Denny's

Chronological

Biography

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1959

In the 10th grade I played in my first band, in Dallas, the Corals…

The ’60’s 

were a difficult time, many obstacles…most musical experiences are forgettable..

1970

In May I moved to austin, followed by Jimmie Vaughan and Doyle Bramhall in June.  A week later we were playing as Storm

1971

I left the band, I floundered around, in a couple of bands, until..

Around 1973

formed Southern Feeling, with Angela Strehli, W.C. Clark

1974

Paul Ray, Alex Napier (bass) and I started Paul Ray and the Cobras, with an assortment of drummers, until Rodney Craig joined, and became the first permanent drummer

1975

Stevie Vaughan joins up with the Cobras

1977

Stevie leaves to form Triple Threat Revue, with Louann Barton (vocals), and others

 

1979

Paul Ray leaves Paul Ray and the Cobras. We continue as the Cobras

1979

We record a live album, “the Cobras, Live and Deadly” at the Armadillo World Headquarters…

It was recorded in the general time frame of the Fabulous Thunderbirds first album (with Jimmie), and Stevie’s first record, Texas Flood.

Our record was mixed and had test pressings, beautiful art work, everything was “ready to go”…we waited and waited for the release, asking “when? when?” was critical that we have product, especially at that time…was to be on the Armadillo label. a small label, but in 1980, even having vinyl on a smaller label was significant. actually meant something… after waiting for a year, telling promoters, everybody, fans, etc., that we had a record coming out, we got the word that they weren’t gonna release it. was a big blow. destroyed the band, and i can’t help but feel that it negatively impacted my so called career, more than any other single thing…we worked so long and hard, then got a break, and was then crushed. it deflated everything. I learned only a few years ago that our idiot manager went to talk to the man responsible for the release, about the delay, and was rude, and i guess acted like a jackass, so the guy basically said, screw them…pulled the release….of course, that only hurt us…

They got around to releasing the recording on a cd, in 2010, the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Armadillo World Headquarters. but didn’t help us, since the band disbanded in 1984.

A couple of years after that disaster, Joe Sublett (tenor sax) and I left the band to join up with Louann Barton, who had just released a Jerry Wexler/ Glenn Fry produced album.. we thought we could at least move forward a little bit, by playing with her. but after the release (Old Enough, on CBS Associated [i think]), and good press, and several rehearsals, we learned that the label wasn’t gonna give tour support. so that project ended after a few gigs around Texas. another false start..

Around this time i started playing with Angela Strehli and then we put together the house band at Antone’s Night Club, the world famous blues club, that is still open, today. is where i got to back up, meet, hear so many blues legends.

1985

I’m included in a wild project called Trash, Twang, and Thunder, by the BiG Guitars from Texas, which actually got a Grammy nomination, for a track, in the Best Rock Instrumental category… was just a one-off project…but we did all go to the Grammys…

1987

I put out my first album, Blues Cruise

1988

My second album, Out of the Blue

late 1989

I moved to Dallas to look after my mother who had cancer. she died in 1990.

While in Dallas, I played with Mark Benno, Doyle Bramhall and Doyle ll

I recorded with Doyle and Doyle ll, but the tracks weren’t released,

Also went into the the studio with Jimmie and Stevie to help compose Ba Boom Mama Said, from Family Style

1992

I needed to leave Dallas, get back to work..had been busy in Dallas, while i was living there, but that dried up..by 1992, things had begun to change, in Austin, and many other places..the older blues guys were starting to leave us, and the long run (1970-1989) i had in Austin, seemed to be nearing its end.   so…

1992

With nothing to lose, I loaded up my 1981 Fleetwood, and headed to Los Angeles. I didn’t have anything lined up, but I knew some folks there.  I played around in the local blues scene at many clubs, for a couple of years..was actually pretty cool. good players, good venues…

 

Then Jimmie asked me to play piano/ guitar on his first solo tour (Strange Pleasure)…i did that for about a year and a half, then went on to play with Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band, until 2002.

1997

I put out my third album, A Tone for My Sins

2002

I put out my fourth album, Twang Bang

 

While in L.A., I, like everyone else, tried song writing….and came up with a co-write on a Percy Sledge album “Love Come and Rescue Me”, and because my girlfriend Kathy Valentine, of the GOGOs was good friends with Clem Burke (drums/ Blondie), we had an opportunity to submit material to Deborah Harry…i had an instrumental track laying around, which i submitted, with help from Kathy and Clem, and ended up with a tune on Blondie’s “No Exit” album…the song, after lyrics, was called Boom Boom in the Zoom Zoom Room.

I co-wrote a song “Love Come and Rescue Me” with Fontaine Brown, that ended up on his CD Shining Through the Rain”..

I also played around, under my own name.. I did some studio work, but not as much as i would have liked… I met a lot of interesting folks out there, and enjoyed being there, overall..

late 2004 

I moved back to Dallas to look after my dad..in January, I got a call to come “rehearse” with Bob Dylan..was asked to join up, which I did, and played with him, until August of 2009.

2011

After my dad died, I moved back to Austin, where I am now…mainly i just play around here, with my pals, in several different musical settings, in local nightclubs.

 

I've become obsessed with trying to play an old Fender Stringmaster non pedal steel guitar.