Jan 262016
 

The Westport Roots Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Moonrunners Music Festival

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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 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.

HERE IS THE LINEUP:

Greensky Bluegrass
Leftover Salmon
The Wood Brothers
Nahko And Medicine For The People
The Traveli’n McCourys
Peter Rowan
Fruition
Dustbowl Revival
Larry Keel
Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds
Dave Simonett From Trampled By Turtles
Mandolin Orange
Drew Emmitt
Nora Jane Struthers
Noam Pinkenly
Horseshoes And Hand Grenades
Billy Strings
The Way Down Wanderers
Town Cavalry
The Lil Smokies
Drunken Hearts
Grant Farm

So now as always with ALL my festival series articles here are some lodging options for this festival in this area.
I look at all the websites and also do my own searching before I publish these.

Comfort Inn
The Christie Lodge
The Charter At Beaver Creek
Riverwalk Suites
Plus HERE is a whole page of more lodging options for you to book a room right from your home off my website for this event.

Jan 242016
 

Well folks it is time again to feature some more festivals for 2016, and trust you me I have about 200
of them to bring you throughout the United States. Right now I would like to feature another one I plan to attend in Chicago Illinois and that is none other than Moonrunners Music Festival for the fourth year now.

This one happens on July 4rth weekend which is later than usual for this one and it falls right into a good time for me I SHOULD be able to make it and I fully plan to be there right now. Mr. Jahshie P and his crew brought in some REALLY heavy hitter to foot this three day indoor festival that boasts two stages in two separate rooms.

Reggies Rock Club has been a pillar of the music community in downtown Chicago for eight years now, and I’m not totally sure about hotels yet, allow me some time to dwell on that folks. I can however direct you to the link to buy tickets to this event HERE.

You know a lot of folks don’t honestly realize the historical relevance of the city of Chicago and it’s role in forming Country Music as well as Roots Music.In the 1920’s when America was war ridden and weary from depression
and change Chicago was a bustling city and an epicenter for country music at one of it earliest roots. America was facing major industrialization and the cultural upheaval of the blues before it even HEARD the name Hank Williams.

The “National Barn Dance” was a radio program in the 1930s and 1940’s that launched the tenure of Gene Autry and singing cowboys and one of Country Music’s greatest females..Patsy Montana. It also brought out one of Country Music’s finest performers of his time, Bradley Kincaid. Rural farm America couldn’t come to grips with all this change and this program precluded the Opry. Due to the fact that in the late 1920’s WSM wasn’t being broadcast as strongly, the heartland immediately grabbed onto this show.

In 1993 two friends got together in a Chicago bar called Crash Palace, now called Delilah’s and compiled a wishlist of band names on a bar napkin and later formed the legendary underground label : Bloodshot Records. Two bands that stuck out to me from this era were the Bottle Rockets and The Sundowners.  Bloodshot also has been a home label to a few of this festival’s headlining artists Split Lip Rayfield and Scott H. Biram both of whom are Roots Music Legends in their own rights.

The Supersuckers
Split Lip Rayfield,
Scott H. Biram,
Dale Watson and his Lone Stars,
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club,
Wayne ‘The Train’ Hancock,
Those Poor Bastards,
Hellbound Glory,
Urban Pioneers,
Joseph Huber,
Rachel Brooke,
Black Eyed Vermillion,
Gallows Bound,
J.B. Beverley,
Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy,
Izzy and the Catostophics,
Rickett Pass,
Filthy Still,
Call Me Bronco,
Ford Theater Reunion,
The Peculiar Pretzelmen,
Escape from the Zoo,
WT Newton,
Kiel Grove,
Last Daze,
Pearls Mahone,
Last False Hope,
Joshua Morningstar,
Highlonesome,
That Ol’ Coondog,
Th’ Piss Poor Players,
Ultrahazard,
Aran Buzzas,
Brittany Avery,
Still Alive,
Death and Memphis,
The Kountry Kittens,
Hunter Grigg,
Stump Tail Dolly,
the Tosspints,
Gary Moore II,
Tony French, Curio,
Blackgrass Gospel,
Black Actress,
Murphy’s Lawyer,
Clem McGillicutty and the Burnouts,
Rock Bottom String Band,
Traveling Broke and Out of Gas,
Spike McGuire,
The Ridgelands,
Lonewolf OMB,
The Elixirs,
Mason ‘Damn’ Tinsley,
Melomaniac,
Noah Tyson,
Matthew ‘Mule’ McMckinley

Jan 242016
 

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Folks I just made an update not long ago that they moved him from ICU and into a regular room. I had NO IDEA he was that sick and just about an hour ago it was reported from CEO of Heart Of Texas Records Tracy Pitcox that Country Legend Curtis Potter has died in a Texas hospital of complications from pneumonia at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene Texas tonight.

I’m just going to reprint here what was made public:

“Curtis had been battling congestive heart failure and pneumonia during the last week,” Heart of Texas Records president Tracy Pitcox said. “Before becoming ill, he was actively performing, booking dates and getting ready to return to the recording studio.”

At the age of 16, Potter was given his own radio television show on KRBC in Abilene and was part of the Bill Fox and Slim Willet shows.

In 1959, Potter joined the Hank Thompson organization. Thompson was impressed with the young vocalist and invited him to front the Brazos Valley Band and play bass guitar for him. In the thirteen years that Potter was with Hank, he traveled all over the United States, Europe, the Far East and even a much sought after Carnegie Hall appearance.


Potter’s first major hit was “You Comb Her Hair Every Morning” recorded on Dot Records and released May of 1969. That song would gather enough attention to become the catalyst of a forty five year recording career.

In 1973, Capitol Records released Potter’s shuffle “Walkin’ Talkin’ Breathin’ Case of Sorrow“. It was followed by a Texas Dance Hall album with Darrell McCall and Ray Sanders. In 1978, Dave Franer signed Curtis to Hillside Records releasing two very successful projects.

In 1984, Potter helped to form Step One Records in Nashville. Step One would become the largest independent label in the world releasing projects on Gene Watson, Ray Price, Kitty Wells, Hank Thompson and Clinton Gregory.

Potter and Willie Nelson had a number one video on Step One Records in 1995. “Turn Me Loose And Let Me Swing” was taken from the album “Six Hours At The Pedernales” and teamed Potter and Nelson recording twelve songs in a six hour session at Nelson‘s studio.

In 2005, Potter signed with Heart of Texas Records. Potter released “Them Old Honky Tonks” “Chicago Dancing Girls” “Down In Texas Today” and “The Potter’s Touch.” He also recorded two projects with Tony Booth and Darrell McCall under the name “The Survivors.”

His last album “Songs Of The Cherokee Cowboy” was a tribute to his hero Ray Price. Nelson joined Potter once again in the studio to record the title track for the album.

Potter’s last professional appearance was on December 31, with McCall at the Heart of Texas Events Center in Brady, Texas.

He is survived by his wife Pat and children Shane Potter, Sharlotte Smith, Rozlyn Froid and James Potter.

Funeral services are pending.

Folks if you follow my website and you know ME as a person you know how special the Legends are to me, and that I have been following him from day 1 since he was admitted to the hospital.

