Oct 202018
 

The only regret I have in the cover photo is that it hides the star of the show…the cowbell man Mr. Tony Kent, the most wild source of energy on stage tonight. He alone can earn this band my ticket money without anybody else.

I haven’t returned to the Glasgow Plaza Theater since I covered Whitey Morgan there on New Years Eve. Not because I didn’t want to, but I run a pretty fast schedule here, and I cannot be everywhere at once. I have never covered Whiskey Myers live before, I mean one must remember I cover thousands of bands and two hundred festivals on some form of promotions.

The Plaza Theater itself is a VERY NICE venue to see a show, it has SO MUCH parking and is easily accessible from the main roads. The only thing that isn’t controlled is the standing up front, I don’t really mind it at all, but some people get pretty rude with it. I’m not going to elaborate on the opening act today, because he was RUDE to children and fans. That’s all I have to say about him, although some of his songs were not bad at all.

Whiskey Myers is usually loaded in with the Texas Music Scene and the Southern Rock crowd as well, and I don’t normally let that dictate what I cover or ignore. I just choose to focus on what I do like and spend time supporting that I do like.

They began their earlier tenure in Palestine Texas, playing shows around the area thusly generating a following within the Red Dirt/Texas community along with bands like Flatland Cavalry and Jason Boland And The Stragglers. That is a very interesting subject to me, I become infatuated with the bands involved in that.

We haven’t heard any new music from then since the 2016 album called “Mud” , which boasted many of the songs on their set list tonight including the title track itself “Mud”. Also included from that album was the show opener here called “Deep Down In The South”, which is a rocking tune about life down here. This song here on the album showcases that old cowbell you will see on the stage showcased in wild fashion.

“Early Morning Shakes” was next from their 2014 debut album, as the band got more serious and dropped their name Lucky Southern for the now popular Whiskey Myers. Also from that album was the third song of their set called “Headstone”.

They displayed their true southern roots for us tonight, as they played “On The River” and another called “Frogman”. Their distinct swamp type rock could easily assist them in being placed with bands like Blackberry Smoke or The Steel Woods, while maintaining a prominent Red Dirt presence the likes of  the above mentioned Jason Boland And The Stragglers.

You truly get the understanding of being “Cut From A Different Mold” as they blow through all of their heavy rocking songs until they lull the crowd down with the ever popular ‘Ballad Of A Southern Man”,which glorifies the firearms and flag waving genre often laughed at by mainstream people.

That song speaks to me as well, and gives me goosebumps for sure. it’s usually a staple portion of their show I understand, and I’m glad I got to hear it live here tonight. This band is absolutely amazing to see live, they sound good and they have a eclectic stage presence especially Mr. Tony the cowbell man. He marches around like a crazed madman until the audience hollers for more.

They closed their set with “Calm Before The Storm” and a very long, very rocking version of the Rolling Stones song “Jumping Jack Flash”. All together given all of the factors this was indeed one of the better indoor shows I attended in 2018, and I absolutely implore you to catch Whiskey Myers on tour this year…I’ll see you at Tumbleweed boys!

Nov 8 Thu

The Bourbon Theatre
Chris Colston

Nov 9 Fri

Blue Moose
Chris Colston

Nov 10 Sat

Boondocks
Chris Colston

Nov 14 Wed

Georgia Theatre
C2 & the Brothers Reed

Nov 15 Thu

Druid City Music Hall
C2 & the Brothers Reed

Nov 16 Fri

Manchester Music Hall
C2 & the Brothers Reed

Nov 17 Sat

THE RAMKAT – ZIGGY’S PARTY INC.
C2 & the Brothers Reed

Nov 29 Thu

The Paramount
Bishop Gunn

Nov 30 Fri

Westcott Theater
Bishop Gunn

Dec 1 Sat

The Bluestone
Bishop Gunn

Dec 5 Wed

Palace Theater
Bishop Gunn

Dec 6 Thu

Town Ballroom
Bishop Gunn

Dec 7 Fri

Chameleon Club
Bishop Gunn

Dec 8 Sat

The National
Bishop Gunn

Dec 9 Sun

State Theatre
Bishop Gunn

Dec 13 Thu

Cody Cannon Acoustic Show at Dosey Doe

Dec 14 Fri

Cody Cannon Acoustic Show at The Backyard

Dec 15 Sat

Cody Cannon Acoustic Show at Hank’s Texas Grill

Jun 1 Sat

Tumbleweed Music Festival

Jun 21 Fri

Gordy’s Hwy 30 Music Fest
Oct 192018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Malice, Mercy, Grief, & Wrath is Belle Plaine’s follow-up to her 2016 live release The Unrequited Love.  Belle Plaine has created one hell of a honky tonk record with this one. There is something for everyone here and this is an album that is sure to be high on many year end lists.  Let’s take a look deeper into this album.

The album kicks off with a slower number called “For All Those Who I Love”.  The whine of the pedal steel guitar on this track creates a great sound paired with the acoustics here.  This song is about a man who has done some wrong in his life, but swears that he’s done everything for those he loves.  My next favorite is “Taxes And Death And You” which is a play on the popular phrase about death and taxes. You can’t always tell which of the three she is talking about in the song and I like that.

The track “Is It Cheating” is another great example of good songwriting on this album.  It features Colter Wall on backing vocals and his bass is a nice compliment to Belle on this track.  This is not the first time the two paired together, Colter used Belle in a duet on his track “Caroline”.  Finally, “Radio Dreams” is another cleverly written track on this record. I love the use of fiddle and the keyboards here.

Belle Plaine has created a record that plays on all sides of traditional country.  There is something here for everyone and it is bound to find a home in your record collection if you give it a chance. Belle Plaine is currently on tour throughout Canada but she does periodically come down into the US. Malice, Mercy, Grief, & Wrath is out now on your favorite streaming platforms.  Give it a listen and then buy a CD or LP. It’s a mighty fine country record, and you won’t regret it.

Favorite Tracks : For All Those Who I Love, Taxes And Death And You, Is It Cheating, Are We Good, Radio Dreams

Belle Plaine – Malice, Mercy, Grief, & Wrath (2018)

  1. For All Those Who I Love
  2. Golden Ring (Feat. Megan Nash)
  3. Squared Up
  4. Taxes And Death And You
  5. Is It Cheating (Feat. Colter Wall)
  6. Are We Good
  7. Laila Sady Johnson Wasn’t Beaten by No Train
  8. Radio Dreams
  9. Rock Bottom (Feat. Kacy Anderson)
Oct 182018
 

By Joshua Wallace

I recently started seeing the name TJ Hernandez pop up in a few Facebook groups as someone to look out for. I also saw that he had a debut EP out with seven tracks to dig into. You know every time I hear about someone getting buzz like this, I have to check it out.  I’m glad I did because I’m here to tell you that TJ Hernandez is worth your time and money to give a listen to. TJ is out of a small town in southern Illinois called Godfrey, but he traveled to Goldsboro, NC to record this album.  He enlisted fellow troubadour Jonathan Parker to produce the record and it came out a winner. Let’s take a dive deeper into some of these songs.

The album kicks off with a track called “Corporate Man”.  It’s both an ode to the working man and a word of advice to the corporate man.  This track gives us our first taste of the awesome pedal steel work by Clyde Mattocks.  He is all over this album and it truly adds an irreplaceable element to the overall sound.  Another favorite track is the “100 Years Too Late” which highlights the pedal steel on a song about longing for the simple life and a time long gone by.  This is one of two tracks on the album co-written by fellow country singer Bryan James. We will get to the other one a bit later.

I love the soundscape created by the guitar work done by Phil Wise on the track “The Reflection”.  It’s a track about a man reflecting on his past while staring a glass of whiskey in the face and in my opinion is one of the highlights of the album and is worth checking out.  Finally, “One More” is the other track co-written by Bryan James. “One More” is a track about those nights where you just need to let go and take some of the bite out of the daily routine.  It’s an interesting take on the spurned lover and night out with the guys trope in country music.

This album is worth checking out if you’re a traditional country or honky tonk fan.  There is plenty of pedal steel sprinkled throughout this album and the production by Jonathan Parker is top notch.  I’m looking forward to hearing more from TJ Hernandez but for now, Who I Am is a great introduction to this new country singer and it is currently available to stream on most streaming platforms.  You can also get a copy from TJ himself at shows or you can find him on Facebook at TJ Hernandez Music for all the details on how to purchase a copy for yourself.

Favorite Tracks : Corporate Man, 100 Years Too Late, The Reflection, One More

TJ Hernandez – Who I Am (2018)

  1. Corporate Man
  2. 100 Years Too Late
  3. Who I Am
  4. Tumbleweed
  5. Ain’t Gonna Change
  6. The Reflection
  7. One More
Oct 172018
 

The Spillway Bar And Grill has brought us so many great shows in the past, and has been one of the favorite venues for this website food wise. Now sometimes they struggle to book the amount of shows as their competitors, and that is a discussion best suited for your own private opinions. This isn’t the discussion forum like other websites are, I’m just going to focus on the music and how the positive things made this a VERY nice, and enjoyable show here.

The staff at the Spillway is always outstanding in my opinion, and I can understand spending a little extra time for food orders when this many people pile in here. The local community around Bowling Green is outstanding, and if you argue I’ll quickly decree how wrong you are as I implement this young man here Mr. Rye Davis.

I’m going to come out in public and say a few things about this man. For one, he is a terrific friend and always the first to extend his hand for a handshake. He LOVES people and he LOVES his audience in front of him, and he weaves a story in songs that are just as efficient as the big names that dwell on the echelon he is working to get on.

One one hand his music COULD BE deemed somewhat commercial if it had been out ten years ago, but with today’s tractor rap and bro stuff Mr. Rye Davis shines like a diamond in a goat’s ass! I mean the song called “A Heart To Call a Home” sounds like it came from 1988, and dammit that is VERY refreshing. He is one of my go to artists if I want to hear some well written songs, and little references you have to LISTEN to soak in. This is pretty much a show review juxtaposed with his album review, add a little more meat to this one here.

he played a short acoustic set tonight opening for The Steel Woods, but to be honest he is just as entertaining to watch play…at least for me he is. His first song on the set was the opening song on the album called “They All Know My Name”, which is a song of personal hope for him.

His next song was called “Blue Jeans” and I think it’s one of his more elegant songs. All in all I see a song as a paint, and your brain as a canvas and it’s up to the singer to paint a picture in your mind. This song does just that, and I think every man can relate. “She’d Know” was next followed by one called “Save You A Seat”.

His version of the Gary Gentry written song “The Ride” from the David Allan Coe 1983 Castles In The Sand album was truly enjoyable, and garnered involvement from the crowd. More great songs on this album include a song about loosing his virginity called “lavender Candles”, which blew my mind from both the lyrics and the steel guitar tone. It complemented the song almost as vivid as the way he delivered the lyrics.

Another song that blew my mind was called “Color On My Collar” which was a bout an encounter with a woman he met in a bar, and it was too loud to catch her name. He is aimlessly looking to find this woman and get to know her. This album is a MUST BUY!

  1. They All Know My Name
  2. Leave You Lonely
  3. Love You Till Morning
  4. She’d Know
  5. Lavender Candles
  6. Color On My Collar
  7. Sometimes
  8. Heart To Call A Home
  9. Make It Through The Night
  10. Blue Jeans

Van Winkle And The Spirits brought a great big entourage of musicians and a very eclectic sound here. Their influences show as the play their set here, and their EP is out now. They are currently recording a new album in Glasgow Kentucky, as we speak.

This band had some truly fine harmonies, and played very well together. Their first song was called “Heading out West” . This band consists of Mr. Jonathan Tomes, Mr. David Erickson, Mr. David Rich, Mr. Shawn Whitely and Mr. Nathan Johnson.

“Down The Road” was next followed by the song called “live A Dream”. Their best song of the set called “Waiting On The Rain”, and they concluded the set with a cover of Hank Williams Jr. “Dinosaur”.

The Steel Woods are four guys from Nashville Mr. Jason Rowdy Cope (who is currently on break),
Mr. Wes Bayliss, Mr. Johnny Stanton and Mr. Jay Tooke. Every time they roll through town here I try to catch them while they are playing smaller clubs.

You can pre order their new album called “Old News” HERE.

Through their entire set they played only one new song called “Red River”, and still included many covers. Not that I didn’t enjoy the covers, but perhaps now they have enough material to not have the need for covers? Well to be honest if they enjoy playing “Whipping Post” and their version of the Black Sabbath song “Hole In The Sky” I say LET THEM, because I for one surely enjoy their Isbell “Cover Me Up”.

I wasn’t sure how good this show would be without Mr. Rowdy Cope, but I was truly impressed with what they brought tonight. This was one hell of a damn good set tonight, full of fire and energy and the sound was amazing.

They came out to intro tracks and barrelled into “Wild And Blue” with note for note precise fury, and as we piled toward the stage, The Steel Woods began unleashing hell upon the Spillway in the form of  “Better In the Fall”.

The old Steve Young tune that Waylon made famous called “Lonesome Ornry And Mean” was next, as they wove their signature Steel Woods twang upon this song they  returned with another hard hit from the song “Uncle Lloyd”.  They then went into a damn fine cover of the 1981 song “Are The Good Times Really Over” from the Hag album “Big City”.

Some staple songs included in this set were “Straw In the Wind” the dark and poignant song of life back in time in small western towns. “Della Jane’s Heart” “Axe” and they closed with the song “Let The Rain Come Down”. This band is going nowhere but UP in this business, and has a terrific future ahead.

Oct 152018
 

By Joshua Wallace

The Bottle Rockets have been around for 26 years and you could say they’re the fathers of roots rock and the heartland rock sound.  I particularly enjoyed their track “1000 Dollar Car” and this album has a similar feel to it. Bit Logic is the follow up to 2015’s South Broadway Athletic Club so let’s dig into it.

The first single from the record is the title track called “Bit Logic”.  This is a rockin’ track that finds the band trying to cope with today’s ever changing world and the new technology that comes with it.  Another favorite is “Highway 70 Blues” which is a fun track about getting stuck on the interstate. It’s a rut we’ve all been in from time to time and now we have a tune to blast to everyone on the interstate parking lot when we’re feeling those highway 70 blues.  Another favorite is “Bad Time To Be An Outlaw”. This cut laments on the current state of things for outlaws in country music but praises those that keep on doing what they’re doing even in the rough times.

Another favorite track from the album is “Way Down South”.  This is a road song but it’s a slower track about missing the ones you love on the road.  I really dig the guitar solo on this one. Finally, “Doomsday Letter” features another slower groove on a track that bemoans all the doomsday prophets from ancient times to today.

Bit Logic continues a long tradition of great sounding records for Bottle Rockets.  If you’re a fan of this band, the album won’t disappoint and it will make a nice addition to your record collection. Bit Logic is out everywhere on Bloodshot Records on October 12th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Bit Logic, Highway 70 Blues, Bad Time To Be An Outlaw, Way Down South, Doomsday Letter

Bottle Rockets – Bit Logic (2018)

  1. Bit Logic
  2. Highway 70 Blues
  3. Lo-Fi
  4. Bad Time To Be An Outlaw
  5. Saxophone
  6. Human Perfection
  7. Knotty Pine
  8. Way Down South
  9. Doomsday Letter
  10. Stovall’s Grave
  11. Silver Ring
Oct 152018
 

By Joshua Wallace

For me, Larry & His Flask have always been a band that has been hard to give a genre too, but they are just fun music.  You could call them a punk rock roots band, or Americana or any mix of those. They’re a high energy roots band with elements from all of those genres and then some.  Oh and they have a killer horn section. I do enjoy a good horn section. This Remedy is the band’s first album since 2013’s By The Lamplight which I was a fan of so let’s dive deep into this one.

“Atonement” starts off with a ska influenced track with a fast beat and awesome use of the horns.  I’m digging this album from the start. “Ellipsis” keeps the pace hot and heavy but brings in more string instruments.  I’m pretty sure I hear a blazing fast banjo in there but I could be wrong. It’s a nice track that is sure to inspire some mosh pits at live shows.

“Never All The Times” looks to slow things down a bit.  This track has a nice vibe with the keyboards and horns.  It works nicely to break up the faster paced tracks in the rest of the album.  “You Won’t” is a track that features some killer guitar riffs and provides a bit of a rock vibe to the proceedings.

This Remedy provides a lot new tracks that will get the live crowds going for Larry & His Flask.  I’m really digging the variety of genres the band pulls from and still manages to create a cohesive sound.  There are elements of roots, ska, rockabilly, punk and everything in between. You can count on never standing still whether you’re listening to this band live at a bar or on cd in your living room.  Give this album a listen on your favorite streaming service and then buy or download a copy. It is available everywhere October 12th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Atonement, Ellipsis, Never All The Times, Begin Again, Hoping Again, You Won’t, Behind The Curtain

Larry & His Flask – This Remedy (2018)

  1. Atonement
  2. Doing Fine
  3. This Remedy
  4. Ellipsis
  5. Never All The Times
  6. Begin Again
  7. Hoping Again
  8. The Place That It Belongs
  9. Dearly Departed
  10. You Won’t
  11. Behind The Curtain
  12. Three Manhattans
Oct 142018
 

Well now today was somewhat of a milestone for me, in that I had successfully camped for the first time in 10 years. I’m an avid hunter and outdoors man, but the camping I cannot physically handle anymore. Well, this year I was adamantly instructed by many I would have NO choice, and honestly if you read my previous article for day 1, you find that YES there is no way you can come and go at night. Not on those windy hairpin roads unless you KNOW where you’re going!

Also with some of the later bands it was fun to lay on my air mattress and listen, while I sweated profusely in that hot muggy tent. YEP even in the night air it was still hot, hot hot. Now, I’ll be truthful it was truly easier with the sides of the holler having tall trees to block the sun earlier than it set. From noon to 4pm was absolutely BRUTAL, but I want to say this: Mr. Byron personally brought me water several times..not asked somebody from the staff to do it…HE DID IT. Not just for me but for MANY. If that isn’t a giving and concerned soul I’ll eat my left sock.

The bands were all fed and taken well care of, and so was the media invited here. ANYTHING I needed or wanted I could have, and that’s the bottom line! Anything I needed to perform my job here I had at my disposal, and I think by the end of this article you will concur, I did that job well. I got a lot more information to share here for this event. I made myself a damn fine campfire breakfast here complete with hot sauce for my eggs at a vendor called Redneck Hipster Hot Sauce. Mr. Craig McDavid helped me select the style of sauce for me and my palate. The garlic Habanero was what I selected, and I only needed a smidgen of it!

After eating I decided to start my day with another run off the merchandise tables. As usual there were plenty of volunteers all working together in happy fashion, Mr. Byron’s daughter Miss LeeAmber and his wife Miss Kelli once again slayed the job back there. They made buying “stuff and junk” and “junk and stuff” FUN, because it’s important that we do buy things like that to keep gas tanks and bellys full. I want my friends to be able to support their families on their chosen profession of touring musician.

