By Johnny Griffith
There are times when things just click with someone and you know it from the start. Then, years later you come back across them and it’s almost as if no time has passed. That’s kind of what is like for local Tyler favorites The Haggertys. Having all been members of different bands, some together and some collaborative, over the years, the lineup of “Patrick James” Freden (guitars, vocals), Brad Thurston (bass, backing vocals), and Clint Hiltz (drums/percussion) have been together as The Haggertys since 2013 and have been exciting audiences ever since with their setlists of 90’s standard rock covers as well as reinterpreting some classic songs along the way.
We sat down with the guys recently to get some more history on the band and a better snapshot of the members.
Johnny: How about we start with a brief bio of yourself and your background in music.
Patrick: I was born in Minnesota, moved to Tyler in 1974 and then left in the summer of 1977. I basically grew up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi playing Dungeons & Dragons, riding BMX bikes, and listening to albums over at a friend’s house. My first band was a punk band called Spastic Fury in high school. After that, I did some college in Mobile, Alabama, and eventually came back to Tyler in 1988. I played in bands all through the 90’s and started a solo acoustic project in 2005. I’m a self-employed graphic artist by day building websites, designing logos, etc., and music is my second business. I’m a full-time dad and husband, a professional tinkerer who likes craft beers, Les Pauls, Orange Amps, and hanging out in my favorite music store, Action Sound in Hawkins.
Brad: I’ve been playing music since I was 15 when I purchased my first guitar. It cost me $50 and was in a brown paper bag in pieces. After getting it put together, I started looking around for a band. No one needs a guitar player, so the next year I went and bought a bass, found a band, and the journey began. The start of my high school music career included rock bands like Conspiracy, Guardian, and Blue Steel. After high school, I branched out and did a did brief stint in a country band.
The call of the Hair Bands drew me to California, Hollywood to be exact. I moved in with a friend from high school, joined a band, and played the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd. within the first 3 weeks of being in California. I played in other bands there, like Hammer Lane. I did shows at The Roxy Theater and The Whisky A Go-Go. After wrapping up my California time, I moved back to Tyler, found an alternative band, Center Mass, which was later known as “Did Lee Squat?” (DLS?). That’s where I met “Patrick James.” We played venues in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and even Shreveport, Louisiana.
This too ended and I started my family, got a job, and put the band on the back burner. After some time, I started playing with Livid, a cover band around the Tyler/Longview area. This project just kinda wound down and I took a job out of town. More time passed with both family and job changes. I started playing bass in a praise band for Pollard United Methodist Church and did that for a few years until one day Patrick called. No, it was not the “I’m getting the band back together” kinda call. He wanted to redo his current project. I think he said he wanted to play more electric guitar and just rock out…so here we are.
Clint: I’m the baby of the band, born in Austin in 1974. I lived in Alvin, Texas through my 5th-grade year and moved to East Texas in 1986 where I joined the Union Grove percussion section in junior high and continued throughout high school. I played in the band and every sport Union Grove offered. As I got into high school, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to play football then at halftime, I’d take off my shoulder pads and march in the marching band. In 1992, I moved to Tyler and was offered a scholarship to join the Tyler Junior College drumline, better known as the Apache Punch. My hobbies are hunting, fishing, shooting guns, and working out. Currently, I work at Suddenlink as a Commercial Sales Supervisor.
Johnny: Who would you say was personally responsible, individually, for instilling that love of music you’d take the rest of your lives?
Pat: My mom for sure. She was the one that got me going as a kid…from playing Johnny Cash records to buying me a guitar and taking me to lessons.
Brad: My mom, she had me taking piano at the age of six, and we loved Elvis.
Clint: Hands down, my father. He played drums as well and he got me started gigging at the early age of 13 when I would sit in for him and play Wipeout.
Johnny: When did you three first meet?
The Haggertys: During the 90’s, Pat and Brad were playing in a band called DLS? and Clint was in a band called Affinity. The two bands did several shows together, including one at the Oil Palace in Tyler with DLS? as the headliner and Affinity providing support…the friendship and collaboration grew from there.
Johnny: How did the idea of starting the Haggertys come together?
The Haggertys: Sometime in the summer of 2013, Pat was doing his solo acoustic thing and had done some earlier shows with Clint and Brad as the Patrick James Band but these were still “acoustic” shows. After playing these kinds of shows for so long, Pat just got the itch to play with electrics and amps again, and Clint was on board to “get loud.” A permanent bass player was recruited and the band was formed. Really the Haggertys morphed out of the Patrick James Band and the guys started rehearsing so the song list grew. The band covers lots of material but kinda focuses on 90’s rock. The old “If it’s a good song, it’s a good song….doesn’t matter what genre it’s from” always applies.