Jan 242016
 

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OK Folks I’m sitting here writing this with cabin fever, and maybe it is the cabin fever but this new album from Hank Williams Jr. has got me scratching my head…it does. All in All I halfway liked it, I honestly do. But I have a few polite negative things to discuss about this album. Let me first start out by saying I’m NOT a studio expert or studio brain like my buddy Mr. J.D. Myers or Mr. Drew Burasco..Nor am I a producer like Mr. Dave Cobb who has become a Nashville terror with keys in hand.

I’m not an expert songwriter like Mr. Tony Stampley who wrote “Club U.S.A.” on this album which was a good upbeat song that was actually a high point on this album, and so was “Those Days Are Gone” which in MY opinion should have been the name of this album, cause they ARE gone…for Hank anyways..partly. “Those Days Are Gone” actually made me cry and NOT in a bad way, because the beat and the sound and his props to Ernest Tubb are indeed gone from mainstream country. You have to go see Whitey Morgan and Cody Jinks to hear that beer joint music now.

You know one thing that has me scratching my head here guys, all these one liner jokes between the songs…what’s up with that? I mean didn’t he and Kid Rock release a song a few years back telling us about how Hank 3 is “naughty” for using the F Word? Well so WHAT’S UP with his statement ” I Pulled A Bobby Mercer On That Motherfucker”? Ohhh ok since he bleeped it out I am not supposed to understand the point, gotcha Randall.

“Dress Like An Icon” was so full of name dropping it just turned me off because there was no real “meat” to the lyrics. It didn’t have the structure I expect from Hank Wililams Jr being the Icon that he truly is, I mean the man raised me and probably everyone reading this. He and Mr. Merle Kilgore and Mr. Jimmy Bowen all teamed up to create classic REAL Country material we ALL love. THOSE songs had structure and depth, not a list of two million names that influenced him but on the other hand I thought ok WHO but Hank Jr. has the right to name drop? So honestly I was kind of miffed on that whole deal right there.

I enjoyed the Mel Tillis song “Mental Revenge” that was made famous by Waylon Jennings and so many more, this a truly classic song and Hank Jr. did a FABULOUS job singing this song. However he has a very loud and powerful voice and to ( to me at least) they recorded his vocals VERY poorly on this whole album, and a lot of the music is REAL good his vocals at times lacked the “omph” we know out of him.

In the song that HE wrote “It’s about time” he periodically states we have had enough of this wired pop country sound, yet all these years he has oftentimes lambasted his own son for doing the very same thing? What validates this, considering the fact he has none other than Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore help him re-do “Born The Boogie”? I try to remain polite and neutral but dammit THAT just rubbed me totally wrong, shame on him HOW can you hate pop country but like that? If YOU DO that’s totally YOUR opinion and I shall respect it but this is mine and I didn’t. Does the album remain in my rotation…YES it does. Am I saying Brantley Gilbert and those guys had bad vocals, No honestly I didn’t think they sang bad it’s just they represent what he is lambasting in other songs on the same album. And most importantly that song was the same that raised my Hank 3 debate.

Now then folks I’m sure that you have heard on every other Country music website in the universe that he has teamed up with 2015 sensation Chris Stapleton for some dates in 2016 and I would like to tell you about them too. You know Stapleton sold out THREE Ryman shows back to back in minutes, because all the mainstream people now love him from winning THREE CMA Awards last year. Much like sports teams all the mainstream people had to flock to the I Tunes and download the album instead of being real people and buying the real thing..and maybe one or two of them will actually spend time to research him and learn who the Steeldrivers are.

This is going to be one HELL of a good concert with the two of them together, in fact I think it will indeed be one of the best shows of 2016. Because despite ho critical I was of Hank Jr’s album he DOES put on one hell of a great show live any way you slice it and his live albums from Cobo Hall and others are highly sought after albums from collectors like me.

Aug. 5 – Tampa, Fla. @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Aug. 6 – West Palm Beach, Fla. @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre
Aug. 12 – Houston, Texas @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
Aug. 13 – Austin, Texas @ Austin360 Amphitheater
Aug. 19 – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Cleveland) @ Blossom Music Center
Aug. 20 – Clarkston, Mich. @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug. 26 – Noblesville, Ind. (Indianapolis) @ Klipsch Music Center
Aug. 27 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center

Jan 222016
 

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Folks ANOTHER TWO of my Top 50 Albums Of 2015 have been hard at it on the road to promote their albums. I have been reporting on Dallas Moore and Pee Wee Moore (whom are also on the list). I URGE YOU to continue to support ALL of these artists, and at this time I want to focus my attention on these two artists.

I covered Cody Jinks last November and you can read the article on that show HERE along with a few more good artists. Sadly I haven’t got to cover Whitey Morgan since December of 2014 and you can read that HERE.
So as of right now here are the dates that I have found out about while digging for other things and if I become aware of other dates or see them on ANY festival lineups I shall include them on this article.

WHITEY MORGAN & CODY JINKS TOUR

STARTS TOMORROW JAN 21!

JAN 21 SPRINGFIELD,MO / OUTLAND BALLROOM- SOLD OUT

(only a few VIP’s left)
JAN 22 LAWRENCE, KS / GRANADA THEATRE
JAN 23 OMAHA, NE / THE WAITING ROOM- SOLD OUT
(only a few VIP’s left)
JAN 26 DES MOINES, IA / WOOLY’S
JAN 28 MILWAUKEE, WI / SHANK HALL
JAN 29 MADISON, WI / MAJESTIC THEATRE
JAN 30 BLOOMINGTON, IN / THE BLUEBIRD
FEB 13 NEWPORT, KY / SOUTHGATE HOUSE
FEB 14 INDIANAPOLIS, IN / THE HI-FI- SOLD OUT
(only a few VIP’s left)
FEB 17 CLEVELAND, OH / BEACHLAND BALLROOM
FEB 18 GRAND RAPIDS, MI / INTERSECTION
FEB 19 PONTIAC, MI / CROFOOT BALLROOM
FEB 20 COLUMBUS, OH / PARK STREET SALOON
FEB 24 CHAMPAIGN, IL / THE ACCORD
FEB 25 LOUISVILLE, KY / HEADLINERS
FEB 26 MEMPHIS, TN / NEW DAISY THEATRE
FEB 27 COLUMBIA, MO / THE BLUE NOTE

WHITEY TOUR DATES

FEB 4 CHATTANOOGA, TN / REVELRY ROOM
FEB 5 ATHENS, GA / GEORGIA THEATRE
FEB 6 KNOXVILLE, TN / BARLEY’S TAP ROOM
FEB 10 RICHMOND, VA / THE BROADBERRY
FEB 11 ASHEVILLE / THE GREY EAGLE
FEB 12 NASHVILLE, TN / 3RD AND LINDSLEY

FESTIVALS
APR 29 INDIO, CA / STAGECOACH

Jan 202016
 

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So as most of you know I always like to pop in and keep up with artists in my area and this march good ol’ Shooter Jennings is coming to my area for a show with the Waymore’s Outlaws. If you will remember last year I covered his show in Clarksville Tn, this time I’ll be in Dickson Tn at The Wanted Saloon II. This will be a fantastic show as always and I’ll be covering the event as LIVE as I’m able to, if they can hook me up with Wi fi I can write as Shooter performs but if not I can work off notes.

