As I finish operation clean up from 2017, and begin to reflect on what all transpired, I have a couple stacks of albums I missed. I thought it might be a fun idea if I began a small series of articles that elaborate on some of these albums. Some of them found their way in my email, and some were physically sent to me in the mail.
Brandon Luedtke : Morning Light Impacting August 11th : Folk – Country – Americana
Hailing from Texas, Brandon Luedtke began writing songs when he was given his first guitar at age twelve. Since then, he has resided in Nebraska and NYC, later settling in Austin where over the last seven years, the singer-songwriter and musician has played in bands like Roosevelt’s Goody Bag, Honey Baby, and briefly with Shane Smith and the Saints on the fretless bass. More than ever, Luedtke has been honing his craft by writing and performing songs centered around his acoustic guitar and voice – carrying the torch of the Texas troubadour forward.
Earlier this year, Luedtke finished his debut LP, Morning Light, with producer, Eric Witthans in Austin’s Mockingbird Studios. The album showcases, Luedtke’s subtle feel for songwriting and musicians from the Austin music scene. Stylistically, Brandon is most easily categorized as a modern folk singer, but the songs on Morning Light will also fit perfectly into the Americana and Alt-Country world. The album features 9 Luedtke originals including the first two singles country tinged, steel driven “By The Light of The Moon” and folky “Can’t Get Away (From The Way of the World)”. Alongside those originals are reworkings of the traditional, “Cuckoo Song” and the gospel song “Soon One Morning”. Several of the songs have already debuted on websites across the country to great reviews. Following that are downloads and streams.
I recently listened to this album and really liked it, I can see him fitting in well with Americanafest lineups as well as a few more other festivals, since he came from the Texas area I was anticipating a more Red Dirt sound. This album was certainty a different twist than what initially is described, with as much depth as a good Isbell album.
Some of the steel guitar work was pretty good and the songs all accompanied each other truly well, and when I am in the Americana mood this album will certainly be included into my rotation.
1. Can’t Get Away (From The Way of the World) (2:56)
2. The Cuckoo Bird (3:17)
3. Over The Interstate (2:44)
4. Black Mountain Echoes (3:56)
5. Let it Rise (3:21)
6. One of These Days (2:33)
7. New World (3:06)
8. Stay Gone (3:30)
9. Somethin’ Evil (4:13)
10. By The Light of the Moon (2:10)
11 Soon One Morning (2:21)
Matthew James And The Rust Belt Union: Impromptu Musical For The Skeptic
Now this next album I did indeed dwell very deeply on, I cannot even BEGIN to lump this band into ANY genre really? I mean the steel guitar is phenomenal but it’s THE TONE of it that really gripped my ears..What tuning is this? I plan to SOON reach out to steel picker Mr. Nathan Emerson when I bring back my steel pickers series in the future.
Mr. Matthew James – Acoustic Guitar / vocals, Mr. Wrex Hill – Drums, Mr. Nathan M Emerson – Pedal Steel, Mr. Larry Kaster – Upright Bass, Mr. Nick Maurer & Brad Hanson – Electric Guitar and Mr. Matt Miller – Organ make up this eclectic band right here. This piece is from their press kit:
Matthew James, recognized for his years of touring with string bands, opens his album with a bluegrass tease . The second song introduces Rust Belt Union’s sound, with tormenting acoustic that explodes with a surf wave and haunting pedal steel harmonics. This is their self described “Midwest Junk Soul” consisting of acoustic upright bass and pedal steel. But don’t visualize country music, these gentleman’s guise is proper technique with exploration.
The most country song ends the album falling apart into post-rock noise that flat lines with feedback oscillaAs there are many tips of the hat to the past, Rust Belt Union emerges as a gang of cowboys, with traditional instruments, riding from a dystopian landscape creating a new culture of music from all the American styles combined. Though the band gets its name from the dying of factory jobs, Matthew James and The Rust Belt Union is working on building something indestructible.
This band fits well in Americana and Roots music both with ease, the opener was kind of Bluegrass and broke out into more of a Roots format with a solid band. This band plays very well together in their own fashion, and play real songs. I’m VERY enthusiastic about their next album, and the direction it takes because for a full length debut THIS was too cool…Indestructible indeed..in fact I think ONLY THEY can limit their possibilities.
John King: Hard Lessons Learned
John King And The Mud River Revival is indeed a local name you have heard me mention on here quite often in the past few years. I’m not totally sure the status of the band right as I made this article however, if they announced a show I would make an effort to cover it. Their previous bassist Mr. Jason Simpson was playing with Mr. Colter Wall and the Speedy Creek Band, however in Florida they parted ways as well.
This album was Mr. John’s solo project, which in essence did include guitarist Mr. Mike Bulle and other members of the band itself. If you remember my covering the very first Spillway Songwriter Series about this time last year,you will remember me raving about his song “Nursing Home” and another called “Ghost”, which was about an encounter with an elderly lady in a church and an apparition.
I’ll admit I have always enjoyed his style of vocal delivery, and they played a DAMN GOOD set with Mr. Dallas Moore and the Jericho Woods Band years ago at Spillway. I highly suggest you check out this man’s band and his solo work, with songs like “Dutch Creek” and “Gramdpa’s Guitar” this album will solidify your desire for homegrown family orientated Southern Rock/ Country music. The man builds pole barns for a living, and raises his kids like any other regular man does…..’Merica! Folks, all you get with John King is a real deal guy that plays real deal music..enough said.
Jonemery: Hell Rooster
You long time readers of my website will most certainly recognize this man’s name and work on here. One of the highest road warriors on the west coast, Mr. Jonemery Dodds has sustained a LOT of personal loss for the dreams he chases. He rolled a car last year and came out unscathed thank God, we were ALL worried about him.
My home museum of Country Music Legends and local music contains many of his letters to me and is adorned with a LOT of his posters and notes. He actually released TWO albums last year this one was first with fellow musicians Mr. Mike Bacon Jr. on bass, Mr. Chris Amaral on drums, And Mr. Dan Sisson on guitars and lap steel.
The album opens with “Red Tangled Mess” and goes into a good Honky Tonk anthem called “Shit Kickin Blues”. You know his music may not be widely known all over the country…yet..but it is well written and I enjoy all of his albums and keep them in my rotation. It’s pretty much just good old fashioned beer drinking music.
I’m going to go ahead and include both albums he sent me in 2017 this album was called Driftin To The Shoulder
The album opens with a title track of “Driftin To The Shoulder” which contains a really good toe tapping Honky Tonk guitar tone.It continues on into an older recorded song called “From Wine To The Whiskey”, from one of his former albums. The high point of this album here is the hilarious written song called “Tweeker”, which sadly was written from his detriment.
The road life these guys and gals live is filled with harsh deadlines and encounters with creeps of all kinds while they streamline on for a quest to find legitimate listeners. I know this, because I have followed them all at one point or another. I remember watching Cody Jinks play at a abandoned gas station once.
The other song I liked was “Let Kentucky Do The Talking” mostly because I am based out of western Kentucky. Now mind you Mr. Jon has never ventured out into my neck of the woods yet. BUT I AM confident that one day…ONE DAY our paths will cross.
The CMA Music Theater at the Country Music Hall Of Fame has been bringing GREAT acts to the Hall Of Fame, like the Earls Of Leicester who blasted the Bluegrass scene up with their second album called “Rattle And Roar” in 2016. These boys have TWO FINE albums of material to pick through for a LIVE album, I anticipate a DANG FINE album.
The Earls of Leicester are the three-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year bluegrass group assembled by Jerry Douglas to present the music of Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Their self-titled debut album earned a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2015. The band’s music focuses on the music of Flatt & Scruggs during the period when the band consisted of Lester Flatt on guitar and lead vocals, Earl Scruggs on banjo and guitar, ‘Uncle’ Josh Graves on dobro, Paul Warren on fiddle, Curly Seckler on mandolin, and ‘Cousin’ Jake Tullock on bass. The band’s name is a play on the names of Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt.
The Earls of Leicester consists of 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas on Dobro, Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, Charlie Cushman on banjo, Jeff White on mandolin, Johnny Warren on fiddle, and Barry Bales on bass. Douglas and Bales are also band mates in Alison Krauss & Union Station. These shows are going to be recorded for a future Earls of Leicester live record. Tickets are $34.50.
You might recall recently that I wrote about Country Legend Ray Stevens Announced Opening CabaRay well everybody on January 18th 19th and 20th HE WILL DO JUST THAT! The grand opening celebration begins at this state of the art Nashville showroom in about a week. Now unfortunately they ran into some licensing kinks, and construction which prohibited them from opening last year.
The entire complex is themed on Nashville and the industry that has been so good to Mr. Ray, and all of the walls will be adorned with pictures and posters of his career. The showroom features six red leather booths named after Legendary producers like Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley, Shelby Singleton, Fred Foster, Jerry Kennedy and Billy Sherrill.
This complex will offer dinner theater style shows for 500 people downstairs and 200 people upstairs with theater style seating, a gift shop and many other accommodations. This is a 35,000 square foot complex with free parking for 300 patrons, and even tour buses. This complex is located in West Nashville at 5724 River Road.
An encore is typically an artist’s way of saying thank you to an appreciative crowd. Anderson East’s new album is titled Encore and it is in many ways an encore of his 2015 album Delilah. He is once again working with Dave Cobb at the helm. Encore feels like it picked up right where Delilah left off but more polished. Anderson East still has his brand of southern soul mixed with country, blues and everything in between. Encore just improves on that in every way.
The album starts off with a surefire hit in “King For A Day”. Anderson East wrote this song with Chris and Morgane Stapleton and you can hear Chris’s influence in this song. The great co-writes don’t end there. He works with great writers such as Natalie Hemby, Adam Hood, pop sensation Ed Sheeran and even Swedish EDM producer Avicii. You would think an album with all of these mixed ingredients might not work, however it’s a testament to Anderson East that it works very well.
The Avicii track is titled “Girlfriend” and is filled with thick synthesizers and horns. It is different, but it’s still very much Anderson East. There are also some covers on this album. Anderson East takes Ted Hawkins’s acoustic blues number and turns it into an up tempo soul hit. He also re-works Willie Nelson’s sparse ballad “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” from his Teatro album into a more full sounding southern blues ballad. “All On My Mind” is a track that was originally written by Ed Sheeran and Johnny McDaid, the same duo who were mostly responsible for writing Sheeran’s huge hit “Shape Of You”. Anderson East took the demo of “All On My Mind” from Sheeran thanks to some mutual management and made it his own. It’s a great song to serve as the lead single from the album.
It is clear that Anderson East has grown since recording Delilah, but his sound remains the same. Anderson East is one of many artists leading a revival in the old school soul and R&B sound. This album continues that and dives further into his blues and country influences as well. In many cases, if you hear that an EDM artist or a mega pop star such as Ed Sheeran worked on an album such as this, you would be justifiably worried. However, Anderson East takes these influences and melds them into his own work in way that stays true to his sound. If you were a fan, or even on the fence with Delilah, I highly recommend giving this record a shot. Encore is available everywhere music is sold.
Anderson East – Encore (2018)
King For A Day
This Too Shall Last
House Is A Building
Sorry You’re Sick
If You Keep Leaving Me
All On My Mind
Somebody Pick Up My Pieces
Favorite Tracks : King For A Day, Girlfriend, Sorry You’re Sick, If You Keep Leaving Me, All On My Mind
I first came across Mickey Lamantia’s music thanks to the 2017 Tumbleweed festival lineup. I was not present last year, so I did not see him live but I am the type of person who digs into artists based on being on festival lineups. I liked what I heard on his Outlaw Life EP and I was excited to find out that he had a full length LP out in early 2018.
Mickey Lamantia is the definition of modern outlaw country. Raw, real and he has a sound that respects those who came before him. On Every Bad Habit, Mickey Lamantia aka ml750 provides his fans with their first deeper look to his brand of outlaw country. After one listen, there is no question where he comes from and what cloth he was cut from.
Songs like “Take Our Country Back” express how Lamantia feels about current politics and the current state of country music. The title track, “Every Bad Habit” dives even deeper and gives you an idea of his musical influences. “When I Get On A Roll” is my favorite track on the album and was actually not written by Mickey Lamantia, but by Tony Stampley. This track could be a hit on country radio if they played songs like this. It has amazing songwriting and Mickey Lamantia nails the execution. I’ll have this cut in my own rotation for a while.
There is an acoustic portion to this album that kind of takes the album to its core which is Mickey and his guitar singing these amazing songs just like he’d perform them at a solo acoustic gig in some random bar on a Saturday night. These 3 acoustic tracks are just as hard hitting and amazing as the rest of the album. I wish more artists stripped it down like this as a regular part of the album and not as bonus tracks of a deluxe edition or B-Sides on an EP.
Mickey Lamantia has released one hell of an album in Every Bad Habit. If you’re a fan of outlaw country or just real country music, this one’s for you. Every Bad Habit is available on digital outlets February 12th, 2018 and physical copies are available HERE.
Mickey Lamantia – Every Bad Habit (2018)
Six Cans, Some Vinyl and You
Every Bad Habit
When I Get On A Roll
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
How Do I Say Good Bye (Acoustic)
Take Our Country Back
Heavy Dose Of You
Whiskey On My Breath
Outlaw Uprising (Acoustic)
Outlaw LIfe (Acoustic)
Favorite Tracks : When I Get On A Roll, Every Bad Habit, Take Our Country Back, Six Cans, Some Vinyl and You, Outlaw Uprising
Once you take a look at this video you’ll easily see why Bobby Bare’s album last year made my TOP 50 OF 2017. Director Mr. Max T Barnes son of Max D Barnes has directed a video masterpiece. Bobby Bare has had a wonderful year here on Garyhayescountry.com, playing many festivals I covered this year.
He, like many other Country Music Legends is also planning a 2018 album, and an extensive tour being one of Country Music’s more active Legends. “’I Drink’ was written by one of my favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier – she lived it. It’s a heart-wrenching story of alcoholism and the effects it can have on a family,” said Bobby Bare, adding, “I am proud of the depiction of the song through this video and hope it will sincerely touch people. If you’re struggling, get help, it could save your family and your life. I recommend AA as a starting point.”
In contrast to the IBMA, which takes a wide view in the question of just what bluegrass music is, SPBGMA hews much more closely to the traditions that informed the style in its earliest days. Nominees and final award winners are chosen by balloting among the membership, and attendees at the annual convention at the Sheraton Music City Hotel each winter.
And the nominees for the 2018 awards are…
Bluegrass Promoter of the Year
Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year
WBRF-FM Galax, VA
WCHQ-FM Louisville, KY
WPAQ-AM, Mt. Airy, NC
Sirius XM 062-Bluegrass Junction
WBZI-AM, Xenia, OH
WSM-AM, Nashville, TN
Bluegrass DJ of the Year
Judith Burnette WBRF FM Galax, VA
Bob Mitchell WCHQ FM Louisville, KY
Tim Frye WPAQ AM Mt. Airy NC
Kyle Cantrell Sirius XM 062
Chris Jones Sirius XM 062
Cindy Baucom Knee Deep In Bluegrass
Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year
Bluegrass Album of the Year
Colors – The Farm Hands on Pinecastle Records
Let Them Know I’m From Virginia – Big Country Bluegrass on Rebel Records
In The Ground – The Gibson Brothers on Rounder Records
Life Is A Story – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on Mountain Home Music Company
Before Breakfast – The Grascals on Mountain Home Music Company
Silence In These Walls – Flatt Lonesome on Mountain Home Music Company
Bluegrass Bass Fiddle Performer of the Year
Bluegrass Dobro Performer of the Year
Bluegrass Guitar Performer of the Year
Bluegrass Mandolin Performer of the Year
Bluegrass Banjo Performer of the Year
Billy Lee Cox
Bluegrass Fiddle Performer of the Year
Mary Rachel Nalley
Female Vocalist of the Year (Overall)
Dale Ann Bradley
Male Vocalist of the Year (Overall)
Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
The Farm Hands
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The King James Boys
Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
Carolina Blue Band
The Farm Hands
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year
The Farm Hands
The Kody Norris Show
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall)
The Kody Norris Show
The Farm Hands
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
Bluegrass Entertainer(s) of the Year
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Farm Hands
Bluegrass Song of the Year
Burn The Barn – Big Country Bluegrass on Rebel Records
All My Life – Flatt Lonesome on Mountain Home Music Company
Rural Route – The Farmhands on Pinecastle Records
Life To My Days – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on Mountain Home Music Company
My Quiet Mind – The Gibson Brothers on Rounder Records
Sleeping With The Reaper – The Grascals on Mountain Home Music Company
On Feb 16, 17,18 and 19th at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville North Carolina you will find this stellar lineup of GREAT Bluegrass music to entertain you in fine fashion. So first we shall talk about the lineup of bands before all the rest of the information here. As usual I shall post not only the poster but all of the band links too!
