Road Dog Runner

admin | January 28, 2010 in Music,Running | Comments (18)

If you look up the term “road dog” on, there are seven different definitions.  Most include a “travel” element, one entry mentions “jail,” where I’ve never been, and another references “beer,” which I hate.

The last entry of seven hits closest to my world:

ROAD DOG: A person who is consistently “on the road,” on the go, or someone who travels to and fro frequently.

Yeah, that sounds a lot like me.  It’s what I do, who I am, and how I roll.  I’ve never been one to sit still for very long, and as I sneak up on twenty years makin’ a livin’ in the music business…I guess I’ve never really had to.

Twenty years.  Yep.  This March, I will click over my seventeenth year as keyboardist and vocalist for country superstar Tim McGraw.  As one of his longtime band, the Dancehall Doctors, we’ve crossed the country numerous times.  We’ve taken the stage at Madison Square Garden, played a cruise ship in the Bahamas, rocked the house at the Hollywood Bowl, and performed overlooking some of the world’s greatest historical sites in Rome, Italy.

I have definitely logged some miles with McGraw and the boys.  One might think that in the midst of a concert tour, when the planes land or the buses park, I’d blow into the hotel, prop my feet up and just “chill.”  But that isn’t usually the way it works.

Because I’m a runner.  It’s not just the “travel” that makes me feel more at ease…but the “movement.”  And it’s really pretty simple.  Grab some shorts and my shoes, get off the bus…and start running.

If it looks dangerous, turn around.  If I think I might get lost, stay close to the hotel.  If we don’t have much time, run short.  No show that night?  Run long.

Bottom line?  Just run.  If things are good, running makes ‘em better.  If things are crappy, well, at least they get a little less crappy if I can just get out the door.

And I usually do.  No matter how many miles we’ve already covered since our last concert.  Because I’ve still got a few more to do on my own.

Road Dog Runner. Yeah.

I like that.

18 Responses to “Road Dog Runner”

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  1. Comment by JenJanuary 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm  

    This sounds like a cool club to be part of. Like you know when you were little and it was a secret club no one was allowed in. What is the hazing process before I become a full-fledged member….ha ha ha!!!

    So, another thing I thought of as I was reading this would be cool. You make mention of buses, planes, ect. You all need to do a cruise ship tour. And you need to be on the water, while you are running, while you are performing. Talk about killing a few birds with one stone, right??

    So, rain or shine, crappy or happy running is how you roll.

    I like your style!!

    Run on Road Dog, run on!!!!

  2. Comment by ElisabethJanuary 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm  

    You lead an enviable – and inspirational – life! I look forward to hearing about your adventures on the road. Travel safely!

  3. Comment by Christine K.Donovan — January 30, 2010 at 4:07 am  

    Dear Road Dog Runner,

    First, congratulations on seventeen years on the road with McGraw and the boys! That demonstrates your loyalty and devotion. Secondly, you are definitely a man on the move, and that is what keeps you young and vital! Thirdly, you truly a very giving person, and that is why you are cared for by many.

    Safe travels and God bless.

  4. Comment by KevinJanuary 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm  

    Can’t wait to read about all of the cool places you get to run while on tour this year. A backstage glimpse into your “so-called-job” would be cool also! Rock on and run smart bro!

  5. Comment by Kyle DreierJanuary 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm  

    I’m living vicariously through your adventures.

    – Kyle Dreier (homebody)

  6. Comment by Kimmy T — January 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm  

    Hey Jeff,

    I like the new nickname Road Dog Runner (RDR)…run safe, play hard and live strong. See you “out on the road!”

  7. Comment by Karen Will RogersJanuary 31, 2010 at 8:39 am  

    Hello Jeff! Happy New Year; 17 years – that’s impressive! Keep on, see you in Nashville!

  8. Comment by Kelley S JJanuary 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm  

    This is a wonderful way to, as you often do, inspire, motivate and inform those who wish to be so. Love the site… the way you write and love to keep in touch, though we don’t chat as often as we have. Life is busy…’bout to get busier! Call me later on. I have news!

    The next time you play a cruise…YA GOTTA LET A GIRL KNOW! I’d have been all over that! Anyway….keep the posts coming. Keep inspiring. Keep being….you! From day one….a zillion years ago….you have been a source of strength, hope and motivation to me. THANX!
    ps: Should I run for office? I’ve been approached……hmmmmmm.

  9. Comment by Michele Kolb — January 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm  

    I’m so looking forward to this tour Jeff… guys are so awesome. I love your “Southern Voice” album! Someday, I would love to be part of Team McGraw. I am doing my best to get in shape now, so we’ll see. You’re inspiring! Such a wonderful cause.

    Love ya!

  10. Comment by JoAnn Boeckermann — January 31, 2010 at 10:56 pm  

    NICE Blog!!! Looking forward to the show in Iowa — it has been a long few months in my world — it will be great to get away and do something fun – like see the awesome show that you guys will be putting on stage!
    Also, we are starting working on our WTFC Fundraiser — check out in the near future — we are going to a two-day event and add fireworks and more music…too bad you can not attend this year — maybe next year?? Thanks and see you Feb 13th…luv ya all…jmb

  11. Comment by Genvieve GoldsteinFebruary 1, 2010 at 10:59 am  

    Very cool! Can’t wait to read more about your travels and runs!

  12. Comment by Mike Hubbard — February 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

    Great blog; can’t wait to read more! Let us know your favorite city to run during your tour. We might even take some side bets as to your favorite. Now, go out there and make us proud as you always do.

  13. Comment by Deb — February 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm  

    Road Dog Runner suits you to a T; Keep us posted on your life and adventures!

  14. Comment by Kimberly — February 9, 2010 at 6:25 am  

    Well, Jeff..I love the new site and the words; yes, you are a runner! God bless you for it! What you do and what you do it for are a blessing to so many. I have been blessed enough to be at a few of those races. One day I will run along with Team McGraw. Keep the words coming; I can’t wait to read them. I will see ya on the road somewhere (lol).. probably in Florida. I am kinda of a gypsy myself (lol)…that is what Lance calls me. Safe travels!

  15. Comment by Mick Weick — February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am  

    This guy never stops!!! He is full on..the Tug McGraw Foundation, the stage, the phone…or the road. After the Grouper 1/2 marathon, we had breakfast and Jeff took off for a 700-mile drive back to Nashville. Never stops!!

  16. Comment by Matt Beck — March 8, 2010 at 2:31 am  

    You are such an inspiration for those of us that try to find too many excuses not to keep on the move. Knowing you has motivated me to put on the miles. Can’t wait to see all of the blogs.

  17. Comment by Doc RimMarch 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm  

    I can relate, Jeff. Not that I’m a road dog, of course, but I’m always on the move and running just fits…anywhere! Congrats on the 17-year bday. Hope there’s many many more.

  18. Comment by Jacky7777March 2, 2011 at 11:23 am  

    That’s our Jeff !!! We can always depend on you, Jeff, to keep us fans with you, Tim and rest of DHDs – Love it.

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