Born in 1978 in the small town of Fredonia, Kansas, lead guitarist Waylon Schultz grew up in Carl Junction, Missouri .
At the age of ten, he got his first guitar for Christmas from his parents and that's when his love for music started to blossom. At age fifteen he was the lead guitar player for a Christian rock band and at age seventeen, he was hired to play lead guitar for Precious Moments in Carthage Missouri. He played there for three years doing three shows a day. For the past ten years (and still running!), he has been the lead guitarist for The Duke Mason Band. He is also the lead guitarist for The Brent Baker Band. He has played a couple times at the Grand Palace in Branson for a packed house each time. He also got to share an opening spot for county artist, Tracy Lawrence in St. Joeseph Mo. with 25,000 in the audience. Waylon has played lots of various local and distant "gigs" with Duke for many years, and many more years to come!
Although he stays very busy playing music, he makes plenty of time to spend with his daughter. He has a little girl named Kailyn.
Waylon says, " I love the energy and the true friendship I experience with everyone in this band. I know we have many more memories to make together doing what are hearts love,,,,PLAYING MUSIC!"
I played my first gig on Valentine's Day 1987 at Barto's Idle Hour in Frontenac, Kansas. Really, this was my first night playing live and the first time I had spent more than one or two hours behind the kit actually playing. So as you can imagine it was a tense evening for me and a hilarious sight for the guys I was trying to perform with. My uncle Ralph McGeorge got me this gig with the Jimmy Karlinger polka band because their drummer Joey Adams was working on the Crawford County ambulance service and could get called away during the gigs! Jimmy gave me a huge break by letting me learn while I played and this gig allowed me to pay for my college as I went. I am very grateful to Jimmy Karlinger, Ralph McGeorge, and Charles Cobb (who passed away on 2001) for their patience and sense of humor. I'll still go out and play with these guys whenever they need a drummer to fill in. Jimmy has me sing "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" like Jimmy Durante or "Hello Dolly" like Satchmo. (I think I sound the same on both songs but they get a kick out of it and so I enjoy doing it!)
Also, during my time in the "Jimi Karlinger Experience" I had the extreme good fortune to be introduced to Ralph Thomas from Weir, Kansas who played bass with Jimmy years before and came back to play with us at Barto's the first and third weekends of the month. Ralphie taught me how to "Swing it" on the cool old songs we played like Satin Doll, Stardust, and Don't Get Around Much Anymore. Thanks to Ralph for your patience while teaching me the craft of listening and playing at the same time! Also thanks for the great stories of playing The Western Bar in Joplin with Tim Henson and Joe Roberts.
The next influential person I need to mention is the incomparable Mr. Joe Roberts also Scammon, Kansas. Joe came into Barto's early on in 1987 and made my horrible starter CB700 drums and too-thin cymbals sound great with his touch and powerful swing. Joe would talk to me while he was playing and explain what he was about to do then play a beautifully accented cymbal crash or tom flourish that I still can't get! Joe played Rogers drums and Zildjian cymbals exclusively and he had two drumsets. His workhorse kit was a Blue Strata four piece kit with a 5" Rogers Dyna-Sonic snare drum which is the chrome-over-brass holy grail of drum collectors. The other kit I had seen only in pictures on the wall at Barto's. It had belonged to Oscar Curnutt (a local character and great swing drummer from Jimmy Karlinger's early days). Unfortunately Oscar died in 1977, ten years before I ever started playing. Anyway, Joe wound up with Oscar's old kit which was a natural honey maple Rogers five piece from the famed Rogers Holiday line. Joe brought the snare to me shortly after I found out he had it and told me "not to lose it". It is a 5" deep natural maple beauty of epic proportions with Oscar's signature right inside. Needless to say, it resides in my collection to this day. Joe called me on a Sunday morning after about a year of me having the drum and I was sure he was going to ask me for it back, but he instead sold me the remainder of the kit for the astonishing low price of $150. I'm sorry to say my good friend Joe died too young at 46 years old just a few years later. I still miss him grabbing me and giving me a big hug and a kiss right in front of a whole room full of people at Barto's! (He did this without fail from the first time I met him.) Thanks for everything Joe!
I played with The Jim Karlinger band up to 1992 and made my transition to blues and blues/rock at that time.
My first chance to play blues came in the Spring of 1992 in a band with my brother Tim McGeorge when he and I joined with Joe Robinson and Lemuel Sheppard of Pittsburg to become “The Brimstone Coolers”. We played weird combinations of music that kept me on my toes and playing at the edge of my ability. Blues, rock, reggae, funk and jazz all infiltrated our sound as a band. The “Coolers” had a pretty good run in Pittsburg playing the local scene until about 1994.
From 1994 to 1997, I played in various classic rock bands (The Heaters and Frankie the Thumper) around Pittsburg. My best gig with the Heaters was backing up Jimmie Rogers (remember Honeycomb and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine?) at the Pittburg Memorial Auditorium!
In 1997, I joined up with “The Lightnin’ Boy” Steve Malcolm and played lots of cool gigs in the Kansas City/Lawrence area. We recorded one project with Charles Maiseroulle on bass. Steve was ready to hit the road after awhile and picked up another drummer and headed out.
The same day that band ended for me, I got a call from Randy Herron, an old friend from Chanute who had played some gigs with the Brimstone Coolers on harmonica years before. We put together a slammin’ blues-injected-rhythm-rockin’ 5 piece band called “The Hardtails” with Brian Jones on bass and played a few blistering live shows around the Pittsburg area. Schedules conflicted though, and we called Kevin Wilderman (lead guitar) and Chris Harris (bass) and put together our harmonica blues band called “The Swingin’ Kings”. We recorded a 7 song CD in the basement studio of my boss Barry Dean in November of 1998 and started gigging seriously in January of 1999. We released our CD in 1999 and played lots of cool gigs together.
Then in August of 2000, I got a call from Derrel Buzzard to go play some jam sessions at Joplin’s Keystone Lounge. Shortly after these highly entertaining get-togethers started, Brian Jones and Derrel started to talk to me about joining the Karltens. We played our first gig together at McCoy’s in Kansas City’s historic Westport bar district and I stuck with them for a few years and many fun gigs around the four-state area with the coolest gig being at the legendary Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma!
Then my friend from Pittsburg Kevin Bolte told me about Duke and Waylon and I was given the chance to audition with the band for the Elvis tribute show at Carthage Memorial Hall on March 27, 2004. Like and idiot, I DID NOT bring my drums to the first audition! It was so embarrassing! I had to drive 25 miles back home and pick them up but the ever kind and graceful Duke Mason took it all in stride and we had a great practice and I have been with the band for over a year now. I feel honored to be performing with this band and I have the best seat in the house for every Duke Mason show... Center stage! It's as much fun as it looks! Many thanks to Duke and Waylon for trying me out and hiring me to play! Come out and see us!
Chad DeGonia has been playing the piano for over 20 years along with a host of other instruments. He has ministered in churches for nearly all of his life. Chad comes from a very musically talented family. He has been in church his whole life and still continues to minister in different churches every week plus sing and preach. Chad has two other siblings and his parents that support him on a regular basis.
Growing up in Parsons, Kansas, Matt's first love was for the drums. In fact, from time to time he still attempts to play them, but all that changed at the age of thirteen when he inherited a Fender Music Master bass guitar from his older brother.
Soon after, he started jamming with a group of high school buddies. The jam sessions lead to the formation of Iron Fist, which was one of the premier metal bands of the four-state area throughout the 80's.
After a less-than-stellar college career, Matt became involved in the production side of the entertainment business. Along with a partner, he formed Gig Doctors, a sound and lighting company that provided services throughout the Midwest. After selling the company to Chase Entertainment in 1997, Matt went to work for the City of Parsons, Kansas as Facilities Director of the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. Over the past twenty-five years Matt has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest stars in the music business, and has been involved in more than 1,500 successful concert productions as either a musician, stage manager, sound engineer, lighting director, or venue manager.
Shortly after returning to Parsons in 1991, Matt met up with high school friend Russell Head, who had become an accomplished guitarist while living in Las Vegas. Together they formed Groovus Maximus, a classic rock and blues band. Seventeen years later, the band continues to maintain an active schedule of up to thirty-five shows a year, and still features the three original members.
In addition to his bass duties with Duke, Matt has found the time to work as a "fill-in" musician with a variety of ensembles, and has appeared on numerous recordings.