Wade Andrew Smith
I have to thank my father for taking me to the Wynona Theater back in 1964 on Main St. in downtown Tomball, Texas to see the movie “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. That’s where it all began. The story of Hank Williams to this day still hangs around in the back of mind along with all of those songs on the album my dear mother bought me at the local grocery store. I ran the needle through that album, wrote down the lyrics on a Big Chief tablet and learned the chords to every song on an old acoustic guitar bigger than me. My father also picked and sang with the owner of the local Western Auto, Sonny Wilcox. I grew up listening to Hank, Merle, George, Johnny and Roger Miller to name a few. I grew up on a farm and experienced the country life where my father would drive back and forth to Houston everyday to provide us with the things necessary for that lifestyle. I learned how to drive in a Chevy pickup he bought at Ford’s Chevrolet. Our old frame house on twenty three acres had everything including a three wheel John Deere tractor. Baby calves and young colts were fed from a bottle. Klein High School FFA would come to our house on field trips to see what real farm life was like. Saturday night dances at Spring Creek Park and Tin Hall listening to Bud and Bud the Hooper Twins and my parents square dancing at the old Humble camp were a common practice. I remember riding my horse bareback down the side of the road singing Dang Me, Hang Me. I’m not officially a songwriter yet, maybe the ideas and memories of past life experiences will someday come out in a song.
Driftwood was started back in October of 2007. It’s just something I dreamed of doing for a long time. Before that I sang with a local band in LaPorte, Tx. Many thanks to George Dyer for giving me my start on stage. In addition to that I want to thank all the musicians that I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with. I have learned something from each and every one of you. Thank you. Thanks to all the songwriters and Stormy Cooper and Lyndon Hughes at SC Media for a stellar CD. I also thank God above for allowing me to follow my dreams and passion and sending me my darlin’ wife who supports me 100%.
Hope to see you on a dance floor!
I am an oil patch kid, born in Hobbs, New Mexico. We lived around Eastern New Mexico and West Texas until we settled in Midland, Texas. I started playing woodwinds in band in fifth grade. I continued in band through high school and college as a four year member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. I began playing guitar in junior high school and by the time I was in high school I was playing lead guitar in one band and bass in another.
As a West Texan, I was brought up with the musical heritage of Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison. It was really Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty in the seventies that placed my heart in country music. I was transferred to Houston in 1980, in the middle of the Urban Cowboy craze. I have been fortunate to play with several country bands since my arrival in Houston. It has been my honor to be in bands that have opened for Mickey Gilley, David Alan Coe, Neal McCoy and many others. I am grateful to be able to gaze out and perform in front of the dance floors that are filled with Wade Andrew Smith and Driftwood fans.
At the age of twelve, after watching an Elvis movie, I decided I wanted to play guitar. Driven to relentless practice, my skills advanced quickly and I played my first “paid” gig when I was thirteen. Our band (me on guitar, a fiddler, an upright bass and an old man playing washboard) was promised $2 each and all the fried chicken we could eat! We had to call the police to get the $2 and to this day I still can’t eat fried chicken!
While still in high school, I was traveling on the road with a band playing at military bases. After high school I was off to San Francisco with some buddies to break into the music world. When I realized what a rough life a starving musician has, I headed back to Texas. Another band I was later in “Heather Black” became very popular in southern Louisiana and we once “opened” for an Ike and Tina Turner concert in Louisiana. My love for country music though has always been evident. I have been in country bands that opened for shows with Buck Owens, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells and Jim Ed Brown so I have experienced real country music. One of my favorite memories was an all night jam session after the Owens-Tubb show with Tom Brumbley, Jack Greene, Buddy Charlton and a few other country legend players. I was fortunate to play on “Wasted Days & Wasted Nights” and “Before the Next Teardrop Falls”, two gold records from Freddy Fender. During a ten year break from playing professionally, I really enjoyed playing in our church praise band. Today I am happily back where I belong, in a Texas classic country band. I was excited when an opportunity opened up with Wade Andrew Smith and Driftwood. I feel like I am at home now and back with my Texas country roots.
I’ve been playin’ drums since 1966 and played in my first band “The Country Gentleman” with my Dad John Hawkins (steel player) in Baton Rouge La. I moved to Houston Texas in 1969 and have played in several bands since, one of which was “The Outcasts” at Tin Hall every Saturday night for 9 years. I have many influences a few of which are Jack Green (Ernest Tubb), Pork Chops (Conway Twitty), Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham. I had the privilege of opening for Faron Young several times, Ronnie Milsap, David Allen Coe numerous times just to name a few. Looking forward to laying down a shuffle for Driftwood and really appreciate the guys asking me aboard!