Doc Clyne answers a phone ringing in his lonesome ranch house in the southernmost Arizona desert, set against the looming redness of the Santa Rita mountains. It's his son and former Refreshments band member, Roger, calling from the small town of Benson, where after 17 days humping 60-pound packs across the cactus-dotted terrain, his battered feet have finally given out. For $15 and a bottle of tequila, Doc agrees to pick him up.
A week later, Roger Clyne and old band mate P.H. Naffah start out across the wide expanse of land again, attempting to finish what they had begun -- a 40-day journey following watering holes and miner's shacks. Their packs were lighter, but they carried guitars and a battery-powered recorder.
They returned dusty, tired and with the bones of what would become Honky Tonk Union. In order to complete the album, Roger recruited ex-Gin Blossom Scotty Johnson and Nashville bassist Danny Blance. P.H. had set up drums in a makeshift backroom studio when Stevie Larsen showed up with his guitar.
What the Peacemakers produced isn't country music -- heat-ravaged brush and prowling coyotes course through its veins, the wide sky rambles in its melodies, and the whiskey-soaked bars of lost desert towns crowd in its rhythms. The album "celebrates the southwestern lifestyle" with songs ranging from waltz to rock. It's the kind of music that fits no radio format. The album was made purely for the love of music and life, bestowed with a passion rarely heard.
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers will play for the fun of it at The Gardens. Tickets are $6. Call 597-2600 or visit http://www.azpeacemakers.com.