I ran into some wonderful people from the Somerset area that asked me to include them called Buck Creek Adventures where you can rent some canoes and kayaks.They run a really neat looking LLC up there, and offered me a visit for the day sometime for including them. Please go check them out and rent a canoe for the day! I talk to EVERYBODY and immerse myself into the entire deal when I work a festival.

I got some barbecue pieces on a stick from the Roll N Smoke truck, I guess one could call them medallions. just big ass chunks of marinated meat on a stick. I’m not even sure what they were marinated in, but you can carry it around and move around. See that’s a festival food key thing, what can I market to eat that’s profitable and convenient to carry around?

 

So the first band that performed on Saturday I missed a lot of, I did cover them this past spring in Huntington WV for W.B. Walker’s 5 year anniversary show. You can read all about that event right HERE. This band was called The Winetree.

Mr. Ryan Harvey and Mr. Isaiah Muller are multi talented both in their own right as writers and musicians. They found their name from a friend’s old winter sweater, and took a lot of influence in Kentucky where they are from. Just as the song they played here today I caught was called “Kentucky”.

This duo has peaceful harmonies and down home well written country folk ballads, and puts a smile on my face every time I know I’m getting to see them on anybody’s set. I’m thinking of hosting a few Appalachian stages in future festivals, and they are on my MUST CALL list to book.

So this early portion of my article is going to focus on these two people Miss Teresa and Mr. David Prince, who have a wonderful band called Luna And The Mountain Jets and they hail from East Kentucky.I first encountered them a few years back also during the W.B. Walker anniversary shows.

If you’ll recall I did cover them during the Master Musicians Festival in the Somerset area,to which they performed a damn fine show. Well, they did not fail to disappoint here either, with energetic rock and roll with a great influence from the likes of Fleetwood Mack all the way back to the rock and roll evolves into rockabilly era.

I say that because the last song in their set was Blondie cover called “The Tide Is High” from the 1980 Autoamerican album. Like I said I AM an ultimate music NUT, and I enjoy knowing my stuff like albums and dates. But their show began with the song “Thanksgiving Day” from the 2016 album called Telling Stories.

The Luna album boasted the song called ‘That Thing You Said”, and the 2008 Blaine Girl album included the song “Pepsi Girl” which I actually relate to switching it over to a guy. The last time I went back to where I grew up it was like Mr. Joe Huber said my old playground was a battlefield.

They played their epic breakup song called “Walking Away” I believe everybody can pretty much relate to frustrations and hard times on relationship issues. I always, always, always have a terrific time watching this band perform and being around these two folks. Now in just a little bit I’ll be talking about a hilarious man that never seems to be around when Mr. David is, and a crabby lady that is always peeking around corners scowling at you. Ol’ Honey found out she had a fan club here on the creek today!

Here was another time I got a good look at how passionate Mr. Byron was toward the performers here, as he introduced Miss Senora May Lainhart. At this juncture Mr. Byron was weary and worn out, his voice was trembling trying to give out, yet he stood valiant and determined to finish this event by introducing EVERY ACT here.

Mr. Byron explained that he got to watch this young lady grow up from a child, and one could easily ascertain the real and honest family love here. Miss senora and Mr. Tyler Childers both came from this area too, and grew up here, and to this day they still live in these hills and hollers of East Kentucky. Mr. Byron is like a father to so so many of these young people in his community, and is a mentor to them. It almost made me jealous that I never had a role model like him to help raise me like this, to make sure these young adults never forget the Holy Spirit (which to me is most important) and to always be honest, love and respect one another. As I previously stated, this festival is unlike any other…it IS HOME.

Miss Senora May was included on that very first W.B.Walker Anniversary show recorded on his couch in his living room back when we first met. She opened her portion of the show with a song called “Don’t Need A Lot”, which showcased her down home vocal style.

She has indeed created her own style, and explains  how simple she is in this song, she doesn’t need a fancy extravagant lifestyle. Just her home community and her family, and her awesome husband. Also, once again Mr. Josh Nolan played for her as well as nine other acts here..more on that man later on.

She played the title track song called “Lainhart” which includes references of Daddy bitching and shoveling hog shit, which in this area is just a way of life she is sharing with you. It is indeed a term of endearment and a measure of love. Also included in her set was the song called “Only Want You”, which is the last song on her new album. You can get onto her website and buy the album there.

She also played a song for her younger brother who is in the marines called “Semper Fi” . Before I begin talking about the rest of the wonderful acts here today, I wanted to touch on a few more of the wonderful people that helped make this event a success. The wonderful folks over at Country Boy Brewing for all the gift beers and shirts, I still got Cougar Bait in my fridge. One of the founders was camped next to me, and we had some good conversations together, and I got to share some ribeye steaks with them.

I wandered over to the next booth which was a really neat jewelry booth called Talagirl’s Curiosity’s she had some really different wares and things. I’m used to seeing hand made jewelry, but not to the extent of this ladies work. This was a pretty cool addition to the vendors here, can easily see why they chose her to be included.

EVERY food vendor and EVERY merchandise vendor is personally selected by the Roberts family, see they don’t just HOST music festivals they PATRONIZE OTHER music festivals like we all do. They KNOW the same things I do, and they LISTEN to people like me that go from New York to Florida doing this stuff. I been on the phone many times with Mr. Byron giving my input on everything from layout to traffic flow.

We spoke about the food vendor issue, and I found out WHY they got placed back where they did…power. NOT political power, physical voltage power. I never really noticed the generators running the truck, I missed that observation. He explained that to me, you know what, I think he has this whole scheme licked. Just by being the amazing human being that he is, that alone makes Kickin’ On The Creek one of the best. I’ll be honest Miss Tiffany over at Master Musician’s Festival runs an equally special operation that will warm your heart with joy.

I want to talk about the intense amount of community love and help the Robert’s family gets from so many great people and places. The Fire Department, the EMT’s that donate their weekend to help injuries that may occur. There wasn’t many rotten apples, but security was on the ball here.

They were courteous but also meant business, basically all festivals have ONE MAIN RULE. Don’t be a dick. It’s not hard to follow, right? I mean drink all you want but act like an adult, have a little smoke and a TON of food. But, doggone it respect your neighbor, share your shine and enjoy each other’s company. life is too short and too precious to break the only rule we have.

If anybody wants the definition of a work horse Mr. Josh Nolan I recently asked him just how many sets he played this weekend and this was his response:   I think I ended up playing 8 sets, most of which happened Friday Chelsea Nolan, Senora, Jeremy Short Those were planned and rehearsed These were not. Lol Ethan Hunt, Sean Whiting ,William Matheny A few songs with Grayson Jenkins

He has a nice album from 2014 called “Fair City Lights” and I had to buy a copy because the first song called “Do It Right” truly grabbed me as a person. I identified it well, and it spoke to my feelings.  I thought it was a well written song for sure! He played a song called ‘East Kentucky Skyline”, and another song I have watched Miss Chelsea Nolan play called “Silver Line”

I did some wandering around again getting crowd shots and watched the fellow artists watching Mr. Josh play, that always does my heart good to see that stuff. There was no trying to outdo anybody here, each act brought a little something different to the table. As he played a song called “Green Bridges”, I gathered my notes and got ready for more.

Mr. Geno Seale released a damn fine album called Times As Dark As These, and he recently played at Miss Chelsea Nolan’s album release party. I had to work and couldn’t attend sadly. Now Mr. Geno was involved in quite a bit of the shenanigans with Miss Honey today, that ornery Ol’ lady done smiled today!

He made a pretty good statement today “This is not a scene, what we are doing here is a community” and to be honest I pretty much agree with him. I’m pretty grateful to be included in their community, and to be so widely accepted by every other community.

He has Mr. John R. Miller, and Mr. William Matheny both helping him play his set today. He played songs off his album the likes of  “The Gospel” originally cut by Goose Creek Symphony, and more. Before he brought out Miss Teresa Prince from Luna And The Mountain Jets to play one with him called ‘Go On In Peace”.

He played a great song called “Found Pennies” which was one I never got to hear before today, It’s not on the record at all. I had to research to find the name, I just had my notes. I just enjoy his rough and raw take it or leave it vocals and style.

The song called ‘Hymns And Praises” is all about the music community being kind of like a religion on some aspects. Mr. Geno said it’s MORE than JUST music here,  and I could see that decree is valid right here tonight.

Mr. John R. Miller stayed on the stage to bring out his next band, who mentored me a few years back The Prison Book Club from Shepherdstown West Virginia.  They don’t know it but they inspired me along with Mr. Dale Watson, Split Lip Rayfield, Ray Wylie Hubbard and MORE!

Their first song was called “Roll It Up” and they went into the song called ‘Eat Your Brains” , before they played some songs off of the self titled album with the deer on it. Mr. William Matheny helped them today along with Mr. Tucker Riggleman on bass and Mr. M Tivis Clark on drums.

‘Six Pack” was followed by the song called ‘White Plain”. The song called ‘Nothing To Loose” is pretty much a good breakup song about loosing everything, now there’s nothing to loose…get it? They played “Coming Down” which Mr. John wrote, I know Mr. Tyler Childers plays it too, but it was originally a Prison Book Club song.

Now it’s time for a really funny story about that clown Laid Back Country Picker. You know as SOON as HE comes around you never see Mr. David, he goes in that damn bathroom for an hour. And of course mean Ol’ Miss Honey was in tow tonight, but THEY GOT HER TO SMILE!

“Partyline” was first, he has thugs after him because he accidentally got on their party line! After playing a new song he played a song called “Maggofin County Cadillac” which takes you on a tour of  his area out there.  Well, he told us a story about traveling with Mr. Tyler Childers out in Weston West Virginia during the annual Carp Festival, and it funny as shit.  That song was called “David Bowie”, and it was a bout the nervous hospital and more!

He went on to play a song called “Truck Stop Sam” but here was the funny story, while they were playing some goobers decided to try to make Miss Honey smile…and they did just that! SEE we all voted her for president. Now AS ALWAYS under rule number one, you leave your politics at the festival gate! But THIS TIME we get a pass, they want Miss Honey for president.

I don’t think she realized she had a fan club, since she’s always so mean looking I think they decided she needs some loving too. So three folks dressed as her and went through the crowd, and got up on stage to stand behind her for a song until she laughed.

But to be honest, we LOVE HER VERY MUCH, you know what? The world needs MORE comedy in music, and laughter is chicken soup for the soul, too many politics and name calling out there. WHY CAN’T we just laugh at ourselves and enjoy one another?  Laid Back is changing that, and I applaud that! AND HEY if it’s good enough for Mr. JJ Waters, and Mr. Tyler Childers, it’s good right?

Let’s revert back once again to a man that released a DAMN FINE ALBUM this year, and it’s a INSTANT TOP 50 inclusion for sure, and that is none other than John R. Miller And The Engine Lights and YES they played a KILLER SET here this weekend.

He opened with “Holy Dirt” which is the opener on the new album, and my favorite song on the album by far. His second song was called “Red Eyes”. I just love his unique sound, it is so different from the Prison Book Club music, he also plays bass for my friend Mr. Pat Reedy.

‘Back And Forth” is a slow and easy song from his first album called Service Engine that is my favorite song from that album. It speaks to me as an individual. He also included the song “Lights of The City” , song has some truly beautiful fiddle on it and the entire album has some really soft steel guitar tones on it, that bring out his vocals in a vivid way.

They also played the song called “Been Here Too Long” ,which pretty much rounded up most of the new album for us. I truly enjoyed listening to the album live here. He did revert back to Service Engine album for the song called “Motor’s Fried”, which was a good choice here. All of his songs flow really well together in a sense, and he has well written lyrics.

‘How It Feels In The Light” and the song called “Whale Party” closed out the show for him here. I am a big fan of ALL of this man’s work, all of his bands and his kick ass songs he does! The Engine Lights today were Mr. harry Clark (from the Wooks) on mandolin, Miss Chloe Edmonstone on fiddle (who did a SWELL JOB here), Mr. John Clay on drums, and Mr. Chris Justice (from Wayne Graham) on bass.

I did not get any pictures of the BAND not the person called Wayne Graham. Instead I’m going to post this from their website to explain their name :

Wayne was a renaissance man. Curiousity and good hand-eye coordination are a deadly combination. He was an electrician, a locksmith, a mechanic, a coal miner, a guitarist, and a singer, but the roles that took the highest priority in his life were husband, father, brother, and son. He approached life with a laughable optimism and proved over time he was right. He made sure to be my earliest memory and I have consulted him, wherever he is, with every major decision in my life. Over the years, I’ve met many strangers who knew him.  Their tall tale is the same as those I’ve heard before. He was a legendary man with more soul than his body could hold.

Graham was the first one of his brothers to own a car. He was able to buy it because he started working when he was very young. When his younger brother graduated from high school, he drove him to college. He left his car with him and headed home to pine creek.

He married my grandmother and bought a small shack on Pine Creek. They moved in in February, a logging trail covered in snow, to a shack with quarter inch slits between the slats.

He slowly bought that mountain, acre by acre, building more rooms on his house for his growing family. He was the neighborhood farmer, old regular Baptist, democrat, World War II vet, coal miner, romance novel patron, Kentucky Wildcats fan. His image flashes in my periphery at least once a day, reminding me his constant refrain when he and Mamaw kept me in my early years, “This boy is gonna make me president.”

Mr. Kenny Miles- guitar, piano, vocals and his brother Mr.Hayden Miles- drums, vocals Mr.Chris Justice – bass and finally Mr. Lee Owen – guitar, vocals, make up this band from Whitesburg  Kentucky. They bring forth a classic rock sound with an Appalachian twist to it.
Their new album called JOY came out September 18th, and according to them the songs are memos to themselves for later, documenting what it felt like to persist and move forward.

Mr. Joseph Huber is one of my all time favorite musicians I know from the (what they call) Roots Music movement or the Muddy Roots crowd. I just called it GOOD STUFF! He has been around for many many years starting out with the .357 String Band, before moving on to his own path.

And on that path he has put out four damn fine solo albums and along with Mr. Jason Loveall on fiddle, he has played just about every festival you could possibly name. He opened with “16-10” from his latest album along with another song that speaks to me especially because Mr. Joseph is from the same place as I was raised, Milwaukee Wisconsin. That song is called “Old playground Is A Battlefield”.

Another song he said he wrote while on the .357 String Band called “Drop In the Bucket” while busking on the streets. A drop in the bucket is all I need to hammer down on the banjo strings.  He played another great song called ‘Old Mountain Tune”.

This community enjoyed his music tonight including the song called “Old Mountain Tune” , and a song called “Diminished Things” from his new album The Suffering Stage. From the album called the Hanging Road he played the song called “Coming Down From You”.

Also from this album he played the song called “Same River Twice”, and they played “Souls Without Maps” and closed with the title track from his album “Tongues Of Fire”. Before some of the later bands tonight I went out for a walk around to see more!

The Tillers were next, a wonderful band from the Ohio area. I equally covered their set from Muddy Roots only a few weeks earlier, and many other times. These four guys truly play wonderful down home folk and bluegrass music.  Their new self titled album will probably be another good possibility for my TOP 50 of 2018.

Mr. Michael Oberst- banjo, vocal, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, kazoo, Mr. Sean Geil- guitar, vocal, dobro, banjo, mandolin, Mr. Aaron Geil- upright bass, vocals and Mr. Joe Macheret- fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals make up this truly Legendary band.

Their first song was from that said new album called “Revolution Row”, also they played the song called “Riverboat Dish washing Song”. One of the greatest and most well written songs I have heard in the years of doing this local music website. The song called “Willy Dear” is absolutely amazing, with a cleverly written ghost story.

“Dear Mother” was another great song from the new album that was included in this set, that showcased their new album truly well. I’m eagerly ecstatic about this band being included into so many other music communities like Mr. Joseph Huber.

Another awesome song they play is called “Tecumseh On The Battlefield” . Also included in their set were the songs “Treehouse”, “Mona”, and ” The Road Neverending”. I have always like the harmonies this band has together, and the way that they light up the stage with their charisma. You can JUST TELL they LOVE to play together and understand one another truly well.

They closed their set with two songs from my favorite album they have called Hand On The Plow, and those songs were called “500 Miles From My Home” and the last song was called “Old Westside”. They always leave us feeling jovial and they have fun up there on stage.

They do not stop and tell stories, because their songs do that FOR THEM. I got to share some camp food with a couple of the guys from the band, and I always try my best to drop money their way to keep them rolling on. And I believe they always will roll on.

As the sun began to set I took a couple good pulls of this wonderful moonshine I was given, and got ready for the next artists here. Some GREAT FRIENDS are coming to entertain us here. The excitement and energy was absolutely  astounding here in the holler.

Mr. Byron was just as proud of the closing acts as he was of the earlier acts, he treated nobody different or less important here. I cannot say enough great things about how he runs this program here, and the new bands I have discovered here proves his top notch attention to music quality. I swear, this door here is like the gates of heaven as you go onto the stage into the lights.

Once again, there it is…Mr. Byron’s love for this community. I watched him go around hugging EVERYONE in the crowd, making ALL the guests feel wanted and welcome. Now mind you MANY directors do this TO A RENTED VENUE….THIS MAN WELCOMED US TO HIS OWN HOME. This was his front yard, you are sitting in!

Arlo McKinely And The Lonesome Sound are another Ohio based band that has been BOOMING in growth lately, so big he is selling out venues nationwide now. he has grown to bigger echelons in the last two years here. Mr. Arlo opened up with “Walking Shoes”, “Don’t Need To Know”, and another great song called “Right Where You Want Me”. Three great songs we all know and were singing along to, and dancing all over. My feet were even moving around but for me it was more of the corn liquor, I was buzzing pretty good. It’s alright I wasn’t going anywhere.

There aren’t many REAL CROONERS out there like Mr. Arlo like he does on the song called “iv’e Got Her” A TRULY smooth and beautiful song, followed by the song “We Were Alright”.  Then the Lonesome Sound took a small break and Mr. Arlo played a few himself.

He played a great song he usually plays called “Bag Of Pills” , and a medley of songs one was called “Man’s Done Gone” and I wasn’t sure about the other song here. He also played “A Song Is Born”, before most of the band came back for the rest of the set.

“Time In Bars” was next from his latest album, and like I was saying about his vocals being so smooth the song “Wild Horses” always hits me right in the feels every time. And the songs I relate to even better with like “Gone For Good” were presented in a true folk and Country way. His vocal delivery is VERY unique and different, in many ways.

“Suicidal Saturday Night” was another song he played on this set before he closed the set with “Dancing Days” and the last song he played was called “Die Midwestern”.  His growth is resulting in harder to attend shows due to the extreme amount of volume of want for ticket sales. It’s truly a great thing to witness for many of these bands I have been writing about for years.

Town Mountain was a BLAZING HOT Bluegrass band that has been around for awhile now. This Asheville North Carolina band that consists of  Mr. Phil Barker – Mandolin, Vocals, Mr. Robert Greer – Vocals, Guitar, Mr. Jesse Langlais – Banjo, Vocals, Mr. Bobby Britt – Fiddle and Mr. Zach Smith – Bass make up one of the hottest Bluegrass bands on the circuit now!

