best we’ve ever been in. We laid down six rhythm tracks and hope to do six more and then start the mastering process. It’s coming together nicely. It sounds like the usual Nace Brothers with a little more jam.
As far as the gigs go, we’re trying a few new things and looking forward to our Florida trips. When you’re an independent artist it’s hard to get the showcase gigs but at least you get to keep all your money. We haven’t had an agent book a gig in a long time. Brother David is doing it all these days. The pace may have slowed a bit but we’re always ready to roll.
We’ll head down to Pensacola Beach on the 27th of February and hopefully stop at Swampland Studios before going down to Margaritaville in Key West. Sounds like fun to me, got to keep the music going strong. Come and see us when you can.
2014 “Roots of Steel” show was one of the best ones yet. Would like to thank everyone at the Warrensburg MO Elks Lodge for accommodating us, and also Knuckleheads Saloon for making Father’s Day extra special. One of the best requests I had that weekend was for Led Zeppelins “Rock-n-Roll”. The guy said if you can’t play that how about “Statue of a Fool”? Wow, now that’s contrast. How ‘bout something in-between? The cool thing is Dad has another record that has shot up in price. Vinyl record expert David Christopher told me Dads single “Heart break Hall of Fame” sold for $100 recently, and is becoming a collectible. He said people wanted it for the song on the B side called “Make a Date With Me”, which has a fuzz tone steel guitar riff the sounds real gone, if you know what I mean. One bit of trivia behind that particular cut that might even drive the price up if they only knew is, that the far out steel guitar fuzz tone riff is being played by the legendary Pete Drake, inventor of the talk box, and also on many George Jones hits. Do I hear $150? Anyway we can’t wait to hook up our friend Brad Rigby and do it again next year. Hope you can make it.
After that we hit Swampland Studios where we spent the night in Tampa and jammed with the Swampland Band. It’s a great stop for us and it’s always great to see Tim Whitley and the boys. Then we headed for Key West for our annual 4th of July free for all! 24 years of Margaritaville, but this would be different. This time along with our usual caravan we would have musical guests from New York that would put it over the top. Long time friend Shawn Pelton from SNL and Elaine Caswell from David Letterman and the Cindy Lauper tour. The nights they set in were outstanding and everyone in the crowd knew it. Standing ovations at Margaritaville, that might have been the first in 24 years. We had an after party jam that was epic. I counted 21 people in the band apartment and that hasn’t happened there since the 80s. We left there feeling like we had put on our best musical performance ever at Margaritaville, but it just seemed to go unnoticed to the staff and management. I guess you could say the times they are a’changin’. We headed for Paradise Bar and Grill in Pensacola Beach where we received a very warm welcome from everyone, even the owner. And we got to play music 50 or 60 feet from the ocean. Now that’s awesome. Thursday (day 14) we drove 17 hours to get back home and play two county fairs, and Sunday David and I played a duo gig at Powell Gardens. It was a good run and really didn’t feel too bad.
Had a great time at Moms birthday party, lots of friends and great food. Special thanks to Paul Eskina for the best pulled pork in Johnson County. My job this year was the same as last year, just bring the BBQ sauce, and just like last year I forgot. Next year it will have to be someone else’s responsibility. Oh well it was still good.
Looking ahead I see Homecoming at UCM and we’re back on Pine Street. October 17th 8:30pm at the Granary Tap House and a post game tailgate show after the game on the 18th at 5pm so come on down to the Granary. Also We’ll be doing our annual Thanksgiving Eve party Wednesday November 26 at Players in Warrensburg with the fabulous Bel-Airs starting at 8pm. Then it’s back to Players for our super New Years Eve party. Time to reserve a room so you can party and play it safe. Always remember, safety first. Better get together while we still got time, hope to see you somewhere along the way. -jimmy
Well you know what they say, “it’s not the destination it’s the journey that counts”. I have found that sometimes the middle of nowhere is a pretty cool place to be. So when a scum sucking leach of an agent tried to get us to back out of our dates by canceling us at a near by casino and sending us to Broken Bow OK we just did it. Yeah, it was a boring drive from hell. The highlight was a desolate truck stop that had deep fried corn on the cob in the hot case (which I had never seen before). When we got close we realized it was just a small logging community around a big lake. The trees use to be giants, about 10 feet in diameter and now they look like tall 2x4s painted green. All three restaurants had all you can eat catfish. We got set up in the Indian Casino and the people were very kind and receptive. The gig itself was pretty good. We stayed across the street at a motel that was run by a Hindu Indian, much different than the Choctaw Indian but still very kind. We left for home as soon as possible.
Then we gathered our passports and drove to KCI airport, hoping to take off for Miami before the snow and ice hit. Fortunately we made it. We were flying to Antigua to play at the Mad Mongoose Bar & Grill for two nights during the sail boat race and super bowl Sunday at Shirley heights, a beautiful 500 ft mountain peak on the island. On the way there T J, Paul and I waited in long lines at the airports showing our id’s, scanning our luggage and bodies while Brother David breezed through every check point because his plane ticket had a frequent flyer stamp on it. Man did we let him have it! When we finally got to Antigua it was like taking a step back in time. There was no organization and the airport looked like a make shift refugee camp or something. We all stood in line trying to get through customs and find our luggage which seemed to take forever. When we made it through we had lost Brother David. It seems he was no longer above the law. He was in a small room with a big black man with a gun telling him to take his shorts off. With no explanation he changed shorts and they let him go. When he found us he told our guide (Eric) what had just happened. Eric asked if he was wearing camouflage shorts and David said yes. Eric said that’s a $10,000 fine in Antigua for disrespecting the military. On the other hand we all thought it was funny. We kept saying, “Aren’t you glad you weren’t wearing camouflage briefs?” ah the journey.
We also had a good trip to Tampa FL hanging out at Swampland Studio, playing music with the Swampland Blues Band, and drinking Swamp Juice. Thank you Tim and Jenn for all the great hospitality. We couldn’t do it without you. They got us the gig and a radio interview and my room had four electric basses hung on the wall. Now that makes me comfortable. Not to mention all the great food, y’all are too much! We stayed three nights but we only had one gig, now that’s a good time.
Looking forward to the Rock House in Reeds Spring Easter weekend, it’s the worlds best house party. And it’s all acoustic, now that’s cool. Also May 2nd at George’s Majestic in Fayetteville AR. It’s the Giant Mountain Trolls 180th birthday and we may have some special guests so you won’t want to miss it. Ralph has been our spiritual adviser and interruptive dancer for about 22 years now and our gigs at George’s seem to revolve around the creative rhythms that he produces. Try to make that one if you can.
May 17th will be at Knuckleheads with the Rainmakers. The greatest songwriter ever, Bob Walkenhorst and they have a new cd in the works and will be debuting the new songs from it so you will want to hear them freshly played that night.
Had a lot of great times last year, too many to mention but I have to say that was the best New Years Eve party ever! No regrets, no complaints, no drama, just a lot of people drinking alcohol (responsibly) and listening to live music. And a special thanks to Maria for the biscuits & gravy. About 5:15am we laid down and for the first time in years I didn’t feel bad the next morning. If getting old means no more headache on New Years Day, I’m all for it.
I guess another indication of our dwindling age was the young man (about 23) at the Lake of the Ozarks this year who didn’t know who Meadowlark Lemon was. Since J.G. the manager also holds the three point record for most three pointers in one half (7) for the UCM Mules he always wants us to wear our vintage basketball jerseys when we perform at Shady Gators, and we thought it was a good idea. David has a vintage Michael Jordon, I have the vintage John Stockton and T.J. has Meadowlark Lemon. This young man wanted to get a pic with David and me but not with T J because he didn’t know who Meadowlark Lemon was. T J has a great authentic Harlem Globe Trotters jersey but this young fellow had no idea who that was- yep we’re getting old.
I guess if I had to pick the two best gigs of 2013 it would be David’s 60th Birthday at Knuckleheads with the BelAirs and the Uptown Theatre with Brewer and Shipley and the Little River Band. Knuckleheads on the outside stage is great, lots of room to set up and play as long as you want. Then jam with two drummers, love that sound. The Uptown was cool because Little River Band sold it out, and when we walked out to play the lights dimmed and the crowd roared. And that hasn’t happened in a while. Just wish we could have played a little longer. Looking forward to more good times.
On the down side we lost a great friend at Billy’s House of Guitars in Glenwood AR. He was quite a character to say the least, and it wasn’t just a music store it was a museum. That’s part of the reason why the likes of Willie Nelson and Steve Martin went there. I couldn’t believe it when I saw all the great memorabilia and pics of him with celebrities. I have to thank Ben Meade for taking us there and always supporting Billy. I’m sure he’s glory bound, playing the blues with ol’ Willie Brown. Play on my friend you will be missed.
Another gig that helped keep me going last year was the Matchbox. Thanks to Doug Whitney and all the folks there for letting me play my own songs and supporting live music. Last month was great; I had just come from Indy where I had been given a 12 string guitar. It sounded so good at the Matchbox it was hard to go back to my regular six string. I have to thank Tammy and Leigh for giving me this guitar I’ve always wanted. Leigh said it had sat in the case under the bed for to long. And in their last e-mail Leigh said “A life is meant to be lived and a guitar lives to be played.” which makes perfect sense to me. So if you ever need it back, just say the word, it’ll be right here with new strings on it. And same goes for Doug’s Les Paul; I keep it bright and shiny. Gonna have to start calling it the Cosmic Matchbox. It seems to be the spiritual link between me and the instruments that needed their voices heard at the same time I needed this gig and it all just lined up. WOW! Now that puts a smile on my face. And I will be there Feb. 18 from 7-9. So come feel the love.
So while we’re on the subject of good things that fall from the sky and just seem to line up we will be going to Antigua during Super Bowl weekend. Not sure how it happened but can’t wait to get there and give it a go. Also St. Pat’s day at Llewellyn’s Irish pub at 9 a.m., yes it’s 9 a.m., that’s when some real drinking will be going on. Then we will make our way to Knuckleheads about 5:00 for the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade. As we wind down and bring it to a close. Hope you can join us somewhere along the way.
