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June 6, 2014

Johnny Nace, Warrensburg/Sedalia, Missouri "Honky Tonk, Rockabilly Musician - Singer"

Johnny Nace Website Link

I've Been this Gone Before, Johnny Nace, Deepwater, MO
Johnny Nace and The Midnighters circa 1983 Labor Day Weekend - Deepwater, Missouri    Johnny Nace - Guitar, Steve Raymer - Drums, Joe Green - Steel Guitar and Tom Ross - Bass
If you like real honky tonk country music you will love this. Dad’s guitar playing and singing is at it’s best. With lots of steel guitar and even some glass breaking in the background. The last seven songs are recorded live at Maxines in 1977. They feature, Dad’s partner of twenty-five years on the steel guitar, Joe Green. His tone and authenticity toward this music is unbelievable. The way they trade solos and then twin the melody, it’s like a country music jam band. I highly recommend it.
      Foreword by Mick Luerhman:
"Over the past couple of months I've had the privilege of spending some time with some old recordings by Dave and Jimmy's dad, Johnny Nace and his band, the Midnighters. What a treat it has been. I want you to get primed for this because it’s going to be available to everyone before long. The story? In Februrary Jimmy gave me a CD with 18 songs on it from two different performances by Johnny and asked me to do some cleaning up. All I did was separate the songs into tracks on my computer and tweak the equalization (tonal frequencies) a teeny bit, other than that it's as is and a true joy to hear. If you listen close you may notice a few technical rough spots on a couple of songs because of recording levels in the original tapes, but for the majority of the songs the quality is quite good and really captures the spirit of those old performances. It's Johnny playing and singing live as I remember so well from years back."
      "When I was a teenager I used to sneak out at night and head downtown to the Stein House on East Pine in Warrensburg, sidle up next to the speakers just inside the front door next to the stage and listen to Johnny Nace and the Midnighters. With steel guitar master, Joe Green, the band played the country shuffles, ballads, and rockabilly numbers that kept the dance floor full. Later, after my own band Diamond Jim had gained some measure of success locally and regionally I was lucky enough to get to fill in a few times with Johnny at various clubs when he needed a replacement for an absent band member. That was part of my "schooling" in the music business, learning how to do the traditional country music the right way. Lessons not forgotten. Even later, we formed a renegade band to play rockabilly music and called ourselves the Twangcasters. . The band consisted of Dave Nace, Jimmy Nace, Doug Sparling and myself. We rehearsed in my basement and played a few rambunctious nights back in the 80’s at Bodie's in Warrensburg. When Johnny found out what we were doing he came on board for our live performances, broke out his rockabilly guitar riffs and boy did we have fun. There are some live recordings out there of that group that may surface some time. Also some great photos taken by Bodie."
      "Anyway, back to the CD of Johnny’s music, several of the songs feature Joe Green on steel guitar. Joe was a master of the smooth crying style of steel guitar, similar to Nashville legend, Buddy Emmons. He had a natural ability to make the instrument sing that is truly rare. He could match the best Nashville session players when it came to playing on a bandstand. Big Joe gave me lessons on the steel guitar to get me started, though I’ve never been able to come close to matching his command of the instrument. He was one of the most generous people I've known. He and Johnny were both so supportive of all of us who were trying our hand at making music back then. Both are truly missed. Also on the CD you’ll hear how the night used to begin when Dave sings the Jimmy Rogers' tune, California Blues and then introduces his Dad as he comes onto the bandstand while the band plays the old Jimmy Reed blues standard, “Big Boss Man.”
      "So as you can tell by my rambling here, listening to this stuff has been quite a trip down memory lane. And yes, this is kind of a teaser, a chance to let you know that Jimmy and Dave are working on getting this released to all of you soon. I just have to say that if you appreciate traditional American country music being played and sung soulfully, along with some rockabilly twangin guitar mixed in you are going to be in for a treat. I am so pleased that this music will soon be preserved and available to all. That’s all for now."
  Mick Luehrman (aka, Burt Twangcaster)"

