BALLAD OF
            PEDRO NIX

            SONGS OF
            THE SOD

           JEFF PRINCE
           HELL CAT

           JEFF PRINCE
           UP DOWN

           JEFF PRINCE
           HEY LOVE!


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Reload Record Company


June 23, 2008

Hello all,

PrinceRodriguez has been performing at gigs recently with Randall Christopher on electric bass and Joel Jessup on drums, and started adding more rock and roll cover songs and electric instruments to their sound. The boys are still acoustic singer songwriters at heart, but, perhaps due to a mid-life crisis, they've decided to stretch their wings and rock out. Some of the eclectic artists they are covering at shows these days include Radiohead, Lit, Bee Gees, Smashing Pumpkins, Waylon Payne, Bill Withers, etc.

Mid-life crises is also blamed for Prince's regrettable decision to grow a mullet. Once the prominent hairstyle among 1970s rock and rollers -- Paul McCartney was a pioneer of the curious coif -- the hairstyle by the 1980s had evolved into one sported only by lesbians and Joe Dirt trailer trash types. Prince plans to single-handedly bring back the mullet back into vogue again. To see the monstrosity atop his head, please go to his Myspace page and check out the pictures.

September 19, 2007

It’s been a long time coming, but PrinceRodriguez’ sophomore recording effort -- /Songs From The Sod/ – is finished and ready for sale. We spent about two years working on the new album. Of course, we squeezed in plenty of beer and tequila along the way otherwise we would have been done in two weeks. But we’re all about the journey, not the destination.

The album is a mixture of original songs written in the 1980s and new ones written in the past few years. We drew from our usual gumbo of influences: Cajun, Tejano, country, pop, rock, and shades of jazz (we’re not trying to fit into any specific type of musical category -- other than the “Good” category). We recorded for the first time a song we didn’t write. Our good buddy Jim Cleveland penned the closing track “Raining In New Orleans.” It’s a great song and fits well with this project. Once again, the album was released on Earl Musick’s Reload Record label. Check out the song samples and order the c.d. right here on our web site. You won’t be sorry, unless you fall and break your leg while retrieving our CD from your mailbox. In any case, that would be the fault of fickle fate, not the responsibility of pickled PrinceRodriguez.

- PrinceRodriguez

August 30, 2006

Oops, we just realized we never announced the final results of Fort Worth Weekly’s Best Of Tarrant County Awards in June. As you may recall, PrinceRodriguez was nominated in the Texas Music category along with Stephen Pointer, The Kyle Bennett Band, Jason Eady, Unwound Band, and Brad Hines. And the winner is…drumroll please…Brad Hines!  (This is where we smile and clap for Hines while secretly biting our trembling lips and swallowing bitter tears. And now PrinceRodriguez would like to announce our retirement from music. We’re losers. We suck.)

Actually, we’re genuinely happy for Brad because he’s been a friend of ours for going on 15 years and he’s one of the hardest working guys we know. He deserves any recognition he gets. We had a blast playing at the big show (30 bands in four different bars in downtown’s Sundance Square). We played a 45-minute set at The Pour House between the Rotten Apple Mountain Gang and Jason Eady. Also appearing on that stage were Calhoun, Chatterton, Black Tie Dynasty, and The Burning Hotels.

        Later, one of the Rotten Apple boys asked us to play at a benefit at Fred’s Café the following Sunday.
        “What’s the benefit for?” Prince asked.
        “Well, I wrecked my car the other day and I broke my banjo,” Rotten Apple answered.
        Sooo, the benefit was for him…to buy a banjo. Not exactly solving world peace or curing cancer, but still a worthy cause.