Also, this just in. The votes have been tallied and the 2013 song and video of the year goes to the artist simply known as “Sal” for his song “Above The Law - Ballad of David Nace”. Even the title is catchy. For this he will receive millions of dollars worth of respect and maybe even a beer. Nice job Sal, you nailed it.
Be sure to check the schedule for events and good times you might want to attend. You never know when we will be in your neighborhood… jimmy
So it is possible to have good luck on Friday the 13th? We were driving home from Arkansas in the middle of the night in the freezing rain Friday the 13th when a Cadillac Escalade went flying by. Up until then it was just us and the truckers. A few miles later we see car lights flashing on the over pass. As we got closer we could see the Escalade smashed up on the bridge like an accordion with a trucker blocking the other lane. There wasn’t much traffic so after waiting 15 minutes (which seemed like an hour) we thought we could back up to the exit ramp and go around before the sirens got any closer. Backing down the shoulder slithering by truckers who are pissed, because they can’t do it, is never a good idea. But when trucker Dave is at the wheel anything is possible. We were just about to pull off the greatest move ever made in trucker Dave history when the bashed up truck on the bridge pulled forward and made a big enough gap for us to get through. As soon as we got through the cops pulled up and roped off the whole thing. So as it stands right now the greatest move in trucker Dave history is still sliding down Loveland pass in a blizzard with his head out the window because we couldn’t see out the windshield. Oh well maybe we can top it on the way to Indianapolis this month (hope not).
We are looking forward to our trip to Indy Dec. 27 & 28 at Cheeseburger in Paradise so we can see some great friends and play some music, drink a few mojitos and get that warm fuzzy feeling inside, you know in a corporate kind of way. And when we get back, it’s New Years Eve at Players in our home town, where nobody remembers us but the cops. Now that’s a warm fuzzy feeling in a taser kind of way. (Of course I’m joking.) It’ll be good friends, good times, and us…the home town boys. Fifteen dollars per person at the door includes party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight to bring in the New Year, 2014, (wow gonna have to get use to that). I’ve already got my room booked at the Comfort Inn, 609 E Russell Ave, Warrensburg, MO 64093 (660) 429-4848 and am ready for the after party. Another option is Holiday Inn Express, 626 E Russell Ave, Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 747-3000. Really hope you can make. Play it safe and get a room across the parking lot. Its walking distance and I recommend it. We’ll be partying in both so either one will do. Let’s get it on! -jimmy
We had some great gigs this summer and I think David’s Birthday party at Knuckleheads with the Bel-Airs had to be one of my favorites. Also the gig with the Rainmakers was way cool. We did some great house parties this year. Karen’s birthday party in Brookside was great, had the biggest Paella pan I’ve ever seen. Not to be out done was Roger’s block party which is always a classic; I think it’s the poetry that pushes him over the top. Big or small if you want to have a good time we can accommodate. Plug us in and pass the hat and we can make it work. So keep us in mind for your next event. -jimmy
What a great party, possibly the greatest of all time. The music, the venue and the rock star treatment. But really it all comes down to the people and great friends that make so special. For me the best part of the night was the jam with two drummers. When they took the solo on Chuck Berry’s “Nadine” it was to cool. There will never be another band like the Bel-Airs. What a style of old school rhythm and blues and Rock- a –Billy. By the end of the night the dressing room was full of gifts for David which mainly consisted of bottles of liquor. None of which could be out done by Swamp Juice, brought all the way from Tampa by good friend Tim Whitley. That also came in handy the next day at Moms BBQ. So many ways to say Happy Birthday but the best way was just being there. Thanks again to everyone, it was great.
Now its time for Paul and I to have a birthday party. I know the bar has been raised so don’t expect too much. But just in case you didn’t know we share the same birthday, Aug. 22- so what better way to celebrate than to play a gig at the Matchbox! Paul and I will be joined by Brother David which should send it over the top (and make our job easy). Tacos, burritos and beverages, now that’s a birthday party. Thursday Aug.22 7ish at the Matchbox.
What a great way to start the summer. Summers like this, I wish would never end. But you know me; I never did mind the rain. House parties, barn dances, concerts in the park, and playing my flat top at the Matchbox must be the reason I’m feelin’ so lucky right now. So the gig with the Rainmakers stands out as one of the best. Using the big P.A. in front of all those people with the band firing on all cylinders is definitely rock-n-roll heaven. The good news is we’ll be doing it again at the Crossroads in KC August 16th.
We’re back from Florida and ready for some serious jams, Wed. July 17th at Knuckleheads with Earl & Them with Earl Cate of the Cate Bros. Band. He’s the best guitar player I’ve ever had the chance to jam with. The same guy Steve Cropper refers to in Rolling Stone magazine…because he’s that good. The beautiful thing is he’s the nicest person in the world. No one has helped me as much as him, other than my Dad, with guitar riffs and chords. Any time I have a question about guitar parts he’s taken the time to show me. I’ve always said, when I grow up I want to be like Earl.
Another great jam will be Brother David’s birthday party August 3rd at Knuckleheads with the fabulous Bel-Airs. Yes another great guitar player who has helped me immensely, Dave Pruit. What makes these guitar players so great is that they are team players. I love Redd Volkert and Danny Gaton because they are virtuoso soloists. But it kind of takes away from the brotherhood of a band (kind of). I could never compete with players like that by myself, but with my brother and a good band we can generate our own sound and style that sounds pretty cool when it comes together.
I really want to focus on this birthday party Aug. 3rd not just because it has a zero in it, not because we’ve had this little band for 31 years, but because he’s had my back my whole life. You’d think by now I could take care of myself, but that’s not the way it works. Without Brother David I don’t know what I’d be doing right now, an opry show in Branson or the hardware store. He’s a leader and he’s always been that way. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said, point me in the right direction and I’ll drive us home. Like the time I woke him up at dawn in the middle of nowhere and said I think I’m lost. He looked at two big silos and said, that’s Spruce Mo. You need to turn around and get back on hwy 18. Wow, how did he know that? He always loved to sing, he would walk in the room singing a song and exit singing a different song. That was when I started calling him Carmine… the cool singing Italian guy that everyone liked. It was a good nick name for a long time. But recently, some friends have been calling him Godfather. It seemed to fit rather well since he calls all the shots and makes all the decisions. One time about ten years ago I walked into Shrimp Boat Studios in Key West FL to meet good friend J.L. Jamison. As I opened the door I walked right into Jimmy Buffett, he said, hey aren’t you David’s brother, come on in. This year David was the talk of the Buffett tour for a couple of weeks when Coral Reefers drummer Rodger Guth did an acoustic set standing up playing the drums, he said, damn this is hard I don’t know how David Nace does it. David replied, I know; try doing it for four hours. Anyway, I have more stories I just don’t know which ones I should tell. I really just hope everyone can come to the show Aug.3rd that’s the best gift you could possibly give. But he does like good red wine.
The very next day Sunday August 4th the party will continue at Montserrat Vineyards as we will be celebrating Mom’s birthday. Her birthday is actually July 25th but this was the only date that worked for everyone. She’s a year younger than Willie Nelson and probably seen just as many honky tonks. The party starts at 5:00 and our great friend Paul Askena will be Bar B Queuing massive amounts of meat. We plan on eating at 6:00 bring a covered dish if you want and don’t be afraid to over indulge. Everyone is welcome so come out and say hi to Mom. The band usually plays at 7:00 so bring your dancing shoes and let’s get it on. Sounds like fun to me.
Okay, so our gospel lunch on May 5th @ Trouser Mouse has been postponed. We hope to reschedule soon and give it an honest try. We have lots of chicken to fry, some bloody marys to drink, and some cool songs to play, which all ads up to a real cool Sunday. Looking forward to making it happen sometime in the near future.
The rest of the summer is starting to shape up, starting with May 17th at Knuckleheads with the Rainmakers. Now that could truly be the best Kansas City has to offer. Original Midwest music, straight from the heart. We’re gonna do our best to add some grit and get the party started.
Also on my favorites list is honky tonk Sunday, June 16th at Knuckleheads for our annual Father’s day tribute show. Show time is 7:30 and our featured guest is Brad Rigby on the steel guitar. Classic country music just like Dad use to play. Country music doesn’t get any better than that.
Don’t forget there are some real important birthdays coming up this summer. The one you won’t want to miss is Brother David Aug 3rd at Knuckleheads with our great friends the Bel-Airs. Just like a fine wine, better with age.
You can always catch T.J. at Seasons 52 just check all thingstj.com for specific dates. And Paul Greenlease for the mighty blues jam showcase, have to check his facebook page for more info. And if you want to rock it with I. Jimmy Nace party of one. Come to the Matchbox once a month for a super big burrito and some new tunes, it’s always a good time.
I guess timing is everything especially when it comes to dodging a snow storm. The night we left for Florida it was starting to flurry and didn’t stop for two days. When we got to Pensacola it was cloudy and 72 degrees. I had been joking to the guys about how I wanted to ride the brand new giant Farris wheel that overlooked the bay but no one really wanted to do it. What they didn’t know was I wasn’t really joking. It took a while but I finally got everybody on board. I thought it was cool and one hell of a cheap thrill, for fifteen bucks a piece.
We played at the Paradise Bar & Grill the next night and it rained hard most of the night. It was still fun but not as fun as playing outside on the beach.
The next morning we drove to Tampa where we met Tim and Rick at Skinnys Sports Bar. It was sunny and 75 and they already had the p.a. set up. That night the gig went well, it’s amazing the people you know just passing through that stop in to say hi on the way to somewhere else. We met folks from Indy and K.C. that were doing just that. Small world is getting smaller all the time. The next day Tim and Jenn had a small reception party for us and their close friends and band mates. Rick made a seafood boil, Tim made swamp juice and Jenn made my favorite pineapple upside down cake. Now that’s living large. Then we had a serious blues throw down in Tim’s studio. Thanks again to Tim and Jenn for everything, that’s what keeps us going.