As they played songs like “Up The Ladder” and the GREAT cover of “I’m On Fire” they just steamrolled from one song into another tonight, and got everybody drunk and revved up for Mr. Tyler Childers!  From the new album coming out on October 26th, they played “One Drop In The Bottle”. They also played the song called “Ruination Line”.

Mr. Tyler came out and joined the band for the song “Down Low” that will be on their new album coming out this month, and that garnered a huge response from this audience. I mean, as I stood on that stage ALL I SAW WAS PEOPLE all over. it was absolutely intense how quickly this place went crazy!

I’ll be trying to catch up with them on a later date here on an in town show they have lined up, because I had a camera charger problem here while they played. It was late, I was tired and hot…man was I burned up to a crisp. My whole body was sore form sun walking and my skin was raw from sun lotion, but MAN WAS IT WELL WORTH IT!

The intro for Mr. Tyler Childers was probably one of the longest of the entire festival, mainly because Mr. Tyler was one of the only acts to have played every one since day 1. My. Byron told me many stories of the first one with a hundred people and hot dogs were the only food you could buy.

Parts of the first stage were placed into the present stage much like the Opry did, and he told me of how small the whole plans were…Mr. Tyler still played. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are well familiar with the booming success of Mr. Tyler Childers.

He began his set with a somber and poignant version of “Time Of The Preacher” from the Red Headed Stranger Willie Nelson album, and he always does that song justice! He went right into “Banded Clovis” before even acknowledging the crowd, he didn’t have to! this was one of the longest and greatest sets I ever witnessed him play!

Once again he had the entire crowd singing along to “Follow Me To Virgie”, one of his more popular songs that he does and has plenty of crowd participation on it. This young man has spearheaded this music community into one of the largest markets I have ever witnessed.

He played a great “Lady May” that he wrote for his awesome wife Miss Senora, he played a LOVELY version of that song on the Opry. I flat out enjoy this man’s songs and have since I fist heard him on that couch in Dingess WV so many years ago.

He just barreled into songs like “White House Road” and others like the mighty “Deadman’s Curve”.  He also played the song called “Born Again” off of his Purgatory album. I promised him I wasn’t going to write anything about his past comments this summer, and I shall not. I have PLENTY of grounds to cover on him without being cliche.

He played one of my favorite songs he does called “Nose To The Grindstone”, which tells a scary and dark story of the way of life in that area up there. Many of his stories paint vivid pictures of poverty and hunger for the evils of the world. Along with the song “Swear To God”, and “Feathered Indians”.

Now he played a NEW song called “Gemini” I’m not really sure about any new album plans, and I haven’t asked him about anything like that. But, we enjoyed the song. He then played “Charleston Girl” next along with a few more, before closing with “Honky Tonk Flame”, and leaving the place all tore up!

After Mr. Tyler was finished I was completely and utterly exhausted, and on the ride home that Sunday I drank over a gallon of water on the ride home, and had to stop for insulin. I was totally worn out in every possible way. But when I woke up Sunday morning I was in for a surprise, as I planned to stay until about 4pm and jaunt home to work that Sunday night.

I work third shift, and so I had to work at 10pm Sunday, that’s my Monday. So I awoke to the Local Honeys playing a small Gospel set as they announced there was a  heavy rain coming, which makes the creek rise and that everyone has to leave as soon as possible. Now that was NOT being unfriendly…actually it was quite handy!

So I began packing my truck and saying my goodbyes for the weekend, I strolled around and took some last minute pictures of the entire event. All together I took over 1000 pictures and had 30 pages of notes, can’t you tell?

I just have way too many people to THANK for making my Kickin On The Creek experience the most amazing and enriching time I have had in a long long time. I KNOW I missed a TON of great bands but FEAR NOT I have jotted down ALL OF THEM and I WILL remedy this quandary as soon as I can!

Thanks for bearing with me for this long on both of these editions of this article, and I want to thank all the bands and managers that allow me to relentlessly pester them with my questions. I try my damn best to include as many people and facts as I can, and expose my readers to the FULL ASPECTS of the event so they will buy tickets in 2019.

See you on the road somewhere my friends!

 

 

 

Oct 122018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Adam Hood is back with his first album since 2014’s Welcome To The Big World.  That was one of my favorite records in that year and I was eagerly anticipating his follow up when I heard it would be out this year. Somewhere In Between is a worthy follow up to his last album and it continues the great songwriting and great country songs.

There is a bit of a theme that runs through the album about small towns and small town living.  “Alabama Moon” hits at that with it’s infectious chorus longing for a lost piece of paradise. “The Weekend” is another infectious track with a smooth bass groove that will take you straight through the weekend.

“Bayou Girl” takes the listener to the bayou and small town Louisiana where the singer dreams of a small town cajun girl.  “Locomotive” is another love song that features a chugging riff in a nice country rock love song. Finally, “Real Small Town” is a folksy / Americana sounding ode to small town USA.  The imagery paints a deep picture of small towns all across the country and you can visualize the music video that would go along with this track.

Adam Hood has crafted a great follow-up to his stellar 2014 record.  He continues to be a champion for the small man while straddling the line between major artist and still playing the smaller haunts and dives.  I look forward to what the future holds for Adam Hood and hopefully, it’s not another four year wait for a new record. Somewhere In Between is out everywhere today October 12, 2018.      

Favorite Tracks : She Don’t Love Me, Alabama Moon, Bayou Girl, The Weekend, Locomotive, Real Small Town

Adam Hood – Somewhere In Between (2018)

  1. Heart Of A Queen
  2. She Don’t Love Me (Feat. Brent Cobb)
  3. Alabama Moon
  4. Downturn
  5. The Weekend
  6. Bayou Girl
  7. Easy Way
  8. Locomotive
  9. Keeping Me Here
  10. Real Small Town
  11. Confederate Rose
Oct 122018
 

By Joshua Wallace

I was first exposed to Chelsea Nolan and her music through W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show podcast.  Later on, I would see her live as one of the early acts on WB’s 5th Anniversary show. I enjoyed what I heard, but like many artists Chelsea had no recorded output that I could find to dig into after that.  Fast forward to about last week and I saw a Capture Kentucky post on Facebook about a debut release coming soon from Chelsea Nolan. I knew then I had to give it a listen and report back here on it for everyone.  I’m here to tell ya, it’s worth your time and money to check out this record, and here is why.

The album kicks off with a track called “Build A Fire”.  This track sets the mood for the rest of the record. It starts off with just Chelsea’s guitar but quickly builds into a full band country sound.  It’s a great character piece that lets you know off the bat that Chelsea Nolan is an amazing songwriter. The album goes into “Rock Bottom” which is another great example of good songwriting.  It’s a song that roasts it’s subject harshly with lines like “you’d steal the pennies off a dead man’s eyes” and it’s a good lyrical jaunt.

The track “Sugar Hollar” is the ballad of the record and the band is stripped down for this track to really highlight the ebbs and flows of Chelsea’s voice.  It’s one of the highlights of the record. The album closes out with the mellow “If You Think It’s About You, It Probably Is”. I really dig the pedal steel work on this track.

Chelsea Nolan is another part of the growing Kentucky country music scene that is spearheaded by the likes of Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers.  I look forward to hearing more from her and possibly seeing her live again in the future. This album is available today and if you would like a physical copy, you can go to https://www.chelseanolanmusic.com/shop and order one there.  

Favorite Tracks : Build A Fire, Rock Bottom, Sugar Hollar, If You Think It’s About You, It Probably Is

Chelsea  Nolan – chelsea. (2018)

  1. Build A Fire
  2. Rock Bottom
  3. Green Bridges
  4. Silver Line
  5. Sugar Hollar
  6. If You Think It’s About You, It Probably Is
Oct 102018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Updated 10/17/2018 at 2:45PM:

The festival removed the post which I posted on the 15th and followed up with the following:

Under threat of legal action from the talent agencies, we were forced to remove our previous informational statement. We’ll be updating everyone as soon as possible.

admin@partyinthepines.com

I have reached out to Party In The Pines to find out if they would like the text from that post removed from this article and I will delete it if they respond.  Until then, it will remain printed in the previous update.

———————

Updated 10/15/2018 at 4:45PM:

The festival posted the following on their Facebook page :

The Bienville Entertainment team is working diligently to facilitate refunds to purchasers of tickets, camping, Party In The Pines sponsors and vendors; as soon as possible! We are seeking professional help to work through this difficult process. As you may know we have paid approximately $1,500,000 to the talent agencies, and their intention is to keep all of it. We appreciate your understanding as we move forward. We will be updating you by email, Facebook and Partyinthepines.com

———————

Original Story :

This is a developing story.  I will update this as I get more info.  Here is the current statement from Party In The Pines :

It is with heavy heart that we inform you that Party In The Pines music festival scheduled for October 19th – 20th has been canceled due to circumstances beyond our control.  We are working on a plan to compensate ticket holders and sponsors.  Details will be posted to our website and social media pages soon.

We realize this impacts many people in many different ways.  We apologize to our supporters and team members who have worked hard to bring this event to our community.

__________________________

I realize that does not give much information or explanation for a cancelation of a major festival 10 days out.  Most of what is posted online currently is unconfirmed.

I did find a story from the Lake City Reporter giving a little more info on this from the owner of Bienville Plantation Robert Morey.  He states that all of the festivals funds are being held by the artists talent agency but repaying everyone is first priority.  That is all I could currently find beyond the press release statement.

I will look for more confirmed information on this once Hurricane Michael has passed through my area in South GA and this article will be updated as soon as I can get it to you.

Oct 092018
 

It’s approaching the close of 2018, and you know what that means, the preparation of my BEST OF 2018 article which always comes out on Christmas Day at Midnight. That piece takes about twenty hours to make and get my facts correct and organized, and all the bands and PR people contacted.

I also have to start pitching for jobs in 2019, to stay relevant. See folks, many of you faithfully read me and I thank you, however many of the public is steered toward the next flashy offering. It’s normal proven science that the public reads MANY websites and forgets old ones. So in order to remain relevant you MUST STAY a step ahead of the game, I heard a few people are “upset” with me because I think it’s a competition…well..it’s NOT I read other people’s blogs myself and I have a truly mutual love for people like Capture Kentucky. But at the same time I MUST stay relevant to continue paying my bills, and the people that are “upset” with me aren’t paying them. On a side note if you would like better pictures than mine you NEED to see my buddy Mr. Jonathan Newsome over at Capture Kentucky.

Festivals….I covered quite a few in 2018, and I choose one or two new ones every year. This year I chose TWO, and they both focused on the Appalachian music community in East Kentucky. It’s one of the few that is rising at a rapid pace, both with performers and patrons. This is becoming a viable, tangible form of music to a much larger audience, with a down home luster that resonates very loudly through the hills and hollers of East Tennessee  and East Kentucky, and portions of Ohio. Many of the performers that are included in this scene are also from Canada, and West Virginia as well. To those that have been there through the years like my friend Mr. JJ Waters, this music community has always been part of their heart and soul, and I feel very humbled to have been invited into it.

I started noticing and enjoying the bands involved here around 2013 when my friend W.B. Walker recorded his very first anniversary show on his couch in his living room. And that introduced me to three prominent forces in that area, Miss Senora May Lainhart, Mr. Tyler Childers and Mr. Justin Payne. Ever since then, I have been hooked on the sound and the format of the music itself, and little did I fathom that it would evolve into the epicenter that it recently has.

This series of articles needs to come with an internal warning about length as it’s going to be quite possibly two of the lengthiest articles I have ever done for two days at any festival. I think I observed more this weekend than the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus when he was Saul. The good Lord was absolutely in presence here this weekend on this property and in the hearts of the people that came, because I’ll be honest..this was beyond anything I have ever witnessed at a music function of any magnitude, and trust me I have been around music functions for ten years, never before have I not known how to start. I had to STOP and dwell on this very aspect for a week now.

I missed the first day because I have no time left at work, I had a lot of family issues this summer and had to burn it all to tend to my adopted mother. Music is indeed fun, but family comes first. So I was already running a day behind everyone else, my next dilemma leaving the work place was the loss of an hour’s time in the time zone. So, before I even arrived on the interstate I was in the hole on time. But I made pretty good time getting to Somerset where the hotel is I use for Master Musician’s Festival which is a friend of the Roberts family here, and the format I used for them was one of the reasons I was hired to do this.

I’m going to tell you as much as I can about every aspect of this festival from an angle quite different than my usual format, because quite simply this festival itself was different from any other I have ever experienced. From the moment I pulled into the front gate area, I witnessed a totally different vibe and direction of operation.

A music festival is a science, and a business and if it doesn’t function and flow properly it doesn’t make money. But this particular festival wasn’t focused on being tangible. I say that because back on the ticket pre sale he could have easily sold all thousand tickets AND MORE, I mean they could have easily crammed another thousand people on the property and made money…but they didn’t. Mr. Byron and his family instead invited REAL FOLKS here and chose to pay attention to THEM. This event isn’t concerned on commercial feel, and the musicians and bands all watched one another in glee. They had FUN with one another, and interacted with each other on a non professional level here. This was just a big family party, and if you study the HISTORY of the event, THAT IS what started it. A birthday party for Mr. Byron and Miss Kelli’s son Mr. Kenton  Roberts, three years ago began the format and idea for this event. I want to tell you more about the history, but I’m going to tell you as I learned about it myself.

When I got into Irvine Kentucky I could tell JUST WHY they told me to PLEASE CAMP, the roads were hard to maneuver and the instructions I had were EXACTLY like they described. HAIRPIN TURN indeed, wow. In fact as I came in I passed an unfortunate young lady that overturned her jeep down the ravine, but like I said GOD WAS THERE, and THANK GOD she was unharmed, and got to see the show! This was a ride that was so scenic and amazing only pictures could explain it easier.

I had no problem getting through the gate, and actually they asked me off the bat if I was the guy that needed power for a CPAP machine? I thought wow that’s great communication there. They took care of me and checked my I.D. and gave me instructions, however I parked up front until I checked in with the powers that be. I had no idea if I was supposed to drive through the creek, I mean there were people sitting in lawn chairs in the creek. I wasn’t sure where the stage was or anything else, so I parked in an easy spot and went for a walk to meet people and find out what they wanted me to do, but of course I started taking pictures and working a little bit.

The moment I approached the stage area I was greeted by Mr. J Ray Grossman the legendary roadie for the Goose Creek Symphony, whom I met at The Goose On The Lake before the Colonel Jon Hensley died. I got to talk to him for a bit before meeting Mr. Byron and Mr. Kenton who greeted me with open arms..like I was family. We have a great admiration for one another on many levels, and they directed me to a camping spot, where I could get settled in. Now mind you I was doing all this on NO sleep for that Friday! This was about noon I’m about to tell you about the first band I covered for this job here soon, yeah I realize I already wrote the Old Testament.

When I got settled in more I got to meet Mr. Byron and his son Mr. Kenton, the birthday boy! They hugged me tighter than my own adopted parents would. We began talking about the history of the actual festival itself, how the sound booth was part of the original stage and that the stage now currently has a portion of it embedded into the frame.

His own home was built with his own two hands and his children were raised on the property, parts of the living room are parts of building that date back to the Civil War, which if you are like me YOU KNOW that’s a interesting historical event. I study the regiments of the Confederacy and the Union all the time, and I found it amazing how intricate the detail to the house was for him to build this. Mr. Byron himself was raised in the area, and stayed where his heart remains.

This man literally threw the largest front yard barbecue party the world has ever witnessed, and don’t get me wrong IT HAS NO SPONSORS unlike everyone else… this wasn’t “brought to you by so and so”, this was brought to you by the Roberts family…all of them and their community.

One of the first bands I got to see myself was a fellow I met a few years ago in Huntington West Virginia on the W.B. Walker Anniversary show, and he is from Saskatchewan Canada. He is none other than Mr. Blake Berglund, and his band the Vultures.He had the lovely Miss Belle Plaine playing with him, more on her later, but the gentleman in the overalls on the guitar was Mr. Bryce Lewis and he plays for both Berglund and Miss Belle Plaine.

Mr. Blake is the real deal folks, with a true western twang and a cattle ranch feel to his songs, that make your heart crave cookie’s chuck off the fire pit. He is a champion bull rider and skilled songwriter, and he played many great songs for us like “Rain Delay”, which I believe was new.

Now from his 2017 album called Realms, he played us “Pretty Good Guy” and another great song called “Moose Mountain” where he reflects on his youth of making mistakes, and a thirteen year old Palomino Mare with the need for a contact high.  It paints a truly splendid picture in the listener’s mind of  gorgeous nature.

His last song was called “Crooked Old Earth”, it was a truly fine closing song to this set. Now before you think wow these were short sets, please remember there was only one stage. And they had to keep it moving along, and EVERY BAND was personally introduced by Mr. Byron himself. He would come out on stage and say a short piece for every act.

Mr. Grayson Jenkins and the Resolutions were next, and he is from Greenville Kentucky MY NECK OF THE WOODS but currently is based out of Lexington Kentucky. he and his band kicked off the set with “If I Was A Cowboy” and another called ” Junior Walker” from his second album. You may recall I covered him on the Master musicians Festival as well.

“Somewhere In Kentucky” was from the album “Cityscapes And Countrysides” which also includes a really good version of the song “Atlantic City” that Mr. Bruce Springsteen released in 1982. That is the aforementioned second album.

They played a truly wonderful version of Don William’s classic song called “Love Me Tonight”, off the album You’re My Best Friend in 1975.  His drummer Mr. Zach Martin was amazing, as was the rest of the band on this set here,let me tell you more about them. Mr. Ryan Allen on guitar, Mr. Tyler Young on bass, and  joining him on vocals was Miss Abby Hamilton. As I ventured off into the vendor area they played a song called “Mockingbird” which was pretty much self explanatory.

Before I go into venturing off into some of the vendors that were here, I want to extend a huge online hug to the folks over at Pickup Country 104.9 FM who I need to publicly THANK for letting me put my stuff by them, and for keeping an eye on it for me. Miss Angela and her crew were some truly friendly folks, and I loved laughing and meeting them. Please go check out what they do music because it is a HUGE labor of love.

I want to talk about some of the food and merchandise vendors, as well as what Miss Kelli Roberts and her daughter spearheaded on the Kickin’ In The Creek shirts, posters and “stuff” department. Those ladies ran a stellar operation selling stuff for artists, and helped make shopping a FUN time.

 

The entire left side of the front yard was filled with many nifty looking things to spend money on, and yummy food to equally liquidate your pocket. I mean WHY NOT spend a ton on food and stuff…I DO. Let’s be honest guys the money goes into the band’s gas tank to make the next show, and hey WHY CAN’T Mr. Justin Wells feed his twins with his merch money? Isn’t that what this is all about?

One of the food trucks I got some WICKED pulled pork nachos from was Mr. Justin Taylor who operates the Roll ‘N’ Smoke rolling smoke truck. I tell you WHAT I got some tasty HOME MADE nacho chips and his sauce was really REALLY good, generous portions of the meat on my nachos.