Blue’s Bar and Studio has been filled with music these days as PrinceRodriguez toils on its long overdue second album. We’re thrilled to announce that legendary drummer “Rockin” Ron Thompson is laying some drum tracks for us. Besides being Fort Worth’s premier drummer, he’s a hell of a nice guy. Ron currently plays with Tommy Alverson’s band, but he’s played for almost anyone you can think of, including a world tour with Boxcar Willie, who was treated like royalty in the UK. Ron is featured on one of the best live rock-n-roll albums of the 1970s – Bugs Henderson and the Shuffle Kings At Last, recorded at Armadillo World Quarters. If you’ve never heard that album by the lethal trio of Bugs, Ron, and Bobby Chitwood on bass, you’re missing some magic. So, Ron, welcome aboard the PrinceRodriguez express. Hopefully our collaboration will be just a small blemish on your otherwise sterling resume.

-- PrinceRodriguez

Sharon Oefinger and Rodriguez at The Pour House Prince and Randall Christopher at The Pour House

June 27, 2006

In our last blog, we took Fort Worth Weekly to task for not allowing online voting during the 2006 Music Awards contest. Well, uh, never mind. Turns out, you can vote online. Just go to www.fwweekly.com and follow the easy directions. This is the first year that online voting has been available and it surely simplifies the process. Two-dozen bands among the 100 nominees were selected to perform at Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth on Sunday, June 25, and PrinceRodriguez played a rousing set at the Pour House, along with Jason Eady, Calhoun, The February Chorus, and several other great Fort Worth bands. At least 30 of our friends, family, and fans showed up and cheered us on. PrinceRodriguez is nominated in the Texas Music category and needs your votes. If we win, we get some sort of plaque to hang on our wall and prove we’re popular music artists and not just a couple of hacks with guitars and drinking problems.

-- PrinceRodriguez

May 23, 2006

“You like us! You really like us!” Damn, we must be geezers to still be paraphrasing that worn out line from Sally Field’s 1984 Academy Awards speech. Who remembers the flying nun, much less her idiotic speech? Still, you really do like us, or why else would we be nominated as FORT WORTH’S BEST TEXAS MUSIC BAND in the current edition of Fort Worth Weekly? (Sure, some people might say it’s because Prince works at the newspaper and pulled some strings, but those people would be wrong -- Prince has no pull at the paper). Before we get too damned proud of ourselves, it’s important to note that being nominated is small potatoes. This is America, where winning is all that matters, and we’re up against tough competition (Jason Eady, Brad Hines, Maren Morris, Stephen Pointer, Kyle Bennett Band, and The Unwound Band). If’n you want little ol’ PrinceRodriguez to revel in glory, you’ll have to fill out a ballot. And, dammit, ballots cannot be completed online. Sadly, you must actually find a newspaper, grab a ballot, and fill it out with a pen. (Jeez, this is the 21st Century. C’mon FW Weekly, join the new millennium for chrissakes!). Ballots must be mailed by June 26. Yes, this is a pain in the posterior, especially for our busy fans, most of whom are congressmen and CEOs and don’t have time to fill out forms. But do it for us. Next time we see you, we’ll give you a handshake, hug, or French kiss (your choice).

In other news, PrinceRodriguez shared the bill with The Steve Tenpenny Band at Central Market last week and had a great time. It’s a cool scene. Central Market, at the southwest corner of Hulen Street and I-30, is hosting outdoor concerts from 6 to 9 pm on Thursdays and hiring some good bands, such as Billie Joe Shaver and Rusty Wier. The booking agent invited us back, so we’ll let you know when we confirm our next date.

Other upcoming gigs include a private party on June 17 (“private” means you ain’t invited…but we’ll be thinking of you with all our hearts!) and the FW Weekly Music Awards concert on June 25 in Sundance Square. Till then, may a supreme being bless you.

- PrinceRodriguez

February 23, 2006

Randall Christopher, bassist for The Shorty Wilson Band, was approaching his 40th birthday not long ago and feeling kind of old and whupped. “I want some fresh-faced whippersnappers filled with vim and vigor to play bouncy music and make me feel young again,” he said one night while cleaning his dentures. Naturally, PrinceRodriguez was first to come to mind, followed by the Steve Tenpenny Band (STB), that rocking Texas Music group from Austin. Young Tenpenny and his band members braved a cold night in February to drive up I-35 for a wild bash at Rodriguez’ sprawling new Blue’s Bar & Studio. The public debut of this Bar/Studio/Think Tank was a smash hit, with room o’plenty for live bands, a-drankin’ and a-dancin’ (see photo of Wayne George doing some sort of twisting two-step Brazilian lambada hybrid thing with Randall’s wife, Lisa).

