Let’s get the obvious pun out of the way: The Morticians are not dead, but alive and picking.
Waco’s long-running vintage rock ‘n’ roll band, the Morticians, are still performing and, as proof, they’re playing Wednesday night at the Carleen Bright Amphitheater in Woodway.
The band, a revival of a student rock band from Waco’s Richfield High School in the late 1960s, continues to perform classic rock ‘n’ roll, rock and pop, primarily from the 1960s through 1980s.
But the cancellation of the Morticians’ long-running Valentine’s Dance earlier this year caused some fans to jump to wrong conclusions.
Buddy Edwards, who plays rhythm guitar and keyboards for the Morticians, said the absence of a Valentine’s Dance — a decision the band made last year — caused some fans to think the band had retired. That’s not true, he said, but noted the band has had a few personnel changes in the past few years.
Joe Hall, an original member and the band’s lead guitarist for more than 20 years, stepped down from the band two years ago, with Waco guitarist Jeff Horton stepping in as his replacement. Becky Boyer, the band’s original vocalist, left in 2014 after 23 years with the band. Horton, who also performs with his wife, Sandi, in the Horton Duo, decided to
retire from the Morticians last fall. Clark Naert, who had played with the Morticians in the late 1980s, rejoined the band as lead guitarist and Horton’s successor.
Rounding out the current band are vocalists Alan Smith and Lorna Wilhelm, bassist Mark McKethan and drummer Jerry Echols.
Morticians fans can hear their band at several outdoor concerts scheduled in June, starting with Wednesday’s Arboretum gig, followed by a June 17 appearance at the Hewitt Dog Days of Summer and a Bosque River Stage engagement June 23. “We want the community to realize we’re not retiring. We’re very much alive and well,” Edwards said.
Performance: 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd.