Stories From the Road #12

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a bus full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

RICK:

“One time we had bookings out in California. We left Brownwood, Texas and made the mistake of stopping in Juarez, Mexico. We had too much fun…drank too much and hung out with too many senoritas. We didn’t really have a whole lot of money left by the time we got out of Juarez, but we had to get on to California to work. Then, the worst happened when we got into Arizona somewhere. The bus started making an engine noise. We had to stop and get it fixed. To the best of my memory, it was an oil pump. At any rate, we were sincerely broke by the time we reached California. We found a motel that rented apartment type rooms; like two bedroom motel rooms. I told the lady who managed it, “We’re musicians and we get paid next week. We get paid every week. We just blew into town from Texas and had some bus trouble so we don’t really have the money to pay you in advance, but we would like to rent the place. We’re going to be here at least six weeks.” I have no idea what possessed her to agree, but she said, “Ok. I’m going to trust you for this week.”

We settled in and had just enough money to buy a pound of bologna and a loaf of bread. We’d managed to get out of Mexico with a few cartons of Mexican cigarettes and a few bottles of Cognac. So, we drank Cognac, smoked Mexican cigarettes and ate bologna and bread for a week.

Finally, at the end of that week, we got paid. That night we went to a place down the street from the motel that advertised all the chicken you could eat for a buck. We almost wiped the poor guy out. I mean, we were hungry! I told him fair and square, “This is the first time we’ve really eaten in a week. We’ve been living off bologna and bread. I’m sorry we wiped you out.” He laughed and said, “No, no. You guys eat all you want and come back again. That is all I ask; that you come back and see me. I’ll come out in the long run.” So, we ate fried chicken there often, but we didn’t eat hardly as much as that first time.

The irony of this band business…this music business, is that I would be up on stage with a fifteen-hundred dollar suit on, high dollar boots, Stetson hat and all kind of fancy hand-made belts and guitar straps. I would be up there looking like I had a million dollars when I didn’t have fifty cents to my name. People would say to me, “Man, I wish we were like y’all are. You get up there and work only four hours a night and make a lot of money, get all the women and have all the fun. And, I would be thinking, “Man they have no idea what this is all about. No idea.” They didn’t know how many hundreds of hours of rehearsal we put in and all the money that had to be paid out. It was not as it appeared. ”

Rick and Band 1960's6 (2017_11_16 21_30_48 UTC)Rick 1960's3

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

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Life Does Not End With Death – Book Review

5-star-review

IT’S MAY AND THE LILACS ARE BLOOMING

ONE FOOT ON EARTH – AND ONE IN HEAVEN

BY ELAINA DEVA PROFFITT

May_Lilacs

BLURB:

The true story of a woman with unusual abilities who finds strength, the power of love and strong faith at a time when suddenly, the road of life takes a dark turn on a cold November night bringing her into the Valley and Shadow of Death. She soon finds herself in a new town surrounded by loving people, some who were dying and rapidly entering into the world of danger, murder, pain, and prophecy. While suffering in agonizing pain soon angelic strangers appearing in many disguises; Healer, Homicide Detectives, and Catholic Priest helping and quietly protecting her. Realizing she was fighting for her life standing at “Death’s door” her search for the Doctors to save her who would arrive in a most wondrous way. A Near Death Experience bringing a Journey into a beautiful light that would enhance the Spiritual gifts she was given at birth… Uplifting Autobiography True Crime, Psychic Detective Death & Dying, Near Death Experience Grief Loss, Angels, Spiritual Journey, Murder Pain, and Prophecy.

MY REVIEW:

This is hands down, one of the most amazing spiritual books I’ve ever read!

Being born with the gift of psychic abilities is not an easy road. Working alongside homicide detectives to solve horrendous crimes is a dark and energy draining work. But, Elaina Deva Proffitt did all of this and more. In her book, she shares on an intensely deep and intimate level, different aspects of her spiritual journey and the work it led her to do. As it unfolds, the fascinating story takes on multiple dimensions.