The 23rd annual Bluegrass First Class hosted by Festival Director Mr. Milton Harkey and his organization that is fiercely dedicated to the proliferation and promotion of Bluegrass music in all forms. He is by all means one of the modern day pioneers of his craft in many ways:
One of the founding fathers of the IBMA (June, 1985) and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
Originator, founder and producer of The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Family Style Bluegrass Festival in Denton, NC (for 17 years)
Founder and host of the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass showdown, a talent search for bluegrass and acoustic bands throughout the US and Canada. Pizza Hut was the Title Sponsor.
Founding member of the South Carolina Bluegrass Society, Inc and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
Producer of several bluegrass festivals: Fox on the Run Bluegrass Festival in Lexington, Little Mountain, SC, founder of the Kinston Winter Bluegrass Festival in Kinston, NC in conjunction with the Eastern North Carolina Bluegrass Association.
Disk jockey for 1 year with a 3 hour weekly show at WCOS-FM Radio, a 100,000 watt station located in Columbia, SC.
Event producer at the Quarter Moon Listening Parlor in Columbia, SC.
Harkey continues to spend his spare time working with young bluegrass artists by providing the opportunity to showcase their talents and achieve the recognition of seasoned bluegrass audiences nationwide.
Some might fine looking accommodations embellish this festival and entice you to want to come and enjoy some music in this area folks, I highly suggest you come check out what they are doing out there. I can tell you previous experience that Asheville North Carolina is a gorgeous area. And the initial hotel that is hosting this event includes the ENTIRE HOTEL, this from their website:
There will be pickin’ around the clock in the halls, rooms, lounge, sunken lobby, and foyer. The entire hotel is reserved for bluegrass fans and performers – It’s all yours, so just have at it! There is one quiet wing in the hotel and in that area we respectfully request that there be no jammin’.
I was first exposed to Ghostwriter’s music in the 2008 film called The Folk Singer. Admittedly, he was not a highlight of the film for me but what I heard stuck with me. Ghostwriter is a one man band with a sound that falls into the lo-fi punk inspired blues category. His sound features haunted growling vocals backed with a thick distorted guitar and foot stomp percussion. It fits right in with Left Lane Cruiser or The GD Gallows or even The Legendary Shack Shakers.
Ghostwriter’s new record is titled String Noise and Dust. While Ghostwriter isnt reinventing the wheel, there is some diversity on this album. There are slower tracks which showcase great songwriting and some faster tracks that show off his punk rock influences and just might start a mosh pit.
The album opens up with a barn burner called “Storm Clouds”. It sets the album off rocking with a song that kicks up a lot of noise and dust to prepare you for the storm to come. “How Many Times” showcases Ghostwriter’s skill with the banjo and great songwriting. Another favorite is “Stagnation Blues” which brings together the distorted blues guitar and banjo for an amazing album closer.
One man bands bring an interesting sound and Ghostwriter adds to the diversity of the OMBs in the underground roots scene. He brings a sound that is heavy, bluesy and full of distorted guitars and guttural growls. This album will sit well with any Ghostwriter fan, new or long time. String Noise and Dust is available everywhere digitally and on CD and LP from End Of The West Records.
Ghostwriter – String Noise and Dust (2018)
How Many Times
Honor The Dead
Favorite Tracks : Ohio, Storm Clouds, How Many Times, Stagnation Blues
You know before I indulge into anything Mr. Billy Yates has contributed to Country Music on a songwriter standpoint, I want to point out that he produced MY NUMBER ONE ALBUM OF 2017 Mr. Charley Pride. That album was just too magnificent to pass up on!
I mean damn, when you say Country Music you pretty much say Billy Yates because he has embellished it on so many levels it’s uncanny. In 2000 he accomplished what Music Row said was impossible…he put George Jones on FM radio with ‘Choices” from the Cold Hard Truth album. He also wrote “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair” and more for Jones.
I have stated this before and I shall again and again. Country Music has three staple pillars of it’s foundations, the producer, steel guitarist, and songwriter. if you have ALL THREE, you have a platinum album. So with that in mind here let’s dwell on the songwriters for just a moment. WHAT MADE these people write these hit songs we all revere so much? I mean REALLY…WHAT was the story behind Max Barnes writing “Chiseled In Stone” or Don Schlitz writing “The Gambler”?
tickets for Billy Yates’ Hit Songwriters in the Round are available at the Americana Theater box office at 417-544-8700 or online at www.HitSongwritersInTheRound.com.
Tickets for Raiding the Country Vault are available at the Starlite Theatre box office at 417-337-9333 or online at www.starlitetheatre.com
WRITERS/ARTISTS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN APRIL & MAY: April 6, 7, 8 – Kerry Kurt Phillips & Wynn Varble April 13, 14, 15 – Byron Hill & Wil Nance April 20, 21, 22 – Buddy Jewell & Leslie Satcher April 27, 28, 29 – Clay Mills & Mark Irwin May 4, 5, 6 – Max T. Barnes & Jeff Bates May 11, 12, 13 – Jim McBride & Jimmy Payne May 18, 19, 20 – Bobby Tomberlin & Steve Dean May 25, 26, 27 – Guest host: Michael Peterson with LuLu Roman & Leona Williams
Folks I wanted to take a moment to interject here about Mr. Channing Wilson, I recently covered his show
that Mr. Josh Fairbanks met him. This is where he approached Mr. Channing about doing this, as we were BOTH blown away at his performance. You can read the article HERE from 3rd And Lindsley.
I first saw this weeks featured artist Channing Wilson on December 23rd 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville. I was really impressed and asked him if he would be interested in doing an interview for my page and he was so I am happy to share that with you guys now. Please remember to like this page in orders to ensure you don’t miss any of the musician interviews coming up in 2018 and also please share this post cause the simple act of clicking share helps spread and strengthen the music that we all love.
Round 1 – How long have you been a touring musician and on average about how many shows do you play each year?
Channing – “I have been playing music for a living for 18 years. I’m playing somewhere between 150 and 200 shows a year right now.”
Round 2 – Do you have plans to release a new album anytime soon and if so is there any details you can tell us about it?
Channing – “I just released a live acoustic solo album called “Live from Eddie’s Attic” back in September. I have played solo/singer songwriter kind of shows for so long I wanted to put a solo record out. I will be going into the studio in 2018 to record my actual “debut album.“ all I really know right now about it is it will probably have a lot of new songs that I’m not playing right now.”
Round 3 – I know it’s hard, hell almost impossible but if you could pick one song to listen to before you die, what song would you choose and why does that song and those lyrics mean so much to you?
Channing – “You’re right. That’s almost an impossible question to answer, but I’ll give it a try. I would have to say “Desperados Waiting On A Train” – Guy Clark would probably be the one for me. It reminds me of my entire life. My childhood, my grandfather, and was the song I heard that really made me want to be a better songwriter. Not to mention it’s one of the most well written songs of all time.
Reading your question again, I could assume I was going to die as soon as the song was over. With that being said, I would like to change my answer to “one trillion bottles of beer on the wall.”
Round 4 – I love animals so I ask everyone this question but do you have any pets, if so can you tell us about them?
Channing – “Absolutely! I have a six month old Basset Hound named Hank JR. He’s a lovable stubborn little shit just like his daddy. He also has just started his own Instagram page. @hankwilsonjr ”
Round 5 – What is your favorite thing to do outside of the music World?
Channing – “I am always getting into something, but to answer your question I would say …
Hanging out with my kids, fishing, hunting, Netflix, coffee, cooking, driving, whiskey, good cigars, traveling, and more. ”
Last Call – This is an open question so tell your fans and the people reading this whatever you would like them to know.
Channing – “First of all I am a fan of country music. I love country music. I actually love all kinds of music but when I open my mouth to sing the genre pretty much chose itself. Second, please follow me on social media. It is so important nowadays. Reach out and say hi. Y’all help me spread the word that it’s a great time for country music again and we don’t have to be force-fed generic music that we don’t want. I also love turning people on to my talented friends and other artists they may not know so, here goes…
Brent Cobb, Dave Kennedy, Kendell Marvel, Chris Canterbury, Adam Hood, Tommy Ash, Eric Dylan. Thanks for your time see y’all on the road.”
This website is well known for heralding the impact of ALL our Country Music Legends of ALL times. I report on them when nobody else will, do you know how many people messaged me and said “I had NO IDEA Charley Pride” had anew album out?” See Mr. Charley was my NUMBER ONE album for 2017, you can elaborate more on that by reading it HERE.
I hear it all the time “GOLLY I didn’t know (so and so) was even still alive?” I partially blame my journalist constituents that fail you, the reader for reporting very little on these people citing that “Nobody cares” or “It doesn’t garner enough hits on social media”..my initial response is who cares HOW MANY LIKES IT GETS? If it’s in your heart WRITE THAT ARTICLE.
So with that in mind if you remember in 2017 we lost Country Legend Mel Tillis to a lengthy battle with an intestinal issue, he was better, he was not and so on and so forth..the fact remains he was loved and revered by US, his fans. My favorite song he did was an obscure one off the 1981 album Southern Rain called “Pyramid Of Cans”, and I’d like to tell you a few small things about that song.
It was penned by the Legend himself Mr. Buddy Cannon , whom at one time I got to talk to him a little about the song. It was quite an interesting conversation to say the least. But one really cool fact on this song was this, steel Guitar wizard Mr. Weldon Myrick was a prominent member of George Jones’s band “The Jones Boys” for many years, and also was a good session player.
BOTH Mr. Mel Tillis and Mr. George Jones recorded the song Pyramid Of Cans and took it to the top 10 of their respected year of release. The late Mr. Weldon Myrick played steel on BOTH recordings therefore he was the first steel player to do this.
On Wednesday January 31st at 10:00 AM, family and friends will gather at the historic Ryman Auditorium to honor the life and career of this Country Music Legend. Many relevany Country Music stars will assemble here to pay their respects and perform his music, the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Brenda Lee, Pam Tillis, Carrie April Tillis and the remaining members of the Statesiders. Jamey Johnson, Larry Gaitlin and the Gaitlin Boys, Alison Krauss, Collin Raye, Daryle Singletary, Lorrie Morgan, Ira Dean and Sonny Tillis.
Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born in Tampa, Florida on August 8, 1932. Throughout his 60+ year career, the Grand Ole Opry member recorded more than 60 albums, had 35 Top Ten singles, six #1 hits (“I Ain’t Never,” “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Southern Rains,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer,” and “I Believe In You”), was named CMA (Country Music Association) Entertainer of the Year in 1976, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame the same year.
Tillis was elected a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He wrote over 1,000 songs, 600 of which have been recorded by major artists including Kenny Rogers (“Ruby, Don’t You Take Your Love To Town”), George Strait (“Thoughts Of A Fool”), and Ricky Skaggs (“Honey, Open That Door”). Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) named Tillis Songwriter of the Decade for two decades. In February of 2012 President Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts.
Well friends and neighbors I want to take a moment here and reflect on some things. I’m amazed at the growth of my small operation here, and what began as a hobby has blossomed into an actual business. Now five years later I have others working for me, and I can now cover NEW festivals and NEW markets while they cover my festivals I am already established at.
I was blessed enough to travel to over 14 states last year, to many different music scenes and shows. I mean literally hundreds of live shows last year, seven festivals and I visited West Virginia for W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show anniversary show. I have sat in so many Honky Tonks and watched so many bands perform, and studied many a musician. It’s NOT easy to pinpoint just ONE special performer to crown as artist that shines above all others to say they deserve to be THE artist of the year…BUT….
After much contemplation and judgement I HAVE pinpointed that VERY band in Th Legendary Shack Shakers and Mr. J.D. Wilkes. I’m sure after you read this article you will also agree that Mr. J.D. does indeed deserve this hallowed honor above all honors on this website. See this isn’t only because of his music, this is bestowed upon him because of his passionate personal love of history and preservation of music and art in general.
First I’m going to go back a few years to Muddy Roots Music Festival two years back in 2016, where Mr. J.D. played a terrific solo set on the old wood stage. He brought out an old piano that they used on Tin Pan Alley, back in the day and took us on a journey into history, as he played songs like “Bible, Candle And Skull” from the album Pandelirium .
He taught us about the times of Tin Pan Alley, before and during the great depression, when it was actually the driving force of entertainment that began in New York and trickled into the entire country. It made me WANT to go home and READ and study about this little place on West 28th. His set left me with greater knowledge then whence I came, and THAT was a true gift from him to me. Knowledge is power and sharing this power is something I cannot repay him for, I can only repay him by thanking him in public for caring enough to play that set.
This past spring at the Nashville Boogie this band stood out above the rest for sure. I mean for God’s sake they came out and began thrashing around like we were in an old club downtown…but yet we were in a ballroom. On the other side of that curtain you had classic cars, on the other side you have Mr. J.D. Wilkes going bonkers onstage diving into the audience.
Easily one of the highest energy sets of the entire Boogie I’ll never forget the night after at the Nashville Palace where Mr. J.D. got up on stage and joined Hillbilly Casino’s Mr. Ronnie Crutcher for a harmonica battle. That place was FULLEST I had ever saw the bar packed, the crowd were packed in like sardines as Mr. J.D. and company once again tore up the joint with harmonica licks that needed no amplifications.
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers have gone through changes in the past years, and put out albums going in several directions. But this past summer for the Muddy Roots Cookeville festival, my favorite Shakers lineup played BY FAR the most epic Muddy Roots set they have EVER played.
This lanky man danced around the stage and bellowed out song after song of those beloved hits like ‘No Such Thing” and “Dump Road Yodel” as the rest of the band just absolutely went ape shit. We had gorgeous weather last year and a huge attendance with a full tent.
He began looking around for mischief to get into, I could tell by his peeking around the stage as the show progressed that this eclectic front man was planning an exhibit of both dexterity and showmanship. I mean for God’s sake we already paid for an entire festival, yet all of these bands continuously tried to outdo one another on stage.
Alas, Mr. J.D. Wilkes did indeed outdo everyone last year at Muddy Roots in my opinion. As they pounded out songs which included his classic harmonica and special mic, he sang and played UPSIDE DOWN hanging from the rafters BY HIS LEGS…you will see my buddy Dustin Doug in one of these pictures up above as he howls and raises his fists in pure delight upon this spectacle.
These performances make an absolutely amazing minded musician MY artist of 2017, hands down. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind as I type this that he does not deserve this accolade, and at this time the future of Th Legendary Shack Shakers is once again strengthened as they hit my TOP 50 OF 2017 with their new album called After You’ve Gone.
Once again Mr. J.D. takes the fans to the days of old fashioned cartoon animation, with their new video that features Posey. You know this video is modeled after the Betty Boop era cartoons, rubber legs and such. You can read my TOP 50 article where I talk about it more. Once again he honors his adoration of history and old time entertainment, as he incorporates that with his music.
And now, soon he will be releasing his solo album, that will garner much attention on this website from my right arm Mr. Joshua Wallace. He will be reviewing this new album very soon, and I’ll of course juxtapose this article with that article for sure.
As we embark on 2018 here I am always on a quest to improve this website, and myself as your host. I study other websites for album releases and new, obscure bands for YOU to discover VIA this website. I mean isn’t that WHY YOU are here?
Last year was one hell of a fabulous year for music, and 2018 looks just as exciting because I have such an eclectic array of music I cover here. So as I grow in other markets, while I maintain my presence in stronger ones I discover new bands every day.
