Friday, August 14, 2009

I stumbled across this post about Houston Musician Herschel Berry
The blog is called She Won't Cooperate or I Want to Be the Girl With the Most Cake and is written by Renee Smith. She writes well and lives in Houston.

I liked it. It reminded me of when I used to see Herschel a lot, back in the 1983 to 1986 time period. Back then, during most of that time, Herschel had the timeless lineup of Wiley Hudgins on drums, Kenny Cordray on guitar, and Karl I can't recall his last name on bass. They were a tight unit, with Herschel handling rhythm guitar and lead vocal duties. All the other fellows sang backup quite well.

Cordray had co-written ZZ Top's hit "Francine" with Billy Gibbons. It was not unheard of for Billy to drop in on a Natives gig during this time period. Once I saw him with a couple of huge guys that were supposedly hockey players friends of his. They was BIG.

In any event, those were fun times. And the music just couldn't be beat. I often saw them at the old Ale House on Richmond, and there were times when the energy of the dancing filled-to-capacity crowd would shake the upstairs of the old house converted into a bar. The bandstand was upstairs and some heavy duty dancing could literally get the structure to rocking. I never was too keen on the way the whole floor bounced several inches, it just didn't bode well.

But I again digress, as I am want to do.

I'm glad to see Herschel is still making music. He was one of the busy local cats when I was coming up, along with folks like The Shake Russell-Dana Cooper Band. Herschel as well as Shake always took the time to talk to me about my musical projects and Herschel used to throw me the occasional bone with sub-gigs for other folks bands.

At the time, two brothers that were friends of mine ran a sound company that did the gigs for the Natives. I got to know the fellows pretty well for a time there, and they were all just fun loving guys and great musicians. They could generate an energy that no crowd could resist. The whole joint would be rocking, no matter what joint they were playing in.

I visited with Herschel on several occasions during that time period. I remember when he used to live in a really cool two story home in lower Montrose, on one of those huge oak lined and shaded quiet streets. I remember he had a tiny drum kit for his son there in the living room.

I got to play some with Herschel at some of the jam nights around town. It was always a lot of fun.

So anyway, Happy Anniversary Herschel. You rock, dude.

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