I also met Mr. Steve Walters, who runs Estill Agate Works and although he has no webpage you can contact him in Irvine Kentucky at steve0244@hotmail.com. Miss Rebecca Thomas operates the True soul Clothing Company out of Huntington West Virginia, and we had a pleasant chat this morning.

Next to her were the folks at Stewart’s music that also said they had no webpage but I thought it was kind of smart to have a music store here in case someone needed strings or a capo, and I had a pleasant time getting to know them as well. drank some shine with them too!

I spent a lot of time watching bands with one of my own band buddies Mr. Pat Reedy, who has a band called the Longtime Goners. He has a REALLY GOOD new album out NOW and you can find out more about it on our review HERE. I also reviewed his set at MUDDY ROOTS see, Mr. John R Miller plays bass for him. See how this is just one big circle of family? Also, I’m going to be talking about his 2019 Ameripolitan Nomination.

Now one of the things I didn’t care for was the one central spot for toilets in the back area. That was a little pressing however I can see the reason, they didn’t want septic trucks driving all over the property. That was an obvious answer to a dilemma MANY patrons were talking about, so to squelch the displeasure that is probably why they did that.

This next young lady is one I have and will be talking a lot about here toward the year’s end, Miss Belle Plaine because her new album is SOLID. You can read my partner’s review of it SOON. You can order the album if you click up there on her band site, so please do that for her.

She opened her set with “Golden Ring” which is the first single off the album out now on Spotify and all else, and had Mr. Blake Berglund playing leads for her. Her work on Mr. Colter Wall’s debut album was equally good, and I have been a fan of hers for some time now.

The song “Good Heart” is featured on her 2016 album The Unrequited Love, and was played at many of the shows I got to see her perform at.  Her other album  called Notes From A Waitress, that album brought forth the next song called “Port Angeles”.  That song is a peaceful and soft ballad with lovely piano on the record, and if features her soulful voice vividly.

The next two songs were offering from the new album called “Is It Cheating” and “Laila Sadie Johnson Wasn’t Beaten By No Train”. I CAN tell you this new album features a fine voice, and in my opinion she has truly evolved her style into a whole new echelon.

After another few good pulls of some of the many flavored moonshines available behind the stage here, on the porch I decided to rest a moment and gather my notes. To bring you the next band up today, and visit with some more friends coming and going.

I got to finally meet Mr. Jonathan Newsome for the first time today and we had a photo showdown…he won..I bow to him. I always have admired good photographers and if you know him or Miss Alexis Faye, they are two truly gifted photographers in their respected communities. I belong to no scene or family, but I am humbled to have been invited into theirs.

All the while these festivities are transpiring, My Byron went personally from group to group hugging people and thanking them for coming to his home. To his domain and to his yard to celebrate something he holds dear to his heart…music. EVERY ACT he personally chose and personally enjoyed.

This festival was carefully planned with intricate attention to detail and every aspect was attended to in a down home family type demeanor. If you weren’t convinced of the sincerity of Mr. Byron Roberts, you weren’t REALLY there. Never before have I EVER encountered a director so in love with people and spirit, and I don’t believe I ever will again.

Mr. Jeremy Short And Company I mean this cat slung one mean assed guitar around. Mr. Jeremy Short is based out of Kentucky and knows no genre really, but he knows how to pull that soul out of that axe. And with Mr. Josh Nolan on guitar (who played for about nine acts this weekend) and Mr. John Clay on drums, he broke out a damn fine set today.

“Bartender” was first from the album Lost In a Spin, which sent the crowd into a huge blistering frenzy. It was already hot as crap here with no relief from the heat until around 4 when the sun began to be hid by the trees on the side of the holler.

“Shake It Off” was one of my favorites because it was well written and genre bending in every aspect. I mean there was NO WAY to classify this music other than it was GREAT!  I didn’t catch the entire set sad to say because I was wandering so much at that time to eat.

I found some wood fired pizza that was pretty good, but the selection was only two types of topping. I think for easier storage they couldn’t offer sausage toppings or ham. The pepperoni was really not bad at all, and to be honest the prices here were all really truly reasonable.

You sort of want the food trucks to be more near the stage area to market the smell to the crowds, and I found that to be somewhat against the norm. But really in the main camping area is where everyone ate, I didn’t see the audience eating while watching music. That’s hard to call if they don’t usually do that…or it was the result of lost sales?

I had many new faces to tell about my website here this weekend, and I met many new friends, and I had some old ones that recognized me. This was a whole new world that I am engulfed in this weekend, and I’m loving every minute of this. Once again, I’m very lucky to be included in this, and this community is very friendly.

This mountain region of America is often overlooked and underappreciated, and I think politically the coal mining industry was hated by the government. I won’t indulge my politics in public…I never do, but I think that it’s not appreciated.  And I think these folks are often rudely stereotyped by others, they were some of the finest upstanding folks I ever met.

many things are going on this weekend for charities and volunteer fire departments, in fact I donated 50 at the door to someone, I think it was volunteer fire dept. This guitar was left to be signed by every act, and it was being raffled off during the show. They also were doing some things for veterans and other groups of folks here.

Mr. William Matheny was next onstage here, and he called his band the Strange Constellations, also another thing about him. The merch booth person kept correcting the public it is prnounced MATHEENIE not MATHANEY. Which I’m sure is a common mistake here, like Mr. Jack Grelle gets mispronounced.

He also had Mr. John R. Miller, and Mr. Josh Nolan playing for him today onstage, I enjoyed his beautiful version of the Bobby Bare classic “That’s How I Got To Memphis”, also I cannot begin to name how many others have recorded that song.

He played an exciting set tonight with a song called ‘Tonight And Every Night From Now On”, which isn’t on either of his albums, but I found it to be one of his better songs…just that it spoke to me. He is a true multi talented young man in many aspects of the craft.

He also included the wonderful song called “Christian Name” which was another well written song with a great melody to it. His voice complements the lyrics and makes them vivid, and when you combine that with his unique delivery you get Mr. William Matheny.

Vintage Pistol I first heard of from hanging around the folks at the Fayetteville Roots Festival in the Arkansas area. Because that’s where they hail from, indeed. And they brought the most energetic stage presence we saw all day so far, until the Wooks came up. But they have also played for my friends in Kansas City at the Westport Saloon.

Mr. Garrett August on the keyboards went absolutely CRAZY for us and his glasses flew off, we had to help him find them! This five piece band of guys went totally nuts for us. I was so busy watching this band perform I forgot to write the songs down, to be honest.

Mr. Taylor Smith- guitar, vocals, Mr. Walt Blythe- lead guitar and Mr. Jake Schaffer – drums make up this band, they had one more member I couldn’t find the name, and my email went unanswered.

The next three acts were Mr. Byron’s pride and joy acts of the day, not that ANYONE was lesser loved or wanted, but by then Mr. Byron’s voice was already giving way to going out. He was already worn out and running like a cat on a hot tin roof…his exact words.

He was still going from group to group personally welcoming all of the people he saw, and hugging EVERYBODY. Playing with kids, and I tell you what he personally went and got me a water at one time. EVERY volunteer worked tirelessly to make this a different kind of event. The fire department, Medics, security, golf cart drivers, gate keepers, ALL OF THEM went the extra mile to make this happen.

The backstage area was equally amazing, there weren’t many new friendships being made because they already knew one another. There was an intense level of mutual respect for each other here in Appalachia, and I admired every waking moment of this despite the intense heat.

Mr. Byron emceed the event with precise care, and loving words for each artist. He knew them all, and some of them he bounced on his knee as children. Some of them he knew all their lives, and was a second father to them. I relate quite well to that, if a gal is under 25 I think….man I got a daughter your age.

The big man from Lexington Mr. Justin Wells made his appearance tonight, and it’s always a treat to watch him perform. I personally love his music very much and I equally enjoy seeing him and getting to talk about things. He is currently playing some new songs in his set lists, I noticed a few new ones.

His first song was ‘The Dogs” and my favorite song called ‘Still No Rain” followed it. He will tell you he is very blessed to be able to feed his family with his music, but I tell you WE ARE the lucky ones to have him around. he does MANY positive things for humanity as well as the music community. RIGHT NOW they are all raising money for  addiction in their community. He always has kind words to lift us all up.

I noticed the Dire Strait’s cover of ‘So Far Away” from my favorite album Brothers In Arms, and he played ‘Three Quarters Gone”. I plan to catch up with him for an interview soon before he goes into the studio for his next album, and PLEASE go buy some stuff from him, to enable him to do this next record.

He just had fun up there tonight, as the sun set and night began to relieve us all of the wretched heat, I got quite settled in to my surroundings, and my camp. I haven’t slept in a tent in ages, but hotel rooms here are not existent. In fact in my 2019 article for this event I won’t even include lodging, just camp.

The last two songs I recognized were called “Going Down Grinnin” and “Another Night Lonely”. Honestly I use his music many times for uplifting me before medical procedures and other things that mentally bring you down in life, because he is a very positive influence.

This is Mr. JJ Waters who helps operate Honky Tonk Heros on Facebook, and for new bands in this area, and events you MUST GO check them out. Currently they are preparing things for their annual Christmas toy drive, for the West Virginia community.  They become involved in many if not all of the local area shows and venues, and take nothing in return for their actions. I think they deserve a lot more credit than they are given for the time and effort they put into making things happen for local music.

Magnolia Boulevard is a five piece band out of Lexington Kentucky, that I missed the last time I had an opportunity to see them. But this time I did not fail seeing them here this weekend. This band consists of Miss Maggie Noelle on vocals, Mr. Ryan Allen on keyboards, Mr. Todd Copeland on drums, Mr. John Roberts on bass and finally Mr. Greg Erwin on guitars.

Their 2018 self titled EP boasted many of the songs they played in their set tonight including songs like “Sister” and many long instrumentals within the songs. This band is extremely energetic and multi sounding within genres. You really couldn’t classify them as anything accept damn good music.

Their set began with a song called “Without You” and after many instrumentals they went into one called “Call On Me.” Miss Maggie is quite the energetic spirit up there, moving about frantically as she delivers the lyrics out.

“Smooth Sailin” was another great song on display here tonight, and as the crowd began to fill up with anticipation for the next band that I self admittedly originally didn’t like..we were treated to some truly fine musical talents here. Another good song they played was called ‘Strong Willed Woman” , and they closed their set off with the song called “Ride”.

So I’ll start this portion of the article on an honest note here, I did NOT initially care for the music of The Wooks but after about 30 spins of their debut album and seeing them LIVE, I realized how deathly wrong I was. In fact I am downright ashamed of myself for even insinuating that they stunk..

OK well they have a new album coming out in 2018 called Glory Bound, and you can pre-order it by clicking on the name over there. I’m also going put on a cover of the album here for you. The first song from their set was a Steve Earle song called “Tom Ames Prayer”, you can find it on the 1994 album called “Gringo Honeymoon” by Mr. Robert Earl Keen.

Next up was the song called “Out Of Mind” from their debut album called Little Circles, they played almost that whole album as well as a bunch of great covers like Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”, and the Road Goes On Forever. The band consists of Mr.  CJ Cain | Lead Guitar, Mr. Harry Clark | Mandolin, Mr. Arthur Hancock | Guitar, Mr. Roddy Puckett | Bass and finally Mr. George Guthrie | Banjo.

One of the highlights for me during this set was the instrumental called the “Wookie Foot Shuffle” which had us all going insane this late at night. I sat there in my chair amazed at their solidarity together and the fact that they just KNOW what the others are doing at all times. There are some lyrics to the Wookie Foot Shuffle, but it’s pretty much focused on instrumentals.

“County Girl” was another great song followed by ‘Crooked Piece Of Time”. Another great song they played was called “White Lines And Neon Signs”, which was the very first song they do I was exposed to. I just cannot apologize to this band enough for not liking them at first.

Now then they played the song called “Feeling Good Again” and in between that song and the self titled song called “Glory Bound” there was a special appearance by Laid Back Country Picker, and he gave Mr. Arthur some trademark mutton chops!  Mr. Byron put him in a full nelson rasslin hold and O’l Laid Back shaved him because his beard was not up to code.

I want to thank Mr. Byron for making me come up on the stage during this to catch it all as it transpired. I’m pretty sure it was only partially planned because the set list says that Laid Back was coming on, but not this. Everybody enjoyed the comedy of Laid Back and on my part two, I’m going to tell you about a little funny with Miss Honey.

The band resumed playing songs the likes of “Night bird” and also “Spanish Pipedream” among others, like the classic ‘Rollin In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”.  With all this going on, there was some really cool fire dancing going on side stage and other things going on. It truly was a lot to take in at once, upon many different occasions.

So in just a few days I’ll tell you all about Saturday on the Creek from the Robert’s. AND ALSO a little portion of some of what I missed, and other things that need to be told on here.

Oct 092018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Colter Wall is back with the follow up to his self titled debut full length LP.  Songs of the Plains is Colter’s love letter to his home province of Saskatchewan, Canada and the lifestyles you will find of the plainsfolk throughout.  A lot of the album is bare-bones with Colter and his guitar, but where you find instrumentation, Dave Cobb has pieced together an all star band featuring the likes of Lloyd Green on pedal steel guitar and Mickey Raphael on harmonica.  Pair them with regular players Chris Powell on drums and Jason Simpson on bass, add in a couple of special guests and you have the makings of a great sophomore record.

This record is a mix of traditional cuts and originals however you would be hard pressed to guess which are which without looking at the songwriting credits.  There are in fact only 2 cowboy traditionals and one older tune by Wilf Carter. The fact that these blend in nicely with Colter’s originals is a testament to the production of the album and Colter’s performance and song crafting abilities.

One of my favorites on the album is “Saskatchewan in 1881”.  This track has been around as Colter has been playing it live for a while.  For those familiar with the live cuts either in person or on YouTube, the recorded version does not disappoint.  This track heavily features Mickey Raphael on harmonica to provide the appropriate atmosphere for the tale weaved throughout the track.  Another favorite is “John Beyers (Camero Song)”. Colter Wall is very good at telling stories through his songs and this one is no different.  This song is about two guys feuding over a Camaro. It’s a tale of outlaw justice that needs to be heard to do it justice. It reminds me a lot of last year’s “Thirteen Silver Dollars”.

Colter does an amazing cover of the Billy Don Burns tune “Wild Dogs” which previously appeared on the Billy Don Burns album A Night In Room 8.  Colter does an amazing job with the track and I hope he gets around to doing more Billy Don Burns songs as the two have a similar vocal style and Billy’s songs fit Colter very well. I have to mention Lloyd Green’s excellent pedal steel solo on this track which adds to the western feel of the song.  Speaking of the western and plains folk motif of the album, “Night Herding Song” is one of the cowboy traditionals and this track heavily features Colter’s vocal abilities and yodeling. This track is so far the best showcase of Colter’s vocal ability and not to be missed if you love a good yodel.

I really dig the truck driving song “Thinkin’ On A Woman”.  I love songs about truckers and Colter does the tradition well with a song about a lonely truck driver who can’t stop thinking about a woman.  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other cowboy traditional on the album “Tying Knots In The Devil’s Tail”. This song features the vocal stylings of fellow Canadian troubadours Corb Lund and Blake Berglund.  It’s a stark contrast to the more serious “Night Herding Song” as this is a more fun affair with a faster shuffling beat.

In closing, Colter has turned in one hell of an album in Songs Of The Plains.  It continues to build on the sound he created with his Imaginary Appalachia EP and his self titled debut LP.  It helps solidify him among the greatest song crafters of our generation as he blends his original tracks with older cowboy traditionals perfectly.  He also stretches his unique vocal ability on this record and shows that he knows how to use it. Songs Of The Plains is out everywhere you can find good music on Friday October 12th, 2018.  

Favorite Tracks : Saskatchewan in 1881, John Beyers (Camaro Song), Wild Dogs, Night Herding Song, The Trains Are Gone, Thinkin’ On A Woman

Colter Wall – Song Of The Plains (2018)

  1. Plain To See Plainsman
  2. Saskatchewan in 1881
  3. John Beyers (Camaro Song)
  4. Wild Dogs
  5. Calgary Round-Up
  6. Night Herding Song
  7. Wild Bill Hickok
  8. The Trains Are Gone
  9. Thinkin’ On A Woman
  10. Tying Knots In The Devil’s Tail (Feat. Corb Lund & Blake Berglund)
Oct 052018
 

By Joshua Wallace

JP Harris is back with another album of hard hitting honky tonk songs.  This album is the first full length since his 2014 release Home Is Where The Hurt Is.  I really dug that album and have been looking forward to hearing his next proper album.

The record kicks off with a barn burner in “JP’s Florida Blues #1”.  It’s a great honky tonk track about the sticky situations you can find yourself in on the road that kicks the album off on a high note.  Another favorite is “When I Quit Drinking“. It’s a slower heartbreak ballad about what happens when you put the bottle down as opposed to the typical drinking heartbreak song.

The title track is another ballad that takes more of a sentimental and reflecting tone.  It features some really nice dobro playing in the instrumental and it adds something different to the album.  Another favorite is the track “Hard Road” which follows the slower title track with a faster honky tonk song and I particularly dig the guitar work on this one.  Finally, the album ends with “Jimmy’s Dead And Gone” which starts out as a rambling acoustic tune but quickly turns into a full band jaunt that ends the album on a fun train song.

JP Harris does not disappoint with this outing.  If you have been a fan of his previous work, especially the Home Is Where The Hurt Is album, you will dig this one.  I’m looking forward to everything JP Harris puts out and hopefully I get to see him live sometime down the road. This album is out everywhere today and you can check out where JP Harris will be on the road at his website at https://www.ilovehonkytonk.com/.  

Favorite Tracks : JP’s Florida Blues #1, When I Quit Drinking, Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing, Hard Road, Jimmy’s Dead And Gone

JP Harris – Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing (2018)

  1. JP’s Florida Blues #1
  2. Lady In The Spotlight
  3. When I Quit Drinking
  4. Long Ways Back
  5. Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
  6. Hard Road
  7. I Only Drink Alone
  8. Runaway
  9. Miss Jeanne-Marie
  10. Jimmy’s Dead And Gone
Oct 042018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Josh Card is geared up for a major end to 2018 and who knows what 2019 holds.  He is about to drop an amazing new album titled With A Heavy Heart.  I have heard this record and I can tell you friends, it is a good one.  Along with the new album, Josh Card is going to be featured at the Party In The Pines Festival in White Springs, FL on the Showcase Stage.  He will be playing that festival Friday night October 19th alongside acts like Zac Brown Band, Kip Moore, The Cadillac Three and Adam Wakefield amongst others.  In this feature, we will talk to Josh Card about his new album, the Party In The Pines fest and anything else that happens to come up. Let’s get to it!

———————————————————————————

What can you tell us about this new record?

