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About the Band
Annual Events
About the Band Members
Booking Information
Playing and Show Schedule
Albums Available
Ordering Information

About the Band

The River Road Boys, based in Houston, Texas are best known as one of Americaís premier Western Swing dance bands. Over the years this fine band has played a whole range of music venues: dance halls, clubs, concerts, rodeos, weddings, county fairs, western swing festivals, the Astrodome, and Caribbean cruises. Organized in 1971 by founding members Clyde Brewer and Tommy Howser, this band carries on the traditional western swing music genre inspired by other great legends such as Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Spade Cooley, Clif Bruner, Milton Brown, Moon Mullican, Shelly Lee Alley, and many others. This bandís versatility becomes evident when they play tunes from the big band era to classic country to western swing. They are known for their professionalism, musicianship, and first-class appearance, always dressing in matching uniforms. Their fans love their smooth style and always rave, claiming they are the best dance band around. You can easily two-step, polka, waltz, and swing dance to their music, and they always fill the dance floor beginning with the very first tune that the band kicks off.

Sadly, we must report the passing of two of the founding members of The River Road Boys:
Clyde Brewer, one of the founders of The River Road Boys, passed away in January, 2011. Click here to see more information on Clyde.
Tommy Howser, another of the original founders, passed away on April 5, 2013. Click here to see more information on Tommy.

On a happy note, The River Road Boys are continuing to play, and will continue to be
one of the premier Western Swing Bands in the country.

Some of the highlights of their career include:

     Induction into The Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame     
in San Marcos, Texas in 1999
     Academy of Western Artists (AWA) Will Rogers Award     
for Western Swing Song of the year 2004
for "We're Proud Dubya's From Texas"
    Academy of Western Artists (AWA) Will Rogers Award     
for Western Swing Band of the year 2005
     First country music album ever broadcast behind the Iron Curtain     
     Fan-voted Texas Proud Magazine's "Hillbilly Heart" Award     
for Western Swing Band of the Year for two consecutive years
     Southern Governor's Conference in Austin, Texas     
     Texas Prison Rodeo for 10 consecutive years     
     Award-winning PBS-sponsored TV show     
featuring a Norwegian Band, broadcast in Houston and Norway
     International Economic Summit for the Seven     
Industrialized Nations for President George H. W. Bush
and other visiting dignitaries

This band has recorded over 20 CDís and LP albums through the years. Those that are available for purchase are listed below under "Albums Available." The website also lists a current playing schedule, plus, it features a brief bio on each of the band members. The entire River Road Boys band was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in San Marcos, Texas in 1999. Additionally, almost every individual member of the band, all outstanding musicians in their own right, has been inducted into various Western Swing Halls of Fame around the country. They are endeared by all their fans and are most respected and admired by their peers. They have the distinct honor of being one of the most prominent organized bands around today and proudly represent this wonderful music, keeping it alive for future generations to appreciate as part of Texas culture and history. The River Road Boys' music is played on radio stations both nationally and internationally. They have gained international recognition due to their album sales, the advent of the Internet, and the establishment of their own website.

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Annual Events

  Annual Western Swing Christmas Ball.  
      Location is at the VFW Hall on 105-W
  in Navasota, Texas.

  Annual Celebrate Texas Dance.  
      Location is at the American Legion in Wallis, Texas,
Hosted each year by John and Marlys Rivard.

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About the Band Members  

Jim Johnson

Jim was born near Chattanooga, Tennessee, and grew up singing with different church and gospel groups. He attended Lee College in Cleveland, Tennessee, and was ordained as a minister and preached in Michigan. After realizing that his real calling in life was to sing, he re-located to Houston in the mid-70's. He began singing with various groups, and then saw the River Road Boys at a street dance in Alvin, Texas and quickly decided that this was the band he wanted to be singing with. He was invited to join the band as lead vocalist in 1982. In 2001 Jim retired and moved back to Tennessee, but couldn't get this music out of his mind. He moved back to Houston in 2006 and re-joined the band. His genuine pleasure in singing is always very evident at all the band's performances, and he is recognized as truly one of the very best and versatile singers in the country. Jim has been inducted into the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in California, the Northwest Western Swing Music Society Hall of Fame in Washington, and the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest in Oklahoma, and lives in Tomball, Texas with his wife, Barbara.

E-Mail: [email protected]

Bill Dessens

Bill started playing mandolin at age 4 in Rockdale, Texas, and by age 5, had a radio show with his 10 year old brother, Frank. By about age 9, he was also playing fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo, bass and steel guitar. He has been recording, doing radio and TV shows, and has been in one movie since then, and played and recorded with Austin's Dolores and the Bluebonnet Boys during college days. Between semesters, he had a studio in Austin, and taught guitar and steel guitar. He has always played Western Swing music, and has worked with or played in backup bands with many varied people, from Bing Crosby and Phil Harris to the Bob Hope Telethon, Hank Williams, Sr., Freddy Fender, Hank Thompson, Johnny Gimble, Clif Bruner, George Morgan, Jim Gough, Pappy Selph and others. He also played with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Band for 14 years. He has been inducted into the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in Sacramento, California, the Northwest Western Swing Music Society Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington, the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. Bill, having previously played fiddle and lead guitar, now plays steel guitar and occasional fiddle with The River Road Boys, and lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, Norma.

