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Appearing at the Station Inn, March 15, 2012 (with Alan O'Bryant, banjo, from the NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND)
and May 24, 2012 (with Richard Bailey, banjo, from THE STEELDRIVERS)
Review of December 20, 2011 show: Prine's Whole Damn Family)---
CLICK HERE by songwriter/journalist Peter Cooper

Cowboy's College of Musical Nonsense

The loose confederation of musicians below is a country/folk supergroup who gather to play at the Station Inn on the occasional occasions when Mr. Rooney returns to Nashville. One thing they have in common is that they are the core group of artists and session players showcased by Jack Clement and the incredibly successful crew of producers and engineers who grew up under his tutelage, including Rooney, Allen Reynolds, Garth Fundis, Mark Howard, David Ferguson, and others. Brief profiles and links are listed in the body of this page. And so we present: the Summa Cum Laude graduates of Cowboy's College of Musical Nonsense.

click pic to enlarge
CLICK TO ENLARGE - Jim Rooney Band members

[McGuire Photography]
numbered key to band member profiles below

[SCROLL DOWN FOR PROFILES] 1.Dan Dugmore 2.Pete Wasner 3.Pat McInerney 4.Shawn Camp 5.Bob White 6.Jim Rooney 7.Dave Pomeroy 8.Pat McLaughlin 9.Richard Bailey 10.Bill Kenner 11.Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson 12.Tim O'Brien 13.Stuart Duncan 14.John Prine 15.Nanci Griffith 16.Pat Alger

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HERE for slide show and music from the session



Jim Rooney, 1960s - click to enlarge
Courtesy of John Byrne Cooke Photography

Jim Rooney has been making music for over 50 years starting in his Boston home where he managed the Club 47 in the 60s and was a director of the Newport Folk Festival. Subsequently he managed Albert Grossman's Bearsville Studios in Woodstock and then later moved to Nashville where he has produced John Prine, Iris DeMent, Nanci Griffith and Peter Rowan amongst many others. Along the way, he's been in a number of different groups and continues with Rooneys Irregulars, a rotating group of musicians who split their time between Nashville and Ireland. Rooney is also the author of several highly regarded books about music.-Amazon.com

A detailed, though obviously drastically abridged, musical autobiography appears in the January 2011 edition of the FRIENDS OF COWBOY NEWSLETTER. Fleshed out a little, it could stand as a fascinating chronicle of the commercial folk music scene during the second half of the 20th century.

Circa 1988, Jim wrote a press release/bio for his mentor, Cowboy Jack Clement.

For more detailed information on the following musicians, please visit the various web sites linked below. For discographies, one can search the guide at AllMusic.com .


1.Dan Dugmore, pedal steel

As a member of Linda Ronstadt's and James Taylor's groups in the 1980s, Dan helped define the sound of steel for the country rock genre. In Nashville for the past couple decades, he has graced hundreds of projects with his tasteful touch. Put out a heartfelt solo album of Beatles covers in 2003. WEB SITE

2.Pete Wasner, keyboards

Another L.A. transplant, Wasner played with Lowell George after he left LITTLE FEAT and Vince Gill, with whom he continues to work. For many years in Nashville, he was on staff as a writer and studio musician with the Reynolds/Rooney/Miller/Tye FORERUNNER MUSIC. WEB SITE

3.Pat McInerney, drums

Longtime drummer and road manager for Nanci Griffith, Mac has branched out into producing. He and Pomeroy were the rhythm section for the Don Williams band and also a spinoff group with Danny Flowers - The Scratch Band. Married to bass player, songwriter, and occasional Griffith bandmember Lee Ann Etheridge, he is the only Irregular with three first names - Pat, Mac, and Ernie.

4.Shawn Camp electric guitar/acoustic guitar/fiddle/vocals

Songwriter and sideman/co-writer to the stars (Guy Clark, John Prine, Jim Lauderdale, Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, Shelby Lynne, etc.), Shawn has often worked with Jack Clement, who dubbed him "Boy Wonder". His George Strait cut was Billboard's #5 country song for all of 2009. In September 2010, Warner/Reprise re-issued the first, and put out the second for the first time, 17 years after it was recorded.
Shawn co-produced a tribute album to Guy Clark, with whom he has written and played for a number of years. It was released in December 2011WEB SITE

5.Bob White, guest star

aka "Roberto Bianco, The Romantic Voice of our Time", regularly appears with The Jay Patten Band, put out a standards album with gut-string vituoso Michael Johnson, has appeared as a comic actor in a number of videos and feature films, including the late Jim Varney's ERNEST series and SHAKESPEARE WAS A BIG GEORGE JONES FAN.

