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.
Dick Wood – pedal steel guitarist. Dick was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Dick began his musical career playing bass guitar with a local country band. The first time he heard the pedal steel guitar, he was hooked. After many lessons and never ending practice, Dick went to a local bar one night with steel guitar in hand and was hired on the spot. This began Dick’s 33 years of playing pedal steel guitar professionally. Being one of the more uncommon instruments that musicians learn to play, Dick’s style and talent have kept him in high demand. Playing steel has presented opportunities for Dick to work with some high level and talented bands and artists such as Spirit of the West, Jim Stovall, Bodie Powell, Niles City Band, Coby McDonald Band, and far too many others to mention. You just got to have a steel guitar in the band to call it Honky Tonk.
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.
Mark Peterson – Keyboards/lead and harmony vocals. Mark was born in Findlay, Ohio but grew up primarily in Texas. Mark’s father bought him his first ukulele guitar when he five years old. Mark began publicly performing at the age of 15 and played many local venues around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He started mastering the lead guitar while serving in the Armed Forces. In addition to playing the lead guitar Mark has also mastered the piano/key board. Throughout Mark’s musical journey he has played with many top local and national musicians. He has had many opportunities to be a part of acts that opened shows for label artists such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Mel Tillis, Alabama, Vince Gill, Pat Green, and Randy Rogers just to name a few. In addition to being a member of Dr Honky Tonk, Mark also plays show dates, backing up Academy of Country Music, Female Vocalist of the Year Award Winner Janie Fricke.
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.