Wayne Garner Band
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Wayne Garner Band

Austin, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | MAJOR

Austin, TX | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Native Americans Are Writing the Most Powerful Country Music Today"

For decades, country music has symbolized all that is white, Southern and male in our culture.

In recent years, that's meant endless numbers of songs about cold beers, trucks and girls in skin-tight jeans. It's meant the increasing popularity of "bro country." And it's meant the total loss of the honesty and integrity country music stood for in its original form. For everyone, that is, except a vibrant group of Native American country singers.

Once relegated to the stereotype of savage Indians opposed to the classic cowboys of country, Native American artists such as Wayne Garner, Ali Fontaine, Desiree Dorion and John McLeod are writing some of the most powerful stories in country music today. They are the true keepers of country music's original purpose.

"A lot of people haven't had the opportunity to hear music from our people outside of drums and rattles," Juno-nominated Native country artist Tracy Bone told Mic. But what people will actually hear from most top Native American country singers are stories highlighting struggle, honesty and integrity — the values traditional country music was founded on and ones that it too often lacks today.

"Today's country is not as intimate," Bone said. "It doesn't come from the same place that it used to come from, as far as topics and things they're talking about now."

Bone believes that thanks to their heritage and position, Native American country artists are better equipped than many of mainstream artists to take country back to its roots.

"We've gone to a place to where we are more aware of our history," Bone said. "We've taken that time to find out more about ourselves as people, and that helps us stay true to what country truly is — which are those stories, those real stories."

Bone's "Woman of Red" is one such brutally honest tale of being true to one's values in an unfriendly cultural landscape.

Desiree Dorion — of Cree, Métis and Ojibwe heritage — and Bone are mutual admirers of each other's music and share their resentment for mainstream country.

"I find [country's] gotten a bit fluffy, you know, the whole idea of drinking all the time and sitting on tailgates," Dorion told Mic. "When you listen to old-time country ... there's more depth to the characters and their stories, in terms of the values of hard work and integrity and all of those things that attracted me to country music."

Dorion has experienced the same raw, generational poverty that rooted so much original blues and country music. Her mother worked two jobs to support her family while her community healed from the scars left by the Canadian residential school system — a misguided attempt to strip aboriginal people out of their communities and force them to assimilate.

Dorion grew up understanding the values of integrity, commitment and hard work, and her songs only highlight them. On "Bad Outlaw," she describes the struggle to overcome alcoholism, something her family — and the larger Native American community — has struggled with for years.

That's because trends don't make an authentically good country song — the truth does. "When you hit the right chord with people, it doesn't matter what color you are or where you came from. They're going to tune in and like it and hear it," said John McLeod, a Métis country artist from the Ojibwe tribe.

And though it isn't a part of the mainstream narrative of country music, many country artists have been all too familiar with the truths of the Native American experience. Two of the biggest names in traditional country are actually of Native American descent — Hank Williams was Cherokee and Creek, and Crystal Shawanda is Ojibwe. Many more have been active supporters of the Native American community throughout their careers, undermining the typical cowboy and Indian dichotomy. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings both did notable work supporting Native Americans,

The community's true champion, though, was also mainstream country's favorite son, Johnny Cash. Throughout his long and foundational career, Cash was a staunch supporter of the Native American community — even going so far as to ignore President Nixon's request for songs describing the struggles of the white working-class man. He chose instead to sing "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a somber song about a Native American war hero.

So in turn, country music has long been important to the very populations mainstream country always seemed to ignore. Wayne Garner, an Oklahoma-raised Cherokee artist, explained to Mic that "music has always been a big part of Native American tradition.

"That falls in line with what I'm doing, the issues I tackle, across the board," Garner said.

Garner said carving out a space for himself and his band in country has not been the easiest thing. He's faced discrimination, skepticism and disrespect throughout his journey. But his upbringing gave him the strength to fight through it.

"Everything we do is putting our nose to the grindstone," Garner said. "And that's gotta come from somewhere. Everything we do stems back from our forefathers and our heritage."

Heritage, tradition, family, the heartland — these are country music's true values, and they are the values that today's Native American country artists understand in a deeply personal way. The stories they're telling reach far beyond the reservation. It's time the rest of the country music community put down the Budweisers and took notice. - Mic.Com

"Garner achieves goal of becoming signed musician"

TULSA, Okla. – A new up-and-coming artist in the country music scene just so happens to be a Cherokee Nation citizen. Wayne Garner is the singer/songwriter/guitarist in the Wayne Garner Band, which is touring in Oklahoma and Texas.

The band is based in Austin, Texas. The three members – Garner, bassist Norm Pedigo and drummer Don Selzer – describe themselves as parts of bluegrass, red dirt, Southern rock and Texas country mixed with strong American sound.

“I started playing guitar at a young age and…it kind of carried over into, you know, high school to college,” Garner said. “One of my friends, that is pretty popular in the red dirt music, Texas country scene, kind of got me into it. Probably about a year and a half ago I started hitting the road and playing anywhere I could with my guitar. Then all of a sudden I had a band and then signed and (a) record out.”

The Wayne Garner Band signed in early 2013 with Smith Music Group and Smith Entertainment, which have artists such as Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Stoney LaRue, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Its debut album titled “Senorita Dreams” launched in May 2013.

“Our first single, “Burn Out the Night,” we charted in Texas with it and also charted on the independent country charts out of Nashville. We peaked at No. 14,” Garner said. “It was about almost two months ago, it’s run its course. We’re about ready to drop another one here soon. I think we are going to probably put out, possibly “Hand Cannon” or “Senorita Dreams,” which is the name of the album. We might put them out both within like a month span, just do them really quick have both of them rolling. Kind of see how they do.”

He said the songs “Burn Out the Night,” “Full Throttle” and “Hand Cannon” have seen the most air play from during the past year. He added that “Full Throttle” was UFC fighter Tim Elliot’s walkout music.

“It’s (UFC) gotten a lot of press and hype for it (“Full Throttle”) and now they’re wanting to use that song and a few others in a boxing documentary that’s going to be coming up. So it’s definitely done pretty well for itself without even being released as a single,” Garner said.

Though now in the music scene, he said he grew up in a Native environment because his father worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“I ended up attending Haskell Junior College, which is Haskell Indian Nations University now, for a little over a year before I transferred. It had a major impact as far as…getting to see just kind of the difference of, you know, different tribes, the different clans. Getting to know what clan I came from, who I came from, who my linage came from, on both sides of my parents. All that to, you know, meeting people from different tribes,” he said. “I’m a proud Cherokee Nation citizen, and I make sure everybody knows it, too.”

Garner said to those looking to become successful musicians to never give up on the dream.

“Just…keep playing and, you know, it’s one of those things to where, you know, you’ll have success. I mean it will happen fast. It will happen slow, but don’t worry about any of that. Don’t worry about anything but just writing music and playing and better your abilities. Everything else will fall into place,” he said.

When preforming with other bands on tour, Garner said he works with as many Native American bands as possible.

The Cherokee Phoenix caught up with the Wayne Garner Band on March 21 at the Blue Rose Café in Tulsa.

For more information, visit www.waynegarnerband.net or follow the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Wayne-Garner-Band/391053110910347. - Cherokee Phoenix

"These Native Artists Are Taking Country Music Back to Its Roots"

You might recognize some of these names if you’re into country music. Most have been nominated for Native American Music Awards or Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards. MIC.com recently ran a story highlighting how these country music artists are better equipped than many of today’s mainstream artists to take country back to its strong songwriting roots.
Desiree Dorion tells Mic.com, “When you listen to old-time country … there’s more depth to the characters and their stories, in terms of the values of hard work and integrity and all of those things that attracted me to country music.” - powwows.com


Still working on that hot first release.



Wayne was raised in Oklahoma and Texas, deeply influenced by the people, the land and the struggle around him. Wayne started playing guitar and creating music, early on to find a voice for the story that was growing within. Finding moments of joy and reflection in the sounds George Ducas, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, as well as other great storytellers and wordsmiths, Wayne began to write and soon it was time to share his art. Wayne started performing in high school, playing in southeastern Oklahoma around the places and people he called home. After school, life took Wayne to college and football, he was away from everything he knew, but music was always his first love so he there he found a path. Opening for and playing alongside Bo Phillips, Matt Stell and the Deep Roots, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, and Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, his love of creating music and connecting with fans grew into The Wayne Garner Band. Recently signed with Smith Music Group, Wayne's first full length studio album Senorita Dreams soon was complete. Since the release his music has been featured on the UFC pay per view fights and his first single "Burn out the Night" charted at number 14 on the Independent Country Charts.

Band Members