Lost In The Land Of Texico started out as a band Project, at least in my mind. While I wanted to create songs that could be performed solo if need be, the intention was always to perform the music with a band. I love being in a band ... the camaraderie, the fusion of great musicians, the amazing road trips, those lengthy recording and mix sessions ... basically, all of it. I was blessed to have access to an amazing group of musicians who, thankfully, agreed to perform on the road with me.
Our first gig was at Borders Books & Music in Lewisville, TX in front of about 50 people. From there, we very quickly found ourselves performing in front of a few thousand people for outdoor festivals. Things were really starting to gel when LeAnn Rimes hired the rhythm section (bass, drums, guitar) to go on her worldwide tour, and that put some major brakes on The Project. We were able to piecemeal shows when they weren't out on the road, but it quickly became clear that I was either going to have to find another band, or start performing solo. I asked Adrian, our amazing accordion/keyboard player, if he would be willing to continue performing with me when the rhythm section was out on the road and, thankfully, he agreed. While not perfect for either of us, it at least gave us an opportunity to continue performing even when the band couldn't.
The two of us started doing shows initially around the state of Texas, but as the albums picked up steam in radio markets across the country, we branched out further, to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma and Louisiana. I would reluctantly go out solo when Adrian couldn't make it.
The band got together when they were in town and had open dates and we ultimately performed as far north as Durango and as far south as Corpus Christi, but coming and going made consistency difficult. Our biggest opportunity for an extended tour came in 2004 from a booking agency in Spain. They booked the band for a two week tour that would start in Madrid and end in Paris. The day before we were to fly over, the tour was cancelled. It was a big blow to all of us ... and to The Project
In 2009 we played our last show (so far), in Mansfield, TX.
I still have hopes of a reunion, but the stars would need to align as some of the players are scattered around the country now. Adrian decided to pursue other musical interests closer to his roots, and that forced me to really "learn my songs" as a solo artist. Candidly, at first I just hated it. However, I have had some deeply transformative experiences at a few solo shows where I came to understand that this entire Project has very little to do with me, and far more to do with the people in the audience. (imagine that...)
That understanding has given me a newfound purpose in this continuing The Project. I find true joy in performing in front of others now, but I will always miss being in a band, and will continue that quest, as it best represents the music, in my opinion.
Below are the wonderful musicians who got the whole thing off the ground, and some who have kept it going.
accordion / keys
One of the finest Tejano accordion players ever to come out of Texas. I met Adrian while recording a radio commercial for Coors Light in 1992. Our working relationship grew steadily as recording for Texico progressed. He's an excellent keyboard player and bassist as well. He's also an amazing engineer. I knew when I started Raise The Roof, that he was the logical person to co-produce it with me. He plays a myriad of other instruments as well.
While we haven't performed together in a while, he stays in my heart as the memories are wonderful.
bass / vocals
I truly believe that there is not a better bass player in this state. Bob and I have worked together for decades on projects.
Additionally, because he is an excellent recording engineer and producer, he brought a great deal of taste, talent and inspiration to both albums.
DAN "WOJO" WOJOCHOWCHESKI
drums / percussion
When I started Texico, I approached Dan with some of the songs and we just clicked. He had a real feel for what I was trying to accomplish and became the real foundation for the first CD. His extraordinary talent got him hired by LeAnn Rimes and The Back Street Boys.
He currently tours with Peter Frampton and Olivia Newton John, and played on LeAnn's last two award winning, multi-platinum albums. His chops on songs like Nobody There To Love Me and Why Should I are awesome.
guitars / vocals
When I finished Texico, I started looking for a guitar player who could share the parts I created on the CD and take them to the next level in a live setting. I found the right person in Jamey, a virtouso player.
He played on the Raise the Roof CD... his classical solo on Vaya con Dios is one of my favorites. Jamey lives in Nashville now and produces and records artists in his home studio, but I bet we reconnect before this is all said and done.
drums / percussion
When Wojo left to join LeAnn Rimes on the road,
I feared not being able to find someone of Dan's caliber, someone who really got what we were doing. I was wrong.
Sean is an extraordinary drummer that brought amazing depth and vision to RTR. My favorite is Chulatown... wow!
He tours with Kirk Whalum and others now.
Sean played some amazing tracks on Zane Williams Texas Like That CD that I produced in 2014
guitars / vocals
He is one of the finest guitar players I've ever heard. He knows how to fill a pocket to perfection and he's an invaluable asset to the band when he's available. As well, he's come and joined me on a couple of solo gigs.
Forty five years ago when I was playing in Coconuts, Brady came and sat in on a song. I remember thinking way back then,
'Man, if only I could play with that guy some day...'
It finally happened.
You may know her as the long time vocalist for John Mellencamp. She is equally gifted on percussion and keyboards as well, and her stage presence is unrivaled. We just try to keep up with her energy level... good luck. Pat's soulful voice always adds the same great dimension to the live show that it did on both of the albums.
Her spirit and faith gives all of us strength.
vocals / percussion
The first time I met Jennifer was the night before my set at The Big Barn Dance. She was singing and playing keys at a club. I sat in on a song and after the night finished she came up and said, "Could I sit in on your set tomorrow?"
Skeptically, I replied, "You don't know my songs..." She said, "Give me your CD and I will.
She did ... geez.
Everytime I'm in Taos for a Big Barn Dance, Jennifer's my "band".