Thursday, March 18, 2010

Take two of these and call me in the morning...

So if you’re reading this, you’re most likely aware by now of the craziness we experienced on Wednesday and how we did not make it to Houston to play at the rodeo. Let me now fill you in on how yesterday’s events played out…

Casey looks on while Dad gives a lesson in "Band Life 101"...

We were booked to play The Auslander in Fredericksburg – one of our favorite places in the world to play. The way it worked out, we all drove separately with plans to meet at 7:00 for load-in. Kevin called me at 7:15 to let me know he was at a service station feeding more water to our Charlie Brown van and it dawned on me then that even with a full night and half a day’s rest, water pump gaskets don’t regenerate with rest like human tissue does - who knew? Kevin pulled up almost all the way to the restaurant, but was stopped short of making it all the way up the drive until more water could be put into the radiator. Once mouth-to-mouth was administered again, Charlie Brown was able to pull the rest of the way up the drive and we were able to unload.

Red hot radiator + Fresh water = Homemade volcano

We had a blast (as we always do) performing for our hill country fans and dining on incredibly tasty fare with bier mugs the size of Rhoades’s fat head. Everybody there really knows how to take care of us and all the fans that show up are always so friendly and warm and glad we’re there – really makes this all worth it. Other than feeling like I had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner before getting on the bandstand, the show went off without a hitch and we had a great time visiting with everybody afterwards. And then it was time to go home (except Charlie Brown wasn’t feeling so well.)

Mmmmmmmm... Bier!

Once we were all packed up, Dennis did his part to be sure that Kev had enough water to get back on the road and I was designated to follow him to be sure he made it from Fredericksburg back to I-10 in Comfort at least. He was low on gas (and unbeknownst to us, water as well) and was concerned that he might not even make it back to Comfort to get gas. Roughly a mile from Comfort I began to hear what sounded like a jet plane landing on the top of my Durango. Yup. You guessed it – BLOW OUT! The rear passenger side tire blew out and I was left to change a tire in the dark at 1:00 am. Party. If there was any consolation in stopping at this hour, it was that the stars in that part of the Hill Country are absolutely stunning on a clear night and I took time to stare into the heavens before coming back to down to my reality. Kevin made it to the gas station and came back to check on me. Once the tire was changed, we were back on the road but not for long before Kevin once again had to pull over and feed the van more water. I didn’t realize he had even pulled over and I kept on my way and made it the rest of the way home without any more excitement.

Mom says I've always been a "Glass is 3/4 full" kind of guy...

Dennis and I met at Brett’s house for a nightcap and another round of darts when I got the call from Kevin that he had NOT made it home, was on the side of the road, and that the van wouldn’t take water. After a few phone calls and texts back and forth, Triple A was on their way to assist in towing the van from where it was pooped on the road back to his house. I was also called upon to go pick up the trailer because they could not retrieve the van with the trailer still attached. Brett and I set out to get the trailer and assist with taking Kevin’s family the rest of the way home and was happy to finally drop the trailer off at his house and I was back home safely at roughly 5:00 am.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig...

It was just as I got into bed that I got a call from Kevin telling me that upon dropping the van from the tow-truck and attempting to get the van to start and drive it up his steep driveway they learned that the battery was dead. So much for a lucky St. Patrick’s Day. I was recently asked by a pal, “Do you ever sleep?” Not so much. Seems I don’t sleep so much anymore. It also seems that Charlie Brown is no longer a Two Tons fan either. Hopefully with a full night’s rest though, his wounds will heal and he’ll be ready to travel with us again. Here’s hoping. Be safe out there everybody and we’ll talk again soon.

- SuperDodds

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Houston, we have a problem...

“Dude, we’re supposed to be there at 3:00 pm for load-in/soundcheck so get ready; we have to leave at 1:30 -- and we’re still going to be late!” That was the voicemail I received from Kevin yesterday around 11:00 am. We were scheduled to play the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last night at The Hideout as we have for the past couple of years. Kevin had been calling and emailing the folks for the past week trying to advance the show, but his phone calls and emails fell on deaf ears and went unanswered so we really only knew we were to play a 90 minute set from 10:15-11:45 that night after the Keith Urban show let out. We met at our usual spot and Dennis and I quickly loaded up our gear and we headed for Houston. It rained for most of our trip on the road and somewhere around 3:00 pm or so, our “Check Engine” light came on with a very persistent chime informing us that we were waaaaaay overheating and that we better pull over quickly to do something to remedy the situation.