She takes us inside crime scenes and describes in detail, the visions, smells, feelings and physical sensations she embodies as she re-lives murders, kidnappings, and suicides. While this work would drain her, she helped detectives solve many crimes and bring justice.

But, when she faces a serious physical trauma herself, she embarks on a long, arduous and uncertain path.

I have to say that when I reached the part of this book where she describes her NDE (Near Death Experience) I could not stop the tears that coursed down my face. The beauty, peace, light, and comfort she found in the other world left a deep and lasting impression.

I don’t want to spoil this story for anyone, but I will say with all certainty that everyone alive should read this book if for no other reason than to help prepare themselves for the inevitable crossing we all will make. It is a deeply personal story that will give hope, peace, comfort and take some of the fear out of dying.

Elaina

Follow Elaina Deva Proffitt

Website          Facebook       Twitter

Order on Amazon

For signed copies of the book, visit Heart Drop Publications

Stories From the Road #11

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a van full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

I’m going to switch gears and share a few of the Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels Band stories. Some of them are pretty unbelievable, but they all did happen. 🙂

Rick: 

“My brother Bobby, was a fantastic keyboard player. He played guitar too but excelled on the keyboard. He was a crazy SOB. In high school, his nickname was “Nut” Sikes. So, he was always game for a prank or skit or anything else we came up with.

We used to have what we called a “prop kit.” It had all kinds of old stuff in it like a Viking helmet, some beards, floppy hats, and raggedy Hobo clothes – all kinds of stuff, and we had a lot of fun with it. I remember one time we had stopped to eat at a fancy restaurant in Waco. We had figured out a scheme or plan that involved Bobby playing the part of a sex fiend. He didn’t care. He was a comedian anyway and he loved to be a fool.

So, I went inside the restaurant first and there was a nice elderly lady sitting behind the counter. I told her, “Ma’am, I have a band and we would like to eat, but I have a brother that is in the mental hospital most of the time. I bring him out for a couple of weeks on the road with me because our parents are both dead and we don’t have anybody. But, he’s really messed up mentally.”

She said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. What is his problem?”

I was good at keeping a straight face and playing the straight guy. “Well, he is what we call a sex fiend,” I said. “He sees women and he just gets nutty sometimes. So, if you will allow us to come in, please ask the waitresses not to get too close to him.”

She said, “Well, of course. Of course, you can come in.” I said, “We’ll hold him down and confine him, but just ask them please not to get too close.”

So, I go back out to the bus and get everyone and I’m sure she’s warning all the waitresses.

We walked inside and Bobby was slobbering and growling like an animal. A couple of the guys had him by the arms leading him in. They sat him down at the end of the table and we all sit down. A guy sat on each of Bobby and kept holding onto his arms.

The waitress came to the far end of the table away from him and asked us to pass the menus down. Everyone ordered. I ordered for Bobby.

A couple sat at the table next to ours and when their waitress brought a cart with their food on it, she got pretty close to our table. Bobby jumped up and lunged at her growling. The waitress screamed and knocked her food cart over spilling food on the couple.

I ran up front to the elderly lady and apologized. “I will pay for that couple’s food and for anything that got broken. I am so terribly sorry.”

She just shook her head and clicked her tongue. “That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

So, I went back to our table. In the meantime, the other guys had dragged Bobby back to his chair and held on to him.

When the waitress brought our food, she stayed at the far end of the table. Bobby started crawling across the table right in the middle, slobbering and making goofy noises. The guys yanked him back and that waitress screamed. She sat our food down and took off.

I don’t remember what we had ordered for Bobby, but I do remember it had mashed potatoes and gravy and Bobby started eating with his hands and getting it all down the front of his shirt.

Of course, everyone in the restaurant was watching all of this. And that just egged him on. He played it up heavy.

Finally, we got finished and washed him down the best we could. The guys escorted him out and all the while, he was still carrying on.

I went back to the lady at the front and said, “Ma’am, I want to pay for everything. Any damages or anything else he caused.”

She said, “Oh, no, no, no, no. Don’t worry about that at all. What on earth do you do with him when you go to play someplace?”

