The Band

Syd Masters

Syd Masters
Edgewood, NM
Hometown: The Big Woods and Clear Water of Wisconsin

Lead Singer & Rhythm Guitarist
Syd resides in the high country of the Northern New Mexico Rocky Mountains.

Syd’s Gear:
Syd’s everyday on stage pardner is an old nylon string Takemine guitar from the late 1960’s. The sides and back are Brazilian Rosewood, long considered the finest tonal wood available to luthiers, and the top is spruce. It has gone through several new sets of frets and cases. There are plenty of dings and scratches on it including a small hole in the bottom side from Syd setting his guitar down on his spur after taking it off at a trail ride. The finish is worn off around the lower edge of the sound hole where all the years of finger oils have done their work on the stain. When cowboys first starting playing music on guitars they would get the instruments from the Spanish and Mexican ranches in the Southwest. Those guitars were gut strung, and nylon is the modern day equivalent of gut. Combining this tradition with his unique playing style, Syd purposely sticks to this instrument which he claims is the best playing and sounding guitar of its type that he has ever come across. Popular Texas/New Mexico singer/songwriter Mike Hearne played it for two minutes one day and immediately offered Syd a trade to which he replied, “No thanks Mike, I already have a truck.”

Other recording instruments:
Epiphone Frontier Steel String Acoustic Guitar
Ibanez Artcore Hollow Body Archtop Electric Guitar
1972 Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar
Ibanez Musician Electric Bass
Leblanc Wooden Clarinet, Selmer Soprano Saxophone, Cowboy Concertina, Pearl Drums
22 Vintage Western Stencil Art Guitars
Mackie Sound Gear
Loaded Guns in Every Room

Favorites: (just like concert dates, these are subject to change)
Fishing Beer: Miller Lite, Pabst Blue Ribbon. I’m from Wisconsin what did you expect!
Summer Beer: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat and Summer Shandy. I know, Wisconsin again. Go Pack!
Autumn Beer: Shocktop Pumpkin Ale. Weird label, great beer.
Winter Beer: Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Leinenkugel’s Creamy Dark, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Bass Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale, Shiner Bock.
Spring Beer: Molson Canadian Lager. I think those Canadians brew beer with butter.
Whiskey: Crown Royal straight, Jameson for mixing with Coke or 7UP.
Wine: Petite Sirah (Ravenswood is best) and any table wine from Italy.
Coffee: Campfire Cowboy Coffee. Black! Try the brew the boys make at Bobcat Pass in Red River and you’ll never go to Starbucks again!
Burger: Sparky’s in Hatch, NM. Stop what you are doing and go there now!
BBQ: Stagecoach BBQ in Newkirk, OK and Shorty’s BBQ in Moriarty, NM.
Italian: Trombino’s Bistro Italiano in Albuquerque. Only place even coming close to Mama’s dishes within hundreds of miles of our house.
Drinkin’ Hole: Nine Fine Irishmen in New York, New York Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Sisters Saloon, Saint Germain, WI.
Guitarist: Whit Smith, Hot Club of Cowtown – Joey McKenzie, Quebe Sisters Band – Django Reinhardt.
Songwriters: Marty Robbins, Lennon/McCartney, Hank Williams Senior, Cindy Walker, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon.
Dislikes: IPA’s. It tastes like coins are soaking in the bottom! Any beer in a green bottle. The light diffusion messes with the yeast. No, really. It does! Beer in a can. More metal taste. Yuck! Wine in a box. The name says it all.
Lonnie Ohta-MayerLonnie Ohta-Mayer
Santa Fe, NM
Hometown: The Misty Coast of
San Francisco, CA

Swing Rider Lead Guitarist and Harmony Vocalist

Lonnie has been working with Syd since 2005 both on stage and in studio as the recording engineer on two of Syd’s popular CD’s. Before playing full time as a Swing Rider Lonnie was the front man and lead guitarist for the world’s most renowned corporate performance band. He has wholeheartedly taken to the western music scene and enjoys the appreciation Syd’s devoted audiences have for the music and the people performing it. Lonnie makes his home in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Raina and their son Keiran. Lonnie recorded lead electric and acoustic guitar on Syd’s newest CD, “Always a Cowboy in My Dreams”. He played resonator slide guitar on the title track as well as singing harmonies on many of the tunes.
“Lonnie has a really good ear for vocal harmonies and musical arrangements. It’s a pleasure every time we walk on stage. He also understands the importance of booking gigs near quality fishin’ holes!” ~ Syd Masters

