Press Releases

Here is what the media buzz is all about in 2012….

Veteran singer/songwriter T. Gozney Thornton is making music again and he has dedicated 2012 to “every guy and gal who ever had a guitar and a dream”.  You can read his story and learn how T. Gozney started back with Willie and Waylon on the Streets of Austin and Denver and all points in between and met and played with a good many of the greats who are now public icons.  T. Gozney went home to Texas to raise and family and build a business and now he’s back to his music and it is better than before.

His new song ‘Necesito Nada Mas‘ is a story unto itself and it will be on it’s way to #1 in 2012.

T. Gozney Thornton performs all over Texas, on his own as a solo performer and with the Old Hat Band.


March 3, 2012

T. Gozney Thornton Performs at Crockett Hotel with K.R. Wood, Celebrating Texas Independence Day


January 13, 2012

T. Gozney Thornton Interview on KLST Concho Valley Live

by Melissa Ruiz


January 1, 2012

T. Gozney has a Tiger by the tail…

by David Werst
Real Texas
The National Blog of Texas

T. Gozney Thornton has written plenty of songs through the years in the music business, and it seems that now he has a real tiger by the tail with his new song, ‘Necesito Nada Mas‘! This is one of those songs that gets in your head and you keep singing parts of the lyrics all day long. This song sends pure positive energy waves right through the air and it’s guaranteed to lift spirits and bring smiles in two languages. America has needed a song like this to come along and make us all have a better outlook on life.

T. Gozney Thornton, Sasha and Richard Sutton

T. Gozney recorded ‘Necesito Nada Mas’ in late 2010 and was accompanied by his good friend, the legendary Augie Myers of the Texas Tornados and the ‘big sound’ of the famous Mariachas Aztecas with a little Max Baca thrown in for fun. The result is the creation of one of the best Tex-Mex cross genre songs to come out in a long time. ‘Necesito Nada Mas, yo tengo todo‘! I don’t need anything else, I have it all.

The song came to T. Gozney after talking on the phone to a newly married friend of his. When asked how he was doing, his friend told him, “I don’t need anything else, I have it all right here. I have a little money, plenty of good food, the love of my life……I have it all.” T. Gozney took that upbeat message and the song ‘Necesito Nada Mas‘ has now been released and is ready to rocket up the charts.

T. Gozney Thornton also has been nominated for a Grammy for another of his original songs, ‘Es tu Vida‘ with guest appearances by the Texas Tornadoes, Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez, and Al Gomez . T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band play “Rockin’ Tejano-Country”, an eclectic mix of Country, Rhythm & Blues and vintage Rock & Roll, with a dash of Tejano, served up hot and spicy.

T. Gozney Thornton has played the Kerrville Folk Festival, Willie Nelson’s picnics, the Palomino Club in Hollywood & all over the United States. He was voted one of KOKE FM’s Best Bands in Austin, and he has recorded live in the Alamo. And for good measure, he is a two time winner of the Simply Texas Blues Festival and a qualifier for the National Blues competition in Memphis.

–He was living the Austin music scene before Austin really had a music scene.” – Southwest Texas LIVE! March 2008

–”I find myself singing this song to myself and I have to say, it is a genuine feel good, country, Tejano song. If this is not what a #1 hit song sounds like, then I don’t know what is.”-David Werst, Real Texas


June 16, 2011

Old Hat Band fundraiser serves Latin spice, barbecue and cold beer

by Liz Starnes, Angelo Civic Theatre
…..San Angelo Standard Times

The Old Hat Band, a band of  ’old dogs‘ with a bag full of ‘new licks,’ takes Angelo Civic Theatre’s stage at 7 p.m. July 9 for a one-night-only fundraising event.

This “ragin’-Latin country” band is an eclectic mix of country, rhythm and blues and vintage rock ‘n’ roll with a taste of Latin percussion.

The Old Hat Band is as hot and spicy as the finest West Texas barbecue sauce.

Lead singer T. Gozney Thornton sports a Grammy nomination for the song “Es Tu Vida” with his friends Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez from the Texas Tornados album “Legends Before the Fall.” T. Gozney has sung a duet with Ray Wylie Hubbard and recorded the album “Pass It On” with Willie Nelson as executive producer.

Lead guitarist Steve Terry led the wildly popular band The Border Beat on a 10-year rampage up and down the Rio Grande. During his time in Los Angeles, Steve recorded with such national artists as Blondie Calderon.

Junior Cortez is a keyboard wizard. Having played with Sonny and the Sunliners, Flaco Jimenez, Ruben Ramos and other top Tejano bands, he lends a true Tex-Mex experience to the Old Hat Band.

Bass guitarist Joe Dianda lays down a solid bass bottom that keeps the “dawgs” a-growling. Joe, with his brother Gilbert, gained national fame leading the band Coyote.

Manuel Burciega is one of the premier drummers in West Texas, playing with Frank Trevino and Junior Pelzel.