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He and BCR crew has always been more than kind to me and my website so as always I will be supporting his show this spring. I tell you this the picture might change but Colonel Jon Hensley will ALWAYS be up on the sidebar there as long as I operate. NOBODY will ever pay me enough to replace his picture with an add. Now you can mosey on over to his website and order the newest 2015 BCR Mixtape which is the second edition of this project, and you can pre-order his NEW ALBUM called “Countach” on limited edition pink vinyl and it will ship in March. It will be available on Feb 26th and all other formats March 11th.

Track list:
1.Loading…
2.Countach
3.From Here to Eternity
4.I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone
5.Born to Die (featuring Steve Young)
6.Chase (featuring Richard Garriott de Cayeux)
7.Love Kills
8.The Neverending Story (featuring Brandi Carlile)
9.Cat People (featuring Marilyn Manson)

I’ll be honest I noticed this album will even be available on an 8 Track tape! The seventh studio album from Shooter has already been highly talked about on many websites and trust me no matter WHAT it sounds like I am excited to hear it. here’s a little piece from the BCR website about it:

In 2014 Shooter Released ‘Don’t Wait Up (for George)’, an EP paying tribute to George Jones, and at the same time announced ‘Countach’ his album comprised of songs composed or inspired by production pioneer Giorgio Moroder. But this is no tribute album. ‘Countach’ is a sound-collage-stye journey through 80’s and 90’s culture, innovative songwriting, genre-bending fiddle-meets-synthesizer soundscapes and a shrine to pioneers of books, bytes and beats. Printed on pink vinyl, ‘Countach’ features guest appearances from modern folk songstress Brandi Carlile, Antichrist Superstar Marilyn Manson, country-rock pioneer Steve Young and even Lord British himself, computer game leviathan Richard Garriott.

Also included in this article are the current show dates for him and the Waymore’s Outlaws, which like I said I’ll be catching possibly two shows on this leg of tour. I might take a few days off to go to the Louisville show too, we shall see how it pans out I have a LOT of time invested in festivals already. Sadly, I have NO information right now about Goose on The Lake for 2016 which stinks because it’s literally a half hour from my house.

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If you remember his release of his father’s LIVE album made the NUMBER TWO SPOT on my TOP 50 Albums Of 2015and I am telling you GO PICK UP a copy of that Waylon LIVE Volume Two album. That was released on the second Record Store Day last year, we went and rounded up all the copies we could find.  So now that you know what’s all going on go on out and catch one of his shows and pick up some stuff at the merchandise table!

Jan 192016
 

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First off I want to THANK my buddy Dave Dowda, many people from the Country Music Hall Of Fame, and many more. There were countless emails and phone calls picking people’s brains about this article. This man was quite an obscure contributor to Country Music and Rockabilly alike, and I knew very little about him..and now I know a LOT about him.

He was especially intriguing to me because he was very close to Hank and Audrey Williams and often visited their home on Franklin Road in Nashville. He was present at their home when Hank Williams finished the song ‘I Saw The Light” and was the first person to ever hear Hank play the song in person, and as a result of that he began a ministry in the Georgia area in 1957 and continued to preach the Gospel until his passing on January 13th 2016 at age 90.

He began playing the guitar and mandolin at the age of twelve in Georgia where he was born, his father was always supportive of him. He began recording and writing music at age seventeen and was featured on many radio programs in his local area. He noted that Roy Acuff was his absolute idol and up to his death he admired and molded his style to imitate Roy Acuff’s.

He began performing live in 1952 which was right around the beginning of the decline of another of his musical heroes, one whom is often heralded to be the greatest songwriter of all time..Hank Williams. Hank Williams invited Hoyt and his wife to spend the day with them and he also was invited to spend time with Carl Smith who was then married to June Carter, as a result of these invitations he remained good friends with both people.

In 1954 America came to an abrupt halt as word poured out of Ohio on New Year’s Eve that Hank Williams was found dead in the back of an automobile en route to Ohio for a show. Having been given a sedative for his pain he was pronounced dead of heart failure at only thirty. Hoyt Scoggins was one of the few that were invited to speak at Hank’s service which is still one of the largest public gathering in Alabama history.

His recording career began shortly after in 1954 for one of the most beloved labels in Country Music..Starday. He released seven songs he wrote at that time, and I recalled several of the co writers like Walter Bailes and Jim Odom.

Jesus Watches Over Me
The Old Chain Gang
One Heart One Love
Pathway Is Not Crowded
Walking In The Light
What’s The Price To Set Me Free

He was offered a national touring sponsorship and turned it down to pursue his ministry and began it in 1957. However I was told he did indeed open for national acts like Eddy Arnold and Porter Waggoner, Monroe Blaylock, Patsy cline, Archie Campbell and many more. All of his children had many musical talents and for four decades he served many churches and preached to millions of people.

Hoyt owned many labels and in his day and time had creative control over his own music, something many artists do today. Later in his life Hoyt sold his labels and his masters to the Starday label, as he was very close to the owner of that label. And in 2009 he was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall Of Fame I also found a complete discography of his work so you can delve into him deeper now.

HoytSdiscog

Jan 172016
 

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I mean WHO doesn’t love the Country Legends? Well Kris Kristofferson is no exception to the rule and he has a vast history within many genres other than just Country, and more stories true and false have been told about him than any other Legend that exists live or dead.

Many times stories have been told and fabricated about him from landing helicopters in Johnny Cash’s yard to stealing Conway Twitty’s personal golf cart from Hendersonville Golf Club. There are stories of his janitorial duties at record labels so he could get his songs to the people he wanted to get them too.

Southern Jam 2016 is just a few weeks away on Jan 30 at Sunset Cove FLA, with the reunion of Kris Kristofferson with original bandmates Billy Swan and Donnie Fritts, plus Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt and the Combo, Shawn Colvin and Nashville/local artist Jessa. Gates 2:00; Music 2:30 till 11. With only two dates on this tour so far it might just well be a limited edition show in the Florida area so you might want to take advantage of this if you are in Western Boca Raton Florida.

Kris Kristofferson had more than 450 cuts by the 1980’s alone and starred in more than 70 films. Although he has only recorded 27 albums in his decades long career he has appeared on over 100 other albums. On this rare occasion he will reunite with longtime keyboard player Donnie Fritts who began playing for him in 1966 and continued to play for him for over tow decades. He also appeared in Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid, and Convoy having been given the parts by Kris.

Also joining these two will be longtime drummer Billy Swan who played for Kristofferson who played with him in the late 70’s and into the 80’s. He also produced Tony Joe White’s popular song “Polk Salad Annie”.

Lucinda Williams is on my radar for 2016 because I’ll tell you what she will be soon releasing a HUGE album next month and I’ll be featuring this album it’s REALLY GOOD and it will be called “The Ghosts Of Highway 20”, and this will be her ninth studio album.

Jan 172016
 

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Our buddy Scott H Biram AKA The Dirty Old One Man Band has been touring his butt off this past fall and continues into the winter of 2016 with some U.S. dates I’d like to share with you now. I’m going to try my hardest to catch up with him in Paducah Kentucky and find out what kind of plans he has for new albums.

He is on the ballot for the Ameripolitan Awards for the second year running, which he is proud of. We haven’t heard any news of new album plans but I HAVE seen his name on a few festival rosters for 2016. So while he is still touring to support his last album “Nothin But Blood” I urge you to go pay him a visit. He came to Nashville not long ago with Johnny Two Bags from Social Distortion and I missed the show.