So HERE is MY new list of albums I am anticipating and some I already have for 2018, and Mr. Joshua hasn’t sent me his review yet. IF YOU HAVE an album YOU want features email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monzie Leo And The Big Sky
The Clark County Drifters
Ugly Valley Boys
First Aid Kit
Mike And The Moonpies
Ben Miller Band
Steep Canyon Rangers
6 String Drag
If YOU have a show YOU would like added to my list PLEASE email me at email@example.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
Andrew Leahey And The Homestead
The Basement jan 18th
Marathon Music Works January 20th
Ryman Auditorium January 16th and 17th
Sarah Gayle Meech
Robert’s January 18th, 27th,
Sarah Gayle Meech
Layla’s January 19th
Yonder Mountain String Band
3rd And Lindsley January 21st
Arlo McKinley And The Lonesome Sound
Southgate House Kentucky January 21st
J.P.Harris and William Matheny
The Basement January 24rth
Bluebird Cafe Jan 25th
Kentucky Opry January 26th
The Burl Lexington Ky January 26th
The Mercy Lounge January 26th and 27th
Nathan Belt And The Buckles
Cambria Hotel January 26th
Dee’s Country Lounge Jan 26th
Muletown Lumberyard Jan 27th
Southgate House Jan 28th
Whiskey Row January 29th
The Basement January 29th
Southgate House Feb 1st
Sarah Gayle Meech
Robert’s Feb 1st, 3rd,7th, 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 21st, 22nd,24th
Sarah Gayle Meech
Layla’s Feb 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd,
Joe’s Truck Stop
The Burl Lexington Ky Feb 1st
Southgate House Feb 2nd
Them Dirty Roses
Revelry Room Feb 3rd
The 5 Spot Feb 8th
Laid Back Country Picker
The Burl Lexington Ky Feb 8th
Austin lance Howell
The Southgate House Feb 8th
Exit Inn Feb 9th
The Basement Feb 10th
Bulls,Bands And Barrels in Lexington Ky Feb 10th
3rd And Lindsley Feb 10th
Marathon Music Works Feb 10th
Nashville Winery Feb 10th
3rd And Lindsley Feb 11th
The Hardin Draw
The Boro bar Feb 17th
3rd And Lindsley Feb 18th
The Warehouse Mt. Victor Feb 21st
Basement East Feb 21st
The Burl Feb 21st
Randy Rogers Band
Marathon Music Works Feb 23rd
Scott H Biram
Southgate House Feb 23rd
Scott H Biram
The Family Wash Feb 24rth
The Hooten Hallers
The Family Wash Feb 24rth
Dees Lounge Feb 25th
City Winery Feb 28th
A Man Called Stu
Springwater Supper Club March 7th, 14th,21st and 28th
Sarah Gayle Meech
Robert’s March 1, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 29th, 31st
Sarah Gayle Meech
Layla’s March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd
The Basement March 9th
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers
The Basement March 23rd
Southgate House March 27th
Nashville Palace March 28th
Lorin Walker Madsen
Lynaugh’s Pub Lexington Ky March 28th
3rd And Lindsley March 29th
Spillway Bar And Grill March 30th
Southgate House March March 30th
Zanzabar Louisville Ky April 4rth
Lee Ann Womack
The Basement East April 6th and 7th
The Steel Woods
The Warehouse Mt. Victor April 7th
David Allan Coe
Renfro Valley April 14th
Manchester Music Hall Lexington Ky April 13th
City Winery April 19th
O Connors April 20th
The Basement April 20th
Renfro Valley April 21st
Ryman Auditorium May 20, 21 and 23rd
Dailey And Vincent April 28th
Grand Theater May 18th
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Stoddart Family Farm Crawford Tn May 26th
Louisville Palace Ky June 8th
The Reverend Horton Heat
Big Sandy And The Fly Rite Boys
Lara Hope And The Ark Tones
Southgate House June 13th
The Reverend Horton Heat
Exit Inn June 30th
Exit Inn July 1st
Shooter Jennings and Turnpike Troubadors
Beaver Dam Ampitheater August 4rth
Hello everybody this is Gary Hayes here, and I would like to share with you this piece of information. ANYONE that would like to submit their albums to Gary Hayes Country please send it to the proceeding email.
Many bands are settling into their sound by their fourth studio album, but not the Urban Pioneers. Hillbilly Swing Music finds them continuing to refine their skills at western swing and country. This album still features the bluegrass and roots heavy sound you know and love, but they are also venturing out into other sonic landscapes.
Jared McGovern’s singing and songwriting has greatly improved and he feels right at home no matter what style of country and western he is performing with this band. Liz Sloan also feels more comfortable featured as a singer on this album. Her fiddle playing is as always one of the best parts of the band, and as always the upright bass duties are well played by Martin Sargent.
The title track sets the tone off right. It is one of three to feature pedal steel guitar work from Burton Lee. It’s a very dance able track that lets you know what you’re getting into from the start. “Run Little Rabbit Run” is a song that is more in the bluegrass tradition and it is in fact a traditional song that Jared wrote his own words for. It works and is one of the album’s many highlights.
Another favorite track of mine on this record is the light and fun “Kitty’s Favorite Day”. If you have ever owned a kitty, you know this is a true story, as silly as it is. I love how it’s fun and playful. The track is also one of two to feature the honky tonk piano styling of Basil McJagger. Another good track is the slower song “Tortured Orchard” which features the most diverse instrumentation for the Urban Pioneers yet with a dobro, a trumpet and a trombone. For all the diversity on this album, the Urban Pioneers didn’t forget where they came from. This album features plenty of songs that have the roots heavy Urban Pioneers sound you know and love.
A lot of bands tend to go stagnant by the fourth album, but the Urban Pioneers aren’t falling into that trap. They are continuing to refine their varied musical styles. This album ventures further into western swing than they have before with new instruments featured on the album to accomplish this. At the same time, they are remaining true to the sound they’ve always had and remain a roots heavy band with blistering fast banjo playing from Jared McGovern and some amazing fiddle playing by Liz Sloan. With Martin Sargent on bass, Urban Pioneers are a force to be reckoned with whether you’re hearing them on an album or live.
Hillbilly Swing Music is available now on various digital outlets with an official release date of January 23rd, 2018.
Urban Pioneers – Hillbilly Swing Music (2018)
1. Hillbilly Swing Music
2. Waste My Time
3. Why Don’t You Close Your Eyes
4. Throwed Out
5. Fast Money
6. Can’t Make You Love Me Too
7. Run Little Rabbit Run
8. Texas Wildflower
9. Flip, Flop, and Fly
10. Kitty’s Favorite Day
11. Smoky Mountains
12. Miller, Jack, and Maddog
13. Tortured Orchard
Favorite tracks : Hillbilly Swing Music, Run Little Rabbit Run, Kitty’s Favorite Day, Miller, Jack, and Maddog
BRRRRRR It’s cold out folks, my neck of the woods is completely covered in ice and snow. In fact I was just stuck in my house for four days and researching some more of these festivals that were turned in to my email box. One of them I noticed that are happening soon is the WinterWonderGrass Festival in the Colorado and California areas February 19-21st 2016. There is a California edition of this festival in April.
Now I’m not going to lie to you folks this one’s a little on the pricey side boasting up to 250.00 for 3 day pass VIP, but after I post the lineup you won’t want to miss this one if you are in the area! And there are single day passes for a more affordable price, however this festival would be HARD to choose which day to only get to see.This festival is held in the scenic Avon Colorado at Nottingham Park’s 48 acres of wildlife and nature. This piece from their website:
Known as the “Heart of the Valley” for its geographic location as well as its strong sense of community and family-friendly atmosphere, Avon is a great place for both residents and visitors. Whether skiing, hiking, paddling the Eagle River or enjoying a leisurely day in town, you’ll find that launching your mountain adventures from Avon is easy and convenient.
With 6,500 year-round residents, plus another 3,500 part-time residents, Avon offers a small mountain town atmosphere with many amenities. The town serves as a gateway to the world-class Beaver Creek Resort and is eight miles west of world-famous Vail. Avon also offers a multitude of recreational opportunities, special events, parks, open space and trails, and a mix of local and national shops and restaurants.
Honestly this festival looks to be one of the most kid friendly ones on my roster this year, under 12 is free and there are many activities for them to do while you are enjoying the music. And there are a few tents that have kids activities from 3-7PM.
OK One thing I was asking myself (even though I don’t mess with it) is THIS: IT’S LEGAL TO SMOKE MARIJUANA ANYWHERE IN COLORADO, RIGHT? ACTUALLY, NO! IT’S ILLEGAL TO SMOKE CIGARETTES OR MARIJUANA IN PUBLIC PLACES IN COLORADO. THIS IS A COMMUNITY // FAMILY EVENT — PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL AND MINDFUL
This from the mailing list:
When we set out to create WWG it was never with the intention to build a big music festival, quite the opposite actually. We all wanted to get back to our roots, back to the loving space a community gathering cultivated and to re connect with nature. This is one of the reasons we have no plans to expand capacity or sell more tickets. Bigger is not better, we are committed to curating inspired smaller spaces to reignite the conversation and human connection.
We are dedicated to delivering a high-quality experience in high quality communities, combining artists that truly care about you with partners that align to our altruistic team vision.
If you plan to join us in 2018, and we very much hope you do, please grab your tickets early as we expect to sell out quickly.
This is an OUTDOOR EVENT and since it is winter time they ask you to PLEASE dress accordingly and smart in order to enjoy the music and festivities. There will be warm vendor tents and beer halls where you can enjoy beer while staying warm and they also have smaller stages. HERE is a link to purchase tickets for this event, and here is a daily schedule for you with performance times as well.
Happy New Year’s everyone! I would like to kick 2018 off by introducing you all to my very talented kilt wearing brother from across the pond over in Scottland. He is not only a talented musician but also just a really nice guy. Please remember to like this page in orders to ensure you don’t miss any off the musician interviews coming up in 2018 and also please share this post cause the simple act of clicking share helps spread and strengthen the music that we all love.
Round 1 – What is the music scene like where you are from and what is it like trying to play country music there?
Scott – It’s a strange one over here. There is a big music scene, and lots of pubs and bars have live music, but the majority are only interested in you playing a real mixed bag 3hr set of cover versions. The country ‘scene’ is definitely growing over here in the UK though. It’s not necessarily the country music that I like or would like to play, but the interest is definitely there, largely because of that Nashville TV show I think. There is an annual festival over here now called Country2Country that draws some big names from across the pond, it’s had Reba, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley etc. Nobody yet that has made me want to buy a ticket though! That said, this rise in popularity of country music means that a lot of the acts that I do really like are starting to come across more frequently, so in 2017 I have managed to see Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Colter Wall, Brent Cobb, The White Buffalo all here in Scotland. People are starting to know that I love playing country, and because of people knowing about my trip across to the Ryman, I am starting to get asked to play Jinks stuff on some gigs, as well as stuff by Kristofferson and Merle eyc, which is great. Long may that continue.
Round 2 – Can you tell what your Nashville experience during Cody Jinks’ Ryman weekend was like?
Scott – I’m not sure I have enough space for this. It was absolutely incredible. Considering I only came across Cody Jinks because I was browsing Whitey videos on YouTube, and then discovered the Blacksheep ‘Flockers’ page just through searching Facebook to see if Cody had an official page, it has been amazing. From the sneaky set up of it all by Monica Lappa and Michael Gregory (and my wife) to getting there and witnessing the best show I have ever seen at The Ryman, it was the stuff of dreams. I have never been made to feel more welcome by a group of people in my life, and that is a testament to the good nature and generosity of the Flockers. At every turnz there was something else that I wasn’t expecting, or where the stars just seemed to align to make the trip better, like finding out that the Buffalo Ruckus, one of my favourite bands, were travelling in to Nashville to play a 1hr set 45 minutes after I landed at the airport. Honestly, words will never really be able to do justice to that weekend. The Ryman is the most special place I have ever watched a show, and to share the experience with so many people that I have come to consider great friends was very very special.
Round 3 – Where can people hear your music, do you have an EP or anything out they can buy?
Scott – So I have an EP called Drifting Away available on all the main digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Deezer etc. I do love performing my original stuff, but I just don’t normally get that much opportunity, but 2018 is already throwing up a few more opportunities, with support slots to some very talented singer/songwriters, so I’m looking to do quite a bit more writing with a view to getting either a longer EP out or a full album later in the year.
Round 4 – I am an animal lover so I ask almost everyone this, do you have any pets and if so can you tell us about them?
Scott – At the moment, we have a couple of fish and a cat named Charlie. We did have a dog, a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla named Riley, but she passed away when she was just 2 back in 2016. We haven’t been able to bring ourselves to get another dog yet, so went and got Charlie instead from the Cats Protection League, which sounds like some kind of sinister feline army, but is just a cat rescue place.
Round 5 – What’s your favorite things to do outside of music?
Scott – My other big hobby is fishing, although I don’t get that much time to do it these days, as I work full time and am then out gigging every weekend. But I have fished for 40 years and it will always be part of me. These days, it’s mainly Pike Fishing that I do when I do manage to get out. Fishing and sitting down with my guitar are the two most relaxing things for me, where I can lose all the pish and stress that have come out of the day job and just let any worries disappear. Last Call – Open message to say what ever you want people to know. Scott – Well, to all the people in the States and further afield who I have got to know over the course of the last 15 months through music, a massive thank you for taking this sweary British fella into your fold. Thanks to those who have had a listen to my little EP and said kind words of encouragement. And finally just keep spreading the word about all the great music that is out there. There is definitely a change a’coming in Country music and it’s because people like the folk that follow this page and because people like you Josh, are spreading the message, sharing shit hot music by extremely talented artists, and fighting together to make sure people know about ‘real’ music. Thanks guys.
Tonight ,I braved some bitter cold on a new year’s eve night to go up to Glasgow Kentucky to a venue I have never reported a show from before, The Plaza Theater. Tonight is a special night for life and memories..it’s a first for MANY things for yours truly over here. Honestly I have no idea where to begin on the new, I try my best to keep this into the music only and not too personal but I HAD to share this..
Tonight is the first new year’s eve I have not drank any alcohol of any type for the entire duration of the night, in fact I haven’t had anything to drink in two weeks. I had to stop physically, my liver was damaged dramatically. So NOW I will just listen to songs about whiskey and barrooms instead of imbibing myself, to be completely honest I don’t miss it really..so far..
So now on to my next FIRST here tonight which I am proud of. I am reporting tonight from the Plaza Theater in Glasgow Kentucky in the second row for Mr. Whitey Morgan And The 78’s who played tonight with guests Mr. Ward Davis and Mr. Alex Williams. Also playing tonight was Mr. Josh Card And The Restless Souls. Now if you have never been to a show at the Plaza Theater , you need to experience it sometime. I already have an inside joke with the manager..they have REALLY good security. Well, this media job isn’t always backstage passes and free food, rules are rules and it’s understandable even with knowing all of the parties involved..so for this round folks NO videos.
If you will recall from last weekend I reported on Mr. Ward Davis and Tennessee Jet, with Mr. Channing Wilson you can read that RIGHT HERE. So tonight is the first time I have covered any band (or artist) twice in two weeks.ALSO, last night my TOP 50 OF 2017 was released. And Mr. Alex Williams is on that said list, so this is the first time I have covered a TOP 50 act the same night the list drops! Ergo, I am VERY ecstatic to elaborate on this show tonight.
The venue is a VERY beautiful and historic building with a pleasant ambiance and really cushy seats. A very nice front area before the stage, ample parking and a balcony. Also the handicapped area was quite spacious and nice. One of the only complaints was the bathroom set up was not enough to accommodate a full house. The theater was REALLY cold inside, however tonight is deathly freezing out, unseasonably cold indeed. ..and there were ample exits. The staff was EXTREMELY FRIENDLY and made it a very enjoyable show, EVERY member greeted me and wished a happy new year..several asked me if I needed seating location help. This venue rivals the Opry indeed!
The first up was Mr. Josh Card and the Restless Souls (you can buy his album on his name up above), is actually a side project of the acoustic guitar wizard you see onstage with Whitey Morgan. You know much like the old days when Ernest Tubb wielded his Texas Troubadours all over America, The 78’s bear their own tight sound. They make Whitey Morgan Whitey Morgan if that makes any sense, I’m sure he would agree . I firmly believe his sound would change if he lost any of the members right now, you know E.T.’s sound DID change with the rotation of steel guitarists and drummers (in what I call) evolutionary periods of his tenure. Ergo, out of those times some of Country Music’s most influential stars emanated from the Texas Troubadours..I deem this is what we are seeing begin here with Mr. Josh
His 10 song album that was released in 2017 (that sounds weird) was impressive to me here, and although it didn’t make my TOP 50 it WAS an essential album to buy..SO GO CLICK UP THERE AND BUY IT. Yes from the very first song called “Go On And Get Gone” is a terrific song about kicking out a girl that throws the past in your face constantly. Usually within a week she’s back apologizing, and you just say GO ON AND GET GONE!
Mr. Cameron Cochran played some MIGHTY FINE steel guitar on this album here for this song “Call My Name” I pretty much related this to the alcohol calling my name at times, LAST NIGHT was funny to be sober when watching all these Morgan fans getting wasted in this fancy theater. Being drunk is FINE as long as YOU have a ride home, I’m hoping nobody was arrested last night. Find a NEW ME and I changed everything was a powerful lyric in that song.
I spoke to him not long ago and he told me that “History is everything, It’s what lays the guidelines for us to continue and innovate us as we go”. So the choices of covers he played here after the song “Meet Me’, were further proof of that statement. “Never Go around Mirrors” was a hit for Lefty Frizzell in 1973 which was also penned by Sanger D. Shafer , however Mr. Josh played in in the 80’s style of Mr. Keith Whitley, additionally Merle Haggard made it a hit, Gene Watson, Daryle Singletary…etc… speaking of Merle Mr. Josh played ‘the Bottle Let Me Down”.
Back to originals here he played “Chase You Away” before playing “Bar Exam’. Originally I first heard this one in 2001 by the Derailers, however I’m not sure if indeed that was a cover of some rare B side I haven’t uncovered yet. But honestly that’s the FUN of this journalism gig, finding information like that.
Mr. Alex Williams made my TOP 50 Of 2017, with an impressive compilation of songs and right now he is in the works for a new album already. he played a new song halfway into his set called “Hard Living Blues”. I wish I could have recorded that on video but I was under a no video policy for this article.
“Hellbent Hallelujah” was the opener here as her just barreled into the rest of his list. He did very little speaking and acknowledged the crowd with a musical assault of Outlaw badassery. “Little Too Stoned” was a prime example of the prime Honky Tonk beat that encompass Outlaw Country in today’s day.