Together, Manuel and Joe serve up the hot Latin rhythm that drives the Old Hat Band like a well-oiled machine.

With all that talent, don’t miss this entertainingly delicious event. Doors open at 6 p.m. to the most scrumptious barbecue prepared by Samantha Braun Catering. Ice cold beer and iced tea will be included in the ticket price of $20.

This event is being sponsored by Cooper Interiors and Texas Cruise Company.

Tickets can be purchased between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the box office, 1936 Sherwood Way, or online at For more information, call 325-949-4400.

Liz Starnes is the executive director at Angelo Civic Theatre. Contact her at: or 325-949-4400.


May 26, 2011

Toenail Trail Days is fun for the whole family

By Charles Bryce
Special to the Standard-Times

SAN ANGELO, Texas — For the past 18 years, the Toenail Trail Days three-day festival in Christoval has attracted some of the most popular local and regional musicians.

Local musician Darren Morrison, a regular at the event for a number of years, says he always looks forward to hearing some of his colleagues entertain the audience, in addition to playing in front of hundreds of die-hard fans himself.

T. Gozney Thornton and Darren Morrison

The cool thing about it is, from a musician’s standpoint, is that all these guys play every weekend somewhere and it’s really cool to get to hang out with them and listen to their band.   Sometimes you never get that opportunity because you’re playing on Friday night, too,” said Morrison, who is scheduled to perform Saturday night.

Morrison is excited about getting to hear T. Gozney Thornton and The Old Hat Band open the festival tonight, in addition to checking out Charlie Hagar & The Captain Legendary Band on Saturday night, among other artists over the jam-packed weekend.

The Cobbler’s Kids will be playing with Morrison for an “unplugged” set of “a Grateful Dead tribute band of sorts,” which Morrison promises will be “pretty cool” itself.

The festival — the biggest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit Christoval Community Chamber — features music, crafts, food, a Memorial Day parade, the Great South Concho Duck Race and events such as a jumping castle, roping contest, dunking booth, pony rides and face painting.

Today’s festivities include the “Spaghetti Western” dinner from 7:30 to 9 p.m., followed by dancing to the music of The Old Hat Band from 9 to 11 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring swimsuits, coolers and lawn chairs. Cash prizes and raffle drawings will be held, in addition to a pet and antique car parade Saturday that starts on Main Street at 10 a.m. and ends in the city park.

On Sunday morning, a pancake breakfast and Cowboy Church service is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a craft fair and music festival that will run until about 6 p.m.

Chamber president Amy Hill says the festival takes a whole year for planning, but it’s well worth all the hard work that the volunteers put in.

It’s something that everyone looks forward to, but it’s a lot of work at the same time,” Hill said. “It grows every year. The economy’s slow right now, so we’re hoping people don’t hide out and that they still come out and play and have fun.”

Cat Hood, the chamber committee liaison, says the festival’s all about showing everyone the special nuances of a small-town community.

It has always been on Memorial Day weekend for our veterans,” Hood said. “That’s something we always try to incorporate with the decorations as well as the stuff down in the park.”

I’ve emceed the thing for the last couple of years, and we try to acknowledge off and on throughout the day all of our veterans. Most of the bands that play for us, they donate their time and they donate their talents just to be part of this.”

Tonight’s music headliner, T. Gozney Thornton, has deep family roots in Christoval, which makes the event close to his heart.

We’ve played it a few times,” Thornton said. “I live out here in Knickerbocker. My daughter (Tiana Thornton) went to school in Christoval, and I kind of feel a tie there. My grandfather (William Crawford) was the second postmaster of Christoval in the late  1800s or way back when.”

Thornton’s grandmother, Margaret Crawford Schooler, graduated from Christoval High School in 1918.

My daughter got to go to the same high school as my grandmother, and I thought that was pretty cool,” he said.

The band is eager to take part in the Toenail Trails Festival again.

It’s kind of like a homecoming with everybody showing up,” Thornton said. “This is something we always look forward to every year. We always try to give back to the community whenever we can. It’s been good to us.”


May 2011

by Sam Kindrick
Action Magazine

Augie credits 3 ‘Angels’ for his life today

(An excerpt from Augie Meyers talking about his friendship with T. Gozney Thornton…)

T. Gozney Thornton and Augie Meyers

… Since the operation (Augie underwent a Kidney Transplant operation) he has been playing on a cruise schedule with T. Gozney Thornton and his Old Hat Band out of San Angelo, making the Texas Tornados appearances, and working with an Augie Meyers Band which can include Sir Douglas Quintet bassist Jack Barber, drummer Footsie Caytan, Mike Ellis on guitar, Al Gomez on trumpet, and Henry Lee on keyboards.

“T. Gozney Thornton is an old friend who once played the old Longneck Club here in San Antonio,” Meyers said. “He has a ranch out near San Angelo. He has a beautiful voice, and I love working with him.

