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Background Information

Employment History

Web References (2 Total References)

New Mexico Band History - Music History [cached]

Lonnie Bray

Lonnie Bray and Firewater

New Mexico Band History - Lonnie Bray and Firewater [cached]

Lonnie Bray and Firewater New Mexico Band History - Lonnie Bray and Firewater

Lonnie Bray and Firewater
Lonnie Bray and Firewater
L to R - Kirt Harris; Buzz Carter; Lonnie Bray; Jeff Smith; Dan Baggitt.
Lonnie needed a bass player right now and the deciding factor was that I had black, white, and red shirts. The initial deal was $200 a week and rooms in Grants. I quickly found that Lonnie could sing every country song ever written, while I knew few or none. Fortunately, the audience at the Shell Lounge was not particular, and Lonnie and his band were extremely tolerant. Although the break-in period was somewhat agonizing, I worked with Mr. Bray for the next three years.
Lonnie Bray
Lonnie always worked, people generally liked him, and we made good money for those days. We did a sit down gig at the Western Skies Hotel for a year and a half. We played the Caravan circuit. We played a dangerous place on 2nd Street called the Tower Bar for nine months. We did nine straight weeks in Midland, Texas. We basically went everywhere. Lonnie knew so many songs he could go a week without repeating one. He knew enough R@B and old rock songs to break up the country monotony. Although the core group was pretty stable, the fourth piece was always changing. Markham Andrews (Grackles; Clams; Zots) actually played with us for a brief period. It did not last; in part because Markham insisted that we move around his full-size upright piano; and Lonnie was fully convinced that Markham and I were in some kind of a conspiracy to interject what he called "Drakle notes" into the songs.
Lonnie and I had some falling out at the Caravan in Clovis around 1980 and that was that. Markham, Bert, and I (aka The Grakles) drove up to Denver for some reason and stopped somewhere in between, at the motel where Firewater was staying and playing. We visited long enough to tell Lonnie that we were on our way to play some big coliseum show in Denver. He appeared troubled by this information. All in all though, my time with Lonnie Bray and Firewater was an interesting experience, with an often bizarre cast of characters and never a dull moment.
Lonnie Bray and Firewater
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