Monday, November 9, 2009

Texas Big Beat!

On Sunday, November 1st, I had the opportunity to take part in Houston's "Texas Big Beat!" put on by the Houston's Percussion Center and is an event setup for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it's a charity fundraiser for the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation to help keep music programs in schools, and secondly for the Cherish Our Children International organization. To learn about either of these charities, visit them online at: and

"Feeling it" alongside Herman and the rest of the crowd in Houston!

Secondly, the event serves as a gathering of drummers who annually make it their goal to break the Guinness Book world record for the most drummers playing along to the same beat at the same time for a period of 5 minutes. This means that roughly 200 drummers gathered together on that Sunday in a warehouse near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport just north of Houston. I think I may have seen every conceivable type of drumkit ever made! Drummers both young and old, experienced and inexperienced had an incredible afternoon of hanging out, talking, checking out gear, and most of all -- drumming! I was honored to be there representing Ludwig drums alongside Barry "Frosty" Smith, and the 3 featured artists of the afternoon, drumming phenom Rick Latham, groove king Herman Matthews (a Houston native), and Texas's own Chris Layton! (As in Stevie Ray Vaughn?)

Hanging with my new pal Herman Matthews!

What an amazing show of talent these artists displayed and made the afternoon so much fun! I had met Chris on a few occasions before and it was great to finally have some time to talk a little bit away from late nights and bars. Herman Matthews was an absolute gentleman and I look forward to seeing him play again soon. He's currently on tour with Tom Jones and has toured with Stevie Wonder. (Hello? Heeeelloooooo? Stevie Wonder? As in laying down the groove on "Superstition" every night? I love that tune and drive most everybody I know crazy by singing it incessantly!) Here are a few pics taken from the event. Thanks Mike Henry and Donna Fisher of Houston's Percussion Center for their hospitality in making me feel so welcome all afternoon, and to Adolph Baez for the opportunity to represent Ludwig, and to Ludwig drums for their support of my drumming! Be safe out there and we'll talk again soon...

- Doddsy

Falling down on the job...

Notes from the road...

How the time passes so quickly. Every weekend we roll into a town and play a show and every weekend I think to myself "I need to blog about this". Now, a month later, I'm finally sitting down to write down a few of my thoughts. Sheesh...

Rhoades-Bomb is a badass in Dallas at the Granada...

Cactus Music - Thanks to everybody who came out to support us at the music store for our mini-set we performed before heading over to the bar for that night's show. I've been proudly representing on many nights wearing my Cactus Music trucker cap!

Kevin loves you all thiiiiiiiiis much!

Armadillo Palace - What a great bar! Houston is always a fun town to play in and everybody at the Armadillo Palace is always ready to get rowdy! Our old pal Peggy found us again after many months of having not been out to see us. (She claims she thought we had just stopped gigging in the area. Really? How in the world is that possible? Anyhow...) It was great to see you again and hopefully you'll be out again soon to dance again! Reed and Rachel Robinson - Houston is always good for a visit with some of our favorite fans. I drove myself on this trip and Reed and Rqachel were gracious enough to let me stay with them and I wound up with new front tires on my truck by the end of the trip - thanks guys!

Dennis catches the light across a smoke-filled room...

Sam's Burger Joint - Lil' Bit's annual birthday party and pre-Halloween bash is always such a blast to be a part of. Thanks again, Jen, for making us such a big part of your birthday shindig!

¡Odelay vato!

Hank's - The fun we have at Hank's is unmathced! Whether the crowd turnout is big or small, everybody there comes out ready to have a good time. Thanks to everybody who came out this past weekend to make the show so much fun. Again!

Dodds jumping from trains. Late night in Kansas City.

This next week will find us in Austin playing the Broken Spoke and hopefully we'll see lots of old friends out there ready to dance all night long! Have a great week everybody and we'll talk soon!
- Dodds

Celebrity Two Tons!

While on tour through Indiana and Illinois we stumbled upon the subject of celebrity look-alikes. Here's what we came up with. You be the judge...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh Yeah!!!

Oops! I almost forgot! For those of you who don't know, our new CD "Not That Lucky" is charting at #4 on the Americana Music Chart this week! That's big news for us! Our last studio CD "Vegas" climbed to #7 back in 2005. The chart tracks the reporting of spins played weekly by all the reporting stations currently playing any tracks off the CD (not just the single). NARAS (the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences) has just recently announced the addition of a new category for Best New Americana Album. These are the folks who vote on and award the Grammys. What does that mean? It means we're #4 on a chart that's been recognized nationally for years, but in a genre is just now being further legitimized by NARAS! ROCK!

Not That Lucky (Smith Music) is #4 this week baby!

Fri 10/2/2009 1:58 PM

Fri 10/2/2009 1:58 PM

Notes from the road...

Wow. How quickly the time passes. We're home now. As in, two weeks home. My last dispatch found us en route to Green Bay and so much has happened since then. Our stay in Green bay was nice although the weather was warmer than I had hoped for. I packed a pretty heavy sweatshirt fully expecting for temperatures to drop - especially at night - but no luck. It was warm and humid. Kind of felt like we were in north Texas. The Oneida Casino was fun and everybody there took great care of us. The rooms were nice and we had our run of the place, but I never quite could figure out the hooks above my bed... Our second night there we met some new pals who drove down from the U.P. of Michigan to see us which really made us feel good. (Yeah, me too... as if I knew what U.P. meant. It's "Upper Peninsula.) A few drinks and a few hours later (and lots o' laughs - always lots o' laughs) and we sent them on their merry way all the while doing our best (worst) Wisconsin dialects back and forth to each other. On the last night of our stay, I ventured out onto the casino floor and along with Dennis and Susan, sort of created the "Amatuer Hour" BlackJack table. By the time all was said and done, I walked with $50.00 in winnings. Not bad for a rookie.

From Green bay we headed down to Chicago where we played The Abbey which was a fun room too. We didn't stay long though because our drive the next day was going to be a long one. We hit the road after that show and stayed somewhere between Chicago and Kansas City. Our next night at Knucklehead's in Kansas City was awesome! We had a great crowd and hung around afterwards cutting up with the bar owner and the other few folks and employees lingering about. One of the perks of this venue? Washer and dryer backstage, baby! By the time we rolled into Kansas City, it was about time for all of us to get our skivvies washed. The best part is that the makeshift laundromat is setup directly behind the stage. After our last tune, I headed out the backstage door and threw my wet clothes into the dryer and could still look out and see the crowd. Then ran back out to play one or two more songs. Hysterical. Hopefully we'll be back up there again soon. Knucklehead's is a good time.

One of our last shows scheduled for the end of the tour was in Dallas. They cancelled due to some sort of plumbing issues throughout the building and we headed over to McKinney instead where we stayed an extra night and found ourselves over at Hank's all night long to catch most of the Reckless Kelly show going on and we enjoyed the majority of the nighttime hours hanging out with Jay Nash, Reckless's drummer. Super cool cat and a fine drummer. After staying up so late, we looked forward to no more hours travelling down the road in the van and had all day Saturday to relax before our set at Hank's that night. Our set at Hank's was an absolute blast (as always) and it's always good to see our friends up that way. Matt Hillyer from 1100 Springs stopped in and jumped up to play a couple of songs with us and Dennis and I hung out talking with him for a good part of the night after our show on Saturday. I acquired a windfall of "Tweaker" energy drinks from my new pal "Rockman" and was informed (after the fact) that I could probably just drink half of one because even though they are the same size as the 5 Hour Energy drinks I consume so many of, they've got twice the kick. Thanks. I'll remember that the next time I want a boost before a show. We had a bus call at 8:00 the next morning and after laying awake all night, I finally packed my things and headed down to the van at 5:00 to just try and get a little rest there - that way I wouldn't have to wake up and go to the van. I am NOT a morning person. I'd be perfectly happy if the world didn't start til noon everyday. (But nobody asked me.) Everybody else that piled into the van that morning thought for sure I was playing "possum", (and I don't even think I look anything like George Jones... Oooooh, that was bad, I know!) but I put earplugs in and fell asleep and was not easily going to be woken up after just a few short hours of rest. All that Sunday I felt like doo-doo. I blame Rockman's Tweakers. We made our way back down I-35 and played in Kyle that evening and finally made it home. The trip was fun but I was ready to be home and see my family and share my cheese curds with them (they squeak in your teeth when they're fresh!)