Note:  Augie and T. Gozney are really good friends and Augie and his wife go with T. Gozney and his wife on the Tex Mex Fandango Music Cruise every year.  They spend weekends together often in San Antonio and T. Gozney and The Old Hat Band have opened for the Texas Tornados at various venues.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011
San Angelo Spotlight

T.Gozney Thornton

Sitting on a bench at the old Chicken Farm Art Center T. Gozney Thornton pulls a picture out of  his wallet: “I jammed with this guy over the weekend“. The man he points to in the photograph is a look alike of the legendary pop country superstar Kenny Rodgers, but it happens to be an old pal of his, Dash Crofts of Seals and Crofts, the 1970s soft rock duo well known for such classics as “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl“. But that’s just one of the many friends Thornton has made over the years as a musician.

T. Gozney Thornton ( or T. Goz as his friends refer to him ) is a man with such musical stature that not one local Texas artist can hold a candle to him. It took him 25 years to finish and release his first album. Legends Before the Fall, which later was  nominated for a Grammy award in 2007.

I was lucky enough to sit down with the “legend” himself for an interview.

Spotlight: The Album you have out now has an interesting story behind it. How does the saga begin?

Thornton: I was living in Austin, TX and I got to be friends with Willie Nelson and his entourage and Willie was just starting out in the early 70′s there himself. I got to open a lot of shows for him at the Alliance Wagon Yard. At the time that was one of the three clubs in Austin on 6th street. I would do Monday nights down there and then I was able to open for Willie and a lot of other people who were up and comers in those days that have since come and gone. Willie had just started a record label called Lone Star which was associated with Columbia Records. He had signed Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cooder Brown, Steve Fromholz and Billy Callery.  Billy and I wrote some songs together.

So, I accepted the offer to record on his label and we went out to Perdenales and recorded all of it ( the album) but also went to Nashville to record some of it. When it was all done, I signed a 5 year contract with a subsidiary of Columbia and they decided they weren’t going to release it because they didn’t want Wille to release anymore recordings with any unknowns, because he had done that a bunch just trying to help out his friends.

So I ended up having a daughter (Tiana Lee ) and decided that since I had family responsibilities that I should come home and move back to San Angelo and only play weekends. Those original tapes got lost.  A few years ago I thought I’d see if I could find them and put them out again. I found them at Arlyn studio in a back closet in downtown Austin. I dusted them off, played them back (this is 25 years later) and I had gotten my rights back to the recordings by this time.  I digitalized all of the tracks, went back into the studio and added some parts and tried to modernize it somewhat and recorded a couple of new songs to add to it.  It was a great experience and it all turned out pretty good.”


Willie Nelson and T. Gozney Thornton

Spotlight: What was your First encounter with Willie Nelson like?

Thornton: This is a good story…..I was 22 years old, I signed with Shelter Records and I was in Tulsa and Leon  (Cat) Russell let me stay at his house. I was getting ready to go into the studio there in an old church and this guy knocks on the door and it was Willie Nelson.

I didn’t  know him from anybody.  He asked if Leon was home and I told him no and that he had gone to get some barbeque. So Wille gave me a record to give to him and it was Yesterdays Wine. And that was the first time I met Wille. And he was short haired and clean shaven back then.  I’ve seen Willie several times since then and laughed about that first meeting.”


Spotlight: Who were the up and comers that you used to open for?

Thornton: I used to do Tuesday nights with David Allan Coe. I opened for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band here in San Angelo – 1972 at Angelo State (University). That show was phenomenal! It was held in the old gym that then was the new gym… and now they’re tearing it down.


Spotlight: Did you record with Leon Russell?

Thornton: No. Leon owned Shelter Records and signed me to the label. But Leon ended up having to break that deal over a $70,000 check made out by his partner Denny Cordell to someone Leon didn’t know.  It hurt us all.


Richard Ramirez, Manuel Burciaga, T. Gozney Thornton, Joe Dianda and Manuel Cortez

Spotlight: How did you form The Old Hat Band?

Thornton: I moved back to San Angelo in 1987 and hooked up with Richard Ramirez. We played as a duo for years and then drummer Manuel Burciaga joined us and we became a trio. And of course we added Joe Dianda who used to play (bass) with Coyote who opened for Little Joe y la Familia.   We also have Junior Cortez on the keyboards. And I became influenced by these guys and their tejano styles and of course I’m country so we made up this natural blend of Tex-Mex.


Spotlight: You have been working on a project with Augie Meyers from the Texas Tornados. How is it coming?

Thornton: Augie is areally a good friend of mine.  We have finished a song I wrote  that is on the Texas Music magazine compilation which features 15 Texas artists on the CD. The song is called “Necesito Nada Mas“.  It’s a Polka. I got the Mariachi Azteca out of San Antonio to play with us on it. What a great time playing with those guys!  It’s all very professionally done.


Spotlight: You’re a really good harmonica player. How did you get started playing that instrument?