Johnny Nace
June 24, 1934 -  August 24, 1990
Johnny Nace 56, Sedalia,Mo a well known country western musician in this area died of an apparent heart attack at his home Aug.24, 1990. He was born in Kansas City June 24, 1934 the son of Perry G Nace and Ada Bell Noel Nace. Mr Nace had been a musician for more than 40 years. He formed a band, Johnny Nace and the Midnighters in the early 1960's and had recorded 5 albums. He had appeared on the Ernest Tubb Record show in Nashville,Tenn. He was a former disc jockey for KOKO radio in Warrensburg and KDRO radio in Sedalia. He also hosted the circle 6 Ranch
television show in Sedalia. On May 24,1983 he married Susan Owens in Miami, Okla. and she survives. Survivors besides his wife of the home include 2 sons John David Nace of Kansas City and James Donald Nace of Warrensburg, 2 daughters Brenda Carol Dine Warrensburg and Linda Loraine Nace, Elizabethtown, N.C. a step daughter Llisa Susan Nankee, Sedalia , one sister Mary  Jean Turner of Warrensburg, 2 brothers  Ryland Nace Warrensburg and Richard Nace of Eureka Springs, Ark., a half brother Roy Nace of Knob Noster and 4 grandchildren.
Billy Cox, Johnny Nace

David, Johnny, Jimmy Nace
Billy Cox, Johnny Nace and Leo

Johnny Nace and Carl Perkins Live
Seated: Elvis; Standing, from left: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.  
Johnny Nace and Dottie West

Johnny Nace and Dottie West Live

Johnny Nace, Faron Young and Ellen Nace
Johnny Nace and Faron Young Live
    article by Joe Cohen; Night on the Town; Friday, March 1, 1968
    Johnny Nace is a country and western musician who is out there saying something. Even more impressive are the crowds out there listening.
    Nace is fronting a group at the Club Royal, 3732 Main street, billed as Johnny Nace and the Woodchoppers. There are five Woodchoppers with Nace, and the group plays six nights a week. The place was jumping.
    "The trend in country music has changed," Nace said. "It's gotten away from the old stomping and picking music. The basic instruments behind country music are the same as popular-strings, drums, piano and vocal.
    "The fiddle, the old guitar and banjo, were the original sound of country music. They've been replaced by the guitar."
    Nace is backed by an accomplished group of musicians with Bill McCanally on piano; Doug Mastin, steel guitar; Bill Acres, bass, and Chuck Addleman, drums. Nace plays rhythm and does most of the vocal work. Acres and McCanally also do vocals.
    The group has been playing at the club for three months. Before that Nace played at several air bases and private clubs in the area. Nace has a happy restriction on his road work, because he must appear on his daily radio show in Warrensburg, MO. "I worked with them all from time to time," Nace said about his present group together. "So we just pieced the group together. Doug Mastin is the only guy who came off the road with me.
    "Country music is geared for a lot more people now. Before it was for the rural listeners. You played primarily for the old cowshed guy.
    "Now, it's becoming more and more modern because of Eddy Arnold, Marty Robbins, Skeeter Davis, Ray Price and the late, great Jim Reeves."
    Nace also ran down the list of popular singers who are changing to country music-Dean Martin and Nancy Sinatra, for examples. He is proud that the country sound is beginning to gain general acceptance.
    "Buck Owens called it music of the country-American music," Nace said. "It's gotten away from the country and western and become American."
    Nace started playing guitar with his family on a farm near Warrensburg. In the spring and summer work was long and hard. During the winter, there was time to relax.
    "In the winter, I would sit around the house and play," Nace said. "My father was a musician and his father before him and his father before him.
    "I first stared to play professionally when I was 15. I played second behind a fiddle all night at square dances."
    Nace got his chance at the big time by a lucky break. In Sedalia, MO., there was a show called "Hillbilly Jamboree" and Nace dropped into the studio one day to listen to the music.
    "I just got to talking to the guys and auditioned," Nace said. "I got the lead guitar job with those boys that night."

From there things began to fit into place for Nace and his career began to move. Now, in addition to his club work and radio show, Nace also is active in the recording field.

