Since the late 1980's, the town of Beaumont, Texas, has been known primarily for it's country music artists - Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, Clay Walker, and Zona Jones all got their start in Beaumont. But if one looks back a little further, Beaumont has also nurtured it's share of stellar blues, rock, and boogie musicians. Bluesman Blind Willie Johnson, whose song "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" is featured on the album launched into space in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, spent the latter years of his life in Beaumont. Brothers Edgar and Johnny Winter grew up and got their musical start in Beaumont. Former Blood, Sweat & Tears member and Boogie Kings front man Jerry LaCroix also calls this area home. And, of course, Janis Joplin was born and raised just down the road in Port Arthur, Texas. Most significant to the members of Longneck Road, however, is the fact that ZZ Top played their first show with their lineup of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard in Beaumont. Dick LeMasters, songwriter and lead vocalist for the Beaumont, Texas, based band Longneck Road, thinks of that connection often. "I've probably driven by that venue hundreds of times, and it's inspiring to think that one of the most creative, successful, and longest-running bands in history got it's start just a couple of miles from my home," says LeMasters. Although Longneck Road's music draws from many influences, Billy Gibbon's guitar tone ranks high on the list. "One thing that we are really proud of about our album, Texas Rock, is the guitar tones," says Longneck Road lead guitar player Miles Sykes. Achieving just the right amount of distortion, or "crunch" when recording guitars is crucial, and the members of Longneck Road are very pleased with the guitar sounds they were able to capture. On October 1, 2009, Longneck Road released it's debut album, entitled "Texas Rock". The 10-song effort reflects the members' rock, blues, Texas Country, and boogie influences. "We decided to make the name of the album reflect the nature of the music. Our music is a little more rock-oriented than what people call Texas Country, so we kind of created our own genre - Texas Rock - maybe the name will catch on!" said Longneck Road bassist Ron Arceneaux. The band also includes drummer Adam King. The lead-off song on the album, "The Way You Walk," and the song "Longneck Road," from which the band took it's name, draw the most heavily from Texas Country. The blues influence is apparent in "Goes Down Easy" and "Walkin' Stone," while songs such as "Whiskey Cure," "Call My Name," and "Dark Side of Love" lean more towards southern and traditional rock. The song "Longneck Road" came about when LeMasters misheard a man's address. "I was getting this guy's mailing address, and he actually lived on a street called Long Lake Road, but I heard it as Longneck Road . . . and had the song finished about ten minutes later," says LeMasters. Although a large number of his songs make reference to drinking, LeMasters says that it just worked out that way. "One of my few bits of between-song 'banter' that actually gets a laugh is when I say that not all of my songs are about drinking . . . but these next three are," he adds. Although LeMasters says that his songs are not intended to be autobiographical, they are usually based loosely on an experience or on a phrase that he's heard. The song "Whiskey Cure" has the funniest story behind it. "A couple of years ago I had a gig coming up but also had a horrible cold and a constant cough. I know a lady who sings every week at the Baptist church, and I figured she could give me good advice on how to get through the gig. I was expecting something about hot tea and lemon, but she started out with 'Get a bottle of Jack Daniels . . .'!" laughs LeMasters. He adds, however, "I didn't cough even once during that gig, so I guess the 'Whiskey Cure' worked pretty well". For Texas Rock, the band departed from the usual practice of recording backing tracks in one or two long sessions, then adding parts later. "We decided to record and mix each song independently. That way, instead of all of the songs having the same drum sound, or the same guitar sound, each song would have it's own feel," says Arena. Almost ironically, this approach resulted in an album on which the songs flow naturally from one to the next. "We wanted to create an album that one could listen to from start to finish instead of just a compilation of songs. There was never any question that "The Way You Walk" should be the opener, and they just fit right together from there," noted LeMasters. Likewise, the choice of a closing song was obvious to the band. "The song "Dark Side of Love" has an outro part with an almost funk feel to it as the song fades out, and it was just a natural to close out the album," he adds. Longneck Road's album "Texas Rock" will appeal to fans of Texas Country, Southern Rock, and blues. If you like ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Georgia Satellites, or Texas Country or Outlaw Country music, we think that you will enjoy your trip down Longneck Road. Longneck Road has opened shows for The Charlie Daniels Band, Chuck Berry, John Anderson, Ronnie Milsap, Paul Thorn, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, and the list continues to grow!