Latest News Updates

Video Chatter

23rd August 2020

Some of you 'musos' out there may be interested in a couple of YouTube interviews I have come across from a few years back.

These interviews with Zac Childs and Steve Krenz cover a lot of ground, and may be of particular interest to any lap steel fans.

You can find them on my Video Gallery page Here

18th February 2020

I'm sad to have to report the passing of one of my dear friends, Bob Rissi.

I've known Bob from my first move to California in 1968 where he showed me his new design for Rickenbacker, the new Trans-Sonic Amplifier. I immediately traded my Fender Dual Showman for it.

He began in CA as a very young man under Leo Fender's wing and worked on the design of the first Fender 'piggy back' amps. Then, after CBS bought the Fender company, he was hired by Mr. Hall of Rickenbacker. A short while later, he began his own company called Risson Amplifiers.

Bob was a genius in his field, and I've used his Amplifiers since 1968. Most of my record sessions were done with his Risson amps.

He loved God and people, and was a wonderful husband and father of a large and growing family.

I thought you all may be interested in an article in the Faith Underground online magazine.

In the article I reflect on my musical journey, and of course my faith. Hope you enjoy reading!

Link to Faith Underground Interview

2nd July 2019

You may remember reading an article in the No Depression magazine last year following an interview I conducted with Gary Stoller about my time with Manassas.

The original article is no longer available on the ND website, so we have published the transcript of the interview here for anyone who may have missed it.

Link to 2018 Interview

25th April 2019

A quick note to let you all know that we will be playing at Grace Chapel on 20th May as part of the Five Year Celebration!

I'll be playing as a special guest with Blues Counsel, so I hope to see you there!

I just wanted to point out an interesting article about Manassas in the Music Aficionado magazine. I thought it was a complimentary summation of the group!

You can find the article on the magazine website here:

I hope you you can stop by the Station Inn in Nashville on Wednesday. I'll be playing there with new Canadian artist April Verch

We recorded her country album a few months ago, and April is performing some classic country along with a few folk/bluegrass styles at the Station Inn at 9pm. I will be playing steel guitar and dobro.

8th February 2018

Sad news indeed to hear that Mickey Jones has passed away at his home in California after a long battle with illness.

Among fellow musicians, Mickey was a highly respected drummer and enjoyed much success with Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Having previously worked with Johnny Rivers, and before that Trini Lopez, Mickey played with Bob Dylan in the original version of The Band.

After the breakup of the First Edition in 1976 Mickey went on to pursue a long career in TV and film. He will be missed by us all.

21st June 2017

My old steel guitar teacher, Al Petty, passed away recently. His close friend and pastor, Jerry Phelps of Tyler, TX Metro Church, is hosting a Celebration of Life service for him Saturday, July 29th at 3pm.

Al Petty was a blessing to me through his teaching in my early years. He was a musical genius with an exuberant personality. Throughout his entire life he was constantly innovating new ways to play and design the instrument.

He will be sadly and sorely missed.

12th January 2017

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Tommy Allsup on January 11, 2017 at the age of 85.

Tommy and local business partner Gorman Maxwell built the first real recording studio in Odessa, Texas and helped many of us in the area get started in recorded music. The studio was originally called Westex and still operates today as Trans Global Productions, owned by Bob Bailey

Bob was also a sixties band-mate of mine in a group called The Shades. Tommy Allsup used us as a backing band for a couple of new artists he produced. One of which was his Buddy Holly band-mate, drummer Carl Bunch. Carl recorded two songs for a 45 rpm single that was released under the pseudonym, K.C. Grand & The Shades. The two songs were That's The Way The Cards Fall and Lookie, Lookie, Lookie.

Despite his long resume as a guitarist and producer including collaborations with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bob Wills and Hank Thompson, he was perhaps best known to the public as the loser of a coin toss with Richie Valens in 1959 for a seat on a private plane with Buddy Holly after a gig in Iowa. Buddy and Richie of course died that day when the plane crashed, while Tommy and his Crickets bandmate Waylon Jennings lived on to have long and successful careers.

Tommy's family and friends are in our thoughts.

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