Don't Mess With Texas

Got a few photos from my trip back home to Houston/Austin posted on the site. All the usual suspects that I played with before- Kenny Palyola, Todd Moore, J.J. Barrera and Don Leady. Former FCCJ entertainment director Glen Davis who moved back home last year also makes an appearance. The whole week I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, "...there's no place like home..." I can't believe it was seven years since I had been back to Texas. It was surreal, most things were exactly the same as I remembered as if it had been sitting there just waiting for me to show up again. One of the highlights was recording a little guitar boogie with Don Leady. I've been listening to the Tailgators since I was 15 and greasing back my hair. Don has been one of my favorite guitarists for as long as I've been playing and I made it a point to look him up when I lived in Austin and stay in touch when I moved away. I originally went to see him for a guitar lesson and he wanted to record together. All I could think was, "this is the coolest." The next evening I caught my old friend Joe Slezak -a Jazz drummer my age that I grew up with- playing at Ovation's with his dad Larry Slezak and Clayton Dyess. Larry still burns something fierce, there ain't another sax player on Earth like him. Clayton, who cut an Ep with my dad back in '84, still sounds as good as ever. Another high point was sitting in with Kenny Palyola's trio on a gig at Iron Cactus BBQ in Sargeant, TX. When I lived in Austin I spent time in Kenny's group and really honed my Blues chops. Most of the material from SCI-FI DINER got its stage-legs while gigging with Kenny & The Bluesmen. We parted ways, and I moved away, but eventually got back in touch. He's got a smokin' trio now, drummer Andy Rogers reminds me of Bill Concello and I swear to God (and three other white men) guitarist Eric Dane is Tom Wait's offspring -he's got the voice and the character. He also _burns_ on the six-string. I played a few tunes with them as a trio until he jumped back on the stage and we finished out the night as a 4-piece. It was like therapy for me. I've played with some good musicians over the years but with Houston Blues cats there's an ethos, an unspoken understanding of how things are done and it's real easy for me to just fall in with those cats and groove. And while the band played the girls partied, which is a whole other story!