Jan 20: New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
Jan 22: Savanah, GA @ The Jinx
Jan 23: Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
Jan 24: Gainesville, FL @ Loosey’s
Jan 26: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
Jan 27: Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony
Jan 28: Knoxville, TN @ Barley’s
Jan 29: Ft. Wayne, @ Brass Rail Ft Wayne
Jan 30: Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
Jan 31: Newport, KY @ The Southgate House Revival
Feb 1: Paducah, KY @ The Riff
Feb 2: Little Rock, AR @ Stickyz Rock n Roll Chicken Shack
Feb 3: Wichita, KS @ Lizard Lounge
Feb 4: Tulsa, OK @ Mercury Lounge
Feb 5: Ft. Worth, TX @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Feb 6: San Antonio, TX @ Sam’s Burger Joint

Jan 172016
 

Well folks here I am with the gang again at Spillway Bar And Grill on a chilly weekend night,this is my first time covering Jericho Woods and also Mud River Revival’s new drummer Mr. Matt. So needless to say I am pretty stoked for tonight’s show and as always I have to give the food here very good mention and this is indeed my favorite venue in Bowling Green for many reasons.

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The first band tonight is John King And The Mud River Revival, now two of these bands have earned a spot on my Top 50 albums of 2015 if you recall. Right now they are opening their set with ” I’m Gone” and they went into a cover of Eddie Rabbit “Driving My Life Away” which sounded great. This place is packed and this band is truly making quite a local name for themselve, Its time for these guys to get some festival spots and grow..It’s time for step four for this band. Right now they are playing a song they shot a good video for called ” Man On The Mountain”.

“Nowhere Ky” is what is being played right now and they followed that with a new song called “Dutch Creek” that will be planned to be on their new album. “The Elder” was a song I do not rightly reckon I have heard them play live yet if I have heard it I just didn’t recall it. My favorite song they play is their second video called “Drag The Green River” I tell you what they are maintaining a pretty good sound consistency every time I hear them. And now they are playing another new song called “Mud River Revival” there was no mention of it being included on the new album.

They closed their set with “Gimmie Back My Bullets” which is a cover song from Skynyrd. I enjoy this band because I basically don’t hear a whole set of covers and instead I am treated to original songs and that’s truly what I !look for with local bands. You can pick up a copy of their album “Write The Wrongs” at one of their shows or at Mellow Matt’s local music store.

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This next band has been on my radar for some time now from here in Kentucky called Jericho Woods. They opened their set with ” Clear Cut” and right now they are playing their title track from their album called “Same Old Dirt”. They have a really tight knit sound and the crowd is getting into their music for sure…I know I am and I would pay to see this band again for sure.. Just some damn feel good beer drinking music.

” She Don’t Need Me Anymore” showcases their sound really well and they are having fun up there performing a good set playing covers for us from John Cougar Mellencamp and they followed that with a really good original called “Happiness”.

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” I Will Find You” is a new song they are playing right now as I’m also watching football..if you can fathom the chaos in here right now. Along with the good old fashioned Orange Blossom Special and a song I don’t believe I ever heard a band cover which was “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” by Dwight Yoakam. They closed their great set with a song called “Memphis” and then Dallas Moore requested “Stuck Here In Bowling Green”. All together my initial verdict of this band is one of great fun, they kept me hopping in my seat and upbeat, GREAT choice of obscure covers yet the crowd actually recognizes them on the same token.

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The mighty Dallas Moore is up right now and the dance floor immediately filled up with people I swear you can’t see the band it’s that crazy. He is playing ” Bloody Mary Morning” to a packed house tonight. Man what a show already before the set even started, does that make any sense people?

This time I got to hear his new single called “Shoot Out The Lights” with a full band. And now he is playing “Twisting Through Texas” which is getting major airplay on XM radio right now and is on top of the views, he is dwelling on his Dark Horse Rider album which also earned a spot on my Top 50 and we’ll deserved… Because “Raisin Hell And Slinging Gravel” was next and that song got the place going hell raising nuts.

“Up On That Mountain” was next followed by “when I Took Out The Trash”. He’s playing some rare ones that I haven’t got to hear live in quite some time,” Great Big Woman” was one of them and still even this late he is tearing this place apart with “Hot Bolded Mama”. He’s playing ” Outlaw Country” which is a song he wrote with Billie Gant, and followed that with “Heaven Can’t Be Found” by Hank Williams Jr. much like the other bands tonight the cover tunes we DID HEAR were well chosen and well placed within the sets.

“Works For Me” is one that has the crowd singing along with right now, he is playing a Chris Knight song and followed that with another new song called “Madam Sam”. They are now doing instrumentals for us, along with ” Freeborn Man”. He recorded ” Crazy Again” with his Godfather Country Legend Jody Payne him he said would have been 80 this year.

“Blessed Be The Bad Ones” was one of the first songs I ever heard Mr. Dallas play at Altamont, that was the album he was promoting when I initially met him and began supporting his music. The Cincinnati local music scene is truly one of the most intriguing ones that exist, to this day I have always said The Tillers album ‘Live At The Southgate House” was an underground classic. He closed his epic set with a lengthy version of “Whipping Post” and another instrumental acoustic song that incorporates his evident influence of Classical Music and other genres rolled into one, which he calls “Strangling The Strings”. I highly suggest you pick up all these fine albums at your local record store NOW.

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Last night’s turnout was evident that local music is still appreciated and wanted, and hell with the NFL playoffs going on and food that good HOW can you NOT have a good time? Outlaw Country Music with good looking gals dancing and the Packers throwing hail marys with 20 seconds on the clock…and wings that will make you slap your Mammy.

Jan 122016
 

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WOW Folks it’s time to start reporting on another year of 2016 shows on behalf of The Renfro Valley concert venue again. Located right off Hwy 75 in Kentucky it’s not too far from me and I love going there. I try to evenly support everyone as much as possible and this HUGE venue is just absolutely a music lover’s paradise and it features some of the biggest names in Country and Bluegrass Music that you can find.

Now then I shall be including their main shows on my weekly article of local shows as well as this article but whichever article you enjoy please go out and support them and their main shows. This is a HUGE indoor “barn like” atmosphere and it is TRULY a special place to see a show and you can get some mighty fine food in the area, just hop on over to their website and check out all the options you have.

As with my other articles I shall include any news or announcements I hear from performers or from the venue itself, I am usually busy most of the year with festivals but every once in a while I set out to enjoy some great music here PLEASE JOIN ME WON’T YOU?

Don Williams April 8th and 9th

Sawyer Brown April 23rd

Exile April 30th

Josh Turner May 15th

The Time Jumpers May 20th

Billy “Crash” Craddock June 11th

The Oak Ridge Boys June 18th

Leann Rimes July 9th

Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver July 16th

Wynonna Judd July 20th

Ronnie Milsap July 30th

Sarah Evans August 5th

Earl Thomas Conley August 20th

Jamey Johnson August 25th

Bobby Bare September 3rd

Loretta Lynn September 9th

Gene Watson September 10th

John Anderson September 16th

The Issacs September 17th

Dailey And Vincent October 1st

Steeldrivers October 7th

John Conlee October 8th

Mikey Gilley October 8th

Marty Stuart Connie Smith October 15th

Jimmy Fortune and T Graham Borwn October 21st

Rhonda Vincent October 29th

Travis Tritt November 5th

Jan 102016
 

The Westport Roots Festival
Moonrunners Music Festival
Picki’n In The Pasture
John Hartford Music Festival
The Blue Ox Music Festival
The Duck Creek Log Jam

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Folks I’ll be heading out to Kansas City shortly after the Boogie in may of this year for the third annual Wesport Roots Festival which I missed last year but promised them I would help them grow. Also, I haven’t brought my website out to that area yet in person so this partnership will be a win-win situation. Now the website states that there will be some venue changes and I am CONSTANTLY adding and editing ALL my festival articles as I learn and discover things. I got HUGE NEWS concerning this festival, perhaps the most involved I have EVER been in ANY festival in this website’s history!

Little Class Records CEO contacted me not long ago and asked me if I wanted to do some cross promotions with them, since I was already planning to cover the event live. The Westport Saloon has a big hand in this festival and it appears that there is a whole area of venues involved within the Wesport district, which is Kansas City’s oldest portion of the city. There will be six stages involved and they all center the like music, I’ll be hosting the Honky Tonk stage and covering the event. All six stages go at once and four of them are indoor stages, two of them are outdoor tent stages. They are however pretty close together and within acceptable distance of one another.

HERE is MORE information Concerning stage sponsors and what genre of music is being featured where.

Languanitas Brewing Co., The Westport Saloon, and Little Class Records bring you the 2016 Westport Roots Festival Memorial Day weekend. Over 60 bands on 6 stages in your favorite neighborhood. From Psychobilly rowdiness on the Pabst Blue Ribbon at Buzzard Beach to Walnut Valley Festival Bluegrass Favorites on the American Born Moonshine stage hosted by Finetimecamp, we have all of your Roots Genres covered. Get your fill of twang and Honky-tonk on the Boombox.FM stage at Ernie Biggs Westport hosted by Gary Hayes Country.

 

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Not to mention, we still have an entire stage of heavy hitters booked by Dylan Thomas Dorrell to announce in February! This guy knows how to throw a party as can be see at Dylan’s Big Birthday Bender Blowout Bash coming up next month. Don’t forget about the Busch Beer Presents: Westport Roots Reception! A preparty featuring Dale Watson! and the Four Roses Bourbon presents: Roots Fest Recovery with Special guests Mountain Sprout!. OK Speaking of this fellow and his stage he has added some heavy hitters among the Roots Music world in the Goddamn Gallows MORE!

If you’re planning a weekend of it, please consider AC Hotels by Marriott Kansas City Westport. Its right across the street and downhill from the festival, so you can easily stagger back to your room after you have enjoyed all the Four Roses Bourbon you care to drink. Be listening to KKFI 90.1 FM and watching Ink Magazine for more information and schedules as the date approaches and feel free to stop by any of the AWESOME SPONSORS’ pages and tell them thank you for supporting live music and arts!

This festival is located in downtown Kansas City in what they call the Westport District, and there are two hotels within walking distance of the Westport Saloon here are the links:
AC Marriott
816 Hotel
Embassy Suites
And as always I will be researching this festival immensely and adding any I find, and after going in person for the year I’ll find even more. I FULLY intend on helping them grow through a multiple area media campaign I will introduce to you here. I have talked with the owner of the Westport Saloon and he told me the AC Mariott sponsors this event and offers reduced rates to the attendees.

So for right now folks here is the full lineup for this festival:
Dale Watson
Kiel Grove
The Drunken Cuddle
The Calamity Cubes
Urban Pioneers
Monzie Leo And The Big Sky
Twenty Thousand Strongmen
Tyler Gregory And The Bootleg Band
S.S. Web
A.J. Gaither
Champagne Charlie
Carrie Nation And The Speakeasy
Shawn James And The Shapeshifters
Joe And Vicki Price
Booker Noe
Dusty Rust
Joshua Morningstar
Billy Don Burns
J B Beverley
Jack Grelle
Sarah Gayle Meech
Scott Hrabko And The Rabbits
kasey Raush
Nathan Kalish And The Lastcallers
Jon Hachett
Hobosexuals
Well Worn Souls
The Blindstiffs
Pendergast
The Boothill Band
Pete Berwick
The Hickoids
Freight Train Rabbit Killer And The Legion Of Ghosts
Hunter Grigg
Randall Conrad Olinger
Billy Beale
Coyote Bill
C j Walker
The Hector Anchando Band
Brutually Frank
Dead Bundy
7 Shot Screamers
Elvis Hitler
Dead Dick Hammer
Rain Dogs
The Matchsellers
Ashes To Immortality
Loaded Goat
Konza Swamp Band
Good Time Charley
Julian Davis
Kansas City Hustle
The Creek Rocks
The kansas City Bear Fighters

NOW we also have a HUGE product soon becoming available from the stage I will be sponsoring at this event.

Folks right now I have MORE schedule information on this event, OK there is a pre party friday night with Dale Watson at the Saloon only. There is a recovery show on sunday night at the Saloon only as well, the festival itself is Saturday only. The first 200 sales get access to all three days of events, I understand this will be three separate tickets after the first 220. You can pre order tickets RIGHT HERE.

Jan 102016
 

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First off allow me to start by saying the reason that this album wasn’t on my Top 50 or even mentioned in my articles was one main reason..the mailman messed up and delivered my package to the wrong address. I did not receive this album until this morning in my PO Box, and finally I am spinning this vinyl that originally was reissued on Record Store Day last year. It was indeed originally released in 1971 but now it is remastered in better form.

To answer your first thought YES it is performed in English however he does make a few poor attempts to greet the audience in Danish, but this concert is indeed from a period in his career of peak top notch shape. I mean we all know of his legendary benders of drinking and pill abuse and his on again off again bouts with pneumonia throughout his life, his breathing problems were often evidentially problematic on many of his live albums. It often became a long running joke as it did on his Folsom Prison live album where he mocked the nasty water in the tin cup.

In the 1970’s many Country performers were releasing some of the finest breakthrough live albums in history including Buck Owens most famous Carnegie Hall album, and his White House appearances where they performed an entire show with only two microphones. Merle Haggard also released timeless live albums from Bakersfield, and John Denver also released a double live album against the label’s wishes. Hank Thompson also released live at the Golden Nugget one of Las Vegas’s first live recordings of a Country artist.

The newfound quality of this album completely blew my mind as did the volume two of the Waylon Jennings series, and the songs on this album were in good form. The Tennessee Three also were in good form throughout this album as they played “A Boy Named Sue” and many Kristofferson hits like “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, and “Me And Bobby McGee”.

This is also a double album offering of pure Cash greatness so you can expect the Carter Family to all be quickly in tow as also were the Statler Brothers who were brought into the mainstream limelight by Cash, and the House Of Cash produced some of their finest albums. This concert happened directly after his television show was cancelled by the network, if you remember the story I wrote last year about Chance Martin getting a guitar from Cash which was given to Rob McNurlin, who recorded that Gospel album with it.

There are also the common core songs of his set like “Man In Black” and “Folsom Prison Blues” and also has many classic Gospel songs like “Rock Of Ages” and ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee” which on this album is a whopping seven minutes long with the full entourage of performers. So all in all it is indeed a truly fine addition to your record collection and I highly recommend adding it…I did…twice.

TRACK LISTING:

A Boy Named Sue
Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
I Walk The Line
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
Matchbox (Carl Perkins)
Me and Bobby McGee
Guess Things Happen That Way
Bed Of Roses (Statler Brothers)
Flowers On The Wall (Statler Brothers)
Folsom Prison Blues
Darlin’ Companion (with June Carter)
If I Were A Carpenter (with June Carter)
Help Me Make It Through The Night (with June Carter)
Man In Black
A Song To Mama (with the Carter Family)
No Need To Worry (full show)
Rock of Ages (full show)
Children, Go Where I Send Thee (full show)

Compare Prices

Jan 092016
 

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Well all of you know by now I have many friends all over the country that I support on this website and they support me on their respective media outlets. Mr. Brandon Walker AKA W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show is a weekly podcast broadcast on I Tunes that features three artists of like types that varies each week. He does a truly fine job featuring some GREAT different music each time he releases a new show.

We became friends a few years back and talk on the phone quite often although he is one of the few I haven’t met in person, I have come pretty close to him. I’d pretty much do anything for him and when he announced some plans for his third annual anniversary show at the Vclub in West Virginia and I now have the lineup for you and more news.

I am going to be including him in a NEAR future project that I am involved with in Kansas City for a festival stage I am sponsoring and I’ll be mentioning him on stage during this festival as I emcee it so I can help him grow his audience in the central U.S. And he can help spread the word about what I’m doing, and starting VERY SOON he will be announcing what I’m going to do and some of the bands I will be featuring.

So for right now go on over and check out his latest editions of the podcast with several of my TOP 50 albums of 2015 and buy some new music he features. I’m sure he’d be tickled pink to have you listen in to what he’s up to.

Doors @ 7 Show @ 8 $10 Adv $12 DOS 18+
Senora May Childers
8:00 – 8:20

Justin Payne
8:25 – 8:45

The Horse Traders
8:50 – 9:20

Josh Nolan
9:25 – 9:45

Luna & The Mountain Jets
9:50 – 10:20

Josh Morningstar
10:25 – 10:55

Joshua Black Wilkins
11:00 – 11:30

Caleb Caudle
11:35 – 12:15

Colter Wall
12:20 – 1:00

Tyler Childers
1:05 – Close

Jan 092016
 

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The Jailhouse Poets? Jeff Shepherd? Jeff Shepherd and the Jailhouse Poets? Over the past few years, Jeff Shepherd has toured, performed, and released demo’s under each of these names. Well, his “Official” debut is under the name Jeff Shepherd and the album is named “Jeff Shepherd and the Jailhouse Poets”. Figure that one out yourself.

I met Jeff about three years ago. He sent me a demo for play on Outlaw Radio Chicago. He was the first artist I have ever booked at MoonRunners Music Festival off of a demo, and I began to push for him hard after my first introduction to his music and his personality. After meeting, we became more than just friends, but partners in crime. He was also my personal in studio performer on Outlaw Radio Chicago for a very long time, debuting new songs, drinking with Stevie Lee and I, and just being a solid fucking dude. Our bond is strong and I love him to death.
Two years ago, folks compared Jeff to Hellbound Glory, or more specifically, Leroy Virgil. Both wrote about hard living, drugs, love lost, depression, and suicide. At that time, Jeff welcomed those compliments, as Leroy was and is his favorite songwriter and inspiration. But, these days, Jeff Shepherd has out grown any comparisons. He is far and above the single best unknown song writer out there today. Period.

First things first, I have heard many different versions of every song on this record. Jeff and I worked for about a year on a Solitary Records release that never saw that the light of day, and I have seen him perform countless times. This will not be a biased review. The words I say are true and I have believed in this man for a very long time. The completed record made for my label was not released because it wasn’t great, we just both knew there was more inside of Jeffrey, and he proved that with the release of his self-titled album. While, I am bummed my label’s name is not on it, I know it was necessary for this to happen. Jeff began a newfound friendship with the great Matt Woods, and decided to invite Matt as a producer to try to cut an album once again. They took shelter at Shed Studio’s 55 in Knoxville, TN over most of 2015.

Sticking to being honest, I believe this album really begins on track four “Sink Down”. I am not speaking ill of the opening tracks what so ever. “Gone” is in fact a beautifully written number about new found love and belongs on this album. “Jukebox Junkie”, in my mind, is a bit hokey with the electric guitar intro that can resemble a song on mainstream radio. It is still catchy and well written, but, not what Jeff was born to do.

His more upbeat songs are just fine, but, his ballads and sad songs are what he was born to do. Every artist needs upbeat songs to make albums and live shows flow, and Jeff does his job as a musician to make that happen. “Tragic Love” is another great upbeat song, and I think folks will love it, but when I put in this record now, I start with song four. I am by NO means saying you should do the same, because you will miss good songs. I am one man, and this is simply the way I prefer to listen.

“Sink Down” has been a live staple for the band since their inception, and it is a classic story of living hard and enjoying every minute of it. I can write this entire piece on lyric quotes by Jeff, because they are that damn good, but, I will spare you all and let you discover them yourself. But, “Sink Down” includes the lyric “I live my life like my hearse is double parked, after last call on the wrong side of town”. What the fuck Jeff? How the hell do you come up with these amazing lines? Jeff is not one to brag about drinking and drugs. The man lives his life, and these songs are not fiction. He is not proud, and rarely glorifies the lifestyle. But, goddamn, he knows how to write about a hard living life.

“California” is the first ballad on the album that will make a grown man cry. Jeff’s lyrics hit hard and makes you think, and makes you wonder. We have all been in these spots of regret, depression, and solitude. Jeffrey just knows how to write about them, and for this I applaud him.

“Ghosts” and ”Forever Young” are both upbeat songs and they thrive, keeping this record moving along nicely. Both songs are intense and are some of the live sets best portion. The band really shines on these tracks, and Andy Westcott’s electric guitar solo on the latter song rips through and leaves you wanting more. Longtime Jailhouse Poet, Marco Sassman is simply an amazing banjo picker. His licks and rhythm will leave you breathless if you pay close enough attention. Liz Sloan was hired on for her fiddle style, and for obvious reasons. She shines on this record, as she does on any recording she is a part of.

The last four songs on this album are my favorite. All very depressing and cringe worthy on the way they shred your heart.
“You know I tried like hell not to turn out like my old man. But, looking at our two pictures, side by side, it’s hard to tell which one I really am. I only miss him when I’m drinking, now I’m drunk all the time” More unbelievable lyrics, this time from the standout track “Hold On”. If this song does not become a single somehow or another, than Jeff is getting screwed. As will America. People need to hear these songs. “Broken” is another song that should be a single.

“If I’m incapable of loving, like you say that I am, why are you crying every day wishing I was still your man”. A relationship gone wrong, but, with neither side wanting to take the blame. Who is the one who is broken? That will never be known. But, we have all been there, and this song will remind everyone of that.

“The Worst Withdrawal” is a song that has had a video on Youtube for many years now, and what really put the Jailhouse Poets in people’s ears. It is also the song that brought the Leroy Virgil comparisons. Is that a bad thing however? Who wouldn’t want to be in the same sentence with that man? A song comparing a woman’s love and body to drugs, (“Your kisses filled with cocaine, your hugs like morphine”). At the time this came out on Youtube, it was instantly getting views like crazy, and there is a good reason why. It is a good thing that the band decided to re-record it and include it in this collection. It’s a wonderful song.

“Son” closes out the record and for good reason. There is no coming back from this song after listening. A deeply heart breaking and somber song about both of Jeff’s parents dying in the year of 2009. Whether Jeff is performing for a crowd of 20 or 200, he silence’s the crowd every time with this one. If you have ever lost a parent, or loved one, this song will hit you VERY hard. It is perfectly written and simply can’t even really be reviewed. It is personal as hell, but will relate to every listener. This is as powerful as a song can get. Speechless.

Overall, this is a nearly perfect record. I needed to borrow a website just to review it, because it is just that damn well done. Rachel Kate pops up here and there with great backing vocals, and Jeff’s new band really fits what he is going for on this record. If this album does not make journalist’s “top ten” or best of lists at the end of 2016, it is simply because the reviewers have simply not heard it. Let’s hope they do!
Jeff Shepard can be purchased right now at Jeffshepherdmusic.com.
Do yourself a favor and order it now!

Jan 092016
 

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It is with a heavy heart that I write to report tonight that I was texted around 9:30 and I was told Country Legend Red Simpson died tonight in California, he was 81 years old. Please join me right now as I share some stories and some accolades Red Simpson achieved in his lengthy career which spanned many decades. First off in my cover photo YES THAT IS Stump Tail Dolly, at the time they were not formed. They played ONE HELL of a show in 2013 at Muddy Roots Festival, you know what Mr. Owen is welcomed him in Heaven I’m sure. Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies and Jason Galaz and Gene Thome and so many more brought him to us.

I spoke with him on the phone so many times and I asked him once Who discovered you? KNOWING Fuzzy Owens did Haha
but he said well, My Momma and the doctor discovered me coming out…
He was 14 years old when he wrote the song “Endless Black Ribbon” and replaced Buck Owens at clubs when he became of age, when Fuzzy Owens discovered him and in fact he and Owens began writing songs together in the 1960’s. Their biggest charting hit was ‘Gonna Have Love”..I’m thinking it was 1962 or 3. He had a huge role in forming the west coast Bakersfield Sound of one of my favorite era’s of Country Music ever.

Ken Nelson wanted some trucking songs and Merle Haggard was not interested so Simpson was contacted and he agreed. His first album “Roll Truck Roll” debuted in the top 50 and that song was one of his biggest songs. His next hit was “Sam’s Place” and the ever popular “I’m A Truck”.

In 1972 he debuted on the Opry and in 1976 he recorded “Truck Driver’s Heaven” for Capitol Records, if you can find the first pressing of that album it is a “Holy Grail” to collectors and VERY RARE. In 1980 Merle Haggard recorded his song “Lucky Old Colorado” and also in 1979 Charlie Walker recorded “Close All The Honky Tonks”, and that was re-recorded many times.

In 1995 Junior Brown brought him forth to record two hits “Semi Crazy” and “Nitro Express” and Red Simpson also wrote “Highway Patrol” which was a big hit for Junior Brown. Since then he was a regular in his local scene of Bakersfield performing at Trout’s weekly and he and many more were FINALLY recognized at the Country Music Hall Of Fame with a Bakersfield Sound exhibit, and was given a guest appearance there.

In 2013 like I said Mr. Jason brought him to our hallowed field and we set him on a chair on the O’l Wood Stage and yelled out songs to him and he played for well over an hour and a half that night. He stayed and took pictures with every inquiry until the line wound down. In fact he played “Roll Truck Roll” TWICE for us just because we asked.
It has been reported that he has a new album being released Feb 4rth and at this time I’m not sure if it is finished or not, he had been sick lately suffering a heart attack and had a pacemaker put in. He passed away this evening at 81.

Jan 082016
 

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Well I certainly could have picked ANY of the thousands of artists I cover on this website, or I could have wrote an article of some artist to get millions of views because they are mainstream….but would that be TRULY personal? No, my friends it just wouldn’t be in my opinion. This article is about to be a journey into the TRUE CORE of my choice and what this man and his music means to me, so grab your favorite beverage and sit back and relax and dwell with me for awhile for some personal memories and reasons WHY he is my choice!

This man works so many road shows it is absolutely unreal how people like him operate and do as much as they do in 24 hours. This man reads and studies the heroes that he has much like I do daily. He can sit down with me and converse with me about everything from Bobby Mackey to Doug Kershaw. Everytime we talk on the phone I usually learn something, in fact not many of the artists I cover called me on Christmas to say “Thank You for being in my life”. He and I are TRUE success stories in every sense of the word and we share many personal accolades, we beat that evil addiction.

He released a GREAT ALBUM in 2015 on Little Class Records and it made my Top 50 of 2015 and it was concept album that came in three parts. It contains one of his most well written songs “As Long As You Ain’t Coming Back”.

I honestly can say I have watched him preform in more states than I can remember and more venues than I can also remember but how bout some of my favorite stories about this guy from Hagerstown Pa? I remember when we first met back at Altamont Tennessee at the Troy Rector benefit show called “Outlaws And Icons” where I first heard him perform many of the songs of his while he cried with such passion that none of the artists there came close to. I mean HOW did we all know THAT would be the last time we would see Wayne Mills?

The death of Wayne Mills brought about another group he was involved with called “The Last Honky Tonk Music Series” which brought us together at Bobby Mackey’s haunted Honky Tonk in Wilder Kentucky…pretty much Cincinnati Ohio. Hanging out with LEGENDS like Billy Don Burns and Billie Gant. We got to play some secluded music together as well, both of us stayed at O’l Chuck’s house and everybody was drinking all his coffee that morning and they wrote “1:15 in Wilder”..I had already left because I came back to Tennessee for the Urban Pioneers.

I saw him play his very first Muddy Roots festival last year in Cookeville Tennessee as he BURNED UP the stage out there. It was HOT…Altamont was COLD, so there you have it we shared hotel rooms at more festivals than anything. He once told me “Man I seen you more this year than my wife”. Cause YUP there we was at Crooked Smile festival in Indiana in 2015, where I brought the website to that area for the first time ever.

The man opened a bunch of shows for Shooter Jennings and Waymore’s Outlaws and when Colonel Jon died Mr. Joshua was there with me and Mr.Bandana loving on one another like Mr. Jon would want. It was a GREAT service and a truly blessed celebration of his life. He was lost way to early and to this day we will remember the Last Mogul. In fact I’ll never take his picture down from the sidebar of my website, that’s a number three rule.

Then there was Outlaw Fest where he spent time with me at my first ever tent sponsorship eating steak sandwiches in the mud while Kristie yelled at me from the next tent over and nicknamed me KARL..I have no idea why they just did. He was presented with a BEAUTIFUL portrait drawn by our friend Kenneth Marr who does most of my graphics. In fact he designed my logo so if you like it call him for your needs.

Well what will 2016 bring? I can tell you unless things go wrong with me in some form I’ll be spending time with him at four festivals this year. Things happen family passes on and times change, brotherhood does not. I could go on for days with stories about him and what he means to me. So you see I chose him not only for performance reasons but for personal ones too, yeah other websites can choose their “Artist Of The Year” and I respect them…but I’d like to see more of them choose from personal love rather than JUST admiration of their music, because THAT is what the business lacks today.

Jan 032016
 

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Sarah Gayle Meech has always been one of my favorite local acts to see. She’s just a bundle of Honky Tonk love and she just loves to entertain, as she does exactly that three or four days a week on lower broad and the Nashville Palace. She deserves every accolade she is currently earning in Tennessee, in fact her new album earned a spot on my TOP 50 OF 2015.