    He has cut several records that have received mild success regionally. "Midnight Train to Georgia" sold about 20,000 records.
    "After expenses and everything, I guess I cleared about $200," Nace said. "I have another record coming out soon-"Sittin' on a Bar Stool" and "A Nice Way to Say You Love Me." I wrote them both. We cut them in Nashville. If the record breaks in any way, I'll have to follow through."
    Nace says country music is a complete story put to music that generally deals with a heartbreak.
    "The darn stuff grows on you," Nace said.

    article by Joe Cohen; Night on the Town; Friday, March 1, 1968

Add caption
Nace Brothers, Bodie's, Warrensburg, MO Mike Bodenhamer
Johnny Nace, High School Yearbook

Nace, Johnny

Original Releases
Date & SourceLabel & NumberTitle & "As By" NameMatrixComps
rel. no. code
Jan (Mo.) JP7-58Pertinent Label shot Song sample You Got The Blues — Johnny NaceBBullet Buffalo Bop CD 55035 (#16)
Bullet Coast To Coast CD 001 (#14)
Bullet Collector CD 4434 (#33)
Bullet Collector CD 4471 (#13)
Bullet Legend LP 1006 (#2)
Bullet Mustang CD [19?] (#28)
No rating Label shot Could You Love Me — Johnny NaceA
rel. no. code
Jan (Mo.) JP131159Pertinent Song sample A Bashful Sorta Guy — Johnny NaceBBullet Buffalo Bop LP 2082 (#16)
Bullet Collector CD 4434 (#17)
Bullet Emusic/Ling Music Group MP 12666248(#1)
Bullet Jim Jam LP 8998 (#1)
Borderline Song sample Jokin' With You — Johnny NaceA
(Bb est.)
Nashville (Tenn.) NV5114 Borderline Label shot Song sample Make A Date With Me — Johnny Nace5660
No rating Label shot Heartbreak Hall Of Fame — Johnny Nace5658
  • "You Got The Blues" on Collector CD 4471 has been edited.

Collector-Oriented Compilation LPs and CDs Containing Tracks

1995Buffalo Bop (Germany) Bb-CD 55035CDAlley Cat
Jim Jam (Netherlands) 8998LPRebel Rockabilly Rock, Vol. 8
Legend (France) 1006LPGrand Daddy's Rockin', Vol. 4
1996Collector (Netherlands) CLCD 4434CDEarly Missouri Rockers From Jan Records
2001Buffalo Bop (Germany) Bb-LP 2082LPThe Bop That Never Stopped, Vol. 65
2002Collector (Netherlands) CLCD 4471CDWe're Gonna Rock
2011Emusic/Ling Music Group 12666248MPRare Rock & Roll, Vol. 2
year?Coast To Coast CCCD- 001CDCoast To Coast Rockabilly: 30 Original American Recordings
Mustang MUST [19?]CDLookin' For Money

Acknowledgments:  Malcolm Chapman, Marc Coulavin, Bill Davis, Udo Frank, Kurt Krauter

Compilation & presentation © 2011, Terry E. GordonThis page generated on 06/06/2014

The Nace Brothers webpage link
“Super Group With A Distinct Sound”
By Kenny & Ida Burford

There is not enough space available in this column to use all the superlatives necessary to accurately describe the energy translated in the music of the Nace Brothers Band.  While other bands simply aspire to make music, the Nace Brothers have stepped to a realm that few groups will ever realize.  Their music is as real as the music that came out of MemphisAustin,LubbockPhiladelphiaChicago and Muscle Shoals.  Because of this, they have made the transition from being regionally  based to a nationally recognized group.

Dave and Jimmy Nace were born and raised in Warrensburg, Missouri and come from a musically talented family that can be traced back four generation:  beginning with their great grandfather, Val Nace, a trained classical violinist; then their Grandfather, Percy Nace, bluegrass fiddler, banjo and guitar player; and last, their father, Johnny Nace, who was a successful singer-songwriter who achieved both regional and national success.  Johnny was a great influence on his sons and gave them a sense of their heritage and direction in both their musical careers as well as their personal lives.  They joined their father’s legendary band, The Midnighters, where they developed their talent as musicians and performers, often performing 250 to 300 nights per year.  Both Dave and Jimmy agree that it was under the guidance of their father and his life-long friend and steel guitarist, Joe Green, that they learned the fundamentals of playing professional music.

In 1981, the Nace Brothers struck out on their own with a six-piece band and that configuration gave way to the current line-up.  With their own distinctive sound, which is a combination of county, rock and blues, it simply is impossible to label their music.

Dave Nace said it best, “We used to worry if we were too country, too rock or too heavy on the blues, but it finally came down to – if it feels good, let’s play it.  The music we play just has to have a good feel.”

This four-piece super group features Dave Nace on drums, percussion, lead vocals and as band leader; Jimmy Nace on electric guitar, dobro, harmonica and vocals; Tim Williams on bass guitar and vocals; and Bart Colliver on keyboards, acoustic guitar and vocals.  The group’s credentials include performances with Bo Diddley, Delbert McClinton, The Band, Commander Cody and Jimmy Buffett.  They have six recording projects to their credit and another one in the works.

Their first release was in 1982, an album “Smooth Rockin’”, then a 45 RPM record on 5th Street Records, “Rock-A-Billy Babies” and “He’s Cool” and then a five song cassette produced by Garry Mac, “Life Goes On.”  Next the group moved on to make their first CD, “There Comes A Time: and had a release on MCA Record’s compilation CD, “Margaritaville Café” which sold over 100,000 copies.

What does the future look like for the group?
Dave said, “Our performance schedule for the summer of ’96 is completely booked up and we are really excited about working with Calf Creek Records on their latest recording project, “Club 15.”  They included our song “Heaven” on a compilation CD for distribution to radio stations and it is currently at number 47 on the chart of Airplay International Magazine.

CCMM readers owe it to themselves to make a special point to get out and hear this super group and purchase a copy of their latest recording.

We grew up around music it was part of our family as long as I can remember.  1974 is a year I will never forget.  I turned twelve that year and for my birthday I got my first guitar.  I saw my first real concert that year.  David and Dad took me to see Elvis Presley at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.  And it was also the same year my parents got divorced.  David went on the road with his own show band, a chick singer, Las Vegas, the whole bit.  And I started staying the summers at Dad’s farm in Sedalia.  It was great; I learned a lot about music and hauling hay.  I was always around people who would help me, showing me little riffs and new chords on the guitar.  For Christmas 1975 I got a bass.  Dad would come over to Mom’s on Sundays and teach me how to play it.  But all I really wanted to know was how to play Johnny B. Good on the guitar.  I must have made him play it a thousand times.  When I got to where I could play the bass a little.  Dad would get me little pick up gigs with not so good country bands.  I was terrible but I was learning.  Dad was playing four nights a week at Maxine’s in Sedalia, doing his radio show from noon until three and still running the farm.  Every now and then on Sunday night Dad’s bass player would let me set in.  It was like the big time to me.  The place was always packed and the band played song after song with no down time.  Dad had it going on.  Some time in 1976 David’s show band blew up.  The bass player went to sleep at the wheel and rolled a new van out in the dessert.  He came home and formed another band but it didn’t last long.  David then came back to play for dad.  Then one night in '77 I was a freshman in high school. Dave and Joe Green called me on a Wed. night about 7:00p.m. and said that Tom the bass player wanted off work. The gig was at Maxine's in Sedalia with Johnny Nace and The Midniters. I was only fifteen and couldn't drive. I think my best friend from school took me and Dave brought me home. I do know it was one of the best nights of my life. I played Tom Ross' bass rig and proved that night I could handle the job. I had tried to prove it many times before but I wasn't good enough and Dad wouldn’t let me slide. Besides I couldn't sing harmony like Tom.  That night was special and I'll never forget it. I think Dave really wanted me in the band from that night on. At that point in our lives we were becoming best friends. 
I had been in a few lame country bands but had finally met someone in high school that could really play music. "Jim Booe". We had just started the band Presence. Dave liked our band and knew we were getting pretty good. Dave convinced dad and Joe that the two of us together could take Tom's place. Jim could play the guitar and piano and sing harmony fluently. Tom was earning $200.00 a week. When Jim Booe and I joined the band we split his pay. We played Wed., Fri., Sat., & Sun. The money was great but going to school was tough. Dad wouldn’t let me quit school and I sure wasn't going to quit the band. Sometimes Dad booked weekends out of town. But we always came back to play at Maxine's on Sundays. By 1981 we were going out on the road more. Jim Booe had already quit and Joe Green couldn't go on road. So for a short time we didn't have him either. Joe Green was dads partner and right hand man for twenty years.  We grew up with Joe.    He was the best steel guitar player and the best teacher we could have had.  We loved him like a second father.
 I wish I could say it was a woman that broke up the band because that had a lot to do with it .But that’s not all it was. It was partly the music. We grew tired of playing it and we didn't appreciate it anymore. We wanted to start our own band. I mainly blame the Allman Brothers album, "Live at Filmore East".  The first time we heard it we knew right then we weren't going to be satisfied until we learned to play that kind of music.
Tim Williams was just finishing college and had played bass and fiddle in a couple of legendary bands around town. He and Dave had grown up together.  We knew he was a great musician.  Dave and I were still playing in Dad's band when he hired a guitar player that was a great singer, Rodger Dillon.  We did the hardest thing in the world, that's right we quit Dad's band.  Dad was all set to go back to our old gig, four nights a week, and work with Joe again, but he was still upset. 