The better part of a week off and we found ourselves at the Broken Spoke in Austin among almost 500 people. (Yeah! 500!!!) It was an incredibly fun night and so nice to be back home in Texas! Denny Mathis joined us up there and it seems everytime he plays with us, he just sort of elevates us all to another caliber of musicianship. (The dude's a bad-@$$, plain and simple.) So here I am on a Friday afternoon with another week gone by and getting ready for a Floore's Country Store appearance in Helotes this evening. I sure love that place. The people are cool, they take great care of us, the venue is comfortable, and best of all? It's close to home. Well, that's about all for now. Be safe out there and we'll talk again soon.

- Dodds

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two Tons Gear

Two Tons of Steel - Gear...

Dodds's gear:

Ludwig Classic Maple Drums - 10" & 14" toms; 20" kick

Snares: mix of Kirk Scott custom snare drums and assorted Ludwig snare drums

Paiste "Twenty" series cymbals - 15" hi hats, 17" & 18" thin crashes, 20" light ride

DW 9000 series single bass drum pedal & hi hat stand

SilverFox drumsticks and accessories (model SF-MR mainly)

Tama Rhythm Watch metronome

Drumheads - 14" coated G1 w/ power dot underside on batter and Evans 300 hazy on resonant, G2 coated heads on tom batters and Evans clear on tom resonants, Evans EMAD system on kick batter with small foam ring and Aquarian Modern Vintage or Remo Fiber Skyn on resonant with vintage graphic.

Custom light fixture in kick for cool vintage aesthetic

No dampening on any of the drums or cymbals, everything is tuned and played wide open for maximum ring and resonance

Rhoades's Gear:

King Doublebass 3/4 size Tiger King upright in exotic diseased flamed maple with custom pinstriping

Boothill D and G strings, & Oliv Paistro E and A strings

Underwood pickupFender 8x10 ProFender TB 600 bass head

Rane AP/13 pre-amp

Clark Technic 405 parametric EQ

Fallon's Gear:

Guitar 1 - beer battered 1952 reissue Fender Telecaster with Rio Grande pickups

Guitar 2 - 1985 Fender Telecaster in blue floral finish with Rio Grande pickups

Guitar 3 - 1995 Dan Electro Baritone (tuned to A,D,G,C,E,A) with stock pickups

Peterson tuner

Pedals - Full Tone Full Drive II, Vintage Ibanez AD09 analog delay, Full Tone Fat Boost

Amplifier - 1963 Reissue Fender VibroVerb with Weber speakers

SnapJack and George L cables

Strings - D'Addario 10's

Yellow Tortex picks

Kev's Gear:

Laravee Parlor guitar

1974 Guild Dreadnaught guitar

Boss tuner

HomeBrew HBE delay pedal

Line 6 wireless unit

Amplifier - Crate Acoustic

Strings - D'Addario lights

Orange Dunlop picks

Thu 9/10/2009 11:55 PM

Thu 9/10/2009 11:55 PM

Notes from the road...

We played at Cain's tonight (as I mentioned in an earlier post) and had a fantastic time there! Everybody was so cool and treated us really well and the drummer for the opening band even mentioned that we had given him "a new respect for Texans". It felt good to represent in such an historic venue and hopefully we'll be invited back up there really soon! To see how the rich heritage of the place and Bob's legacy has been preserved is really something. This place is a treasure and if you're in the area, be sure to stop in and check it out.