E-Mail: [email protected]

Shelly Lee Alley, Jr.

Shelly is the son of Western Swing pioneer Shelly Lee Alley and is also half-brother to one of The River Road Boys' founders, Clyde Brewer. Being born into a musical family, Shelly began playing music at an early age, first the mandolin and then the guitar and bass. The guitar would prove to be his favorite. At age 16, with brother Clyde's help, he began playing guitar with Red Novak and The Sundowners. After a 4 year stint in the Air Force, Shelly began playing guitar with Clyde in the Village Boys band, led by Frankie Vee. For the next several years, music became very much part-time as he pursued his career as an air traffic controller. He had played with The River Road Boys on many occasions before becoming a permanent member of the band. He sings and plays rhythm and lead guitar with the band, and is a Hall of Fame member in the Northwest Western Swing Music Society in Washington, The Western Swing Society in California, and the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest in Oklahoma. Shelly is also a full-time minister of the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ, and lives in Houston with his wife, Susan.

E-Mail: [email protected]

John Jones

John, before joining The River Road Boys, was one of Houston's best kept secrets as a great bass player. He, like our own Jim Johnson, grew up in Tennessee, playing music there with his dad and 2 brothers. John began by playing drums, and learned to play bass when he was about 12 years old. He was introduced to western swing music after moving with his family to Texas when he was only 17 years old, and became forever hooked on this music. He played his way through high school and college at the University of Texas, where he earned his degree in Petroleum Engineering. John has been playing music in the Houston area for years with various groups, playing dances, musicals, church programs and community theatre productions. The River Road Boys had heard about him from several people, and he quickly accepted when he was invited to join the band. Besides playing upright bass, he also gets to show off his vocal skills with the band. He has been inducted into the Northwest Western Swing Music Society Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington. John is a Drilling Engineer and lives in Spring, Texas with his wife, Tracey.

E-Mail:  [email protected]

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Booking Information

The band can be booked for engagements by contacting:
Vivian Howser (Business Manager/Secretary)
at (281) 290-7255, or (281) 989-0341

22011 Rosewood Trail, Tomball, Texas  77377

E-Mail:  [email protected]

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Playing and Show Schedule

January 9, 2015
Houston, Texas - Carriage House Restaurant
Dinner and Show, 7955 Fallbrook
No Cover Charge
6:30 - 9:30 PM

January 10, 2015
Houston, Texas - SPJST - Chandelier Ballroom
1435 Beall Street
For Reservations, call 713-869-5767
8:00 - 11:30 PM

February 13, 2015
Houston, Texas - Carriage House Restaurant
Dinner and Show, 7955 Fallbrook
No Cover Charge
6:30 - 9:30 PM

February 27, 2015

March 13, 2015
Houston, Texas - Carriage House Restaurant
Dinner and Show, 7955 Fallbrook
No Cover Charge
6:30 - 9:30 PM

March 17, 2015
Humble, Texas - Humble Civic Center
St. Patrick's Day Dance
Sponsored by Harris County Precinct 4
1:00 - 4:00 PM

April 10, 2015
Houston, Texas - Carriage House Restaurant
Dinner and Show, 7955 Fallbrook
No Cover Charge
6:30 - 9:30 PM

April 11, 2015
Houston, Texas - SPJST - Chandelier Ballroom
1435 Beall Steet
For Reservations, call 713-869-5767
8:00 - 11:30 PM

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Albums Available

Can't Get Enough Of Texas

(CD - $15.00)

Can't Get Enough Of Texas (sample!)
Corrine Corrina
When I Grow Too Old To Dream (sample!)
You Don't Know Me
I'll Keep On Loving You
Walkin' My Baby Back Home (sample!)
River Road Boogie
I Needed You
Miss Molly
Nobody's Darlin' But Mine
Hang Your Head In Shame
Milk Cow Blues
Mind Your Own Business (sample!)
My Blue Heaven
My Mary
Goodbye Liza Jane (sample!)


(CD - $15.00)

Houston (sample!)
My Confession
Walk Out Backwards
Take the "A" Train (sample!)
Pennies from Heaven (sample!)
Time Changes Everything
Talkin' 'Bout You
Over the Hill
You Call Everybody Darlin' (sample!)
Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone
Gone and Left Me Blues (sample!)
You Don't Care What Happens To Me

Bluebonnet Lane

(CD - $15.00)

Mama Don't Allow No Music Playing in Here (sample!)
Bluebonnet Lane (sample!)
Basin Street Blues
Warm Red Wine
There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder
Johnson Rag
San Antonio Rose (sample!)
Be Honest With Me
Today I Started Loving You Again (sample!)
Down In Dixieland
You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You (sample!)

