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10 Questions with the TM
Manny Morales

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Manny Morales Pictured Back Right

How long have you been working in the Texas Country Music scene?

Since 1991

 

What got you started/interested in the Texas Country Music scene?

Working at Executive Surf Club in Corpus Christi. The venue opened in 1990. They started booking primarily Folk and Americana/Grass Roots acts like Trout Fishing in America, Shake Russel and Dana Cooper, Fred J Eaglesmith, Ruthie Foster and Arlo Guthrie-type artists. By The time I started working there as the front of house/sound guy, acts like Robert Earl Keen, Gary P Nunn, Asleep at The Wheel, Joe Ely, Billy Joe Shaver and way too many to mention were making stops there. In the mid 90's - early 2000's is when things really changed for me. Bands like The Derailers, Charlie and Bruce Robison, Dub Miller, Jack Ingram, Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Kevin Fowler and Roger Creager all started playing there as well. I witnessed a DIY scene that floored me. The music was real and the players were INSANE! I was hooked...

 

What band do you currently TM for?

Roger Creager

 

How did you get started with Roger Creager and what has that experience been like so far?

I met Roger at Executive Surf Club in the late 90's. In late 2005 I went out with Roger Creager for a two week run filling in at FOH until they found s omeone to take over the position that my good friend Rich Caldwell (RIP) had left for a national tour. I went home after the run, and then got another call to go out for another two weeks a month after that. This went on for about 2 years until Roger came to me one day in 2007 and said, "Hey ya want the FOH job" I replied "I thought I had it". I accepted the TM position in 2020. To sum up my experience with Roger Creager is easy - FAMILY. From management to my road brothers, I've been blessed and don't take any of it for granted (or try not to).

 

What are some of your favorite things about being a Tour Manager?

My favorite part of being a TM is meeting and engaging with the people in this industry, from buyers, venue owners, press, production crews, to the fans. I also enjoy the spontaneity of every gig. It's a living! I stop myself sometimes midday and think, "man we're doing this!"

What does a typical workday look like for you when y'all are at a show?

I do double duty for Roger Creager, TM/FOH, so show days are typically kind of busy and starts with bus call then venue arrival, connecting with the day of show person for venue, arranging hospitality and check-in for hotel rooms, making sure the driver gets to the hotel and has a ride back for bus call. Load in, sound check, getting the guest list in, arranging the meet greet if it's a thing that day, hopefully sneaking in a shower, meet and greet, getting set lists, changing over the stage with stage manager, checking lines, a little pre-show ritual, do the set, run to merch for RC to sign after the set, settling up with venue, thanking everyone, doing a dummy check, heading to bus and then getting a little sleep and on the next show!

 

What shows while working with Roger Creager have been most memorable and why? One that really stands out is a festival in France that had a massive attendance. It was my first time on a Yamaha 5d digital console and there were thousands of folks line dancing in full 90's garb. It was definitely one of those "man we're doing this!" moments for me.

 

What are some of your favorite venues or festivals in Texas for y'all to play shows at?

This is a tough one, Texas has so many great venues and festivals with so many great people working them. Larry Joe Taylor Fest is always a blast. I love doing the venues that have supported and helped build the scene like Billy Bob's, Gruene Hall, Floore's Country Store -- but seriously drop me in any Texas venue and I'm stoked to be home!

 

What musicians or bands are you listening to the most right now?

Charlie Robison and Joe Ely live is on repeat in my world. I can never get enough of The Clash.

 

Any upcoming projects or shows with Roger Creager you want TCMM readers to know about?

Glad you asked – (7/4) La Vernia, (7/5) Hockley, (7/6) Del Rio, (7/12) Midland, (7/19) Corpus Christi, (7/24 - 7/27) Gruene. Roger Creager Piano Bar Sing Along shows TBA, (8/7 - 8/9) Braun Brothers Reunion, Challis, ID. VIVA LIVE MUSIC!!!

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