PrinceRodriguez opened the show and your favorite Texas troubadors played a long set or originals and cover tunes and damn near burned down the barn with its high-energy show (note: it’s great writing our own press!). The rapidly aging Christopher and his Shorty Wilson bandmate, David on dobro, provided some tasty chops, and chick singer Sharon Oefinger gave those golden tonsils a workout and dug deep into her bag of percussion tricks.

The genial solidarity and Zen-like harmony among all of these musicians was touching.

“Let’s see you beat that, Tenpenny!” Rodriguez hollered after PrinceRodriguez finished its last song and turned the stage over to STB.

PrinceRodriguez have known Steve since he was knee-high to a stunted grasshopper. We recall playing guitars at Throckmorton County deer leases in the 1990s while a teenaged Steven watched and savored the thought of learning how to play guitar. The next year he showed up with some basic chord knowledge and a growing confidence in his singing ability. Another year or two passed and all of sudden he was playing, writing and singing like a pro and on his way to Austin to be a Texas Music star. He’s doing great, touring steadily and playing on stages with such lofty celebs as Pat Green and PrinceRodriguez and carving out a place for himself in the bidness. Good guy that he is, Tenpenny makes a point to list us as one of his musical influences. And as talented as he is, we gladly take the compliment.

So happy birthday Randall, thanks a bunch to Steve and his band, and we’ll see everybody farther on down the road.

-- PrinceRodriguez

December 2, 2005

Why hello ever-body. Prince here to encourage everyone to check out “Hey Love!” -- my first solo effort. I recorded this album of original material in late summer while Rodriguez was busy building a tamale empire to add to his chili pepper kingdom. I may not be a modern day Marco Polo such as Rodriguez, but I can and did create a damn good album. Well, to be honest, reviews have been mixed. My goal was to record something haunting and different, and I succeeded. But some people don’t cotton to haunting and different. Now they tell me! Actually, I fully expected this project to be an acquired taste. Most of the criticism centered on the eerie background vocals, which I expected. Maybe I’m an egoist or simply living in a dream world, but in some strange way, every time someone trashes my new album, I take it as a compliment. Of course, I also take compliments as compliments, so I can’t lose! Bottom line: I love the cd. The music production by Good Oops Studio owner James Michael Taylor (who is a bit haunting and different himself) is just what I had in mind, including the odd choral effects he created by stacking as many as 20 tracks on top of each other. I wouldn’t change a thing and I predict that one day this album will be fully appreciated as a masterpiece (recall that Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime). If you haven’t bought a copy of "Hey Love!" you better shake a leg – only 100 were printed, ensuring the cd will become a collector’s item sold for thousands of dollars on eBay in the future. I'll even cut off an ear if necessary. On second thought, being a musician and all, I'll probably need my ears, so maybe I'll just cut off a toe. Better yet, a toe nail. Anyhoo, now that “Hey Love!” is finished, I’m pleased to see that Rodriguez is winding up a hard year of business endeavors and eager to return to the studio to record a second PrinceRodriguez album, a collection of our early originals. The Blue’s Bar studio is finally completed and ready for action. We have four – count ‘em, four! – cd projects in the works, which should keep us busy for several years. Stay tuned. Also, if you need any ideas for Christmas gifts, buy some “Ballad of Pedro Nix” and “Hey Love!” cd’s for your family, friends and neighbors. In the meantime, look for us at a party, campfire, or saloon near you.