He closed his portion of the show by switching to his acoustic guitar and playing the song he wrote about his grandfather called “Old Tattoo”. That song pretty much moved this album to “Definite Top 50 Worthy” and one reason why I placed it on there.
As I previously stated I covered Mr. Ward Davis last weekend and had a LOT of fun there, this set being a little shorter than previous. He opened with “Nothing At Home” and the song that Mr. Ray Scott wrote called “Pappa And Mamma”, which addresses physical abuse.
He brought the house down once again with the beautiful ballad called ‘Old Wore Out Cowboys” that garnered help from the likes of Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson. Speaking of Willie Nelson he played a cover of the “Highwaymen”, as he does in every set. But perhaps the highest pinnacle of his set is the song he wrote with Mr. Cody Jinks called ‘I’m Not The Devil”. Pretty much every show he has us ALL singing along to that one.
His set closed with “Get To Work Whiskey” and finally his title track to his album called ’15 Years In A 10 Year Town”. I might have to break off of the Outlaw scene for a few weeks to cover other genres for sure, but YOU KNOW I’ll be back to it soon….now for Whitey Morgan.
His self titled 2010 release contained the first song “Bad News” which opened the show tonight, and set the tone for the evening with “Buick City Blues”. Both of these songs were on his recently released live from flint, and in 2018, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a NEW Whitey Morgan album.
I absolutely adore the pop and twang intro to the song “Cocaine Train” which was made popular by Johnny Paycheck, although I truly enjoy their version of this song, along with “Low Down On Backstreet”. That song was off their 2015 album Sonic Ranch. “Back To Back” was from their first album,which I really enjoyed.
This was a gargantuan set tonight down here, with songs from days of old like ‘Prove It All To You” from the first album. We were treated to a terrific version of “Still Drunk Still Crazy And Still Blue”. That song was made popular by Scott H Biram and also included was “Honky Tonk Queen”.
The song that was written by Country Legend Dale Watson called “Where Do You Want It” which is about Country Legend Billy Joe Shaver asking a well deserving idiot where he wants to be shot. Another really good song in this set was “Goin’ Down Drinking”, off the 2015 album Sonic Ranch. “Crazy” was one of the songs off the second album along with “Memories Cost A Lot”.
Whitey leads his band with great poise up there onstage and has evolved into a true figure that represents Outlaw Country music quite well. I could tell he wasn’t feeling well last night but ergo, he gave it 100 percent by all means. With songs like “I Ain’t Drunk”, he ushered in the new year with us in fine Outlaw style. He closed with the Marshal Tucker Band ‘Fire On The Mountain” before going into his encore, and re entering the stage area.
His encore contained “Sinner” and another favorite he does “Waiting Round To Die”. Ultimately this show was a blockbuster fashion to spend my new years eve in my NEW sober state. It’s NOT really that bad being the sober one at all these music shows, after all it’s MY job to remember what was played so YOU can enjoy THESE articles.
I’m taking a break from my TOP 50 of 2017 today to come down to Nashville to see this trio of great artists that I frequently write about. In fact just next week in Glasgow Ky I’ll be writing about Ward Davis as well. He’s been heavily on my radar for this year, as he is planning his new album…in fact right now as I publish this I am on the way to see him perform tonight again.
His new song called ‘Geronimo” is one I have videoed many times, and might again tonight who knows? I’m excited here tonight and there is a pretty good crowd building up here now, for this Christmas Eve Eve show. I have never had the chance to cover this first act Mr. Channing Wilson, and I look forward to covering his portion of the show tonight. I can say the last time I covered Tennessee Jet, was impressed with his versatile guitar playing and his songs so lets see what transpires here tonight everybody because its almost showtime here in Nashville at 3RD And Lindsley.
Mr. Channing has his own style and identity but at the same time he sticks to the format of the Outlaw scene. His songs are very enjoyable and easy to drink to, like the second song he played called ” Blues Coming On” that’s off his self titled album that’s available.
‘Sunday morning Blues’ was another well written song he is playing tonight here for us, and that’s also off his album he has. This is truly a fantastic set here tonight so far folks and damn he’s only into the fourth song…whoa. I’ll have to feature some more of his music in the future, like the song he wrote “Black Jesus” that was cut by Jason Eady, who is one of my TOP 50 OF 2017
Honestly I would have payed the door fee to listen to any one of these fine acts here tonight and next we have the guitar wizard known as Tennessee Jet. I covered him last time I was here for Cody Jinks this year, as I have been to many good shows here, this is truly one of my favorite venues. The food is really good, however the kitchen closes pretty early so you better eat when you first arrive..there aren’t even chips after a certain time.
Tennessee Jet opened his set tonight with a song called “Never Forget”, I am waiting for him to bust out some of those killer guitar leads later. His show is very eclectic with soundtracks and sound effects, while changing into acoustic songs. He plays guitar AND drums together while going into Waylon Jennings “Long Time Gone”.
“hwy 51 Blues’ displays some truly fine slide guitar wizardry indeed along with slides and harmonics of all varities. He is loud and proud, and has an energetic style for this type of show. You can easily tell he is influenced by many types and styles of music, as are the people that attend these type of shows. He is playing a jam packed version of “Zoom Zoom Blues” along with another of his set changes to acoustic.
He plays an acoustic version of “Devil In A Bottle” followed by another great song called “What Kind Of Man’ which is about extreme alcoholics, and the women that loves them no matter how bad they get. This truly is a well written song here, and then towards the end he turns it around to ask what kind of God loves a sinner that way?
“I’m In Love” was next followed by “In The Pines” which much like Rory Kelly he puts a heavy twist on the song, after doing a different version of Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars Cadillac And Hillbilly Music”, which drew his set to a close as he played “Dead Belles And Bones”.
Next up is the main act tonight Mr. Ward Davis, whom is playing to pretty good sized crowd here tonight. They are currently setting up the stage for his portion of the show tonight. He opened with “More Goodbye”, and went on into songs like ” No Going Home” and “Papa And Mama” that Ray Scott wrote.
I’ll be shooting a video for the song “Geronimo”,and in fact as I write this portion I’ll be driving up to Glasgow Kentucky tonight to see him play at the Plaza Theater..article coming SOON!
We enjoyed him playing “Unfair Weather Friend” and his ever popular “Old Wore Out Cowboys” as well as some other terrific songs the likes of ‘Colorado” and “Big River”. You know folks in the next few weeks I have a “Little” idea I’ll be debuting on my website, but he had a surprise onstage guest…his little daughter. I will post some pictures on here for you of the little darlin.
Of course he played the Cody Jinks collaboration of “I’m Not The Devil” along with a random Waylon song that he changes every show. He then played “Seven Spanish Angels” and his title track to his album “15 years in a 10 year town, and the great Ronnie Milsap song from 1983. That was written by the great Mr. Mike Reid. And as he closed with the “Overpass” and “Don’t Forget To Get Stoned”, we all had a wonderful time out there..I have so much fun writing about him I’ll be leaving here shortly to see him AGAIN.
My dear readers I always use the disclaimer EVERY YEAR, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t have a comments section like other blogs. NO ONE ALBUM IS BETTER THAN THE NEXT JUST BECAUSE OF NUMBERED RANK ON THIS LIST. I strive VERY hard to avoid “I thought Hellbound Glory was better than Jason Eady” or other various comments like Willie Nelson should have made your list, Gary. Pretty much in the trailer article I included about 200 honorable mentions on this category and some of them missed my pick by a VERY slim margin, having some very well written songs. I’m ALSO NOT SAYING your opinions aren’t important to me so PLEASE stop the disbelief and just enjoy the great music, these artists poured their hearts into each recording and each album is a part of them.
You see folks, the mainstream “regular” people out there that either are brainwashed into accepting only what the media has them like OR they are just too damn lazy to research for themselves..do not want well written songs. They want easy and simple boring lyrics, not really saying people like Hank Williams wasn’t easy and simple he certainly wasn’t boring or fake. I WANT a song that paints a picture because my brain is a canvas and you paint a picture with your song which is a paint, like the Tillers did with “Willy Dear” or James Hand does with “Old Man Henry”.
So folks I been documenting pages of information and notes ALL YEAR anticipating on unleashing my fury upon you readers with my coveted TOP 50 albums of 2016 and WHY I chose what I did and when. Complete with links right to the artist so you can get to them without further searching for him/her/them. If you like what you see, PLEASE BUY THE ALBUM that’s my MAIN reason for doing all this work. Let’s bring the artists some sales!
Now after the ranking number of the album picture there will be the artist’s name linked, this link will take you DIRECTLY to the purchase page to buy the album. I have researched literally hundreds of websites and lists to bring you this compilation, and this article takes WEEKS to complete so PLEASE buy some albums off the list…it took a LOT of coffee and time. EVERY band, venue, festival and name will be linked so YOU can learn about them ALL.
In 2016, Charley began crafting many new recordings with artist-songwriter Billy Yates acting as his new creative partner and producer. Yates, a highly-acclaimed, traditional Country artist and songwriter, is renowned for penning “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” and “Choices” for the legendary George Jones, the latter of which helped Jones land a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Yates has enjoyed a few hits himself, but has also contributed songs to many other fellow Country artists including George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Chris Young, Rhonda Vincent and Sara Evans. Mr.Billy Yates wrote one of my favorite songs of ALL TIME in the 90’s, and in 2000 he did what mainstream radio said wasn’t possible…he gave George Jones an FM radio hit with “Choices”.
The magic of their collaboration is self-evident on MUSIC IN MY HEART, an unapologetic traditional Country album that marks a high-level return to form for Pride and features a wonderful array of songs from such highly regarded tune smiths such as the late Merle Haggard, Whisperi’n Bill Anderson, Tommy Collins, “Country”Johnny Mathis, Ben Peters (“Kiss An Angel Good Morning'”) and Yates.
The late Mr. Ben Peters wrote 68 songs for Charley Pride within his tenure and 6 of them became number 1 hits. You know folks, I have often said this again and again…Country Music has three pillar fundamentals to it, and if all three exist you have a platinum album: Producer, Songwriter, Steel Guitarist. THIS ALBUM had ALL THREE. My ONLY regret is that I cannot rate this album ANY higher.
This album came out in July and blew me away, on the way home from purchasing it I heard the song “The Way It Was In 51” and had to pull over and cry. It was tears of jealousy folks, I have researched the 50s and 60s heavily in my life, Linebaugh’s Cafe and the Opry at the Ryman. The relevance of jukeboxes at that time, and their impact on album sales. At that time it trumped radio influence sales BY FAR!
His voice has not been faltered by time in any way, and his vocal expressions are so pure and true to tradition it has become the TOP ALBUM in my collection of the last few years, NOT JUST 2017 folks. I’ll be honest THERE WILL be a follow up album in 2018 from him of all new material but this one will be hard to beat. These 13 new tracks was the first new album from Pride since 2011’s “Choices”. And YES FOLKS Mr. Charley has been VERY active on the road to support this album.
You know this album will most likely make EVERY website’s TOP list of 2017, and BY GOD it deserves to be. I mean when I spoke to Mr. Colter on the phone a few years back interviewing him about this project, and the fact that he was my 2016 Artist Of The Year I found out it was going to be produced by Legendary Dave Cobb.
I got the opportunity to cover his performance at Tumbleweed Music Festival in Kansas City this year, also my partner Mr. Joshua Wallace covered his show in Florida not long ago, and that can be found right HERE. This 11 track album has gathered SO MUCH attention from SO MANY places it’s uncanny to watch how much he has grown, by EPIC live shows and word of mouth.
I’ll tell you what right now this young man from Canada has beyond impressed me with his old time style and his vocal delivery is beyond amazing. Many people often criticize today’s music as being drab and boring, and the fact you cannot tell people’s voices apart. People like Mr. Colter and people the likes of one of my next picks Tyler Childers disavow that theory, with the powerful identity these young men have established within the music world. Their duet of the Bobby Helms classic “Fraulein” proves the theory that there IS a NEW ERA of identities emerging from the corner dive bars….and it’s not on any FM radio or arena show from any clowns in ball caps.
This young man brings your very soul back to a very somber ambiance in the back of your mind, all you need to do is sit back, close your eyes and imagine the stories and tales that spin from this man’s web of misery. His songs are so descriptive and often poignant like the song “Kate McCannon” in which the very tone of the guitar pulls the hairs on your neck stand up. One of the most dark and evil murder ballads I have ever since the Louvin Brothers sang “Knoxville Girl” in the 50’s.
I’m going to admit something, I didn’t really think Hellbound Glory would ever make an album of such grand magnitude. I DID prognosticate that there would eventually be a follow up to the ‘Damaged Goods” album but I never thought it would be THIS good, leave it to Black Country Rock to bring out such an epic project from the Hellbound Glory brand!
I think Mr. Leroy is truly one of the finest songwriters in underground music and I think highly of Kid Rock for bringing them out into the mainstream world in the past, exposing a whole new realm of fans to them. Even though Kid Rock’s music isn’t something I like at all nor do I care for him at all, I think the fact he did that was admirable. Just that the first two albums before Damaged Goods were not produced as well, until now!
THIS ALBUM was BY FAR the greatest project the band has ever released and I am quickly becoming a HUGE fan of Mr. Shooter’s production abilities. Combined with Mr. Leroy’s songwriting and gritty hellbilly vocals you have a DAMN GOOD album of 11 tracks of typical Hellbound Glory debauchery, as songs like “Vandalism Spree” assault you with suggestions of crime and mischief one expects from them.
The cover of Larry Collins classic song “Delta Dawn” was a really nice added bonus to this album, I’ll be honest when I was it initially I wasn’t impressed but his vocals pulled off the higher notes correctly. It had depth and controversy mentioning heavy narcotics, along with the NRA. ALL KINDS of political correctness snubbed and plenty of west coast references abound in this album. Also the remake of “Another Bender Might Break Me” was a masterpiece, this is one of the many Myspace bands that I remember finding around 2006 when I searched for great new bands. One of them I found in 2007 was THIS GAL my number 4 pick!
Back then in 2006 I was going through my divorce and Myspace was just launched, and I found a TON of good bands from dwelling in with the Hank 3 crowd. Bob Wayne came around, and OF COURSE Wayne “The Train” Hancock was around along with Dale Watson and Split Lip Rayfield. But it was TEXAS MUSIC I was loving as well, and back then it was taking form.
I found Miss Sunny’s music in a chat room about Twang Country, and the first song I heard from her “If I Could”. Also her cover of Tom Schuyler’s “Sixteenth Avenue”, which was originally recorded by Lacy J. Dalton in 1983. But her style and her distinct vocal range REALLY attracted me to her music, and her passionate LOVE for upholding Country Music is something I admire. She plays the Opry more than some members do, and deserves a membership.
This album was BY FAR my favorite of her four BUT I want to say that “From A Table Away” is my favorite song she does, she could have one hell of a greatest hits album. If you dwell on her four albums in succession you will witness growth in her vocally and she begins sharing more personal issues with her last two albums. I blame this on her own personal life and sharing with us as fans how she was feeling. This album wasn’t some manufactured crap in plastic sleeve, it was REAL FROM THE HEART songs by a true road warrior Honky Tonk queen.
She’s coming to my area in spring for a few dates so you’ll be hearing from me about this gal next year already. Mr. David Brainard did an extraordinary job on producing this album, and Mr. Tommy Detamore was amazing on steel guitar, and as I write this she’s on her Hard Candy Christmas tour with three other gals.
She wrote most of the songs on this album save for a few like “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight” made popular by Country Legend Jerry Jeff Walker and another song that Miss Brennen Leigh wrote called “Pills”. I’m telling you folks Miss Sunny is rapidly growing with every album and there’s NO limit to what she can accomplish in music, SHE WILL be a Legend of Country Music one day..you mark my words as truth!
I have covered Mr. Tyler Childers MANY times on here since I was introduced to his music from Mr. W.B.Walker and his podcast the Old Soul Radio Show. Upon the first time I met him he had not evolved into the monster he is now in appearance. His raspy twang whiskey soaked vocals were there, but he had this short haircut can he was clean cut with a bow tie. Nobody would expect those wicked lyrics to emanate from such a man.
He brings forth songs of moonshine and pills and West Virginia coal mine life, he is such a juggernaut in the local club scene that they have to turn people away from his shows nightly. When W.B. Walker had his shows the crowd sang so loud you couldn’t hear Mr. Tyler. His band the Food Stamps are each seasoned veterans in their own right, and they make him sound even more sinister.
Fast forward to NOW where you have a 10 song masterpiece produced by Sturgill Simpson with a re recorded version of “Whitehouse Road”. It does launch off at a sleepy start with a few slower songs but TO ME that’s alright, he is like a folk type Country singer who can howl out some mighty fine ballads, while rabble rousing a crowd from stories within murder songs like “Banded Clovis”. The slower beginning might turn some other people away from this album especially if they are used to big arena shows with all the bells and whistles.
This album is filled with true mountain lore and twisted tales of misery the likes that would interest Dr. Ralph Stanley himself today, I bet he would folks like him would smile with glee after watching the likes of this young man, whom is soon headed to the Ryman with my Number 6 pick Miss Margo Price.
