Phil Dalmolin

san antonio music school drums guitar piano voice lessons

Phil Dalmolin was born October 28, 1953. I first picked up drumsticks at the age of nine and began playing gospel music with my Mom. After a few lessons from my cousin I could play any song my Mom would call from the hymnal or in her head. Then I discovered the Ventures and the Monkees, and played along with their records for hours. Later it was Cream and Hendrix. I became popular with ‘garage bands’ because I knew all the Beatles and Stones songs and could play ‘Wipeout’ and ‘Innagoddadavida’. Of course I really dug the fact that girls hung out around garage band dudes too! Later my pal Don, showed me “five favorite country beats” and with these I found myself making money in country music. At that point I was hooked. Playing drums was for me!

After high school in 1971, Adolph Hofner and the Pearl Wranglers needed a drummer and I got the job. All of these guys were decades older and they taught me to swing. I was lucky enough to be a boy surrounded by men who had tons of experience while I was just starting out. By late ‘72 my Dad had convinced me that playing music was not a realistic form of income and that I needed the USAF!

In late ’75 I was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base playing weekends with Johnny Bush. My Sergeant was a big country music fan so he would let me off to play gigs whenever needed. Finally my tour with the military was over and I was full-time with Johnny until ’77 when I went to work for Barbara Fairchild. This was my first real taste of the big time, playing many concerts, WGN radio shows and TV shows like “Good ‘ol Nashville Music.” After Barbara’s career changed from singing to having babies I went back to Texas and played for a band called Squeeze until 1978 when I was asked to take Tom Holden’s place in Too Smooth. This was a really cool gig. It gave me the chance to unleash the rock devil that had been lurking deep within. This also was the only time in my life I truly needed a 2B stick!

A year or so later, some friends of mine in San Antonio were forming Gone City, a high energy funk band, and I joined. We were an all white band with a black singer, Ronnie Warner. We had mostly a black following so in an effort to please our audience … we wuz funky!

Along came the urban cowboy craze and many of us jumped on the bandwagon. This lured me to Houston where I was making more money than ever before in a house band, Texas Cookin. This also yielded extra bucks for me doing sessions for several studios around town. Toward the beginning of ’82, Houston’s boomtown status as well as the urban cowboy thing was dwindling fast, so I high-tailed it back to San Antonio.

After a short time back I landed a gig with the great Fiddlin Frenchie Burke. This was Cajun country music at its most intense…. train-beats at 200 M.P.H., some swing, and certainly a mega-pronto waltz or two. Kind of like the country side of thrash! Frenchie would sometimes push it so hard that it was nearly a disaster, but he kept hot-dog players who could handle it so it was really a blast.

In ‘83 I went to work with Kenny Dale, a promising new country artist on Capitol records. He had about a hit and a half, was in some sort of legal battle with Capitol and dropped the band.

After that I teamed up with long time pal Bobby Flores to form a techno rock band The Boiz. We played mostly in south Texas until ’87 when a few of us joined the Patsy Torres band. Patsy wanted rock- oriented players who had a grip on Tejano. Personally, I liked the Latin stuff. During that time we did a string of Budweiser commercials for Mexican radio with a sort of rock salsa overtone. Soon after that I was offered a position of bandleader for a new female artist, Beth Williams.

Beth was on an Indie label and after about six months her single topped out at #38 on the top 40. Soon she dropped out and I was out of a job. I gigged around with some blues bands and played the house gig at the Holiday Inn Beach Resort on South Padre Island through 1988 and early ’89. Later that year I teamed up once again with my old pal Bobby Flores to form a top 40 country band called Angelfire. We targeted the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, which at the time was a goldmine of boot skootin’ neon nightclubs. The next five years was fun, but as in all things, evolution progresses. The new country thing wasn’t so new anymore and one by one the clubs closed.

By mid ’94 I joined up with Lindy and the Look, a Vegas show band. I had never played Vegas and this was my chance. After doing the casino circuit in Las Vegas and Reno, I took a job with Del Rio who was based in Dallas, and wound up back out on the road again. We routinely played Toolies in Phoenix and the Grizzly Rose in Denver, both of which were voted the # 1 country western club in the nation alternating years. We also played the Ranchmans in Calgary, where we did the Saturday Night Live TV show during Stampede week. While with this band I was also nominated for the Terry Award, best drummer category, in the Dallas-Ft.Worth metroplex.

In ’96 I went to work playing for the Dixie Chicks and was in their employ until mid ’97. Working with them was great fun and truly a learning experience. I remained in awe most of the time.  They’re extremely talented and full of life. I had the opportunity to do more TV shows and even did one with Deon Sanders! As their career with Sony escalated, they were doing more radio and TV and less concert venues at that time. Many of these performances were just the three girls without the band, so it was time to move on. This is one of the  proudest points in my career.

I then took a job with The Shoppe for a fuller schedule and a shot at producing. In early ’98 I co-produced two album projects and released my own solo album entitled “Therapy.” I also had the ultimate pleasure of being asked to sing the National Anthem with these guys at a Seattle Mariner – Texas Ranger baseball game in the Kingdome!

Realizing that my own children were growing up fast, I decided to return to San Antonio to be closer to them between touring schedules. I have been employed with Clay Blaker, noted songwriter / artist / producer, from November of ’98 to February of 2000. I have toured Europe twice with Clay and recorded on all of his production projects, including his most recent album, “Welcome to the Wasteland.”. In March of 2000, I joined the yearly production of “Rockin the Country” at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and was asked back for the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 seasons. Also working with Six Sanchez in Ruidoso NM at the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort casino through 2006. Currently I am with the Texas Unlimited Band a well known regional corporate party band.

Fortunately, my career has been fruitful enough to keep me in plain view of an extremely large public, and many major artists. Some of which are Garth Brooks, George Strait, Lee Ann Rimes, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Sons of the Desert, Ty Herndon, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Diamond Rio, Georgia Satellites, Ricky Van Shelton, Shenandoah, Lone Star, Christopher Cross, Judas Priest, to name a few.

In closing, should you have further questions regarding other areas of my qualifications , please contact me for further information. or  (210) 204-1309

© Copyright Potter's Wheel Music School in San Antonio 2023