In Saturday’s Austin American-Statesman, music scene reporter Michael Corcoran’s lengthy feature story was about Too Smooth, who “could pack the 1,500-capacity Armadillo World Headquarters three nights in a row during its 1974-1979 heyday, and yet, because they weren’t part of the romanticized outlaw country, psychedelic rock or electric blues revival scenes, they’ve become almost forgotten excepting a small, yet devoted cult called the Smoothies.”
Guitarist Brian Wooten and bassist Danny Swinney, both from Beeville, played and meshed well with guitarist Jeff Clark and drummer Tom Holden.
The band, which never got its lucky break despite signing with several recording labels, broke up in 1981 without ever releasing an album.
Corcoran noted that Too Smooth formed in 1973, when Wooten replaced Stevie Ray Vaughan in Stump, which also featured Clark and Holden.
“The band’s new harder rock sound, solidified with the addition of bassist Swinney, Wooten’s best friend from Beeville in South Texas, necessitated a name change,” he added.
Too Smooth, which was noted for its dual lead guitar sound, long improvisations and tight harmonies, regularly filled Austin nightspots such as Mother Earth and the Armadillo, as well as other venues in Dallas, San Antonio and even the old American Legion Hall and coliseum in Beeville.
According to the article, “When touring acts such as Golden Earring, Ted Nugent and Lynyrd Skynyrd made their initial forays into Austin, the Armadillo bookers would put Too Smooth as the opening act to ensure a full house.”
As the band neared its end, Swinney quit to join Christopher Cross on the road in 1980. Clark and Wooten formed 14K, a cover band, which lasted about six years. Then, Wooten moved to Nashville, where he played guitar on several best-selling Christian rock albums (Petra, Whiteheart) before joining the road band of country singer Trace Atkins five years ago.
Meanwhile, Swinney is doing well with cover band Suede, which plays ’80s hits from such groups as Journey and Boston. Suede reportedly packs Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin every Thursday night when not on tour with comedian George Lopez.
However, Too Smooth has come back together for several special reunions. According to their website, they are planning another one in February 2011, this time for a CD release celebration. After more than three decades, the band members will finally debut their first CD.