22 Sep, 2015

Soca Jukebox with Maria the Mexican – Missouri Western State University Founders Day

Scan 1Saturday, September 26
On the MWSU campus near the Baker Family Fitness Center
Alumni Weekend and Family Day
Celebrating 100 years of a College gone University

Family Day, Alumni Weekend and Founder’s Day all in one with great music and some kind of sporting competition….

As a small town kid who wanted to study guitar, Missouri Western was one of the only places I knew that you could get a bonafide college degree on the instrument. St. Joe was kind a big city to us back then.

I’ve been walking on to that campus every semester, first as a student and continuously as an instructor, for just 24 years now. It hurts a little to say that.

As a proud alumnus, it’s an honor to be involved in this weekend’s celebration of 100 years of Missouri Western. It’s alumni weekend, family weekend and Founder’s Day all in one this Saturday, Sept. 26.

I’ll be joining fellow alumni in Soca Jukebox (the band and all 5 members has its foundation in the Missouri Western percussion dept. and steel drum ensemble) and Maria The Mexican (including a couple more with MW ties) for two special tailgate concerts.

Parking Lot of the Baker Family Fitness Center on the MWSU Campus
Saturday, Sept. 26
11am – Maria The Mexican http://www.mariathemexican.com
1245pm – Soca Jukebox http://www.socajukebox.com

15 Sep, 2015

“Lay You Down” – Original Music from Soca Jukebox

Here’s the artwork video for the upcoming release of “Lay You Down” from Soca Jukebox.


Original music from Island Rockers, Soca Jukebox. “Lay You Down” will be available on iTunes for world-wide download beginning on Oct. 20, 2015.

Written by Clay Johnston & Jason Riley
Copyright 2014
InnerThump Records

Lay You Down (Lyric)

Lay You Down, If I promise to keep movin’
I can get you in the mood then, you won’t have to go home

In the morning, you can borrow my T-shirt
we can walk down to the beach first or spend all saturday in bed

Vs 1

Hang on another day, resist the urge to run and stay
To hide away in our love

Time will rock and sway, we’ll splash and play
A tidal wave of our love

Love creates a space, unpacks it’s case to illustrate what’s lost
Now is Found


Vs 2

Without the light of day all Hope was cast away
It won’t obey in our love

Faith, a shadow play, was led astray
On the way to our love

Disappear into the day, Our love that passed away in fact
Is all around


Vs 3

Love can’t pass away, it steps in time
towards this holy ground

Spend all saturday in bed

20 Aug, 2015

Maria The Mexican at Trails West

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Heart Meets Santana!

Mariachi Sisters, Maria and “Tess” Cuevas return to the Trails West Festival in St. Joseph this weekend. The Maria The Mexican full band will perform at for an early show on sunday morning, Aug. 23 at 1130 AM.

Maria The Mexican…

Trails West Festival…

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20 Aug, 2015

Steel Drum Rock for Lake of the Ozarks

banner2012YEAHSoca Jukebox returns to one of our favorite venues on planet Earth, in North America, the good ‘ol US of A AND the Show-Me-State…

Captain Ron’s!!!

Our first and only showing this summer season, it’s been a home away from home for a land-locked steel band caravan.

7-11 Friday and Saturday of what’s called the “Shootout”.

Lake of the Ozark’s “Shootout” is a nationally-recognized, non-sanctioned boat race occuring annually on the partying-est central water body in the US.
Seems right.

Captain Ron’s…

Soca Jukebox…

Summer 2015!!!

7 Aug, 2015

Soca Jukebox Trifecta

Soca J has a trifecta of great, free and family friendly concerts this weekend.
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Friday (Aug. 7) the band makes its debut in the childhood home of our very own respectful encourager, hype-man and lead pan shredder – Jaypan. We’ll be in Stewartville MO for their annual fall festival for a 9pm show.
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Saturday (Aug. 8) the band will travel into the wilds of central Nebraska for Kool-Aid Days in Hastings. Did you know that Kool-Aid was a Nebraska thing? $2 bucks gets you a Kool-Aid Mug and all the Kool-Aid you can drink. Soca will the appropriate musical headliner for the free evening concert. There will even be fireworks. OHhhh YeaHHHH!
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Sunday (Aug. 9) we’ll return for our appearance as part of the Imagine Eleven concert series at Coleman Hawkins Park in St. Joseph. This is a great series with an important message presented by our area churches. This show starts at 6 with Soca taking the Gazebo stage around 630. We are the very last concert in what’s been an amazing season for them and we are very glad to be in on the finale.

Great music and fun people that the whole family can enjoy this weekend. AND it’s easy on the pocket book. Hope to see you along the way.

10 Jul, 2015

Pig Farmer Returns with New Material

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23 Jun, 2015

The Week in Rock (June 25-28, 2015)

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 4.48.50 PMWe’re slugging it out in June! This is a great week for friends, music, charity and private events and festivals. More than a few opportunities to play some fun music with some fun people.