The next day we headed straight down alligator alley to Key West. We set up at Margaritaville for business as usual. Once again we had unexpected guests from all over the globe, Phil and Maryan all the way from the U K for their seventh year in a row. So naturally we felt obligated to turn them on to a little swamp juice we had smuggled down from Tampa. It was a great time with friends from everywhere. I think my best night was seeing the bluegrass band at the Parrot. We stayed up way to long, had another jam session and drank too much. I went to bed about 5:30 and woke up at 9:00 feeling bad. The usual symptoms, dying of thirst and throbbing headache. While lying in bed I downed some ibuprofen and went back to sleep. When I got up to have coffee at 11:00 or so I noticed I one of the pills didn’t make it to my mouth and was still stuck to my back. Aspirin anyone? Ha… Now that was a good time.
I guess if I could describe last year with one word it would have to be “rollercoaster”. With ups and downs that somehow smooth themselves out with a little help from angels in disguise. Because you just never know where the next one will show up to help you out. David and I had been practicing for a couple of songs for the Christmas Eve show at Pilgrim Chapel. A minor key version of “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and “Uncloudy Day”. We always try to stay away from traditional Christmas songs if we can, but after three years in a row we were kind of running out of ideas. Pastor Roger called and wanted to know what songs we were doing so he could print it in the events schedule for that evening. When David told him, Roger said Danny Cox is doing those songs, can you think of something else? We were totally caught off guard with no time to figure it out. After texting each other all night trying to find the right songs, I woke up Christmas Eve morning, drinking coffee and staring out the window without a clue as to what we were going to play later at the chapel. I saw these wild looking birds in the trees on the fence row, they were Cedar Waxwings and there were three of them looking right at me, and I thought, Bob Marley, “Three Little Birds”. I sent David a text and he wrote back, “One Love”. And that’s how we found the Neville Brothers medley we played at the chapel that night. “One Love” and “People Get Ready”. It seemed to fit perfectly and everyone sang along, that church is cool.
The next day was Christmas at Mom’s and it might have been the greatest Christmas of all time (minus the cap gun and race track). Mom fried chicken and you know nothing says love like Mom's fried chicken. John, Carla and I had our usual Frank Sinatra Christmas party that night. It went real well but I drank too much and woke up feeling bad. So that morning I started taking gifts out of the bags under the tree and cleaning up a bit when I noticed some foil at the bottom of a bag. I had forgotten I smuggled two chicken breasts from Mom’s house when no one was looking Christmas day, man did I perk up, that was just what I needed to cure my hangover and feel good the rest of the day.
Two days later we headed for Indy to play at Cheeseburger in Paradise and stay at Vic’s house. Vic’s band, “Tastes Like Chicken” were off that weekend so he had all his friends at the bar along with ours and it made for a great weekend. I can’t say enough about Vic and the great hospitality. If he didn’t help us out like he did we wouldn’t be able to make the trip. And he makes the best cheese steak sandwich I’ve ever had. Thank you Vic.
We made it home and had one day to get ready for New Years Eve. We got all set up and then came the snow. Oh well we made the best of it. We all got motel rooms and played it safe. I think my favorite part was playing guitar to all my friends in the hall.
My room was next to Maria’s and she made biscuits and gravy for everyone. We all opened our doors and let it rip. And the crazy part is we didn’t have one complaint. Wow, what a great time.
2013. So far so good, I guess anything can happen. But for me, music and moonlight, good times and sunshine, enjoying life while exploring all aspects of creativity. But if it’s down home heart felt music and hospitality you want, no one does it better than the Rock House. Saturday, February 16th. If you can’t get a ticket this year you might want to start thinking about next year because it’s the best. Everyone brings a dish and listens to the music. It’s great the way the whole community of Reeds Spring comes together in an old school fashion. Acoustic performances right there in the living room.
Also looking forward to Gary Hutchison’s birthday bash at George’s in Fayetteville AR on Friday February 8th. It’s not every day you get Jimmy Thackery and Earl Cate to back you up on a few songs. That will be a killer jam. Then for me it will be the Matchbox on S.W. Boulevard in K.C. for Big Burrito Tuesday. That’s right, Jimmy Nace party of one February 12th at 7:00. Please join me for a casual evening of acoustic music. Some brand new songs mixed in with some of my all time favorites.
Then we’re going to head south for a couple of weeks but when we get back we’ll be at the new Trouser Mouse in Blue Springs. Friday March 8th, new stage, new building same cool owners. Now let’s blow the roof off that new dump… Hell yeah!
Also we got a cool gig with Missi and Allied Saints coming up Friday March 22nd at the Record Bar in Kansas City. She sang on two songs for the “Well traveled road” c.d. We’ll see if we can get her to join us on a couple at the Record Bar. It’s sure to be a good time. So we hope to see you some where along the way.
And any night of the week, for the best K.C. has to offer don’t forget to check out Paul Greenlease on Facebook for solo and jam night appearances and also T.J. Erhardt at allthingstj.com. We always keep the music playin’... - Jimmy
Had a great show with Paul Thorn at Knuckleheads. It’s great to see independent music that kicks ass. I loved everything about it, good songs and a great band, that’s all we ask. Burn down the trailer park, bash Toby Kieth, a little fire and brimstone and call it a night. That’s my kind of show. Those guys were the nicest. Frank, the owner of Knuckleheads had heard us covering one of Paul’s songs (Tequila Is Good For The Heart). Paul declined to join us on it but insisted that we play so he could hear it. And of course we did. They really seemed to like our version. I have to say that’s a first.
We also had a great time jamming with the Bel-Airs in Warrensburg. Never get to see master blues men practicing their craft anymore. No glamour just pure style. These aren’t blues chicks holding high notes til they’re light headed. These boys eat their grits. They seem to have their very own groove somewhere between Booker T. and Frantic Teen. No one can do it like the Bel-Airs.
I’m getting ready for my next solo gig at the Match Box in K.C. Everybody come join me Tuesday December 11th at 7:00 for the best burrito on S.W. Boulevard and me, pickin’ and yellin’ for two hours, it’s fun.
Don’t forget it’s time to make plans for New Years Eve. I just reserved my room at the Comfort Inn and I think I’m ready for 2013. Let’s welcome the New Year with a champagne toast and more dancing and singing. Sounds like a good idea to me. We will once again be at PLAYERS in Warrensburg. $20.00 per person which includes party favors and champagne toast at midnight along with music and dancing from 9 til 1. This will be the Nace Brothers 31st anniversary as a working band. So let’s do it up right.
Here lately the band has been on a roll, hitting a high musical stride. It’s the best and happiest we’ve ever been. T.J. is still tearing the piano apart and playing solos like a mad man. He’s recently added a new keyboard (the Nord) and it has some great sounds, not to be out done by his unique and powerful vocal styling. A little fire water and he might go through the roof (I’ve seen it happen). He stays on top of his game by playing at Seasons on the Plaza. It’s part of the reason we’ve been sounding better and better. Hey it’s not bragging if it’s true. You can check him out at solo venues. Just go to allthingstj.com.
Lately our biggest spark has been from bassist Paul Greenlease. Always going above and beyond the call of duty. His caliber of musicianship and work ethic are tremendous. For one thing he has revived and brought new life to the song Stand By Your Actions. Kind of cool how it came about… Not to long before Paul joined the band there was this guy who started requesting that song (Stand By Your Actions). We hadn’t played in a while and didn’t give it much thought. The last time we played at the record bar it happened again and Paul said “I like that song, I’ll learn it”. And he’s been whippin’ it every since. So naturally the guy who kept requesting it hasn’t been back, but we’re ready if he shows up again. Another cool thing he did not so long ago was go out to the van on break, learn a song and play it the next set. Sounds easy, but it’s not. Some how the song, “The Great Ones” slid by us at rehearsal. But when my friend David Burk came to a gig I knew he would want to hear it. It’s his favorite Nace Brothers song and we always play it for him. So Paul went out to the van, came back in and played it and never missed a note. And that song has a lot of changes in it. Nice job Pauly. Don’t forget you can see Paul honing his skills around town at several places. Just check out Paul's Facebook page for his personal appearances.
Don’t forget we’re still looking for a gig on Dec. 21st. It’s the end of world so we’d like to get one more gig in. If anyone knows a hoarder with a big cellar or basement please keep us in mind, might as well throw a party and watch the mother****** burn… -Jimmy
Well I think the summer gets shorter every year. It’s hard to believe it’s already Mom’s birthday. It seems like a lot has happened but not much has changed. Most importantly in my opinion the brotherhood is back. The band is focused and kickin’ it. Even the rehearsals are fun again. We learned an old Little Feat song and a Paul Simon tune we’ve always wanted to play plus a few others and most of them challenging. It’s really great and keeps it interesting, always trying to move forward. We’re almost to the point of tearing into our new original songs. I have to admit I was nervous on the first night with Paul, the new bass player but not anymore. Paul has really been able to showcase his skills with us and at the same time take our music up a notch. Now that he’s in the groove he’s playing this wild bass solo on the old Meters song “Hey Pocky Way” it’s worth coming to see. We hope he sticks around awhile.
We had the best Florida trip we’ve ever had. The stop in Tampa and Pensacola then Key West has never been better. Now I think we’re ready for the MO State Fair, I mean ready to blow the roof off that dump. Its always fun.
And then my birthday gig at the MatchBox, 2853 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, KS. My birthday burrito is bigger than the cake mom made me last year. I’ve finally gotten comfortable playing there now I want to do it all the time. It was just awkward at first, me up there singing my own songs without David carrying my ass. But once I got in the groove it was totally fun. I figured out those songs aren’t that bad. Just trying to get better and write better songs and hopefully still improving. Please come out and have some food and drink, Tuesday Aug.21st with me at the MatchBox as I turn 50! Lets do it… jimmy
Well if the rest of the year is this much fun I think we’re in business. I guess timing is everything, and when you have a good drummer that’s usually not a problem. Everything seems to be falling in place for us right now.
After a rocky and sad start to this year due to the untimely death of some very close friends we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I will never ever forget the friendship and brotherhood I shared with the greatest back beat drummer in the world Art Reque, nor will I forget the late night jam sessions with blues guitarist Michael Burks. So many great times it makes me feel lucky to have been part of their life. Also no Bogart music festival this year. Craig is taking a year off to recover from his cancer. He’s doing well and says he just whipped the grim reapers ass for bringing a knife to a gun fight. Hang in there Brother we’re with you.
