Skip to Main Content

Alumni Band Second Hand Smoke to Reunite at Groundhog After 14 Years

Alumni Band Second Hand Smoke to Reunite at Groundhog After 14 Years

In spring 1997, UD sophomore Will Johnson, BA '99, shared some early fruit of his blossoming songwriting skills with fellow guitarist Terry Landry, BA '00. Eager to team up, they enlisted Jon Bird, BA '99, on bass and Pierre Dupree, BA '99, on drums to become Second Hand Smoke, which will reunite on Feb. 1 at the Groundhog Party in the Park to play their first show together in 14 years.

A few months later, guitarist Jeff Brignac, Landry's best friend from high school and the only member who wasn't a UD student, joined the band. For the next two years, with its wide array of musical influences including Led Zepplin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Second Hand Smoke played UD's music scene from the Rat to Mallapalooza.

In 1999, when Bird, Dupree and Johnson graduated, the band members went their separate ways, from teaching to graduate school to working on UD's Eugene Constantin campus in Rome.

Today, all the band members are marriedmany to UD alumnaewith kids and day jobs. In spite of these full lives and busy schedules, Johnson, the self-described songwriter, reluctant singer, guitar player and benevolent dictator of Second Hand Smoke, says that one day in 2013, it hit him: "We're getting the band back together!"

After several months of planning (and negotiating with their wives), the group convened in Fort Worth at a top-secret location that wasn't, Johnson insists, Brignac's kids' playroom.

The album, produced by Dupree with nine new tracks, is titled "You're Welcome," in response, according to Johnson, to legions of loyal fans who had been waiting patiently for almost a decade and a half.

PHOTO: Bird and Landry played Groundhog 2013, and look forward to returning to the stage in 2014 with the full complement of Second Hand Smoke.

News

Alumna Establishes Endowed Scholarship to Honor Longtime UD Administrator, Historian

“No one is more deserving of a scholarship in her name than Sybil Novinski,” said President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, at the ceremony celebrating the Sybil Novinski Scholarship Fund endowed by Eileen McPherson Meinert, BA ’83, and her husband, David Meinert. “This is something that many alumni, faculty and administrators have talked about, and this is a great day because we get to honor someone who’s meant so much to so many.”

+ Read More

Physics, Chemistry Professors Receive Air Force Grant

In September, the U.S. Air Force awarded the University of Dallas and Cerium Labs a $500,000 STTR Phase II contract to develop a "Silicon Nitride Seal for Thermal Barrier Coating in Gas Turbines for Extended Engine Life.” Affiliate Research Assistant Professor of Physics Will Flanagan, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Chemistry Ellen Steinmiller, Ph.D., are co-principal investigators on the project. This award builds on a smaller $50,000 Phase I award earlier this year. UD’s portion of the award is $150,000.

+ Read More