Ace in the Hole Playing Their Cards
by Jeff Franks
One of the enduring fantasies many people seem to share is the desire to be a musician of one kind or another. For example, I have always been convinced I am one of the world's greatest vocal talents waiting to be discovered by some sharpie promoter but thus far, only those four shower walls have been treated to my soulful renditions of any number of popular songs.
One thing holding me back is a steadfast refusal to learn any one complete song. As a result, I end up singing the same musical phrases over and over and I must admit (though it pains me) even I get bored with my thwarted attempts at song making. I shudder to think what would happen if I actually ever stepped up to perform for a room full of people. They provide life insurance for just such occasions. But my own inability to remember songs has always spurred questions in my mind about real musicians, mainly how in God's name do they learn and have at their fingertips so many different numbers? There is no limit to my admiration for the musician who can ask an audience for a request, then actually perform a suggested song. In my opinion, this is the height of competence.
Recently, I realized I had a lot of questions about the life of a musician, so I decided to go Strait to the source., none other than Mr. Show Business himself. Tom Foote one of my old high school friends who plays drums for one of this areas popular bands Ace in the Hole featuring George Strait. My intent was two-fold, to learn about and give Ace in the Hole some publicity and to determine what it's like to be a musician. Strait's name fits the man, for there isn't a straighter looking and shooting young musician in the business. Nor a more dedicated one. And he was letting the hammer down at the anniversary party, playing first on country song and then another as Ace in the Hole believers filled Finlay's dusty and ill-lighted dance floor wall to wall." Everyone is out of school except me and Mike Daily" Strait said. "I'll get out next semester, and I believe Mike will graduate after this semester. And then its music all the way."
For those of you may not know them, Ace in the Hole does indeed feature "George Strait", who many regard as the finest singer to come out of this area in a long long time. Joining him are Ron Cable on lead guitar and vocals, Terry Hale bass and vocals, Mike Daily on steel guitar and of course Foote on drums. I'm no music critic but people like Kent Finlay, Cheatum Street Warehouse owner and fellow songwriter-musician consider them one of the best group of musicians in central Texas. They play country and western music with a heavy emphasis on Bob Wills type songs. Occasionally they slip into something like a Beatles song, but even these come out with a country beat. Frankly, I'm a city boy and have never taken that much interest in C/W sound. But frequently Cheatum Street the past few months has developed my taste to the point where I really enjoy listening to Ace in the Hole. Evidentially. I am not the only one-they've been drawing big crowds at the warehouse all summer long.
Ace in the Hole formed in October 1975. Ron, Terry, Mike and Tom had been in a group previously but it split up and Tom move to Houston to make his fortune selling radiators. The other three remained in San Marcos, going to SWT and searching around for other musicians interested in getting something started.