Making this album was no easy task, or walk in the park. I’ve risked everything, sacrificed more than I could explain, and put it all on the line to make this. Therefore, I didn’t take it lightly. I put everything I have into this. Musically, emotionally, creatively, everything. It’s an honest representation of me. The songs are written from who I am and what I’ve lived. Musically, it’s a Country record, and I feel happy saying that. I wanted to write a genuine country music record, and feel that I did. The band performed at a top shelf quality and helped bring my vision to life with the songs. It’s for fans of traditionally styled country music, but has the energy and honesty that I think any music fan can appreciate. I didn’t approach it with a mold. I had a vision but allowed it to naturally develop in the studio without trying to push it to be any expected thing. I’m very proud of what we made and can’t wait for the world to hear it.

How did working with Dean Miller come about?

I was familiar with Dean from some work he has done in the past, and obviously because of his father. Roger Miller was such an incredible talent, so I knew there was no way he didn’t inherit some of his Dad’s musical gift. Then he more recently produced an album for my buddy Dallas Moore and I thought he did a great job with him, so I reached out to Dallas and asked him how the experience was and he had nothing but great things to say about Dean and working with him. Dean and I started talking, and as I explained my vision and ambitions for the album, we just clicked. He totally understood every single thing that I had to say, and was on board completely. He was able to see my vision. It was a great experience start to finish, I can’t say enough great things about Dean as a professional, producer, and person. Getting to hear stories about growing up around all my musical heroes was the cherry on top too!

Tell me about the song “Forgotten Love” on the album.

Forgotten Love is the most sentimental song I’ve written thus far in my career. My grandmother suffered from severe dementia as a result of loss of oxygen to the brain after a massive heart attack. It progressed more and more until we she no longer knew who we were. She would come back time to time, but most of the time her family were strangers to her. Earlier this year was my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, and I called my grandfather to wish them happy anniversary, and I could hear his sadness as he said she didn’t know him that day. I got off the phone and wrote this song. We made a video for the song in hopes of raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association, and the video told the story of what my grandparents went through along with so many others that suffer from it. My grandmother passed this August, so I’m thankful the song and video got done to carry on in her honor.   


You cover a Neil Young song “Unknown Legend” from his 1992 album Harvest Moon.  What does that track mean to you and how did the cover come about?

My attraction to music comes mostly from two things: lyrical content and the feeling and emotion of a song. Those two things do more for me than any technicality or  impressive playing in a song can. That’s what this song is all about for me, the feeling. This song makes me feel like I’m in a 77 Chevy shorty van, cruising down a Texas highway with the windows down, with one hand flowing in the wind, while a dream catcher dances from the rear view mirror, having no real destination. It’s a great story too about a free living woman progressing through life. It’s an incredible song, I just hope I did it justice with my countrified version of it.


I think we’re both looking forward to the Party In The Pines festival in White Springs, FL later this month, what does appearing on the showcase stage there mean to you?

I was pretty damn excited when I got asked to play on this year’s Party In The Pines festival, as it’s close to my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. I was somewhat surprised by being asked to play, as my music doesn’t really fit in with their line up if mostly commercial, radio country, but that’s part of the appeal to me. I’m hoping maybe some unsuspecting people will be there for the bigger names and hear us and say “Damn, that sounds like country music, I didn’t know people still played that.” Maybe we’ll turn some folks on to the movement of independent artists playing more traditional styles Country music that wouldn’t otherwise know about it. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

What is your favorite song on the record to play live?

That’s a tough one. They each have their own things that I love about singing them. Narrowing it down to one song, though, I suppose it would be Choice To Make. It’s a fun honky Tonk song. Dancin’ folks can cut a rug to it, it’s fun to play guitar on, and it’s kinda my story of chasing this dream I’ve had my entire life. That could change as we progress and start playing more of the new songs as the album comes out, we’ll see.

Any last comments before we wrap things up?

All I can really say is Thank You to every person that has come to a show, bought a shirt or record, taken a picture, sang along to a song, told a friend about me, and helped keep us out on the road. You’re what makes this all possible. I’ve been so grateful for the continued support and as long as people show up I’ll keep coming to your town. That’s what keeps music alive. Not the radio, not the streams, not the awards shows, but the shows. There are a ton of incredible independent artists like myself, putting in the miles and hard work to do this, and we couldn’t do it without you. So, thank you.

There you have it folks, our time with Josh Card is done.  We will be reviewing his new record With A Heavy Heart soon and we will be checking in with him again at the Party In The Pines Festival.  If you would like to pre-order Josh Card’s new album go to his website at https://www.joshcardmusic.com/ and don’t forget to check out the tour dates while you are there.  If you’re interested in the Party In the Pines Festival check out https://partyinthepines.com/ where they have 2 day passes still available and you can even get single day VIP passes to see Josh Card on Friday night.  We will have full coverage of this festival later this month so stay tuned!

Sep 272018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Here at Gary Hayes Country we like to keep up to date on things that are coming up. This is a list of all of the records coming out the rest of the year that we know of that either myself or Gary Hayes are looking forward to.  I feel like most everything for the rest of the year is announced, but if we find out anything in the future, this article will be updated.

September 28th :
Tony Joe White – Bad Mouthin’
Katie Cole – Things That Break, Part 1
Nobody’s Girl – Waterline EP
Michigan Rattlers – Evergreen
The Earls of Leicester – Live at The CMA Theater in The Country Music Hall of Fame
The Louvin Brothers – Love & Wealth: The Lost Recordings
Loretta Lynn – Wouldn’t It Be Great
Amy Ray – Holler
Masey McLain – To The Dreamers
Joey Wray – Joey Wray

October 5th :
J.P. Harris – Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Heather Morgan – Borrowed Heart
Will Hoge – My American Dream
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Poor Until Payday
Eric Church – Desperate Man

October 12th :
Colter Wall – Songs Of The Plains
Chelsea Nolan – chelsea.
Adam Hood – Somewhere In Between
Larry And His Flask – This Remedy
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Live From The Ryman
The Bottle Rockets – Bit Logic

October 19th :
Belle Plaine – Malice, Mercy, Grief, and Wrath
Jamie Lin Wilson – Jumping Over Rocks
The Brother Brothers – Some People I Know

October 26th :
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – Hard Times And White Lines
Dillon Carmichael – Hell On An Angel
Josh Turner – I Saw A Savior
Town Mountain – New Freedom Blues
Blackberry Smoke – Southern Ground Sessions EP
Nick Dittmeier and the Sawduster – All Damn Day
Carson McHone – Carousel

November 2nd :
Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel
Randy Houser – Magnolia
Rosanne Cash – She Remembers Everything
The Mavericks – Hey! Merry Christmas!
JD McPherson – Socks

November 9th :
Josh Card – With A Heavy Heart
The Gibson Brothers – Mockingbird
Rhett Miller – The Messenger

November 16th :
Old 97’s – Love The Holidays
Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols – Forgive

November 30th :
Reverend Horton Heat – Whole New Life
Wheeler Walker Jr. – WWIII

Unknown Date / Maybe Soon :
Ward Davis

Sep 272018
 

So here’s the deal everybody ALL YOU GOT TO DO IS COMMENT BELOW one person you would take, and BOTH OF YOU are entered to win. I will pick the name of the winner TONIGHT LIVE on Facebook at 6PM. Your tickets will be at the door the show begins at 9pm.

HERE IS THE LINK to purchase tickets if you didn’t win, or you have more than one guest in your party. If you are chosen you will win 2 FREE TICKETS to the show tomorrow night at 9PM AND 20 WINGS courtesy of my website AND the Spillway Bar And Grill.

THE STEEL WOODS From The Spillway Website:

Wes Bayliss: vocals, electric/acoustic/baritone guitars, piano, dobro, keys, harmonica Jason“Rowdy” Cope:electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, piano, percussion Jay Tooke, drums and percussion Johnny Stanton: bass“The stories told in all these songs / Don’t sound the same to everyone / Some you hear, and some you see / And all that means is whatever it means to me / Not all are real, but all are true / Cause all that means is whatever they mean to you” “Whatever It Means To You”

Like their name, The Steel Woods are a hybrid musical force, part hard edged, part Americana roots country folk, manmade, yet organic, rock but also bluegrass, R&B, blues, gospel, soul and heavy metal, “the materials which America is built on” according to cofounder Wes Bayliss.
The Nashville based band is also steeped in the ethos of Southern rock, with the music on its debut Woods Music/Thirty Tigers release, Straw in the Wind, both timeless and indefinable, sounding like it could’ve been recorded at any point during the past half century. “That’s kinda the idea,” nods Bayliss.The Steel Woods trace an unbroken line from Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams through Willie and Waylon, then the Allmans, Blackfoot, The Band and Tom Petty up through contemporaries like Kings of Leon and the Avett Brothers.
“I grew up on Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Led Zeppelin,” says Jason “Rowdy” Cope, who was born in Asheville, NC, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he heard some pretty impressive pickers, which inspired him as a kid. “Our music is like good bluegrass, with the electric guitars turned up to 11,” he says.There is a biblical, hellfire and brimstone morality at work on songs like the good and evil parable, “Axe”, the first song they ever wrote together which takes off on cofounder Rowdy’s ominous, rumbling bluegrass guitar line or the galloping country rhythms of “Della Jane’s Heart”, a murder ballad about a spurned woman taking her revenge on a fickle lover, and immediately regrets her actions.
“The Secret” goes back to the Garden and Adam’s original heartbreak, equating the duplicitous Eve with the Devil himself. The musical melting pot ranges from the stark acoustic strumming of “Whatever It Means to You” and the thunderstruck drone of their speeded up Black Sabbath cover, “Hole in the Sky”.
The band’s founders are two native sons of the south who both hail from small town, Bible Belt backgrounds. The Alabama born Bayliss played harmonica from the age of eight in his family’s gospel band, eventually teaching himself piano, bass and drums. Rowdy turned his love of Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix into a career as a session guitarist/songwriter and producer, moving to Los Angeles then playing in Jamey Johnson’s band for nine years.
The two met in Nashville during a one off gig, and immediately felt a connection. “We decided we were pretty much on the same page and wanted to do our own thing,” says Wes. “We had an idea and a vision.” The pair spent a month fishing together, eventually bringing guitars along with their poles to the tiny hole and discovered an affinity. It was then they began to make music together.
“It just worked, his voice and me doing my thing on guitar,” says Rowdy.The result was an EP, which, because they hadn’t written anything together except for “Axe”, included covers by hot Nashville writers like Rowdy’s frequent collaborator singer/songwriter Brent Cobb (“Better in the Fall,” “The Well,” “If We Never Go”, “Let the Rain Come Down”) and revered artist Darrell Scott (“Uncle Lloyd”).With originals such as the acoustic ballad, “I’m Gonna Love You”,the narrative title track, the philosophical “Whatever It Means to You” and the cathartic closer, “Let the Rain Come Down”,the songwriting/production team of Bayliss and Cope is proving quite a formidable duo. The two, who co-produced their debut album, are committed to doing things their way.
“We’re not murderers, we’re just the messengers,” says Bayliss about some of the songs’ more gruesome scenarios. “We don’t preach. We just want to play good songs with good stories. As long as they come back to hear us again, I’m happy.”“We’re into this to heal people’s hearts,” explains Rowdy. “If you’re given a talent that can shake plates in the earth, that can really change the world, you have a responsibility to use that for good.
Music is the most powerful, emotion driven art form in the universe because it transcends language. It’s like a sharp blade. It can be used to kill, or in the hands of a surgeon, to heal someone.” The Steel Woods aren’t in this for the money, the fame or the awards. For them, music is a matter of life and death, right and wrong, bad and good, with the sinners punished for their transgressions, and the noble achieving the kind of transcendence the man dying of thirst in “Let the Rain Come Down” receives.“Everything has its price,” says Rowdy.
“You reap what you sow…We’ve poured so much into this band. I know how little sleep we’ve had, how many bad meals we’ve eaten. I just hope these songs can help people get things off their chest.” “We want to get good songs out to a bunch of people who need them,” adds Wes. “We just want to make a living making music because it’s the greatest job in the world. I don’t mind working, but I prefer loving what I do.”
Sep 232018
 

Welcome to part 2 of my Muddy Roots coverage, I hope you have been enjoying this labor of love I have been doing for many years for my old friend Mr. Jason. I’ll be honest here people, I do this for MANY festivals, but Mr. Jason is special to me because I could call him for help anytime and I KNOW he would come help me. I know he would come take me to a doctor appointment or pick my stranded vehicle up if I called him. He just had a baby girl everybody so PLEASE go hop on over to send him some love.

I DO have to criticize him now though on one aspect he changed and I found difficult to deal with, that was the format of the entire festival program. This year it was not all together and was harder to use on the fly, at least for me. I spoke to several others who also concurred with me on that issue.

One thing he changed I DID appreciate was they closed the tower on the wood stage to media ONLY, and during the Goddamn Gallows THAT saved my ass from being crushed by thousands of frenzied fans. I’m going to skip around on the afternoon acts here, because I was so enthused by the new discoveries I couldn’t remember which ones were what time.

Miss Sasha Kaleidoscopia Vallely, Miss Nikki Speake and Mr.Pietro DiGennaro make up this next band that hails from Atlanta Georgia, and they are called The Midnight Larks. They play some mighty fine rock and roll music here, they describe themselves as Surf noir, dark country, garage psych rock.

“Gunfighter” was one of their 2017 singles they released, and then they pretty much went down into their entire album here today. They had some pretty good harmonies, and I think they complimented the rest of the lineup on the early stages very well. “Loner” was a pretty good song here, which was what they were playing when I jotted this portion of the article down.

“Darli’n” was another song they played with VERY good harmonies and sound, I strongly suggest you go pick up their album and check them out on I tunes, or wherever you buy music from. “Shady”, “Shameless Child” and “Drawing Out the Flame” were also played here tonight in their set.

‘Summer Of The Preacher” was my favorite song out of their set, and as I began to mosey onward into the rain for other bands I heard them play songs like “Moontown” and ‘Endless Valley”. This trio really has a unique sound together, and I really couldn’t fit it into any genre myself, it’s just damn good music!

This whole idea for my website is pretty much for that reason, to talk about music I enjoy. I myself have music I don’t care for that I usually simply omit from my articles. it’s NOT MEANT to offend anyone that IS a fan, IN FACT I would rather just respectfully admit I don’t care for it to the fans instead of bashing it to my own fans.

I headed over to the wood stage for one of my personal favorite Muddy Roots alumni bands called The Goddamn Gallows who released a GREAT album in 2018 called The Trial. Now, this album contained a remake of the Mr. Jayke Orvis single called ‘Dreadful Sinner”. You can find the original version on his second solo album called ‘it’s All Been Said’.

The wood stage area began to fill up QUICKLY, and I mean FILL UP. I was VERY grateful they gave the media the tower this year, and as I learned about zoom lenses this weekend, I had FUN up there! The crowd began to get extremely rowdy before the show even began!

“Gutterbilly Blues” from the 2007 album of the same name is one of the first songs they played, Also, “City Of Hell-A” I’m pretty sure was included, from Ghost Of The Rails album. The next song was called ‘Sidewalk Slammer” from my favorite album called 7 Devils, but perhaps the next song called “Pass Me The Bottle” was one of their more well known songs.

The show got absolutely insane, and I’m glad of two things for the media’s sake. 1. IT WAS EARLY BEFORE EVERYONE WAS DRUNK and 2. THE MEDIA TOWER WAS CLEAR. BUT I WILL say that watching the Goddamn Gallows unleash their fury upon crowds is amazing and FUN.

The band consists of Mr. Courtney on upright bass or Fishgutzzz, Mr. Mikey Classic on lead vocals and guitar, Mr. Uriah Baker or the Baby Genius on drums and lead vocals on “In League With Satan” (not on this set that I remember) and Mr. Jayke Orvis on banjo, mandolin and vocals.

Off 7 Devils they played ‘Ragz And Bones” and also off the Swappin Spit album they brought out Mr. Gary Lindsay from Black Eyed Vermillion to play “Born To Lie” with them. THEN THE BEST ONE CAME called ‘Ya’ll Motherfuckers Need Jesus”. That pretty much brings out all of our fury to go nuts on that one.

“7 Devils” was next followed by the song called “load Yer Guns’ off the 2014 the Maker album. Now, they went to their new album called The Trial with a song called “Down With the Ship”. Toward the end of their set, they called out the entire group of the New blood Tubs, which is a great bunch of guys and gals that have a firearm  club associated with the Muddy crowd.

They have always been truly nice to me, and even though I do not get to see them as often as I’d like to, they always remember me and appreciate my work.  Sadly, they lost their brother Mr. Mikey this spring to health issues during his sleep. We spoke often about medical issues, the two of us online and in person. I have many things in common with the NBT including my love for firearms, and firearm safety.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how many of them exist, and I haven’t truly met all of them but the Gallows are members of their group, and they wanted to bring them out to have a brief party for their fallen members by spreading their ashes onto the crown during the set, and having an onstage mosh pit!

It truly WAS INDEED a fun and touching tribute for their loved ones, and as they played “City Of Fools’ from the new album we all remembered Mr. Mikey in the fashion HE WOULD HAVE WANTED….beers flying, shoes flying, people flying and FUCK THE WORLD!

“Raise The Moon” was next, WE ALL KNOW THAT HE’S COMING SOON,  and after that Mr. Jayke played “Dreadful Sinner” as I previously stated.  One of the pinnacles of their show, was the new song called “Shitwish” which I like, because I used to say that to my daughter ALL THE TIME. Wish in one hand and shit in the other, which one fills up first.

This was the memorial they had, and the spreading of the ashes into the audience that afternoon and I’m very thankful that I was allowed to document this portion of the event here at the Junebug Ranch. I think I used a pretty good opportunity to play with my new camera as the action commenced this afternoon.

The Gallows ended their set with “The Maker” and another from the same album called “Howli’n Winds”. It will probably be a few months before I run into this band again on here, so folks enjoy this while you can. Mosey on over to their website and purchase some stuff from the band..and tell them I sent you!

All the while they were playing I had my new friend up here in the tower mr. T Rex making fun of me. He was a real pesky nuisance (not really), he was defiantly here to PARTY!

I wandered around a while to gather my notes and rest awhile, this heat was absolutely draining me. In fact all year the heat has been draining my energy, I cannot wait until the fall weather comes finally. All of these summer jobs have been absolutely draining this year.

I got to meander past another one of the stages, where I got to catch Miss Rachel Kate play some of her set including songs like “Dancing Shoes” and the other one I recognized was “Hell Is Your Home”. I stopped to get a bite to eat and visit with my Rusty Knuckles friends before the next big major show of the night for me, O’l Munley and his crew!

My next act I covered was called Slim Cessna’s Auto Club which always puts on a terrific show, that draws a HUGE crowd.  This is a very unique band from Denver Colorado that has two lead singers named Mr. Slim Cessna and Mr. Munley Munley, and they take turns hurling insults and lyrics at each other.

One of the BEST bands in the local touring circuit they absolutely captivate the heathens and covert lost souls to follow “Commandment Number 7” and that is THERE IS A HOLE! Their second song was called “Mouth’s Gone Dry”.

As both Mr. Slim and Mr. Munley  brought forth their tales of doom and darkness smothered with Heaven’s light and redemption, we jammed in the heat to songs like “Americadio” and enjoyed Mr. Slim’s romp through the audience along with Mr. Munly strangling himself with his cord.