I said, “We just chain him in the bus. We have to lock him up or else he’ll get out.”

She clicked her tongue and asked, “And, you take him out two weeks every year so he can be with you?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I replied.

She said, “You know you are one of the most compassionate men I have ever met. You are certainly a good man and I admire you. I know it’s terribly humiliating for you.”

I played the straight guy all the way. “Yes, Ma’am. Yes, Ma’am.”

So then we all get back on the bus and everyone cracks up and has a blast.

It was a crazy stunt to pull, but it helped break up the monotony and boredom on the road…”

 

 

Rick and Bobby
L-R Bobby Sikes, Rick Sikes

 

 

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

#RWISA Rising Writer, D.L. Finn

Each month at RAVE WRITERS INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)  a Rising Writer is recognized.

Congratulations to November’s Rising Writer, Author, D.L. Finn!

She has written children’s books, poetry, a memoir and now a paranormal romance.

Check out a one minute video clip showcasing her work HERE

D.L. Finn is an independent California local that encourages everyone to embrace their inner child.

She shares that she has always best expressed herself in the written word. She explores what is going on inside herself and her characters–how things aren’t always what they seem. She learned that lesson a long time ago with a difficult childhood. She applies this to her work. She believes a message of courage, hope, and wonder is needed in a world where there seems to be less acceptance of it; when it’s easier to embrace fear, hate, and anger, instead.

Her latest book, “This Second Chance” is proof of how diverse D.L. Finn is as an author.

The Blurb:

Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way. Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness. Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?

This Second Chance eBook Cover

Take a peek at ALL of D.L. Finn’s Books on Amazon!

Follow D.L. Finn

Twitter:  @dlfinnauthor

 

Sweet Faces

My daughter and son-in-law took a much needed short vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico.

So, I am taking care of my granddaughters, Sydney, age 6 and Samantha age 2. 🙂

I seem to need a lot more energy than I have to keep up with them. BUT, that being said, we had an art project that went well…

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EXCEPT, we got a little paint on the bean bag chair. OOPS! And, I cannot figure for the life of me how to unzip the cover to throw it into the washer. So, I scrubbed it the best I could.

Then we went to a Candy Canes for Kids event designed to raise money for the Collin County Advocacy Center for children. And, that was fun. Cold and windy, but fun nevertheless.

Another sign of my age – When we got into the van to come back home, I buckled them both in safely, got in and drove away, leaving the stroller sitting in the parking lot. Yikes!! Thankfully, my older daughter was there with her family and she went and rescued it.

So, now today, after gymnastics, I have promised that we will play beauty shop.

If I miss your blogs, fail to return emails or other such important matters, I promise I’ll catch up. But, I am going to remain totally immersed in the moment with these two because I know how precious this time is.

Can they be ornery?? Heck yes. But, it usually passes pretty quickly. 🙂

Happy Sunday, everyone. Hug someone today.

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Stories From the Road #10

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a new series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a van full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

Wow! We are already in Episode 10 of “Stories From The Road!” To celebrate, I will give a $10 Amazon Gift Card to someone who leaves a comment. Winner will be picked at random.  Today’s post is probably Rick’s favorite story of all time and he loved to share it.

Rick:

“Over the years, I was fortunate to get to play with some great entertainers – legends, in fact. I guess the most outstanding for me personally was when, in 1964, Sam Gibbs Booking Agency from Wichita Falls, Texas, called and asked if my band would like to do a tour with Bob Wills. I immediately said, “Hell yes!” before he told me how much we’d be paid, where we’d performing or any other details. Growing up in west Texas, there was no bigger star than Bob Wills. He was the ultimate Texas superstar, in my opinion.

Shortly before World War II, Dad bought Mom a Zenith console radio. It was really beautiful and had all the short-wave bands, as well as excellent AM radio reception. There was no FM radio back then. I recall that radio blaring out “San Antonio Rose” over and over. That was the hottest song going for months on end. It was recorded in 1940. Bob eventually recorded twenty-two #1 hits. In 1968, Bob was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence.” Bob died in 1975 in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 70. He had begun to play the fiddle professionally at the age of ten.

