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California Cowboys back in the saddle – Times-Herald

California cowboys were almost together than Rosalin and Jimmy Carter. OK, maybe it seems like that.

Solano County-based country bands have been doing that behind frontman RW Smith for 38 years, while the former president and his bride celebrated their 75th anniversary on July 9. And in the ego-notorious industry, the size of Texas, or at least Montana, is forever. And perhaps more miraculously, with minimal personnel changes.

Bassist Bill Mooney is one of them, and longtime Valle Juan set out for a tour band in Southern California. But like the musical Boomerang, the 63-year-old boy returned to the Cowboys fold, much like COVID-19 stabbed the spur into the country.

Mooney called on Monday and said he had just finished a gig at River Rock Casino on Saturday and is eagerly awaiting a semi-private, semi-public appearance at Fairfield’s Pioneer Taproom this Saturday.

Mooney first joined the California cowboy in 1998 — “before the turn of the century,” he joked.

Six years later, he made LA’s Do Wa Riders jump a horse and certainly seduced him with his salary.

It was a band that traveled extensively across the country and up and down the east coast.

“It was very cool. Basically, I did it for money,” Mooney said in a stint that included the opening of Pixar’s “car” and playing some Disney-sponsored events. ..

“We did a lot of interesting things,” Mooney said.

However, thirteen years later, tired on the streets, he offered to start the in-house band “Diablo Road” at Sadler Rack, which is officially iconic of San Jose but is now shut down at COVID. According to Mooney, it was a glorious 13-year practice.

“I was at home every night now, the money was good, and I didn’t have to break the gear,” Mooney said.

Suddenly Smith called him in March 2020. The cowboys needed a bassist. And Mooney is back. But not on stage. It didn’t happen much in 2020, except for a private pool party with a COVID hit, a band on one side of the yard and a host family on the other side.

Slowly, the phone started ringing. And the California cowboy has 40 dates in the book, Mooney said.

“Hopefully things are back. I see,” he said.

“It’s a mercenary business,” but Mooney admits that more than a year of musical emptiness has changed his attitude.

“It’s funny and I’ve been off work for a long time,” he said. “Before (in a pandemic), you’ll have a gig and you’ll think” I don’t know if I want to do it “or” It’s a long drive and the money is bulky “. Now it’s’we do it. Book it. ‘What I was complaining about, I won’t do it anymore. I’m happy to be able to play again. “

RW Smith of Vacaville, founder of the California Cowboys. (Photo courtesy)

Mooney believed that California cowboys would survive, whether pandemic or not. Smith has always confirmed that.

“I think product quality is everything,” says Mooney. “We’re like filling the market niche. There aren’t hundreds of country bands in the Bay Area. If we were in Texas, we would just be a band from another country. Here There are mainly R & B, blues, rock, etc. There aren’t many country bands, I think that’s part of it, and we’re great musicians. “

Mooney is pleased to have two local gigs outdoors at the Pioneer Taproom on Saturday and at the Creekwalk in Vacaville in September.

During the COVID, he said, “I feel more at ease when I’m outdoors.” “Everyone in the band is vaccinated, but I feel a little safer. I never know what to throw in.”

Originally from New Mexico, Mooney has put together a series of West Coast dating tour bands, including Vallejo’s famous but long-lost Talk of the Town.

Mooney decided to settle here because there are so many gigs available in Northern California. “Because the cheapest rent in the Bay Area was Vallejo, so that makes sense. And our booking agent had an office in Fairfield.”

Fortunately, the era of playing from a stage surrounded by chicken wires seems to be over — it happened in Texas — or the owners of clubs offering cocaine instead of cash seem to be over.

“Gig now is usually pretty good,” he said.

Another flashback. It was in West Virginia during the sound check.

“We played’Roxanne’by the police, and this guy comes out of his office,” I don’t want to hear any of that punk rock BS here! “

Mooney laughed. Not everyone can always be happy, even during a sound check.

California Cowboys back in the saddle – Times-Herald Source link California Cowboys back in the saddle – Times-Herald

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