Image for post
Image for post

Sons of the Palomino To Release “Blue:30 | Volumes II & III” Double Disc Album

Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit: Anthony Scarlati

Jeffrey Steele was born in Burbank, CA, into a musical family. He was raised in North Hollywood. He made his stage debut at age 8 as a guest vocalist in his brother’s band at a church dance. By age 17, he was playing in rock clubs on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, as well as in the country bars of the San Fernando Valley. The multi-instrumentalist also toured as a country sideman. From 1990–1996, he was the lead singer and bass player for the country band Boy Howdy.

The group scored several hits with Steele’s songs, notably 1993’s pop-crossover success “She’d Give Anything” / “I’d Give Anything”. Steele moved to Nashville in 1994. After Boy Howdy disbanded, he embarked on a career as a solo artist and a Music Row songwriter.

This Nashville Songwriter Hall Of Fame member has written more than his share of hits, including number one singles for Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, and other headliners. All the while being drawn back to the music of those old Los Angeles County honky tonk country bars.

The Palomino Club, a North Hollywood dive bar venue in the late 1980s/early 1990s, hosted Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance on Tuesday nights. Steele was the bass player for the house band for seven years, at the same venue where Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris had performed. Stars like Mick Fleetwood and Eddie Van Halen would join the Barn Dance house band on stage.

In 2015, twenty years after the Palomino Club shut down, drummer Billy Block discussed with Steele bringing the band members back together in Nashville. Sadly, Block passed away before the reunion, but he was the one who gave the band its name. Sons of the Palomino would honor the classic country music the Palomino Club championed, ‘Fresh country music with an old school country sound’.

Image for post
Image for post

Soon others voiced interest in being a part of the new band— which accounts for the all-star cast of special guests over the years.

John Anderson was the first to come aboard, for the tongue-in-cheek “Authentic”. “When he came in and sang, he made the song authentic,” Steele insists.“More than that, he validated what we wanted to do. ‘Authentic’ was our mantra for the whole record and he just took it there.

Others followed: Emmylou Harris underscoring the ache woven into the brilliant narrative of “Outta This Town”,

John Rich adding his trademark swagger to “Countryholic”, Jamey Johnson looking at life through the bottom of his glass on “Whiskey Years”, Gretchen Wilson joining Steele on a gleeful deconstruction of the city they call home on “Used To Be A Country Town”, Vince Gill commiserating with Steele on the last-call lament “Nobody Does Lonely”.

And that leads to a realization that surprised even Steele: This response from his peers is an early indicator that country music lovers throughout the world just might be ready for a change. Maybe it’s time for songs to get real again, for artists to try being true to themselves again.

Image for post
Image for post

Or, in Steele’s words, “If even one guy listens to this record and then goes back and finds Kris Kristofferson’s “For The Good Times” or the music of Bob Wills, then as far as I’m concerned Sons of the Palomino will have done its job.

90@9, ‘a Grassroots movement started with 5 brothers texting each other and agreeing to pray for the world’. You wrote, “I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness.” What advice can you offer those who are struggling?

Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not. Let go of peer pressure, be yourself.

Image for post
Image for post

Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame Artist. Can you describe what it was like the first time another artist recorded one of your songs?

It was amazing.

You founded the Jeffrey Steele Songwriting Boot Camp to mentor aspiring writers. Tips for new writers trying to get their songs heard by artists?

You can’t quit! The rest they can learn in the Academy.

Co-writing with Davis Naish “Stick That in Your Country Song” in 2015. When Eric Church recorded the song this year, it was only the second song in his catalog that he didn’t have a part in writing. What is involved in the process of matching a song with an artist?

Just a gut feeling that he needed to hear it and that nobody else in country music had the balls to record it.

You thanked Mac Davis for “the lessons in “getting it right’ the gigs the writes but mostly the friendship”. How did he influence you personally and musically?

First time I played for him I had to learn 25 songs in one night. The next day when I played the gig I made a huge mistake in one of the songs, he stopped the band and introduced me to the audience completely embarrassing me, but I never made another mistake again live. How giving he was and his work ethic was amazing. Getting to write with him after watching him my whole life was a great honor. I will never forget him. We are all standing on the shoulders of those before us.

First single off the Sons of the Palomino’s Blue:30 | Volumes II & III double disc album (release date October 23) is “Running This Country”. What’s the backstory to the new ‘honky tonk party’ song?

It was just a really fun play on politics.

What else can fans expect to hear on the upcoming album?

18 brand new original songs that will make you think that you are in a classic country music time machine.

Image for post
Image for post

The key to your songs with the Sons of the Palomino is the shuffles, the music that your parents would two-step to all night around the dance floor. You’ve said that “everything is mechanical now, everything’s beats”. Which albums do you recommend for fans wanting to hear the best of the old songs and sounds?

Start at the top, get the greatest hits of artists like, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Sr & Jr.



Written by

Music Feature Writer on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store