A special thanks to the newest and happiest Nace Brother, Paul Greenlease. Playing the bass, wearing a smile, and putting some energy back in the rhythm section. Check him out, he’s good.
One show we’re all looking forward to, Knuckleheads Aug. 4th with the Bel-Airs. It just happens to be David’s birthday. The next day we will play at Monsterrat Vineyards for Moms annual Bar-B-Q and birthday throw down. Opens at 5pm, eat at 6pm and band at 7pm. Everybody come, bring a covered dish if you want and say hi to Mom. We owe it all to her.
Once again I will be appearing at the Matchbox on Southwest Boulevard, June 12th for taco Tuesday. I might even throw in some cover songs this time.
So far this year The Rock House in Reeds Spring has been my favorite gig. We played an acoustic set kind of like the Pilgrim chapel cd. And it really went over well. All the home cooking helped. Food and music made with love, you can’t go wrong.
We’ve been doing a lot of house parties and really diggin’ it. We bring the music right to you. Bring your own food, bring your own booze, give the band a donation and everybody wins.
The Indy 500 still lives on, and what a gas it was. Thanks again to Vic and all the “Taste Like Chicken” band. We couldn’t do it without’em. We love Indianapolis. I even drove all the way home without my head in the trash can. Unlike my last birthday at Vic’s house. Maybe I learned something???
Our drive to Tulsa was good last weekend. Not like the last time when we drove straight into the tornado. There’s nothing quite like driving into 50 mile an hour winds knowing it’s going to get worse. We kept hoping the owner would call and cancel the gig but that never happened so we powered through it. When we got there it kind of blew over and we played the gig without a hitch but it was shaky for a while. That night it was Leon Russell’s birthday party at the Brady Theatre in Tulsa. After he played some of the crowd came down to the Blue Rose, including his harmonica player, Jimmy “Junior” Markham. The place filled up and we had a nice little jam. It made me think of the earlier days in Tulsa when Steam Roller Blues was open, playing there with Levon Helm and the Cate Brothers. Since Levon died people have been asking, “what was it like playing with The Band and the Barn Burners”? All I can say is, it was great, but Levon was a wild dude from what I saw. He had a thing about not starting on time. After the introduction he didn’t come on for another twenty minutes or so. Strange. One night we were opening up a show for “The Band” and before we started I was in the green room with the legendary Garth Hudson when their stage manager came in and started telling him to not be late, he also said don’t let Levon slow us all down. After he was done talking and expressing his frustration Garth looked at him and said in his deep low voice, “can you get some toilet paper for this bathroom in here”. Wow, it was the same as saying; go fuck yourself, without actually having to say it. That night they were introduced by Mel Tillis and sure as hell they didn’t come out for another twenty minutes. But when they did finally take the stage they sounded great.
Oh well, I could never get by with that. But then again I wouldn’t want to. So come out and hear some Nace Brothers music and we will start right on time. Music, it’s good for you… jimmy
What a great New Years Eve party, for me, the greatest of all time. Everyone seemed to have a great time; there was not one bit of negative energy
to be found. Had a great after party. Both motels across the street were sold out so we thought why not give them a free show. Maria made b’s & g in her room and we jammed for quite awhile Thirty
years and counting. Who knew? I still think the best is yet to come. Opportunities still seem to be coming our way so we keep rolling on.
A couple of months ago I was asked by a friend and fellow song writer from Nashville, Roger Dillon, to submit a song for a movie he was writing for
called “Independence”. He took my song to Los Angeles and they are still holding it but I get the feeling it’s on the chopping block. It was still nice being asked. Only a million more miles to go.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped us along the way in our long strange musical journey. Thanks to everyone who’s helped us along the way in our long
strange musical journey. Buying a C.D. or coming to a gig is the best thing you can do. Because the DR. says along with walking and drinking water…music is good for you too. Also all the people that play
us on the radio, Fish Fry with Chuck Haddock, 90.9 The Bridge, KKFI Kansas City community radio, Denny Perkins at Bob FM, Ken Dillon, Radio Margaritaville and anyone who has ever played a Nace Brothers song. Thank you!
I couldn’t go on without mentioning Brother David who does all the dirty work,; booking the gigs, driving like mad and bringing my songs to life.
I couldn’t have a better compadre and it could have never happen without him. (And he makes great fried chicken). He’s always got something good to say, the only time I’ve heard him stutter was last year
on the radio in Indiana when we were asked how long we intended to keep doing this. We looked at each other and David said not sure we’ve never been asked that question before. Whatcha gonna do? We’re
looking forward to the next million miles.
Just got home from Key West and as usual it was wild and crazy. The first night we got to town I went to see Nick Norman and the boys at the Lazy
Gecko. Before I could get a beer I had a guitar in my hand and was singing with Lewis Brice, (brother of Lee Brice). What a great time. We jammed every night after the gig. Wow, now that doesn’t happen
anywhere else. Thanks guys. Wednesday after a jog and some Con Leche, I was walking down Duval Street following the sounds of a sitar. On the corner was a person in a Spider-Man costume playing the Sitar.
Now that’s something you don’t see everyday, he was pretty good too. What a bad time to be caught without a camera. We’re going back in March maybe he’ll have some more super hero’s jamming with him.
I’ll keep you posted, it should be interesting. Until then keep the music playing… -jimmy
Alright it’s back to feelin’ good again. Had a great night at Knuckleheads and really felt like we blew the roof off. Thanks to everyone who showed
up and thanks for letting us play all our new songs. We’re getting together this week to learn some more new tunes. Going to work on “ She” by Gram Parson and “Everywhere you go” a new song of mine.
Trying to stay ahead of the game (which is impossible but we’re trying anyway). Would like to thank Dan Bliss for opening the show and putting on a guitar clinic last Saturday night I, think he’s great.
Also like to thank Frank Hicks for getting David and I on the Fish Fry. I’ve been listening to the Fish Fry for at least twenty years always wishing I could be on it some day and I finally got to.
And yes it was everything I thought it would be. We got interviewed by the legendary Chuck Haddock who definitely does his home work. Thanks again guys.
And right now things are good, so lets get to what’s on the horizon, New Years Eve. In case you didn’t know, this New Years Eve marks the Nace Bros.
Bands thirtieth year as a band that’s right 30th. We will be home to celebrate this milestone, and after thirty years in this screwed up business there’s nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.
So here’s the deal- we’re set to play at players lounge in our home town of Warrensburg, MO. $20.00 per person no reservations, doors open at 8pm, we will play our first set from 9:00 til 11:00 we will
come back at 11:20 and play til 1:00 something tells me champagne will be involved- then it’s over to the motel for a night cap. Players has great food and seating for 190 people which has been plenty in
the past and besides we couldn’t think of a better place to do it. We hope you will consider joining us for this very special occasion. Thanks and hope to see you there -jimmy
August is the official c.d. release party month. It started with WAMM fest Aug. 21st in Greenwood IN and moving on to Knuckleheads in K.C. MO Aug. 27th where we will be joined by good friend and guitar great Dan Bliss hope you can make it.
Well that was a wild week - tons of people, a little drama and some live music all adds up to some serious entertainment. It started with Nick Norman at the Trouser Mouse on Wednesday, August 9th. He has wild man guitar player and harmony singer from Key West FL, Caffeine Carl, and they sounded great. We jammed and had a great time then someone put pot brownies in the tip jar and some how they ended up in the hands of the boys in blue. I should just stop right there because everything turned out fine, the cops got the brownies and everyone was happy but man what a night.
The next night we started the state fair it was going great til Saturday and it went over the top. The most people I’ve ever seen in the Bud Tent. Jason Aldean came and listened for a while. He would have stayed longer but people finally started getting to him. It was still cool cause we gave him a c.d. Wonder if he listened to it?
The next Wednesday we left for Indy. It was a blast. We played a couple of tune up gigs and then WAMM Fest and once again the most people I’ve ever
seen at WAMM Fest. It was the best. Vic had this idea about jamming at the end and it worked out perfectly. We ended our set and then Jennie DeVoe, Phil Pierle, Mike Moore and Vic Koons all joined us
for the Jam. Our first song of the jam was The Weight and Jennie sang the Mavis Staple verse. That was cool, then she sang Runaway, the Bonnie Raitt version, she really brought the house down then Phil
sang Squeeze Box and we ended with Like a Rolling Stone and we all traded verses.
Such a great crowd yelling for more I was so high it was great and to top it off it was my birthday weekend so Vic had a
reception party for all of us afterwards and this is where it gets blurry. It all starts with not eating and then drinking til 2:30 in the morning I remember pouring Sangria in my vodka and talking to
Becky and Shelly until they went to bed. Then it hit me- queezy light headed and spinning like Saturn. Normally I could just hurl and feel better but this was different I just gagged for a couple hours
went to bed and woke up doing the same thing. David got me some water and a sandwich but I couldn’t get anything down. Shelly said “man you look green”. So now its time to drive home. T.J. rode with
Greta, Tim can’t really help and all I could do was hold my stomach and sit by the trash can in the van. So who gets stuck driving eight hours and doing all the work once again? My hero, Brother David.
I love you man. Monday I made it through a whole piece of pizza all is good. No more drinking for a while. I went from being on top of the world to being down and out in about five short hours.
Woke up today and felt pretty good. There were four big turkeys in the yard while I ate half of a peanut butter sandwich, that was cool, and then I took my chainsaw over to Mom’s house and cleared brush
for three hours trying to get my game face back on.
Working on some new riffs right now, getting ready for the Knuckleheads show. Gonna be hard to top WAMM Fest but if it can be done, Knuckleheads is the place to do it. I’m going to play with pride and give it everything I got. I owe it to myself and David to seriously blow roof off that dump. Come join us if you can it’s going to be good. -jimmy
5 o’clock Sunday July 24th at the Monserrat Winery, covered dishes welcome. More than just a birthday party it’s a celebration to honor the greatest person in our lives, our Mom! Please join us for the Ellen Nace family bar-b-q. For the woman who’s seen it all and loved every minute of it- she’s heard more bands in her basement than most people hear in a lifetime, she’s cooked more breakfasts than Country Kitchen and no one was ever turned down or turned away from our house. So many good times I couldn’t count them all if I tried.
