Saturday, June 20, 1992

From the beginning...The Stratoblasters ~ 1992

In 1986, when opening for Delbert McClinton at Redux in Dallas, the back-stage banter again turned to this artistic fantasy. At the very moment that it dawned on guitarist Jimmy Wallace and bassist Bobby Chitwood that they would indeed require a lead vocalist if this ethereal concept was ever to actually take shape an old friend (and vocalist extraordinaire) named John O'Daniel bounded back-stage and approached the two. After the usual greeting rituals, Jimmy and Bobby looked at each other, nodded, and the nucleus of the Stratoblasters was solid.

Jimmy's old friends and guitarists Jerry Don Branch and Matt Tapp were offered the opportunity to join the party, and without hesitation signed on. The idea was a three guitar band that anteed up the energy necessary to blast out vintage R&B, soul and any other genre of interest - to the point of extreme personal satisfaction of the band members. This, as it worked out, was very easy to achieve. The question was, would anyone else care?

On September 6th , 1986 the Stratoblasters played to a small audience of friends and family. For the band members it was simply electrifying. The audience was small but contagiously receptive. Through that September and October the band played at Redux sharing with Bugs Henderson his bass player Bobby Chitwood and drummer, Mike Gage.

The group had an absolute blast (no pun intended) being allowed to perform on stage in the very manner that they had dreamed of for so long. Working for the door on a weeknight, they consistently made enough nightly proceeds to cover the cost of Mexican food for all, at the close-by Guadalajara restaurant after the gig.

Then a puzzling thing happened. The fun and excitement that each and every band member felt, each and every song - leapt off the stage and permeated the audience thus beginning a reciprocal relationship that honestly exists to this very day.