-- Jeff Prince

September 9, 2005

Dear friends: PrinceRodriguez humbly apologize for our lengthy absence from our web site, the blog, emails, the music, and the parties. We suck. We have been overwhelmed with various projects, most notably the need to build a new recording studio from scratch. Rodriguez sold his four-acre property earlier this year, including the Blues Bar – a 900-foot recording studio where the band recorded its debut cd, “Ballad of Pedro Nix.” That album hit the charts “with a bullet.” Unfortunately, as Greg Brown once said, the bullet went “right through its heart.” After spending nearly three years creating “Pedro Nix,” PrinceRodriguez failed to promote it, a common mistake among addled musicians who love the music and hate the bidness. Naturally, the cd hasn’t performed well, although it received some radio airplay in faraway places such as Norway and Alaska. Excuses are like armpits, but here goes: Rodriguez sold his house and studio, bought a new house, and expanded his business. After becoming swamped with these demands, he decided in spring to take an extended vacation from music. As a result, PrinceRodriguez completely stopped gigging and recording. The band had a blast at their cd release party at White Elephant on April 1 (see previous blog) but hasn’t played a gig since. Prince has played a few solo gigs but is such an airhead that he repeatedly forgets to take cd’s with him to sell. And now, wouldn’t ya know it, deer season is approaching, putting another roadblock in the boys' journey to the Texas Music Hall of Fame (if there is such a thing). Once those four-legged critters becoming legal targets, Rodriguez heads for the hills and is rarely seen or heard from for weeks on end. However, good news is on the horizon. A new studio – also to be called Blues Bar – is currently framed and well on its way to completion. The new studio will be bigger (1,200 square feet) and better (better insulated and with private booths for vocals and mixing). Once the studio is completed, perhaps by year’s end, PrinceRodriguez will go back to the studio for their second cd, a greatest hits collection of their best songs from the past 20 years. And they have vowed to promote this one, along with the “Pedro” cd, with renewed fervor next year. In the meantime, Prince has been working on a solo album of quirky love songs he has penned during the past two years. Tentatively titled “Higher Walls,” the project is being recorded at the Good Oops Studio in Fort Worth and being produced by local recording artist and all-around eccentric James Michael Taylor.

-- PrinceRodriguez

May 31, 2005

Dear hearts and gentle people,
Phill was recently featured in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which wrote about his family getting back into the tamale bidness in Cowtown. The reporter even gave the band a plug, calling our music "Texas Fusion," which is okay with us, even though we typically call it "country folk rock gospel pop crap." Come to think of it, Texas Fusion might be better.

- PrinceRodriguez

Return to roots

Family back in business with repurchase of plant

By Barry Shlachter, Staff Writer of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH - The Rodriguez clan is back in the tamale business. Quietly this month, brothers Phil and Ernest Rodriguez Jr., and their father, Ernest Sr., paid $1.2 million to buy back one of three Rodriguez Festive Food plants in Fort Worth that they had sold five years ago to CHS Inc., a Minnesota-based farmers cooperative and food-processing conglomerate.

"It was a clean deal," said Phil Rodriguez, who has spent recent years building his Azle spice-blending business, North Texas Ingredients, and recording Texas fusion music with Fort Worth Weekly writer Jeff Prince. Ernest Jr. has been running a custom cattle feed company, Bar R Feeds, in Springtown.

Their company, renamed Rodriguez Foods, produces frozen, traditional corn husk-wrapped beef and pork tamales for schools and the food-service industry. Most importantly, it reunites the family in a business whose roots go back to the 1930s.

CHS will continue to manufacture tortillas and tortilla chips at its new plant in the Railhead Industrial Park, but it has backed out of frozen prepared Mexican foods. It had entered the field to join the rush into farm-to-table, vertically integrated operations like those of agribusiness rivals Cargill and ADM, but things could have gone better.

On Feb. 29, CHS wrote down the value of its Mexican-food facilities by $8.2 million, then moved to dispose of the tamale factory on Decatur Street on the north side. The deal closed May 10.

"We heard they wanted to sell," said Phil Rodriguez, whose family quickly decided to make a cash offer. No money was borrowed, he said.

While both sides were eager to seal the deal, 71-year-old Ernest Sr. underwent triple bypass surgery "right in the middle of negotiations," Phil said. "It was frantic."