Johnny: Okay, so the name. Where did it come from and whose idea was it?
The Haggertys: During one of the early rehearsals the idea of a band name came up and of course lots of stuff was thrown around. Pat noticed that all the band members had some righteous beards going at the time and this got him to thinking about people with beards and the one person that came to mind was a childhood hero from the show Grizzly Adams. Pat said, “the best beard ever, in my opinion, hands down, was Dan Haggerty, let’s call the band that!” So originally he wanted the band to be called the Dan Haggertys which morphed into the Damn Haggertys which quickly changed, for obvious reasons, and the band settled in with The Haggertys.
Johnny: When and where was the first Haggertys show?
The Haggertys: The first show was March 22nd, 2014, at Shoguns (#2) under their black tent outside. It was an alright turnout, and the band had fun. We later learned that many people were turned away or had to wait to get outside under the tent because of limited seating and fire codes.
Johnny: How would you describe your sound to a new listener?
The Haggertys: Straight-up, no-frills, fun-having, 3-piece rock cover band with a few surprises.
Johnny: You guys move in and out of different genres and decades of music pretty easily. Would you say there is one you’re more comfortable with than the others?
The Haggertys: Being a 3-piece with everyone doing something, we kinda gravitate towards 90’s rock songs we can easily play and cover well. More complicated songs with multi instruments tend to be harder (or impossible) to pull off with just three instruments, so we shy away from them. However, the art of taking a song and “making it your own” remake/cover is what we strive to do. Really any song we can cover well and make our own stays on the set list.
Johnny: Are you primarily covers or are you throwing some original stuff in the mix?
The Haggertys: We all played in what we called “Showcase Bands” back in the 90’s…all original songs and we all made albums, struggled to get gigs that paid, rehearsed a lot, tried to get signed, etc. Today we just play covers, play a lot, rehearse way less often, don’t care about getting signed, and get paid to play, which is nice. We won’t rule out that one day we might start writing songs again, but it isn’t on anyone’s radar anytime soon. We have done some reunion shows by combining Did Lee Squat? and Sand Dollar band members into a group called Did Lee Dollar. This allowed us to reconnect with old bandmates and fans and play some of the old originals. Come to think of it, it’s probably time for another one of those shows.
Check out The Haggertys online at:
- Thursday, July 12th – Razzoo’s, Tyler, 7-10pm
- Friday, September 14th – Gregg County Fair on Dennis Hiltz Memorial Stage, Longview
October 13th, Award-Winning Band MercyMe in Concert
MercyMe Tenth “Avenue North” Concert Comes to The Oil Palace
Saturday, October 13th at 7:30pm, MercyMe will be in concert at The Oil Palace, located at 10408 Hwy. 64E, Tyler. Tickets range from $19-$89. Event parking is $10.
Since their debut in 2001, Grammy®-nominated, multiple American Music Award and Dove Award winners MercyMe have sold more than 8.5 million units in CD, single and DVD sales, garnered 27 No. 1 multi-format Christian radio singles and four consecutive mainstream radio hits with “I Can Only Imagine,” (No. 4 AC/Top 25 on Top 40/Hot AC), “Here With Me” (No. 4 AC), “Homesick” (Top 10 AC), and “So Long Self.” Their radio success has continued with recent singles “Flawless” (No. 1 for 15 weeks) and “Greater” (No. 1 for 16 weeks), landing them the Top Christian Airplay Artist spot on Billboard’s 2015 Year End charts.
MercyMe made history in 2014 as “I Can Only Imagine” surpassed 2 million digital downloads, making it the first song in Christian music to go platinum and double-platinum in the digital domain.
In 2009, Billboard named MercyMe’s “Word Of God Speak” the No. 1 Song of The Decade and the group the No. 1 Artist of the Decade in both the Christian Songs and Christian AC Songs categories, recognizing them as one of the industry’s most notable talents.
They have sold out venues throughout the US and Canada, including Radio City Music Hall, and have appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox New Channel’s Fox & Friends, CNN, ABC News, and in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, USA Today and more.
Their most recent project “MercyMe, It’s Christmas!” debuted atop the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and became an instant classic.
Their eighth studio release, “Welcome To The New,” garnered Billboard Music Award nominations in all three Christian categories and two Grammy® nods; the album is available in stores now.
This concert is a near sell-out. Get your tickets today!
