The Honkateers

The Honkateers, also known as The Denton County Cowboy Church Band. Left to right—Shawn Wilkinson, Bobby Stout, Billy Stout, Brian Wright and Chris Hogue. (Courtesy photo)

By Judy Wade

Toe-tapping, head-bobbing, makes your feet want to dance is the kind of music the Honkateers give you. Playing classic honky tonk, traditional country music, they belt out songs from Merle Haggard and George Jones to Johnny Bush and Ray Price plus gospel music and everything in between.

This five-piece band is based in North Texas, but we recently caught up with them when they were performing at Western Days on Main Street in Ringling, Okla. All self-taught musicians, what started out as a little family band has grown to be one in great demand.

“We play 75 to 80 engagements each year,” said Bobby Stout, lead singer for the Honkateers. “We’ve been playing together for eight or nine years. What started out to just be fun has turned into something serious.” The group actually has two names. They use Denton County Cowboy Church Band (their original name) when they play at churches and The Honkateers at other venues.

“We were on our way to play a gig in Florida three years ago and figured we needed a different name for some of the places we were playing. On the 17 hour drive, we tossed around some ideas and came up with The Honkateers,” members related.

They played for an hour and a half in 90 degree Fahrenheit heat in Ringling and continued to draw applause with songs such as “They Call Me the Playboy,” “Fraulein,” “Do You Love as Good as You Look,” “Kaw-liga” and “Panhandle Rag,” an awesome steel guitar instrumental.  They ended the set with a gospel medley beginning with “Amazing Grace.”

To read more pick up a copy of the December 2017 NTFR issue.