People always ask, "Who the hell are the Chickenhawks?"
As the "Young Gun" musicians put it - they are the "Ultimate Geezer Band". In fact, like a Mac truck with a jammed gas peddle, they keep coming at you and we suggest that you come along for the ride. The individual Chickenhawks are:
"Cadillac" Jack Calmes (lead guitar)
started playing shows at the Dallas Sportatorium at age 15 (1959) backing Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry and hanging out with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. His schoolmates Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs had a rival high school band to his Jades and in 1961 they merged forming a local coalition band that played every prom for miles around. After graduation from SMU, Calmes formed Showco and later in 1967 became co-owner/band leader of Soul City, the most famous Texas nightclub of the 60's. Here he played behind and with every major soul and blues performer of the day from Stevie Wonder to Little Richard. Later managing Freddie King and other noted recording artists, Calmes quit playing professionally in 1970 for ten years until coming out of retirement in 1980 to found The Forever Fabulous Chickenhawks Showband & All-Star Revue. Calmes is best known for founding Showco and Syncrolite, the premier production services company to rock stars and was voted a member of Buddy Magazines' Musician Hall of Fame in 1984.
"Big" Luther Kent (vocals)
is the Prince of Bourbon Street and an undisputed Louisiana legend, Luther started singing the blues in Lake Charles in 1961. He, "Cadillac" Jack and Jon Smith all played together on the infamous Bossier City strip in 1966. Luther later joined Blood, Sweat & Tears and fronted his own New Orleans bands for years. He is currently spokesperson for the State of Louisiana and a mainstay of the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Why Luther is not world famous is a mystery, but he will be and soon. His voice is like no other and musicians of every discipline from jazz to heavy metal go to great lengths to see him perform. His big band has headlined the Jazz Festival from its inception and when he plays New Orleans, the shows are always sold out.
Jon "White Trash" Smith (tenor sax)
co-leader of the White Trash Horns, has played on numerous hits and major top 10 records, toured worldwide, won 7 Grammies and is considered one of the top five tenor players in pop music. Jon was a classmate of "Big" Luther Kent in Lake Charles and a co-founder of the Boogie Kings. He later joined Edgar Winter & White Trash and toured and recorded for 7 years. After this, he toured and recorded with Toto winning multiple Grammies before returning to Louisiana and reforming the Boogie Kings. He now resides in California and tours and records around the world. He is also the only man alive who can eat more crawfish than "Big" Luther Kent.
"Blue" Lou Marini (tenor sax/flute)
is familiar to everyone from his 5 years leading the Saturday Night Live band and from both Blues Bros. movies. We all remember that classic scene with Aretha Franklin in the diner. What people do not know is that he was a child prodigy jazz musician who was first chair in the famed One O'clock Lab Band at North Texas State University at age 17. Lou played with "Cadillac" Jack's band in the 60's among others and left for New York in 1970 where he became a top session player and toured with Blood, Sweat & Tears. As leader of the Blues Bros Horns, Lou tours the world, but as a member of the expanded Hawks, Lou is at home with his friends. The combined power of a Blues Bros sax man and The White Trash Horns is a spiritual experience for both player and audience and Lou admits that the Chickenhawks may just be the hottest band he's ever played with - and "Blue" Lou knows. Lou resides in New York and tours with James Taylor's band.
Steve "Catfish" Howard (trumpet)
co-leader with Jon Smith of the White Trash Horns was also a member of the One O'clock Lab Band of North Texas State University at the same time as "Blue" Lou Marini. Steve left Dallas for New Orleans also in the 60's and became a member of the famed Allen Toussaint Horns and recorded a number of classic records with the likes of Patti LaBelle, Dr. John and many others. In 1975, Steve joined Paul McCartney's Wings and spent 5 years recording and touring with Paul and Linda enjoying great success with three major Wings' albums, movies and numerous television appearances. Steve also co-arranges for the Hawks and has had many of his horn arrangements performed on records by major artists. He is also a famous "catfish" chef and fisherman who resides in Lake Dallas, Texas.
Tommy "Hunk of Funk" Young (B-3 Organ/Keyboards)
is the undisputed master of the B-3 Organ. The famous Jimmy Smith and Booker T Jones are fans of his and secure their early 60's instruments from his company Young Music which specializes in refurbishing the ever more scarce Hammond B-3 Organs. Tommy started playing with Delbert McClinton on the notorious Jacksboro Hwy outside Fort Worth, Texas, in bars where life was still pretty close to the Old West. He left the "strip" for 15 years with the Big Beats and ended up on the Las Vegas strip. Since his return to the Dallas area, he has played in every conceivable situation from gospel to heavy metal and is a member of the famed Buddy Magazine group of elite Texas musicians with co-Hawks Wilson "Lumpy" Fisher and "Cadillac" Jack Calmes, known as the Texas Tornadoes, not to be confused with Doug Sahm's group of them same name. Tommy is recipient of the Hawks Lounge Lizard Emeritus Award and performs regularly with Andy Timmons and the Pawn Kings and Bugs Henderson.
Andy "The Black Mouse" Michlin (piano)
was another musical prodigy as a young, gifted classical pianist. Thoroughly schooled in music, Andy shunned the classical career path and headed for Los Angeles and Las Vegas where he worked with all the big names of the 70's and 80's including 15 years with Tom Jones and years with Liza Minelli including world tours, recording and the Vegas gigs. In Dallas, Andy performs for various society functions as a solo pianist and with various big bands. His first love is rock 'n roll and as an original member of many Dallas 60's rock bands, Andy has been a Hawk for more than 30 years. He is also recipient of the Hawks Lounge Lizard Emeritus Award and knows the lyrics to every song and hit record of the 50's and 60's.
Allyn "Pigfoot" Robinson (drums)
is the youngest Chickenhawk and it is appropriate that he is the drummer. He claims the Hawks make him work harder than any band he has ever played with including Jerry Lee Lewis, Wayne Cochran and Tab Benoit, but he never complains. Allyn is another Louisiana (New Orleans) native who has deep credentials in the New Orleans jazz and pop scene. His years with Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders and all other big names he has toured with serve him well with the Hawks. He is the other side of the 5000cc Harley engine with Jay Griggs that drive the Chickenhawk sound.
John "Ox" Osborne (trombone)
is a giant of a man who was also a North Texas State University One O'clock Lab band veteran. He currently anchors the pit orchestra for the Dallas Summer Musicals and recently completed his masters degree in music at SMU. Ox is a closet rock 'n roller who as a trombonist must make his living playing symphonies and musical revues. He is also the #1 session trombone player in the region and sought after for his arranging skills.
Rich "Soul Man" Kinney (vocals)
is a soul brother of the great Joe Cocker. Joe was a plumber by trade, Rich an electrician. The two of them together can fix anything that ails you. Rich is an original member of the famed Soul City house band and also a sax player of great expertise. Because the Hawks have the ultimate world-class horn section with The White Trash Horns and Blue Lou, he puts his horn in the case and simply sings his unique brand of Otis Redding soul. He has been compared to the late John Belushi as he has a physical resemblance, but he is a great singer with a no holds-barred approach to R&B. Rich lives in Salt Lake City and according to Rolondo Bond has more than eight wives. This has never been confirmed or denied by the Soul Man.
Jay "Bird" Griggs (bass)
is the bottom line i.e. bass player for the band and without a great bass player, there is no rock 'n roll, no R&B and no funk. Jay is New Orleans' most sought after Bass man and works constantly in concerts, clubs and recordings.