Thornton: I’m self taught. Doak Sneed was playing harmonica and he and I were a duo back in the late 60′s and 70′s called Tom and Billy. We went to California together and played some college coffee houses. Doak was playing harp behind me, so I started learning so I could play behind him too.


Spotlight: Did you teach yourself to play guitar too?

Thornton: Yeah, my dad had an old Silvertone guitar and I was about 12 years old and he was trying to learn how to play it and he would tell me not to touch his guitar cause I wasn’t old enough. Every time he would leave the house I would go get it and one day he caught me playing it and said, ” I give up. You can have it“.


Spotlight: You have a strong singing voice. Have you ever had any vocal lessons?

Thornton: My grandmother was a voice teacher and got me singing when I was about three. There’s a couple of wire recordings of me singing with her back then, but I used to have a real soft voice and I kept working on it to project my voice more.  After time, my diaphragm kept growing and growing. People think that I have a pot belly but really this is all diaphragm.


Spotlight: Would you consider yourself to be a veteran of the Texas music scene?

Thornton: Absolutely. I had a kid one time at a show ask me to play some Texas music and I told him, ” Boy… your looking at Texas music“.

T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band’s ‘Legends Before the Fall ‘, is a 12-Track album on Thornton’s Old Chivo Records label.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

It was a Texas Cruise

by David Werst
Real Texas
The National Blog of Texas

At Las Palmeras in Cozumel with friends Linda Wright, Shirley Looney, and Phil. Ramona and David Werst

While most of you were freezing last week, I was walking the beaches of Grand Cayman and swimming in very warm, crystal clear Caribbean waters full of brightly colored fish. I just thought you wanted to know that. We had been to Cozumel the previous day and the next day we were in Jamaica which is always warm and sunny.

Of course, today as I write this, the freezing weather has returned to Texas, but it’s not as bad as it was the week we were in the warm Caribbean. So I have actually participated in winter here to some extent. If it makes you feel any better, you might know I spent the first few days back from our cruise fixing bursted water pipes here at our Sherwood Ranch.

It was all part of the Tex Mex Fandango cruise and you can see plenty of photos at

We sailed out of Galveston on January 30 and spent 7 days on the water. Sailing with us was T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band, Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornadoes, and Kenny Daniel of Kenny and the Kasuals fame. Also performing was Joe Forlini and Cynthia Jordan.

Two old pro's - T. Gozney Thornton and Augie Meyers

The cruise was coordinated by Texas Cruise Company and there were 105 of us from the Tex Mex Fandango group on board the Royal Caribbean ship Voyager of the Seas. The band had 3 private performances just for our group and an additional ship wide performance. The Old Hat Band featuring T.Gozney Thornton wowed the crowd and our group of over 100 turned into twice that many due to party crashers who knew a good thing when they heard it.

T. Gozney Thornton sang his new song “Necesita Nada Mas” which I predict will be a big hit on both the country charts and the Tejano charts. It’s danceable, singable, and catches the imagination of everyone who hears it. It was a crowd favorite. T. Gozney Thornton is a professional all the way and knows how to put on a great performance every time he sets foot on the stage.


Augie Meyers and David Werst

I had a number of opportunities to visit one-on-one with Augie Meyers and he is one of the all time legendary greats of the music world. From his time with Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet, to the great Texas Tornadoes, Augie Meyers is a living legend. He took command of the stage and belted out hit song after hit song including “Hey baby, Que Paso!“ and “Who were you thinking of, when we were making love“.

Augie told me some of the stories of the times with Doug Sahm and Flaco Jiminez and a short story about his famous Vox Continental that made the sound that made the Texas Tornadoes famous. He is one of the most humble and unassuming big time music stars you would ever want to meet. He and his wife Sara made a lot of new friends and a lot of new fans on the cruise.

Kenny Daniel played his unique brand of rock and roll and middle age go-go girls (who were a part of our cruise bunch) danced together on the cruise ship dance floor like teenagers. Back in the day, Kenny Daniel and his band Kenny and the Kasuals were the top teen band in North Texas and opened for some pretty famous acts.

Cindy Jordan, the fantastic lady who wrote the #1 hit song “Jose Cuervo, You are a Friend of Mine” sang her song on the Tex Mex

Joe Forlini, T. Gozney Thornton, Cindy Jordan, Pam and Tiana Thornton

Fandango Cruise and she also was asked to sing at several of the other venues on the ship. She is a musical talent in many different ways and was a real high spot on the cruise for so many of her fans. Her song, “If Texas Was a Woman,” just blew us all away. She sings, she composes, she plays musical instruments, she writes #1 hit songs, and she is a heck of a nice person.

Guitar virtuoso Joe Forlini was a workhorse on the cruise with his lead guitar. His renditions of Stevie Ray Vaughn’sPride and Joy” were amazing and the crowd sang along to Forlini’s version of Delbert McClinton’sEvery Time I Roll The Dice.”