 Tim, Rodger, Dave and I started the Nace Brothers Band.  We had a couple of good jams but Dave wanted a steel player.  He invited Brad Rigby to come over to our house and jam on the steel with us.  He was a great guy and he knew a lot of the same old country songs that we knew.   So we hired him. 
Our first gig was December 31st, 1981.  Our first song of the night was "Ramblin' Man", with twin guitars and everything.  It was like a dream come true.  We played five nights a week in Sedalia at the Best Western lounge.  The band made $1000 a week and I think we each got a room.  I swear we had more fun than Elvis or the Beatles.  After about a month Brad quit and moved to Florida.  He was replaced by Mark Furnell who played keyboards and banjo. 
 In another month or so Rodger quit and moved to Colorado.  Mark told us about another guitar player and singer that he use to play in a band with, Rick Miller.  We looked around for awhile and decided that Rick was by far the best person for the job.  One time, for some reason or another, Mark couldn't play a gig in Iowa so Dave, Tim, Rick and I played the week as a four piece band.  It was great.  Tim and I took turns, when he played the fiddle I played the bass.  The people at this particular place really liked us.  When we got home we started practicing with Mark.  We also hired a saxophone player Stuart Williams.  We liked the way it sounded.  We could cover Springsteen and still play bluegrass instrumentals.  We talked about going back to Iowa to play that same club, only this time there were six of us.  We thought we would blow the roof off the joint because we were a lot better, but they didn't like it.  They all told the agent that they liked us better the first time.  Needless to say we lost the gig! 
About this time a great friend and songwriter, Willie Woods, had gotten backing to do an album in Nashville.  Willie had convinced Bud Netz Productions to put up the money for a Nace Brothers Band album.  We all agreed it was a great idea.  We did five of his songs and five of our songs.  In late August of '82 we all went to Nashville.  We hired Jack Eubands to produce our first album, Smooth Rockin'.  Jack was a long time friend and session leader of Dads.  He was also session leader for Alabama.  When Dad found out we were going to record he booked the same studio a day after we finished and Tim, Dave and I got to play on five of his songs with the Nashville A-team.  It was an experience we'll never forget.  The three of us learned a lot that day, recording with Dad.  We felt like we had proved ourselves to "The Big Boys".  It broke down a lot of barriers between us and Dad.  Everything was back to normal.  Tim had played some of the best fiddle tracks he ever had.  He went back and twined his parts and so did Jim Baker, the steel player.  It sounded great.  To me that album, Her Favorite Song, was Dads best record.  Dad had watched Tim grow up as well and was very proud of all three of us.
Not long after we got home, Mark, our piano/banjo player, quit the band.  We didn't seem to mind, we still had two guitars, saxophone, bass and drums.  (All this time Dave is fronting the band sitting down in the back playing drums.)  In the winter of '85 we released a new single, "He's Cool" and "Rock-a-Billy Babies".  Both songs were written by Willie Woods who financed the sessions.  Willie found out we could get the studio from midnight until four o'clock a.m. for half price.  He began recording his own solo album, "Hot Rod Devils".  It was a great Rock-a-Billy record.  He had just gotten his new band together about the same time that our rhythm guitar player and singer Rick Miller quit.  We then asked/begged Willie to put his solo career on hold and join up with us and he did.  His picture is on the single with us but he's not playing on it.  Rick and I did all the guitars.  We were really hurt more then than before when other people would quit.  We thought Rick was great and we really hated to lose him.  In "88, not long after we hired Willie, Stuart Williams the sax player quit and moved to Texas to go back to school.  We played a few gigs four piece and really felt stale.  We really thought we needed a change.  That's when we met organ player, Bart Colliver. 
 Sometime in '87 we convinced Willie to start up his solo career again so we could hire Bart.  Willie was cool and thought it was a great idea.  I was getting better on guitar and we didn't feel we needed two guitars anymore.  We loved the power of Hammond organ and Bart could do it well.   
 About that time is when we moved Dave and the drums up front.  I think the idea came from the "Stray Cats".  We love Rock-a-Billy music and their drummer stood up.  Dave and I formed a "just for fun" band on the side, "The Twangcasters".  It was Rock-a-Billy music.  The band featured Dad and Mick Luehrman on guitars, Dave on stand up drums and me on bass. We mainly played Wednesday or Thursday nights at Bodie’s in downtown Warrensburg when our schedules permitted it.  I think that was our only gig.  Later on in the spring of 1990 David and I went to Nashville with Dad.  We recorded five more songs to go with the five songs dad did back in 1982 which would complete the album “her favorite song”.   That same year 4th of July weekend, the Twangcasters and the Nace Brothers Band played together at Bodie's.  It was a big jam and we had a blast.  But it was the last time we would ever perform with Dad, in public, again.  Fifty-one days later Dad died of a heart attack at the age of 56. 