Mark your Calendars, True Vine Brewing Celebrates Fall
This Month at True Vine Brewing Company
True Vine Brewing Company is located at 2453 Earl Campbell Parkway, Tyler, truevinebrewing.com, facebook.com/truevinebrewing. True Vine Brewing has a lot going on this month!
September 8th, October 13th, November 10th and December 8th (10-11am): Yoga and Beer at True Vine – Every second Saturday of the month, a beautiful yoga practice is held under the pavilion. Afterwards, you can enjoy a beer. Class and one beer is included in price of admission. Sola Bread pizza will be serving up breakfast pastries and lunch. This is a super fun way to spend a Saturday morning. Tickets are available at the door for $10.
September 15th, October 20th, November 17th and December 15th (10:30-11:30am): Barre & Brew with Studio B – Held the third Saturday of the month is this Barre + Brew class with Studio B Pilates+Barre! For just $10 at the door, you can enjoy this amazing class inside the brewery and enjoy a cold beer after. Barre classes mix elements of ballet at the barre and functional movements set to motivating music. You’ll use the barre, small balls, bands, and hand weights to work your entire body. Isometric training and small range of motion exercises along with planks, push-ups, and core-focused training will round out these energizing classes.
September 15th (7-10pm): 2018 Pine Curtain Gala – The Cancer Foundation for Life® will host the first annual Pine Curtain Gala and will include beer, food, fun, and live music by Edwin Holt’s Red Clay Roadhouse Band with special guest Henri Herbert, all to benefit the FitSteps for Life® program. FitSteps for Life® is designed to help strengthen cancer patients both physically and emotionally by providing support and empowerment in their cancer experience. As cancer treatment can be quite costly, FitSteps is provided free of charge to the patient eliminating cost as a barrier to exercise and the benefits of the program. Providing this free program takes resources that are utilized every year, and their commitment to cancer patients never ceases. Tickets are $35-$100 and available at cancerfoundationforlife.org.
October 13th (5-11pm): Hoptober Fest ‘18 – Details to come!
October 27th (8:30am): Mindfulness Triathlon – This is not your typical triathlon! The race begins with a 2-mile walk/run, transitions into a 45-minute yoga session by BeFree Yoga and finishes with a 20-minute meditation. After the race, enjoy a True Vine Beer and check out the amazing local vendors promoting health and wellness in Tyler. Register at getmeregistered.com/MindfulnessTriathlon. The Mindfulness Triathlon is designed to promote health, wellness, and healing by exploring alternative holistic treatments for anxiety and depression disorders. Running, yoga, and meditation are among the most popular natural treatments for depression and anxiety. Healing of the mind, body, and soul can be experienced through these practices.
Dubb And The Luv Machines: I’m a Musician Because It’s What I Love
By Johnny Griffith
When I’m searching for local musicians to interview every month I’ll browse through to see who’s playing where or if it’s someone I’ve heard before or I’ve had friends mention as someone worth hearing. Occasionally I’ll come across a band with a name that jumps off the screen and demands some attention.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dubb And The Luv Machines.
This is one of those bands I couldn’t help but smile over when I saw the name and decided they needed to be in this month’s issue. Then I listened to them and while the name might be catchy and silly, there is nothing silly about the talent The Luv Machines have on stage. Led by Dubb Williams, this band is built for the party bringing a great catalog of favorites, old and new alike, with the musical chops to leave any crowd wanting more.
I recently sat down with Mr. Luv Machine himself to get the story behind the band:
Johnny: Let’s start with a little background on yourself. Who is Dubb Williams?
Dubb: I’m originally from Sulphur Springs, Texas and I graduated from Saltillo High School in Saltillo, Texas. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M – Commerce. I’ve moved all over Texas, and out of Texas, but I always found home to be Sulphur Springs. I’m married with four-legged fur kids and I work as a professional audio and video manufacturer’s representative to pay the bills. I’m a musician because it’s what I love to do but I’ve done everything from food service to repo man to Child Protective Services to owning my own production company. I’m a Jack of all trades, I guess.
Johnny: What was your first exposure to music that you can remember?
Dubb: That would have been riding in the car with my mom listening to her classic country tapes. It was all country from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The good stuff!
Johnny: When do you remember thinking that this was something you wanted to do more than just a side hustle or a hobby?
Dubb: Some friends and I put together a band for a youth group we all attended and the fire spread from there. We were just goofing around and then it kinda sounded ok, not great or even good, just ok. Then we started playing real shows outside of the youth group and it really took hold. I knew music was something I never wanted to give up. We played in other bands and spread our musical wings and it kept growing, there’s no end to the possibilities nor are there limits. I am just along for the ride no matter the destination.