6.Jim Rooney, left-handed acoustic guitar/vocals/M.C.

Jim came to Nashville in the mid-70s and engineered for Cowboy Jack Clement until, as a producer, he worked with a number of ground-breaking artists including Prine and Griffith as well as Iris Dement, Hal Ketchum, Barry and Holly Tashian, Richard Dobson, and others. He also had some success as a publisher, providing tunes to the unknown Garth Brooks. In 2009, received Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION

7.Dave Pomeroy, bass

Also arriving in Music City around 1975, Pomeroy got work with Crystal Gayle, who was then recording with Allen Reynolds at Jack's Tracks, and toured for many years with Cowboy Jack discovery, Don Williams. In the 80s, fronted the jazz fusion/percussion band Tone Patrol. He has played on more than 500 albums with a wide variety of artists including Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Elton John, Peter Frampton, Adrian Belew, and Chet Atkins, including 6 Grammy winning records. He has a home studio and is an independent producer and has his own label Earwave Records. In December 2008, Dave was elected President of the Nashville Association of Musicians, AFM Local#257. WEB SITE

8.Pat McLaughlin, guitar/mandolin/vocals

Songwriter, country R&B vocalist, bandleader McLaughlin has been a stalwart of the "live" music scene in Nashville for 30 years. He has notably worked recently with Tommy Malone of New Orleans band THE SUBDUDES, written with Prine and Camp, and once appeared in a video with Ray Charles --- RAY CHARLES!. WEB SITE

9.Richard Bailey, banjo

A member of too many bluegrass bands to mention, Richard was part of the Grammy-nominated ROLAND WHITE BAND before really hitting the big time (bluegrass-wise) as part of THE STEELDRIVERS WEB SITE

10.Bill Kenner, mandolin

Big Bill has appeared on albums by JJ Cale, Brooks and Dunn, and others, and was a writer on Tracy Byrd's first #1 "Holdin' Heaven" in 1993

11.Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson, harmonica

Jelly Roll has forged a place for himself as the songwriters' harmonica man. A frequent (and only) sideman with the originators of the BLUEBIRD CAFE'S "Writers in the Round", he put out an album some years ago with the unique concept of backing songs by three distinctive writers --- Fred Knobloch, Verlon Thompson, and Malcolm Holcombe WEB SITE

12.Tim O'Brien, mandolin/fiddle/bouzouki/vocals

As a member of HOT RIZE, bluegrassers with an alter ego as RED KNUCKLES AND HIS TRAILBLAZERS, multi-instrumentalist O'Brien helped define the modern bluegrass era. Writing for Rooney's FORERUNNER MUSIC GROUP, he provided hit songs for Kathy Mattea and others, and continues successful solo and duo (with sister Mollie) careers. WEB SITE

13.Stuart Duncan, fiddle

Probably the most in-demand Nashville fiddle player for the past 20 years for studio, TV, and concert work. Somehow finds time to perform as part of the seminal NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND

14.John Prine, guitar/vocals

If you do not know who he is, you have no business reading this page. WEB SITE

15.Nanci Griffith, guitar/vocals

See above, but substitute "she" WEB SITE

16.Pat Alger, guitar

Pat is the newest member of the Nashville Songwriters Assn. Hall of Fame, inducted October 2010. A native Georgian, he has been with Rooney, since the 1970s when they formed the nucleus of THE WOODSTOCK MOUNTAIN REVUE, whose Music from Mud Acres was one of the earliest releases on Rounder Records. Toured as a duo with the late Artie Traum. Came to Nashville in the 80s and worked as the guitar player for Nanci and was the first writer signed to FORERUNNER MUSIC, where he proceeded to pen a good deal of the Garth Brooks oeuvre as well as Billboard Single of the Year for Hal Ketchum. As past President of the Nashville Songwriters Assn. Int'l, Pat made many trips to Washington, DC to convince Congress to pass legislation protecting the present and future rights of songwriters worldwide. WEB SITE



Appearing at the Station Inn, December 15, 2011 --- Critic's Pick NASHVILLE SCENE [June 2010]