 In '89 we recorded a five song e.p. titled "Life Goes On" that never got released.  The agency we worked for paid for the sessions and a couple thousand cassettes.  They soon folded and we never got our tapes.  Even though the agency went bankrupt we still had to pay the owner 15% commission on all our gigs for 18 months after our contract expired, even though Dave was the one booking all the jobs.  We were pissed off but didn't have the money for a lawyer. 
 That was about the time we met Bentley Ousley, producer and owner of Pragmatic Studios.  We still felt ripped off from our last recording and we were a little gun shy.  We had no idea that Bentley had been watching our band since '84.  He had never introduced himself to us. One night his wife, Lisa, got us all together and we hit it off.  He knew what we had been through and that we were in to music for life. Bentley wanted to help us make our first c.d.  It worked out great and in '91 we released, "There Comes A Time". 
  It seemed like things were turning around.  Bentley's recording of the new c.d. got reviewed by J.L. Jamison and Michael Utly.  That was part of the reason we got accepted on the Margaritaville Cafe album with Jimmy Buffett. 
 In '92 we got to record two songs at Shrimp Boat Sound Studios in Key West, Florida with no guarantee that they would get accepted. There were lots of bands submitting material.  The first day was awful.  (Somehow I lost my amp on the way to the studio.)  I thought there would be a guitar amp there so I didn't take mine.  But when I got to the studio there was no guitar amp.  So I had to go back to Margaritaville and get mine.    Dave rode with me.  He went in to get it.  I pulled in to a "No Parking" zone out front.  I waited in the van but he never came out.  So I went in to find him and left the van unattended.  My amp was gone. What I didn't know was that Dave had taken it out through the back door of the restaurant’s kitchen thinking I would pull the van around back.  I ran up to the band apartment to look for him but still couldn't find him.  By the time I got back to the van the cops were there and were preparing to tow it off.  I finally figured out that he must have gone through the kitchen.  But when I pulled the van around back he had already hidden the amp in the kitchen and gone to look for me.  We finally found each other.  When I got back to the studio I was a wreck, late, hung over, starving, shoutin', cussin' and kickin' the van.  I tried to blame everyone but myself when I only had myself to blame.  J.L. Jamison was the producer in charge.  He is a helluva man.  He saw me at my worst and is still one of my greatest friends.  I was a complete idiot that day.
J.L. wanted us to record "Life Goes On" but we didn't want to.  I had just written "Club 15" and we really wanted to record it.  So we did. The next day we recorded "Space In Your Heart".  It went a little smoother.  When we got word from J.L. that "Club 15" made the c.d. but "Space In Your Heart" didn't we were all surprised.  We completed the rest of our "Club 15" c.d. at Bentley's and released it in '94. 
We soon started work on our tribute c.d. with Gary (Mully) Mullins, playing piano on every song and Bart strictly on organ.  Mully had played on the first c.d. "There Comes A Time".  And T.J. Erhardt and Bill Laursen played piano on the "Club 15" sessions as well.  We laid down the tracks at Station Studios, in Warrensburg, MO, owned and operated by our great friend Willie Woods.  We gave the master tapes to Bentley so he could digitally mix and master them.  He did a great job.  It wasn't easy switching it over to digital and getting rid of "the noise". 
 In ‘96 we released “roots of steel” A tribute to Johnny Nace.  By this time Bart and I were getting boring and uncreative.  I thought so anyway.  We'd been playing together for a long time now.  I thought our live performances were getting lame.  In August of '96 Bart quit and started his own band.  We hired T.J. Erhardt and for the last ten years we've never been happier.  I think T.J.'s skills far exceed anyone's we've ever had in the band.  We think that, musically, we are better than we've ever been. 
 The tribute c.d. let us get back to our "roots".  We don't get to play it every night so when we do it's a special occasion.  We always have our long time family friend, Nelson Stoneking, on pedal steel guitar.  If you haven't seen the “roots of steel” show in full force, you should.  It's worth it just to see Nelson play.  He is truly a master of the steel guitar.  In the summer of 2000 the “roots of steel” show reached its peak. We were opening a show for Merle Haggard at Cain’s ballroom in Tulsa, OK, The home of Bob Wills since 1946.  It was the second night in a row we had opened for merle and we were on.  It was sold out; we got a standing ovation and could possibly be the greatest gig of all time.  Knowing how much it meant to Nelson made it even more special. 
