After fielding frequent fan inquiries and requests about a Cooder Graw reunion, Martindale approached lead guitarist Kelly Turner about the prospect. Once Turner agreed, the rest of the band members quickly signed on for the “Unfinished Business Tour,” too.
In April, Martindale, Turner, bassist Paul Baker, drummer Kelly Test, multi-instrumentalist Jon “Fish” Hunt and Nick Worley, who now plays fiddle with Jason Boland & The Stragglers, began the tour at the 24th Annual Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival in Stephenville, Texas. Due to health issues, original pedal steel guitarist Jimmy Url Whisenhunt hasn't been able to rejoin his bandmates.
The band has been playing about a show a month across Texas, and every date has been a sellout. Martindale particularly enjoyed their summer concert at New Braunfels' fabled Gruene Hall, where his brother-in-law, up-and-coming Texas singer-songwriter Charlie Shafter, was the opening act and his daughters got to see their dad entertain the eager crowd.
He and his bandmates are planning to extend their tour into 2013 and even are working on new music. On Saturday, they will take their reunion trek out of Texas for the first time when they play the Wormy Dog.
Martindale has many fond memories of the Bricktown venue; he and his cohorts even performed there during its opening weekend back in 2003. During one Wormy Dog visit, they once knocked on the tour bus door and chatted briefly with Kings of Leon, who were playing at a neighboring punk club. The singer even lost his shirt at the saloon once, but he later got it back.
“Details are sketchy but ... I love that stage,” he said with a laugh.