Ricky Adams flatly states, “I’m no guitar player. My first instrument was a tambourine. I didn’t play guitar until I was in my 30’s. I’m a singer.”
He references musical parents who encouraged him and his sister. “My dad played guitar and was a singer songwriter all his life. He toured all over the world – Italy, England, Saudi Arabia. We fell asleep as kids listening to the music as far back as I can remember.”
The Beatles sparked Loyd Bonham’s interest in music, not traditional country.
“I was beating on buckets with sticks – I was going to be the next Ringo Starr!” He and his buddies also “. . . cut guitars out of plywood and stood around pretending to play.”
James E. "Hoot" Gibson
Born in Brady, the geographic heart of Texas, James E. "Hoot" Gibson is a true Texas American original.
Beginning in childhood as he and his brother tended the family's cows, through high school and college rodeo, working cattle ranches of south Texas and later raising, training and shoeing horses, Hoot Gibson has made it a priority to honor the cowboy way of life.
Gary Lewis was born in Waco, Texas, but his early exposure to music was not a guitar.
“I started out playing tuba in the school band when I was in sixth grade,” Lewis says. “I played tuba for six years.” His mother bought his first guitar for Christmas when he was thirteen. “Neither of my parents played instruments,” he says, “but they encouraged us. My brothers and sisters played trumpet and drums.”
“My mom and aunt were piano players. They tried to teach me and my sister to play. My sister listened. I didn’t,” Livingston says, typically tongue-in-cheek.
He did play trumpet in his high school band, but it wasn’t until the Air Force that he learned to play guitar. “It was rhythm to start,” he says. “I like lead, but I had to hum in A, B, C until I learned to sing every song in every key. When I took up bass I didn’t have to think about it.”
Johnny Miller’s musical odyssey began at age nine with an accordion bought for him by his mother.
After learning to read music playing keyboards, he switched to a guitar because, “When Elvis Presley came along I knew I wasn’t going to make it with an accordion!” Although he still plays accordion and keyboards, Johnny Miller is best known and loved for his unique style and skill with the guitar.
Lore Orion can legitimately call himself a cowboy, an artist, songwriter, performer, author and President-for-Life of his own organization, “Citizens for a Wilder West.” Of the latter he says, “If you have to ask what a Citizen for a Wilder West is – you’re not.”
His other pursuits are easier to define. As an artist he designed album covers for Billy Joe Shaver, Jefferson Airplane, Waylon Jennings and the Grateful Dead’s “Riders of The Purple Sage”.
Walter “Tooter” Ripps wears many hats in the Bandera music scene.
A producer with his own recording studio, a sound engineer helping venues and musicians get the best sound from stage to audience, he also lends his vocals to the lead mic, backs up other vocalists and lays down one of the meanest bass lines in the business. A fellow musician calls him, “The man with ears of gold.”
Putting himself out front is not Byron Zipp’s style.
“I’m happy to take my name out of it,” he says of the many bands and musicians with whom he’s played, “It takes the ego out and let’s you do your bliss.”