Thursday – Soca Jukebox, Party in Paradise – Springfield MO for the benefit concert/auction for the Developmental Center of the Ozarks. Great cause, great event, great people.

Friday – Soca Jukebox returns to the Jefferson City MO Country Club. It’s the state capitol people. AND you can play golf there. We’re there for the party but you can stay for the politics.

Saturday – Soca Jukebox, 4th of July Celebration (in June) for the villagers of Pleasanton, NE. Nebraska is a place where they just make their own rules. Let’s move the whole Independence day thing! Sounds cool to me. With the Talbott Brothers!

Sunday – Maria the Mexican, Imagine Eleven Concert Series, Downtown St. Joseph, MO, 6pm. Eleven amazing sunday nights of music with 11 great acts (probably more with support) sponsored by our area churches. Free and family friendly. Home is where the heart is.

11 Jun, 2015

500 Shows With Soca Jukebox


I’d like to know how many dates I’ve played all together. It’s at least a few. Soca J is celebrating 500 shows. We know pretty much exactly which one it is too as we have an accountant in our band who tracks everything. (If you have a band… I propose you get yourself one who also doubles as an amazing bassist).

This band is a testament to what good friends and good people can do together. A lot of marriages don’t last this long. So grateful to the boys for letting me play (ok, I’ve missed a few) and for continually growing as a band. No one is resting on their laurels here. (note to self… look up “laurels”).

They’ve been hard at it. At least 500 times.

This will be a celebratory summer for Soca J. We’re releasing our first single as part of that celebration too. Hope to see you at 501, 502, 509, 516, and 535.

Way to go, Soca J! It’s like winning one of those car races. We should get something bubbly and spray it on the crowd. Oh wait… we already do that.

3 Jun, 2015

Home away from Home – Nebraska Style

I’ve got a home away from home. It’s Kearney NE.
Soca Jukebox
It’s near the home of my Dad. I’ve got a sis, bro-in-law and 3 awesome nephews there. One of the greatest music agencies on the planet is housed there. There is super-cool music store in Yanda’s with an amazing staff. AND there is Cunningham’s Journal. This is truly one of the great clubs in all of America. Talk about a great staff? Talk about a great house sound man in Mark Adams. We’re at home there. Great music, great food, customizing in every way and everyday! This is the place. I could go on and on. That’s where I take every band and Soca Jukebox is basically, family.
I’m very excited to kick of the summer touring season with a full extended weekend into the wilds of the cornhusker state. We’ll be doing it solo (I mean… hopefully you can make it), duo and with the Soca J big band.

It’s been a while. We’re super-excited to see everyone. Here’s what the next few day of hustle will entail…
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Going to head on down to the Lake Contrary Elementary School for a morning of guitar “stringdom”. I’m confident the young people there will expand my horizons and show me a thing or two about what they know.

Head out for Central NE in the “Toyota Tour Shuttle” for a solo show at Tru Cafe in Kearney NE. This is one of my favorite places too. Great art, food, friends and craft everything. I like to be around artistic folks and this is the meeting place. 630-830. Can’t wait!

Soca Jukebox Returns to Cunningham’s Journal!!! Weather permitting, Friday night we’ll be in the most incredible courtyard on two continents. 8pm in downbeat for all the reggae and island rock legally permitted in the city limits.

The Soca Duo (or maybe Trio) will be kicking off Heritage Days Festival at Yanney Park in Kearney at 5pm. This a great event in one of the city’s wonderful civic venues. Whenever we’re in town, I like to take advantage of the scenic and natural walking trails from the hotel to the park. I’ve even had to fend of some cattle here and there. Even the cattle are friendly in NE. One short set from 5-6:15 on main stage.

And lastly…
Let’s do it one more time with the whole band at Cunningham’s on Saturday night. Back in the courtyard. If it rains, I promise… it will be even more fun.

That’s a lot of playing in just a few days. I love it. If you’re serious about your live music, you’ll make it all possible. If you love JR or Soca J even a little, please spread the word and make plans to be there in person… at least for a little while. Can’t wait to see you. The summer season is here.

It’s been to0 long!!!

Let’s get together and feel alright. Nebraska Style.

3 May, 2015

Outstanding Graduating Guitarists, Missouri Western State University

Guitar playing ain’t easy. To get to a point of accomplishment requires years of dedicated practice. You’ve got to jump some hurtles and overcome physical and mental challenges.
The Missouri Western Guitar Program is a place where guitarists can get the discipline they need to achieve proficiency and conquer their personal goals.

A couple of our graduating guitar majors at MWSU are receiving some well-deserved accolades. The guitar program is pretty small in terms of the overall music department. It’s a great source of pride to know that TWO of our students have worked so hard to receive this visibility and recognition. It’s been a great joy to work with them over the last few years. They’ve taught me a lot too. We have high expectations for all our students. Congratulations to Brent and Ryan for going above and beyond.

Outstanding Graduating Senior:
Brent Isom
Ryan Lombard

Pi Kappa Lambda Inductees:
Brent Isom
Ryan LombardIMG_1370