In 2011, Duke Davis and Buckshot celebrated their 32nd year. After leaving his home of Schertz, Texas, Duke spent 13 years playing the thriving music scene of Houston and Austin that included stints with the 13th Floor Elevators, the Grits Band, the Starvation Army Band, and numerous Las Vegas Show Bands fronted by Bill Nash, Ray Rogers and Bojangles, and Gary Smith. In 1979 Duke moved to Los Angeles, California and assembled the first incarnation of the Buckshot Band. Over the years some notable and infamous pickers have graced the stage as Buckshot Boys, including Vince Gill, Thumbs Carlisle, Byron Berline, Jay Dee Maness, Skip Edwards, Steve Duncan and Cary Park, just to name a few. Many of the Buckshot Boys have gone on to play with Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakum, Highway 101, Desert Rose Band, and The Mavericks, as well as their own stellar solo careers. During their 15 year tenure in California, Duke and the boys toured with the likes of Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood and Mark Collie backing up Heather Miles, and have been opening act for George Straight, Hank Williams, Jr., Bobby Bare, The Bellamy Brothers, Doug Kershaw, Exile and Mel McDaniel, just for starters. Buckshot has always had a cutting edge 'pure' Western sound that focused on original material, which during the 1980's barrage of top 40 'Urban Cowboy' music, always endeared them to their audiences and the industry alike. From 1980 through 1993; Duke Davis and Buckshot were regularly named #1 Country Band on the West Coast by the Los Angeles based Music Connection Magazine, documented by their drawing power. These boys have always been different and well liked, no matter what the rest of the industry was doing. In 1983, Duke created Rockin' Double "D" Productions, which began as an independent record label that produced Alternative Country Music, Western Swing and Cowboy Music. By 2010, Duke had produced well over 200 recordings on not only his own band but also dozens of other artists, launching many of them into award winning status, including Brenn Hill and Juni Fisher. By 1993, the production company branched off into live venues producing Folk Festivals, rodeos and concerts. By 1994, Duke tired of the Country Music scene and its metamorphosis into Pop Music and decided to go straight Western. He was very much in demand as a producer and songwriter, and although he was well established working in movies and television, and as a session musician, he decided to head to New Mexico and return to his cowboy roots. He built the High Mesa Horse Ranch outside of Santa Fe and started training and brokering horses, day worked as a cowboy, and reassessed the Buckshot image. Gone were the six and seven piece electric bands, and taking its place was the slick and tightly rehearsed acoustic sound with complex vocal harmonies. The music became a vehicle for original non-commercial western songs that reflected a heartfelt lifestyle and the band has remained 'Pure Western' ever since. In 2002, Duke sold the ranch in New Mexico and moved to Colorado where he opened the Osita Ranch, continuing his horse business while touring with the band up to 200 dates annually. In 2010, Duke retired from ranching and moved home to Texas, settling in the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, and reformed the Buckshot Band. Presently, the group consists of Duke on standup bass and guitar, "lonesome Dave" Kemp on guitar, Scott Martin on pedal steel, accordion, guitar, mandolin, dobro and lap steel, with Jeff Brousch on drums. Their trademark intricate vocal arrangements are sophisticated and their sound is 'no holds barred'! Although their focus is Western, these guys smoothly transcend into Jazz, Blues, Rock and Texas Roots Folk, giving the industry 'fits' for many years by being hard-pressed to attach a moniker to them - and their sound. One reviewer stated, “…these guys have the heart and guts of a good cowboy song with the delivery and sophistication of jazz musicians”, and thus was born their trademark term that describes them best ... 'Cow Jazz’. Bottom line with these guys is…they're not just a cowboy band!!!
Duke Davis and Buckshot have garnered many awards, nominations and accolades in their over 30 years from the Country Music Associations of America, California Country Music_ Association, Music Industry Coalition, Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists, winning awards ranging from Best Band, Best Bass Player, Best Male Vocalist, Best Country Production, and Best Folk Production. Duke had a #1 song in Western Swing Music in 2005, entitled "Texas Moon" from his "Blue Texas Sky" CD. In addition, in 1993 Duke was selected as the Official Cowboy Poet laureate of Santa Clarita, California. In 1999 Duke had a book of original cowboy poetry published entitled "Duke Davis - Contemporary Verse" that contains many of his reflections and experiences as a working cowboy and horseman. In 2007, Duke and the boys launched their program "Westward Ho!" which is a 90 minute, 27 song, one act theatrical musical play that presents the history of Western Music. They have performed the play in Performing Arts Centers, Opera Houses, Theaters and Amphitheaters all over Colorado, Texas, Nevada and California to standing ovations everywhere, and the show is creating quite a stir in the Western Arts world. You can bet the house on one thing ... these guys are original, they can pick, they're zany, and they create contagious fun!!!
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