Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 2, 2013

Pickin’ and coachin’: Blooming Grove’s Guidry makes name on field, music scene

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Most Friday nights you can catch J.J. Guidry walking the sidelines of the football field or basketball court at Blooming Grove High School, where he has coached the past two years. But prior to entering the coaching profession, Guidry spent most of his weekends traveling around the state of Texas pursuing a career in music.

Even though it’s been over a decade since Guidry has been an active musician, he is still making a mark on the Texas country music scene. This past year, he played bass on former bandmate Heath Childs’ first solo CD “Falling Blind.” And earlier this year, “One Horse,” a song Childs and Guidry co-wrote, was released to Texas radio. It is a single from Mark Allan Atwood’s latest CD “Alive and Well,” and features Texas singer Bart Crow.

It is currently at No. 27 on the Texas Regional Radio Top 100 chart, where it has had a home the last 12 weeks.

“It is surreal to turn on the radio and hear a song you helped write,” said Guidry, who moved to Corsicana two years ago with his wife Samantha and their children Shealee, Alli and Tre. “Our band, Wild ridE, released a song Heath and I wrote years ago called ’Rodeo World,’ but it is really cool to hear somebody else perform one of your songs. My oldest daughter, Shealee, thinks daddy is famous now. It is awesome to see how excited my kids are when daddy’s song comes on the radio.”

“One Horse” is a song that Childs sang for several years while fronting the band Wild ridE, which also included Guidry, Scott Nebel, Wes Robinson and Clyde Hepline. The song is about life in a small Texas town.

“I had emailed Heath one day and said let’s write a song about our hometowns,” said Guidry, who grew up in the small community of Brackettville in Southwest Texas. “I wanted to write about the things that make life in small town Texas unique — high school football, Dairy Queens, and obviously the importance of family. Within a few hours, Heath had finished the whole song. It became an instant fan favorite.”

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“There’s only seven thousand people in this rat race. Rush hour here’s got a whole new face. We get a five-car traffic jam when the light goes out on Main. Friday nights and high school ball, it’s a way of life when summer fades to fall. Win or lose ’round here, ain’t just a game.”

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“‘One Horse’ reaches everyone, regardless of upbringing, and places you right at that moment, when you’ve had enough of the small town,” said Jim Nash, half of the back-to-back Texas Regional Radio On-Air Personalities of the Year. Nash teams with Carey Dean mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on 106.9 The Ranch.

“But in turn,” Nash continued, “it makes you appreciate being brought up in a small town.”

Atwood will perform Sunday night on The Ranch’s Ranch Roadhouse at the Rockett Cafe and Club north of Waxahachie. The live broadcasted show runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on 106.9 FM.

The first single from the CD, “Loser,” written by Childs and Atwood, spent over 20 weeks on the Texas charts.

“I had heard Heath do (“One Horse”) for a long time, but only acoustic,” Atwood said. “We have played a bunch of shows together.”

The two also put out a CD as Atwood-Childs entitled “Trading Pains.” It was casual night sitting around listening to demos that led to Atwood putting “One Horse” on “Alive and Well.”

“He plays me a demo of he, J.J. and Wild ridE doing the song, and it’s the first time I had heard it in a full-band setting,” Atwood said. “I said, ‘Dude, what’s your problem?’ He says, ‘What are you talking about?’

“I said, ‘Do you have something against having a hit song?’”

The two agreed if Childs did not release the song, it would go on Atwood’s next CD. And it did.

Childs said he considered recording “One Horse” for “Falling Blind.”

“It was already cut for that record,” Childs said. “But when we got ready to do the mixes, the song was a different style. ...

“It didn’t fit the old, broken down, miserable theme (of “Falling Blind”). For that reason, and that reason only I didn’t put it on there.”

Childs said he had Guidry go back about 20 years, and the two have performed together or been in bands for probably two-thirds of that time.

Guidry began performing live when he was 15, playing drums in a band with his uncle, Johnny Ward, and Chuey Sanchez, both who were former bandmates of legendary Texas singer Johnny Rodriguez. At age 17, he began working as an actor and musician at Happy Shahan’s Alamo Village, a famed Texas movie set. While under Shahan’s management, Guidry worked on the movies “Bad Girls,” featuring Drew Barrymore, Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson and Andie MacDowell, and “The Good Old Boys,” starring Tommy Lee Jones.

In 2004, Guidry began teaching and coaching. While in Kermit, Guidry won Coach of the Year honors in softball in 2006 and in basketball in 2009, when his boys’ basketball team finished the regular season with 24 wins and ranked 19th in the state. The softball team made four-straight appearances in the regional quarterfinals and were back-to-back regional semifinalists. As an offensive line and linebackers coach, he helped the Yellow Jackets to the regional semifinals in 2007 and a perfect 10-0 regular season in 2008.

Guidry took over Blooming Grove’s girls’ basketball program last season. The Lady Lions won 11 games, which was more than the three previous seasons combined. He is also Blooming Grove’s offensive coordinator in football. Last season the Lions posted a 7-4 record, which was the school’s first winning season in 15 years.