Rode Morrow of Hogg Maulies

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief

First before you read this let me tell you Rode gave me the most detailed interview I’ve ever had! And for this I thank him!

Mr. Rode Wayne Morrow originally of Rotan,Texas who currently resides in Lubbock, Texas with his wife Shana and his son. He currently is on tour with Hogg Maulies.
When Rode is not on the road his hobbies include:
“I like to hunt and fish.  Caught a 220 lbs Blue Marlin this past summer in Cabo.  Or actually, Julio did.  But I got to ride on the boat and reel him in about half the time.
I also love to cook.  Ribs, brisket, steaks, burgers, etc.  My wife doesn’t cook much so I do most of the cooking at home.  I haven’t found anything that my 1 yr old boy doesn’t like to eat.  Not sure how I’m going to feed him when he gets into high school.
Yardwork – it’s kind of my “out” to get away from things.  It’s also a good time to think and get creative about music stuff.  It’s not at all uncommon for me to record a melody or lyrics on my phone with a lawnmower running in the background.”
When and why did you start playing?
“I played the fiddle for a few years when I was kid.  My dad is a fiddle player so he was my earliest influence.  I started playing guitar when I was 18 and knew that I wanted my own material from the get go.  So I’ve been writing since around then too.

I went to a few concerts and just knew that’s what I absolutely wanted to do.  Coolest thing I’ve ever seen or heard, whether anyone was there or not.  So I started.”
Which instruments do you play?
“Guitar and a little bit of harmonica.  Little bit of drums.  Little bit of trumpet.  I can saw around on a fiddle too, but it would take a lot of practice to be stage ready.”
What were the first songs you learned?
“Una Mas Cerveza by Tommy Alverson was the first song that I ever learned to play and sing in front of an audience.  I got up and sang it with my dad’s band when I was 18.  I remember how awesome it was, and everything around me seemed extremely fast and crazy. Now it seems like we can’t play songs fast enough!”
Is your family musical?
“My older sister thinks she can sing, but can’t.  My younger sister can sing but doesn’t.  My mom can sing well but doesn’t much.  My dad sings and plays the fiddle/guitar.  My dad’s father loved to play guitar and sing, but only knew two chords.  He always said that’s why he loved the song Ida Red by Bob Wills so much, because it only had two chords and he could play it.”
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
“The sky is the limit here.  I have a lot of appreciation for anyone that I see or hear.  For someone to get up and do their own thing, and what they love, always hits me the right way.
Vocally, it would have to be Bono from U2.  He has a great voice and really puts his heart into it.  And Jason Isbell can make your soul stick out.  He also has the ability to take over the whole room no matter where he’s playing and have the audience right where he wants them.  Engaged.
On the country side, you can’t beat George Strait and Merle Haggard, two perfect country voices in my opinion.
Vince Gill is a great guitar player and also extremely talented vocally.  Eric Clapton, the list could go on and on…”
Which famous musicians have you learned from?
“Matt Martindale from Cooder Graw and Wade Bowen are famous to me.  I think they’re the absolute best 2 guys in the business.  They’re both genuine, personable, and they care.  Both of them have been really good to us.
I can remember Wade saying to me one time, “no matter what level you’re at, you always worry about the same things,” referring to putting gas in his bus compared to us putting gas in FeeFee (our RV).  Gas is probably the biggest expense for any band.
I consider Matt my mentor in this business.  He has always been really helpful in the decisions that I make.  I believe that if anyone is going to be successful in anything, they have to have a great mentor. “
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
“The night we recorded our Live @ Blue Light album was epic.  So many people came to support us.  I’ll never forget that night.  I knew  we had started something really special at that point.
Playing in France at the Rendezvous Festival this past summer was awesome.  There were thousands of people there for our set and they were all singing along to our songs.  I would’ve never imagined our music doing so well overseas.  And we got to share it with some great friends of ours from William Clark Green.  They played right before us.
My wife and I lived in an apartment here in Lubbock years ago.  When Hurricane Katrina hit, the apartment complex provided some rooms for people in need that lost their homes in New Orleans.  One of those people was Stoney B. Blues, and he was a son of Howlin’ Wolf, a famous blues singer/musician.  Stoney heard me playing the guitar one evening and stopped by.  He played one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard, and it was about his experience of losing everything to Katrina.  I hope he’s doing good, I have no idea where he’s at now.  If I had it to do over again, I would’ve had him play on one of our records.”
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? 
“Definitely.  The records and tapes I remember are Bob Wills, Hoyle Nix, and Waylon Jennings.”
Who are your favorite musicians? 
“The guys in my band, they’re all extremely talented.  I’ve got a great group and don’t mind bragging about them.  If you haven’t ever seen us play then you’re missing out.  Parker is extremely tasteful, and Casey and Craig are incredible.  I’m really lucky to have all of them.”
What’s your favorite thing about being on the road? 
“Meeting people and experiencing new things.  It can really help an artist grow if they get out of their comfort zones and play for new people and new places.”
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened on the road?
“Back when we started out, we played a New Year’s Eve show in my hometown of Rotan, TX.  It was a great crowd, and at about 1 AM, some drunk guy drove through the wall!”
Best place to eat while on the road?
“This is actually THE best question.  Food is extremely important to a Hogg Maulies road trip.
Parker would say Golden Light hamburgers in Amarillo, TX.  Craig and Casey would say Herd’s Hamburgers in Jacksboro, TX.  We all would say the BBQ in Dickens, TX, which we never miss when traveling east.  We also never miss a Pluckers, but San Marcos also has Garcia’s and Herbert’s Tacos, two must haves.”

And last but defiantly not least!
What’s the best town play in?
“Lubbock, of course.”
Thank you so much Rode!
Xxx West Texas Sweetheart

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