This is her new video for Tennessee Love Song the title track from her new album, the album itself is produced by Andy Gibson and the video was produced by Jukebox Romeo’s House Of Motion Cinematography.

She’s doing the downtown BR5-49 type thing, as they assaulted lower broad nightly playing for tips. TRUST me a three or four hour set from this woman TRULY is a great show and you can take that to the bank! I go down and see her as often as I can and hopefully in 2016 I’ll catch her at a few festivals I’ll be covering.

I have her as part of a Kansas City project I have brewing with Westport Roots Festival..I can’t unveil ALL the details yet but I have a hand in working with her and a few more during that time. As soon as I find out the schedule details I’ll report on this, my coverage for that begins this week. Nonetheless I’ll drop what I’m doing to catch her set there.

Jan 032016
 

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Well folks this year I published my first ever Top 50 Albums Of 2015 and it did incredibly well, in fact it was my most successful article numbers wise yet but like George Jones released an album “Hits I Missed And Ones I Didn’t”….I missed some truly good albums released in 2015 that I discovered I missed on my own and some that dedicated readers pointed out.

This wasn’t done on purpose folks, oh no. I try my best to treat everyone fairly and give them all the same amount of coverage as possible. But no matter how hard you try and dig and study, you are bound to miss some truly good music and since we are all human I shall learn from my mistakes and take note for 2016.

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Kara Clark- The Key

Two years ago I relaunched this website on a new server after a brief hiatus with a Facebook-only based page that imposed many rules upon who and what I couldn’t write about. It was not maintained in the direction I felt comfortable with and for those reasons I went back to doing this. It proved to be a worthy choice and I began my new website with Kara Clark being my first official article and I launched the whole site during her set at “Outlaws And Icons” in Altamont.

I have always enjoyed her music just as much as all the other bands I feature and I have so many directions I report on but the fact remains I can maintain balance with enthusiasm while informing you about new music and new bands. Some of these performers just don’t “fit” in any label or genre because they have so many ways they cross into, and she is a prime example.

This album was short but it didn’t lack in creativity one bit, with songs like “Bulletproof” and the title track “The Key” being strong focal points of a strong album. Her songwriting is getting better with each album, not to say it was bad in the first place because I have always loved “Relapse”. She is one of the people I don’t get to see very often and it’s always nice to catch up with.

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The Mavericks- Mono- Valory Music

HOW ON EARTH did I miss mentioning the Mavericks, SHAME on me..smack my wrist and put me the corner with a dunce hat on. Now mind you this was not meant to be on my Top 50 but I did like the album. This their 8th studio release was not as good as their third album, but I did like it more than Trampoline.

Raul Malo is in good vocal shape on this album and as the main songwriter he takes the Mavericks in a little bit of a different direction this time. It opens with “All Night Long” which was a Latin sounding song that didn’t grab me music wise but his vocals were strong and on top of things. He is a very powerful lead singer, and the band is indeed in tip top shape. “Pardon Me” was my favorite song on the whole album it’s a pretty good jam and well written.

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The Supersuckers- Holdin’ The Bag

Another prominent local band I forgot about I TOLD YOU I really blew a big one on this project folks. This band is like Split Lip Rayfield and The Tillers and a few more. They started the underground music, and the song “Man On A Mission” was truly classic Supersuckers music.

These guys to me are like the Motorhead of Indi music because longtime member Eddie Spaghetti plays bass and sings leads since 90 or 91. Now this album wasn’t as awesome as “The Smoke Of Hell” or others but it ranks pretty high up on my top list of their albums ever. They reformed again in 2014 after Eddie Spaghetti did some solo work for Bloodshot Records and such and in 2014 released “Get The Hell”.

“I Can’t Cry” was a good duet with Lydia Loveless who I got to cover in 2014 at Muddy Roots and is on my radar for 2016. Good good song, I truly like the steel on the song “I Do What I Can”. There’s also a good cover of Hank Williams Jr’s. “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down”.

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John Moreland- High On Tulsa Heat-

Brace yourselves folks folks this storyteller has released a TRULY stellar album and I say brace yourselves because not one song on this album in under 3:30. You have to have an ear for well written lyrics and good smooth acoustic guitar pieces, I’d LOVE to see this man perform with Matt Woods and Adam Lee. THAT WOULD be a truly good show?

“Cherokee” is just plain awesome, “Hang Me In the Tulsa County Stars” is such a well written song with many catchy one lined proverbs within it. This album is at the TOP of my rotation and in fact I regret not putting it in my list but I just enjoyed others more, it’s just MY opinion really…would I TELL YOU to buy this album? YES YES and YES. I think the song I like the least was “Sad Baptist Rain” otherwise the whole album was great.

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Jimmy Miles- American Rambler- Southsound Music

I was not too familiar with him before he sent me his album, I had heard of him but to be honest I had to a little digging before writing this about him. And trust me when I dig I DIG and I truly enjoy researching and finding out about people’s contributions to Country Music. One thing I found about him was his affiliation with my buddy “Colonel” Robert Morris, that’s name that slipped my mind for quite some time.

Of course “Loving You So Easy” was a great song with Georgette Jones”, I’m not sure if it’s the same Stanley Webb that wrote songs for Tracy Byrd. Now on the steel guitar you’ll find a familiar name- Fred Newell. This man has untamed and raw stripped down vocals and trust me that’s not a bad thing at all.

There’s a lot of great songwriters on this album and I read that he would be taking his show to Europe this year, I hope one day I can get out and catch his show at a local venue. This album has songs like “Lust For The Road” by Tom Ghent, and “Low Down Freedom” by Billy Joe Shaver.

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You can read about Orthophonic Joy HERE

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Daniel Romano- If Iv’e Only One Time Askin’ New West Records.

This is another one I regrettably forgot about, like I said I need to take better notes throughout the year. I would have included this album had I remembered. It was truly a blockbuster album full of really good songs like “The One That Got Away” and a lot of well written three chord songs like “If You Go Your Way I’ll Go Blind”.

This album is full of great fiddle and steel guitar like “There’s A Hardship” which was favorite song on this album. “I’m Gonna Teach You” was full of good Honky Tonk piano like them old songs that Flloyd Cramer used to play on. In fact “There’s A Hardship” is one of my favorite songs from last year.

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Stump Tail Dolly- Americanoclasm- Rusty Knuckles

Rusty Knuckles has indeed released some great music this year and this album is truly one of the most unique albums yet. Mr. Ryan Clackner and his better half Miss Lucy Cochran have a combined resume of playing for the likes of Bob Wayne, Shooter Jennings, J.D. Wilkes, Red Simpson, Fifth On The Floor, and many more.

These two have taken their passion for Country Music and Heavy Metal and juxtaposed them together to form a sound unlike ANY OTHER I have ever heard, No Sir this is NOT a Hank 3 clone or copy of ANY sort..in fact I myself have no darn clue what to call it, so I’ll just call it Stump Tail Dolly!

Now this was a short album BUT it only means that they left areas for growth and more creativity, and they have a HUGE road ahead of them. I am very confident they can travel it very well! They have released two full length videos or their songs, and I’ll be warning you the songs on this album are long..that’s not a bad thing!
I love these two very very much and I have a great deal of admiration for them on a personal level so this is more than just a suggestion.

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