The wall right next to the "small" stage...

Before the show we made the trek out to the cemetery where Bob is buried and looked for his gravestone. Unfortunately we arrived at 7:22 to find out that the cemetery was to close at 7:30. I tried desperately to look up online Bob's resting place and Dennis suggested maybe we ask somebody for help to which Rhoades quickly replied, "Dennis - everybody here is dead!" While we didn't have the time to seek him out, we did stumble onto this grave marker which made the drive well worth the time spent. Hope you find it as funny as we did!

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Be safe. We'll talk again soon.

- Dodds

Sun 9/13/2009 11:57 AM

Sun 9/13/2009 11:57 AM

Notes from the road...

Goshen, Indiana is a happening little town! After 14 hours or so in the van, we finally arrived from Tulsa. We played the night before at Cain's and got little to no sleep before having to be up crazy early for a television appearance on Friday morning. Sleep deprived and feeling loopy, we made the journey northward. While long, the drive wasn't bad and we arrived to check into a nice hotel and we promptly headed downtown to some of Rhoades's favorite haunts. His old pals became our new pals and we spent another long night together laughing and looking at our watches wondering why we even get hotel rooms. Dennis pointed out "It's not like we ever even use them." He has a keen sense of the obvious.

Dennis makes new friends in Goshen

Saturday afternoon found us waking up late and venturing out with Rhoades and his folks and a couple of close friends to Shipshewana, a little Amish town not too far from Goshen. We had a family style homecooked meal that, coupled with the cooler weather up here, reminded me of Thanksgiving in Texas. We enjoyed their company all afternoon long and couldn't help but notice all the horse-and-buggies trotting around town. I've never spent much time near Amish country so there were lots of new sights for me to take in. The flowers everywhere were beautiful but not too fragrant for the smell of horse poop in the air.

Horse buggy

Horse puckey

I'm not too sure what use the Amish have for crossbow pistols either, but I bought one that looked like a toy -- but turns out is quite a powerful little weapon. We fired a couple of bolts in Rhoades's folks' front yard only to all stand back in awe at the power of my cheaply made crossbow. Suddenly it didn't seem as good an idea as it had when I purchased it. Yeah. Good job, Dodds. I'm gonna get myself into some trouble with this one.

Historically, little is known about the origins of the Amish crossbow pistol.

Constant Spring is the name of the bar we played last night to a sellout crowd. Dustin says we were only the second event to sell the place out. The last time was a benefit of some sort. (Go Two Tons!) The show was a sort of homecoming and Rhoades was king for a night. (Today he's back to just being a nuisance.) The small bar was packed with people and we had a great time. Thanks to Jason for having us out there, and to all the bartenders who took care of us and everybody who made our stay so hospitable and such a great experience - especially Phil and Cheryl Rhoades who so graciously helped us out with our hotel rooms, fed us lunch on Saturday, made us breakfast this morning and filled up our gas tank on the way out of town. God bless you guys. Your kindness is much appreciated and hopefully we'll be back up there again someday. The weather today is cool and clear and I can't wait for cooler weather back home. Today finds us continuing on northward to Green Bay where we'll stay and perform at the Oneida Casino for 3 nights. Stay tuned. I'll have updates soon...

- Dodds

King for a day; Rhoades-Bomb circa 1993

Thu, 9/10/2009 3:33 PM

Thu, 9/10/2009 3:33 PM

Notes from the road...