There were also impromptu jam sessions where anyone could join in and several cruisers took advantage of the sessions and jammed along with the featured performers. James Archer performed several songs right along with T. Gozney Thornton, Joe Forlini, Tiana Thornton, Kenny Daniel, Cindy Jordan, Johnathin Schaab and some of the ship’s regular performers also joined in.

How can you join in on all this fun? Simply go with us on next year’s Tex-Mex Fandango Blues Music Cruise IV. It’s a new ship, new itinerary, and some of the same great music along with some Texas Blues Music with Jeff Strahan. It’s going to be a Real Texas tradition that you can be a part of. Drop me a note if you want more information.

We drank margaritas and whiled away an afternoon at Las Palmeras in Cozumel. We swam and para-sailed in Grand Cayman, and visited Dunne’s River Falls and Croydon Plantation in Jamaica.

Next year the destinations are Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Yes, you and your friends can join us. It’s gonna be a Real Texas Cruise party.

My dog Bowie

The only bad part? Yes, you guessed it. After being gone for 7 days of cruising, fun and making merry and 2 additional days before the cruise……I really missed my dog. It’s a Real Texas thang, y’all.

I’m David out in Real Texas

P.S. My dog was really glad to see me



December 18, 2010

Podcast Interview with Joe Hyde

San Angelo Live

San Angelo’s T. Gozney Thornton remembers the old days of the Texas music scene when he was a one of the biggest acts out of Austin. He offers a little history about the San Angelo music scene, too. “T” as he is called by his friends and admirers has caught a second wind and is playing and publishing music his own way after a 20-year interlude in private business (he owns and builds many of the telecommunications towers you use to talk on your cell phone).

He reconstructed his old record, Legends Before the Fall, won a Grammy nomination, and is back in the studio again recording the encore. Catch T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band at The Stagecoach and other venues of tradition somewhere in Texas almost any week.


Click on the hyperlink to listen to Podcast Interview with Joe Hyde and T. Gozney Thornton


May 8, 2010

2010 Simply Blues Festival Winner

by David Werst
Real Texas
The National Blog of Texas

Jim Rose, Joe Jonas, and San Angelo Blues Society President Larry Jolley

We spent last Saturday at the Simply Texas Blues Festival in San Angelo and let me tell you, The San Angelo Blues Society truly is the “Coolest Club in Town.” The event was held in conjunction with a bike rally and the bikers club guys and gals showed up dressed in the leathers and denim and had some of the biggest and baddest bikes around.

I went from saying….”wish I had a bike again” to “wish I could play blues music” all day long. There was also a classic car show involved, lots of vendors along the street, and it was a lot of fun.

It was The Blues Music that was the big draw of the day.

Sealy Flats owners Rod and Dennise Bridgman(Bridge-man) also contributed to making the

Denise and Rod Bridgman

Simply Texas Blues Festival event a big success. Sealy Flats is the local ‘blues’ hangout and features live music in the 200 block of Oakes Street in downtown San Angelo. In fact, the ‘Coolest Club in Town’ arranged to have the street blocked off and a borrowed a stage from the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo to showcase the singers and their blues inspired music right in front of Sealy Flats on one side of the street and the Cactus Hotel down at the corner across the street watching over it all.

Don’t think for one minute that the blues is some sleepy time music wailing about troubles. Most of it just celebrates life….and I have become a convert. It is just enough country, usually played these days with amplified acoustic guitars and harmonicas or ‘juice harps’ to make you enjoy some toe tappin’ music. And a good blues singer like Blues Boy Willie and side men punk rocker looking guys like The Wild Bills, suited me just fine. I loved it! When Blues Boy Willie started in his singing and added some harmonica, you knew it was blues time in Real Texas. And then the Wild Bills added their electric guitars and rock music, it all seemed to work out to some of the best entertainment I’ve heard in a long time.

We had a booth right next to the San Angelo Blues Society booth that was selling T-shirts. We were promoting the Tex Mex Fandango Cruise for a company we have called Texas Cruise Company. We are the Cruise agents and the Tex Mex Fandango features T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band, Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornadoes, Kenny Daniel of Kenny and the Kasuals, and Joe Forlini. From our vantage point curbside at Sealy Flats, we had some of the best seats in the house. Give us a call at 325-835-7561 to get a cabin and go with a fun crowd.

T. Gozney Thornton Solo Winner of Simply Texas Blues Festival

By the way, T. Gozney Thornton took first place in the Blues Solo Competition and will be competing in Memphis, Tennessee later in the year for the national title. Yes, he’s that good. He hails from all over West Texas including Big Lake, Del Rio, San Angelo, and Knickerbocker, Texas.

He got his start a long time ago at Willie’s recording studio out on the Pedernales. Now he’s back at the music business again and you can keep up with his performance schedule at his website.

