Texas country singer-songwriter Deryl Dodd won’t need directions to the Melody Ranch when he and his band come for their show Saturday night: It’s the place that got him started as a country performer back in the 1990s when he was a Baylor University student.
In fact, he expects some friends from those days to drop in for a visit. “It’s an old reunion night,” he said with a laugh. “We’ll be hyped up at being back at the place where it all started.”
Dodd, 55, got his first seasoning as a country performer in the 1990s in Waco, heading the Middle of Nowhere Band, then moved on to gigs as guitarist with Martina McBride’s and Tracy Lawrence’s touring bands.
Dodd went solo in Nashville and scored hits in “One Ride in Vegas,” “That’s How I Got to Memphis” and “A Bitter End” before a 1999 bout with life-threatening viral meningitis put his career on hold. He returned to Texas and rebuilt his career with songs like “Pearl Snaps,” “Baby Where’s My Bottle” and his current “Drinking ’Bout You.”
Now he’s found a comfortable balance in playing largely Texas gigs on his terms. “I don’t like booking more than four or five months out. It’s a cliché to say I live in the moment, but I do,” said the Dallas-based musician. “A schedule laid out for a year or two — that’s pressure to me.”
Dodd is still elated with his 2017 album “Long Hard Ride” in which he revisited some of his older hits with the likes of Texas country performers Cody Jinks, Pat Green, Cody Johnson, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Roger Creager and Kevin Fowler.
Several of those musicians have been longtime supporters of his music, he noted. “They saw me as someone, while I was in Nashville, who was keeping it real,” he said.
Dodd’s still writing — “When She Drinks, She Thinks I’m Cody Jinks” is the chorus of a song that’s found its way onto Jinks’ set lists — but not as much as before. He’s happy performing with his band and living in the moment.
“It was always supposed to be fun and it’s gotten fun all over again,” he said. “The show is as strong as ever. I still throw a great time and the guys do, too.”