One other thing happened in the winter of 1996 before Bart left.  We got hired by former Mellancamp guitarist Larry Crane.  Ed Gause was the one who got us all together.  He was Larry’s drummer and percussionist.  We spent a week at Larry’s house in Bloomington IN. rehearsing day and night.  And for the next couple of months we were Larry’s band, opening the shows and backing him up.  Musically it was great, probably the best we ever sounded.  But it was short lived and hard to make any money with that many people in the band.  We couldn't wait to get home and get T.J. worked in.  In 1999 we started working on Trouble on the hill with Bentley Ousley at Pragmatic studio.  I guess the real inspiration behind this c.d. is the Ballad of Lizzie Heard.  It’s a true story of my great aunt Alti killing Lizzie Heard during some sort of drunken brawl.  My mom had written this book about the family.  And every now and then during some family dinner or holiday I would go back to her room and read a little more of it.  I always thought it was just boring family stuff until one day my sister Lori said 'Did you read that part about aunt Alti killing that lady"?  I went right back to Mom’s room and started going through all those type written pages.  After I read it I made mom tell me everything she knew about it.  The next day I went to the court house and there it was on public record, The Burtville news 1907.  Alti Nace arrested for murder.  I went right home and wrote the song The Ballad of Lizzie Heard in a little less than an hour.  It was almost like it wrote itself.  Recording it at Bentleys was great.  We had Mick Luehrman on the mandolin and the late Forrest Rose on acoustic bass and Tim on the fiddle.  It's not very often songs click like that but when they do it's truly something special.  Trouble on the Hill was released in 2001.  Bentley spent more time and money than anyone on this c.d.  Without him it would not have been possible. 
About this time Bentley had taken a new job. He wouldn’t be able to go the distance on the Moonshine c.d.  We weren’t sure where to turn. One day David called Steve Phillips.  Steve said to come over to Rear Window studio in Leawood, KS and check it out.  We loved it.  It was a studio and it wasn’t in some ones house.  We set up in one big room and captured our live sound more than we ever had. Moonshine was released in June of 2005.  Steve then introduced us to an independent record promoter, Joe Estrada of Upstart Entertainment. He was able to get Moonshine charted on the AMA charts, it entered at #105 and it soared to #99.
2007 was a great year for us. We were kicking around the idea of making a video. We had been talking to independent film maker, Ben Meade. He had made a few films of his own and was the head of the film department at Avila University in K.C. We were scheduled to play a benefit show for an old church (Pilgrim Chapel) that use to be a school for the deaf in K.C. We were scheduled to play at the church about 1:00 or so. We had just finished a three night stand at Blayneys, night club in old Westport where, on the weekends, you play til 2:30am. The load out was horrible and so was the drive home. But the gig had become our bread and butter at that time. So needless to say, by the time we got to the church at noon on Sunday we were fried. We thought we would play a few songs acoustically and go back to bed. But when we got there they had hired a sound man to mic and record everything. Ben brought three students from the university and they were filming as well. We ended up mixing the tracks and putting out the C.D. Live at Pilgrim Chapel. As we were packing up I saw Ben filming a conversation with Mom. Footage he would use later that year for our DVD Lifelong Road Trip. Once again we thought we were just going to film us playing a regular gig, but Ben got in the van and wouldn’t get out. He ended up goin to Florida with us and all kinds of stuff. He even found some old black and white VHS tapes of our Dad and got him in the film as well. He entered our film in the Hot Springs documentary film festival in Arkansas. So the first time we got to see it was in a crowded movie theatre. It was cool. People applauded when it ended and we did a little Q & A afterwards. But the best part of that night was the reception party. David, Ben and I went to this mansion in the mountains of Hot Springs with Arkansas’ finest. As soon as we walked in we were treated like royalty. I ended up on a silk sofa with Jerry Van Dyke (star of Coach) asking me questions about the documentary. WOW… I won’t forget that night for as long as I live. Main questions: How long did it take? And did you really have to pay that much for gasoline in Florida? Answer: About a year and Yes, almost $5.00 a gallon. The next day we ate at McClards Bar-b-que in Hot Springs. The owners, John and Brenda came to our table to greet us personally; they wouldn’t let us pay for anything. Although we couldn’t rub two dimes together we were still fat and happy on our way home.
2011 Found us in a new studio with a new producer and the best songs I’ve ever written. In August we released our “Well Traveled Road” CD. There were a lot of ups and downs but we got through it. We ordered a thousand CD’s and before a year went by we ordered another thousand. I know it doesn’t sound like much but we were happy about it. For about the last three or four years things were getting real weird with long time bass player Tim Williams. We had a good run and after thirty years in the band together I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. It was not a very smooth departure. But that’s the way it goes in this business. The beautiful thing is, everybody is happy!
In June of 2012 we hired Paul Greenlease to take his place. Paul has gone above and beyond the call of duty. One night a friend came in and requested to hear “The Great Ones Fall” but Paul had never played it. He went out to the van on break, learned it, came back in and nailed it. We were totally impressed . We hope he sticks around a while. So naturally we are back at it, writing new songs saving up money for the next CD and can’t wait to get back in the studio with the current line up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned ~ Sound travels and time flies ~ Better get together while we still have time… jimmy

David Nace - Lead vocals, drums

Jimmy Nace - Guitar, vocals and songwriter

Paul Greenlease - Bass, vocals

T.J. Erhardt - Keyboards, accordion, vocals

Led by brothers David and Jimmy the Nace Brothers are a model of artistic integrity, stability and professionalism.Equally at ease in a number of musical styles they’ve built a loyal fan base on their ability to engage and entertain audiences taking them on a journey through rich musical heritage.      
Seasoned professionals they’ve earned the respect of promoters, club owners, producers and peers for their dedication to their craft, easy going confidence and their refreshing lack of pretense. A testimony to their dedication is the simple fact of high quality performances and musicianship for 31 years, in what has been deemed,A Lifelong Road Trip    
In 1993 the title track "Club 15" was also on the compilation c.d. "Margaritaville Cafe - Late Night Menu" on MCA Records featuring Jimmy Buffett and various other artists.    
Fourth generation performers their musical heritage began in the latter part of the 19th century with their great-great grandfather the classically trained violinist Valandingham Nace. The legacy continued in the 1920’s and 30’s with their grandfather Percy a multi-instrumentalist and square dance caller. By the late 40’s their father was playing box suppers and square dances.    
Johnny Nace progressed from playing rural dances to leading the house bands on the regional radio and television programs “Hillbilly Jamboree” and “Circle Six Ranch”. He recorded rockabilly in the late 50’s before finding his musical home during the golden age of honky-tonk. An astute songwriter he led a top notch band to regional success with songs like “Sing me the blues” and “Blue Notes”. Their 1997 release “Roots of Steel” is a tribute to their father and the lessons he taught them.   
In their 31st year as a touring group the Nace Brothers are poised for a larger audience. Brilliant songwriting, expressive vocals, soaring guitar and a rock solid rhythm section combine for entertainment at its best.
Appearances with:
Jimmy Buffett   The Cate Brothers 
Todd Snider   The Rainmakers 
Delbert McClinton   CoCo Montoya 
The Band   The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 
Bo Diddley   Commander Cody 
Zachary Richard   The Guess Who 
The Sauce Boss   Merle Haggard 
Brian Setzer   Pat Green 

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