Roadhouse News - Summer 1999


Back In The Saddle Again - Sometimes it feels like a long lost friend.
"Back in the saddle again"  . . . the Saddle Tramp Returns

My name is Lucious McElroy. Call me Bubba fo' short. I know a little bit about a few things. Mostly good music, Texas music. Texas guitar players. I will borrow a line from a song, one of Jay Boy Adams’ songs. The following is "slightly embellished but mostly the truth".

Sometime in late 1982 Jay Boy Adams just walked away from music. "My brother in law used to tell a story about a man from our hometown who was married to a real mean woman for about 10 years who sort of wore the pants in the family and must have whipped up on her husband too. One day she sent him to the grocery store to get a loaf of bread. That was twenty years ago and she is still looking for him and the bread! That is what happened to me. I just disappeared."

Now after a long search for the right loaf of bread JAY BOY ADAMS is back.

The way this all got started involves three key people: J.W. Williams of Lone Wolf Management, J.D. "Outlaw" Rose (Music director at KFAN Radio) and K.R. Wood from the Father’s of Texas. Seems as though J.W. wanted to give Jay Boy a surprise on his birthday and sent Outlaw a few cuts from an old JBA record in CD form and asked the Outlaw to play it the night of Jay Boy’s birthday while J.W., Jay Boy and their wives were having dinner in the Navajo Grill in Fredricksburg, Texas. Outlaw ablidged and then continued playing a few of the cuts on "The FAN". One day Jay Boy called John Hickman with the Dallas Cowboys and K.R. Wood was in John’s office peddling some songs and overheard enough of the conversation to stir his interest and asked John if he was talking to "the" Jay Boy Adams. Of course John Hickman replied "Is there more than one of ‘em?" God, I hope not and heaven help us if there is! Anyway, are you with me so far? K.R. got on the telephone from the Cowboy’s office to talk to JBA and after a couple of months of badgering and bothering finally convinced him to do a silver anniversary reunion with his original band. Was this possible?

Now K.R. Wood, don’t you know, is not just the average old singing Texas cowboy with a big mustache and a cowboy hat. He has a fine record of his own with just about everybody who is somebody from Texas participating, except Jay Boy. K.R. says he could not find him. It must of been that loaf of bread thing. But what I’m saying is, everyone from Delbert McClinton to Red Stegal and Steve Fromholtz to Rusty Weir sings on this CD about the story of the fall of the Alamo and a plethora of other accurate Texas history stories put to song Texas style.

THE FATHER’S OF TEXAS puts on an annual show at Luckenbach, Texas, every March. This would be the perfect opportunity for the silver reunion with a cast of many others for this annual event. Considering the fact that Jay Boy Adams never played Luckenbach during his tour of musical duty throughout the seventies and eighties, accepted the invitation. K.R. billed it as "The Father’s of Texas and the Silver Reunion of the Jay Boy Adams Band" and managed to draw about eight hundred people throughout the day. This was exciting, especially to Jay Boy and the band. It would be the first time he and his band had performed together since 1986 when he was invited to play the Cattlebaron’s Ball and The Jay Boy Adams Band Reunion with Reba McEntire in Lubbock, Texas. It was bitter sweet. Same line up: Paul Culver, Danny Raines, Danny Darling, and Woodrow Key.

It was a long shot. Jay Boy called all of the boys and asked them if they would like to have some fun and the answers were all yes. So draft notices were sent to report to the ranch on the river to start rehearsals. Things happened real fast and real loud in that metal barn on the hill. Again all of the neighbors said so. However, this time it was just sweet, real sweet.

So, there. That’s a brief explanation of who is directly to blame for getting this whole thing started again. In case anyone wants to complain we will gladly supply any telephone numbers for these three named if requested.

Now as far as getting a guitar back in the his hands.... Well that’s another story. It started about two years ago. Most of you probably do not know that JBA started a custom coach company that leases tour coaches to rock and country bands when he stopped touring himself. 

Seems as though Lee Roy Parnell is one of JBA’s clients and most definitely one of his favorite guitar players and more importantly a great friend. Sometime back in March of 1997 Lee Roy was playing a show in San Antonio. Jay Boy and his wife, Mary, were in the audience as well as a few thousand others sitting with Lee Roy’s girlfriend Donna. During the show Lee Roy introduced a few guest artists to the stage to participate in the musical fire he already had burning. To Jay Boy’s surprise, one of the guest would be himself. As he reluctantly slipped on stage and asked Lee Roy’s guitar tech for a guitar he was informed that he could not have one of the guitars in the rack. This was actually a relief, since he had not had his hands on a guitar for about five years. He was relieved and thought that maybe he was just going to sing some back up. WRONG! Lee Roy graciously removed his Strat and gave it to Jay Boy. 

