ANNIE ROST

Annie is originally from Manvel, Texas.  She grew up as part of a musical family, so singing came naturally to her.  One of her aunts encouraged her singing and inspired her to learn to play guitar.  Her dad took her to perform in various "Oprys" near and far and her love of music has continued to grow.  She now lives in Schulenburg and regularly plays in Round Top, Houston, Columbus, La Grange and Flatonia with Mike Stroup.  Annie recently recorded her first album and is always looking for new venues at which to perform.

www.annierostmusic.com

JEFF CLARK

Jeff is a 4th generation Austinite from a family of musical talent. His mother & grandmother taught piano, with Jeff beginning at age four under Grandma Anderson's teaching. Jeff's mother was a world class organist as well, and his father sang with the GBATTS (Getting Better All the Time Singers). Jeff couldn't escape music! His attraction for the guitar began when he was seven, consequently he began learning and in a short time was serenading girls over the telephone with guitar and voice. His first television performance was at age 9 on KTBC (Austin), where he performed on the Saturday morning kid's show hosted by Uncle Jay. He played the acoustic guitar and sang "The MTA" by the Kingston Trio. It was his first paying gig, on his birthday, receiving a $9 US Savings Bond and a coupon for a free bucket of KFC chicken.

He began playing in his first band in 7th grade. By high school he was playing private parties & fraternity parties at The University of Texas. In the early 70's, while in college, he joined Phoenix with Tom Holden, Rodney Garrison & Leonard Arnold. From there he and Tom evolved into "Stump" with David Frame on bass and Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar. When Stevie Ray left, he was replaced by Brian Wooten and the foundation for Too Smooth, Austin's premier all original rock band of the 70's, emerged.  

The band was discovered by a West Coast producer/manager who put them on salary to work on material, write, practice and polish. They then recorded tracks at Odyssey Sound in Austin before going to The Record Plant in Sausalito to lay down a few demo tracks. Shortly thereafter, David Frame decided to depart the music biz and Brian Wooten introduced the band to Danny Swinney, bassist, who was the last piece of the puzzle for the original Too Smooth line-up. Too Smooth was signed to Buddah Records and whisked to Miami's Criterion Sound Studios to knock out a single. Their debut, "Song for the World" was a top single pick by a new artist in Billboard magazine, but Buddah immediately went through a corporate restructuring and left Too Smooth with a hit and very little distribution or promo. The band headlined shows at Austin's Armadillo Headquarters and opened concerts across Texas for acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Ted Nugent, Pat Benatar, Rush, Mountain, Leon Russell, Judas Priest and others. Too Smooth played through the rest of the 70's in different renditions with Jeff Clark being the only original member throughout the entire duration.  

In 1981, 14K was formed, reuniting Jeff with Brian Wooten, drummer Chris Skiles of Too Smooth and Bobby Clouse on bass and vocals from Dallas. They played commercial hits and continued to play originals and open shows for acts including Cheap Trick, Three Dog Night, The Producers, & Eric Burdon. This foursome also recorded a number of originals yet to be released. Louie Kruse replaced Bobby on bass and vocals during the earliest years and played on a number of studio recordings as well. A later line-up featuring Danny Swinney back on bass , Mark Powers on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Jeff, Brian & Chris, recorded Jeff's incredible arrangement of "Ring Christmas Bells" which was featured on The Austin Christmas Collection album. A few years later, a new line-up with Jeff, Danny, Chris, Scott Hoyt and Greg Stegall recorded a video of the"Ring Christmas Bells" tune that was aired on many television networks for years to come. The group also played and competed on "Star Search", winning their first episode and losing (BCS) the second in a somewhat controversial fashion. 14K folded up in mid-1987.

Jeff performs with Too Smooth whenever they have reunion concerts. In Sept 2015 played a concert in Austin at Threadgill's as "Jeff Clark & Friends", which featured Christopher Cross, Eric Johnson, Van Wilks, Tommy Taylor, Mark Miller, Greg Stegall, Mikel Arclight, Danny Swinney, Cole Newbury, Darin Murphy & Tommy Holden. It was epic! 

