Cabela and Schmitt is a trio of friends who have been collaborating for over 40 years

Cabela & Schmitt are: Rich Cabela (guitar, keyboards), Wayne Schmitt (guitar, keyboards), and Tom Schmitt (bass guitar, keyboards).

We are all given a voice, in some way or another, to communicate how we see and experience the world. We have chosen to expose our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in the best way we can….through a song. 

Our music is really a snapshot of our life. The birth of a song happens with just accumulating random thoughts on how life comes and how you react to it.  So, the thoughts are there, scattered, no rhymes, no order, just like anybody can have. We always have music in our hearts/heads, and all we do is learn what we hear. The melodies start playing, and suddenly those random thoughts and phrases begin to fall into place, like they belong. Most people call that songwriting, but we don’t take that credit for ourselves.

 Wayne Schmitt from Cabela and Schmitt sits down to answer some questions about the band.

We started like almost everybody else playing and singing in high school. We played piano, guitars, sang in school chorus and we just fell in love with music. Mostly it was never anything too serious but we all just kept doing it and improving our skills until sometimes things started to sound kind of good. As most young ‘wannabe’ musicians, we learned as many songs from the popular groups as we could and played wherever someone would let us. Soon we had a short list of originals, that just kept growing and growing…and growing. We didn’t have time to learn other group’s songs any longer. Eventually we got interested in recording, and the rest of the proof is in the tapes and discs we have. I don’t know if we’ll ever know how many songs we have created. The most important thing is that we have all stayed compatible friends as we have developed our own styles over the years, and continue to do so today.

Rich and I live in Sidney Nebraska. Tom lives in Colorado. Besides spending time creating and recording music, we mostly live normal lives. We have wives, children and grandchildren we love to spend time with. Living in Nebraska is great as we can fish, hunt, and camp in all the open spaces. We all love to travel as much as life allows.

Songs you should hear:

Cabela and Schmitt ‘Freedom Rising’ encourages you to make a change and rise up

Freedom Rising by Cabela and Schmitt is about how those in authoritative positions around the world who are constantly pushing the masses into a molded type of thinking keeps people down.

‘Eyes Wide Open’ by Cabela and Schmitt encourages you to go for what makes you happy in life

Most people, at one time or another, wish they could be more carefree but perhaps it’s as easy as letting yourself dance around to a song.  I think it starts with understanding what makes you happy and going for it. 

Cabela and Schmitt revisits the past on single ‘ONE AND ONLY FIRST’

Almost everyone remembers a ‘first love’ in their life, a trip down memory lane that allows us to revisit those wonderful feelings from back in the day. ‘One and Only First’ from Cabela and Schmitt is a relatable song that reminds you of that cherished feeling most people will recognize in themselves. 

Being mostly isolated for the past year, we are dealing with various ways to find inspiration. The key is not to block any of it out just because it is such a different kind of life we have been experiencing.  Welcome everything and embrace all the best you can, and be ready to be born again when the world can turn back into some normal form of itself. We are all still who we are. God bless!

GONNA BE’ by Cabela and Schmitt finds Strength and Balance in Nature

There isn’t anything as effective as the power of suggestion. I think we have all been in that place where we struggled with our self confidence and felt a bit hopeless. ‘GONNA BE’ by Cabela and Schmitt takes what we know about natures positive energy and rolls it into a powerful reminder for life. This message encourages you to absorb the surroundings of nature and use those examples to find your own strength and balance. Be as strong and tall as a mountain, make friends like birds in the trees and become a river full of goodness. 

Cabela and Schmitt finishes out the year with a beautiful song about reflection called ‘Wondering’ 

Wondering is really all about those relationships we’ve all had with other people, that maybe we never did quite figure out or understand at the time. We all at times reflect on these past relationships and sometimes we might find ourselves still trying to make some sense out of these past unknowns. At the very least we try to take all the positives we can throughout our life relationships, and attempt to let go of as much of the negative as we possibly can, and continue to live on. 

 Lose My Mind

So everyone has had a relationship, maybe several relationships, in which they have felt like things were left in a bad place. Things that needed to be said were never said. Things that needed to be done were never done. Lose My Mind speaks for this person who wants fulfillment and closure. If we can make peace in our hearts, we can finally set our minds free from all the clutter and complications of a relationship that has caused us pain.


Who has been the most influential in your music and why?

This is such a hard question to answer. Over time we have had so many different influences. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple, Kiss, Fleetwood Mac, Grand Funk Railroad and Peter Frampton were some of the earliest influences for us. Later, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Styx and Pink Floyd were influential. We listened to and liked a lot of music, and we always seemed to gravitate towards the messages we could find in the music. If it feels good, sounds good, and you like the lyrics, that’s about as good as it can get.

When did you know that this was the right path for you?

At some point, after spending time playing and jamming with a few different people, you are waiting for a moment when you hit just the right combination with another person or persons when creating music. I think when that happened with Rich, Tom and me, we all kind of knew this was the direction we all wanted to go and it just felt right.

What do you like most about what you do?

Hearing sounds and ideas, and then later getting to listen back to a finished recording where all those ideas have come together and have the right balance is amazing. The whole process from beginning to end of a new song is quite an amazing journey. You have no idea what you are going to end up with when you lay down those initial tracks, so it’s very exciting to listen to each song develop into a finished recording.

What do you most hope to accomplish with your influence?

We use our music to speak from our hearts. It’s almost always easier to say what needs to be said, in a song. We all have a voice but sometimes we struggle to find a way to share our thoughts and beliefs. We want our music to deliver the message of love that we have received so many times, over and over, from our God.

What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

 Staying focused on the musical journey is a challenge. We never intended to give up our normal way of life to get our music recorded and released, and for the most part we haven’t had to. A lot of times that normal life really does make it hard to stay productive and stay consistent in producing music. We just keep going and doing what we can, and we love it!

What do you want people to remember most about you and your career?

 We don’t ever want our fans to get bored with our music. We also don’t want to sound like anybody else. We want to sound appealing and original, without being too far out there for people to relate to. We’ve been at this for over 40 years now, so we know we’ll be doing this as long as our bodies and minds let us.

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