The year is 2023. It’s a new year and it’s a new band. After two years and two albums our good friend and bass player Mr. Rhett C. Yocom let Joe and myself know that he’s got better things to do than endlessly stroke Joe and I’s ego’s all day to which we say, we love you Rhett and by-golly we’re gonna miss you man.
It was the winter before COVID and our bass player Johnny Mason let us know that he was no longer able to commit to the band. My memory of my reaction to this news was distinctly ‘FFFFFUUUUUU–‘ We had like 9 shows on the books and were in the middle of recording Stampede.
I texted everyone I knew if they knew a bass player who could fill in when I got a call I will never forget from the one and only Steve Briere of the Gasoline Gypsies. I’m always happy when Steve gives me a call so I picked up and he said one word, ‘Rat!’. I was confused and after a long pause I said, “Uhhmmm what?” then he said again, ‘Rhett!’ … then I replied, ‘The Guitarist?’ and Steve said, ‘Yes! the guitarist!’
The same day that Johnny quit, Rhett Yocom posted on book of faces that he wanted to join a band on bass. It was one of those special and rare universe moments where everything works out perfectly. I had admired Rhett’s guitar work for years and was aching for an excuse to work with him and somehow the opportunity came. Originally I pressured him to take on the role of guitarist but he assured me he wanted to play bass.
Fun Fact #1: Rhett Yocom Blues Band is super popular.
It’s true. Go look em up and compare his numbers to ours. Rhett Yocom is a legend to us but he is also a much sought after blues-GOD! Not just for the Rhett Yocom Blues Band but also knowledge and skills as a guitar-tech.
Fun Fact #2: He’s an excellent guitar tech.
Almost every aspect of our rig has been touched, and thusly improved, by Mr. Yocom. No one knows more than he does which is why he’s got a great side-job doing amp and guitar work for several big blues acts like Larry McCray and several others that are super impressive and famous but I’ve been informed I’m not allowed to share lmfao.
The sound of Gregory James and our new album American Odyssey p1 is largely due to Rhett. He was there for every guitar and bass recording tweaking the amps and coming up with ideas. One of my favorite clips from us recording at Tuxedo Ave is Rhett’s reaction to an experiment that went extraordinarily well.
Fun Fact #3: He’s a family man.
At the time of writing this his beautiful family is turning three. He has a gorgeous family Johnny, Scarlet, Mandy and Amber Yocom. They’re good people and we love and appreciate them.
Before you ask, yes we do have a ‘replacement’ for Rhett but something about announcing that at the end of this blog feels super tacky and awful. Rhett’s sound and impact on this band is profound and frankly irreplaceable. If you got to see him play with us then you’re very lucky because that version of Loxodon is gone now and will never be back again. Sorry if you were ‘too busy’ to make it out :/
Right now we’re working on the next version of Loxodon.
It’s a good time to do it too. It’s a new year and all around there’s a lot of ‘newness’ in the air. Personally I’ve rarely had a time when my creative output was more fertile. The new Loxodon might be the last time we reinvent this band. I hope so.
This band started as a way for me to continue my music career after the Toms took a crap and it’s become so much more. It’s been something positive to focus on, to build on and was really my therapy during what looking back was the darkest period of my life. I’m not sure where I’d be if it wasn’t for this band. I still think about my therapist suggesting I use the band as a way to process the world and the crazy things that happened to me.
I’m excited. The future is uncertain but very bright.