But getting back into tamales "was a dream" for Ernest Sr., who is now on the road to recovery, he said.

The two brothers will continue their respective ventures while operating Rodriguez Foods. Their cousin Charles jumped ship at CHS' Harvest Foods to become general manager with responsibility for sales.

It's the latest chapter in a Fort Worth saga that began in 1920 when the Mexican Revolution forced the family to abandon its livestock business based in Guanajuato state and start from scratch in the Stockyards' burgeoning packing plants.

The family patriarch, Florencio Rodriguez, brought his 10-year-old son Rudolfo to Texas, picking cotton and vegetables as they moved north from the border.

In Fort Worth, the boy was deposited at Joe T. Garcia's boardinghouse, where he remained by himself for a year, helping the future restaurateur there and at his small grocery until the rest of the family arrived.

At 16, Rudolfo joined his father at the giant Swift slaughterhouse. Florencio was a supervisor in the hide department while his son held a range of jobs, from hauling hides to deboning meat. On weekends, Florencio and his children earned extra money by pulling cockleburs from ox tails, at the rate of a penny per tail.

Rudolfo began Rodriguez Grocery on the north side in 1942, then enlisted in the Navy a year later at age 33. He told his wife, Juanita, to close the small market, saying he'd send home his pay. But when he returned from the Aleutian Islands after the war, he was surprised to find it not only open but thriving.

The business remained a grocery until 1964, when it was transformed into a restaurant at Central and North Main streets. Two years later, Rodriguez & Sons Tortilla Co. was begun -- with little encouragement from friends in the Fort Worth business world.

It was run by Rudolfo and two sons, Ernest Sr. and Rudolfo Jr., who were later joined by siblings Alice, Raul and Charlie.

Three years later, they decided to market beyond the Hispanic community and approached Pete Riscky, himself the son of an immigrant packing plant worker, to put their tortillas on the shelves of his north side grocery.

"I don't think they'll sell," the family remembers Riscky as saying. But sell they did.

The Rodriguezes, later joined by a third generation, diversified into tamales while the Risckys went from groceries to barbecue, eventually operating a successful restaurant chain in North Texas.

"A long time ago, when they were first getting started with tamales, Ernest [Sr.] told me he wished he was in the barbecue business," said owner Jim Riscky, the son of the chain's founder. "It was something nobody really bought then.

"Later, I ran into him at the bank, after he had sold out, and said, 'I wish I had gone into the tamale business.' "

Riscky described the Rodriguezes as "moneymakers who get the job done."

But it wasn't all smooth sailing.

Phil Rodriguez said the family-run business struggled, almost going bust four or five times until things stabilized around 1980. It hit pay dirt around 1982, when Mexican food suddenly found mainstream acceptance. The company secured better food brokers, who approached school districts with frozen burritos and breakfast tacos, which were soon being shipped as far as Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston.

"All of a sudden the tortilla was a growth industry," he recalled.

As for the future, Phil Rodriguez said he wants to re-establish the company's customer base. Sales had expanded under CHS to the "$3 million to $4 million" range, but there's still much potential, he said.

"First, we're going to make sure customers are absolutely satisfied with the product and the service," he said. "Then, I think we're going to come up with new products. Maybe a gourmet product, taking it up a step, say, chicken verde tamales, or tamales with shredded pork and red chiles."

"We have 4 acres, so there's plenty of room to grow.

"And we will."

Phil Rodriguez, Charles Rodriguez, Ernest Rodriguez Jr., and Ernest Rodriguez Sr., hold frozen tamales ready for packaging at Rodriguez Foods' north side plant.


