We hope you all had an amazing Americana fest. This week, we’re going to transition from the roots of Americana to the roots of Billy Block, which means we’re headed to Texas.
Back in the 70s, the country music format included artists who are now considered Americana; concert-goers were often treated to a mix of artists on the same bill.
At that time, Billy Block, drummer, and Roger Tausz, bassist, were the rhythm section for a number of artists in Houston—both in the studio and live. They were supporting @columbiarecords
recording artist Danny Epps when Danny’s old friend Billy Joe Shaver came to see them play. When Billy Joe got a last-minute invitation to join Willie Nelson and Emmy Lou Harris on tour, he hired Danny’s band to back him up. Billy Block was twenty-two. It was his first major concert tour, Spring, 1978.
This was at the height of outlaw country so it was a big stage concert tour. Willie’s Columbia Records, November, 1978 number-one album, “Willie and Family Live,” was recorded during this tour. Roger recalls that Willie’s big shiny tour bus was followed by Emmy Lou’s big shiny tour bus, which was followed by Billy Joe Shaver’s beat-up, blue @ford
Econoline van (with pickers bouncing around in the back) towing a @gouhaul
full of gear. In addition to Roger and Billy Block, the rest of the band comprised Texas bluesman Jimmie Don Smith and Eddie Shaver, Billy Joe’s 15-year-old sob, on guitar.
Next week we start a series of stories about Billy’s formative years as a young musician in Texas. Have a story to share? A question to ask? Please message us or comment below and we’ll get in touch with you. Thank you for following, sharing and reposting! ***** 🎹🥁🎸🎤🎼 #BillyBlockShow #WesternBeat #Americana #CountryMusic #AmericanaFest #BillyJoeShaver @rogertausz @willienelsonofficial #allmanbrothers #outlawcountry #1978 #godfatherofamericana @officialcmhof #NashvilleEntertainment #JillBlock #RobinPearl @jillrblock @robinsallerpearl
Photos from the Billy Block Family Archives.