Their song called “Magalina Hagalina Boom Boom” from the SCAC 102 album preceded that ordeal as they began to bring us heathens the gospel, fitting this show should happen in a revival tent. As their next song was “Jesus In My Body, My Body Has Let Me Down”.

‘Thy Will Be Done”  or ‘Commandment 4″ was next with no shortage of razor sharp guitar strikes and steel guitar laced, keyboard filled madness. SCAC wrapped up their set with “This Is How We Do Things In The Country”, which is by far one of my favorite songs they play.

There certainly isn’t enough stage for those two guys to dance around and go crazy upon one another up there. I enjoy their energetic show, every time they appear at Muddy Roots. Their last songs I noticed were “Port Authority Band” and they finished with ‘That Fierce Cow Is Common Sense In a Country Dress”. Once again courtesy of our friends over at Hobolight Photography for some of these following pictures.

I went to bed early Saturday and I missed a few of the later sets that day, but Sunday I was up EARLY to have a nice breakfast at Scooter’s bar, and do a little shopping at noon when most of the vendors opened. OF COURSE I HAD to hit the Third Man Records rolling record store. I bought the new Margo Price album and some stickers.

This was definitely a record year for attendance at this festival in my opinion. I haven’t spoke with Mr. Jason on official turnout and numbers, but he did say there were around 1200 NEW ticket purchases. I know I’d like to THANK some of the guys from work that came for the first time.

So on Sunday on the wood stage comes a band I wanted to spend quite a bit of time on called Grassfed, and they hail from the Kansas City area. They are wildly popular in my Kansas City scene friends community and frequent the Westport Saloon. Mr. Jake Keegan sent me their new album not long ago, and I waited until now to tell you about it. If YOU LIKE what you see, go download it!

This band absolutely blew my mind folks, they have LIGHTNING FAST chops and play like a tightly wound well oiled machine. In fact this new album might just be TOP 50 material, I’m NOT KIDDING you people, this band is VASTLY overlooked.

Their new album is a bit autobiographical and brings us closer to the band itself, with songs like “Stacking Up Dimes” and “Gone, And I Ain’t Coming Back”. This grassroots Bluegrass band can definitely hold their own in the solo department, with some mighty fine licks on the dobro and guitar.

The band consists of my friend Mr. Jake Keegan on dobro, his brother Mr. Josh Keegan on guitar and Mr. Cameron Keeling on the upright bass. They also played off the new album called Moovin Down The Road the song called “Gas Tank”.

New Album Tracklist:

1.Chili Dog
2.Not So Lonesome
3.Dear Lyla
4.Stacking Up Dimes
5. Way Down The River Bend
6.Gas Tank
7.Gone,And I Ain’t Coming Back
8.Long Hard Winter
9.Little Maggie
10.Yard Work

In come the Smoky White Devils a rock band from Nashville consisting of Mr. Richie Owens (also has the band Farm Bureau) with bassist John Reed and guitarist Mr. Nick Kane. Their drummer is Mr. Mike Ferguson and together they make up the side band that Mr. Richie does.

I’ll always remember the pleasant conversation he and I had at Muddy many years ago about Mr. Riley Puckett, and other prominent Country Music historical figures. I got to see them perform songs like “See You On the Other Side” and a few more.

I truly enjoy Mr. Richie’s signature slide guitar rock music, and he always brings a damn fine band along with him on the stage every time I get to see him.  One of their signature songs called “Goin Down South” was played today on their set. I could easily tell that this band was an early favorite for my Muddy friends each year.

Other songs they played included “She Thinks She Runs This Town” and another called “PaPa John”. So the next time you are around the 5 Spot in Nashville or any local area go check out this man and his bands, you’ll readily agree that he has good music.

I am extremely exited today to bring you the rest of these wonderful bands I am about to cover here. One of them is a GREAT band from Chapel Hill North Carolina called Sarah Shook And The Disarmers. She recently released an album on the Bloodshot Records label called Years, and I promise you that it WILL BE on our TOP 50 of 2018.

I haven’t ran into her since last year when W.B. Walker had her on his fourth anniversary show in West Virginia, and back then she had some lineup changes. But now her band is completely secure and sounds absolutely KILLER together with the lineup of  Miss Sarah Shook – songwriter, vocals, rhythm guitar Mr. Eric Peterson – Electric guitar Mr. Aaron Oliva – Upright bass and Mr. Phil Sullivan – Pedal Steel.

She started her set with a song off her new album Years called “Good As Gold” , and moved to her album Sidelong to play the song called “Heal Me”. The next song called “Parting Words” displays some truly fine steel guitar work from her band.

Even in the direct sunlight heat this band was absolutely ON POINT this weekend, standing in the heat playing. It was so hot all the bands had to stop to take water breaks. The next song called “Fuck Up” was from the album Sidelong including the song “Nothin Feels Right But Doin Wrong”.

“Lesson” was another song included tonight in her set, as well as “Keep The Home Fires Burning” from her first album. You know, she doesn’t really move around much onstage, but still has a really good ambiance up there. I was truly impressed with her for not even needing to move around to keep everyone’s attention.

Now “Dwight Yoakam” does indeed move around a LOT, and that’s a good song there, and she closed her set with the song called “New Way To Fail”. I wandered around a little bit to the third stage to catch this Ohio based band with my friends called The Tillers.

I HAD TO go stop and see my friends Mr. Chase Humphrey and his lovely wife Miss Lauren, whom own and operate the Music City Wienery. They have some of the BEST bratwursts I have ever eaten! Then I went on over to the merch booth to buy some shirts and stickers. I’m ALL ABOUT band stickers.

Mr. Michael Oberst on vocals and banjo, Mr. Joe Macheret on fiddle, and brothers Mr. Sean and Mr. Aaron Geil make up the Ohio based quartet The Tillers. Perhaps one of Roots Music’s finest original bands, I view the LIVE at the Southgate House in 2012 as one of the integral Roots albums of all time.

“Revolution Row” was a song from the new self titled album, along with the next song called the “Riverboat Dishwashing Song”. Now folks this band will indeed be on my next festival coverage series from last weekend as well, where they played another stellar set!

“Like A Hole In My Head” was next followed by “Dear Mother”, so we got a pretty good taste of the entire direction of their new album here today. It’s been a few years since their 2013 release  called Hand On The Plow, with some wonderful new songs!

One of the only covers on their new album is called ‘All You Fascists Bound To Loose” and their next song was one that featured Mr. J.D Wilkes from the Shack Shakers fame called “I Gotta Move”. The last two songs of their set was from the album Hand On The Plow, one of them was called “Road Never Ending” and they closed their set with a song called “500 Miles”.

Mr. Joshua Black Wilkins is one of the few that I can say so many great things about personally. He is one of the nicest folks in the business I have ever run into, and one of the most talented. I have been messing with my new camera all weekend, just infatuated with new attachments for it and the science of lenses and such.

He is A VERY talented photographer, and his work is featured on many television shows and magazines. I look up to him as an artist, and I admire his passion to get others off their ass to vote. Even though I wouldn’t agree with everything we discussed on politics I would have a LOT of respect for his passion.

Musically, he has recorded a TON of albums and songs for the MANY years he has been performing shows. The first song he played was called “Bury Me Not” from the album called Rogue. He brought his rough around the edges harmonica laced music to Muddy Roots once again, with serious grit.

The next song called “Western” was on his album called Fair Weather, and from one of his very early albums called 17th And Shelby I remember him playing the song called “Sucker Punch”. I did have to cut his set short for me to go back to my camper and take some more insulin for the evening.

I got to hear him play “I Tremble” and the song “I Heard You Whisper” was on the album Settling The Dust, that’s the vinyl of his that I own, and it needs to be played on a different speed. I thought that was quite unique. I also jotted down the song “Church On a Hill” from an album called The girlfriend Sessions.

Left Lane Cruiser is another Roots band that quickly fills up the Muddy tent wherever they play, the last time I ran across them was in Chicago at Moonrunners last year. This Fort Wayne Indiana high powered duo always puts on a damn fine show.

Mr. Freddy J and Pete Dio have been around since 2004, and were included in the first few Roots bands we had. Of course they played “Black Betty” and some Muddy Waters tunes, while rocking out to some hellacious guitar solos.

As they continued their alcohol fueled insanity of punishing their instruments they played a Jimbo Mathus song called “Mule Plow Line”. Mr Jmibo was a co founder of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and has been a Roots Music Legend .

They played “Claw Machine Wizard” the title track of their 2017 new album of the same name. I didn’t jot down as many notes on their set because I was very busy enjoying their music tonight, it was STILL HOT and STILL muggy outside. I had over 20 pages of notes to sort through for this job.

Mr. Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners is another name you will be hearing on my TOP 50 of 2018 in a few months. I recently spent some time with him at both festivals I covered, as well as his bassist John R. Miller.

This man and his entire band is nothing more than straight up pure Honky Tonk goodness, from the New Orleans area. However I first found out about him from my Kansas City friends out at the Westport Saloon area, and became an instant fan of his.

He opened with “Nashville Tennessee At 3AM” most of his set today was from his second album called That’s All There Is And There Ain’t No More. Now, he also played the title track in this set of the same name, toward the end of the set.

This man is not only my friend, but he is the REAL DEAL FOLKS I mean he works construction by day and Honky Tonks by night. He just gets up there and has a good time playing good music, and that’s basically the format of his situation folks, it doesn’t get any more honest.

‘Burgundy In The Rain” is one of my favorite songs he plays, and it is always included in his sets. His set is always laced with sweet toned steel guitar, and his band is always top notch.  ‘You Don’t Have To Tell Me Anymore” was another great song in this set today.

The heat carried on into the night and it was one of those change your clothes every couple hours weekends. I was pretty close to my camper, so I went back to change and get ready for the act I wanted to cover later tonight called Cutthroat Shamrock.

Cutthroat Shamrock is a Bluegrass styled Irish based punk rock outfit, that has also been around a long long time. They come from the Great Smokey Mountains of Tn and are pretty much Appalachian Punk Bluegrass…I just call them good music.

Included in their set was “Long Gravel Road” from the Blood Rust Whiskey album in 2009. Other songs they played were “Fly Away” from that album toward the end.  I’m not sure about any lineup changes from this band but I haven’t covered them for many years, so I couldn’t say.

They had a TON of energy here tonight, and I stayed for their entire set. I went back to the camper after this set because I was exhausted and drained from the heat.

From the 2013 EP called Dead Wind, they played the song “Sick Of The Times”, and from their album The Wake they played “Hell’s Shovel”. They displayed so much insanity here tonight it was really fun to see this band once again, as they steamrolled into “Cod Liver Oil” from the before mentioned EP.

They went on into the night with other songs, and other bands but I had to get up early Monday morning to go back to life, so I had to call this an evening. There were later bands both nights I didn’t get to cover, and other bands earlier I didn’t get to cover as well.

It’s NOT that I don’t care for them, It’s just hard to cover a multi stage festival by myself and I didn’t have my partner Mr. Joshua here this weekend with me. To visually witness EVERYTHING and write it all down isn’t easy, and to be honest I think I do a pretty good job…but I miss things. I missed all of Thursday’s shows, I missed Mr. James Hunnicutt among others I missed were The Calamity Cubes! and another late late act Those Poor Bastards.

As a whole, I was pretty impressed with this year’s Muddy Roots Music Festival and I saw a few small drawbacks. But overall I was truly glad that it has grown to another echelon, with so many new patrons. Everyone came together to have a truly blessed time despite the horrible heat.

Muddy Roots Music Festival is one that I will pretty much cover EVERY YEAR without fail, because it was pretty much one of the factors that grew my idea into becoming a reality. I don’t see my website going anywhere but UP and you can damn sure bet I’ll be around many other music scenes all over America AND overseas I want to THANK EVERYONE for taking the time out of their busy day to read what I have to write year after year.

Sep 212018
 

It’s time once again for me to endure my yearly task of massive undertaking out here at the June Bug Ranch in Cookeville Tennessee, the mighty yearly festival that has evolved into one of my annual  events The Muddy Roots Music Festival. This big banger happens every Labor Day Weekend, and it’s usually hot, hot and hot…mostly nothing else but rain. You will find out quickly JUST WHY they call it Muddy Roots.

I haven’t missed a single year of Muddy Roots action, and in 2010 I began a rough version of my website. Learning and observing things, people and scenes. Mostly I began to appreciate music, REAL music of all types. This very website here was basically relaunched in 2013, but Muddy Roots pretty much helped inspire my whole platform of operations…I embedded the only rule Muddy has into my daily operations..”Don’t Be A Dick”.

The weather this year certainly didn’t disappoint if you were looking for heat and sun. I myself like cooler weather and cloudy conditions but I guess mother nature said no this year, lots and lots of water. One nice thing they did was what used to be stage 2 was an entire tent to provide shade for the patrons this year. It also held the fourth open mic stage, which I will touch on later, most of the acts on that stage transpired when I was asleep but I wanted to acknowledge the efforts of the man involved.

The only drawback to the tent on the PBR stage, was the heat. Now that’s not truthfully the festival’s fault, but yeah the weather made the loaded tent hot and stuffy. But the added merch space to shop was awesome, also the fact that there was NO stage 1 or stage 2 or stage 3 made it sound more “equal”. Sometimes bands that have never visited or patrons that haven’t ever been might think stage 1 is better than stage 2..that’s NOT A FACT, I’m just making a guess.

The new PBR stage was in the flat part of the backside of vendor row, and had open grass in front of it for the sun lovers. The bad news..this stage had a LOT of the Doom Metal near my camper late night, and I used sleep medication to sleep through Sleep. Yes my friends, I didn’t stay up for many of the later acts, it’s hard on me now. Maybe I’m just getting older and out of shape, I don’t know? The wonderful thing about Muddy Roots is the diversity among styles of music and the respect we have for those differences. I conversed with many people whom weren’t as enthused about the abundance of Doom Metal here, or the new faces..and actually convinced a few people to see things like I do. I’m not really into that stuff and I don’t really think it’s repugnant, I just don’t care for it.

I suppose my coverage this year wasn’t as intense as many years in the past because of the lineup, but there were so many changes to take in..most of them positive. Maybe the year we had all of the Bluegrass wasn’t as big of a deal to the crowd that enjoyed Sleep or High On Fire, and that right there is indeed what makes Muddy Roots so unique and stellar..diversity and the acceptance of other genres.

The staff here at Muddy Roots outdid themselves this year in making this festival the best one yet. I’ll tell you what folks the immense growth in attendance went noticed by me immediately.  I do not think I have witnessed a larger volume of people here. The stage managers Mr. Chad Martindale and Mr. Mark Simmons once again made the two older stages a huge success, and are always willing to lend a helping hand to get set list information and pictures for me.

Many many people labored effortlessly this entire week to bring us this fun, Mr. Chris Cahill, Mr Robert Brown, Mr. Joe Dooda, Miss Destiny Smith, Miss Kelly McNoldy, and SO MANY photographers like Miss Delane Chavez and Mr Milton Chavez. Honestly right now there are many I haven’t named and will name soon. I pretty much tried to retain as much as possible in little time.

I wanted to point out how easy it was at the ticket gate with Miss Kelly there and I wanted to THANK MISS Kimber the personal loan, even though it was insanely HOT, I got my gathering together and finally got ready for some music. Now for many of you that know me personally, my adopted Father passed away this past July and left me with no vacation time left. I had to omit Day 1 on Thursday, which to my dismay contained many of the bands I liked.

But my goodness what a beautiful day today! I did a quick jaunt down vendor row to greet old and new friends to get over to the Wood Stage to see an old friend I featured some time ago. The first act I will bring you is Miss Rebecca Jed.

You might remember my coverage of her then duo called the Bucksnort Beauties At Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge last year. We did a wonderful review on her previous album “Wildfire And Moonshine”, which you can read HERE. Now that she is doing more shows solo, she has a NEW album she is promoting now called “Cowboy Up”.

She played a few off the album including the title track “Wildfire And Moonshine” , and another called “All The Hell With All Y’all”..I’m going back to Arkansas. Now folks Arkansas is where she makes her home with her trusty wolfdog and her little man Mr. Noah. She is one of my coolest friends in the Nashville area, and it’s always a pleasure to see her.

I got to watch her play some Loretta Lynn covers and other songs from the new album ‘Cowboy Up” and I will include a track list right here. If you want to buy ANY of these albums here, you can always click on the artist name here.

She has a great Honky Tonk sound to her and I have always liked her down home writing style, she proudly carries her passion of Traditonal Country music, and she is developing her own style. Another focus on Muddy Roots this year were Female Artists. Now that may be an argument there..and I concur that “Female Fronted Bands” are NOT a genre, but I also concur that a lot of festivals under schedule the female artists sometimes.

TRACK LISTING:

1.Cowboy Up
2.Drive
3.Shot Gun Willie
4.Get Rite To It
5.Wreck My Train
6.Feel Like Sinning
7.Alpha Wolf
8.Snake Skin Jacket
9.Mustang
10.Hillbilly Jungle

Here’s a pair of names you will be hearing more of this year. This is Andrea Colburn And Mud Moseley. I have been hanging onto this album as well to tell you more about it now! I mean what better time to wait than until now right?

The first song they played was from their first album called “Sad Songs And Switchblades” from 2015 and it was called “Hwy 9”. It’s a horribly poignant song of murder and blood. This pair comes to the stage meaning business with six bullets in her gun, and when she finishes her song you are dead!

After playing some covers she played “Bones” which was another haunting song about moving smelly bones of a lover who lied.  Burning bones and digging up bones what better way to go into the chilly fall Halloween season than this band? You mix up a GREAT Honky Tonk thump sound with some shock rock type music, and you have this band!

The next song was called “Becky (Take My Boots Off Again)” which on the album has a really good Hillbilly Twang, as does the entire album. From one of the hillbilly queens of underground Country Music this set was amazing.  The next song was also off the new album called “Turn Out the Lights”, which is about being poor pretty much.

I especially appreciate the lead guitar work of Mr. Mud Moseley his sound rivals the lead guitar work of Miss Tommy Ash and others. and underground Country needs more of it! “Sad Country Song” was next which talks about a crazy girl at a bar, playing songs and getting drunk. Maybe she wrote it about herself or maybe not…who knows but ANYBODY can appreciate this twang!

“Garbageman” was next followed by “Shirley” which was another one of the good ones off the new album with a pretty cool shuffle beat. It was the first song from the album, and when I first popped it in I was immediately hooked on their sound…but the next song “Dark River” I REALLY LIKED the guitar work on. The intro and leads were absolutely amazing, and once again a song about a dead body in a dark river…and the body returned!  From what I remember of her set they closed with a few covers, and I shuffled on to the next band!

Tracklist for Easy, Sleazy and Greazy:
1.Shirley
2.Sometimes
3.Garbageman
4.Sad Country Song
5.Bones
6.Becky (Take My Boots Off)
7.Bad With You
8.Full Moon Over Georgia
9.Turned Out The Lights
10.Dark River
11.Tied To the Bed
12. Shirley (1947 Relapse)
13.Pepperoni Sue

Another band with a forthcoming album, is the Texas based Blackgrass Gospel, whom I have featured in the past as well. Their self titled debut album dominated their set from what I could tell, and I got some terrific shots of this band with my NEW camera here!