It was a good weekend with the Car Show, Blessing of the Bikes by biker preacher Russ Fraiser, and the Simply Texas Blues band and solo competition. San Angelo Blues Society

Blessing of the bikes

president Larry Jolley and his volunteer team of Vice Presidents brought this great venue to San Angelo and it will probably be the gift that keeps on giving considering what a success it was. Larry is the president and all other club members are deemed Vice Presidents. Larry was often assisted on stage with announcements and presentations by Jim Rose, long time San Angelo Blues aficionado and musician.

The show was headlined by Joe Jonas and the Silvertones who started their performance at 9:30 p.m. that evening. Everyone just brought their own chairs along with the chairs that were provided and enjoyed a great evening right out in the middle of the street. Sealy Flats did a booming business and their staff was able to keep up with the demand for food and refreshments on the sidewalk and inside The Diner.

Bands and individuals who played during the day’s blues competition included Talley Services (the winners of the groups division), Dan Calhoun Band, Jack’s Cigar Box (who brought a large and vocal contingent of fans from San Antonio), The Flinchers, Barefoot Mark & the Lizzards, Spring Mill Grind, Blues Boy Willie & the Wild Bills, Clever Blue, Dan Calhoun solo, B. Morgan James, T. (Tom) Gozney Thornton (Solo Winner), Jerry Johnson, Westex Rockers, and Buck Rhinestone. The bands were so good I barely noticed the really hot girl following one of the Wild Bills.

The band-group winners were:

  • Talley Services
  • Blues Boy Willie & the Wild Bills
  • Jerry Johnson

The Solo Winner was:

  • T. Gozney Thornton

This means Talley Services and T. Gozney Thornton will be competing for the national Blues title in their categories later this year in Memphis.

The San Angelo Blues Society was supported and sponsored by Multi-Chem. Not trying to embarrass anyone, but I have to applaud Multi-Chem and James and Lois Archer for their support of this venue in San Angelo. Some companies don’t give a second thought about being involved in the community in which they work and live, but Multi-Chem does along with Elaine Bridges, Dr. Rex & Vickie Bushong, Lee Pfluger, San Angelo Community Medical Center, Duncan Disposal, A-B Distributing-Budweiser products distributors, XS Ranch, Holiday Cleaners, Sealy Flats, Inc., Century 21 Professionals, Cortese Flag & Silk Screen, Mike King, Carlene and Ed Piper, 3D’s Plumbing, D’Vine Wine, Clay and Cathy Hubbard, Bill and Melinda Montgomery, Best Buy, Q’s Printing, McDonald’s, Trade Wind Sound, Bill Campbell, Mark Stevenson, Russ Frazier, Don Gabbert, Angelo State University, San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, David and Carol Dewar, DeCoty Coffee, Angelo RV, Canyon Creek Cloggers, Freeman Insurance, Tarpley Music, and Top Notch Trophy. Of course there are the volunteers of the San Angelo Blues Society including Lu and Lesley Worsham and so many more we do not know their names. Slim Jim (Jimmy) Rose was a big part of the Festival along with Society President Larry Jolley. There are many more individuals and companies who have the means to support their various interests in San Angelo and West Texas and for them we are all grateful.

Here is a part of T. Gozney Thornton’s performance…with a little Blues Boy Willie and the Wild Bills and Dan Calhoun thrown in for good measure.

You can hear some of the blues a la The San Angelo Blues Society and other blues artists for a ‘blues jam’ most Tuesday evenings at Sealy Flats starting at around 6:30. They also meet the 3rd Sunday of the month at the Oasis Club-1421 West Beauregard Avenue, San Angelo – (325) 655-2032 for beer, blues, and barbecue.

This year’s Simply Texas Blues Festival was a success. How could it not be?

After all, they are…. “The Coolest Club in town.”

I’m David out in Real Texas

Hanging out with the cool kids…..


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grammy-Nominated T. Gozney Thornton Comes Home to Del Rio Saturday

By Joe Hyde

T. Gozney Thornton and the Old Hat Band perform at The Herald starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 1.

Mild-mannered and humble, T. Gozney Thornton, who attended middle school and high school in Del Rio, finds solace on his ranch along Dove Creek near San Angelo. He’s running cattle and goats. He even has a llama. “This is where I come to find peace and inspiration every afternoon,” Thornton, now in his mid-50s, says. But Thornton’s roller coaster ride to his present life started when he detoured off the Texas music scene—when he had been in his musical prime—to find business success in telecommunications towers, and to raise his growing family.

Now Thornton is “semi-retired.” His youngest, daughter Tiana, is graduating from Texas Tech next year. And he is diving back into his love of music and finding success.

The Texas country music scene is in its second or third generation today. Bands ride the circuit, self-sustained at lots of local venues and through a growing local fan base. Before the current movement, there was an earlier one in the ‘70s and ‘80s, to which today’s younger crop pays its respects. It was the heyday for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, David Alan Coe, Billy Callery, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jerry Jeff Walker. It was when the PBS show “Austin City Limits” was started, and the song “Luckenbach, Texas” was charting number one for months.