Saturday in Gruene was so much fun -- why can't every night be this fun?

Our initial stop was made along the side of Eastbound I-10, on the shoulder. When I opened the radiator, I was surprised to find any water in there! We recently had our water pump replaced and haven’t had any issues with the van, but we travel with a gallon jug of water just in case we need to top it off. I was able to put that gallon of water in and decided that I should find more because the van would not cool down. Dennis joked about pulling water out of the creek near where we stopped, but a barbed wire fence prevented me from getting to what little water was in there. Due to the van being on the incline of half pavement/half road, I figured there must be air in the radiator that was trapped and preventing me from filling anymore water in there. After 10 minutes or so, we started the van and hobbled along to the next exit that at least helped get us out of the way of highway passersby. Once the van was a bit more level, I realized just how low the water in the radiator was and that we were going to have to put quite a bit of coolant in the radiator to get us to the nearest filling station. I spotted a little pond of what must have been rainwater run-off about 50 yards away and I headed off in the rain to fill up my gallon jug. Along the way I picked up another gallon jug and was back in no time with 2 gallons of freshly squeezed tadpole juice!

Drawing water from a deeper well...

Meanwhile, the engine continued to burn red hot with no sign of cooling off. We tried turning on the heater to help pull the heat away from the engine, but the fan blew weakly and the air was cool (go figure that?) We were able to limp into a Shell station and Lady Luck smiled upon us when we saw that we had pulled in just a few feet from a water hose. I continued to nurse the poor van’s radiator while Kevin decided to buy everybody “a round”. About that time, we also were brought to the realization that we had pulled in right in front of two commercial dumpsters and the garbage guys needed to get in there to empty them out. Dennis started the van only to overheat it again quickly while trying to move out of their way! And the rain continued to come down.

They're just doing their job...

At some point, the radiator started to burp and spit a little bit internally and I realized that even though I couldn’t seem to get anymore water in there, I knew it needed more. So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable at the time, I performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the radiator. I poured a bit of water in, and blew it in there. I poured a bit more water in, and blew it in there again. This went on for 10 minutes more until I signaled for them to turn on the van. Voila! The engine sounded normal and when Kevin revved it up, the temperature began to drop! The fan blew strongly and the air was HOT! After another couple of gallons of water, the radiator seemed full and the van seemed happy! I filled the coolant reservoir up to the very top and closed it all up. (Screw the “Fill fluid to here when cold” line on that little plastic tank!) I was soaked from reviving the van in the rain, but we were back on the road!

Kevin makes the best of a bad situation while I do
my best to revive our Charlie Brown van...
(Notice my bier on the car battery...)

Kevin had been in contact with the stage manager all afternoon long letting him know what was going on, but in all the higgledy-piggledy, our booking agent sent a quick email around 4:00 pm to the venue to let them know we were on the side of the road and working on our situation. Now here’s where the story gets really strange. By 4:30 pm we were back on the road and let the stage manager know we were back on our way only to find out that in the 30 minute window from when the email was sent to when we called to let everybody know we were okay, Jason and Stephanie had found another band for the evening and we were told “Don’t worry about coming – it’s already been taken care of.” The most bizarre part of this is that Kevin had been emailing and calling for over a week with no responses. However, a quick email to inform them of our plight was met with anger towards us and swift action that resulted in our being replaced. We were only 45 minutes away when we were told that we wouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds if we showed up! Apparently Jason Kane and Stephanie Stegall are NOT Two Tons fans! With the amount of time and effort and dollars that go into preparing for and advertising for a show, most promoters are heartbroken to find that their band has to cancel or elated to find that their band will make it after all! No amount of our time spent trying to convince Jason otherwise had any effect on the outcome of our situation so we turned ourselves around and headed for home.