Johnny: Who is in the current lineup to Dubb And The Luv Machines?
Dubb: Currently there are six Luv Machines, including myself. Jordan Owens on drums, Jacob Mazoch on lead guitar, Colton Smith on bass, Cody McDowell on keys, Kristen Richmond on vox and a mean tambourine, and myself on vox and pretend guitar. I don’t play all that great but I surround myself with incredible guys and a gal, to make me look good.
Johnny: How did you all meet?
Dubb: We have all been friends for years through other parts of life, and when I moved back to Sulphur Springs from OKC, I decided I wanted to put a band together. It just worked out that the current members Jacob, Jordan, and Colton were either on a break from other projects or in between projects. After that, the pieces just locked into place. The chemistry is great and being friends prior makes it easy to bust each others chops or provide constructive criticism, but honestly, we prefer busting chops!
About a year after we started the Luv Machines, Kristen approached me while I was visiting her family’s business and told me she was going to sing in our band. I welcomed her without an audition, shoot what band can’t use a good looking singer up front! It prompted some raised eyebrows from the guys, but then at her first practice with us, she opened the heavens by belting out a ballad and the rest is history. She fit right in, jumped on the bus with us, and never looked back.
Johnny: So what’s the story behind the name?
Dubb: It was actually a joke from my buddy Ryan W. He called me Big Dubb Luv and I would joke back about being a luv machine. When we started playing around town and East Texas, we figured we needed a name. It needed to be a name that was memorable and one that said we are here for a good time. So Dubb Luv became Dubb And The Luv Machines. We like to have a good time and we make it our business to help everyone else around us joins in.
Johnny: You play a pretty diverse selection of music. Is there any genre or style you consider your wheelhouse? How would you describe your sound?
Dubb: We want to entertain everyone when we play and we all like different styles and genres so that was a perfect combination which led to our diverse catalogue of songs. Everything from classic rock to hip-hop to country to pop and whatever’s in between. My guys are very talented, so with the different tastes, and one common goal, I’d say music is our wheelhouse.
Johnny: How many originals do you have and how many find their way into a typical show?
Dubb: We don’t typically do originals at a Luv Machines show but on rare occasion, and it’s usually requested by friends that know about them, we’ll pull out one. Every now and then someone will yell out a request though.
Johnny: About how many shows a month is the band playing and are the gigs mainly in the East Texas region or are you travelling a decent amount for shows?
Dubb: Shows per month vary, we all have day jobs and/or daily grinds that come with having to “adult” so sometimes our schedule is thin and sometimes we are playing Thursday through Saturday. I’d book Sunday’s but some of us are in worship bands. We travel from Texarkana to College Station, up into Oklahoma and we can’t leave out Arkansas or Louisiana. If the road is big enough for the bus, we’ll go!
Johnny: What has been your most memorable show to this point?
Dubb: Man, they are all so much fun it’s hard to single one out, but playing our hometown at local establishments or private parties are always great times. Then we go out on the road and find hidden gems that rock. We love seeing new places and meeting new people.
Johnny: What can a first timer expect at a Dubb And The Luv Machines’ show?
Dubb: High energy, crazy antics from a rogue drummer, blazing guitar solos, fat bass lines, soulful vocals, songs they know and can sing along to, and occasionally a ‘request challenge.’ That’s when someone asks us to play a song not in our repertoire, and we go at it on the fly. Could be musical genius or could be a trainwreck, but we are gonna have fun with it and probably drag the requestor in on it.
Johnny: What is on the radar for the rest of 2018 for you and the band?
Dubb: We have a pretty full schedule to finish out the year and there may be an original EP on the loose soon. Who knows! We are playing Texifed Jam Fest this October which is going to be a 2-day festival in Sulphur Springs. We are very pumped about that. We have a couple of charity events to do as well, and those are always something we love to be involved in. We are looking toward 2019 with hopes of doing it bigger and better.
Catch Dubb & The Love Machine online at facebook.com/dubbandtheluvmachines.
Tyler TX: Live Music Guide
Make a Splash This Summer at The Waterpark at The Villages Resort
Fall Fun in East Texas: Fall Festival Guide 2018
Let’s Get Outdoors: Unique Local Places to Explore
Chill Out With a Good Book
Keep an Eye Out: School “Fundraisers” That Will Drain Your Funds
Family Friendly Classic Car Event Coming September 22nd – Mark the Date!
“Apertures of the Mind: Works by Abhidnya Ghuge” at TMA
6th Annual Art of Peace: Day of Kids, Concerts & More
October 13th, Award-Winning Band MercyMe in Concert
Connect With Us!
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