Back in 2000 there must have been a shortage of bass players in the world because I got the chance to play with Dixon Shanks and his band at Club Millennium. I was DJing there and I guess they just really needed someone.

I can only imagine they regretted it because I didn't last long. They were consummate, well-rounded professionals and I was only good at one type of music - heavy metal.

I remember trying to learn a ton of songs in my garage in just a few days. I tried to keep up, while being amazed by Dixon's talent. He was the lead singer, played the sax, and killed it at both. When I heard he was working with a community big band I knew it was something special.

The Riff Runners At Angelina College In Lufkin, Texas 

Dixon's vision was to promote Angelina College (AC) with a new big band. Playing a variety of music with all of the finest musicians from Angelina and the surrounding counties.

He has brought fresh new energy to the program. His wife Debi Shanks is also lending her talent to the band on backup vocals.

This is your community band and performs as a free community service to all of East Texas. They are also putting together high school jazz band contests among other events to encourage local band students to participate in the program at AC.

All of this goes on at the new and improved Hudgins Hall at Angelina College. Their next show at AC is scheduled for March 3rd, 2022.  It's going to be rockin', swingin', groovy, and smooth.

Meet The Riff Runners Community Band Members 

Band Leader: Dixon Shanks

Saxophone: Jimmy Simmons (Lead Alto), Michael Parrish (2nd Alto), Scott Floyd (1st Tenor), John Cavanaugh (Tenor), Beth Girardi (Baritone)

Trombones: Steve Cox (Lead), Ken Barnes (2nd), Robert Shanks (3rd), Jimmy Battle (4th)

Trumpets: Chris Cemak (Lead), Steven Brown (2nd), Ricky Gay (3rd), Dwayne Forsythe (4th)

Rhythm Section: Eric Chinn (Keys), Gino Morgan (Bass), Marshall Hance (Guitar), Mark Saldana (Drums)

Guest Pianist: Becky Compton

Guest Guitarist: Sidney Shanks

Backup Vocals: Debi Shanks, Brian Compton, Anya Lundberg

Sound/Lights: Sid Shanks

Set List 

  1. Main Street News - Martin
  2. Beginnings - Lamb
  3. Standing On Shaky Ground - McClinton
  4. Doxy - Rollins
  5. Nice and Easy - Spence
  6. Vehicle - Peterik
  7. Can't Help Falling In Love - Peretti
  8. Hopelessly Devoted to You - Farrar
  9. Put It Where You Want It - Sample
  10. Santa Rosa - Vannelli

Lineup For 2022 Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival Revealed

Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival, presented by i20 Dodge and produced by 101.5 KNUE and Radio Texas, LIVE! with Buddy Logan, has released its lineup for the 2022 event … and this one's special, y'all.

In addition the festival will feature several of Texas’ best and most celebrated barbecue joints that will showcase their smoked meats to attendees. Stay tuned as we will be announcing all of our joints soon.

CHECK IT OUT: Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival 2021

Legendary Musicians Who Rocked The Hirsch In Shreveport

Here's a sample of the legendary musical acts who have played Shreveport's Memorial Coliseum over the last 60 years. The Hirsch was basically the homefield for bands like Van Halen and ZZ Top, who regularly put the Hirsch near the top of their tours. For that reason, we're actually not going to feature them on this list, because they were basically "house bands" for Shreveport...and that's NOT a bad thing.  

10 Incredible Music History Moments that Happened in Shreveport

Shreveport is rich with music history, but you may have missed some of the best! Check out some of the Ratchet City's biggest moments in music!