It was a good thing we had these, lest we never would have gotten in!

The attitude in the van quickly turned from anger to confusion to laughter. I was still wet from the rain (and cold by this time), and every time we stopped I had to add another gallon or so to the radiator (where in the world was all the water going? We spotted no leak!) The last of our hi-jinks came at a stop when I got out of the car to go fill up my jug. Upon my return I found the van door was not fully closed and I thought Kevin had locked it. He was inside telling me it was open but for the life of me, I couldn’t open it. I decided to climb through the back doors and with one swift tug on the interior door handle in an attempt to close it fully; I ripped the door handle completely off the inside of the door! In my disbelief Kevin muttered, “And now you break the door…” (Speaking in a tone as if to say, “What else can possibly go wrong?”)

I've said it before, I'll say it again -- I'm a badass...

The best part of this segment? The door still wasn’t closed -- nor would it open! I was somewhat relieved to find that the reason was because the seatbelt had become stuck in the latch thus jamming the door. I was able to finally break it free and we were once again on our way. The rest of the trip was spent laughing about how crazy our day had been and we made it the rest of the way without any further incident. Kevin also pointed out that we only spent $70.00 in gas -- as opposed to the $100.00 or more it would have cost to go the rest of the way and back!  For those who made the trip out to The Hideout only to find we weren’t performing (or if this irritates you just as much as it did us), you can make your voice heard! Drop Jason an email at or Stephanie at or join their FaceBook page and post up here:!/group.php?gid=47148260735&ref=ts

Thanks, everybody, for your continued support of our band and our music. If you make it out to a show, be sure you come up and say hello to us – we’re glad when you do. Be safe out there and we’ll talk soon!

- Dodds

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Boys' night out...

Our good pal Brett toasting Dennis while we enjoy some GREAT late night radio!
(4:52 am 3.14.2010)

It's late. I'm hanging out with my guitar player and another friend up the street a few houses from where I live. My family is out of town this weekend so I'm hanging around with my pals and enjoying a few drinks while we listen to Blues Before Sunrise on NPR. Dennis and I listen to this radio program almost every Saturday night on the way home from some far away land, so it seems a little strange to be enjoying some leisure time listening to this program instead of driving through the night to get home. Three dogs are running around the house, my sister dropped by with some late night yummies and the drinks are plenty. We were done and home relatively early after we played to a crowd of almost 600 tonight at Gruene Hall and had such a great time! Lots of friends in the hall tonight. Fortunately the time changes tonight -- jumps forward, so at least I can still go to bed at 6:00 am... Hope you're safe and happy where you may be when you find this correspondance. I'm off to throw darts and listen to some great old blues and laugh with my friends.


- Dodds


P.S. -- I won in darts.  Because....





Rock star living @ Brett's place.
 6:03 am

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekends are always fun. Always. Period.

Last weekend was an absolute BLAST! We started our weekend off right with a double bill in Grapevine at The Glass Cactus (part of the Gaylord resort complex) along with our good pals, The Derailers. Brian Ferguson, the drummer for 1100 Springs, also came out with his wife and we had a great time together watching Scott Matthews's performance. It's not often enough that I get to hang out with another great drummer outside of our own performances and it seems the downtime spent laughing is always too short.

3 amigos enjoying some downtime backstage in Grapevine
(Glass Cactus, 3/4/2010)

Thursday night turned into Friday morning and both Rhoades and I did well to get any sleep at all before having to be up for a TV appearance on ABC affiliate KFAA/Channel 8 in Dallas for their "Good Morning Texas" show where we were promoting KHYI's upcoming Texas Music Revolution festival in the next few weeks. Tom Green also appeared on the show that morning and we stole a quick snapshot with him before he was off to his next stop on his own promotional tour of sorts.

Two Tons & Joshua Jones (from KHYI) welcome Tom Green to Dallas.
Rumor has it the drummer in this photo didn't bring a change of clothes...

