MP3 Lonnie Spiker - Unapologetically Honky Tonk
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13 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, COUNTRY: Western Swing
Best In Texas O March 2005
LonnieSpikerSTARS ON THE HORIZON * STARS ON THE HORIZON * STARS ON THE HORIZON * STARS ON THE HORIZON"How did you get to Texas?" is a loaded ques-
tion to ask this teddy-bear like honky tonkerwith a hearty laugh. He's traveled the coun-
try, sharing the stage with Loretta Lynn and BillAnderson, and toured with his idol MartyRobbins. But for Lonnie Spiker the road to Texaswas a long one. Though he may not have beenborn a Texan, like the bumper sticker states, hegot here as fast as he could.
"I think that was God's practical joke," laughsLonnie. " For some reason he placed me inPennsylvania. I think God is laughing and havinga ball over that."
Geography didn't stop young Lonnie from beinginfluenced by the sounds of Texas music. Using acar radio that he built a transformer for, he wasable to tune in radio stations from over 1,000miles away, the sounds of Johnny Bush, GaryStewart, and Mickey Gilley pouring into his room.
"I probably listened to more Texas radio thanmost Texans did!" exclaims Lonnie.
He can tell you the day he decided that musicwas his life's calling. "I was about nine; my par-
ents had taken me to the Grand Ole Opry forthe first time. Across from what is nowthe arena, my father and I werecoming around the corner, afterdropping off my Mother andgrandparents at the RymanAuditorium. As we were walk-
ing up 5th Street, around thecorner from Broadway, this guycame around with a guitar anda pair of patent leather bootsin one hand. I thought, 'Wow,
this can be done, people reallydo this for a living!' We saw theOpry that night, and from thenon that was all I ever wanted todo."
In his teen years, Lonniewas a member of L-Passo,
a country swing band thatplayed all across the East.
But after several years,
the Nashville bug finallycaught up with him andhe headed to MusicCity to learn the song-
By day Lonnie was acorporate manager. Atnight he was a buddingsongwriter and performer.
He got his first taste of suc-
cess through a friendship withRon Demmans, an Acuff-Rose songwriter.
Demmans took him under his wing and togetherthe two became songwriting partners, with severalcuts and hits on the Canadian country charts.
One day he found himself writing with a friend andconfessed he was miserable. The albums thatwere being produced in Nashville had turned awayfrom the sounds of people like Merle Haggardand George Jones who made him fall in love withcountry music.
"There was no soul," Lonnie says of the music.
"It had become cardboard, cookie cutter sound-
ing. You used to hear many different styles onthe radio that fell under the umbrella of countryand lived together."
In Texas music Lonnie found the environment thatreminded him of the artists he grew up hearing.
"Here there are different groups, with varied audi-
ences and different sounds, but they all livetogether and learn from each other. I think that'sa beautiful thing. That is music from the soul."
In 2000, Lonnie started making his way to Texasto deliver his brand of country, western swing,
and Texas honky tonk. He released his debutalbum, My Future Ain't What It Used to Be, in2002, achieving several hits on both the Texasand European charts.
His new album - appropriately titledUnapologetically Honky Tonk- got under way lastyear in Nashville, but Lonnie wasn't satisfied withthe recordings. "I had cut up here several times,
but wasn't getting what I was after. When I say'Honky Tonk,' I want to hear a fiddle that's goingto break your heart and steel that cries when it'ssupposed to cry."
An avid Johnny Bush fan, Lonnie knew Johnnyrecorded in San Antonio at BGM Studios. "I wasnuts over Bill [Green's] sound, especially this fid-
dle player I kept hearing in all of these Texas ses-
sions. That was fiddle that knew how to hurt!"
That fiddle player is Bobby Flores.
With Green producing and musicians like Flores,
Lonnie was able to record an album that he isextremely proud of. The highlight for Lonnie wasgetting to sing a duet with Johnny Bush on "CloseUp the Honky Tonks."
"I was so excited that you had to peel me off theceiling tile," says Lonnie of recording with Bush.
"Recording with him was quite an honor."
Unapologetically Honky Tonkwill be availableApril 1. For tour dates for this true honky tonker,
By Angela-Marie LamptonNo ApologiesNeeded-
LonnieSpikerAngela-Marie Lampton isa freelance writer forBest In Texas Music Magazine.
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