Whiskey Rodeo was born out of bar patio pickin’ parties and improbable circumstances.
In late 2008, Greg (front man & songwriter) was traveling from his home in Seattle on his way to Nashville with dreams of a career in music… Well when he got to Flagstaff Arizona and discovered the combination of gorgeous alpine mountain scenery, hunting, fishing and a population that knows how to party like nowhere else, he decided to stay for a few weeks… It wasn’t long before he ran out of money and had to take a job bartending at Uptown Public House.
About that same time, Chase (guitarist, producer) was overcoming his culture shock after moving from Hollywood to Flagstaff. During the early 2000’s Chase was half of one of Los Angeles’ most in-demand vocal duos. He was engineering large productions for headline artists, and generally living it up… Then a divorce, bankruptcy and loss of home found him shell-shocked, couch-surfing (or sleeping in his car), and ready for a change. His parents lived in Sedona, so Chase decided to move to nearby Flagstaff because it was as unlike L.A. as any place he has ever seen. He never expected to perform again.
Then one Sunday afternoon Greg was hosting a pickin’ party on the patio of Uptown Pub House after his shift and a lady friend of Chase’s convinced him to go and join in.
Greg & Chase couldn’t have been less compatible.
While Greg was wondering “who the hell is this over-dressed show-off who brought an amplifier to a patio guitar circle?” Chase was thinking that suffering through Greg’s “clunky, drunky guitar playing and so-called singing” was a waste of time.
But then something happened.
Chase noticed that Greg was an absolute natural performer, cracking jokes, telling stories, and entertaining the patio… He also played several original songs that were truly top-notch.
Meanwhile Greg couldn’t ignore Chase’s ability to effortlessly harmonize while playing along with anybody and that he simply shredded on the guitar.
After the patio cleared out, the suggestion was made that Greg & Chase form a band together.
In the beginning, the band had no name and no bass player, but a friend of Greg’s was a great percussionist and the owner of the bar Greg worked at was a great singer/songwriter so she would play the bass when they performed, which was then only at Uptown Pub House.
In truth, the shows were really about watching Greg, Chase and other musicians drink a LOT of whiskey and amusingly fall apart. This is how the band got its name, and the “Whiskey Rodeo” was born.
Well as the reputation for wild antics, games, and general indulgence of Whiskey Rodeo spread, the shows and audiences got bigger and the band got more refined.
By 2011 Whiskey Rodeo had opened for Edgar Winter, Easton Corbin, Jodi Watley, The Bellamy Brothers, Taylor Dayne, Roger Clyne, and many others. The successful release of their first studio CD (“Whiskey Rodeo’s Blood Revenge Part 2”) saw their audience expand well outside their region, and the lineup had expanded to include Andrae Blissett on keyboards, vocals and percussion along with a new drummer and bassist
In fall of 2011 they decided it was time to go on tour.
So they launched a successful crowd-sourcing program, raised a little money, and in October 2011 Whiskey Rodeo embarked on their first multi-state tour.
Dubbed the “Across State Lines” tour, the tour would cover 11 states in 76 days and was entirely planned, booked, organized and managed by Whiskey Rodeo. The band did all the driving, loading in/out and maintenance as well.
At the halfway point of their tour the whole thing falls apart. In what has been dubbed by Greg “The NOLA incident” Whiskey Rodeo’s drummer quits.
After being up all night toiling over what to do now, Chase is reminded by a friend “Andrae plays drums!” It was as if thunder had been placed in Andrae’s hands. Whiskey Rodeo had established its core. Deadly vocals, face melting guitars, crushing drums, and over the top stage antics.
Since the tour would take them as far east as New Orleans and as far north as Springfield MO, the route would take them through Texas twice; on the way out and on the way back home.
Needless to say; Texas welcomed the Whiskey Rodeo experience wholeheartedly and after the first tour was completed; demand from venues and benefit events from San Antonio through Killeen inspired two more focused Texas tours. By the time they had returned to Texas for the third time Chase, Greg and Andrae had decided to make the move to Texas permanent.
The challenges of uprooting an established rock band, relocating and re-establishing living arrangements, gigs, etc. were simply too much for the previous bassist, who decided to remain in AZ.
So; along with all the obvious challenges; Whiskey Rodeo had to find the right bassist to complete the perfect rhythm section with Andrae now on drums.
Unfortunately this proved to be much more difficult than one might expect. Many bassists applied and sent demos online, but nobody seemed to really grasp Whiskey Rodeo’s particular brand of classic rock inspired, Alcohol-fueled, modern Americana rock that they now call “Funky-Tonk”.
Then on the day before Chase had to go back to AZ empty-handed he was sitting dejected in Boozehounds Bar in San Antonio, listlessly scanning the “musicians looking for bands” section of Craigslist when he stumbled upon a guy named Patrick Smith.
Patrick’s demo reel was stellar, he had lots of diverse experience, and best of all, Smith was moving from Dallas to San Antonio just about the time Whiskey Rodeo would be arriving to stay.
So Chase called Patrick and to his credit, Patrick went to the bar to meet Chase immediately. After a short conversation Patrick was given the chance to take on the Whiskey Rodeo bass chair.
With a powerhouse lineup finally in place, and a lot of amazing help and support (meaning FOOD) from their patrons and fans in Texas, recording of Whiskey Rodeo’s latest CD began on December 1st 2012 at an isolated property located off historic Purgatory Road… In fact; the title track of the CD began as nothing more than an impromptu sound check ‘jam’ between Andrae and Chase to make sure the studio equipment was all working. Greg liked the riff and performance so much that he set about writing what has become a crowd favorite song telling the story of a doomed pair of lovers who meet their end on ‘Purgatory Road’.
The CD was completed and released by mid-February 2013 to an enthusiastic response from fans & critics alike. Sales online and at shows have been very brisk.
With the “Purgatory Road” CD released, Whiskey Rodeo has made it their mission to be the hardest working, hardest playin’ and hardest drinking band, and they’re setting the standard VERY high by performing over 110 shows sine the release of “Purgatory Road” in February, and firmly intent on breaking 200 shows in 2013!
The Whiskey Rodeo live show is always highly interactive, surprising, and maybe a little off-color. The live show includes an ever-evolving mixture of audience games and contests (think ‘shake-weights, condoms and cucumbers’ and you’ll get the idea) and as a result, Whiskey Rodeo has quickly built a reputation as consummate entertainers and musicians with a live show that is not to be missed.
In just 4 short years Whiskey Rodeo has gone from the humblest of beginnings on a bar patio (and an excuse to drink whiskey with friends), to a regional and touring headlining powerhouse with dedicated, deeply disturbed fans all across the USA, and even in the UK and mainland Europe.