Thornton was in the middle of the earlier Texas music scene. He applied all of his energy and talent into breaking into the business back then. He was well on his way, too. He claims to have toured 200 shows per year. He opened for Willie Nelson, and later George Strait opened for T. Gozney Thornton. He was living the dream, on the fast track to certain stardom with his guitar, his music, and his band. He was living the Austin music scene before Austin really had a music scene like it does today.

But his future wife’s grandmother foreshadowed Thornton’s musical path in 1982. Ms. Kathleen Yellott, known simply as “mom” in the family, was a fortuneteller—a curandera. She told young Thornton that success in music was going to elude him, at least this time around.

When we first met she said, ‘You’re a musician aren’t you?” I asked how she knew. She said, ‘Sit down, I’m going to look into your future.’ I did, and she did. And then she gave me some news I didn’t want to hear. She told me that I was going to make it in the music business, but not until a quarter of a century had passed.

There I was getting all these great gigs and playing with some of the finest musicians in the world. I had the world by the tail!” Thornton says.

Billy Callery, Willie Nelson and T. Gozney Thornton

In 1982, Thornton secured a recording deal with Willie Nelson’s label, through an introduction by Billy Callery (Callery wrote the famous Willie tune, “Hands on the Wheel”). After meeting Willie in his driveway at what Thornton calls “Willie Land”—the Pedernales estate where Nelson maintained a studio—Thornton was recording his first album. Thornton also married his lovely wife Pam that year, who at the time was only 24.

Thornton continued to tour, make good money, and play fantastic gigs. He performed at the annual Willie Nelson picnics; Farm Aid; sang the state song at Texas Governor Mark White’s Governor’s Ball. He cut a track on the Texas Sesquicentennial album. But none of these accomplishments put the musician in the realm of those country singers who make fortunes on music royalties. The album he cut at Willie’s studio in 1982 remained “in the can,” untouched. Without a recording contract, Thornton was a slave to the road to bring home good money for his growing family.

Thornton’s 12-year-old son Eric (from an earlier marriage) had come home to live with him just after he married Pam. “We just loved hearing the gossip,” Pam says today. “People would see us together and when I would tell them I was 24, you’d see them doing the math. They’d ask, ‘Is that really your son?’” In 1985, the Thornton’s welcomed a daughter, Tiana, into the family.

By 1987, nothing was happening with the album Thornton had cut in ‘82. “With a teenaged son in need of a dad and a newborn baby girl in tow, I decided it was time to leave this crazy life on the road and head home to West Texas to help my wife raise our children,” Thornton says.

The family moved to San Angelo where Thornton quickly found he wasn’t prepared to earn a living outside of music. “I’d made pretty good money playing, and all of a sudden I found myself with no job, no skills other than musical, and no prospects,” Thornton recalls. He hocked his instruments and equipment to pay the rent on a small house in the barrio in San Angelo until he found a job as a plumber’s apprentice. “Let me tell you! Digging a 60-foot trench with a pick and shovel seemed a long, long way from playing before 40,000 screaming fans at Willie’s Picnic!” Thornton says.

The Andersons, family friends and owners of Texas Towers, hired Thornton to be their office manager. The wages were meager, but Thornton says he convinced the Andersons to let him sell. He made $18,000 during his first year, then doubled and tripled it in subsequent years.

The tower business was in its infancy when Thornton started. At first there were only pagers and two-way radios. But soon, cellular telephone companies were building their networks, and needed more towers and rented space. Thornton accepted a vice president position with legendary communications entrepreneur Blackstone Dillworth, who built the infrastructure for much of the cellular service in Texas, including the original Sprint PCS cellular network. With knowledge and contacts obtained in the tower business, Thornton founded his own tower company. He has since sold the company, but he still owns and leases towers all over the Southwest.

Now that I am semi-retired, it’s time to get back to the music,” Thornton says with a smile.

T. Gozney Thornton, Willie Nelson and Richard Ramirez

The first step was to close the chapter on the album he recorded in Willie Nelson’s studio in 1982. But the tapes were long gone, or so Thornton thought. A friend helped him find the original tapes at Arlyn Studio, located in the old Austin Opry House. But the tapes were in poor shape. After the 3M technology company sent a machine to Austin that would re-bake the tapes, Thornton took them to Fredericksburg’s Loma Ranch Studio (“One of the only places in the country that still had a Studer tape machine,” Thornton says) and converted the recordings to digital. “Lo and behold, the quality was still there!” Thornton says.

The recordings were re-mastered, and old and new friends joined Thornton to add tracks: Joe Forlini, Thornton’s original guitar player, added new guitar work. Johnny Gimble added the fiddle to some of the tracks. And Paulene Reese agreed to add her voice to some of the duets on the album. “She was two years old when we recorded the original song,” Thornton muses.

