Emily Gimble, a piano player and singer is the Official Texas State Musician of 2020. Making a name for yourself when you're the granddaughter of a genuine Texas legend (Johnny Gimble) would be hard for anyone, but Emily Gimble has nimbly managed to stand out on her own.
Danny Levin is a classically trained cellist, fiddler, jazz pianist, and producer of music in virtually any style. He invents styles. His day job for the last 22 years has been the composition and production of music for advertising. In 2014-15, he had the privilege of scoring and acting as music supervisor on the documentary Cactus Jack now airing nationally on PBS. Danny also likes to produce records, mostly with Austin artists, at a rate of 2 or 3 projects per year. His most notable producer credit is Case of the Gimbles (2003), featuring the great Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble. In his younger days, he toured and won Grammies with Asleep at the Wheel, played numerous Austin City Limits shows, and won and continues to win numerous Austin Chronicle awards.
Rick McRae has traveled extensively for over three decades as a guitarist for George Strait’s “Ace in the Hole Band.” A versatile player in several styles, Rick also sings and doubles on fiddle and Mandolin. Rick was elected to the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2008 and has toured and recorded with many local and national acts including Don Walser, and Jason Roberts and Asleep At The Wheel. He can also be seen fronting his own groups around central Texas.
Randy Watkins studied drums and percussion at the University of Houston and with great private instructors. Music was a family business as his father, H.T. Watkins was a former Coast Guard Bandmaster and later a band director for the Houston I.S.D. Randy covers several styles of music including Jazz/Blues/Swing/Western Swing/Traditional Country and Worship styles. His current bands include Blue Sofa Orchestra (jazz/traditional swing trio) and the Greg Tivis Jazz Band (a New Orleans Style) band. Randy teaches private drum lessons and enjoys helping drummers of all ages learn and grow musically. Randy is a member of the Texas Jazz Educators Association and a certified music educator in the State of Texas. He is also co-founder (2011) of the Jazz Night School at the Frame Gallery ̶ a community jazz improvisation workshop in Bryan, Texas.
Mark was raised in Pleasanton, Texas and currently lives in Charlotte, Texas. Mark started playing bass when he was 16 years old with John Donaho and the Country Showmen. Over the last 25 years Mark has played bass with Christian artists including Roy West, Jarrett Akers and the Cowboy Fellowship Band. Mark currently hosts the Sunday morning Gospel Hour on Radio Station KSAQ 102.3 out of Charlotte, Texas Sunday mornings at 9am.
Roy grew up in Jourdanton, Texas, spent time in Austin and Pleasanton, and now resides in College Station, Texas. He began playing music when he was 12 years old. His style started out country and it is still that today. Roy writes and records his original music and has played numerous venues around South and Central Texas. He has also donated many hours of leading worship at Cowboy Churches across the state of Texas.
Get to know the people behind our ministry.
Jim Bob Pendell
Born and raised in El Paso TX, Jim Bob Pendell holds an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University, a masters degree from Indiana University, and a doctorate degree from Texas Tech University. Pendell has held collegiate positions at Texas Tech University, Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Martin. As a performer, Pendell has shared the stage with world-renowned artists and has performed with the Lubbock Symphony, Midland symphony, Long Bay Symphony, Carmel symphony, and the Paducah Symphony. Pendell currently resides in Houston TX and maintains an active schedule teaching music and performing full time with country music artist, Jake Worthington.
Originally from Allen Texas, Mike Tuck got his formal education from The University of North Texas jazz guitar program. In 2014 Tuck left UNT to play full time for McKinney based artist Zane Williams. In 2017 Tuck joined the U.S. Air Force band of the Golden West out in Sacramento. While serving in California, Tuck had the honor of playing with many members of the Sacramento Western Swing Hall of Fame. After the Air Force Tuck moved back to Texas to fill the utility position for Pat Green. Tuck currently plays for Pat and Jake Worthington.
Dave Biller has toured and recorded with Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, and Deke Dickerson and is mostly known as a professional pedal steel player, but his record ‘Hot Guitars of Biller & Wakefield’ captured the ears of guitar and music lovers everywhere.
Dan Walton is a jazz pianist based in Austin, TX. Originally hailing from the San Fransisco bay area, his music draws from a variety of influences--from boogie woogie, to stride, bebop, and classical music. He has also worked quite a bit in the western swing genre, and has recorded/performed with a variety of interesting people in the music industry. including (in no particular order) Dale Watson, Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, The Time Jumpers, Robert Earl Keen, George Strait, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rhonda Vincent, Garrison Keillor, Leon Rausch, and Elvin Bishop to name a few.