11th Street Cowboy Bar - The Biggest Little Bar In Texas, serving up beer and country western swing music in Bandera, Texas

The Cowbillys
Photo courtesy of www.cowbillymusic.com.
Photo courtesy of www.cowbillymusic.com.

The Cowbillys
Courtesy of www.cowbillymusic.com.

I began my musical journey on a farm in Tennessee, about 90 miles southeast of Nashville.

My dad had brought an old Harmony flattop guitar home from Korea where he was stationed during the war. It had a severely bowed neck but I learned to play chords in the first position.

I never took lessons but just accompanied myself singing the songs of the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Denver and James Taylor.

I didn't develop an appreciation for country music until much later although my dad played it constantly on the radio every morning. He usually listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night.

By the time I was 14, you never saw me too far from a guitar. My friends and I formed a band in junior high school and played a few gigs at parties and whatever we could get through our parents work and friends.

I remember one of our first gigs was a dance for a correctional school for girls. "The guards literally locked us and the inmates in the gym along with a load of visiting male inmates brought there for the dance." Talk about your captive audience!

I continued to expand my repertoire through high school, mostly to impress chicks. Of course,we always sang in church, since I can remember, so I knew a lot of songs from the Old Southern Gospel Hymnbooks.

I went to college in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where I formed a bluegrass trio. I had also grown up hearing and singing traditional bluegrass music. We played in a little place called the Filling Station where they served draft beer and sub sandwiches, We made $25 dollars a night and all we wanted to eat and drink.

After college I enlisted in the Air Force, all the while continuing to play music. My first assignment was Austin, Texas about the time Waylon & Willie and the progressive country music movement was hitting. So I got a cowboy hat with feathers on it and started playing outlaw country music.

The USAF sent me to Italy and I played there too. My overseas performances have included concerts in Aviano and Portenone, Italy, the Nice Country Music Festival in Nice, France and a live broadcast on Italian radio "Senso Unico".

I married a Texas girl and we stayed in Austin when I got out of the service. My wife, Dorene, and I have been married going on 27 years and have three children. We have two sons, Lukas and Jeremy and a daughter, Dorianne. The kids and I play music and sing together whenever we can.

I had several bands in Austin that were able to tour the southwest. I toured with George Strait and Aaron Barker, and have shared the stage with many stars of country music including Reba McIntyre, Earl Thomas Conley,Johnny Rodriguez, the Belamy Brothers, Eddy Raven, Augie Meyers, Dottsy, Becky Hobbs, David Wills, Larry Gatlin, Johnny Bush and Rockin' Sidney.

I now make my home in Bandera, Texas, as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. So I have been performing about 30 years in a variety of venues and musical genres including everything from performing as a single songwriter to writing, producing and recording a movie score as well as acting as an extra in "Texas Silver Zephyr" filmed in and around Austin.

I performed with western swing fiddler Alvin Crow in conjunction with Crow's Floresville community residency program in 2002.

I currently work with the band "Drugstore Cowboys", a country/rock group based in San Antonio, Texas. I also perform as a single in various venues around the Texas Hill Country including 'Cowboy Suppers' at the Mayan Dude Ranch and the Flying L Guest ranches in Bandera, Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne and in many San Antonio schools as part of their Western Days enrichment programs .

My singing cowboy history program has taken me to children's museums in Houston, Austin and San Antonio as part of the "Bandera on the Road" tourism program.

I have been writing songs since my college days and have had songs recorded by the Almost Patsy Cline Band, the Drugstore Cowboys, the Carolina Band, Donny D. Williams, the Family Tradition, Roadway, Southern Exposure and Steiner Albrightsen of Norway.

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