Don't Ever Take Our Picture Down

(CD - $15.00)

Don't Ever Take My Picture Down (sample!)
Step Aside (sample!)
You Can't Break My Heart
You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry
I Don't Want Anyone But You
Sweet Georgia Brown (sample!)
My Mother's Eyes
Silver Dew On The Blue Grass Tonight
Sunny Side Of The Street (sample!)
Lonesome Hearted Blues
Memories Of You, Dear
On The Alamo
Beautiful Texas / Waltz Across Texas

The River Road Boys - Live!

(CD - $15.00)

Introduction by Dennis Williams, MC,
Host of Swingin' RFD, KAGC Radio, Bryan, Texas
Big Beaver
I'll Never Be Free
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
Coconut Grove
Deep Water
Because of You
Silver Lake Blues
Lily Dale
Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
You Don't Know Me
Route 66
Big Ball's in Cowtown
Old Fashioned Love
Closing Medley: C-Jam Blues, Turn Out the Lights, Flyin' Home

Texas Two-Step Time

A Compilation of Songs from River Road Boys' Albums
From 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1985
(CD - $15.00)

Carroll County Blues
Another Bridge To Burn (sample!)
Most of All, Why
Home In San Antone (sample!)
I'll Not Shed A Tear
I Knew The Moment I Lost You
Alley Cat (sample!)
Fideaux Waltz
Texas Two-Step Time (sample!)
Nueces Waltz
Go Home With The Girls
Walk Out Backwards
Ode To Tommy Duncan (sample!)
Blue Skirt Waltz
Roadside Rag

Down The Trail

(CD - $15.00)

Featured Guest: Deacon "RaggMopp" Anderson
Stay Out Of The South (sample!)
I've Got A Right To Cry (sample!)
Worried Over You
Old Fashioned Love
Cuckoo Creek Hop
Oklahoma Hills
Near You
You Were Just Looking Over My Shoulder (sample!)
Little Red Wagon
Ragg Mopp (sample!)
Keeper Of My Heart
Jersey Bounce
They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven (sample!)
Down The Trail


(CD - $15.00)

Shame, Shame On You (sample!)
I'll Be Lucky Someday
Don't Get Around Much Anymore (sample!)
It Makes No Difference Now
I Ain't Got Nobody
River Road Chimes (sample!)
Invitation To The Blues
Night Life
My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You
My Window Faces The South
I Wish I Felt This Way At Home (sample!)
C-Jam Blues (sample!)

Swingin' South

(CD - $15.00)

Pipeliner's Blues (sample!)
I Was Sort of Wondering
Snow Deer
Waltzing in Old San Antone (sample!)
Blues For Dixie (sample!)
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do
Across The Alley From The Alamo
Still Water Runs The Deepest
This Cold War With You (sample!)
Working Man's Blues
My Life's Been A Pleasure

Expressions Of Faith
Gospel Album

(CD - $15.00)

Family Bible (sample!)
Near The Cross
I Saw The Light / I'll Fly Away
Silent Prayer
From The Manger To The Cross (sample!)
He Was There All The Time
Satisfied (sample!)
In The Garden / Amazing Grace
Until Then
Just A Closer Walk With Thee (sample!)
I'll Never Be Lonely Again

25th Anniversary - 1972-1997

(CD - $15.00)

River Road Two Step
Faded Love
Summit Ridge Drive
Down Here In Texas
Statue Of A Fool
Jole Blon / Big Mamou
Sweet Moments
Gone And Left Me Blues
Maiden's Prayer
Better To Leave Well Enough Alone
Broken Dreams
Texas Drummer Boy
Truck Driver's Blues
Fireball Mail
Sugar Moon
Orange Blossom Special
I Saw The Light

Texas - Born To Love You

(CD - $15.00)

Born To Love You
Take Me Back To Texas
Love Sure Knows It's Way Around
Texas Drummer Boy
Tear In My Beer
Stars On The Water
There's Still A Lot Of Love In San Antone
Bogg's Boogie
Travlin' Blues
I Saw The Light

Seven Come Eleven
All Instrumental Album

(CD - $15.00)

Seven Come Eleven
Trouble In Mind
Is It True What They Say About Dixie
Cattle Call
Schottische Medley
Dusty Skies
Rubber Dolly
Blues Stay Away From Me
Silver Lake Blues
Darkness On The Delta
Hot Canary
Bandera Waltz

The Twin Fiddles Of Bob White & Clyde Brewer
All Instrumental Album

(CD - $15.00)

Summit Ridge Drive
Westphalia Waltz
Lone Star Rag
Faded Love
Woodchopper's Ball
River Road Two-Step
Everybody's Had The Blues
Fiddle Boogie
Silver Bells
Brown Skin Gal
Skip It
Polka Medley

Ordering Information

Order Form

Send Check or Money Order To:

The River Road Boys
22011 Rosewood Trail
Tomball, Texas 77377

Please give complete mailing address and telephone number when ordering.

For albums, add $2.00 S&H in the U.S. or $5.00 for International orders.

Web Page created and maintained by Bill Dessens,
with technical assistance from Steve Dessens.
This page was last updated April 26, 2014.

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