MIKE STROUP

Mike has been playing Bluegrass (Hardwood Bros.) and Western Swing (The Wild River Band) in the Houston area for the past 30 years.  He now lives on a small ranch in Lavaca County and plays as much as possible with Annie Rost and other friends.

www.mikestroupmusic.com

LENNY NICHOLS

Lenny began playing bass in bands at the age of 13 in the Houston/Galveston area. After college he worked for IBM for 39 years while playing various musical styles. He played with Erbie Bowser and T.D. Bell for 10 years. He resides in Round Rock and continues to play with bands in different genres.

www.lennysbassplace.com

COLTON SMITH

When Colton was in Jr. High, he was inspired to play drums by his older brother, who taught him basic principles.  He began playing with several bands in the Austin area in the early 80's.  Upon the birth of his first son, Colton stopped playing and it was not until 25 years and two more sons later that he got the music bug again.  He has been playing in a band called "Leadville" for the last six or seven years.

RUSTY STONE

I started playing at age 9 in California. Moved to Germany and by the age of 14 started playing teen clubs for $15 a show. When I moved back to the US I started a band in Northwest Florida called Aerial Railway. One of my band mates was Guitarist Rick Kurtz who went on to play with such notables as Delbert McClinton, T. Graham Brown, Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, and was a regular guest with The Allman Bros., Huey Lewis and others.

 

While in Fort Walton Beach I put together a new band with horns doing groove jazz and funk. We soon moved to Birmingham Alabama to join forces with Trippe Thomas and Bongwater Records. The album was never released due to the breakup of the band. My bassist was Jeff Meyers who went on to play with Miles Davis for a short stent and then did several world tours playing bass for Celen Dion.

 

From B’Ham I went on the road for the next several years playing clubs and venues across the country. I did recording sessions in Atlanta, Central Florida and Los Angeles. The road band included such greats as Vince DiCola on keyboards who has international acclaim for writing movie scores such as Rocky III and The Transformers Movies as well as working with other giants in the music industry.

 

After several years on the road I moved to Los Angeles to form AXIS and re-unite with Vince DiCola and a new singer named Keith Laundry that had just got off the road singing back up for TOTO. During our time working clubs and studio dates we performed with Bill Champlain, Carmen Grillo, Frank Stallone, and Peggy from the TV Show “Married with Kids” and many others

 

After AXIS the bassist and I formed a band named BEAU. For a short stint we were the “house band” at Lion Share Studios owned by Kenny Rogers. We had one release that hit in Australia. After the breakup of that band our keyboard player Kimmo Cornwallis went on to play with Patty Austin, Al Jarou, and Hiroshima.

While in LA I did work a few side projects with such as Bay City Rollers and other straight forward recording sessions

 

I made the move to Texas in 1982 to play the Texas Dance Hall Circuit with “The Drifters of Victoria”. At the time “The Drifters” were the highest grossing band in the dance halls in South and Central Texas. The Drifters were the first organization that brought full concert production into the dancehalls back in the mid-70s. I helped arrange our first single recorded in Austin at Riverside Studios. The song was “Corpus Christi Wind”. After a video was released we hit the Billboard charts at #83. That band enjoyed sharing the stage with band members such as Reggie Whitty and Rob Alexander who both played in Eric Johnson’s band. Big Gigs included Victoria annual Fireworks shows for over 25,000 people

After leaving The Drifters I joined 14K. The members included Jeff Clark, Danny Swinney, Chris Skiles and Scott Hoyt. 14K was more than a band, it was a brotherhood. We won Austin Chron Rock band of the year that year. We did the Aqua fest for about 30,000 + people

After 14K broke I got into business and played occasionally

I stayed focused on building until 1993 that I was asked to help restructure The Kevin Egan band. They had a song on the radio with good rotation. The band Played regional around Houston until we went to Ouray Colorado to open for George Jones. That band spun off to be Derringer. Derringer was a pop county favorite in Mo’s circuit

 

After Derringer I freelanced for live gigs and session work which bring me to now where I play with a church band, a club band named Siense of the Times, a dance hall band named “The System” and a corporate band called the “Camden Birds”. We play charity events in the name of Camden

1After running into Jeff and him telling me about the project I asked him to keep me in mind. I was thrilled to get the call and now more excited after working with Annie. I Am looking for a special  blend of good vibe, great music and just plain FUN.

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