Anyway, this tour with him was the epitome of my dreams – me playing with the legendary man himself. Tag Lambert was driving him around and playing guitar for him. Bob had just sold the “Texas Playboys” name to Leon Rausch but had decided to do another tour anyway. The posters just said, “Bob Wills and the Boys.” I’d give anything if I’d saved some of them. I can only find one picture of Bob and myself together, but I know there were dozens more.

We were with Bob when Tommy Duncan died and people would come up to the stage and ask Bob if we were going to Tommy’s funeral in California. Bob handled it great. He’d say, “No, regrettably we can’t make it.” The majority of the public didn’t know that Bob and Tommy had become bitter enemies.

At the time we were backing Bob, I had a drummer who was a good drummer, but he had a problem. He’d done some bad acid, I think they called it STP. Anyway, he’d sorta’ slip into another zone now and then and start banging a drum solo with cymbals and all crashing, right in the middle of a song. I’d have to scream at him to snap him back into the real world. He did this two or three times on the first gig with Bob. Bob said, “Just give me a plain ol’ country shuffle; none of that fancy stuff.” I told Frenchy (the drummer), “Man, hold it down. Be cool.” He would say, “Ok.” Well, on every show, he’d go off and I’d have to holler him down. Bob was really nice in the way he told me, “Son, I don’t have anything against the drummer boy, but you sure do need to get you a country drummer.”

I asked Bob one time how he always had such a great dance band. He said, “Get you a good rhythm section and you’ve got a dance band.” I asked him how to tell if you were doing it right and he replied, “Look at the dance floor. If it’s full, you’re doing it right. They get thirsty when they dance and the boss man likes that.”

I recall an older lady coming up to the bandstand one time and saying, “Bob, do you remember me?” He smiled and tipped his white hat and said, “Honey, I sure do. It’s good to see you again.” Then he turned around to us and said, “I never saw her before in my life,” and grinned real big.

Once, we were at the Del Rio Civic Center to do a show. At that time, Bob didn’t light the cigar anymore, but he always held one. He wasn’t supposed to smoke or drink because he’d had a heart attack. Anyway, we were sitting in his dressing room (just he and I) and he said, “Son, you got any whiskey in your bus and maybe an extra cigar?” I said, “Sure. I’ll be right back.” We were in there smoking and having a shot of Jim Beam whiskey when Tag Lambert knocked on the door. I had noticed Bob locking it after I came in. Tag hollered, “Bob, are you in there?” Bob said, “Yes, what do you want?” Tag asked, “Are you drinking or smoking?” Bob said, “What if I am.” Tag said, “Open the door and let me in.” Bob got irritated and replied, “Get the hell outta here. You’re not my momma.” When we came out, Tag was really pissed and he pulled me aside to jump me. He said, “What in the hell are you trying to do, kill that old man?” I said, “No, I’m not trying to harm him in any way, but if I have anything he wants, I’ll damned sure give it to him whether you like it or not. So, don’t try to hand me any shit. You got that?” Needless to say, Tag didn’t like me very much.

Tag was a good singer and a helluva good guitar picker and I truly believe he worshipped Bob as most every picker who ever knew him did. Bob Wills was a musical genius. He could arrange music with three or four instruments or a twenty-five piece band. He knew how to put it together – really together – and he never had any formal music training. He just knew how to combine sounds in a way that few others have come close to doing. Nothing in my entire music career ever topped playing for Bob Wills.”

 

Rick and Bob Wills framed
Rick Sikes and Bob Wills

 

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

TIL DEATH DO US PART – A REVIEW BY @dlfinnauthor

When someone reads and leaves a review for one of my books, I am always moved. But, this review from D.L. Finn made my eyes misty.

Here is her review on Amazon:

“This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book. I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.”

Thank you to D.L. for the kind words! Please visit the original post on her BLOG.

Christmas is coming! If you’d like an autographed copy of TIL DEATH DO US PART, visit my website.

