SEEKINGBand to Join, Background Singer, Bass Guitar, Drums, Keyboard, Piano.
I have pretty much become very disgusted with music. The reasons I sort of took a hiatus from 1992 until 2008 while in Nashville, have pretty much been the same reasons I am now backed off from having much interest in getting involved in the same bunch of bullsh*t, especially as bad as it is in the central Florida areas. So .... I am not really seriously looking to play in any bands in this area, unless it involves some seriously high pay. To be frank, dollars is my only interest at this time, because artistic excitement does not exist in any place in Polk County or even some of the surrounding areas for me. I do not feel that camaraderie with the players here like I did in the 70s, nor does it excite me like it did in Nashville at one point. However, The following is my music business history.
I am 99.9% sure I will be moving out of Florida within the month. Just watch on line and I will most likely update this.
I was born a black kid trapped in a white body to a brutally abusive family. I could never understand why everyone looked at me so weird. I liked the music that the black people liked better than the music white people liked, but I did sort of also like country music, classical music, big band stuff, etc. The first clue I had that something was not exactly right was that I was not good at all playing basketball, although I was good at baseball and football. It wasn't until I was well into my teens that I finally figured out that I was actually a black person mistakenly born to a white family and trapped in a white body. Man ... that sure confused the hell out of me for a while, but I got over it, and went on being a black kid trapped in a white body. That is why I sound like I do.
I launched my music career while living in Clearwater, Florida. I played quite a few teen dances in the Clearwater area. I remember the first band to influence me was a group I first saw at the old Clearwater Auditorium called The Dreamers a band which was lead by a guitarist/vocalist from Largo, Florida named Ralph Steward. I used to go to the dances and watch Ralph and his other guitarist, Pete Bass (I hope I remember his name correctly) play, and then go home and practice what I saw them doing on an old acoustic guitar.
My first gig was as a drummer (my original instrument was the drums) with a duo named The Kay Brothers, at the Clearwater Auditorium. they were sort an Everly Brothers type of act.
My very first band as a guitarist, was The Dreamtones, a name I borrowed from another band which had broken up. The original Dreamtones was a band headed by Ronnie Hagan, an excellent blues guitarist at that time.
At the age of sixteen I started traveling around, first to the St Petersburg area where I was a member of many bands, including "Sterling (Mickey) Magee", "Ronnie Lowe and the Dominoes", "Dee Rogers and the Nighthawks", "The Train Robbers Band", "Magic Mirror", "The Wintergreen Rock and Roll Band", "The G. H. Franklin Band", and many others. I was an original founding member of "Ronnie Lowe and the Dominoes", along with Ronnie, Sterling Magee and drummer, Louis Barrows (who was later replaced by Nick Lowe). During my early years I hung out more with the black musicians in the black clubs and played in the black groups way more frequently than I ever did with the white groups.
The Tangebar on 18th Ave. South in Saint Petersburg and The Royal Palm in Clearwater (where I met and appeared with Jimmy James .... (google up that name)) were among the many black clubs that I played at. Others were The Manhattan Casino, and The Skyway Palace, also in St. Petersburg. There were a few clubs on the beaches that featured mainly black groups, although I am a loss to remember all of their names. I remember working with a black R&B artist/performer named Clarence Jolly )keyboards and vocals) at The Oasis Club on Treasure Island. I really loved playing guitar with Clarence's band.
Weird stuff happened back in those days. When I was seventeen years old, I literally was arrested at The Tangebar for being a white performer in a black club .... but before I was even out of the booking room, Scotty, the club's owner was there and had bailed me out, after which I went with him back to the club and finished playing the night with Buddy Green and his band. During those years I felt that the black people were more family to me then my own flesh and blood. These days, I am frequently heard to state that "I used to be black" ... LOL. Anyone remember The Rhythm Aces?
I moved to and lived in the Naples, Florida area for about a year in the early sixties and jammed quite a bit with Dicky Betts, Jimmy Paramour and others, and was a member of the band named "The Imperials", lead by bassist E J Stewart. We were house band and played at the Anchor Lounge. I did my first recording in Naples withthat band and we called the album "Meet The Imperials". Other members of that band included Sammy Blinn, and Hank Maus.. I was a regular at jams at other clubs like "The Port Hole" After we broke up, I then moved to Bay City, Michigan with Sammy Blinn and Hank Maus, where I played at The Empire Show Bar where I also met my first wife, Nancy Goulet. During my time in Michigan, I met and played gigs with Dick Wagner and his band, "The Bossmen". Dick went on to be the guitarist for Alice Cooper, and his keyboard player, Warren Keith went on to join Hank Williams Jr's first band.