The finished product, 26 years in the making, is “Legends Before the Fall.” It is the original 1982 album, with many of the original tracks that were laid in the 1982 recording sessions. Thornton added some new songs and calls it his musical odyssey. It is his way of letting the world know he is back.

And back he is. The album earned a Grammy nomination this year.

Getting back into the music business is a lot easier when you have money,” Thornton says. But it also takes talent. Thornton has a great voice. “I guess I got it singing with my grandmother since I was three years old,” he says. “She was a voice teacher. I actually have some recordings of me singing with her.”

On “Legends Before the Fall,” there are recurring themes about Thornton’s life and love. Thornton explains some of his songs:

Es Tu Vida —“It’s your life. And it’s a story of my life. It’s been a roller coaster ride. It’s been real high. Thought I had it made in the music business. I signed with Willie Nelson. [It was] every kid’s dream! And then got the rug pulled out from under me because they weren’t going to release my album. And I came here [to San Angelo], started working as a plumber’s helper first, started from the ground up, and had to hock all my stuff. I’ve [since] built my life back up [where I] have something to be proud of. It could end in a moment’s notice; with droughts, the tower business could crumble into another 9/11. It’s a roller coaster ride.

It’s Too Late —“It’s about a girl I had been living with for several years, and I called her up from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from an old cowboy bar we had been playing up there, and she told me she had moved everything out of the house and moved in with another man. ‘It’s too late, the magic is all gone,’ she said. The song was written before I met Pam. I wrote it a long time ago.

T. Gozney and Pam Thornton

True Loving Ladies —“Just my concept of women, I guess. True loving ladies don’t come free. You have to pay for them one way or the other.”

Best Part of Lovin’—“A new song I wrote for my wife, Pam. It’s a fairly new song.”

Legends before the Fall —“Another story about people out on the road trying to make it after 20 years. [They’re] banging their heads up against the wall in those bars, and just chasing that big brass ring. But it’s just out of reach. And then when they’ve made it, and they were legends, and then the rug was pulled out from under them. In Legends, the guy is talking to a curandera, and she says, ‘When you get older, you’re going to make it.’ And that’s what I believe about my own life.”

Strawberry Stallion —“This is a song about a rodeo cowboy who was in love with this girl, and she followed him all over the country while he was rodeoing. She had her own strawberry-colored stallion. And then he woke up one morning and the strawberry stallion was gone, [and] so was the girl. And the cowboy surmises the stallion and the girl are somewhere in Louisiana now, by an antebellum home, with the stallion standing out in the pasture. She got tired of chasing after him. And that’s happened to so many musicians: The girl falls in love with him, but then he’s on the road all the time . . . so it means something to me, too. I lost several girlfriends that way.”

Dream —“Guy and I wrote that song on a ranch in South Texas. We wrote it about a girl leaving… Well, it’s another love song.”

What’s Next?

Thornton is working on a compilation album to be recorded inside the Alamo in San Antonio. “K.R. Wood and Ron Chancey and I are working a deal to go into the Alamo to record and document it on film as well, inside the hallowed Alamo,” Thornton says. “We’re going to use Davy Crockett’s fiddle. We’re going in with George Strait, the Oak Ridge Boys, and we’re talking to Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks.

I’m looking to make it in music. I know I am not a young stud anymore, I am not going to make it in that niche, but I can still make it on the ‘cracker barrel’ scene,” Thornton says.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Legends Before The Fall
T. Gozney Thornton and The Old Hat Band
Old Chivo Records

Johnny Gimble

In a magazine that will go unnamed I saw a name I hadn’t seen or heard in almost twenty years – T. Gozney Thornton. It was great to know that an old running mate was still alive and in musical action. T. Gozney, as we used to call him back in the old days, was an Americana original about two decades before there was such a thing and an Austin fixture among the Waylon and Willie bunch.

Legends Before The Fall” contains 12 songs, most by T., and spans over twenty years of recordings – from 1984 through early 2007. The CD is a journal of T’s journey through music and life and each song is obviously heartfelt. This walk down memory lane also brings other familiar faces into the mix. Old friends like Joe Forlini and Stephen Bruton add great guitar parts and other session notables include Johnny Gimble on fiddle, the recently departed David Zentner on steel guitar and a host of others make this songwriter’s CD a special additon to any collection.

Reviewed by: Greg Forest



Sunday, December 2, 2007

RadioIndy Review
RadioIndy Review of your “Legends Before The Fall” CD

Legends Before The Fall” by T. Gozney Thornton is a refreshing collection of blues-flavored and contemporary country tunes. Thornton’s warm and welcoming vocal tone compliments these tunes perfectly. “True Lovin’ Lady” departs from the usual mid-tempo blues/contemporary country sound to a more upbeat folk vibe, utilizing some impressive piano and fiddle work. “Dream Away” delivers a compelling orchestra section. Lyrically, Thornton ventures into deep themes of love, life, and pain. What’s more, quality production brings “Legends Before The Fall” to a pleasant wrap.

-Xavier P. and



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