Smoke House Guitar Army
 

S m o k e h o u s e  G u i t a r  A r m y 
BOOGIE WITH HORSEPOWER

Smokehouse Guitar Army (SGA) is a road-tested, guitar-driven Texas Blues and Boogie Band with a down-home Lone Star rhythm. The band  lives and performs with the idea of putting talented friends together, allowing their lifetimes of experience to be expressed musically. The band is fronted by three distinctive guitar players and a standout rhythm section. The SGA song list features classic selections from Legends such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Jimmy Reed, Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, Chuck Berry, and Canned Heat. Smokehouse also showcases original songs from the individual band members.

Smokehouse was born in 1986 in El Paso, and continues today in San Antonio. The various players that have formed the core of the band are recognized as some of the best area musicians. That goes for Smokehouse El Paso and Smokehouse San Antonio. SGA is blessed to have had these players in our line-up. Through the years Smokehouse has shared the stage with many great guest players from Texas and from outside Texas. We are honored that these great players look foward to sittin' in with Smokehouse to play some fine boogie. These players are members of the Smokehouse Guitar Army All Stars and their roster is listed below. 

The band supports, by membership and sponsorship, the San Antonio Blues Society, Houston Blues Socity, and Austin Blues Society. We encourage our fans and all lovers of the blues to back their local blues society. These societies work to promote and preserve blues music through performance, enlightenment, and scholarship.

SMOKEHOUSE GUITAR ARMY IS THE HEAVY DUTY
GUARANTEED-YOU'LL-REMEMBER-'EM AWARD WINNING BAND

AND DON'T FORGET TO BOOGIE!

 
 
   
  Smokehouse Guitar Army - San Antonio
 

Scott Mayo
Guitar/Vocals

Sam Massey
Guitar/Vocals

Granvil Poynter
Guitar/Vocals

David Meissner
Bass

Rene "Maddog" Lopez
Drums

Victor DiValentino
Operations

Granvil Poynter • David Meissner • Rene "Maddog" Lopez • Scott Mayo • Sam Massey
 

The San Antonio Edition of Smokehouse Guitar Army debuted on a Hill Country Sunday afternoon, May 6, 2012 at The Shade Tree Saloon & Grill in Spring Branch, Texas. The performance was a huge success and after that, things moved fast. While our gigs are mostly in San Antonio, we have travelled the state: Gruene, Austin, Houston, Lake Buchanan, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, and South Padre. Our shows are three- and four-hour performances at top notch recognized venues: headlining shows, opening for national blues acts, hosting blues jams, and playing private events.

After our first gig at The Shade Tree Saloon, they had us back 3 times in the next 5 months. Then we the bookings came in. SGA enjoys the opportunity to host jams and perform at events for The San Antonio Blues Society, The New Braunfels Blues Society, and The Houston Blues Society. To date, SGA has performs in the San Antonio area at such great venues as Sam's Burger Joint, The Cove, The Pigpen, La Villita, La Tuna Ice House, and Barriba Cantina on the famed River Walk. Smokehouse also performs outside of San Antonio at The Buchanan Dam Beach Club and Reverend Jim's Dam Pub in Buchanan, The Place Downtown in Kingsland, and Forno's Lake LBJ Yacht Club & Marina in Horseshoe Bay. Smokehouse Guitar Army also performs in Houston at The Big Easy, Shakespeare Pub, Emmit's Place, and The Truckyardin nearby Baclif at Katy's Bar & Grill. SGA stays busy with private and corporate events, as well as city events like the San Antonio Folklife Festival at the South Texas Culture Center and River Walk Bud Lite “Battle of The Bands” at the historic Arneson Theatre. The performances were appreciated enough that Smokehouse was voted the #1 Best Blues Artist/Band in the 2015 San Antonio Music Awards.

Smokehouse Guitar Army is proud to have opened for Omar and the Howlers at their San Antonio "Howlin' With The Wolf" CD Release Party. Smokehouse Guitar Army has also shared the stage with Eric Tessmer and his band. And the band opened for John Nemeth at the 2016 San Antonio Blues Society Fiesta Blues Heritage Series. These shows were at San Antonio's famous Sam's Burger Joint and Music Hall.

Smokehouse Guitar Army is a proud member of The San Antonio Blues Society, The New Braunfels Blues Society and The Houston Blues Society.

 
 
   
  Smokehouse Guitar Army - El Paso   The Original SGA
 
 

Seven friends grew up on the border in West Texas, musical talents all with a rich heritage of border boogie and blues. Everybody knew everybody back then and had been in a variety of bands since school days. After feasting on red wine and green chile following a surf trip to Cabo, I asked my long time musical partner and friend, Robin Vinikoff, “how ‘bout making one more killer band?” Sitting across the table from me, Robin replied “why the hell not!” and I got on the phone! And that’s how Smokehouse was born.