Their first song was called ‘419″ , and another called “Dead Man” until I noticed the song called “Broken”. My liver is flooded today folks, and my lungs collapsed the other night! I tell you what, this band has evolved in leaps and bounds live. They are one of the more punk influenced string bands that Muddy Roots offers, and I like them a lot.

“No Soul To Give” was next, you can’t give your soul to someone because you got no soul to give. That song features some really good banjo work as well as the song called “Shit Creek”. While it’s true much of this type of music isn’t for everybody, neither was the Doom Metal, and like I previously stated..that’s what’s great about Muddy Roots.

“I Eat The Living” was next, and is probably my favorite song on their first album about zombies. I just think the beat is really cool, next up was the song “Stack Them Bones”. They played another new song called “Barnacles” and closed their set with “I Will Haunt You” and the song called “Cold Beer And Whiskey”. We will certainly be featuring their new album when it is released.

I hurried over to the PBR stage to see Call Me Bronco a band from Louisville that recorded a VERY COOL album on the Rusty Knuckles label.  They have a brand spanking new album forthcoming in February that I am eagerly awaiting to tell you about.

Besides their awesome “4 AM” and other favorites of mine, they played some new songs. Much like Blackgrass Gospel, this band has evolved as well, as a unit and sound wise. It was fun to watch them play on a big stage with that much room on it.

A new song that Mr. Samuel proclaimed ANYBODY that can tell him all of the references got a free shirt, that song was called “The Day That Punk Rock Died”.  I was indeed wandering around trying out my new camera, and meeting new folks this year. I think this band was exposed to a whole new audience, here as they displayed other songs called “I’m Not Being Vindictive,I Just Don’t Wanna Hold Hands With You”.

For the more punk loving fans, this band is releasing a terrific EP in 2019 with songs like “St. Joseph’s Burning” and “Cody’s Song”. They also included two songs that aren’t recorded tonight called “Cigarettes” and another called “we Wear Black”. I would like to THANK Mr. Samuel St. Samuel for the help on the song titles, as I had lyrics jotted down. As the sun faded out, and relieved us from that awful heat, I went across the aisle to see my good friends The Rock Bottom String Band.

So I know they opened up their set with “The Grey”, and at this time I had been up 37 hours in the heat. And playing with my new camera, not really used to the flash yet nor do I know how lenses work…YET…just wait folks. Wait on HERE as I learn how to use this thing better in part 2!

Mr. Dave and Mr. Johnathan both taught me stuff, and let me use zoom lenses. From the great state of Texas I bring you Miss Mackenzie Dart, Miss Tara Miller, Mr. Alex Shultz and Mr. Griffin Harrison on the bass. Now, they have had some lineup changes but I have always enjoyed them since I found them in 2014.

So equally from the 2016 album “Home Ain’t Where I’m From” we had the song “Deacon’s Daughter” . They then played some new songs from their three song EP called “Por Vida” and those songs were called “Mark On A Map” and another called “Layi’n Low Lately”.

Then they called up Mr. Gary Lindsey from Black Eyed Vermillion to help them play the song “Devil In Me”. After that I believe the song was called “Scrapi’n By” off the 2016 album, and they closed their set with the song “Witches” and then one of my favorites “Till’ We Die”.

Hobolight Photography has been gracious enough to allow me to use some of their photos on bands I missed and other various tidbits I wanted to touch on. Like the clean up crew and the bathroom attendants that worked VERY VERY hard to make this a fun and clean and safe environment to enjoy our music at.

The Everymen played one of the rowdiest and FUN sets of the weekend, and to be honest I had so much FUN watching this show I forgot to write the songs down! I know folks that maybe some of you were hoping I would cover more bands like I usually do, but this year it grew to such epic proportions that it just wasn’t possible. The growth in attendance made it harder to become mobile, and now honestly that’s NOT such a bad thing..is it?

Everymen photo courtesy of Miss Jenni Maria. Thanks for the use of that one!

So I usually break this down into days but this year I am just going to have two parts if that’s o.k. with y’all. I wanted to touch on a few of the things I missed like the open mic stage on the late night portion of the PBR stage. Tucked away in the corner of a smaller merch sales area, was the stage that Mr. Justin Boot whom I have had the pleasure of meeting a few years back, was running.

This stage flourished late night more than any time and much to my dismay it ROCKED when I was sleeping. Also in my defense I got really sick after the festival, I felt it coming on. I suppose at 47 I am partied out, I think the entire weekend I had 2 beers, and a few pulls of moonshine. I like the shine when I’m sick with O.J. and honey and lemon.

Mr. Justin ran a DYNAMITE stage here this weekend with surprise acts the likes of  Mr. Tim Vee, Miss Lara Hope And The Ark Tones, Black Eyed Vermillion, Mr. Fritz from the duo of Whiskeydick, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Miss Molly Gene, The Rock Bottom String Band and Red Necromancer.

From what I heard it was truly an amazing experience in carrying on the music all day and night long this weekend. No matter WHERE you went or WHAT you did, there was music and food to enjoy.  Merch to shop for and new faces to meet and greet.

My good friends over at Ellie Monster were there to provide us with vintage western wear as well as my dear friend Miss Sara Brown from Stoned Beautiful Jewelry. She makes the most lovely hand crafted turquoise and bone wares on the East Coast…really on ANY coast.

The vendors of food and clothes are also equally wonderful to become friends with, and get to know as people. Many of them I get to see often at other festivals all over the United States, like my friends at Pop’s Place whom took over the Billy Bayou’s Sweet Dixie Tea stand, I understand the previous owner had some health issues and sadly passed away.

There were a few more acts on Friday I wanted to see, but time and my need for sleep just wouldn’t permit me too. When I do this kind of thing I come right from my factory job of third shift, and go right to the music. I am usually up for long hours, and I don’t get much rest. So with that in mind I had to head back to my loaned camper for the night and sleep through Sleep..and it wasn’t hard really because I was exhausted.

The next morning began a little overcast and about 2PM, we had a damn good shower for about an hour that held up a few of the PBR stage acts. I had ALL my rain gear out at the ready under the Rusty Knuckles booth. I spent quite a bit of time over at the Wood Stage today, as many of the acts I wanted were there today. The wet ground from the morning began to flourish with vivid colors running from confetti left behind by the Everymen.

Children were running rampant flailing swim noodles left laying around by the epic swim noodle battle of 2018. I plunked my chair down with my books and belongings on it, and climbed up into the tower, which this year was closed to media only. Now by 4pm when the Gallows took the stage I was EVER SO THANKFUL I had a safe place to catch the action.

You know, every year I have a new band I find here, even if they have been on my radar or not. Today I bring you a FANTASTIC band called Blue Cactus from Chapel Hill North Carolina. Miss Steph Stewart and Mr. Mario Arnez make up the front duo of this band, and today it was just them two. Now, I want to articulate on how different the album is with backing vocals on songs like “I Never Knew Heartache”. Miss Steph’s vocals are reminiscent of the late Miss Tammy Wynette, including the backing DUM DUM DUM vocals during the chorus buildups.

That song was absolutely one of the most well written songs I have been blessed to hear in YEARS, if you give me a three chord and a truth song, this song makes you want to get DRUNK and STONED and CRY. The steel guitar brings her sweet vocals forward into the world with sorrowful fashion.

“Anymore Something” was their third song today, as I was absolutely transfixed on their show here today, I mean I was truly amazed with EVERY aspect of their music, their demeanor and their respect for history of Country Music here…you can just FEEL their charisma. Mr Mario’s lead guitar abilities were not too shabby either, I could rate others better, but his style and technique just FITS into what they do. He does not have the fish out of water appearance here.

The set opened with “So Right (You Got Left)”  the title itself bored me and made me think of many songs aptly named the same. BUT it was TRULY well written and I enjoyed the lyrics here, it made me smile and enjoy the twang from Mr. Mario.

“Not Alone (Till You Come Home) was next today, another well written song featuring her truly soulful voice. One thing I wanted to illustrate about the album is that all of the songs compliment each other truly well. They played a new song they called “Rodeo Queen” which was a good song, I’ll have to keep in contact with them for info on the new album.

I began to mosey onto the other stages here while they played a political song called “Finger On The Button”, I wasn’t really impressed with that one. Not really any sided on politics myself but it just really didn’t fit their entire presentation well,  but all in all it was one of the best sets of the weekend in my opinion….uh oh here starts the rain!

Miss Molly Gene One Whoaman Band did not get to play her slotted time at 1PM, but she did indeed get to play. I had to run back to my dump site to get my rain boots.  She is a Missouri based OMB, with just as much energy as Mr. Scott H Biram, with a meaner kick drum stomp! I got to hear her play a song with Freight Train Rabbit Killer and she played “I Am Strong, I Am Woman”.

The rain didn’t stay around for too long, however it was lengthy enough to be menacing and make mud. I climbed up into the tower later on during the next few sets while it rained and it helped keep my camera dry. I wasn’t sure about waterproofing my new camera.

While this was transpiring I kind of wandered around a little bit as they jumbled many of the bands to different times and stages. I did get to stop and see the Maness Brothers that got moved to the Spider Monkey stage. They have a high energy show going on, also form Missouri.

The PBR stage had the most of the Doom Metal on Saturday,so I opted to focus on the music I appreciated personally more than feature music I didn’t care for. But I was extremely heartwarming to see it being supported in such a grand fashion here. I mean the Muddy Roots lineup shirts SOLD OUT in an HOUR, these “NEW” faces here were buying merch, and buying food, WHO could be upset with that growth?

I did check out a portion of the set that Stump Tail Dolly had, and it was equally nice to see them perform on such a big, nice stage. They have new music, and I don’t know all of the new song names right now, I’ll be catching up with Mr. Ryan soon on new things they are doing. They always have a great stage presence and powerful songs like “Cumberland Gap” and “Iv’e Endured”.

The last band I wanted to touch on in this half of the article here was a Tex Mex punk based band called Pinata Protest from San Antonio Texas. These four guys tear up the stage every time I have covered them, last year they were equally amazing on stage.

The lead singer plays an accordion and spins in circles like a crazed madman, and they have some wicked guitar solos. I did remember the song ‘No Que See”. Piñata Protest was founded by the Mexican-born singer and accordionist  Mr. Àlvaro Del Norte. The band includes Mr. Regino Lopez on electric guitar and vocals, Mr. Richie Brown on electric bass and vocals, and Mr. Chris-Ruptive on drums and vocals.

As the band blazed through energetic songs like “Vato Perron” the rain started, and I moved to my truck to get my rain gear for the day. See I come prepared, and I do NOT quit for anything. The band split up audience to their likes of red and green salsa, and I left before they acted on what that was all about.

Now, folks I want you to get ready for my second portion to this series because it will include a VERY special tribute to a Muddy Roots veteran the likes of the rest of us here this weekend. We had a very touching moment out here at the Junebug ranch with the New blood Tubs and the Gallows..but that will be the part 2, so stay tuned.

Sep 172018
 

By Joshua Wallace

When I last posted about Party In The Pines happening October 19th and 20th in White Springs, FL, I brought you news of the main stage lineup.  Today, I am bringing you news of the showcase stage lineup which features artists you will not want to miss.

Friday :

Josh Card, Hallie Davis, Cliff Dorsey, Dylan Garrard, Billy Rice Band and Kellen Vincent Band

After Party featuring Adam Wakefield and Tyler Wood

Saturday :

Raleigh Keegan, Tobacco Road Band, Grayson Rogers and Scotty Williams and the Drifter

After Party featuring Tyler Booth and Jacob Bryant

I am excited to see these showcase stage artists getting some exposure alongside the bigger names on the main stage.  I’m especially excited to see names like Josh Card, Adam Wakefield, Tyler Booth and Jacob Bryant filling out the lineup.  These guys will surely bring some traditional country music to the proceedings making it a lineup that is very diverse and has something for everyone.

Be on the lookout for more coverage of 2018’s Party In The Pines on Gary Hayes Country leading up to the festival including the reveal of the full daily schedule.

 

Sep 142018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Asleep At The Wheel have returned with a new album of original cuts and covers.  This is the first Asleep At The Wheel record since 2016’s Christmas album titled Lone Star Christmas Night.  This record finds the band splitting vocal duties between Ray Benson and new fiddle player Katie Shore. Katie has been featured on Asleep At The Wheel albums before, but not this heavily as she takes lead vocals on six tracks throughout the record.  This brings a fresh sound to a band that has been around since 1970.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Pencil Full Of Lead” which is a Ray Benson lead cut.  It’s a faster number that features the classic Asleep At The Wheel sound you’ve come to know and love with nice work from Eddie Rivers on both pedal steel and sax.  Another favorite is a track that was co-written by Ray Benson and Katie Shore titled “Call It A Day Tonight”. This is a slower jazzy number that really allows Katie’s vocals to shine.

Another favorite is the track “Pass The Bottle Around”.  This is a Ray Benson track that features Katie heavily on fiddle with a nice solo feature towards the end.  You do get the feeling that Katie Shore is the star of this album and Ray Benson is more of a support player.  The song “Weary Rambler” is perhaps my favorite that features Katie Shore on vocals. It’s another mellow jazzy tune about ramblers looking for freedom.  Finally, the album closes out with a number featuring Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers and written by Seth Avett. Basically, if you have ever wondered what The Avett Brothers would sound like with Asleep At The Wheel backing them, this is it.  The song pays tribute to Willie Nelson who has written about nearly everything you can write about and he got there first.

New Routes is an album that feels like a new beginning for this old band.  They’re exploring new sounds and bringing a new singer to the forefront with the vocals of Katie Shore being heavily featured.  I feel like this record breathes new life into an act that some would say had become a tribute act as they have not released many original records over the recent years.  I’m looking forward to what comes from Asleep At The Wheel which now effectively features two vocalists and is still an amazing country and western swing band. New Routes is out everywhere you can find good music on Friday September 14th, 2018.          

Favorite Tracks : Pencil Full Of Lead, Call It A Day Tonight, Pass The Bottle Around, Weary Rambler, Willie Got There First

Asleep At The Wheel – New Routes (2018)

  1. Jack I’m Mellow
  2. Pencil Full Of Lead
  3. Call It A Day Tonight
  4. Seven Nights To Rock
  5. Dublin Blues
  6. I Am Blue
  7. Pass The Bottle Around
  8. Big River
  9. Weary Rambler
  10. More Days Like This
  11. Willie Got There First (featuring Seth Avett and Scott Avett)
Sep 142018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Willie Nelson typically releases two kinds of albums these days.  He does an album of originals and then he will do a vanity project which is often a covers album.  This time he has released a tribute to Frank Sinatra called My Way. The thing that sets this a part from some of his other projects are the arrangements for these songs.  He takes the big band arrangements of Sinatra and turns them into more country and western swing jazzy arrangements. The results are very Willie sounding but still retain the essence of Sinatra.

The album kicks off with Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” which still features a horn section but it’s anchored by Willie’s long time harmonica player Mickey Raphael who plays a large part in this album.  Willie’s guitar shines on this cut with a great solo. Another favorite is “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)” which is turned into more of a country blues number with an nod to the sound of the original.

“Blue Moon” is another favorite that moves into jazzy western swing territory.  The original by Sinatra was a big band jazz track that featured the horn section heavily.  I really dig the sound Willie creates on this one as he breathes new life into a classic. Norah Jones is the album’s only guest star as she duets with Willie on the track “What Is This Thing Called Love”.   Willie turns Sinatra’s classy ballad on it’s head and turns it into a jazzy duet fit for smoky dance halls.

Willie’s interpretation of other people’s songs can sometimes be hit or miss, but My Way is a big hit.  He pays homage to Sinatra’s signature sound while creating something new with a jazzy country western swing sound.  If you’re a fan of either artist I suggest picking this album up. It is available everywhere you can find good music on Friday September 14th, 2018.          

Favorite Tracks : Fly Me To The Moon, One For My Baby (One More For The Road), Blue Moon, What Is This Thing Called Love, My Way

Willie Nelson – My Way (2018)

  1. Fly Me To The Moon
  2. Summer Wind
  3. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
  4. A Foggy Day
  5. It Was A Very Good Year
  6. Blue Moon
  7. I’ll Be Around
  8. Night And Day
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love (With Norah Jones)
  10. Young At Heart
  11. My Way
Sep 102018
 

By Joshua Wallace

I had the privilege to attend the American Aquarium show this past Saturday night (09/08) in my home town of Valdosta, GA at Ashley Street Station and it was a good one.  This isn’t the first time American Aquarium has been to town, it’s actually the third that I can remember. The last time I saw them in town was 2014 and that was before BJ Barham went sober and with the old lineup.  That band was tight and always a good show, but the show I saw this past weekend was best I have ever seen them. This new lineup of American Aquarium is must see if they come to your area. They’re currently touring on the Thing’s Change record.  This is in my opinion their best album yet. It will be very high on my Top 50 Albums of 2018 list which will be published in December alongside the list Gary Hayes does.

Justin Kennedy Band

The show started off with the Justin Kennedy Band who played about an hour’s worth of mostly original material and a few select cover songs.  They are largely a southern rock group with some country influence. They played a few songs off their current album titled “Outlaw” including the title track, “Rockstar Heart”, “Travelin’ Man”, “Bandaids and Broken Hearts”, “Best I Ever Had” and “Letters”.  That last song I mentioned “Letters” was my favorite original of the night. It was a heartfelt ballad that deserves to be heard so check them out live or go find that track on your favorite streaming service. They also did a few select covers which included tracks by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Otis Redding.  Don’t sleep on this band if they’re playing near you, Justin Kennedy and company put on a great southern rock show with some good songwriting and killer riffs.

Justin Kennedy jamming a guitar solo

American Aquarium takes the stage

After JKB finished up, American Aquarium took the stage.  The band quickly got down to business jumping into a track off their new album titled “The World Is On Fire”.  This is a good track to introduce the new band to new audiences with because it showcases the diversity of the band with quieter moments that give way to a rock heavy chorus.   It was followed up with another new tune in “Tough Folks” which is another heavy rocker that got the crowd going.

BJ Barham rocks out with Shane Boeker

The band didn’t just stick to new stuff, there were older tracks sprinkled throughout including a good version of “Casualties” and a great version of the local favorite “Hurricane”.  Before that track there was some back and forth with BJ and the crowd about the meaning of the song. “Hurricane” is actually about a girl from Valdosta, GA and BJ was trying to describe the relationship as somewhere between dating and relations but someone in the crowd interjected by calling it “f*cking”.  This made BJ crack up on stage and say something along the lines of “that is exactly the word I was trying to dance around saying in public”. This started a hilarious back and forth banter that broke up the more serious nature of the songs on the rock show.

Rhett Huffman on the keys

This set heavily featured tracks from the Burn. Flicker. Die. album which included another highlight of the night with a rocking version of local favorite with “Jacksonville”.  It ended with a psychedelic crescendo that takes the recorded version to the next level. Another track from that album was the great “Lonely Ain’t Easy” about a lover who takes everything including a prized vinyl record collection.  The country side of the band really stands out on this live version which features Adam Kurtz on the pedal steel.