Lonnie’s Gear:
Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar – (live & recording)
1960 Gibson Hummingbird Steel String Acoustic (recording)
Yamaha 6 String Acoustic Steel String Guitar (live axe)
National Brand Resonator Slide Guitar (live & recording)
Fender Tweed Deluxe Amps


Summer Beer: Corona Extra. Must have lime!
Autumn Beer: Anchor Steam Beer. Awesome hometown brew.
Winter Beer: Guinness Stout. Best with a nitro pour, but can or bottle will do.
Spring Beer: Samuel Smiths India Ale.
Coffee: Backyard Brew with real cream. Fresh ground at home, no paper cups!
Burrito: Casa Chimayo in Santa Fe.
Lunch Wagon: El Chile Toreado in Santa Fe. Best stuff, best price.
Guitarist: Derek Trucks – Django Reinhardt – Jimi Hendrix.
Dislikes: Any beer made with fruit. What were they thinking! Wheat beers. Something too “alive” about these yeasty things!
Gary RollerGary Roller
Albuquerque, NM
Hometown: The Downwind Ambiance of Amarillo, TX

Bassist and Harmony Vocalist

One day in 2006 Syd called Gary to see if he could fill in for a couple of dates. Circumstances being what they were, he never left and is still in the band! Gary splits his performance time between being a Swing Rider and being a member of Michael Martin Murphey’s Rio Grande Band. He is also an accomplished western sculptor and painter.
Gary is known for depicting the various cultures of the rugged southwestern landscape. His art often focuses on the spiritual life of the Native American and the historical impact of the Cowboy Culture. He creates art prints, sculptures, and fountains. Gary resides on the edge of Albuquerque where he creates art and spends time with his two teenage kids Dakota and Sierra.
“Simply put Gary is a pro’s pro. He always makes great music, knows how to talk to an audience, and is exemplary in his off stage demeanor. The guy has friends in every town we travel to!” ~ Syd Masters

Gary’s Gear:
Fender Jazz Electric Bass
Englehardt Upright Bass
Martin Acoustic Bass


Summer Beer: Corona Extra. With or without lime.
Autumn Beer: Iced Tea.
Winter Beer: Roy Rogers.
Spring Beer: Lemonade.
Coffee: Dark and murky with lots of cream and sugar.
Meal: Bobcat Pass Grilled Steak in Red River, NM w/ranch style beans. I know my beans! Add ketchup and all available condiments to all food and stir!
Eatery: Cowboy Gelato, Amarillo, TX.
Bassist: Paul McCartney, The Beatles – Terry Hale, Ace in the Hole Band – Mark Abbott, Sons of the Pioneers and The Texas Playboys
Dislikes: I love everybody!
Daisy Campfire the Yodeling CorgiDaisy Campfire the Yodeling Corgi
Hometown: Syd’s House

Companion, show stealing sidekick, and tongue trigger alarm clock

Having been born into a large family of hard working ranch folks, Daisy set her sights on a career of traveling early on in life. She was a natural at herding sheep and cattle and truly enjoyed working alongside her siblings out on the range. But Daisy always knew in her heart that the entertainment industry was where she would make her mark. Her first trip was on a long ride with Syd and his band out to California where she appeared on stage for the first time ever at The Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry Festival at the tender age of 10 weeks! Due to an agressive nap schedule Daisy can’t appear at every show , but she gets to as many as she can. Audiences enjoy her spontaneous call and response barking and yodeling duets with Syd.
“Daisy works for free which allows me to double her pay whenever I want. That keeps us both happy!” ~ Syd Masters

Daisy’s Gear:
Leash and harness
Comfy bed and pillow
Canvas chew toy


Summer Beer: Cool, clean snow melt water from the Red River
Autumn Beer: Gin clear water of the Northern Wisconsin spring fed lakes
Winter Beer: Ice chips
Spring Beer: San Antonio Creek water in the Valles Caldera(upsteam from the herd)
Coffee: She’ll pass
Meal: Kibble with lamb
Eatery: The floor or on rare occasions Syd’s hand
Dislikes: Rabbits. Cats. Ravens. You just can’t trust those ravens.