Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Skip - Guitar / Vocals
Bill M. - Drums - When asked how long he's been playing drums, the answer most heard is "counting today?..." Born in Houston (yes, there are native H-towners, believe it or not!), early influences were the solid back-beats of Simon Kirke (Bad Co) and Robbie Bachman (BTO). Over the years, influences came and went, but most lasting were Bryan Holmes (The Producers), Steve Smith (Journey and jazz stuff), Neil Peart (I forget which band he's in) and Jerry Mercer (April Wine).An alumni of the South County music hot-bed (of which Lee is a product as well!), played in various Houston-based bands over the years- most notably The Missiles, Big Swifty, and the Greg Wood Band. Musical styles varied between the bands from beer-soaked party rock, to thoughtul instrumentals, to alternative country, to downright twangy country. Bill meter is always dead on and rock solid, with just the right amount of "hook & sink" ! Currently plays an early 70s vintage Slingerland drum kit....and many cowbells!
Lee Hanson - Guitar / Vocals Learning guitar starting at the age of 13, Lee has worked his way around many different styles of music, including jazz, big band, blues, country and western, classical, and folk, but his love has always been rock and roll, and blue-eyed soul. Playing C&W through his college years taught him an appreciation for beer money, as well as finding the right phrase for expressing the feeling of the song. Lee has a way with tone and notes placed in the perfect spot, playing w/ feeling. After playing for the band “Searcher” Lee founded a original band hailing from south Montgomery County, TX called “Disk Drive”. He is also a gearhead, w/ an extensive collection of great amps and guitars, but is almost entirely devoted to Paul Reed Smith guitars and Mesa amps, but always still finds a place in his heart for a good Strat and el84 tubes....
Ray Pditty - Lead/Vocals/Bass Extrodinaire Multi talented Ray is one of the newest ToneKings, bringing killer vocals to the band, while holding down the bottom..a la Paul McCarney, John Wetton, Chris Squire, Sting,etc. He has played in the Houston area for many years, and bringing lots of experience as a front man. His style can go from mellow to Robert Plant/ Roger Daltry and can command an audience. Besides great vocals, Ray is also an accomplished guitar player and bass player....Thong showers are not uncommon when Rays mojo is full on.