This year will make Two Tons of Steel’s 23rd year of headlining “Two Ton Tuesday Live from Greune Hall.” Proving the importance of longevity in the music industry, Two Tons of Steel has been performing around Texas and the United States for more than 20 years.
The San Antonio-based band will be in Texoma next week taking over the “Music on Main” stage. Friday’s performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Park in Denison.
Band members include lead singer Kevin Geil, Jake “Sidecar” Marchese on upright bass, Will Owen-Gage on lead guitar and Rich Alcorta on drums.
Two Tons of Steel has been recognized for its Texas country, rockabilly and Americana music throughout the state. The group has been named the best country band by the San Antonio Current 10 times.
“We started as a three-piece rockabilly band because I fell in love with the Sun Records sound,” Kevin Geil said in an interview with Lonestar Music Magazine in 2005. “A guy can just sit down with a guitar and strum and sing and sound like it, versus the other stuff on the radio where you need 20 pieces to sound like it. We started playing and I started writing stuff, but I never wanted to be classified as a ’50s band. I love that sound, but what we do is new, the way we’re gonna do it. It’s a mature rockabilly sound. And we have Denny Mathis, who is in the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. He played with Ray Price in his heyday, and Willie Nelson when he used steel guitar, and Bob Wills near the end of his career. He brings so much to the table as far as keeping it in that cool groove. I guess you can call it anything, but country-billy kind of fits.”
The band covered Billboard Magazine in 1996 and has had regular performances at the Grand Ole’ Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. “Two Ton Tuesday” has drawn in more than 230,000 fans since 1995 when it began.
Two Tons of Steel’s self-titled debut album was released in 1993, and since then, the group has released 11 other albums. The first two albums were released under the name Dead Crickets, but the group changed its name in 1996.
“I love old cars,” Geil said in the article. “That goes back to the rockabilly thing. I have this crazy passion for old Cadillacs, so I bought a ‘56 Coupe de Ville. And I had a flat on it once. And these things are huge; it’s like 21-feet long. So I was driving along and I felt the tire going flat, so I pulled into a Firestone place. And I was talking to the guy about whether he can fix it, and I said, ‘Dude, that car weighs like two tons. I don’t know whether you can even get it off the ground.’ So that’s where Two Tons of Steel came from. It started out as the car’s nickname, then I wrote a song about it.”
The band worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Lloyd Maines for its first national release, “Vegas.” The album, which was released in 2006, made its way to No. 7 on the Americana Music Charts and was a top 20 release that same year.
“My wife loves Vegas,” Geil said in the Lonestar Music interview about the title of the record. “And, she loves to drive. One of the first things when we started dating that she liked to do is just go out and drive. One night I couldn’t sleep, so I got up at 4 in the morning and just kind of messed around and came up with the lyrics to the song ‘Vegas.’
Geil went on to say that he wanted to name the CD ‘unglued’ because of another track.
“But there was another CD out there that is called something ‘Unglued,’” he continued. “So Chris Thomas from Palo Duro did a search, and no one had put out a CD called ‘Vegas.’ Can you believe it? And it’s a fun song that catches on. First time we play it for audiences, by the second verse they’re singing that ‘bye bye bye’ thing. So it worked out well, and made for good artwork.”
Also doing numbers on the Americana Music Charts was the 2009 release, “Not That Lucky.” The most recent album, “Gone” was released in 2016.
“We’ll go as far as they’ll let us” Geil said about how far he would like to see the group go. “We cut the leash a long time ago. We run free. We can get off the porch. We can run with the big dogs. We’ll just do our thing and try. And if we get there, that’s great. But it’s more about the journey and all the things we’ve gotten to do. It’s more about that then actually getting to the top of whatever. But we’ll definitely fight our way up there.”