I’m not exactly why she considers this to be her first full length album, as last year’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter was just as many songs but this album was equally impressive in many ways. This time around she goes after politics and equal pay for women, with many witty one liners and hooks hidden within the albums many songs.
I’m pretty sure this album will indeed be met with well critical acclaim in many ways, and I am certain it will be at the top of many lists from websites bigger than mine. However I can easily ascertain why, with songs like “Weakness” because we all have our struggles that overcome us. All of the songs on this album are well written and compliment each other really well, and of course you have political songs too. You aren’t going to have Americana albums without them, so expect that.
Country Legend Willie Nelson shines bright and true in the song “Learning To Loose” and so does his signature guitar Trigger and his own sound. He possesses one of Country Music’s most distinctive tones in all of modern day Country Music, as well as vocals even for his age. As I mentioned earlier, she addresses the unfair work treatment of women in the song “Pay Gap” where she warriors on in proving that women get paid half of what men do in most professions, so if social issues like that offend you…don’t spin this album.
The sudden change in tempo is what grabbed my total attention to this song over the lyrics the first time, but I did enjoy the lyrics and in some cases I can see their point. When it comes to music I can often times relate to the women, and I try to see the world from their shoes when they play their own songs.
The steel guitar work on “Wild Women” is absolutely amazing and her band The Pricetags are right on time as usual, as this songs criticizes the fact that men run around wild and you come to know her life as a mother while balances life on the road. I truly enjoy the farmer’s daughter songs it is truly America in it’s finest form people, and there’s NO doubt that Miss Margo Price is indeed the real deal.
I first learned about this band from my friend Miss Bridget in Oklahoma, it is a duo formed up of Mr. Cole And Miss Kendra Porter. The video below will give you more of a picture of the entire story of where they came from. And let me tell you folks these two have some of the finest vocal harmonies I have ever heard from a couple in years!
This duo displays a depth of affection for one another the likes of which modern day social media has killed for humanity, nobody knows HOW to interact with each other anymore. THIS couple truly pours out their hearts to one another within their songs and their demeanor on stage. All 11 songs on this album are cleverly written and posses many hidden meanings and hooks like the song “Thief” where Miss Kendra threatens after you think she has stolen everything she will take his last name.
I’m truly looking forward to watching them evolve in the future and see what directions they take their music, because following up on this album isn’t going to be an easy task for them..it’s that good. This band played a truly wonderful performance at Tumbleweed this past spring, where they created quite a huge buzz with the performance contest to play the festival. They will be playing at the 2018 Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City, Missouri.
You know that within Country Music the often touched upon reference of the love that Johnny And June had is so overly used it has become a yawner for me. In fact I USUALLY sigh and frown upon it, however “Walked Away” is a song with a reference to them from a whole different perspective that nobody has yet hit yet. Even I myself was appalled nobody has thought of this line!
You know what can I say about this band, despite their lineup changes they always stay true to their own form and sound. In my opinion they won’t be able to outdo Diamonds And Gasoline as a whole but this album was truly epic in many ways, in fact they are one of the finest Country Music bands on the road right now…period.
The opening song is so damn cool even though it’s about a tragic house fire it’s just so damn COUNTRY it’s pathetic. There aren’t any political lyrics here just twang and Honky Tonk beats with references to family and the struggles of the working man, which is pretty much what I perceived of “The Housefire”.
“something To Hold On To” has those missing steel guitar intros I regret not hearing on modern country radio for sure, and it has a good shuffle beat to it. This band is growing and evolving into a monstrosity of Red Dirt excellence, and from that Oklahoma scene they ARE the front runner band in my opinion.
“Pay No Rent” was a song me and gal have dedicated to one another, maybe we don’t understand it from the angle they are trying to portray but our angle is understandable to US. The campfire scenario is what we relate to, and how we love each other. I traveled around and nobody beats my gal, she pays nothing in my world. And she loves the fiddle solos and steel within this song, we enjoy this album.
Honestly when I found out that Mr. Chris was releasing TWO albums in 2017 I was skeptical as to WHY they weren’t a two album set, however as soon as I delved into the two different albums I finally found out why. They are different in some variations, and then they are the same…GOT IT? See Volume 1 (which is my number 10 pick) was the downward spiral into sadness and volume 2 is the upward lift back into recovery. At least THAT’S how I hear it, I suppose that’s the special thing about music WE ALL perceive it from different angles.
‘Millionaire” is an absolute masterpiece in every way, it is a well written uplifting song of beauty, that will make you smile upon listening to it, but then it goes into “Hard Livin” which despite it’s upbeat tempo really is a song of lament. Even the songs that have regret are masterpieces here on this album. You know folks I MISS his absence in the Steeldrivers current lineup, and every time I see them I try to imagine him there singing with them but it is what it is. I recently found this clip of him and his comments on the state of Country Music are why I admire him so much.
“Drunkard’s Prayer” is in my opinion the greatest song on this entire album, even though it is only an acoustic based song it displays total feeling and easily related lyrics for just about anybody really. I’m sure every music website that covers genres like mine has reviewed this album but guess what…HE DOESN’T CARE what you think, he is playing music HE WANTS to play.
10. Chris Stapleton A Room With A View Volume 1.
“Broken Halos” and the next song “Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning” were in my opinion the best two songs on this album. I honestly enjoyed Volume 2 more in every way, both production wise and lyrically I thought Volume 1 was perhaps his weaker link in his discography to date.
Not much farther behind the first two songs was the song “Up To No Good Livin” which was indeed a good song but what made it the best for me was those steel guitar licks on it. However I truly love the bluesy grit that he throws into his songs like “death Row”, and I deem this approach will lure a whole new audience to his music.’
Right now I am extremely adamant on the fact that he will not be able to beat the song “AM Country Heaven” however as a whole this album was in my opinion was his finest offering to date. I am a HUGE Jason Eady fan, and it was truly a blessing to see him play Tumbleweed this past summer.
Also, this past weekend I got the chance to see the man who wrote the song “Black Jesus” Mr. Channing Wilson. His stage presence blew me away this weekend, what a wonderful show. That was one of the better songs on the album…but like I said this entire album just flat out shines, like the song “Waiting To Shine”.
This album is full of soulful ballads like “Not Too Loud” which is about a father and his grown up little girl, I’ll be honest I related VERY WELL to this song. It was totally ME he was singing about, as I’m sure SO MANY daddies can think..and isn’t that what performers do? Yes, I think Mr. Jason totally hit the mark on this song when he delivered those vocals.
Another awesome well written ballad on this album was called “Genie In This Bottle” which was about a battle with alcoholism, and regret. His vocals are very strong on this album, and it was produced very well. It contains a lot of depth and easy to understand lyrics, without becoming hokey or fake. Mr. Jason always delivers quality albums in my opinion and I really enjoy his music.
I’ll tell you what, in today’s direction of the music business, and how things work the term “songwriter” doesn’t always hold validity anymore. For the most past ti does seem that gone are the days of the songwriter that actually makes a living off the income of their craft. Miss Natalie is one of the modern day exceptions having penned many Country Music songs with (what I call) the “Gals Club Of Country” AND pop country as well. In a nutshell allow me to elaborate on what the Gals Club Of Country means.
Miss Margo is at number 6 up there, and the song “Pay Gap” held strong identifiable relevance to me even though I’m a male. I can understand how they feel like pay isn’t always equal, and although I’m not sure if females are paid less than males for music shows, I CAN see their argument of festival lineups. Well this Gals club includes people like Sunny Sweeney (who sits at number 4) and Miranda Lambert, who Miss Natalie wrote songs for (or with) BOTH. She has songs off Miss Sunny’s Provoked album and Miss Miranda’s Weight Of These Wings album.
She also wrote one of my favorite Kasey Musgraves songs on last year’s Pageant Material, the song “good Old Boys Club”. That WAS one of my favorite songs of 2016 by far, and all the while she’s writing pop country smash hits the likes of “Pontoon” for Little Big Town. She’s kind of a Jamey Johnson type double edged sword here!
Puxico was her first attempt at a solo effort, and it immediately grabbed me with the song “Time Honored Tradition”. That was a terrific upbeat song full of great descriptive lyrics, and the song ‘Cairo Illinois” was another well written song. See, she has nothing to prove here because honestly she’s already accomplished so much.
Being from Puxico Mo, you become a little more familiar with who SHE IS as a person with this collection of 9 songs where she touches upon past loves and her old high school that still holds memories of her youth. This album is truly enjoyable and I look forward to many more albums from this seasoned veteran of Nashville songwriting.
This band is the pride of the Muddy Roots Music Festival as they always put on a terrific show, and always have great songs to offer. Honestly this band has such an intense stage presence that it wont be long until they get attention from larger amounts of people. Now to be honest I don’t really think this band even cares about any larger marketing companies, these guys are just happy being “The People’s Band”. Music BY the people FOR the people.
Now I was introduced to many of their new songs early this spring at the Muddy Roots Nashville Boogie wherethey filled their set list FULL of new original songs that had the usual trademark Hillbilly Casino sound like “She’s Got Tricks”. Now to be honest three of these songs first appeared on their LIVE album from the Exit In recorded a while back, so if you feel like you recognize some of these songs that’s where they came from.
One of the more upbeat and crazier songs they play live is “Jibber Jabber”, where Mr. Nic belts out the lyrics like he reached his leg through your speakers and kicks you right in the nuts. It’s loud and obnoxious and rowdy, so yeah It’s pretty much everything you need for a downright good party. This is one of the best live bands within my TOP 50 list to be honest. If I had to pick a band to see any night of the week it would be Hillbilly Casino.
After all of these albums though they finally recorded a down home Honky Tonk song called “Troubles” complete with steel guitar from Steel Legend Tommy Hannum. Mr. Tommy plays for Wynonna Judd on the road, and in his off time he can be found playing with Sarah Gayle Meech downtown. I STRONGLY SUGGEST this album be added to your collection.
I’ll be completely honest, accept for number 1 up there,this list has no meaning of order. In other words, just because an album is number 14 instead of number 2 it does not make it less relevant. Ergo this brings me to a very evocative album that is a front runner for my personal collection, Psalms by Miss Jessi Colter.
Apparently, this album was a lifetime in the making and it contains 12 original songs of praise to one of Miss Jessi’s heroes, God. You know, many of us all regard HER or Waylon as a hero for what they have contributed to Country Music. And you know Bill Anderson sang the song “I Wonder If God Likes Country Music”, well, with albums like this one I have NO doubt that he does.
I do not usually openly share my religious or political beliefs on a normal basis however in THIS instance I will, you see I try my BEST to do ALL THINGS to HIS glory, and not try to please other people. And THIS album shines true to that sentiment from Miss Jessi, as she chooses different passages from the mightiest book of the Bible, the Psalms. She’s correct that book emphasizes freedom and strength but also weakness.
It was brought to life by producer Mr. Lenny Kaye, whom was working on the Waylon Jennings autobiography and accidentally heard her playing some of these songs with such joy and admiration for God HE KNEW it was an album,and it’s evident on his production of this album…absolutely FLAWLESS and uplifting. I use this album for positive reinforcement annually in my weekly routine.
I recently wrote a nice article for his new album that contained so many guest appearances it made it an even more enjoyable album. The fine folks at Compass Records have once again done an outstanding job producing this true gem of an album, pulling from classic songs like the ever popular Hank Cochran classic “Make The World Go Away”.
This album contains 10 songs of Bluegrass beauty and grace from one of Bluegrass finest Legends, who assisted in taking a song that Felice and Bordeaux Bryant wrote called “Rocky Top” and turned it into the Tennessee state song in the 80’s. I point that out because it was released on Christmas day in 1967, and I’m writing this on Christmas day in 2017….50 years later!
Forward to now where his brother Mr. Sonny has retired and long since has hung up his banjo, while Mr. Bobby continues to carry the Rocky Top X Press brand. He continues to uphold the Opry membership for this band as well playing the (once required) performance dates..apparantly the Opry let’s some people slide.
The song “Just In Case” was an absolute toe tapping jam song,as was the rest of this album. Time has not influenced this man’s voice or playing ability in any way, and I strongly urge you to add this album to your collection. This is a MUST MUST MUST have, and I truly hope there will be more road shows in the future however, I can easily understand if there’s not.
This past year I wrote a TON of articles about Mr. Joseph from Moonrunners In Chicago all the way to Muddy Roots in Cookeville Tennessee on Labor Day Weekend. In my opinion he is one of the Roots Music acts that exemplifies more growth than many of the rest, and he is a hard working road warrior.
From the very beginning “Playground/Battlefield” grabbed me on a personal level, not only because it’s a well written song..I LIVED it. You see Mr. Joseph and I were raised in the same close vicinity of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and the area I lived in until my parents bought a farm is an overrun crime ridden bad area now. milwaukee has changed so much in 20 years I have no desire to return to see my old playground become battlefields.
I’m convinced that it will be difficult for him to out do The Hanging Road but this album does indeed show his plans for growth and his plans to continue offering well written songs that contain depth. Mr. Joseph is one of the finest true auteurs of his scene he is usually featured in. But at the same time he is prevalent within Bluegrass festivals as well as Roots Music ones. And songs like “16-10” show his mountain roots sound as well. Here is his appearance at the Blue Plate Special in Knoxville Tennessee.
“You Showed Me” was even better on the album than live with all the wonderful steel guitar licks and fiddle on it. He DOES travel with Mr. Jason Loveall who is a truly awesome fiddle player and Mr.Easton Bennett on the upright bass. So when he comes to YOUR area you’ll be treated to a set list from his 4 solo albums of well written feel good Americana tunes, and some damn fine musicianship.
From the start this album delves right into a past I share with Mr. Josh and that is drug addiction, we both are recovered addicts, and we met way back in 2013 at Altamont. And in that time period I have had the absolute privilege to witness him evolve to an entire new echelon of greatness. “Whole Lotta Crazy” is an epic Outlaw song complete with double stops and audio references from Jones and Cash. It contains some inventive lyrics and displays a whole new level of clever for him.
The song called “Crying Eyes Of Blue” was on one of his previous albums that is REALLY HARD to obtain because the label no longer exists and unless you ordered it directly you’ll probably not find it anywhere, kind of like Sturgill’s Sunday Valley work. “Miss Bobbie Jo” is a song about one of the bar employees at his home base bar in Leitersburg Tavern, Leitersburg, MD.
“Hangovers And Heartaches” was another wonderfully written masterpiece of poignant lament the likes of which one can relate to in a totally inebriated state of mind. I highly suggest you do not listen to this album unless you can resort to the bottle while doing so, it’s NOT for the weak of heart or the sober individual.
The album closes with the Billy Don Burns song called “Haggard And Hank” and I truly enjoyed his version of this song, the words ring evident within my mind even now. Even in death Merle Haggard and Hank Williams both currently influence and regulate what I enjoy and write about now. There was no music to back him on this song it was mostly ac-ca paella, it didn’t need any to be honest.
This album is another one that will most likely be on MANY TOP 50 lists from many outlets of my ilk,and deserving to be so. Much like my number 4 pick up there Miss Sunny Sweeney and my number 12 pick of Miss Natalie Hemby this gal is part of the Gals of Country Music group, that writes damn good songs.
This album was produced in terrific fashion and the song “Your Loving Saves Me” was an upbeat song filled with steel guitar and Honky Tonk twang that grabbed me right away and made me smile. Even though it’s one of the shorter album on my list at only 7 songs it is still noteworthy to rank on this list, and like I am constantly reiterating JUST BECAUSE it’s 18 makes it NO LESS wonderful as my number 3 on down!
It goes into much slower tempo songs like “From Outer Space” and a really good cover of “Misery And Gin” made popular from Country Legend Merle Haggard. She divulges her influences on this project as well as her personal past issues with addiction on songs like ‘Stone Hotel” which of course is incarceration. She is defiantly tougher than she looks on the outside to still be with us playing music now, and that’s good because WE NEED HER!
I look forward to featuring her more in the future and working on more projects involving her music, I think she is a fantastic artist and I LOVE what she does for us in this music realm. I assure you there WILL BE more of her coming in 2018 and onward!
Just like EVERY ALBUM on this TOP 50, this album was an absolute treasure, and one that is a proud part of my collection for damn sure. Mr. Bobby Bare does NOT suffer from stale after stardom syndrome or any of that stuff..no Sir instead he has actually flourished quite well, and after 50 plus years he remains relevant and active.
You know one of the things at 47 I struggle with now, is change. I loathe it and I strive to find solutions within my own comfort zone to combat the change. The title and main focus of this album is indeed ‘Things Change” and and the only thing that hasn’t is the fact his voice is still that signature Bobby Bare growl.
That growl still exists within the song “I Drink” which further exemplifies the struggle with change, and stubbornness of the common man to pick the drinking over his mate. I mean, isn’t that what Country Music is all about? Another high point on this album is the song “The Trouble With Angels” which was a powerful ballad about loss.
Much like my number 1 pick Charley Pride, Mr. Bobby also is planning more new music in 2018 and proudly has been announcing it when he played at The Opry For The Nashville Boogie. THIS WAS an iconic show indeed that was worth every penny paid indeed, and he has been guest starring on the Opry for quite some time now. He still holds true to that old guitar of Shel Silverstein’s and still delivers those old Outlaw songs just as witty as he did 50 years ago..he IS the original Outlaw.
This album was originally recorded in 2005, and was called “Strong Enough To Cry” which is a beautiful ballad about being a REAL man. There’s nothing wrong with crying for things when the time comes, in fact I got choked up hearing this purity in her voice. You see Mr. Rory her husband released this album one year after her death in 2016. If not for him and producer Bil McDermott, this album would never have re hit the shelves at all…and NOT under a different name.
“Strong Enough To Cry” was written by her and Mr. Max D. Barnes, who wrote “Chiseled In Stone”, and the God fearing song “That’s Important To Me” is a song people nowadays NEED to listen to. Many of the songs that she wrote say Joey Martin, that’s her maiden name, and this album has more heavy hitters like Paul Overstreet who wrote “Like A Rodeo”. The original release of this album was under Joey Martin, and sadly it garnered almost no attention from the media.
“Southern Girl” was a song that rings true to myself as well, I have lived in Tennessee and Kentucky for 25 years now, I’m no longer a Northerner, in fact I’m truly lost up there when I go back. Its a living a certain lifestyle and having a special frame of mind. Another very high point on this album was “When The Needle Hits The Vinyl” which is an upbeat song about mom and dad dancing to their records…every song on this album was relate able to me as a man, and it WILL remain a permanent fixture in my rotation for years to come.
I stumbled upon this artist through an incidental situation and I was absolutely blown away by this album, his distinct and different voice made me appreciate his music and want to help support him. I’ll be honest that many more TOP lists need to have this album within it’s ranks. Now, although this album was recorded in several places it does indeed have some strong Nashville power in it.
This album has 8 songs on it total with one of them a cover of “Call Me The Breeze” recorded in his own style. He blends Americana and Roots Music, and the way he delivers the vocals on this album makes this album extremely special in it’s own right. It begins with the self criticizing song of ‘What Can I Say”, the devil has me on speed dial and calls all the time. That’s a terrific line for sure.
This video is from the song “Long Way Down” which was well written and a downright good song in every fashion, in fact I think that about this entire album. It’s one of those that even though it hasn’t gotten much attention YET, I think when word of mouth begins on this album it will indeed become a permanent fixture on many Americana websites. You WILL be hearing MORE about him on THIS website for sure!
This album is more of a beginning for her than any album for one reason, because this album has more songs she wrote herself than any of her other albums combined. This album equally boasts many other terrific songwriters the likes of Waylon Payne and Brent Cobb, and a special note of appreciation to Steel Guitar Legend Paul Franklin for his fine work.
This album is a juggernaut at 14 songs total complete with a cover of “Long Black Veil” made popular by so many people I could begin with Cash and go on and on. And you know she does get a lot of negative flack for her pop country early work from many…but honestly who cares WHAT she’s done? If you don’t like it don’t listen to it, I’m not a big fan of her earlier work, but the direction she is now moving in is admirable.
The opening song ‘All The Trouble” written by her and Mr. Waylon Payne is an absolute masterpiece both production wise and vocally. The songs she wrote and chose all contain depth and they compliment one another beyond description. The song “End Of The End Of The World” is about being conciliated after a break up with the return of his presence, like all the grey skies instantly clear to blue!
The end of this album is absolutely wonderful the likes of the songs “Someone Else’s Heartache” which pretty much pawns off your ex onto someone else. It reminded me of an old Derailers song called “Someone Else’s Problem”, although her song is a ballad and the other is upbeat. This album is defiantly aptly named for the roller coaster ride the listener goes on when spinning this album.
This past spring I hosted a stage at Westport Roots Festival where one of my headliners was the Legend himself Dale Watson, who recently did a collaboration album with Longtime member of Asleep At The Wheel Ray Benson. This album FOR SURE will be on many TOP lists, because it’s absolutely amazing.
“Feelin’ Haggard” since Haggard is gone was pretty much from the hearts of these two Legends, whom I think one day will have songs of this nature wrote about them, and performed by some of these other TOP 50 picks. I KNOW in my heart one day that Mr. Colter Wall will sing about missing Mr. Dale Watson when (like Mr. Bobby Bare sings) “Things Change”….now you see how change fits all this TOP 50 together? Have I explained my reasons for choosing and writing what I have?
“Bus Breakdown” is pretty self explanatory and funny at the same time, THE TOUR BUS is both the devil and the sanity of many an artist of music in general (accept for the big wigs that have jets), and the stories about the mechanical failures are great. He must have apparently bought a bus from Mr. Ray Benson and they are teasing themselves.
This album is full of Texas twang and upbeat songs like “Let’s Forget About Tomorrow Today” which is pretty much self explanatory, so as Mr. Dale would say DRINK THAT LONE STAR, and do not worry about tomorrow. But honestly the song “A Hangover Ago” was one of my favorite songs of 2017, like I seriously want to call them and tell them I think that it is the masterpiece of the year.
As I referenced Texas music before I loved the song ‘Nobody’s Ever Down In Texas” meaning everybody’s always happy in Texas. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Ameripolitan Awards GO VOTE NOW!!!!! The steel guitar tone of this song was a true tribute to the state of Texas, and this album is a MUST for your collection…I truly hope many more albums will follow.
I’m excited about this one, for one reason, and that reason is that NEXT WEEK I’ll be seeing this man for the first time ever with Whitey Morgan, and Ward Davis at the Plaza Theater is Glasgow Kentucky. This album is amazing as well, and I really enjoyed it. All 12 songs on this album were truly well written and I liked the sound of it all, it took me a few times to appreciate this album more. I had to listen to the title track ‘Better Than Myself” a few times to truly…”get it”…I think the reason we still KNOW Hank Williams Sr. is because his songs were better than himself..most people know these artists we adore were personal train wrecks and we overlook that, and love them anyways.
I LOVED the twang on the song “Hellbent Hallelujah”, and the steel guitar solo-intro that went on into the song “More Than Survival”. It took me back to some of my party days and that”s why I listen to the Outlaw Country stuff so much, I LOVE MANY kinds of music and feature it ALL on here…but I adore this type the most.
“Little Too Stoned” was a GREAT well written Country Music song, and the whole sound of it was beyond amazing. This album is one of those I have been looking for, for a long long time, he fits in nicely with the Whitey Morgan crowd. As this song laments the loss of authenticity in the mainstream world today, a common ting both artists often scorn.
Songs like “Old Tattoo” bring us closer to him and his family as this is an ode to his grandfather,and shares the strength his grandmother had in his passing. It’s a touching time when an artist can bring forth these feelings and memories so vividly with listeners, and you can easily ascertain the care and precision he places in his song lyrics.
My ONLY fear is will he be able to follow up on such a nice album with one AS GOOD or better..or has he saved THE BEST for last? Well, we shall see folks..I’m sure 2018 will be an epic year for this young man.
I stumbled upon these guys on an overseas website one day,and found out that my good friend W.B. Walker also had them on his radar, and we equally admired them. THEN to my suprise I got to actually SEE THEM at the Nashville Boogie this past spring. I’ll tell YOU what, if you like the Bakersfield sound like I DO, you WILL LOVE these fine men from Sweden.
This band is TIGHT folks with many obscure cover songs like “I will” that was also done in 1958 by Ferlin Husky (who also sang under the AKA of Simon Crum). This album is also choked full of Roy Drusky and Harlan Howard tunes, but the entire album is just an absolute JAM. “A Drink After Midnight” has such Honky Tonk bang to it, and Mr. Peter Anderson on that steel guitar will just blow your MIND!
“Cry Me A River” was wrote by Mr. Johan Bandling Melin, whom you’ll see up there playing lead guitars with such intense precision and attention to each note with barre chords it made my own fingers lock up. This band is VERY careful to detail and if you listen you’ll notice very little flaws in their LIVE stuff.
“Even At My Best’ I have heard Mr. Billy Don Burns play this song and when I ran across it I called him and asked him if it was Harlan Howard, he said yes but we cannot find the year. Despite that these men pull it off with their own twist and their own sound, and I wholeheartedly applaud them.
Another stand out cover song was the song “Country Girl” that Country Legend Roy Drusky wrote in 1959 and it was made famous by Faron Young, being the B Side of ‘Alone With You”. These two albums make you dig a little bit for the original releases and THAT is a hidden prize, kind of like cracker jack when we were kids!
The Texas music is one genre that we brought into our mix about 2 years ago, and you know honestly the Red Dirt and Texas music are a little different, SO IS the Oklahoma music. Mr. John has a more traitional flavor to his songs BUT still maintains Red Dirt staying power..does that make sense? Well I try NOT to label anything it’s JUST DAMN FINE MUSIC is all and it made me happy.
HOME…everybody has one,and everybody has comfort and a special place they feel safe and loved. “The Home You Made For Me” begins off slow and BAM goes into a toe tapper, it got my attention quickly. He does refrence the back porch swing, and cold beer and trucks, which usually make me yawn..but he pulls them off well inside of some well written songs.
Although this album is short at just 6 songs it’s so well produced that I couldn’t pass up on this chance to give him a high five and a nod over here from the Nashville area. It’s about damn time the Nashville cats start acknowledging that Texas music is GREAT, is tangible and can generate sales. I mean with songs like “More Than I’m Used To”, who wouldn’t want this album? Haven’t we ALL fallen head over heals for a gal? I recently have!
“Blame It On The Whiskey” was actually the first single he released to the media in 2016 which was where I was first turned on to him from Texas Music Pickers which is a darn good resource for me with Texas music in general. The album closes with the song “Cowboy Angel”, I’m quite adamant on the fact we WILL see growth from this young man in the near future.
I stumbled upon this band by accident and I’m not really sure if they consider themselves Jamgrass or Bluegrass or both..I just consider it good music. I thought the opening song ‘High Wire” was a good sounding song, and I loved the banjo work Mr. Andy Lowe did on it. The harmonies on this record is one of the foremost aspects I seek out on Bluegrass records, and I think they were trying to approach Bluegrass with a modern taste of old style.
The title track “Midnight And Dawn” is absolutely amazing complete with spectacular banjo runs and mandolin licks, I have even heard Ricky Skaggs himself mention this band several times. Brothers Mr. Justin and Mr. Jason Tomlin created a brand here that I’m quite convinced will stand the test of time.
“The Real World” is another uplifting song about how the real world gets in the way of us enjoying life. Kind of like work interrupting your fishing. Once again you have absolutely STUPENDOUS harmonies, and the timing is impeccable.”The Cowboy” was about a cheater coming home to a note, and it has a really good line in it, you can’t tame a man with a cowboy inside. He ended up drinking and killing himself. He left a similar note in his hat as they found him dead…MOST good Bluegrass albums have a murder ballad..THIS ONE has a SUICIDE BALLAD!
Towards the end lies the song “Love’s Raining Down” which was another uplifting song about finding new love and how you first feel upon finding it. These boys are certainly one of my favorite new bands that have emerged in the Bluegrass scene in the last few years, I’m excited to see where this band goes next!
Mr. Ray Wylie Hubbard doesn’t follow “What’s In” or genre rolls, he just plays some bad ass music. He doesn’t sugar coat anything and he writes some weird lyrics sometimes..like “God Looked Around” which talked about Genesis and creation of man with his signature Ray Wylie style…WHOA Lordy, you done answered my prayers! What is it with Mr. Ray and snakes, they are always messing around in his songs. If THIS album doesn’t slap you in the face sideways, you aren’t listening correctly.
“Lucifer And His Fallen Angels” was raw and gritty song about picking up Lucifer as hitchhiker, he has all the wild story songs full of that signature slide guitar songs on this latest installment to the Ray Wylie collection. His albums are just plain out jamming bluesy, Americana or whatever you want to call it. “Open G” is a really cool chord slide song, which was written with total wit and it’s beyond clever. There’s a guitar called a reverberater because it reverberates…clever!
This video here is the title song with guests Mr. Eric Church and Miss Lucinda Williams, it’s another great jam about life on the road with references to his sunburst Gibson and his hallowed area of Austin. You cannot really place in any genre it’s just downright rough music that makes me stop and think about what it all means. I mean, is he calling Austin the devil, or is there a hidden meaning? YOU DECIDE for yourselves.
Even though this album only has 11 songs the time length of the songs themselves make up for that, and all of the songs are bad ass rock and rolling Ray Wylie jams. his live shows are absolutely amazing he just stands there and bellows out fire and destruction all over. Owww “Old Wolf” is howling at the door folks and he wants to take you to the snake farm to see black betty.
Mr.Jim Campilongo and Mr. Zephaniah bring us this Honky Tonk gem, which is his debut album although he is defiantly not new to the Honky Tonk Country world playing critically acclaimed 3 and 4 hour sets in the New York club called Skinny Dennis, where he has been the director of music programming there since 2013.
This album for me came out of nowhere and it took me off guard, with the song “I Do Believe Iv’e Had Enough” because it reminded me of my favorite 70’s Honky Tonk stuff like Mikey Gilley. I LOVED the (what I call) the piano tonk, music from the late 70’s. It had high pitched guitar twang and those beautiful steel guitar solos, and little pops at the end of the lyrics.
“Songs My Momma Sang” was another terrific song here just easy to understand and relate to, just like those golden oldies that this fine man relishes. I can easily tell that he TRULY LOVES the same classic Country Music that I do, just from the arrangement of these songs. This whole entire album is nothing short of a masterpiece, and deserves to be on EVERY TOP list in existence.
“I Can’t Let Go” Even Though I Set You Free, is perhaps the finest song on this album in my opinion and I haven’t heard a song of greater lament since “Chiseled In Stone” until now. This song grieves like none other I have heard in 2017, and I was taken on a total roller coaster ride here.
‘He Can Have Tomorrow” was one of those classic two step waltzes that I remember Paycheck and Ray Price doing that I TRULY adore. The timing and arrangement on these songs are just beyond anything I can write in words on here, and every song is better than the last. But in the end I just kept “I Can’t Let Her Go” on repeat for a long long time.
This album was released this spring =as a part of Mr. Shooter Jennings ever popular Record Store Day tradition, that Mr. shooter enjoys doing for us. It’s more of a thing he does to remember the late Colonel Jon Hensley, who was taken from us too early. Thus they have been ending shows with “Good Time Charlie”, on this album it’s a short medley after ‘Fourth Of July”. As most of you know that was Shooter’s most commercially embraced song.
But honestly the reason I included this live album and not his recent “Live At Billy Bob’s” was because of the vision I receive when I spin this record. The ambiance is just….THERE, and I feel a great connection with the event. THAT IS what a LIVE album is supposed to encompass with you, they make you feel like YOU are rail riding alongside those that really WERE!
It begins in the usual fashion of Waymore’s Outlaws playing their beloved classics many of which drummer Mr. Richie Albright wrote and produced. Alas, this album was produced by Mr. Shooter’s current manager Mr. Adam Barnes and I thank him religiously for what he does for BCR. Songs like “Are You Ready For The Country” and “Good Ol’ Boys” set the mood and whet the appetite for Mr. shooter to bellow out the lyrics for “Outlaw You”, which scolds fake music. You see to be honest Mr. Shooter does NOT crusade against pop country, IN FACT he has given props to Eric Church and others for apologizing for things..and for honesty. I have TOTAL faith that I could say something negative about Shooter Jennings (with TACT) and he would respect me, because he appreciates HOW YOU FEEL as a FAN, he HONESTLY CARES about YOU. This video is from their song “Don’t Wait Up I’m Playing Possum”…
The album goes into songs the likes of which were on his latest studio album called ‘Countach” and the song was “I’m Left,Your’e Right, She’s Gone”. Also included was another commercially embraced ‘Gone To Carolina” which is my daughter Meghan’s favorite song off of the Put The O Back In Country album. This LIVE album has all the bells and whistles one could ask for.
Once again we encounter this “genre” argument and it’s JUST DAMN GOOD MUSIC and this is “Where I Stand”. A song that has some wonderful fiddle solos and it is followed by the song “Feel My Love” which possesses terrific harmonies and a tight melody. This 10 song masterpiece with stupendous harmonies on every song.
They released a video for the song “You Can Call me Al” and I will embed that in this article but you can read more about that HERE, I have featured this band on this website MANY times. I LOVE their music, and they are prevalent at MANY of the 175 festivals I cover every year!
“On My Way” was another of the middle songs on this album that I enjoyed, it has great tempo and was a well written song. I guess what I love the most about new Bluegrass music is the harmonies all of these bands have. Much like the steel guitar on the Country albums, I listen for the fiddle and banjo work here, and those harmonies warm my soul indeed. This song does just that for me, Good Heavens!
This album closes with a terrific instrumental and then the song “Here And Off My Mind”, which was a great upbeat song about the want of a loved one. I had one myself it took a long time for her to realize she was loved here. I think all in all what amazed me about this album was the versatility of the band as a WHOLE, as two of the members take over the lead vocal duties, and fill that position with so much feeling and poise.
This spur of the moment created band that was the brainchild of Mr. Jeffery Steele, who has created so much pop country like my number 12 pick Miss Natalie. These 13 songs are JUST LIKE Mr. John Anderson…”Authentic” Honky Tonk Country. In fact, when many of his collaborators heard the first song “Running Round” they exclaimed YOU CANT SELL KENNY CHESNEY OR LUKE BRYAN THIS…and that’s EXACTLY what he was shooting for!
He named this band after the famed Palomino Club in California (which was featured in Every Which Way But Loose) that is now closed. And all of these songs are fashioned in the likeness of those old classic songs that lived in this club. Mr. Paul Franklin brings classic steel guitar twang pieces to this album, and he enlists a HUGE array of talent.
The first recruit was steel guitar legend Paul Franklin, who helped line up bassist Glenn Worf, pianist Gordon Mote and other exceptional musicians. Their input helped Steele focus on the finer details of each arrangement, making sure that they were consistent with the way the masters who had headlined at the Palomino would have done it.
“We were working on a ballad,” Steele points out. “I had this idea to do a little figure atone point. After I played it, Gordon said, ‘We can’t do that. That’s not how they would have played it.’ He was right. My brain was trying to make it my thing, the way I’d do it. It was good to have these ropes on me, so I could get more creative within them.”
I NEVER thought I would EVER feature Mr. John Rich on this website, but DAMMIT this song is SO GOOD…I also never thought I would praise Kid Rock for anything but I did..ugh… this song is just an absolute JAM and makes me miss the fact I can’t drink no more. This is for SURE a superstar band, like the Eagles or Traveling Willburys of Country Music.
I’ll be honest the politics that Mr. Jason usually contains in his songs steer me away from much of his music, BUT Dave Cobb did a wonderful job producing this album. And the songs on this album were well written, in my opinion this is some damn fine work here. I wonder if he is indeed ‘Last Of My Kind”?
He hasn’t really struggled to maintain any presence in Americana music since his breaking off from the Drive By Truckers (which is my favorite period of them). I think he has gained more popularity by going on it alone, and I LOVED the song ‘Tupelo”.
Politics or not, I LOVED this album and it made me delve into his music even more. I watched endless amounts of specials and you tube videos on this man. He has surely had his demons and got himself out of a pretty deep hole as an individual and for THAT I commend him. Alcohol and drugs are seductive bastards for us human beings, and I also commend him for singing about his beliefs. “Anxiety” is a song I can TRULY relate to, we all have things that hount us, even with my lover sleeping close to me, I’m wide awake and I’m in pain….what a powerful line!
“Something To Love” was a good closing song to this album, a visionary song of his youth and what life was like back then. He hopes I find something to love…How about MUSIC? Yeah I think I found “Something To Love”, something to heal me when I feel like giving up.
I LOVED their 2015 album “Two” however when I heard this album I saw TOTAL GROWTH, from the first song “Two Miles High” which was a good jam along with the song “Liquor To Like Her”. Very inventive play on the lyrics there, every song on this album was well written.
If you look the up the meaning of the name of this band you will find it amusing I’m not going to divulge that information on here, but if you know what an Eskimo Brother is then “The 1 For Me” will be a funny song. You WILL enjoy it very much! The title track “Hands And Knees” is another jam song, in their signature rockabilly (sort of) sound..they just have a sound all their own. They don’t really march to anybody else’s beat.
“Every Curve And every Edge” was a really beautiful ballad with Miss Lillie Mae, it has really good line I remember the dress I first saw you last. This is BY FAR the finest offering by this band YET, and honestly if they can outdo it I’m excited to hear it. These guys are a REAL DEAL fixture of my local scene on Lower Broadway, and if you buy ANY ALBUM on this TOP 50 list…BUY THIS ONE DAMMIT!
This band absolutely blew me the HELL away in 2017, and to be honest I am not going to explain why….YET.. I will NOW let a secret out, Mr. J.D. Wilkes IS MY ARTIST of 2017, I don’t think he knows it yet, but if you are reading this you can expect an email or a phone call Sir. I want you to know I have a HUGE amount of admiration for your knowledge and your stage presence Mr. J.D. I’m not going further divulge my thought until the article!
This new album takes us in separate direction than the last album The Southern Surreal, and even though I like all the music they put out, I loved the jams on this new album. ‘Sing A Worried Song” pays homage to the old timey black and white cartoons with little “Posie” the main character girl whom is styled after Betty Boop type era.
JD Wilkes vocals and piano, Fuller Condon upright bass and vocals, Preston Corn drums, Rod Hamdallah guitar and vocals and Gary Siperko guitar. With Liz Brasher backup vocals, Shane Pringle saxophone and Chloe Feoranzo clarinet bring forth the ambiance in this video and song. They bring so much respect to tradition and history it is a downright sin NOT to love this man for his brain, and the Legendary Shack Shakers brand.
“After Your’e Gone” is a song I could relate to as well, because I was raised in Wisconsin and my childhood home is gone too. My old bedroom is a Subway restaurant, age and time are cruel cruel to your mind. I miss my youth and the memories I have are all that’s left..I don’t have to wish I AM A “Single Boy” now Sir. Please don’t make this your last album the world of music NEEDS the Legendary Shack Shakers.
“Any Night In Texas” is in a whole a 14 song masterpiece Red Dirt album that grabbed my attention by mistake, I was looking through Texas Music lists for another artist and this guy hit me right in my face. HEY I found Mr. Jon Pardi by accident years ago, so I don’t know what it is about guys named Jon, but they find their way on this website by accident. That title song was a great descriptive song about dating at a young age.
“Baby This And Baby That” is the one that found it’s way to my email box, and I’m glad I found this album. I enjoyed these songs so much you know women can mess with your head when they start that baby this crap. Although this album could be deemed a little closer to commercial pop country in SOME aspects I think it’s really well arranged, and REAL.
“Drink For Two” is a great duet with the Ol’ number 4 pick the Sweener Queen herself Miss Sunny Sweeney, it’s a darn good song they did together. I thought it was a good break up song with some twang steel guitar work. I thought they sounded good together, with well hit high notes by both of them, if you are a Sunny Sweeney fan check this song out!
“That’s What A song Will Do” is the absolute truth, you know that’s WHY I DO THIS WEBSITE, because music is EVERYTHING TO ME. It has consumed my life, and he is correct songs and music can make you happy and uplift you..and on the other hand they can make you cry. ‘Crush Me’ was a great three quarter time type song that tells you what those sad songs do to you until those three minutes are through, this album closes with great well written songs like the more lengthy song “Long Song” about falling in love. Not being sure about this gal he met as being someone he will meet up with again down the road or not.
You know folks this website has always been a voice for the smaller bands on the block, but to be honest many of them are small on the block for a VERY short time. This band is one of them, it won’t be long before they become a household name with our scenes.
This band has their own different style and sound, and to be honest I couldn’t describe it in a genre label, as anything but different. I ran across them live finally as they opened for the Steel Woods (who is also on this list). I was absolutely astounded by their stage presence and their horror based songs like ‘So Much Blood”. If Slayer went Americana they would be the Jospehines.
Man I run into these goofballs grilling hot dogs outside of the record store on Black Friday Record Store Day to get those Shooter releases, and these guys are like DAMMIT GARY EAT BUDDY. I’m like deud I’m diabetic watch it…LOL EAT THIS GARY! I guess they loved that big bag of deer sticks I gave them at the show? These guys are true friends and if you greet them at the show, you are instant family to them, trust me this band is the real deal shit.
That video is from the song “Fireball” but this album contains some powerhouse songs like “Maggie’s Bones” and BY GOD you aren’t going to find this masterpiece on Spotify OH NO this one you’ll have to order right from the band,because sadly, I’m not certain of this band’s continuation..I haven’t caught up with them as of late.
Spring of 2017 was an exceptional part of the year for new music, and this album was no exception in any way. From the opening Yippie Ki Yay “700,000 Rednecks” this album took me by storm. I thought this third album was her finest offering to date, and I thought New West Records knocked it out of the park here.
She is defiantly a “Highway Queen” playing an exhausting amount of live shows in 2017 to support this project. Miles and miles of blacktop has been traveled by this Highway Queen that don’t need no king. So place your bet’s if you ain’t folding folks because this young lady isn’t stopping in 2018.
‘Jackpot” was another popular video that was released from this album in the summer. This song was a good twangy riverboat song that kept up the tempo of this album, and brought out her best vocals of any song on the album in my opinion. As a whole I thought her vocals were the best on this album of the three she’s offered To date.
Another pinnacle here was ‘Foolish Heart” I just enjoyed the tempo and feel of the song, it had depth and a good beat. Many songs have hanging by a word, and they make me STOP and think to understand them. I’m telling you if you happen to catch ANY acts during Americanafest YOU MUST CATCH HERS! She’s gonna ‘send The Sun” your way and wake you up.
From the VERY FIRST SONG this album related with me I can tell you from following these people around for five years, that the MEN AND WOMEN both become a “Honky Tonk Tragedy” what an amazing song. I been feeling like a broke down washing machine run through a million cycles and the clothes ain’t clean…GENIUS.
“I Wish I Was In Austin” is about as Country as Country can be I mean HOLY CRAP..this entire album just has more twang than many others on this list of his ilk. But the ballad song ‘Even Ramblers Get The Blues” was a terrific song from a picker that continuously plays in different cities every night. The line about Hampton hotel halls all the same, and they don’t know I’m winning at a loosing game are MORE lyrical breakthroughs!
I’m going to give it to you straight if you don’t cry during the song ‘Redneck CEO” you aren’t COUNTRY…you aren’t anything if this song doesn’t give you goosebumps. Old school values and honest traditions ring true here and you suit and ties business people and political big wigs need to LISTEN UP HARD.
Change, I HATE change and the song “everything’s Changing But Me” was written about ME for sure, wow It’s precisely how I feel here. These kids have all this crazy language and normies watch all this crap on TV, they wear clothes that say LOVE PIN….and they aren’t pink? I cannot grasp change..PERIOD. I hope in 2018 and on THIS MAN changes NOTHING about his music.
This album is one of the many Bluegrass albums that crosses my desk this year, and I was amazed by his mastery of the very thing that is his name…the strings. The song “Meet Me At The Creek” is a banjo masterpiece of precise notes. Muddy Water ALWAYS takes the pain away folks, always…
This young man is the MASTER of Bluegrass festivals having performed (or is booked in 2018) at more of them than ANY Bluegrass act or Jamgrass act (or whatever YOU call him) than anyone I could name. HOW DO I KNOW…WHY this website writes about 175 festivals yearly! The instrumentals on this album just absolutely blow me away… and many are over 6 minutes long as the result. “All Of Tomorrow” is one of the older sounding songs that had lots of tradition tied to the sound.
This is him playing “Turmoil And Tin Foil” the title track ot the album at Music City Roots which is where I think I first heard of his music, this album defiantly has some great sound effects. It has odd way of “Spinning” and working together before going into “Dealing Despair” with a down home rolling sound, and older style harmonies. Also has some downright amazing guitar solos and to be honest this all makes it one fine album.
“Bad Luck Charm” was a terrific song from one of the forefather bands of Roots Music, much like Split Lip Rayfield the Old 97’s are one of the beginning bands for me. Even before the Myspace era where I found a HUGE list of the bands I feature on here, they were in my life. Their live sets are absolutely amazing in every way and I highly suggest you go check them out.
This is an album I feel should be on EVERY TOP 50 list but might get overlooked, because it’s “COOL” to include all the albums everyone else is including, it’s not WHAT THEY FEEL inside. I LOVED this album not just to go with any crowd, I thought the songs like “Good With God” with Miss Brandi Carlile were true. I hope I’m good with God, am I I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
All the songs on their latest effort were rocking usual Old 97’s tunes delivered in the fashion I come to expect from this band, “Nobody” was a good song as well with great guitar riffs and a deep flow. Overall the length of the album was beyond good and the vinyl in different colors was gorgeous! I LOVE COLORED VINYLS..it has 4 different color schemes!
“Those Were The Days” is a terrific gallop type song about the old partying days, it kind of took me back to my old party days..which are LONG gone. Those WERE the days indeed, I recently gave up drinking, never got into the acid where the trees were breathing but yes I miss the days!
This album began with a song called “100 Proof” which addressed WHAT ELSE than alcohol and courage from your hat to your boots, it possess the look and the sound that encompasses a true Honky Tonk album. ‘The Kid” was a truly great ode to the Legendary outlaw Billy The Kid. It even has fine mentions of the Lincoln County war in the lyrics.
Folks, I’m not going to lie this is damn fine tight band that plays like a well oiled machine from Texas, and much like many of the choices on this TOP 50 I’m sure you’ll find a few YOU LIKE. With albums like this coming from Texas I’m confident that that genre of music will live and evolve forward for years to come.
Another good song was ‘Drive Myself Sane” and also “Love Drunk Night” which had more of a modern Red Dirt sound to it, some of this album began with more of an Outlaw sound to it..does that make sense? It’s NOT a critical remark in ANY way, in fact I kind of enjoyed the sound of this album overall. The steel guitar on the song “Ghost Town” was very enjoyable.
“Horse Collar” was a slower song at the beginning and turned out to be a rocking song that was well written and very fun to listen to, let those bullets fly. This is one of more exciting albums in my TOP 50 list, that I wanted to share with you.
Can you feel that fire, burning through my prison walls? “Widow” opens this fine album that takes you on a roller coaster of Americana ups and downs with your ‘Demons” slapping you in the face at every turn. This album makes you stop and think about the songs at moments during the 11 song offering. Most of the songs are a nice bit time wise with one 6 minute song that was well written, and another which is the title track. That song I have included in the video.
This band is really tight folks, you aren’t going to find any loose ends or under produced crap here. In fact the vocals on “Wish They Would” are as smooth as fine expensive bourbon whiskey. Just because he was a late addition to my list he does not fall short of substance in his songs.
“The Fine Things” was a song I sent to my girlfriend, she LOVES it, said it was from the heart. I truly agree, this is a darn fine ballad song here that would flow very well with Americanafest or various folk festivals. This act needs to be paired up with countless acts I could mention. “Run Like The Devil” closed out this album here with a mellow ambiance that evolved into a steady beat. Getting pulled over with something in your pocket is not good, outlaw songs abound on my TOP 50 list this year for sure!
At only 6 songs I might catch some flack for including this album, but I don’t care this is my list from my heart..heart..let’s dwell on that for a moment? I mean I could easily include a bunch of albums that everybody else does or I could include some REAL albums that have more heart, like a man that shows up to play a gig straight out of a hospital.
If you are a father like me, you’ll come to appreciate “Make A Little Time” because they sure do grow up so damn fast, and if you don’t make time you’ll regret it harder than Cats In the Cradle. One of the finest songs on this album is “Miner’s Soul”, it is extremely poignant as it describes a burial from a ghosts perspective. Initially he is witnessing his own funeral from heaven, this song about made me throw up when I first heard it..it was powerful of a strong nature.
You know folks this man is one of those that likes to hide behind the producer curtain, and bring OTHER artists to light. He’s also a longtime well renowned guitarist for others within the Bluegrass realm. But this album here is SO BEAUTIFUL I HAD to bring it onto this list. “Crossing Over Black Mountain” is absolutely amazing and riddled with traditional mountain sound.
“Confederate Jasmine” was the song that turned me onto this treasure from an internet Bluegrass radio stream. I HAD to STOP what I was doing to write down notes to come back to his album, I knew about him from Germany. I had known his name but had no idea he had an album out. If you’ll remember I wrote about The new Mac Wiseman album that he is on.
“Old Railroads” is an blockbuster song that painted such a vivid picture in my head I didn’t need a video. It’s that gorgeous of a song, and it has such a fine melody. The guitar work on this album is beyond amazing on songs like “Sometimes What Glitters Is Gold”. The harmonies on the song “Coast Of Carolina” the song talks about preparing for a storm.
Country Legend Carl Jackson produced one of 2017’s finest album here in the (now late) Glen Campbell and his last album aptly titles Adios. This was actually recorded some years ago back when he was able to sing, as he suffered from Alzheimer’s much like what took Mr. Jack Greene from us. It contains a wonderful rendition of Arkansas Farmboy” which Carl Jackson wrote but perhaps one of the highlights of this album is the “Am I All Alone Or Is It Only Me” with an intro by Country Legend Roger Miller, and also has Vince Gill.
The ever popular Dickey Lee song “She Thinks I Still Care” is on this album delivered in that signature gentle Glen Campbell vocal tone while the musicianship that accompanies him makes him shine all that more. Many of those wonderful classic songs are on here like “Postcard From Paris” and finally the powerful “Adios”.
This album truly was the finest fashion this Country Music Legend could possibly leave behind to be remembered by and he truly embellished Country Music when he was finally called home to be with God.
This young lady’s howl on the first song (and the title track) “Call Of The Road” is one of the qualities that attracted me to this album. It was sent to me by press company as part of a combo EPK with some other albums, and I LOVED IT. It remains a permanent fixture in my constant rotation, no matter what.
“My Only Desire” is a funky and rootsy song full of twang, JUST like I LOVE. “Sunset on the Alamo” is another good song where she’s been dreaming of the outlaw life out there in their desert region where they hail from. They play about that scenic sunset over the Alamo.
This band is absolutely full blown badassery and if you purchase ANY ALBUM on this list make this one of your two..did you catch that? “Nobody’s Cryin Over You” has some more mighty fine guitar work on it folks, and is a terrific addition to this album combined with “she’s The One To Blame” because that song has some mighty fine steel guitar work on it.
Epic songs of jealousy and heartbreak along with steel guitars, sassy front women and desert Honky Tonk, can a person ask for more in a TOP 50 album? How about a haunting ballad called “Ghost Of His Love”, now this one is a truly different and cool way to close an album out. Though his body is gone, the ghost of his love rides on….
“Straw In The Wind” is a very powerful album from a band that has been around Nashville for a little while now, just awesome kick ass Southern Type rock- country, or whatever YOU want to label it. I just call it good music, I recently went to see them and you can read that HERE.
“Della Jane’s Heart is another good song off this album, which is a double album on vinyl and a single CD. Their live set contains many of the songs off their album like “Uncle Lloyd” a tale about their wayward friend of their father’s friend, who drank away his wife’s leaving him. 57 is one hell of an age to start over as a single man, and this song hits home.
Vocally one of the better songs on the album was called “The Secret” which was really well written song and one of the album’s high point offerings to me. Also the high volume rockin song called “Wild And Blue” which is one of the songs they closed with both times I went to see them, is one of the better songs that close out this album.
The album closes with the song called ‘Let The Rain Come Down” you can interpret this entire album any way you want, and I’m quite certain it will be included on a TON of TOP 50 lists for 2017. As for me I just enjoyed this band so much that I look forward to more music from them soon, I’m sure I included a TON of surprises so far!
Yeah the title of this album even got me, because I WAS Born too late for sure. NOW FOLKS THIS ALBUM has all the bells and whistles of a REAL Honky Tonk album for sure. I have so many “Beer Tear Saturday Nights” that I lost count after 30 years old. I JUST LOVE his vocals on “King Of All Losers” , I mean he wrote that song about me..at least that’s how I feel.
Now folks this is one of my local area bands that is vastly overlooked by most media outlets, and SHAME ON THEM, I mean HOW just how can anybody pass up this wonderful Honky Tonk music? Songs like “Blue, Lonely And Wasted” are beyond those beer drinking songs that haunt the back of your mind, and make the radio people cringe. This album has some of the best damn songwriting on it than I have heard all year.
YOU KNOW that just because an album is 49 on here it is NO LESS integral to my heart than number 2 and TRUST ME this man and his band are the real deal here. I listen to this album over and over again, “Bury The Bottle” is awesome and oh my goodness so is “Jailbird”. Honestly I could elaborate on this album for many paragraphs but I’ll post a video here.
The Honky Tonk shuffle sound continues with “Don’t Let It Die” and another great closing song called “100 Dollar Bar Tab” I’m glad that people like Mr. Casey and his band “Don’t Let It Die” because people like me just absolutely love this sound and BY GOD we need some younger folks pumping out the Honky Tonk shuffles like this!
I will always enjoy Mr. John’s gritty voice and his raw unkempt lyrics, he has his own style. Hell, I don’t even categorize his music when I listen to it. It’s NOT Country but it’s all over the grid for sure. I was ready to get bruised and battered with songs like “Sallisaw Blues” and my favorite on this album was “Old Wounds”. Can you take away the mess that’s been building in my chest is just an amazing way to describe love.
Mr. John is a true visionary when it comes to writing songs, and his albums all become evident that he is a lyrical genius. “Amen,So Be It’ was a great upbeat song that I enjoyed off this album as well. I honestly enjoyed High On Tulsa Heat a little more, but dog gone it this was another fine album from one of the best artists in the Americana scene.
“Slow Down Easy” was a graceful display of his more bluesy side, which his vocals accompany quite well. I think at times we are all hauling heavy souls, and this album will heal the weariest of souls with tales of heartache. Perhaps some will find that others are going through worse than they are?
FROM THE DESK OF MY PARTNER MR. JOSHUA WALLACE:
2017 was a great year for real country music. I could have likely made a Top 100 albums list if I wanted to. This Top 50 list has a bit of everything though. I was blown away by every album in my Top 5. Whether it was someone I already knew about or someone I was just discovering this year like Alex Williams. This year reminds me of 2010 when we had so many amazing releases it was hard for me to pick a favorite. Here are my top 50 albums in Country Music in 2017.
Top 50 albums of 2017
1.Colter Wall – Colter Wall : This album blew me away the moment I heard it. From Colter’s deep rich voice to his unique guihttp://garyhayescountry.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7884&action=edittar style to his amazing songwriting. This is the record that kept me coming back all year. Shout out to W.B. Walker for a great radio interlude too.
2.Tyler Childers – Purgatory : Tyler Childers is an amazing talent. His voice is incredible and when he was paired with the production talents of Sturgill Simpson we got an album that had an amazing range in styles from folk to bluegrass to pure honky tonk. Tyler Childers is one to watch out for.
3.Sunny Sweeney – Trophy : Sunny Sweeney has always impressed me, however Trophy is her best record to date. This one has amazing songwriting and production and two of my favorite Sweeney songs in “Pass The Pain” and “I Feel LIke Hank Williams Tonight”.
4.Kendell Marvel – Lowdown & Lonesome : This album was a sleeper that delivered. Kendell Marvel is a songwriter just like Chris Stapleton and he delivered a mind blowing debut album this year. I can’t wait to see where he goes and look forward to seeing him live at some point in the future.
5. Alex Williams – Better Than Myself : I wasn’t sure what to think of Alex Williams’s debut album on Big Machine. It had all the makings of a great outlaw country record, but on a major label. Whoever is handling Alex Williams at Big Machine is doing a good job. He has made new fans every night on the road with Blackberry Smoke and seems like he will continue to make new fans playing with Whitey Morgan and The 78’s.
This will be updated as they provide me with MORE. Just like the rest of the 175 festivals this website sponsors and writes about I shall be in constant contact with the organizers and update this article as I deem fit, so with that being said HERE WE GO….
The 2018 Moonrunners Music Festival this year is being offiically announced here on Garyhayescountry.com. It takes place on May 4rth and 5th in Chicago Illinois at Reggies Rock Club ,and is an indoor two stage event. ALSO there is a HUGE record store upstairs and the food is really good on the third floor.
There is an all you can eat buffet all day for one set price in the side bar, this past spring I went and it was really good food. You can read more about my trip to this festival in 2017 HERE. My daughter and I had a wonderful time up there, both stages had some truly awesome bands.
The official sponsoring hotel is the South Loop Hotel which is only about 5 blocks from Reggies. That folks is about the only nearby hotel that I have found so far. This is an indoor event so the rules of the festival are pretty much the rules of the venue, however like EVERY festival there is ONE main rule: Don’t be a dick.
I recently found Matt Woods music after hearing some of my friends talking about him. I love his music and hope that you guys will also. Please share this interview to help spread Matt’s music and like this page so you never miss any future interviews. Thanks enjoy.
ROUND 1 – If you were asked to describe your music to a group of people that had never heard it, how would you describe it?
Matt ~ If I were a critic trying to write a review, I might say something like “It’s a big bowl of folk country rock’n’roll stew cooked with love and seasoned with truth and tales of the Appalachian south.” But what does that actually mean? I don’t know how to describe it and wouldn’t presume to attempt comparisons, not to mention the sound is always evolving. I hope folks will listen and make up their own minds.
ROUND 2 – Can you tell us your favorite lyrics of all time and tell us why those lyrics made such an impact on you personally?
Matt ~ That’s nearly impossible to answer. Start with just about anything Kristofferson ever wrote. The man is a poet.
ROUND 3 – Being a traveling musician I am sure you see and hear a lot while on tour, can you tell us about one of your favorite memories from the road?
Matt ~ There are lots of them and they tend to come out in those late night, corner-of-the-bar sort of conversations. One fond recent memory is watching the sun rise over the Baltic Sea on an overnight ferry trip from Sweden to Poland with the fellas in the band.
ROUND 4 – Most people love pets so to step away from the music a little, do you have any pets and if so can you tell us about them?
Matt ~ I love animals and my roommate has a rad English Bulldog named Oscar, but I don’t have any pets of my own at the moment. With all of the travel, it is a bit too hard.
ROUND 5 – What are your favorite hobbies outside of the music World?
Matt ~ When I have the opportunity, I love to get out on my motorcycle, but touring limits that quite a bit. I enjoy books, bar games, and cooking anytime I get the chance. The road and spending time in bars does allow me the opportunity to play a while bunch of pinball, though! I kinda want to open a pinball bar someday. That is maybe one of my favorite things to do.
Last Call – This is a place where you can tell your fans and the people who may be hearing about you for the first time anything that you would like them to know.
Matt ~ I think I would like to encourage folks to give the music a listen and connect with me on all of the social media outlets. Also, to realize that there is a whole world of music out here, across all genres, not represented in the mainstream radio format. I know it may take a little more work to find it, but I guarantee it’ll be worth the effort. Y’all be good to each other!
GENE WATSON GETS BACK TO HIS ‘GOSPEL ROOTS’ WITH ALBUM RELEASE DECEMBER 8
2017 R.O.P.E ‘Entertainer of the Year’ Winner
Tickets for North American Tour On Sale Now
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Gene Watson continues to stay true to his traditional country style with the release of his new record with New Day Christian Distribution, My Gospel Roots, available December 8. At the recent R.O.P.E. Awards, Watson celebrated his win for the 2017 Entertainer of the Year, an honor he shared with one of his best friends in the music business, Jeannie Seely.
“New Day Christian has a storied legacy of distributing quality Christian products,” said Dottie Leonard Miller, President New Day Christian. “We’re excited to add Gene Watson to that list. Gene’s voice is synonymous with Country music, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with him as he returns to his ‘roots.’”
Over the years, Watson has proved that he is one of the great traditional country artists of his generation, and is defiantly proud to release a Gospel album that stands out in the wave of today’s popular music. He is even prouder to dedicate his new album to his parents, Ted and Thelma Watson, who he credits for raising him in the church and sharing their love for Gospel music. The 13-track record brings the pure, organic country sound that Watson is famous for to gospel songs that he grew up with.
“This record really goes back to my roots of being in that little church and singin’ hymns. We had nothing but love, family and prayer back then, so I wanted to honor those traditions with this album,” Watson said.
Fans got a taste of what to expect from Watson’s new record with the release of his “Help Me” rendition on his 2016 album, Real.Country.Music. Originally penned by Larry Gatlin and recorded by Elvis Presley, “Help Me,” captivated audiences and rose to No. 1 in Christian Servant Magazine, Christian Voice Magazine and on Cashbox. My Gospel Roots includes “Help Me,” but also features Watson’s own renditions of many other classic Christian songs.
Watson includes songs from all different generations on his new record, and proves that he hasn’t lost a note in his incredible multi-octave range. One particular stand-out is “Old Roman Soldier, the first single releasing to Christian radio stations.
“I’d never heard a Gospel song written from the point of view of the Roman soldier who placed Jesus on the cross,” said Watson. “This song is true Country Gospel in the way it delivers a strong Christian message with such a visual story type setting.”
Despite a busy few months in the studio, Watson, who is often known as “The Singer’s Singer,” shows no sign of slowing down his touring schedule. Fans can expect to hear his powerhouse vocals on classics like “Love in the Hot Afternoon,” “Farewell Party”and “Fourteen Carat Mind,” alongside Watson’s gospel renditions.
Be sure to follow Gene Watson on Facebook or visit GeneWatsonMusic.com to order My Gospel Roots and purchase tickets to upcoming shows. To book Watson, contact Rob Battle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know folks as a heavy vinyl record collector the Volunteer Jam series are still a hallowed addition to any collection on a must acquire basis. Especially the first four jams on a personal level they are special to me because of the fact they include Mr. Donnie and Mr. Dennis the Winters Brothers, who are the sons of Country Legend “Papa’ Don Winters. Don Winters joined Mr. Bobby Sykes in providing Mr. Marty Robbins with those mighty fine trio harmonies.
Since 1974, Volunteer Jam has brought together some of music’s greatest performers. Now, 43 years later, friends, fans, and an extraordinary lineup of musicians will come together for a very special night honoring music legend Charlie Daniels — Volunteer Jam XX. Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 // Bridgestone Arena, Nashville TN
Since 1974, Volunteer Jam has brought together some of music’s greatest performers. Now, 43 years later, friends, fans, and an extraordinary lineup of musicians will come together for a very special night honoring music legend Charlie Daniels — Volunteer Jam XX.
Charlie Daniels has collaborated with some of music’s most influential artists – from Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan – and with The Charlie Daniels Band has created such memorable hits as “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and of course, the signature “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which won a GRAMMY® for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Daniels is also a tireless supporter of the men and women who serve the United States military.
“Charlie has had an enormous impact on American culture through his dedication to supporting our troops, founding the unique southern sound that we know and love, and creating the unforgettable Volunteer Jam legacy,” says Keith Wortman, CEO of Blackbird Presents. “I am honored to be producing this year’s Jam alongside Charlie’s longtime manager, David Corlew.”
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 43 years since the CDB and some of our friends got together at War Memorial Auditorium for what was supposed to be a live recording session, a one-time happening that took on a life of its own and was to become known worldwide as The Volunteer Jam. I am extremely honored and excited to have this year’s Jam documented by Blackbird Presents. Gonna be a great night at the Volunteer Jam!”
Blackbird Presents’ Keith Wortman, creator and executive producer of Nashville’s recent highly acclaimed “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration” and “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard,” is the executive producer of “Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute To Charlie.” GRAMMY® Award Winner Don Was will serve as music director, and preside over a stellar house band including Chuck Leavell, Kenny Aronoff at this unforgettable concert event.
FOR COMPLETE SHOW DETAILS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL CONCERT WEBSITE: VolunteerJamXX.com
About Charlie Daniels
From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 81, Charlie has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.
Raised among the longleaf pines of North Carolina, Charlie began his career playing bluegrass music with the Misty Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in 1967, he began making a name for himself as a songwriter, session musician, and producer. Elvis Presley recorded a tune Charlie co-wrote titled “It Hurts Me,” which was released on the flip side of “Kissin’ Cousins.” He played on such landmark albums as Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and tried his hand at producing on the Youngbloods’ Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind.
His own unique voice as an artist emerged as Charlie recorded his self-titled solo album in 1970 for Capitol Records. Two years later he formed the Charlie Daniels Band and the group scored its first hit with the top ten “Uneasy Rider.” Since then the CDB has populated radio with such memorable hits as “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and of course, his signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1979 as well as single of the year at the Country Music Association Awards.
Visit Charlie Daniels at www.charliedaniels.com
STAR-STUDDED VOLUNTEER JAM XX
LINEUP CONTINUES TO GROW!
ALABAMA, Chris Young, Lee Brice, Sara Evans & Travis Tritt Just Added To Volunteer Jam XX
Travis Tritt is bringing his solo, acoustic show A Man and His Guitar to the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 3rd at 8 p.m. You can purchase tickets by clicking the above link that says CMA Theater.
You know I often indulge into the many fine artists that were prevalent in the late 80’s and 90’s, when FM radio actually still played COUNTRY on it. I LOVED Garth’s first three albums, Doug Supernaw, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, Clint Black and many others. Some say that he is solely responsible for the reunion of the Eagles through his involvement of that Common Thread :Songs Of The Eagles album, which in my opinion would be a valid prognostication.
He hasn’t released an album of new material in four years however in 2016, he released “a Man And His Guitar” live from the Franklin Theater, and it was vastly overlooked by major media. Only small outfits like me even acknowledged it as a viable TOP 50 contender.
These types of shows are a special opportunity to witness his still top notch vocal abilities and his guitar picking ability has not faltered with time. It is something Miss Terri Clark is doing right now too, and honestly I’m truly enjoying this format.
So I will include all of the announced dates for this acoustic show on here, make sure to go catch him SOON!
A Marietta, Ga. native, Travis Tritt launched his music career 27 years ago. The Grammy award-winning artist continues to sell-out shows, top sales charts and stay true and relevant to Country music fans across the globe. Among his eleven studio albums and numerous charted singles are nineteen Top 10 hits, including “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “Love Of A Woman” and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E.” Travis Tritt’s twenty-five year career has produced millions in album sales, two Grammy award wins and multiple No. 1 singles on the Country radio charts.
The up-close and personal event will be punctuated with personal stories and anecdotes about Tritt’s life and musical influences as he performs some of his biggest hits, including “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “It’s A Great Day to Be Alive” and “Best of Intentions.
Once again the tickets for the special show went on sale Friday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. CST. For more information or to purchase, visit cmatheater.com.