With exception of the fact that I hadn't slept nearly long enough and wished I had awoken early enough to get showered (I was still wearing Thursday night's threads), the performance went off without a hitch and we sampled some excellent shrimp étouffée that had been prepared in a cooking segment on the show. Most mornings that would seem a little heavy at 10:00am, but last Thursday it was simply delicious. After taking the afternoon off to get back home, clean up, and rest, we were due to be in Bandera at The Longhorn Saloon where we played a blistering 2 hour set to a pretty rowdy crowd. Brian Black and his family took great care of us and everybody had a great time. Hopefully we'll be back there again soon.

Nobody looks better on TV at 7:30 am than this guy. 

Saturday we made our way south to Corpus Christi to play The House of Rock. Casey has sure taken great care in making that room what it is. We had a great time after that show too when we found out our good pals playing with local S.A. blues guitarist Ruben V. were in Corpus as well and still had to another hour or more to play after we were finished. We headed around the corner and found ourselves yet once again at an afterparty of our making and it was a whole lot of fun to hang with my bandmates and watch some fellow S.A. musicians entertain a crowd outside of our hometown. I tell you though, leaving anywhere at 2:30 am to drive anywhere that's roughly 3 hours away is brutal and Saturday night my number was up and it was my turn to bring us home. We made a quick stop at What-A-Burger for some late night yummies before heading home. I discovered I had not been given the correct order and in my attempt to put the van in "Park" and get out of the vehicle, I managed to drop my burger - open face down - onto the floormat of the car. I quickly looked up and told Dennis, "I hope they don't tell me that this IS what I ordered and give it back to me!" They had in fact gotten my order wrong -- but only in that they cheated me out of my bacon. The boob behind the fry line quickly microwaved a handful of bacon (that looked like it had already been chewed up) and he proceeded to put the mangled pork product on my burger that only moments earlier had been resting on the floorboard, eagerly waiting to be rescued. I tried my best to point out that the sandwich on the counter looked NOTHING like the one in the picture, but to no avail. Rhoades found my protests extremely funny and wound up getting himself kicked out of their establishment for "encouraging me". I needed no encouragment. I was unhappy and my burger was crunchy. What-A-Burger in Corpus -- They put the "sand" in "sandwich"...

My great pal Kevin Hernandez -- KILLING IT!  Onstage with Ruben V. in Corpus.
I only wish I could shred the way this guy does every night...

Dennis enjoys a night out on the town in Corpus Christi...

This weekend we'll be in Houston again at The Firehouse and on Saturday night, we'll be back in Gruene at the big hall getting primed for what will soon be a weekly affair in that hall every Tuesday night this upcoming summer. If you're reading this and you're around this weekend, come out and see us - and be sure to say hello. That's all for now. Hope everybody's enjoying Spring-like weather. The days in S.A. are sure getting more and more beautiful here this week.

Cheers and here's to crunchy burgers.  Be safe and we'll talk soon.

- SuperDodds

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fresh News! Read all about it!

Hey friends!

 I'm back and I'm much happier than I was in my last dispatch. We've spent the last couple of weekends in North Texas and have had too much fun. Two weekends ago found us once again at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney. Is it possible to have more fun than we do at Hank's? Due to the snowfall on the Wednesday night before, we had to reschedule our show in Denton on the next day (Thursday), but it provided for an incredible amount of fun when Kevin challenged everybody to snowball fight after the show at Hank's! We seem to like to pick fights - especially with our fans! That Saturday turned into a party too when our close pal and all around nice guy Tom Gillam opened the show with a spirited set at Riley's Tavern in Hunter, just north of New Braunfels. Riley's is a great old bar whose claim to fame is that they applied for and received the first liquor license in Texas after prohibition was repealed. Between Tom joining us onstage and us joining Tom onstage, I think everybody had a great time watching the adventures of Two Tons!

Shredding it to pieces at Hank's.

Last week we played on Monday at Sam's Burger Joint in San Antonio and that place just gets better and better. Eric and Jen do such a fine job and the improvements help to continue to make it somewhere artists will want to continue coming back to. Great crowd, great fun!

A week ago on Thursday night we played the Granada Theatre in Dallas opening the show for Kinky Friedman. He's a helluva nice guy and playing the Granada is always something we look forward to doing. The sound, the lights, the stage, the crew, the food, the fans and all the fun that goes along with that gig make it one of our favorite places in Texas to play. Bill Ellison is the house photographer and Does an amazing job of capturing moments in time every time we're there! Check him out online at:

 Campaigning with my pal Kinky Friedman outside The Granada Theatre in Dallas.

 Of course it wouldn't be a night out with Two Tons if we didn't stay out all night and it couldn't be a Granada Theatre show without a party! We didn't stay out late as much as we did go to bed early after our show with Kinky -- early the next morning that is. After hanging with the opening band at a little Irish pub down the street and finding an afterparty at a fan's home and firing his bow and arrow all night long with only a few hours sleep, we were then off to Ft. Worth to play Lola's Saloon. In a word? Fun! Once again, throwing out a blistering 90 minute set with a room full of great fans who are always so excited we're in town. Thanks to Tim and Amy for their support -- our fans are the BEST! Lola's was a great night and cause for me to replace all the heads on my drumkit. By the end of "Not Fade Away", I had torn my bass drum head completely in half - from East to West all the way across the drum. Crazy! I've never done that before but it just goes to show what an absolute badass I am. (Ha!)

What the?! Is that possible? I play 1/4 notes!

We woke up Saturday and made our way back to Dallas for some replacement drumheads and to meet our close pal Guy Reynolds. Guy is another amazing photographer and all around nice guy who travelled with us 3 or 4 years ago for a weekend to document our lives on the road for an article that ran in the Dallas Morning News. We hit it off well and have stayed in touch ever since. He and his wife and young son hosted us for the afternoon and we had a great time with a homecooked meal, fresh margaritas, and lots o' laughs! At some point during or trip, I misread the directions on my phone and mentioned we needed to take the "Hall/St. Lemmon Ave" exit. As it turns out, it was the "Hall STREET/Lemmon Ave" exit. Nobody in the van seemed to remember there being a "Saint Lemmon", but we decided that "Blind" Saint Lemmon must surely be the patron saint of all blues artists - we were down near the House of Blues anyway. But I digress...

Super cool sign found on a Federal building near Guy's home.

We played to an incredible crowd in Austin at the Broken Spoke last weekend and had a great time. Seems we have our very own bar staff now that appears from time to time and they always keep us well "watered". Thanks to Jay and Joe for all the laughs and all the backdoor "bartending" -- if you know what I mean! Saturday night we made a guerilla appearance at the Cash Bash going on at the Continental Club in Houston and played a couple of tunes in front of an eager crowd and I caught up with some old friends as well that I hadn't seen in close to 15 years. Saturday night also found the "4 Ladies of the Apocalypse" in the crowd, taking in the music and soaking up the vibe in the room. Thanks to John Wynne for having us drop in and crash the Cash Bash!  Then from there we made a bee-line over to the Armadillo Palace and played a marathon 2 1/2 hr set for a raging rodeo crowd. Good Times. We left there around 2:15 and were brought to a complete stop in traffic on the highway at 4:22am. Let me remind you that at 4:22am -- there is NO traffic on IH-10 between San Antonio and Houston! We were stopped there until around 6:40am when we finally drove through what appeared to have been an 18 wheeler that must have driven over the side of the bridge and taken out about 50 yards of guardrail. We're not talking mangled guardrail -- we're talking guardrail completely gone from the bridge on the highway. Bad news on the radio. We see some crazy stuff on our late night drives home from the various parts of this great state we traverse every weekend.

Can you see it? My drumkit used as wallpaper on a fan's phone - how cool is that?

This week will find us once again in North Texas at the Glass Cactus on Thursday with our pals The Derailers, then on Friday we'll make a stop in Bandera at the Longhorn Saloon, and Saturday we'll be burning down the House of Rock in Corpus Christi. Stay tuned to for all of our upcoming dates and everybody be pulling for us as we head up through the Midwest again at the end of the month for a 10 day road trip. Call your families, call your friends -- Two Tons may be coming to a town near you!

Badass on a big pink bike.
Enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon after
 an all night drive home from Houston...

‘Til next time, be safe out there and we'll talk soon.

- Doddsy