I guess the earliest memory I have is waking up at eight years old and hearing my Dad and his friend Billy Cox playing acoustic guitars and Mom saying “be quiet they’re recording this one”. There was always lots of music, lots of freedom and lots of love and the greatest thing is not much has changed.
So I guess we’re having our first c.d. release party for our newest c.d. “Well Traveled Road” in Sedalia Mo July 23rd at Dickie Doo bar-b-q. It’s kind of a practice release party before the official release party on August 27th at Knuckleheads in K.C. MO. You know practice makes perfect so maybe by August we’ll have all these songs down perfectly. Well I would hope so anyway. Check it out if you can I’ve really been trying to reconnect with the slide guitar, it sounds pretty cool, I think you’re going to like it… jimmy
Blinding rain, benefits, good times, and music, music, music is about all that’s been going on. I guess you could say we’re just trying to do our part hoping that good karma will come back to us some time.
Easter Sunday in Fayettville playing a benefit for good friend Sara Renko, it rained so much the highway was closed. Even though we backed up to the door to load in everyone was soaked. I was grabbing my amp out of the van and there was Baby Jason saying, “give it here I got it”. For me that was a special moment. It’s not everyday an artist the caliber of baby Jason carries your amp in out of the rain, wow.
Then the benefit for Mark in Sedalia, Mo, it went well. They raised some money and Carlene and Becky won the bidding on a pair of Willie Nelson tickets. I told Mark this benefit is costing me money and he said he’d get even with me at the Bud tent this year at the Mo state fair so I’m looking forward to it.
One bright spot was the Rock House in Reeds Spring, MO. A full day of great music and hot sun, we love outside festivals. We want to go back in the Fall and play an acoustic show indoors. The food and hospitality was just great we haven’t been treated that good since we left Indianapolis.
Also looking forward to our annual Father’s Day tribute June 18th and 19th where we will be playing hardcore country music all night long just like Dad use to. I never thought I’d miss playing five nights a week in the same place but I do. At the time I just wanted to go on the road, play music and see the United States. Now that I’ve done that I’m ready to go back to Maxine’s and play five nights a week.
In 1975 Dad had a black 1973 Chevy Impala with Cragar wheels and dual exhaust. It was a sweet ride. I was thirteen and every night I would stand behind the band with an acoustic guitar that wasn’t plugged in and play along until I slowly got better. We would go home and I’d ask Dad to show me the Johnny B. Good riff a few more times before we went to bed and he would. We’d get up and feed the cows and stuff then Dad had to be at the radio station from noon til three for his radio show. One day we were so late they were playing his theme song (Buds Bounce) on the radio and we weren’t there yet. We flew down the black top all the way to town then started passing cars on the wrong side of the road we jumped a curb and skidded into the parking lot, jogged into the station in just enough time to hit the control room out of breathe and say welcome to the Johnny Nace show and then spun a record. The first thing he said was- “remind me never to do that again”, and then he said “that things got a motor in it doesn’t it?”. Ah the good ol’ days. No seat belts and hard core country music, I’m looking forward to Fathers day. Hope you come out and help us relive it, it’s pretty cool…jimmy
Gotta give a special thanks to KCPT for showing our documentary Lifelong Road Trip on t.v. They are a brave bunch and we do appreciate it. When you’re as independent as we are, you need all the help you can get. As I’ve said before it’s not the big time but it’s a good time. And we’ve had some real good times so far this year.
For me the acoustic set in the Retro Lounge at Knuckleheads was really cool. It was just David and I. You’re so close to the people and it’s so quiet in there I was kinda nervous. A friend of mine use to say the smaller the crowd the higher the I.Q. I don’t know if it’s true but if it is we have some very smart audiences.
We had a great time in Florida as well, playing every night of the week and drinking scotch with our good friends from England, Phil and Maryann.
When we got back we played a couple of weekends and were asked to fill in for Bob Walkenhorst at the Record Bar. He had just finished a new Rainmakers album in his new studio and was on tour in Norway. He is still the best songwriter at least for right now and I will stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say it if I need to. I’ll just have to wait for Steve Earl to get down. Anyway the record bar was packed and some of the people thought Bob Walkenhorst was going to be there. I kept telling David I was gonna write a song titled Bob Has Gone. It was a joke at the time but when I woke up the next morning it was still in my head so I wrote it. Next time we fill in for Bob I’ll play it for’em. Now you can listen to our Record Bar shows anytime you want, at Internet Archive.
Bob was kind enough to ask us to come over and do some recording some time on his new studio rig but we’ve been so busy trying to wrap up our new c.d. that we haven’t had time, but we will get there. Besides I’m already sick of this new one and it ain’t even out yet. Yes we have a new record in the can and right now I’m thinking that’s a good place for it. But we’ll get caught up and get it out hopefully sometime this summer. Just like filling up a bucket one drop at a time.
I have to say Bodie’s was the best sounding gig last month. We played for their 35th anniversary party and it was great. I mean 35 years, isn’t that some kind of world record? We had about 130 people and the place rocked. Cops were in the alley, the restrooms need repaired and the roof leaks a little but rock-n-roll must be played in the conditions that exist. 35 years one owner common-three cheers for Bodie’s! Thanks for the good times.
I'd like to say thanks to all the people that showed up for the living room set at Knuckleheads. I was a little nervous at first but managed to have some fun with it. Played a few new songs from the new c.d. that isn’t out yet. But someday it will be. Really.
We played in Hannibal, Mo with the Bel-airs a couple of months ago. The promoter was an old friend from Colombia, MO who use to own another bar we played. I didn’t remember him til I saw him that night and then it all came back to me. You’re the guy that bribed the waitress at breakfast one night with a 100 dollar bill so you could pour a bottle of champagne in the orange juice. That was pretty smooth at the time. Hang in there man Hannibal needs a good live music festival and you can’t go wrong with us and the Bel-airs.
We’re looking forward to playing with the Cate Brothers Band at the Cherokee Casino in West Siloam Springs, OK. Gonna get an adult dose of rhythm & blues that night. That’s one show you won’t want to miss.
So catch us when can for some good tunes and good times. Balance and moderation are great but sometimes you gotta go out and hear some live music just to get that human element back in focus. Let’s do it…jimmy
Wow that was a nice holiday season. It kinda started with our two smallest gigs back to back Magoons in St. Joe MO and Cheeseburger in Paradise in KCK. But like the saying goes size doesn’t matter. Those gigs rock, it’s all about the people. When they start moving tables so they can stand in front of you and watch close and hear what you’re hearing, it’s really cool. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to being part of the band and for a real music lover those tickets are priceless. Just another reason I love this job. One time before a gig I introduced two friends of mine who had never met. One lives in Indy and the other in D.C. I was hoping they would hit it off but you never know. I walked to the stage and play a couple of hours and when I came back to talk to’em they were exchanging quotes from John Wayne movies, some things just work out.
We went to happy hour at George’s a couple of weeks ago. After sound check I ran into the Giant Mountain Troll, he had a small box of lucky buckeyes. Not so long ago he had givin’ me one and I had the best happy hour set ever. I never missed a note and everything was in the groove. This time I picked my own, thinking it would be just what I needed to blow the roof off the place. But strangely enough I broke a sting on the first song and couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Half way through the set I looked at the Giant Mountain Troll, held up my hands and said, what happened? He said “it’s got to come from within” and pointed to his heart. Wow that was really cosmic. But now I know the power isn’t all in the buckeye.
Had a great Christmas show at Knuckleheads on our second set David played guitar and I played the mandolin on the song Wagon Wheel, when the song was over I jokingly said you wanna play your Christmas you wrote for Pilgrim Chapel? He said, no but he wouldn’t mind playing Merry Christmas From The Family by Robert Earl Keen. Next thing we knew we were right in the middle of it and to our surprise the crowd sang along with him. It was great. Spontaneity is cool when it works it will keep you on your toes.
The next night David and I played at Pilgrim Chapel with Danny Cox and Bob Walkenhorst. We played a new song of mine called Well Traveled Road and a Christmas song David had written especially for this occasion. The place was packed it was standing room only and we had to go on first. Man we were both nervous. We played our two songs and it went fine and it’s a good thing we went on first because when Danny Cox got done there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It’s like watching Al Green or something, he’s unbelievably great. And he makes a great snowman. We were just happy to be a part of their Christmas program. But honestly I’m ready to head south and bring in the New Year. Can’t wait to jam with Caffeine Carl and the boys Wednesday night after we get done at Margaretville. It should be good and hopefully warm and sunny. Oh yeah-happy holidays! jimmy
Now that was a great Thanksgiving. The Bel-Airs were great and the p.a. system was working perfectly and Bodie's had heat.
What more could we possibly ask for? When the Bel-Airs started I could hear every note, they played a song I hadn’t heard before called “It’s a Dirty Job But Somebody's Gotta Do It”
It was way cool, I don’t know how they keep coming up with these great songs. To top it off Henry Clay got up and hammered the blues with’em, singing and playing the harmonica then we took the stage.
Before we were finished they got up and we all played a few songs together including, “Everyday I have to Cry Some”.
Now that was a blast. I still got that song stuck in my head.
I went to Mom's at noon the next day and ate so much I couldn’t even eat a french dip at the Trouser Mouse that night.
Friday night we packed up and I kept telling Brad (the owner) I didn’t want to leave. He said we could stay and play Saturday but he couldn,t pay us cause he already had a band.
So I’m hoping next year three nights of rock Thanksgiving weekend at the Trouser Mouse.
This week we finished all the overdubs at the studio and we can start mixing it down next week.
I borrowed an electric 12 string Rickenbacher guitar from John Brandsguard to play on the song “Free”. Our producer Max Berry helped me carve out this really
cool 12 string riff that I would have never thought of on my own. I was totally happy listening to it on the way home. Max has been a great help with all the arrangements.
It really is a total group effort.
I guess more of the same isn’t a bad thing
but it could always be better. We’re still rolling along making the best of it. Our new record
is almost ready for the mixing stage, that’s when you get to sort out all the tracks you’ve laid
down and fine tune everything, always telling yourself less is more. Sometimes I wish we had
Quincy Jones or Rick Rubins producing our record but instead we have Kansas City’s own Max Berry
and the truth is we’ve never been happier. He’s got us doing things we’ve never done before.
He has a great ear for music and has helped a bunch with the arrangments. It’s by far the best
thing we’ve ever done.We feel like we’re at the top of our game with the best songs and performances
ever. As Henry Clay said after hearing a couple of our rough mixes “that’s the record you’ve wanted
to make for twenty years”. We finally did it. And when it’s over we won’t owe any record company a
huge amount of money we could never pay back. We can hardly wait for you all to hear it, but as
smooth as it’s going, it’s still gonna be a while before it’s released.
This summer was great but for the first
time in a long time we felt the crunch of the economy. We just try to stay focused and take the
music to the people the only way we know how. I think WAMM Fest was the best gig for me and I
can’t wait to get back to Indy. One highlight this summer that I can’t leave out was watching
brother David play drums for the Bel-Airs. It’s easy having a guy set in on the guitar or a
lead instrument for a song or two but nothing changes the sound or the feel of a band more than
the drummer. So when we found out Mike Cherry couldn’t be there that night we started to wonder
what was gonna happen. Looking back I don’t think David gave it a second thought. He wanted to
do it. He sat down and played just like Mike would have. He has a live bootleg c.d. of the Bel-Airs
that he listens to from time to time so we knew he could do it. It was just a question of which
songs would give him trouble. And the answer was...none of them. The endings and kick offs
were tight and he totally whipped the hell out of it. At one point in between songs I heard
him ask how do you want the tempo on this? Dave Pruit the guitarist said “frantic teen”, you
know that frantic teen beat. They nailed some wild sounding sixtys soul song I had never heard.
Wow, now that was cool.
Had a great birthday at WAMM Fest in Indy.
Lots of art, a big stage, lots of people, a great p.a. system...the best part of all, friends
from all over, some that I hardly ever get to see, were there. Jennie Devoe, the Woomblies, and
Tastes Like Chicken, all that musical talent and no ego. I think my favorite part of the day was
when the sun came out right as David was singing the sunlight took a long time to come. Now that
was cool. Thanks everybody, especially Vic, for having the festival in the city of Greenwood,
Indiana. Probably shouldn’t mention the pool party or jam session. What I remember of it is
truly great, it just never happens often enough anymore. I guess that’s why it means so much.
It is something that money can’t buy.
Unlike the MO State Fair where some girl
from Iowa is telling everyone she’s from Nashville and that she has a number 1 record but for some
reason no ones ever heard of her and she’s butchering Waylon songs. Maybe the people in Austin
are right-Nashville sucks. (you knew I had to say it) For me the state fair doesn’t rock til
9:00. After 13 years of playing at the Bud tent we would like to thank them all for having us
back, it really is a great gig. This year was special because we were given our own handicapped
parking sign. Thanks guys it sucks getting old.
Got rained out last Friday night at the
Olathe concert series. We were scheduled to play with Kelly Hunt and everything was going great.
We listened to her sound check and she was great as always but as we were setting up the clouds
started rolling in. It was a real let down, this venue is really cool and these concerts are free.
It just gets bigger and better every year. There’s only one obsticle that can keep you down and
it got us this time and a hard rain did fall.
The next day we went to Bogart Music
Festival, another great set up my personal favorite, as a matter of fact. The only thing was
that after a little rain the heat index shot up to 110. It was still a great time they had a
fish fry and pretty much anything you need but after a couple of days of over indulging you
needed a generator and a motor home with a giant air conditioner to sleep out there. Before
our set we presented the owner with a custom made Hawiian shirt. One of the good ones from
mega-low mart. I had been trying to write this song about my good friend Brandon who just
got divorced and the only line I had to start it with was,”Just a Dream We Were Livin’”.
So I thought we should write that on the back of Craig’s shirt. So I turned it over to
Carlene and she brought it to life for me, now that’s what I call customized.
And I did finish the song I was writing about Brandon, I got a lot of use out of that line.
Anyway the show was outstanding. It’s not everyday you get Billy Ebeling and the Bel-Airs
to open a show for you at Ceder Hills Ampitheatre. Looking forward to next year.
Another 4th of July in Key West and I have to
say it was the best one yet. Getting there was a little tricky we had a flat tire in East St.
Louis and that’s never good but luckily our experience at Panther Racing paid off and we
changed the tire in 9.7 seconds. And were back on the road.
We were going out of our way not to gas
up at any BP stations. Once we stopped in Lake City FL about 7:30 am and waited in line to get
gas with everyone else doing the same while a giant BP station sat empty across the street with
no customers. We’d never seen anything like that yet but people were patient and willing to wait.
When we got there David cleaned the
shower floor in the band apartment and we went to Margaritaville to set up and began breaking
in the new sound man (he’s gettin’ there). Wednesday night after the gig we got to jam with
Caffine Carl at the martini bar, Thursday night after the bar we also got to jam with the Coal
Men at the Hogs Breath Saloon but once again the best jam of all was at George and Shauna’s
hotel room. Playing funny little songs with our friends and laughing til we had tears. Now
that’s what makes life worth living.
The music really does help bring
people together. Scotty B. and Sal have the best party songs I’ve ever heard. Thanks guys.
Another thanks to everyone who made the trip it would really be boring without you. And a big congrats
to Chris on catching a 125 pound Tarpon. And we’re glad Pete didn’t become the southern most
We’ll be in your neighborhood soon for
WAMM Fest in Greenwood, Indiana on my birthday weekend August 21st (also refered to as Jim Jam).
We get to hear all our favorite Indiana bands like the Womblies and Taste Like Chicken.
This is always a great party, lots of arts and crafts and micro brew and food.
A couple weeks ago we played the early
set at a casino in Joplin. The band after us was Live Wire they had a bus and a manager and an
investor. And most of all they had the attitude. Which usually means they’re not very good and
probably will get a record deal. But they’re music wasn’t bad, what really stood out was the way
they treated each other. I wached them load they’re equipment in. The bass player could hardly
get his amp up the stairs to the stage. While the fiddle player stood in front of him and drank a
bottle of water refusing to help like everyone else in his band. Now that has to be up there with
some of the best self centered arrogance I’ve ever seen. I just can’t imagine not helping one of my
band mates carry his equipment. And they’re never gonna be able to change a tire in 9.7 seconds.
Roots of steel was great. We love keeping
Dad’s music alive. Maxine and Mom were both at the Sedalia show and we talked about having a
Maxine’s reunion gig. We talked about other stuff too but we can’t tell everything. Ah the good
Looking forward to Knuckleheads on July
30 with the Bel Airs and Earl and Them. It’s not everyday you get to jam with the two greatest
guitar players in the world, Dave Pruit and Earl Cate. Sweet deal. Can your heart take that
much soulful guitar? Yes! Lets do it.
Hope to see you there. Jimmy
Wow, what have I been doing? Besides trying to get use to saying 2010 and keeping a positive
outlook on the future. We’ve had more gigs cancelled because of snow this year than we’ve ever
had, but technically we still have never missed a gig. Had a great time jammin’ with Seth Walker
at Knuckleheads. It was another cold and rainy night on the poor side of town but I have to say we
blew the roof off the dump. Seth is a great singer and songwriter. He played an hour by himself
and then we played. We were setting up and he said does your amp have two channels so we can jam
and I knew right then we were gonna have some fun. Its always great playing music with someone of
that caliber. We were falling into those twin guitar parts like we had practiced or something.
Now that makes my day. I think the people can see the musical spirits come together. When it
clicks spontaneously there’s nothing better.
We just played Bodie’s Flip City and it’s still my favorite gig. It sounds great and everyone
is so comfortable. That whole musical freedom thing is the greatest. Beer is cheap and the dance
floor is big. Not to mention it was Bodie’s 34th anniversary. The same owner for 34 years thats
got to be some kind of record. Mully told me back in 1978 Diamond Jim played happy hour and made
a thousand dollars. I ask him how much they were charging to get in and he said fifty cents.
He said it was a pain counting all those quarters but they really didn’t mind.
We just played at Players 20 year anniversary and it really went well even though the weather was
awful. The next day there was a big add in the paper with our picture showing what a great place
it is. The Bud man came and gave away beer, they even gave the owner a big eagle trophy for all
the years of service. I was just thinking if Bodie’s is still standing next year maybe he’ll get
a trophy and a write up in the paper. You never know they might even have hot running water and
extra toilet paper in the bathroom next year.
New Years Eve in Key West was great . Hope to do it again next year but don’t know yet. I was
walking back to my room after closing down The Green Parrot, at about 5:00 a.m. January 1st
thinking, where can I go? I was close to Wal-Greens so I thought I’d go in and look at the
doughnuts. I heard this wild piano sound on the street. I looked up and T.J. was playing an
upright piano and singing like Tom Waits. There was a bottle of liquor on the piano so I thought,
“maybe the doughnut viewing can wait”. There were about five hippie kids and a couple of homeless
looking people hanging out listening to him, so naturally I fit right in. He even had a few dollars
in tips scattered across the piano. It was fun but I still don’t know how they got a real piano
out there. I made it back to my room and woke up to the sound of the vacuum cleaner banging into
my door at about 9:oo a.m. Now that’s what I call a successful New Years Eve.
Things are starting to look up, we have a lot of new songs and we’re gonna start trying them out
on you. It might be a little while but we are making a new record. Maybe this new record will
shoot up to 103 on the Americana Charts like the last one did. I guess it didn’t hurt but those
charts seem pretty worthless to me. Kinda like the rest of this business, sometimes the best gigs
don’t pay a thing and the weird casino gigs make up for it.
That benefit for Greg Camp at the Uptown in K.C. was a perfect example. Greg was a great guy and
poured his heart and soul into his music. He deserved it and he would have done it for me. It was
great to see the Jolly Brothers back in full force. They’re a powerful band, a rolling party with
a big entourage and that may have been what lead to their demise. But the real show stealers were
Brewer & Shipley. I guess I forgot how great they are. Their songs and harmonies gave me chills.
It was all for Greg and nobody made any money but I’m sure the owner made out alright, the place
was packed. And it really was a great time.
I did have a great gig with Mick Luehrman at Players in Warrensburg. Brother David came and sang a
couple of tunes with us. Mick and I had three rehersals before the gig. I thought it was the best
we ever sounded. It was free to get in and we had 65 people in attendance. We wanted to do it
again on Valentine’s day because it seemed like such a good deal for everyone but it just didn’t
happen. Oh well,
Keep on keepin’ on.
Looking forward to May 30th at the Redneck Country Club in Holden, MO. There’s nothing better than
playing a gig with all of your best friends. In my case that’s Rex Elkins and the Pilgrims.
They’re really cool and so is the set up. One of the best things is the camping area. But the golf
course is cool too. We can do it all at the Redneck Country Club. So ya’ll be sure and check it
Hoping to hit the highway and pick up the pace a little bit this summer. Still trying to take the
the people, that’s what we do. We’re not free but we’re reasonable.
So don’t be a stranger.
What a great summer. I don’t know where
to start but I had the greatest birthday of all time. We got to play at WAMM Fest in Indianapolis
with the worlds greatest dance band Tastes Like
Chicken. The crowd was great and the promoter, our
good friend Vic, had a big party for all of us afterwards at his house. They had a big birthday
cake and they all sang happy birthday to me. I can’t remember the last time that happened to me.
Maybe it was the liquor but I got a little choked up. It was a little cool outside but I jumped
in the pool anyway. Just in case I didn’t say it, thanks everyone for the greatest birthday of
Went to Branson after that and what can I
say, my how things change. We played to a bunch of people in front of Lake Taneycomo with piro
teckniques going off behind us and when people started to dance they made them sit down. That was
different but the production was over the top in typical Branson fashion.
After that we went to Bikes, Blues & BBQ in
Fayetteville, AR. The first night we opened up for Blackfoot & Molly Hatchet. When we arrived at
the backstage area we saw a giant bus with Gibson written on the side. Gibson was giving tours
through the bus promoting and trying to sell stuff. We started to set up. We could see the Gibson rep. and he could see us. He was smoking a cigar and wearing a big Gibson t-shirt. So the first thing I did after noticing there were no real Gibson guitars on stage, only cheap japanese replicas, was whip out my Doug Whitney custom shop Gibson Les Paul. Immediatly road managers and road crew guitar techs I had seen talking to the Gibson rep were all asking me about it. Everyone but the big guy from Gibson. I kept thinking he would at least take a look at it or invite me to go on the bus and check out his stuff. Later on, during our set, David said “Jimmys gonna play the Les Paul on a couple of songs”. The crew guys all came over to my side of the stage. I played Soul Shine and Rock Bottom and I gassed it. The guys loved it and I could see the Gibson rep from across the pavilion. We ended our set and I had to take it back out of the case for all the guys in Blackfoot to see, they were really cool, everyone was, except the Gibson rep. You know jealousy can eat you alive if you let it, Gibson man.
Damn that felt good.
We had a great jam at Knuckleheads with the
Bel-airs and Earl & ‘em. It’s like one big family reunion with all the love and respect that we
all have for each other. There are times when I’m closer to them than my own family. They’ve been
through everything we’ve been through and we all try to help each other. Then there’s those moments
of magic that always happen with the music that make it all worth while. Like when I was playing
with Earl&’em. I was standing by Jason, both of us playing rhythm behind Earls solo, I said damn
sounds like Chet Atkins and almost simutaneously we looked at each other and said Chet wishes.
Next thing you know we’re loadin’ our stuff out the back door talking about doing it again. We
all gathered ‘round the piano while T.J. played an old time gospel number and Dick Pruet downed
the last of the Patron. What a great party.
I really wanna thank everyone who came out
to Tiger Jacks Red Neck Country Club. What a beautiful set up, it was just a little to cold. I
guess it’s never to cold to rock-n-roll. Especially when you have the Pilgrims opening up the
show. I hope everybody got a big dose of Rex Elkins and the boys because I have to say they burnt
that barn down. We’re already talking about doing it again next year when it’s warm. Rex and I
were just saying we should start earlier and quit later. Now thats a good plan.
Man, do I have a news flash for you, this
just in, the Cate Brothers and the Nace Brothers share the stage for two nights December 13th & 14th at the
Cherokee Casino in Siloam Springs, AR. Don’t that make your big toe shoot up in your boot. I’m
not a casino type guy but this one is pretty cool. The good thing about this is that the casino
spent thousands on the sound system. The staging and lighting is state of the art. And with our
good friend Boochie piloting the ship, it will sound crystal clear. For me it’s like listening
We just got word that Margaritaville wants
us back again for New Year’s Eve and yes we are more than happy to accommodate their needs. Why not,
eighty and sunny is always a good way to start the New Year. If it’s anything like last year,
it’ll be great.
Looking forward to Mom’s birthday party
August 2nd at the Montserrat Vineyard Winery around 5:oo. Our friends Paul and Juggy will be
bar-b-qing a hog and we’ll be playing some music, so come say hi to Mom. She’ll be 75 this year.
Then we’ll be playing a gig with song
writing partner Rex Elkins of The Pilgrims. The Pilgrims will be opening for us at the Redneck
Country Club in Holden, MO - Saturday October 3rd around 8:00. If you haven’t seen the Pilgrims,
now’s your chance. It's sure to be a blast (Holdens best kept secret).
We just finished a week in Key West at Margaritaville during the
4th of July and it was the best time
we’ve had yet. I know I say that every time but this time it was nonstop music. Good friends, good times,Trudy’s birthday
and lots of serious jammin’. I gotta thank Caffeine Carl for letting us crash his gig at Virgilio’s
Wednesday night, it was a blast and he is playing better and faster than ever. That’s why he’s
Caffeine Carl. Hope to do it again next time around. Also my newest favorite band from Nashville
the Coal Men, what a great sound and style they have. So where do you think we were Thursday night
from 1:00 til 2:00? Yep, jammin’ at the Hogs Breath Saloon with the Coal Men. I even had my own
personal security and entourage. Special thanks to George (aka the Big Indian) for carrying my
amp down there and back. That’s a long haul. Friday night after the gig T.J. and I had a rehearsal
for our upcoming show at Cheeseburger in Paradise on July 25th. We decided that writing chord
charts and time signatures isn’t as much fun as partying with our friends after the gig. So after
a few songs we said, “hey lets just wing it at Cheeseburger”. We left the rehearsal and met up
with David, Dan, Pattie, Eric and Andrea. They were drinking beer and eating wings across the
street. The next day the Big Indian was having a party at his condo. So we all went over to jam
and have a free lunch. What do think they were having? Thats right more wings. We played a few
songs and my good friend Scotty B. grabbed the guitar. He played a song he wrote called “My
Buddies”. It was great and he had everyone laughing. Then our good friend Sal took the guitar
and he brought the house down with a song called “Charlie Browns Blues”. I felt bad, my songs
weren’t funny at all. Their songs were funny, I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt.
We finished our last night and got packed up.
We went to get gas at Dion’s and what do you think they had on the hot bar, thats right...wings.
It was a great trip but it’s good to be home, maybe we can go out for some pizza.
Hope to see you somewhere along the way. -Jimmy
The Emergency Circus by T.J. Erhardt
Sunday night. The band has played the whole week in Marg'ville to a smallish and reasonably polite crowd. A double handful of our fans from different places, a buttload of tired tourists and a pinch of crazy but harmless conchs honking harmonicas in the wrong key. You've been there; you know. This particular Sunday was shaping up to be one of those particular Sundays.
By the way, playing for two hours and being done by 11:30 has proven to be a dangerous set of circumstances for me. I just don't really need that extra couple of hours running around the island without supervision. You've seen me; you know. Forty minutes into the set, my head is down with my hair in my eyes and I'm in the middle of the solo to "Walkin' To My Baby" when the music stops cold. I keep playing, thinking Oooh, cool, new breaks. But the boys don't pick back up. What the hell?
I look up(still playing)to see a big guy with a big Mustache intently gesturing to halt the music. Oooh, great, I'm sure that it's his girlfriend's birthday and he's gonna make us play a song we don't like and try to give us five bucks and never ever ever leave us alone until we do it. Dave isn't buying my mental explanation and waves the man forward. "What's the deal?". We hear "There's been a report of a fire somewhere in the building and I need everybody out until we find it." A fire truck is parked to the right of the front door. Ahh, ok, the teriyaki chicken got overdone and none of the cooks will own up to it. Dave makes a reassuring announcement to the crowd and we gradually meander toward the door behind them, guitars and squeezebox in hand. By the way, the fire truck siren is in the key of E.
I arrive at the door to see a much larger crowd (cell phones and cameras in hand) gathering round to join the hubub. The sudden appearance of two more fire trucks to our right and a cop car on our left add a bit more urgency to to the scene. The suggestion of smoke crosses my nose, and it smells nothing like teriyaki chicken. It's the stench of several storefronts on fire, right next door. Hey, there might be something to this. Mustache Man commands that we EVACUATE THE STREET NOW.
This hits the panic button. Grab the gear, boys. We are now a three-ringed Emergency Circus. We jump back inside past the now stridently yelling fire marshal (Mustache Man). In the blur of a few minutes we dismantle the stage, handing amps and instruments to people we don't know. They have bravely and miraculously appeared with open hands and bright eyes saying "Does this go?" "This?" "This ready?" Now we've had to get stuff off a stage in a hurry before at big festivals and such (J--- H---tt's on in two minutes y'all--move it.) and usually have busy, greasy, smelly well-tattooed roadies that help. You've smelled 'em; you know. You can trust that smell. Finally I'm a little concerned. Who are you and where are you going with that piano? Most but not all of the gear is now on the sidewalk, and the Emergency Circus takes a collective breath.
Police tape comes out. A lot of it. Presidential-Inauguration-Parade-Block-Off-Everything amounts of the stuff. In three heartbeats the Emergency Circus is on the wrong side of the Law.
The Law doesn't care what you have in your hands when the Law wants you to move.
