LA outlaw country-rockers the Groovy Rednecks state that they are influenced by classic country music and hippie bands, they’re on a label called Chicken Fried Steak, and they opened for David Allen Coe. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the Groovy Rednecks, who bring their wild, hootin’ and hollerin’ country rock to the Cinema Bar on Saturday, so we spoke to singer Tommy “Tex” Troester about what we can expect…
Culver City News: When did the band form and why?
Tommy Troester: We formed in 1991, and I hired some local guns to help me make a demo tape. Our first gig was at the old Gaslight bar in Hollywood (now closed). It was a rainy Tuesday night on Mar 26, 1991. As we started to get more shows, the original members on the demo decided to bail and I started hiring new folks to replace them. Our mission is to get drunk and have fun on stage, and invite the crowd to our party.
Who are your main influences?
Our main influences are all over the map, but the main one would have to be Merle Haggard. We like to play songs that tell a story. 80 percent of the songs we play our original, but we like to play at least a few cover songs at each show. Here’s a few we play often: “Going up the country” by Canned Heat, “Made in Japan” by Buck Owens, and “Ruby” by Mel Tillis.
Describe your own style…
Our style is a cross between old school rowdy honky-tonk country, and ’60’s and ’70’s hippie rock and roll. Our current band line-up is as follows: Tex Troester, vocalist/lyricist; Bob Rickettes, guitar/songwriter; Gary Riley, guitar/mandolin; Steve Seifert, bass; David Tabone, drums.
Where are you based? What do you think of the local scene?
Although the guys live all over LA, I live in Hollywood. If you need to find me you can stop by the Frolic Room bar next to the Pantages Theater. If I’m not there, just leave a message with the bartender. The local scene is okay I guess, but I wish more bars and clubs would get rid of the DJ’s and karaoke, and start having live music once again. We like playing The Messaround in Burbank, The Grand Old Echo in Echo Park, The Ranch Party at the Farmer’s Market, and we go over real well at the punk rock dive Café Nela in Cypress Park. Also, every few months you can find us at Mother’s Tavern in Sunset Beach.
Best gig to date? And worst?
Well, we’ve played over 890 shows over the last 26 years so it’s hard to pick our best and worst. But I’ll try. Some of our best would have to be on the Sunset strip opening for David Allen Coe or Junior Brown (and no we have never once paid to play). Also we did a two-week tour of Belgium and Holland back in 2007 that was a blast. A far as the worst shows, my only advice is never book a gig on the fourth of July or New Year’s Eve. It sucks when no one shows up at all.
Do you have any albums / singles available?
We have five full-length recordings available online to digitally purchase either by album or by song. You can find them through our Facebook band page, CD Baby, or Apple ITunes. Also I usually bring a bag of them to our shows for sale.
Have you played Cinema Bar before?
The Cinema Bar is our home away from home. We love it there. Our first show there was in 2002, and we started playing there on the third Saturday of every month now for over 10 years. This show will be our 137th time. Here’s how it always goes: 10 p.m. – Talkin’ Treason (my girlfriend Laura Smith and my guitar player Bob Ricketts band). 11 p.m. – Groovy Rednecks, and at midnight we pick a different band every month. This time it’s my buddies, The Brian Hogan Band. It’s the oldest little dive bar in town. Strong drinks, friendly staff, smoking patio, and never a cover charge.
What can we expect from the set?
This will be our final show of 2017 and you can expect to hear a lot of X-Mas songs from all three of the bands and don’t forget to fill the tip jar with plenty of Christmas cheer (we also accept free shots and beer).
What do you have planned going forward, after this show?
We are looking forward to playing The Annual Elvis Presley Birthday Bash on January 8 (our 21st time). The location is unavailable right now, but most likely will be in the valley somewhere. This show is where the crème of the crop all play their favorite Elvis song (over 20 acts). We always play our original “Don’t Talk Bad About The King.” Also on March 17th our annual St Paddy’s Day bash, we always play an early show at Jumbo’s Clown Room in Hollywood (and yes the girls will be dancing along).
The Groovy Rednecks play with Talkin’ Treason at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 16 at Cinema Bar; 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; 310-390-1328.