Kyle Park, Jason Roberts & John Michael Whitby Record Debut as The Texas Trio; Album Arrives May 17

Article Contributed by McGuckin Enter… | Published on Friday, March 8, 2024

Jason Roberts and John Michael Whitby have logged decades playing in legendary western swing bands and with some of country music’s biggest stars. Kyle Park recently released his seventh studio album during an impressive solo career that regularly earns him No. 1s on Texas music charts. After a few years of performing together informally, the long-time friends have decided to join forces as The Texas Trio. They will release their self-titled debut album on May 17.

Co-produced by the three Texas natives, The Texas Trio contains a mix of originals and songs penned by some of the Lone Star state’s most beloved tunesmiths, including Cindy Walker (“Miss Molly”) and Red Steagall (“When the Cimarron Was Red and on the Rise”). Guitarist-vocalist Park, an accomplished writer, producer and band leader, and fiddler-mandolinist-vocalist Roberts, an Asleep at the Wheel veteran who now serves as director of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys and his own Jason Roberts Band, co-wrote “Bad Luck Cowboy,” “South of Oklahoma” and “Something to Me,” and Roberts penned “Concho Valley Ride” with bassist Albert Quaid.

Two tracks — “Hot Headed Honey” and “Naomi” — are credited to one of pianist-vocalist Whitby’s bandmates in George Strait’s Ace in the Hole Band, Benny McArthur (Preacher Williams is co-credited on the latter). The trio also gives a nod to Strait’s career origins with “A Fire I Can’t Put Out,” one of several Strait No. 1s from a songwriter he’s known since he was a college student performing at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos: Darryl Staedtler.

Before Whitby became an Ace in the Hole member 18 years ago, he spent eight years with Asleep at the Wheel; for three of those years, he also toured with the Randy Rogers Band, which also got its start at Cheatham Street (Rogers now owns the fabled musician spawning ground). Whitby has performed on and produced several artists’ albums throughout the past two decades, including producing two of Park’s releases.

Park, meanwhile, has toured regularly throughout the U.S. and Europe for the past 19 years, as both a headline artist and opening act for Strait, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith and others. Park produced and co-wrote all tracks for his most recent album, All Nighters, his seventh self-released studio recording. Four of the album’s songs have already reached No. 1 on various Texas music charts. His current single, “A Broken Heart Like That,” has reached No. 1 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart.

Roberts, who has also performed with Strait, Nelson and a long list of others, duetted with Willie on the Grammy-nominated Willie and the Wheel album, and won two Grammys (from 13 nominations) for his work with Ray Benson’s famed band. He also played a young Bob Wills in Benson’s A Ride With Bob stage production — a role he was practically groomed from childhood to play; Roberts learned at the knee of his second cousin by marriage, Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble. As leader of the Texas Playboys, Roberts pays tribute to the great Western swing sounds Wills created.

All three artists share a reverence for Western swing (including its jazz elements), as exemplified by “Concho Valley Ride” and “South of Oklahoma.”  They also share a love of other country music styles, as evidenced by the timeless balladry of “Bad Luck Cowboy.” Together, they blend past and present into their own sweet sound.

To learn more, check out their website, — and keep an eye out for performance dates to be announced soon.