April 8, 2005

The moment had been a long time coming – more than three years of writing, rehearsing, and recording. All of that hard work culminated April 1 when PrinceRodriguez hosted its official cd release party and unveiled “Ballad of Pedro Nix” to about 50 or 60 folks at White Elephant Beer Garden. Bassist Mike Castillo returned to the fold to pluck his sunburst Fender bass. Drummer Raul Rodriguez was missing in action, so we relied on backup singer Sharon Oefinger to work her magic on percussion instruments. The show started off a bit shaky – the night was chilly, guitars were jumping out of tune, and the band hadn’t played a show in many moons. In fact, Set One kind of sucked. So we called for a break after about 30 minutes and headed to the bar for some go-juice and mojo reinforcement. “Dammit, let’s quick screwing around and go up there and kick some ass,” Prince said as Set Two was about to proceed. “If you’re waiting on me, you’re backing up,” Rodriguez responded. The set list was tossed to the wind and the band launched into the Stephen Stills classic, “Love The One You’re With,” always a crowd pleaser. Foot-stomping original songs such as “Big River” and “Sunblind” were then interspersed with classics such as “Truck Driving Man,” “Hickory Wind,” and “Angel From Montgomery,” and the first set jitters were a distant memory. By the end of the evening, old friends such as singer Jim Cleveland, bassist Frank “The Mule” Kuban and harpist Danny Berryhill joined us on stage for a wild encore that included two broken guitar strings, dueling harp solos, a ponytailed Kuban humping that sunburst Fender like a schnauzer in heat, and Sharon removing all of her clothes (well, okay, that last part didn’t happen). At midnight, the Beer Garden closed and the bartender ran us off, so we moved next door to the saloon to hear the last set by 3 Fools On 3 Stools, a band that was having their own cd release party. Those dudes should have kissed our asses and paid us half their gate, since nearly everybody who came to our show accidentally went into the saloon, paid the cover, and then realized that PrinceRodriguez was playing next door and NOT CHARGING A DIME for cover (we love our fans; that’s just the way we are). After the saloon closed, we all ended up eating late night hamburgers at one of those little late-night restaurants on Exchange Avenue and then headed to Hotel Texas, where Jim and Phill and their spouses were staying. Yes, we admit we were a little noisy. So some complaining guests forced Jeff, Jim and Phill to seek shelter under a patio at a nearby business that was closed for the evening. We sat on a wooden deck overlooking the Stockyards and continued to play guitars and drink whiskey into the wee hours. Phill was bummed because he thought his mandolin had been stolen (the next morning, he found it lying under his bed). An old bum named Cowboy walked by and asked for some money. Jim handed him $20 and the old dude’s eyes got wide. We invited him to sit a spell and drink some whiskey and beer and he gladly accepted. After an hour or so Cowboy was pretty drunk and confessed that he was an alcoholic and hadn’t had a drink in over a year. Sorry to corrupt you Cowboy, we didn’t know your were a reformed boozer. Hopefully one little night in the Stockyards with PrinceRodrigez didn’t send you into a alcoholic spiral. Oh well, if you quit drinking once, you can do it again! Jim is from out of town and was worried that the police were going to come by and arrest all of us but we assured him that we would be looked upon as “local color” – although we would have surely been arrested if the Hotel Texas owners had a say in the matter. That place used to be owned by Steve Murrin, a real character who knows how to have a good time. The new owners are a bunch of nags who griped about every little thing, and even chewed out Jim’s wife for having the gall to climb atop a saddle that was displayed near the lobby. By 5 a.m. the night had grown windy and cold and the late-night jam session came to an end. Cowboy stumbled off into the night. Jeff and Jim decided to sit in the warm hotel lobby and have one final beer. They were talking quietly about something or another when one of the new owners came out and told us to go to bed or go away. Oh well, it was 5 am and probably time to call it a night. We sold quite a few cd's but didn't do a good job of keeping track of the numbers sold or the money collected. Didn't really matter -- all of the money got spent on tequila at the White Elephant Saloon. We'll do it again soon.

