Loyd Bonham Band raises roof at Music HoF
By Mary Allyce Special to the Courier
What do the Beatles, Merle Haggard and Steppin' Wolf have in common? They're all musicians who sparked the interest of the Bandera Music Hall of Fame 2013 Duo-Group winners, The Loyd Bonham Band, and helped form their unique sound.
Describing that sound is tough. "One guy called it 'Ranch Rock'," said guitarist and Bandera resident, Larry Crouch. Drummer Steve Vidro just calls it "Texas music," a term broad enough to span multiple genres - and The Loyd Bonham Band embraces all of it. From Haggard to The Eagles to their own original music, Bonham and his bandmates know almost anything goes in Bandera and the Hill Country as long as folks can dance to it. "It has to have a two-step, waltz or polka beat," Bonham said.
"Larry and I met in a music store in Boerne," said Arkansas-born Bonham, who plays rhythm, lead and harmonica. "He was selling his guitar and I talked him out of it." Later, when Bonham was thinking of quitting, it was Crouch who returned the favor and kept the band going. The team of Bonham and Crouch is a successful partnership musically and as songwriters.
Bass player, James "Kozmo" Godsey, raised in an Air Force family in Germany, found his way to the California music scene and a commune in Marin County before returning to Texas and joining with Bonham in 1995. It's doubtful there's a more colorful bass player anywhere.
"Kozmo is a truly kind guy," said Vidro, "but he could find a shopping center on Mars and not find Friday's gig!" All agree Kozmo's also highly talented, an entertaining musician and vocalist.
Bonham and Crouch began playing together in 1990. Kozmo came on board in 1995 and the newest member, Brooklyn, New York born Vidro joined in 2012 after stints with last year's duo winners, Art and Lisa, and 12 years at South Star in Fredericksburg.
It's a long way from Vidro's cardboard box drumming and Bonham's homemade "saw and plywood air guitar" to their current practiced sound.
"I love southern rock," Bonham said. "Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers." He also references, "John Mellencamp and Steve Earle lyrically and I love Merle Haggard."
Vidro added, "Jazz, blues, Latin - I love hearing different variations of the same song." Crouch admits to liking everything, "...from big band to newer rock to blue grass." The result is a versatile, unique mix, spanning original Texas sounds to classic rock, classic country and gospel, all of it layered with a bluesy, southern rock spin.
Appreciative audiences at venues such as Bandera's Chikin Coop, Longhorn, Blue Gene's, 11th Street Cowboy Bar; Comfort's Cocky Rooster; and Kerrville's Inn of The Hills, among others, agree this band can play danceable music, keeping the older music fresh and the newer music feel comfortably familiar.
Original songs like "Take Me Back To Texas" and the aptly named "My Favorite Song" are featured on their CD, Brokedown, and part of a large playlist that keeps fans and musicians alike energized.
Join The Loyd Bonham Band when they pick up their award and raise the roof from 3 pm to 5 pm, Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Silver Sage Community Center. It's going to be a great show!
Pictured: Loyd Bonham Band