BJ Barham puts everything into his songs

Another highlight of the night was the early hit “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart”.  This track was a rocking ballad with a sing-along chorus that had the crowd going.  BJ Barham sings this song with the same passion towards the subject that he recorded it with almost ten years ago.  It was the perfect lead in to the final track of the main set “Burn.flicker.die”. It was another rocker that highlights the songwriting of BJ Barham while leaving the crowd on a high note.  That prepared the small but rowdy crowd to erupt into a frenzy for an encore which lead to a finale of “Katherine Belle” that ended the night with an early track from the Dances For The Lonely album.

American Aquarium closes out the night with an encore

BJ Barham has finally created a band that is firing on all cylinders.  They can straddle the line between rock and roll and country as needed and both genres sound perfectly executed from this band.   The new lineup features Shane Boeker on lead guitar, Adam Kurtz on pedal steel, Rhett Huffman on the keyboard, Ben Hussey on bass and Joey Bybee on drums.  It should be noted that Joey is out of the band for the rest of the year for personal reasons, so Matt Alger filled in on drums. I cannot stress this enough, American Aquarium are a must see band.  If you love country, rock and roll, heartland rock, Americana or even just good music, go see this band while you can.  I love that they are still playing smaller markets such as Valdosta, GA because I feel like they will be moving on to bigger venues very soon.  As a final note, they are making their national TV debut tonight / early tomorrow morning (09/11/2018) on NBC’s Last Call With Carson Daly at 01:30 AM.  After that, they are still on tour for the rest of the month and I will post those dates at the end of this article. Go see this band, you won’t regret it.

 

September 10th Chattanooga, TN

September 11th Jackson, MS

Sept 12th – 14th Nashville, TN

September 15th Macon, GA

September 21st Jacksonville, FL

September 22nd Wilmington, NC

September 23rd Charlotte, NC

Sep 062018
 

If  YOU have a show YOU would like added to my list PLEASE email me at garyhayes2@yahoo.com. I literally watch more than 40 venues in Nashville plus belong to many concert websites in order to bring you this coverage. NEW IN 2018, folks I am always looking for ways to enhance what I do for you. So this year I’ll be reporting on further Kentucky shows, and further Tennessee shows as well.

Folks WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE support live venue music

The Dead South
Cannery Ballroom October 17th

John R Miller And the Engine Lights
Southgate House October 18th

Town Mountain
Station Inn October 17th and 18th

Whitey Morgan And The 78’s
Songbirds Chattanooga Tn October 18th

Town Mountain
The Burl October 19th

Cody Johnson
Marathon Music Works October 19th

Official Dailey And Vincent
Ryman Auditorium October 20th

Town Mountain
Bluegrass Museum And Hall Of Fame October 20th

Freight Train Rabbit Killer And The Legion Of Ghosts
Hooten Hallers
October 21st

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Ryman Residency October 22-28th

Town Mountain
Boyd’s Jig And Reel Pub Knoxville Tn October 24rth

Pistol Annies
Ryman Auditorium October 25th

Dwight Yoakam
Tommy Ash
Owensboro Convention Center October 26th

Wade Bowen
The Basement East October 26th

The Tillers
Willow Tree Johnson City Tennessee Oct 26th

Don Gallardo
The Southgate House October 26th

Marty Stuart
Rupp Arena Ky Oct 27th

Rye Davis
Sidelines In Glasgow Ky October 10th

Town Mountain
Zanzabar Louisville Ky November 1st

Connie Smith
Renfro Valley November 2nd

Smokey White Devils Record Release Party
3Rd And Lindsley November 2nd

Teea Goans
Midnite Jamboree November 3rd

Town Mountain
Southgate House November 4rth

Tim Atwood
Trinity Music City November 6th

Caleb Caudle
The 5 Spot November 6th

The Texas Gentlemen
The Basement November 8th

Cody Jinks
Tennessee Theater Knoxville Tn November 8th

Drive By Truckers
Cannery Ballroom November 9th

Official Dailey And Vincent
Ryman Auditorium November 9th

The Mavericks
Schermerhorn Symphony Center November 8-10th

Carson McHone
Jeremy Pinnell
Ags Connolly
Southgate House November 11th

Dave Alvim
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
3rd And Lindsley November 14th

Colter Wall
The Basement East November 14th and 15th

Casey Donahew
3rd And Lindsley November 15th

Billy Strings
The Standard Knoxville Tn November 16th

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Jaime Wyatt
The Warehouse Mt. Victor November 17th

Gene Watson
Dallas Moore
Kyle Wilson
Nashville Palace November 17th

Tracey Lawrence
Owensboro Convention Center November 17th

Jaime Wyatt
The Warehouse Mt. Victor November 17th

Carson McHone
The Basement East November 17th

The Harmed Brothers
Southgate House November 17th

Whitney Rose
Southgate House November 18th

Low Cut Connie
Ruby Boots
The Basement East November 18th

Jack White
Margo Price
Joshua Hedley
Bridgestone Arena November 20th

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Cosmic Charlie’s Lexington Ky November 21st

The Reverend Peyton’s big Damn Band
Matt Woods
Southgate House November 24th

the Steeldrivers
The Alhambra Theater
November 24th Hopkinsville Ky

Marty Stuart And The Fabulous Superlatives
Woodard Theater Owensboro Ky November 30th

Tyler Childers
Exit In November 29,30 and Dec 1st

Amanda Shires
Cory Branan
Southgate House December 1st

Tommy Ash
The Basement December 2nd

Del McCourry
Woodward Theater Owensboro Ky December 8th

Jerry Lee Lewis
Schemerhorn Symphony December 10th

Sunny Sweeney
Brennan Leigh
Bri Bagwell
3rd And Lindsley December 13th

Raelyn Nelson
Little Harpeth Brewing December 14th

Billy Strings
3Rd and Lindsley December 22nd

The Wooks
Southgate House Revival December 29th

Brent Cobb
Ryman Auditorium January 31st

Travis Tritt
Country music Hall Of Fame Feb 22nd and 23rd 2019

Kacey Musgraves
Ryman Auditorium Feb 27th 2019

John Prine
Ryman Auditorium December 31st

Kasey Musgraves
Bridgestone Arena March 1 and 2nd 2019

Reverend Horton Heat
Legendary Shack Shakers
Hooten Hallers
Southgate House Revival April 8th

Sep 042018
 

Last night Miss Amanda Carlon from the Facebook based Outlaw Resurgence community reached out to me to help support a HUGE endeavor she has been undertaking to benefit a young man awaiting a heart transplant. OR has garnered quite an impressive following on social media in the last year, and has turned me to a couple GREAT bands through their live feeds. As the market became more saturated OR saw that, and slightly changed their approach and direction, but THEY WERE one of the original LIVE FEED based pages. I pretty much credit them solely for that method of weekly featuring new talent on a live feed, and creating a larger reach for them. The artists resulted in merch sales, which squelched the ‘playing for exposure” from the negative people.

They do a lot of great promotional work for beginning and established artists as well, and this weekend they will raise money for this little man here. This is little 8 year old Mr. Aaron Vaughn, and he is braver than most adults I know. The next time you feel like bitching about your problems, take lessons from this little guy and put yourself in check…because I have myself.

This is the Facebook group you can join to follow his journey in the home and hospitals as he awaits his heart transplant. He is on the list, however the list is long and the wait will be expensive. Miss Amanda has been working relentlessly for MANY WEEKS doing this for him, and asking for NO credit.

What she DOES want is your bids on the items so generously donated by folks like Mr. Cody Jinks, Mr. Whitey Morgan and more! You will just have to wait until Sunday to find out what is being offered. I understand that many of the items will be lumped into small merch packages to make it easier for her.

Once you win the bid you will be contacted to Payapal Mr. Chad Vaughn’s personal account, and the winner will pay the shipping for the item they win. Down below will be the link you need to be involved in the auction this weekend.

Any cards or mail can be sent to:

Aaron Vaughn
P.O. Box 153
East Lynne, MO 64743

This young man LOVES underground Country Music and his father Mr. Chad Vaughn travels the highways of America bringing us his music, so you can easily ascertain the struggle that the Vaughn family faces.  This is the link to bid on the merch items RIGHT HERE.

https://www.facebook.com/sfcantrell/videos/10217162315912823/?t=0

Aug 302018
 

By Joshua Wallace

John R. Miller is back with his first album with his band The Engine Lights.  This record is titled The Trouble You Follow. It follows his solo 2014 release titled Service Engine.  While that record was a more stripped down acoustic album, this is a full band release. The band features Chloe Edmonstone on fiddle, Danny Tiat on drums, Matthew Metz on mandolin and Jason Summer on the all important pedal steel guitar.  Let’s take a deeper dive into some of these songs.

The album kicks off with the track called “Holy Dirt”.  This is a catchy tune that eases you into the proceedings of this album.  I love the line “Listen to your momma till you think you know better, Sometimes you gotta fuck up before you can fly”.  Truer words have never been written. Another favorite track is the pre-release single for the album “Red Eyes”. I love John’s acoustic playing on this track.  It sets up a nice backbone for this groovy number that has all the elements you would expect from a good Americana record.

“Been Here Too Long” is a faster track that pulls from some bluegrass influence and features some good pickin from Matthew Metz on the mandolin.  It’s one of the faster tracks on the album and is sure to be a barn burner at live shows. “How It Feels In The Light” is a slower tune that features the pedal steel sounds of Jason Summer heavily in the track.  If you like pedal steel, this is a tune for you. Finally, “Strung Out” is another slower tune that closes out the album on a somber note. It’s a song about being strung out on everything in every way possible and trying to deal with it.  This is another slow tune that heavily features the pedal steel work of Jason Summer. Jason Summer is a great addition to this band and the record’s sound wouldn’t be the same without him. I love the line in this one that says “Never caught sight of a train wreck that burns like me”.

John R. Miller & The Engine Lights have turned in one hell of a groovy country/Americana album.  The star of the record is John R. Miller. His voice and guitar playing are front and center. The band provides a great backdrop to fill out the experience.  If you liked the 2014 solo record Service Engine, this album builds on that experience and makes him more accessible to a wider audience. This album is a very country leaning americana record.  It even has influences of bluegrass and rock and roll. It’s a little bit of everything John has done in the past rolled into one cohesive project. If you are familiar with John R. Miller, you already know you will like this record.  You’ve probably been waiting by the mailbox or constantly reloading your favorite streaming service waiting for it to come. If you are new to John R. Miller, this is the perfect jumping on point. It’s an accessible record with a great sound that will draw in many new fans.  The Trouble You Follow is available everywhere Friday August 31st, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Holy Dirt, Red Eyes, Been Here Too Long, How It Feels In The Light, Too Much Livin’, Strung Out

John R. Miller & The Engine Lights – The Trouble You Follow (2018)

  1. Holy Dirt
  2. Red Eyes
  3. How It Feels In The Light
  4. Been Here Too Long
  5. Lights In The City
  6. Ghosts
  7. Whale Party
  8. Too Much Livin’
  9. The Wheel
  10. Strung Out
Aug 272018
 

I have been doing this for many years, writing about my favorite bands and artists. Venues, festivals and everything in between. I followed many people around for many miles, and met many new friends along the way. In that time I have compiled a rather lengthy bucket list for myself, because I believe one of the keys to success is setting goals for yourself.

My right arm Mr. Joshua Wallace has always been worth his weight in gold to me, and I don’t feel I do enough for him, even though he enjoys working WITH me on this website. I used to say he works for me, but to be honest he works WITH me folks. ALL of those record reviews you read on here are all done by HIM, not me. HE GETS the material, and decides what to do, and shortly he will bring you his review of this man Mr. Whitey Morgan and his band of Outlaws called the 78’s. This website has been reporting on them for many years, since it’s RE LAUNCH in 2013, and before on my older website I started on MySpace.

To say that the band as a whole has advanced to a whole new echelon of finesse is a gross understatement. They have evolved into a gigantic well oiled machine, both in sound and stage presence. That busted up, rusty old Valvoline oil drum has stood at attention for a good while now.

Ironically, the scenario last night in town was amazing for local music, if you consider Mr. Whitey still at the local music level. To me, he is in transition from local venues to big venues, like last night where he received a high accolade for any performer..a  headline concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium. This particular event was integral for them, because of the bigger name mainstream acts that surrounded him. Now folks, many other bands would have suffered ticket sales in lieu of the other 4 major events, but not Mr. Whitey.

Look at it THIS WAY here, you got Mr. Whitey and the 78’s playing this venue, and ALL  AROUND HIM you have more larger national acts, yet the Ryman was STILL packed full of people. YOU had a choice, and a decision, and you chose wisely if you ended up at the Ryman. Right across the street you had Def Leppard and Journey, right down the street you had Taylor Swift, AND next to that you had Three Doors Down…yet WE CHOSE to be at the Ryman. It’s funny how this all works out folks, you have Mr. Whitey who is finally crossing the threshold into major national attention at the OLD venue for the Opry, and Mr. Garth Brooks, who is returning to full swing from a “Daddy Break” at the current Opry house. Not to say that the music Mr. Whitey plays is the same as Mr. Garth Brooks….ohhh no…my point is…real music is catching up AND BEATING the watered down junk…and the powers that be are pissed because they have NO CHOICE BUT to respond.

Mr. Whitey himself stood in awe, as they raised the lights up, and he bellowed “I just cannot believe all you motherfuckers showed up here tonight, and I cannot thank you enough. It’s like a party you planned nobody to show up for, and you end up with a ton of motherfuckers instead”. Tons of motherfuckers indeed, have been the case, and after Loud And Heavy Festival In Texas you can tell by his merchandise stock that people are beginning to respond to his music. EVERY style of shirt they had was out of XL sizes and 2X, hell they were out of stock on mostly everything…that’s NOT a complaint, that’s a HIGH FIVE.

The one man band that was introduced to me many years ago called Tennessee Jet opened the show tonight,my last encounter with him was at Third And Lindsley With Mr. Cody Jinks.He is truly one of my favorite one man bands equal to the likes of Mr. Scott H Biram, or Miss Molly Gene.

His stage show is a bit eclectic in itself, as he trades guitars for different set portions, there exists background narrations, and media clips from movies and television. He opened the show (and his set) with a song for veterans called “Never Forget”, that contains well written lyrics that haunt the listener with references of medications and a veteran’s struggle to return to society.

A cover of Waylon Jennings 1975 “Long Time Gone” was next from the album “Dreaming My Dreams” , which was also later played by Whitey Morgan in his set. He delved into his full length self titled album once again with a song called “Hwy 51 Blues”, and also included the dark and poignant “Dead Belles And Bones”. The later song is one of the ones that includes the one man drum kit accompanied with his guitar skills, and more Gothic lyrics than most of his originals.

His version of “I Saw The Light” was unique point in the show for me, for the simple fact that many years ago Country Legend Hank Williams Sr. performed that very song on that same stage. There is no denying that Country Music was alive and well in this institution tonight, in every aspect.

Mr. Alex Williams was next up to open the show, touring right now for his “Better Than Myself” album that graced many a TOP 50 lists of it’s year. Even he displayed tremendous growth since my last report of his in Glasgow at the Plaza Theater, he was also sporting a new haircut.

“Hellbent Hallelujah” opened his set tonight, as he riled up the crowd with his band.  His next song was called “Strange Days” which was a song that addresses modern day struggles of life. You can interpret this as a religious issue song or modern day struggle song as well, both of these songs came from his album.

His next song was a GREAT cover of Texas Country Legend Mr. Terry Allen, as he played the great “Amarillo Highway” from 1979. I thought he played a superb version of that song tonight, and it received quite an awesome response from us tonight. He returned back to his original music with the song “Freak Flag”.

The best song on his album was a song some of us can relate to called “Little Too Stoned”, which is a down right awesome party song that set up the mood for Mr. Whitey quite well. “Old Tattoo” was a song he wrote about his grandfather. It’s a very personal song for him, and you can tell the lyrics came from his heart. It talks about time don’t heal, and the passing of an old soul.

Mr. Whitey arrived after some intro music. The 2010 self titled album ushered in the first song called “Bad News” which set up the mood for a perfect night of Honky Tonk Country Music for us. His facial expressions tonight made me aware of the immense appreciation he has for this iconic venue, and how he got to this pinnacle in his career. I have been reporting on Mr. Whitey Morgan for SO MANY years, and it’s fun to watch these artists grow.

“Buick City Blues” was next, which in it’s own right represents his Motor City area origins. Unlike many of the artists of his current ilk, he hails from the northern region of Flint Michigan. This man and his band plays an easy 250 plus shows a year, and has been working the local circuit for a long long time.

The lead steel guitar intro to the next song called “Cocaine Train” has always been one of my favorites, despite the fact of it being a classic Johnny Paycheck song from the 1979 album “Everybody’s Got A Family, Meet Mine’. Mr. Brett just always hits every note with precision and grace. Next up was “Low Down On the Main Streets” and one of my favorites about torn up love called “Back To Back”…after the loving. For those lovers that have drifted apart and are together for sexual desires and no longer connected any other way.

His new album called “Hard Times And White Lines” wasn’t represented as strongly as I had initially anticipated upon arrival, but the two that were included were truly fine teasers of what is to come. Honestly, right now I already know what is to come…but I cannot totally divulge that information accept for the track listing. His first single off the forthcoming album entitled “Honky Tonk Hell” displays some truly fine production work, and I’ll say it honestly…this album is BY FAR his BEST offering to date.

Next up was a bunch of classic Whitey Morgan songs that I have enjoyed for many years now, including “Honky Tonk Queen”, which garnered a huge response from us tonight as he referenced all the awesome local bars we have been in this weekend. All over town within this scene I enjoyed pics of my friends at various bars and venues. Mr. Whitey also played “Long Time Gone” and the song that was also cut by Mr. Scott H. Biram “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue”..

He covered the hallowed anthem of Mr. John Prine called “Paradise” which was followed by Dale Watson song that he wrote about Outlaw Legend Mr. Billy Joe Shaver. “Where Do You Want It?” was not necessarily a cover song per say, but a song both artists have always played since the beginning. Also later on down the line he played the Marshall Tucker Band “Fire On the Mountain’, and a version of Merle Haggard’s “Swinging Doors”.

“Me And The Whiskey” was another wonderful drinking song included in his set tonight, as he proclaimed to have assembled a “Perfect Ryman Drinking Set” for us tonight. “Goin Down Drinking” was a prime example of this statement, as was “I Ain’t Drunk”, and many more.

The encore they played was rowdy and hardcore, and included the songs ‘Sinner” and the song “Waiting Around To Die”. As they exited the stage, they left the Ryman Auditorium on another level in their careers as they join an elite few of artists that can draw several thousand people now. Traditional Country Music is indeed catching on and becoming a viable alternative to pop country now, and it is rapidly growing at an alarming rate!

Find Nashville Ghost Tour at ScaryNashville.com