About the Band
Dr Honky Tonk (DHT) is a professional and well-rehearsed group of dedicated musicians and entertainers formed in 2006. As the name implies, DHT specializes in country dance hall style dance music suitable for boot-scootin’ and two stepping. The band takes inspiration and influence from the country stars of the 70s and 80s. Artists such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, Ray Price and Gary Stewart season the menu of song selections at every performance. DHT inspires the younger country fans to dance and enjoy by adding current country and Red Dirt to their musical playlists.
In 2013, DHT released their debut album "Show Me Your Stuff" that features original compositions from the band as well as some favorite country classics. The album reflects the band’s commitment to the sounds of classic and traditional country music. Compositions are underway for their next release.
DHT has the experience and musical credentials to add the perfect "something" to your dancehall or event. They can set you up with classic renditions of Bob Wills swing to line-dance selections of today’s Nashville releases. DHT looks forward to making your next event special.
The Members of Dr Honky Tonk
Gene Ruffin – bass guitarist/lead and harmony vocals. Gene is a founding member of Dr Honky Tonk. Gene was born in Hugo, Oklahoma and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Gene began developing his musical talent at an early age with the drums, subsequently moving on to the bass guitar. Gene worked many years, full time in the music business, on the road with many great and talented musicians. Through the years Gene has had the opportunity to be part of opening acts for national artists such as George Jones, Eddie Rabbit, Tammy Wynette, Sylvia, Gary Morris, Eddie Raven and Dan Seals. In addition to being a member of Dr Honky Tonk, Gene also plays show dates, backing up Academy of Country Music, Female Vocalist of the Year Award Winner Janie Fricke.
Sonny Morris - Pedal Steel And 6-String Guitar. When Sonny was a youngster growing up in Memphis, Texas, he dreamed of becoming a famous guitar player. Little did he know, he would soon take a different course. Sonny explains: One night in 1977, I connected my FM radio to our cable TV line and heard some of the greatest music ever. Radio KBUY from Amarillo played a format they called "Texas Music". They featured Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, Steve Fromholtz, The Lost Gonzo Band, Alvin Crow and Willie and Waylon. All of these artists featured steel guitar on their songs, and I was totally hooked! I especially liked Joe Ely's steel player. The solo on "Because of the Wind" was and still is one of the greatest I've ever heard. The steel player's name is Lloyd Maines and he later would be one of my college teachers! After high school and an initial year at college, I enrolled at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. South Plains College is a junior college which offers an Associate of Arts degree in country music. At South Plains, I met and took steel guitar lessons from Wally Moyers. Wally is a great player who really took me under his wing. He got me my first gigs playing steel in a band with his brother Rick and helped me find my first professional steel guitar (a Sho-Bud). Wally was an excellent teacher who emphasized taste and attitude over merely learning licks. One day, in the summer of 1989, I got a phone call from Lloyd Maines. He told me a singer in Fort Worth named Steve Stewart was looking for a steel player. So, on the strength of Lloyd's recommendation I was off to Cowtown and I've been in the Metroplex ever since.
Jeff Steele – drums. Jeff Steele was born and raised in West Texas. Growing up as a son of a blue collar carpenter, Friday and Saturday nights were spent with his Dad playing the guitar and the family singing along. With the guitar strumming to Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Marty Robbins songs, Jeff remembers how country music would tell a story that was familiar to the lifestyle that his family was experiencing. After a brief stint working the oilfields, music became an important priority for Jeff. Focusing on the clubs and beer joints around Abilene, he started working regularly in local bands. It was when he moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area that Jeff’s music career took off professionally. During this time of his life Jeff met his wife, Janie Fricke. Since that time he has been her bandleader/drummer. When Jeff is not working with Janie his talent and style of drumming cuts that great honky tonk groove for Dr Honky Tonk.
Ron Ramirez - Guitar/lead and harmony vocals. Ron is the newest member of Dr Honky Tonk, and joined us on April 2, 2016. Ron has been playing guitar since the age of nine, and playing professionally since the age of 16.He worked his way through college by playing in country bands every week in Albuquerque. That included his dads band The Country Squires where he began developing his lead guitar and entertaining skills. he moved to the DFW metroplex in 1994 and began performing in the Stockyards the first weekend he hit the town. He has become a very diverse performer of many styles, including classic rock, jazz and pop, although country is his first love. He has opened for several top performers including .38 Special, Mark Chestnut, Hal Ketchum and others. We are so proud to have Ron join us. With over 30 years of experience and the study of music, he now brings his vocal abilities and lead guitar talents to Dr Honky Tonk to add to the Honky Tonk Experience.