Before there was Americana, before there was Texas country, Two Tons of Steel front man Kevin Geil and his original band, Dead Crickets, rocked a sound that blended the best of musical worlds and pushed the envelope of “Texas” sound with a signature brand of country meets punk.
The San Antonio–based group packed the small bars and local hangouts and quickly became the Alamo City’s most-loved band, earning them a spot on the cover of Billboard magazine. It was the beginning of a 20-year journey for Geil and the 4-piece ensemble.
Releasing Two Tons Of Steel in 1994 and Crazy For My Baby in 1995 on Blue Fire Records, a sponsorship deal with Lone Star Beer quickly followed. Dead Crickets, renamed Two Tons of Steel in 1996 began traveling outside of Texas, including stops at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennesse, the National Theater in Havana, Cuba, and European tours, to greet fans who had embraced their Texas-born sound. In 1996 they released Oh No! on their independent label, Big Bellied Records. They followed up the passion project with a live recording at the legendary Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas, taped during a Two Ton Tuesday Show in 1998.
2023 marked the band’s 27th year of “Two Ton Tuesday Live from Gruene Hall.” The summer-long event has drawn over 230,000 fans since it began its annual run in 1995. The popular concert series was captured in Two Ton Tuesday Live, a DVD-CD combo released on Palo Duro Records in 2006. Also that year, the band’s first national release, Vegas, produced by Grammy Award–winning producer Lloyd Maines on the Palo Duro label, took them to No. 7 on the Americana Music Charts and was one of the top 20 releases of 2006.
Two Tons released Not That Lucky in 2009. The album peaked at No. 4 on the Americana Music Charts and made Two Tons of Steel a band to watch. Along the way, the band has collected a number of awards. To date, Two Tons has cleaned up at home, winning Band of the Year on 12 separate occasions and Album of the Year for its self-titled debut. Two Tons has also been named Best Country Band by the San Antonio Current 10 times. Geil also has nabbed Best Male Vocal honors four times.
Two Tons of Steel’s reach extends beyond their live gigs. In 2003, the band was filmed during a “Two Ton Tuesday” gig for the IMAX film, Texas: The Big Picture, which played at the IMAX Theatre in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin and has been seen as far away as Japan. The band also has been featured as supporting characters in award winning author Karen Kendall’s romance novel, First Date.
Two Tons Of Steel is Kevin Geil, Jake “Sidecar” Marchese on upright bass, Brian Duarte on lead guitar and Rich Alcorta on drums