Lee Roy has dem Statesboro blues!
Lee Roy burning on slide

Now the pressure was released. The last thing Jay Boy wanted to do was follow the slideman himself At least Lee Roy was now unarmed. Of course James Pennebaker, Lee Roy’s right hand man and a smoking guitar player, was whaling out Linda Lou and was burning up his Telecaster. 
James Pennebaker - The Hot Hand!
James Pennebaker

After digging down deep Jay Boy managed to fumble around and find a few licks to play. Not great licks but traces of what were once respectful licks from a potential has-been.  To make matters worse after the song ended he dashed for the stage exit like a scalded cat. But not fast enough. 

Lee Roy snagged him and urged him to continue. Jay Boy said the next song had more chords in it than his Mel Bay Chord Book. That did it! He had two choices: one: cut off his fingers. Two: go home, go to the barn and dust the cob webs off one of his old lonely guitars and start woodshedding. He did. Everyday. He lives on a ranch and the barn is on a hill. The sound really carries. All of the neighbors said so. 

Next sighting? You guessed it. Another invitation from Lee Roy followed by a great bond and friendship that had already snow balled. Do you know that these two guys grew up in the same area and never knew each other! Go figure. West Texas. It must be something in the water. You should have been in Fredericksburg, Texas, June 18, 1998. It was hot. On fire. Midnight Rider with two fine southern rockers from West Texas burning it up on a hot summer night on a hill country stage.

Well, the rest is not exactly history, but the future will be Interesting to say the least. One thing leads to another you know.

After the Luckenbach show things just continued to happen. Roadhouse Transportation was awarded the contract for the George Strait Music Festival by Pace/SFX Touring. One Sunday morning Jay Boy called one of the coach drivers to ask how the tour and coach ride was doing. Somewhere in the course of the conversation Louis Messina got on the telephone and proceeded to say how perfect everything was and Jay Boy replied "everything is perfect except for one thing" Louie asked what, and he said "everything except I’m at home and you guys are having all of the fun." Louie asked if he would like to play on the Texas dates and his answer "why torture me, how ‘bout all the dates." Who ‘wouda thought it. One small problem: the tour started in six days.

The band was just starting to cool down from the Luckenbach show when they all got another call from the leader with another request for duty notice. Again, the answers were all yes from everyone except Woody. To not have Woody on the right side would be a hard pill to swallow. It would not be right. It would not be the same. But it was not going to happen. A well known Austin, Texas, guitar man would be the likely candidate. Woody agreed to do the first show. Remember there was not much time. With Joe Forlini enlisted, Woody gave countless hours and a few rehearsals with Forlini to ready him to take his place during the next five days.

"We are having too much fun. There are thousands of acts that would kill to be on the GEORGE STRAIT tour (see tour schedule). Just call me Lucky. We are playing on the whiskey stage. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey is one of the sponsors of the tour. They have a stage in Straitland that we share with THE CLARK FAMILY EXPERIENCE and SOUTH 65. We all rotate positions and we all have an enormous amount of fun. I am very fortunate to have gotten this opportunity and I owe it all to Pace. THE CLARK’S are a hard act to follow. They are an awesome bluegrass outfit that does everything to their instruments except pull off all the strings. And to make matters worse, the oldest member is twenty two. The youngest is fifteen and wouldn’t you know it, he plays slide! They all look like a bunch of Tom Cruises and Brad Pitts. Heartbreakers! There ‘otta be a law Lee Roy."

Who knows what the future brings. There is probably little or no chance of a major record deal considering the fact that JBA’s music did not fit the country music mold twenty years ago and it does not fit it now. What it does fit is the Americana Radio mold and if a record deal is made it will probably be with an independent label. Let’s hope so.


Back Issues Of The Newsletter

Ransom Gallaway IssueSeptember 2000 - Dewitt Bender
Summer 2000 - Jim Lander Touring 2000 - Pickin' with Lee Roy & Friends
Spring 2000 - European EditionSummer 1999 - How It All Started Again