We're en route to Tulsa from Burleson where we played the Overtime Sports Bar and Grill last night. Not a huge crowd, but rowdy (as is always the case). We caught up with some of our pals from Switzerland who showed up out there too. Matthias is a friend we met a few years ago at a Harley bar in Zurich. Upon arriving in Zurich we asked a friendly local what we should see and do while we were there. We also asked him what part of the city we should steer clear of. He circled an area on our map and naturally, after the sun had gone down, we made a bee-line for that part of town. Matthias won the green-card lottery and is now living and working in the Ft. Worth area. Super nice guy and it was great to see him again and catch up. Another of our pals, Roger, came out too. He's in town visiting Matthias with his girlfriend Sandra. They've come out several times to see us at the Festival Albisgütli in Zurich that we've had the opportunity to play numerous times in the past several years. He also fronts a band called Roger and the Wild Horses. Hopefully we'll be on the same bill someday. Rumor has it that they do a cover of our cover of "Sedated". Too cool.

Check out the guns on this guy...

We're travelling north heading up to play Cain's Ballroom tonight. This is a thrill for me because I'm such a fan of Bob Wills's music and can't wait to see the place. While I've been up to the old hall, I've never actually been inside it. For those of you familiar, for me this is like a pilgramage to Mecca. For the uninitiated, Google it. It's a big deal. I'll be sure to snap some shots to post along in a later entry. Right now Dennis is driving, Kevin is sleeping, Dustin is up there with Dennis and Rhoades is playing a game on his iPod. I'm not sure what he's playing but I can probably beat him. I'm sitting in the back of this travelling pod we call home for many days every year writing to you.

In other news... I've been told we have an interview when we get to Chicago where we'll talk about the specfic gear we play. Not too sure what that's all about but for all you gear heads out there I'll be sure and post a list of said equipment. Seems somebody's always excited to see Dennis's Tele's or drooling over Rhoades's upright. It's not often too many people ask me about my stuff but hey, I'm not even a musician - I'm just the drummer. Anyhow, that's it for now. Be safe out there and we'll talk again soon.

- SuperDodds

Wed 9/9/2009 4:35 PM

Wed 9/9/2009 4:35 PM

Notes from the road...

So here we are. A new CD. A new website. 3 weeks after the release, "Not That Lucky" sits at number 8 on the Americana Music Chart. Not bad. Not bad at all. It's 4:35 pm and we've just picked Rhoades up from his dwelling in Austin, TX and we're headed up to Burleson to play the first of many shows on a 12 day run that will take us through Rhoades's hometown of Goshen, IN, up to Green Bay, WI, down to Chicago, IL, and back through St. Louis, MO, etcetera, etcetera... We've had several weeks of numerous shows all over our great state and have had the opportunity to play some true Texas treasures such as Gruene Hall, and the Granada Theatre, as well as some great new joints like Willie's Place in Carl's Corner. We've also had the chance to catch up with some good pals on the road like Stoney Larue and his boys and Mark McKinney and his band as well. Our crowds aren't always big, but always rowdy and we always have a really good time. We're looking forward to getting out and seeing some new places and meeting new folks everywhere this adventure takes us. Hopefully if you're reading this you're also looking ahead to see when we'll be coming through your town. Be sure to pick up a copy of our new CD and come say hello to us, it's always great to meet you all, the folks who make this possible for us to do! Be safe out there and we'll talk again soon.

- Doddsy

Fri. 9/5/2009 9:40 PM

Fri. 9/5/2009 9:40 PM

Notes from the road...

Thoughts on Willie's Place in Carl's Corner...

We played with Stoney Larue in Chicago and hung around after the show for an afterparty that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. After a long night of hanging out at the venue with our friends, we left for our long journey back to San Antonio. We drove straight through and were "rode hard and put up wet" by the time we made it into Carl's Corner. We stopped for a break and discovered Willie's Place for the first time. Truth be told, I was a little jealous of Wade Bowen to be performing that night and heartbroken to see on the list of upcoming shows that we were not on that list. Fortunately it wasn't long before we got that call and -- here we are! Thanks for taking such great care of us and for allowing us to be a part of your great establishment. Here's to many years of good friends, good times, and great Texas music! Hopefully we'll be invited back again real soon!

- Chris Dodds