Officer:"Drop that stuff and MOVE!"
EC Ringleader: "No, man, this is my livelihood."
Officer :"Then I WILL take you to JAIL".
EC Ringleader:"Great, man, got room for my drums in the squad car?"
Waco Bob, our doorman, is the last man under the tape. After juggling equipment for the Circus, he ran back to the palm tree directly in front of the club to unlock and rescue his custom ConchCruiser bike .
(That's conchcruiserbikes.com folks, check it out. Bob makes 'em. They're worth rescuing.) The rest of the Emergency Circus is trying to get all the clowns back in the little car and move across the street when BAH-WHOOHMP. The flames inside the storefront that sells crepes and ice cream ignite a propane tank. The fireball shrieked and rushed forward like drink-dropping sorority chicks toward a dance floor at the kickoff of "Brown Eyed Girl". With surprisingly similar results; the crowd winces and ducks but stands, not moving itself to a safe distance despite the flying glass. This is serious. I think Waco Bob lost some hair.
We mostly end up on the sidewalk in front of the Ghost Tour office. The flames leaping from the roof at the back of the building are more than just visible through the heavy stinging smoke. Several times over the course of the next two hours firefighters would come walking out through the haze. Each time I think ok, they're winding it up. The firemen walked calmly to the pumper truck, exchanged O2 tanks, and calmly threw themselves back into the boiling fire. I calmly vowed to never become a firefighter, no matter how badass that looked.I play in a band. I can get chicks. Real-life action heroes, these guys.
The sidewalk begins to resemble high ground during a wilderness disaster. Disparate species trying their best not to eat each other. Vagrants tussling over who gave whom that last half a cigarette. Tourists pulling suitcases from cars blocked in by dozens of hoses. Locals staring wistfully at their scooters inches away impounded by impassable streamers of yellow tape. Red-eyed and coughing (from the fire, people, really) Jimmy schmoozes a cop (I know! Jimmy! Schmoozing cops!) to let us bring the van to the end of the block. The rumor is that it will be days before anyone gets back in to the building, so we load up what we had dragged out. I hear Tim thank someone for the beer. How does that guy find a beer next to a four-alarm fire? Charming bastard, anyway.
The Emergency Circus begins to disband as its members trust that the band will survive. A huge shout-out to the Louisiana folks, our hard-core fans from the UK, the staff and mgmnt. of Margville and Ghost Tour Jay. The boys in the office are shipping most of what we left behind out to us; some replaceable gear, a bunch of dirty laundry and my damned cell phone. What we most regret leaving behind is the concern and goodwill of beautiful strangers and the down-and-dirty help of true friends. I can guarantee that we'll be back to pick those things up, come fire, hell, or high water.
We know; we're doing it. -T.J.
What a great time in Indy. Diane and Pete cooked for us, Vick took us to a Pacers game, and I
drank all Dan’s beer and liquor. Isn’t that what friends are for? The Pacers game was great.
They beat the Miami Heat and Dunleavy had 30 points. It was the closest I’ve ever been to court.
Vick’s tickets were on the second row right behind Jack Nicholson. What a treat. Thank you Vick.
Now lets talk about the half time show. Those two Russian acrobats wearing nothing but body paint
and G strings doing push ups on each other. I know it takes some skill but that was a little off
the wall. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. We made it back to the gig and met up
with the rest of our friends. We made plans to party at Vick’s house the next day. Pete and Diane
cooked and once again it was unbelievable. Red sauce and road kill falling off the bone. Food
that’s dripping with love. We were ridin’ high, feelin’ like rock stars then we had to go back and
play at the casino. No drums, no monitors, no nothing. It sounded funky. As far as casino gigs
in my opinion that was the worst one yet. But that money spent real good when I got home. Once I
started stealing Dan’s beer and liquor I felt a little better about it. I can’t wait to get back.
I’m ready for the Indy 500. Vick is organizing a festival for the city of Greenwood in August.
So if everything works out we’ll be seeing everyone real soon. I guess all I can say is thanks.
That gig might have been torture without you. You’re the best family a band could ever ask for.
A couple of weeks ago at the Trouser Mouse
bar we were playing our usual gig when a couple came up and said we want to get married. I didn’t
think much about it til they said no we mean right here right now. And they were not kidding. So
for the first time in the history of the Nace Bros. Band, a couple got married in the bar at the
gig between songs. Then we played a song for them. It really worked out rather well. No rehersal
or warning or anything like that. It just worked out. I guess it was meant to be. Think they’re
still together? Just kidding.
You know this Christmas was the best ever.
I say that every year but I can’t see this one being surpassed. Everything seemed normal and our
family had made this pact not to spend a bunch of money on each other. We all already have
everything we would ever need accept maybe a Les Paul from the Gibson custom shop. But who could
afford something like that. Besides I’ve been beating this old Telecaster so long it’s about the
only thing I know how to play. I drew Becky’s name and got her a bottle of Milagro tequila. That
made my shopping easy. We were all going to Mom’s on Christmas day for fried chicken. Nothing
says love like Mom’s fried chicken, it’s the best in the world.
Everything was set. Dec. 23rd our last gig
before Christmas we were playing at Knucklehead’s in K.C. The weather was bad with a little bit of
sleet and snow. We got there early and set up. About that time my good friend Doug Whitney showed
up carrying a guitar and a Christmas card. Stamped on the guitar case was a logo that said Gibson
since 1894. We said Hi like we always do and he said here I want you to have this and handed me
the case. I opened it up and it was a Gibson Les Paul from the Gibson custom shop. It had a red
flamed maple top and a chambered mahogany body. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I
just thought he wanted me to play it for the night. He handed me the card and inside was a poem he
had written. It read ”Christmas day is almost here when good friends raise a cup of cheer - and
sing and dance the night away as we all watch the Nace Brothers play - I wish them all the best of
times I consider them good friends of mine - so this gift I give on Christmas day so Jimmy can have
a red Les Paul to play.” I didn’t know what to say. He said you don’t have to say anything I
just wanted you to have it. It’s still hard to believe that it’s actually mine. The only way to
descibe the way it makes me feel are by hearing the notes that come out the amp when I’m playing it.
That’s the reflection of my soul. That point in the night when you’re lost in the groove and it’s
almost like the guitar is playing you. That’s what I live for. So thank you Doug for making life
a little bit sweeter. I hope I’m worthy.
Happy New Year
I guess Happy New Year doesn’t really
describe it very well. That was the greatest New Years Eve party of all time and defintley the
warmest. I gotta say thanks to everyone who made the trip. I know it wasn’t that easy, times are
tough and everything is over priced in Key West on New Years Eve. Thanks for making our trip a
success, power to the people.
We came back home built a fire, did some
laundry and went back to work. We had to play a couple of gigs without T. J., he wasn’t in rehab
he was just visiting his Mom in California. We were a little nervous but it went surprisingly well.
It was twenty degrees and blowing snow but the people still came. Bob Walkenhorst was great and
we had the big monster jam at the end. I got to play slide on the song “Down Stream”, one of my all
The next night was in Sedalia at
Dickie-Doo-Bar-b-que. A“Roots of Steel” show with Brad Rigby on the steel guitar. It was
fifteen degrees with gusting winds, but the joint was packed. It’s not very often that people
fall over your equipment on a Roots of Steel gig but this was an acception. This usually older
mellower crowd must have had a serious flashback. Ghostly back stabbin’, ass grabbin’, hard core
country music at it’s best. I kinda felt sorry for the lady who yelled out Mustang Sally. But as
for the girl who grabbed the back of Carla’s hair and bit her on the neck, that’s a different story.
I found myself drinking fire water playing the acoustic guitar with Darrel Granfield at 2:00 a.m.
just wishing T. J. would come back and load my equipment. Wow what a night.
Thanks for supporting our music and don’t
forget to check out that new dvd. Power to the people, thats more like it. -jimmy
Hey Bo Diddley
Well I’m sorry to say we’ve lost another
rock-n-roll legend, the great Bo Diddley. But it brings back great memories of the two gigs we
did together. I can’t think of anyone who is musically more famous. Almost any musician, anywhere,
knows what you mean when you say “play that Bo Diddley beat”. From the first moment we met him he
was never out of character. It wasn’t an act. What you saw was what you got. He was a big black
man with a badge on his hat who was matter of fact and didn’t hesitate to scold me at our first
sound check/rehearsal for not playing what he wanted. I had practiced a bunch of his songs so I
would be ready for the gig. About half way though the first song we were practicing, he stopped
the band and singled me out. He said “don’t play what I’m playing, that’s my riff. Just be
yourself”. It was a little intimidating,to say the least. From that moment on I played around
what he played with counter rhythms and melodies and it worked out fine. The gigs were sold out
and it was great. The last day we ate lunch with Bo (bar-b-qed chicken) and talked about doing
it again when he came back. But that would be the last time we would ever see him. It really
makes you feel lucky, not many people can say they hammered the blues and ate bar-b-qed chicken
with Bo Diddley. Thanks Bo, your beat will rock on forever.
Well I must say the Indy 500 was over top
this year. Hats off to Panther racing, who finished 2nd and almost won it. What a rush. We were
all jumping up and down for those last few laps. If you’re going to be a garage band...The Indy
500 is the place to do it. I even got to ride in the two seat Indy car. And to top it off I got
to meet Jim Nabors. There’s nothing like hopping in an Indy car with Davey Hamilton and going
181 mph down the back stretch. Then meeting the man who sang back home in Indiana before the race
for the last 30 or 40 years. The mans a legend. Once again I feel luckier than hell.
Thank you John and Jane Barnes, without whom none of this would have been possible. Thanks for shining your
light on us. There are truely some things that money can’t buy. I’ll say it again, “it’s the best
time I ever had with my clothes on”.
Now Patty doesn’t have to ask me if I know how lucky I am anymore.
We’re all very grateful. Now lets turn around and do it all over again. I don’t know if my heart
can take it. I also need to thank Vic who keeps us going with his great American Spirit. Thanks
for the pizza by the pool and the jam at the house. Lets keep our Indiana family together the only
way we know how. With love, music and whatever Diane wants to cook.
Til we meet again.