I lived in New Hampshire for about for about 2 1/2 years after leaving Michigan. I played a lot of gigs in New England, and made the rounds everywhere playing at jams and sitting in with the bands in the area.
I worked for Western Electric in North Andover for a short time as a Tester of new equipment, and worked with Bell Labs at that facility for a two week stretch as an Assistant Electronic Engineer.
In 1967, I moved back to St. Petersburg, FL where I performed with many of the Tampa Bay area bands and at jam sessions. During this period of time, I regularly visited and jammed with a band called, "The King James Version" at The 49 Club. The bass player in that group, Leon Wilkerson later joined a group of guys in Jacksonville, FL, called "Lynyrd Skynyrd".
In 1972 I joined a soul band named "The Train Robbers Band". We had a steady home base at The Three Oaks Motel and night club on 18th Ave So in St. Petersburg. The band was a very Motown Sound oriented group and we featured two of the finest vocalists in the Tampa Bay area, Genie Boy and Bruce, aka "The Child Of Friendship". We actually were supposed to be the band that backd KC and were slated to be the Sunshine Band .... but that did not happen. During my time in the band we wrote and recorded a song titled "Will You Answer" and put it on a 45 RPM record (Pre CD). When I recently moved back to Florida, I made contact with Wayne Hilliard, who was the drummer for "The Train Robbers Band", and had hopes that maybe I could inspire the band to do a reunion show, but learned that Tyrone Johnson (Saxophone), and Omar Katimba (LP Percussionist) had passed away. As far as I know at this time all of the other band members are still alive. I still have hopes of doing a reunion show.
After leaving "The Train Robbers Band", I formed "Magic Mirror", a kick butt rock group together with Stu Miller on bass, and Chris Thomes on drums. The band was a really good band, but had a short life. We did get a featured spread in the "St. Petersburg Times - Independent" ... "Scene Magazine".
After the demise of "Magic Mirror", I left Florida and headed west to California. I lived for a time in Indio, California and worked with variety of bands in that area including a short stay in the LA area. While in Indio, besides playing at local night spots all over Coachella Valley, and appearing as the co-host on a local radio breakfast show, I did sound for the Indio International Date Festival simultaneously on both stages, and together with a friend Gene Wilson, filled in for The Ink Spots, who could not make the show, and we performed for 50,000 people and astounded the audience and the local media with our performance. It was at this festival that I met Red Skelton, who later requested me as his live performance sound engineer. I also worked as a sound engineer for live shows by a few bands in that area, including "The Hues Corporation", and had the honor of doing the sound for the "Red Skelton Show" live in Coachella Valley. I performed as the guitarist in the orchestra for the "Palm Springs Players and Dance Company". We did musical productions such as "God Spell" live around the Palm Springs area.
After returning to the Tampa Bay area in Florida for a short time, I moved to Tennessee, first to Knoxville where I was in several bands including "The New Hope Band" which did a Canadian tour in 1978 and got rave reviews from all media, and then I moved to Nashville and lived there for 29 years, performing locally and on the road with many many big name artists. My first job in Nashville was with Paul Overstreet. I also had my own bands which performed in the famous honky tonk district on lower Broadway, two of which "The Hit Squad" and "The Blaze", and was music director for "The Johnny Lawson Show". I had the honor of playing for audiences which included great artists Johnny Rodriguez, Bucky Barrett (5 Jazz Guitarist in the world according to Downbeat Magazine), Chrissy Hines and The Pretenders, Molly Hatchet, The Eurythmics, Andy Kaufman, Razzy Bailey, Johnny Paycheck and many others. Johnny Paycheck and I became friends after he first heard me play at "Farmers" in Nashville, and used to sit in with the band I was playing with, "High Gear". "High Gear was a very good band of entertainers. The members were Ron Lutrick (Bass and Vocals), Mary Lee Self-Lutrick (Vocals), Ardie Strutzenberg (Drums), and myself on guitar and vocals. Ardie was later replaced on drums by Greg Mitchell (The son of Pete Mitchell of The Texas Troubadors). I also have had the honor of sharing the stage with Reba McEntire (we had a ball and hit it off) during a show we did in Milwaukee for the heir to the Joseph Schlitz Brewery Company. I performed on stage with many of the Opry stars, and Hee Haw greats, including Pete Mitchell (Texas Troubadors), Paul Overstreet, Kenny Price, Buck Trent, Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass, Molly Hatchet, Black Oak Arkansas, Johnny Paycheck, Kenny Chesney (who used to open for my band), and Ray Flack (Guitarist for Ricky Scaggs), and many many others.
Between 1980 and now, all of the recordings that are in the player on this page were recorded either live in Lyons, GA; Bud Sound Studios in Bartow; or at The Cabaret Club or in Angello Sound Studios in Nashville, TN. The songs in the Reverb Nation Player are explained in the posting. During the time I played in Lyons, our band, "The Hit Squad", had the number one hit "Louisiana Swamp Rock", written by Mike Seaman, on the local radio station (Cannot recall the station call sign) for two weeks. I do not have a copy of that recording.
I have recently moved back to Florida in September, 2006 and have made the rounds getting my name back in circulation. I am not actively looking for a band to join or musicians (bass player, keyboard player, drummer) with which I can form my own band, but will consider the right proposition.
I was at one time definitely intending to put my own show together. Key word in that sentence is "SHOW" ... BUT my immediate priority is to find a band who needs what I can do and is working steady enough for me to actually make a respectable living. I have a lot of energy, a really good stage presence, and am serious about exhibiting and maintaining a professional sound and attitude. I do not intend to rehearse a lot with anyone not paying big money.
I do not like the word "can't" and repel those who have a "will not play that" attitude. I like ALL types of music. I have a good ear and do not like a "cluttered sound". Most of the time, all I need to know is what key you are in and maybe a briefing on the chord structure if the song is complex. I expect the same from the musicians I might work with. I hate rhythm sections that cannot play in, or even understand playing "in the pocket" and/or "perfect meter (timing)"
- Screen name:
- Member since:
- Sep 25 2008
- Active over 1 month ago
- Level of commitment:
- Years playing music:
- Gigs played:
- Over 100
- Tend to practice:
- More than 3 times per week
- Available to gig:
- 6-7 nights a week
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
The Rolling Stones
Bobby Blu Bland
Nat King Cole
and quite a few other great artists.
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster guitar (Her name is "Honey" and she is oh so sweet)
Marshall JCM601 amplifier (60 watt all tube amp)
Line 6 POD X3 Live
Digital recording system using Studio One Pro and Cubase
I am always adding on and/or selling off what I don't use, but am approaching the point where I have all keepers.
Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why Track number: 2 Year: 1987 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Studio Demo) Genre: Other
This song was written by the person singing it, Mike Byrom. I did the arrangement and played Guitar Synthesizer, and Lead Guitar on the recording. It was recorded at Angello Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. I was the producer. The recording also features Willie Rainsford on keyboards. Willie is well known in Nashville as a premier session player and has quite a resume' of his own.
In The Middle
In The Middle Track number: 7 Year: 1987 Album: The Hit Squad Genre: Other
Another of Mike Byrom's originals that I arranged and played lead guitar on. Willie Rainsford is the piano player on this song.
I'd Like To Own A Cadillac
I'd Like To Own A Cadillac Track number: 8 Year: 1987 Album: The Hit Squad Genre: Other
This is sort of a funk/jazz/rock/R&B song written and sung by Mike Byrom. Willie Rainsford plays the organ on this one, and I play lead guitar and rhythm guitar on it.
Main Street Track number: 3 Year: 1990 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Live) Genre: Cover/Tribute
This is the Bob Seger classic song "Main Street". I include it because I love the song and it shows the soul that bands I have been in were capable of displaying. The vocalist's name is Mike Seaman. I play all guitars on this live recording done in Lyons, GA.
Trying To Live My Life Without You
Trying To Live My Life Without You Track number: 4 Year: 1990 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Live) Genre: Cover/Tribute
Another of the great Bob Seger songs recorded live in Lyons, GA. I play all guitars on this one, too. Mike Seaman is the vocalist. I am singing background vocals along with Bibi Morris on this one.
Born To Be Wild
Born To Be Wild Track number: 1 Year: 1990 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Live) Genre: Classic Rock
This was recorded live at a night club in Lyons, GA. I am doing the lead vocal and lead guitar.
Gimme Three Steps
Gimme Three Steps Track number: 6 Year: 1990 Album: Wally Dow's Hit Squad Genre: Cover/Tribute
I had to include a Southern Rock song, and this is a classic. Mike Seaman sings lead, Bibi Morris and I do background vocals, and I am the lead guitarist.
Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses
Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses Year: 1989 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Live) Genre: Country
Living in the USA
Living in the USA Year: 1989 Album: Wally Dow and Friends Genre: Cover/Tribute
Amarillo By Morning
Amarillo By Morning Track number: 5 Year: 1990 Album: Wally Dow's Hit Squad Genre: Country
I have always liked and admired George Strait and am including this one to show off my country abilities on guitar. The vocalist is Don Riddle, a very close friend of mine from Texas. I over dubbed his voice on one of the Lyons, GA recordings. He sounded better than the original vocal laid live by Mike Seaman.
Lonely Hearts Year: 1987 Album: Wally Dow and Friends (Studio Demo)