And, of course, this book can be purchased on Amazon

You can find out more about all of my books on my website

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BOOTLEGGERS – CD Review

BOO8_DIGI_EM3

BOOTLEGGERS

SOUTHERN ROADS

INDEPENDENT

 What does deep south France and Southern Rock have in common? The correct answer is a band, the Bootleggers. And they’ve recently released a new Indie album entitled Southern Roads.

In the vein of ZZ Top, the twang of electric guitars and hard rocking beat defines the Bootleggers. Band leader, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Didier Cere sets the tone for their music. Point Blank’s guitarist, Rusty Burns who passed away before the CD was released, Van Wilks and Neal Black from San Antonio join in on the project.

The album kicks off with Van Wilks’ “Sometimes You Run.” Having heard Van’s original version, I have to give the Bootleggers kudos for their rendition of this hard-rocking song. You cannot listen and sit still.

“Short Change Hero” written by Kelvin Claude Swaby and made popular by The Heavy is the second track, followed by “Sending Me Angels,” a Delbert McClinton tune, which switches to a soulful tempo showing the diversity of this group.

“10 Million Slaves” penned by Otis Taylor features one of the most important American Artists on the blues scene, Neal Black on electric guitar.

The next track came as a surprise. “Negro Prison Blues,” written by Alan Lomax starts out acapella and moves into a beautiful instrumental featuring the slide guitar of Claude Zanglois.

The Bootleggers interpretation of “John The Revelator” by Blind Willie Johnson is simplistic and organic. Didier Cere shines on the vocals.

Neal Black penned “Hangman Tree,” and in the truest depiction of southern rock with a heavy drum beat and slide guitar, it is an easy favorite.

“Spirit in the Sky,” topped the charts worldwide in 1969. Written and released by Norman Greenbaum, it became one of the most recognizable songs on the radio. The Bootleggers did a rocking version in the spirit of the song with some outstanding harmonica work by Nico Wayne Toussaint. Dick Burnett’s “Man of Constant Sorrow” brings this album to a close in a surprising way. I have to say I am impressed by the vocals on this album and the versatility of the musicians. For more info visit https://www.reverbnation.com/bootleggers

Watch a Video of the BOOTLEGGERS Performing live! Video Link

I hope you enjoyed meeting a new and unique group of artists. It’s not often I get a chance to review a CD from a band in France. 

 

Stories From the Road #9

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a van full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

Rick:

“I had the pleasure and honor of doing a few gigs with Little Jimmy Dickens. What a ball of energy he was and could charm the heck out of a crowd.  Once in Houston, we were playing a place out on Airline Road,  called “Dancetown USA.” It was a big place, one of the hottest joints on the circuit back then, and I played there often. Little Jimmy had a terrible cold that night, so we went on out to set up while he stayed at the motel because he was feeling really bad. I was on the stage hooking up equipment and this dear lady stumbled up to the stage (she was in her cups) and said, “Are you Little Jimmy Dickens?” I said, “No, Ma’am, I work for him.” She said, “He gave me something over twenty years ago and I’ve never forgot him. Will you tell me when he gets here?” I said, “Yes, Ma’am, I sure will.” When Jimmy came in and I stood beside him, his cowboy hat came just under my armpit. I said, “Jimmy, there is a lady here who thought I was you. She may be just a little bit drunk.” The little rascal looked up at me and said, “Son, if she thought you were me, she’s a hell of a lot more than a bit drunk.” Jimmy was a great showman and one of the few old-time acts working into his eighties. He was truly one of the greats in traditional country and it was a pleasure to work with him. ”

 

Rick and Little Jimmie Dickens
Little Jimmy Dickens and Rick Sikes

**Little Jimmy Dickens, was an American country music singer and songwriter famous for his humorous novelty songs, his small size (4’11” [150 cm]), and his rhinestone-studded outfits (which he is given credit for introducing into country music live performances). He started as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1948 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. Before his death, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry.**

 

Rick_Sikes_Dancetown_USA
Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels along with Dean Beard at Dancetown USA

 

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES