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Ron Tutt

Ron could certainly tell a tale or two, since before his tenure with our band he spent 10 years playing for Elvis Presley.

In fact, he still plays with the King as part of the "virtual Elvis" tour along with his former bandmates and audio/visual representations of Mr. Presley, who is no longer able to tour personally.

Ron either performed and/or recorded with them all -- from country greats Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers to rock-n-rollers Los Lobos, Elvis Costello and Jerry Garcia to pop stars Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks and Michael McDonald, among many others.

A native-born Texan, there was never a question that entertaining was Ron's calling. From the early age of three, Ron was enrolled in both voice and tap dance classes. By the third grade he was playing violin with the school orchestra, and at ten won first prize in a Dallas ukelele contest. At 11 he danced on the first program broadcast live on television in Dallas. It wasn't until the summer of his senior year in high school that Ron gave up the trumpet and began playing drums -- not surprisingly he excelled and it became his passion.

Ron is feeling healthy and happy these days following the heart surgery which gave him an excused absence during our 1999 tour. Paul Leim ably filled in for Ron during that time and has now returned to his studio duties in Nashville. Nashville is also home for Ron and his wife and considerable family, although his grown children seem to live in most of the towns we visit on tour.
On working with such legendary singers, Ron comments, "If I had to narrow it down, the two greatest music influences on my life would be Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond. Elvis for the flashy, explosive, slightly out of control, style of playing that he brought out in me that mirrored his performance and personality. Neil has influenced me to be a disciplined team player. He leaves little to chance. He makes sure we are all well-rehearsed and fundamentally prepared. We know we are going to win every time we go on stage -- just like a great sports team, and that's a great feeling!"

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