-- PrinceRodriguez

February 15, 2005

Note from PrinceRodriguez: Our good friend (and chick-singer extraordinaire) Sharon Oefinger sent the following blog:

“There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” That’s what they say anyway. Sometimes I’m not so sure. I first met Jeff Prince and Phillip Rodriguez over 15 years ago at the TANSTAAFL Pub in Arlington. They had been performing as a duo until they hooked up with a dark-haired beauty named Linda DeLeon who added some chick vocals and percussion. Unfortunately, the earnest and sensitive Linda wasn’t a good fit for these two hard-drinking wild men, and she was quickly ousted from the trio. Hard to say why Prince remained in good graces with her, but he did, and I guess we’re all better for it. My free lunch came when Linda introduced me to Prince for a “band” that was thrown together for a concert to raise money for someone’s sick kid. We hit it off instantly. And where there’s Prince, there’s Rodriguez.

Thanks to Jeff and Phillip, I’ve learned to drink and talk and carry myself like a real Hell Cat. The catchy phrases, “Oh?” “Yessir,” and “What tha!” all common in the PrinceRodriguez vernacular, have made their way into my business meetings and conferences. I’ve also used their “6 & 6 Rule” with various circles of friends and business acquaintances to my great advantage (for the uninitiated, the 6&6 Rule means you can’t be held responsible for anything you say after 6 p.m. or six drinks.) They treat me like one of the boys but still recognize that I’m a girl, and while they refuse to let me mix my whiskey with anything but water, they are always there to pat me on the head, give me a warm hug or dry my tears when I go sissy on ‘em.

Many years have passed since we first met. There have been many more bands, many more gigs, lots of Throwdowns, Meltdowns, Musical Extravaganzas, countless campouts, a couple of evenings passed out on the table/in the gutter, a handful of tiffs, at least one “full moon” when the boys decided to go skinny dipping late one night…

...and finally, the CD. I remember clearly the day the idea for the CD was born, sitting around Phillip’s back yard on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, drinking a few cold ones. Jeff had just started writing “Bonita.” He hadn’t quite worked out all the lyrics and in a couple of places he just hummed. I told him it was beautiful just as it was and to leave it be. He did. It’s still beautiful. Now, three years later, the CD is finally complete and the story of Pedro Nix unfolds vividly through the music of PrinceRodriguez.

And I got to be a part of it.

“There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” Sometimes I’m not so sure. Sometimes you get lucky enough to cross paths with folks who just set it out there in front of you.

February 4, 2005

Note from PrinceRodriguez: Our good buddy Jim Cleveland, longtime friend and fellow singer/songwriter, sent us this blog about a bygone day:

It was one of those kinds of days. Early afternoon in early spring. The sun was warm and the sky blue. Willie Nelson “Blue Skies” blue. Dickie Betts “Blue Sky” blue. It was one of those days when all your bills are paid, you have money in your pocket, and your wife has sent you on your way to “go out and have some fun.” It was one of those kinds of days.

PrinceRodriguez (back then they were just regular ol’ Jeff and Phill) came by my house in south Arlington, picked me up and off we went. We didn’t have much of a plan on what to do, but judging by the ice chest in the back of the pickup, cold beer would be involved. We decided a drive in the country was just the ticket on such a fine day. Phill pointed the pickup south and we headed for Mansfield. This was early 1980s Mansfield, not the current Mansfield filled with high priced subdivisions. You could drive for 15 minutes out and feel like you were out of the Metro-mess and back in Texas again.

We spent an hour just driving the back roads of Johnson County. As I recall, we all shared a “cigarette.” So there we were, the three of us tooling around in Phill’s pickup when all of a sudden a beer joint appeared out of nowhere. It was weird. We’re out in the boondocks and up pops a bar. A half-dozen pickups were parked out front. The bar’s front door was wide open and from the road you could see neon beer signs inside. Phill stopped the truck, looked at both of us and said, “Boys, it is too pretty a day not to be holed up in a dark bar.” I’ve always thought he should use that line in a song.

Once our eyes adjusted to the light (or lack of it) we could see about 10 to 12 men sitting at the bar crouched over beers. Everyone turned to look at us, decided we were harmless and went back to their beers and conversations. I fetched us a pitcher of beer and we sat down at a table. It was then that Phill spotted a guitar leaning against the wall in back of a small stage. Now, the three of us have never been afraid of an audience. We grabbed that guitar and sat in that bar for a good four hours playing every hard country song we could think of. Mighty Merle, Lefty, both Hanks, Willie, Waylon and the boys -- we tore through 50 years of music on a that dusty, out of tune guitar with bad action. The good people of the bar kept buying us beers and we kept passing the guitar around, taking requests, singing an original every now and then. When we finally had to say goodbye to our new friends there were still several full beers sitting in front of us. That was about 15 years ago. Many times since that afternoon I have tried to find that bar but I never could. It just appeared out of nowhere for one great afternoon. Sort of like Brigadoon. I will never forget it.

January 6, 2005


Red River, New Mexico somehow survived the intoxicating presence of PrinceRodriguez from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. The boys hit the ski resort with a vengeance, and the resort hit back. Both of the band’s namesakes suffered injuries (Rodriguez hurt a knee after crashing and burning on the ski slopes; Prince injured a knee while dancing with a redheaded gal on New Year’s Eve at the Bull O’ The Woods Saloon, which coincidentally is the bar that inspired Ray Wylie Hubbard to write “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother). Alcohol consumed on New Year’s Eve included, but was not limited to, Bud Lite (tons), whiskey-n-water on the rocks (bunches); buttery nipples (numerous), kamikazes (one to many), champagne (way too many). Luckily, the Cuervo bottle was accidentally broken before any shots were consumed. The trip was mucho fun, although the good times were dimmed by reports of the tsunami that hit Indonesia on the same day that PrinceRodriguez, family and friends all arrived in Red River. Initial news reports estimated the dead at about 20,000. CNN’s images of death and grief clashed with the reality of beautiful snow-covered mountains and happy faces on holiday. The juxtaposition was unsettling. By week’s end, the number of dead topped 140,000, coincidentally the same number of brain cells killed by PrinceRodriguez on New Year’s Eve. Despite the mental damage, the boys did work on a new song, a soulful ballad reminiscent of something Otis Redding or Bobby Blue Bland might have done. Look for it on the second album. PrinceRodriguez is assembling songs for their sophomore effort, which they plan to record in 2005 at “Blues’ Bar,” a recording studio on Rodriguez’s ranch in Parker County.


-- PrinceRodriguez

December 20, 2004

PrinceRodriguez is thrilled about our new web site and the possibility of selling millions of cd’s, becoming rich and famous, and having our own action figures. But, don’t worry, we’ll remember all of the little people we stepped on along the way and we promise to maintain our down-home generosity and good cheer. Unlike some people. Bob Dylan was featured on “60 Minutes” recently – jeez, what a sourpuss. Bitterness must be a wonderful motivator for writing music, but it’s sad to see a 63-year-old musical genius so pissed off at the world. An excerpt from his new book “Chronicles: Volume 1” seemed to be little more than incessant whining. C’mon, Bob, watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” or do something to put things in perspective. You’d think a guy with the insight to write “Every Grain of Sand” would be more at peace with himself in the early autumn of his life. So, PrinceRodriguez offers this Zen parable as a Christmas gift to Bob: A Chinese farmer awoke one day and found a wild horse grazing on his pasture. He managed to rope the horse and tie it to a fence. “That horse will bring a fortune at auction – you are so lucky!” the farmer’s neighbor said. “Maybe so,” the farmer replied. The farmer then went and fetched his oldest son, a boy of 16, to break the horse, which would allow the farmer to earn a better price at auction. His son was thrown and broke his leg in the fall. “That’s terrible, what with the harvest season upon us – you are so unlucky,” the neighbor lamented. “Maybe so,” the farmer replied. Civil War was brewing in China, and the next week one of the warring factions began scouring the countryside, forcing young men to enlist in the army. The neighbor’s son was drafted, but the farmer’s son was spared. “My son has been stolen and will surely die in battle, but your boy was spared because of his broken leg – you are so very, very lucky,” the neighbor cried. “Maybe so,” the farmer replied.

-- PrinceRodriguez





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