First call went to Ray Volmer. We’d been working with Ray for the last couple of years with Long John Hunter and before that with Frankie Danger’s group Lost Dog. Ray of course had been with other groups, including the QID Band. Ray was among the best in the region. Next up was Ben Zudda, First Chair Violinist with The El Paso Symphony. Ben was also a keyboardist and vocalist, playing with everybody great - a real standout with Tangled Bank Theory – who needs to say more? Following Ben was Louie Lobo, whose guitar work and vocals were well established in the region. His pedigree went way back with Rod Crosby and the Intruders and Louie was always in demand. Now, it gets funny – the next call went to long time friend and musician Leon Akerson. in my opinion, one of the most accomplished bass players in the entire region. Now, Leon had been non-stop for about 20 years and had promised his family that he was going to take a year off. Much to my sorrow - and respect - Leon kept his word to his family. Even though I was a guitarist, to get things off the ground, I decided to play bass. So the next day I bought a vintage Tele-Bass and that night Smokehouse started rehearsals. At the same time, Robin was putting a sound system together that would rival that of sound companies with worldwide presence and acclaim. Equipment wise, we lacked nothing, able to accommodate ANY venue. When I arrived in El Paso, Randy Russ was already a legend, having learned guitar at the knees of his father. This guy has played with so many standout groups – two noteworthy ones being Big Sonny and The Mesilla Valley Low Boys and Gorilla (ask Steve Miller about Gorilla!). I had the pleasure of playing with Randy in Long John Hunter’s band. So, you can imagine when he offered his talents to Smokehouse, the band became a force to be reckoned with.

We rehearsed for six months and we hit the street with enough material in the can that we could play two full nights and not repeat a song. Smokehouse kicked butt in a big way and played non-stop hard boogie. One of our favorite venues was The Texas Steakout down on old Alameda Street next to the Rio Grande River in El Paso’s Lower Valley. This place was huge, always filled with the wildest collection of Border Outlaws and beautiful women you could imagine. We would rock and party till the sun-come-up more than once. This CD was cut from one of our tightest performances at “The Steakout” (CD art is what you see above). We showed up early to set up and do our sound check. So up walks another great musician friend of the band’s, Russ Kalman, with another old friend - drummer extraordinaire John Brock. John had been touring the country for several years with a number of national acts. We all looked at each other and in unison told John to unload his set and get ready cause he was now the final link for Smokehouse and one of our trademarks: double drummers.

So now that you got the history, get yourself a cold beer and a hot smoke. Below are songs from the great night at The Texas Steakout. Put some Smokehouse on your player and fall into your favorite chair … 

 

 1. LUCILLE 

 7. THE MONKEY SONG 

 2. RUNNIN' WILD 

 8. KNOCK ON WOOD 

 3. EARLY IN THE MORNING 

 9. FEELIN'  ALL RIGHT 

 4. STORMY MONDAY 

 10. AIN'T SUPERSTICIOUS 

 5. ONE WAY OUT 

 11. WHAT'D I SAY 

 6. KING OF ROCK 'N ROLL 

 12. BIG LEGGED WOMAN 

 

 13. ROAD EVER 

Choose a song from the list above ... TURN IT UP and enjoy as we rock the house. Now you know why they call it Border Style!!                                                                 

Live the Dream ... Scott

   
 
 
  Smokehouse Guitar Army All-Stars
We are proud to have shared the stage with these great artists
 

GUITAR
Adam Johnson
Bob Bass
Brad McCool
Charlie Cruz
Charlie Sardo
Chris Duarte
Chuck Ziegler
Clay Jarvis
Jamie Krueger
Jason Crisp
Jimmy Spacek
Joey Fender
Johnny Garner
Keith Harter
Larry Trub
Mike Mulligan
Nate Boff
Paul Johnson
Shawn Pittman
Starvin' Marvin Hass
The Mighty Orq

TROMBONE
Mike Davis
Ruben Colon

VOCALS
Adam Johnson
Benny Harp
Bob Bass
Brad McCool
Charlie Cruz
Charlie Sardo
Chris Duarte
Chuck Ziegler
Clay Jarvis
Courtney Reed
Howard Yeargan
Jamie Krueger
Jason Crisp
Jimmy Spacek
Joey Fender
Keith Harter
Larry Trub
Mike Davis
Mike Mulligan

Mike Zeal
Nate Boff
Paul Johnson
Shawn Pittman
The Mighty Orq

BASS
Brad McCool
DC Olson
Dave "Big Bird" West (RIP)
Eric Lee
Eric Przygocki
Jack Barber
Larry Evans
Jason Crisp
Marshall Morgan
Mike Roeder
Richie Lee
Terry Dry


HARMONICA
Adam Palacios
Benny Harp
Bob Bass
Howard Yeargan
Mike Davis
Salvatore "Banzai" La Rocca

KEYBOARDS
Craig "Dr. G" Gerstenkorn
Howard Yeargan
Luca Magenes

DRUMS
Alan Bush
Albert Storo
Charlie Gnerre
Chris Nisley
Gene Godley
Jamie Krueger
Joel Duhon
Joey Fender
John Carpenter
Ken Woodward
Ladd Denison (RIP)
Marshall Morgan
Matt Johnson
Rocky Dodson
Sam Bradley
Shawn Pittman
Snit Fitzpatrick
Steve "T-Bone" Bland (RIP)

Ty Grimes
Urban Urbano

SAX / FLUTE
Texas Johnny Boy
Jonathan Resney