Jun 262016
 

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The fourth annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival is a really nice Virginia outdoor festival that is hosted by the band The Steel Wheels. It is predominantly a Bluegrass festival that features one of the new artists I just featured Sierra Hull. This event takes place the weekend after next on July 8th 9th and 10th.

Over on the Kinfolk Stage, you’ll find great music, dancing and awesome presentations for the children.
There are TONS of playgrounds and games and activities for them to do while you enjoy the music.

FRIDAY
12PM APPALACHIAN STORYTIME W/ SANDY PARKS
1PM MAKING MUSIC CONCERT W/ THE MCKENZIES
2PM WILDLIFE CENTER OF VA PRESENTATION
3PM THE WOODSHEDDERS’ KIDS SET
4:15PM RED WING’S LIL’ FIDDLERS SET
5PM CRANKIES w/ ANNA & ELIZABETH
6PM THE STEEL WHEELS’ KIDS SET
7PM SQUARE DANCE W/ RAGGED MOUNTAIN STRING BAND & GRANT HUNNICUTT

SATURDAY
1PM RIVER BUDDIES WORKSHOP w/FRIENDS OF THE CHEAT RIVER
2PM APPALACHIAN STORYTIME W/ SANDY PARKS
3PM MAKING MUSIC CONCERT W/ THE MCKENZIES
4PM THE JUDY CHOPS’ KIDS SET
5PM NEWBRANCH
6PM THE FERNANDEZ SISTERS

SUNDAY
12PM THE FERNANDEZ SISTERS
1PM NEWBRANCH
2PM THE WALKING ROOTS BAND’s KIDS SET
3PM RIVER BUDDIES WORKSHOP w/ FRIENDS OF THE CHEAT RIVER
4PM THE McKENZIES
5PM SQUARE DANCE W/ RAGGED MOUNTAIN STRING BAND & GRANT HUNNICUTT

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If you would like to book a hotel for this event you can browse for them HERE and as far as I am informed primitive camping is not included in your ticket price. You can purchase your tickets HERE.

Hampton Inn South
Hampton Inn UniversityBed & Breakfasts/Inns

There are numerous Inns and B&Bs in the area. Here’s a partial list:

Augusta County

Buckhorn Inn

2487 Hankey Mountain Hwy, Churchville 540-337-8660

Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast

320 Wayne Ave, Waynesboro 540-943-1910

B&B at Penmerryl Farm

273 Penmerryl Dr, Greenville 540-337-0622/540-292-0897

Blueberry Hill Farm

956 Spottswood Rd, Steeles Tavern 540-377-2240

Cross House Garden Inn

1224 Keezletown Rd, Weyers Cave 540-234-8065

Frederick House

28 N. New St, Staunton 540-885-4220

Inn at Old Virginia

1329 Commerce Rd., Staunton 540-248-4650

Iris Inn B&B of Waynesboro

191 Chinquapin Dr, Waynesboro 540-943-1991

Montclair Bed & Breakfast

320 N. New St, Staunton 540-885-8832

Olde Staunton Inn

260 N. Lewis St, Staunton 540-886-0193

Shenandoah Mountain Inn

434 Shen. Mtn. Dr, West Augusta 540-939-4164

Speckled Trout Bed and Breakfast

607 Oak Ave, Waynesboro 540-946-4899

Staunton Choral Gardens

216 W. Frederick St, Staunton 540-885-6556

Sugar Tree Inn

Hwy 56, Steeles Tavern 800-377-2197

Tree Streets Inn

421 Walnut Ave, Waynesboro 540-949-4484

Rockingham County

By The Side Of The Road B&B

491 Garbers Church Rd, Harrisonburg 540-801-0430

High Laurel Inn

51 Horsehead Rd, Grottoes 540-249-3936

Joshua Wilton House

412 S. Main St, Harrisonburg 540-434-4464

Old Massanutten Lodge

3448 Caverns Dr, Keezletown 540-269-8800

Shenandoah Valley Farm Inn

882 Bloomer Springs Rd., McGaheysville 540-289-5402

Silver Lake Bed & Breakfast

1331 Silver Lake Rd, Dayton 540-879-2717

Stonewall Jackson Inn

547 E. Market St, Harrisonburg 540-433-8233

 Here is the list of vendors you’re going to want to save some room for this July.

100% Grassfed Beef
A Bowl of Good
Barefoot Bucha
Black Sheep Coffee
Blue Ridge Kettle Korn
Blue Ridge Pizza Co.
Cristina’s Cafe
Crazy Cakes
Delicious Dishe

Fat Bean Farm & Food Co.
Goatocado
Grapevine
Grilled Cheese Mania
Gypsy Juice
Jack Brown’s
Kline’s Dairy Bar
Lucas Roasting
Tripple T BBQ

Ok I’m going to snatch this portion directly from their website:
Please be advised, Google Maps can send you to the wrong location! We are working to fix this, but in the meantime please use these GPS coordinates: 38.355792, -79.086199. You can also search by the address, 94 Natural Chimneys Ln, Mt Solon, VA 22843. If you search for Natural Chimneys Park or click on the marker for Natural Chimneys Park in Google Maps, you will be sent to the wrong location.
From the North or the South:

From Interstate-81, take Exit 240 toward Bridgewater. At the end of the ramp, turn onto VA-257 West/Friedens Church Rd toward Bridgewater and follow for 3.3 miles to stoplight at VA-42/Main St. Turn left at the stoplight and head south on VA-42 for 3.7 miles. Turn right onto Mossy Creek Rd (State Rte 613)*. Follow Mossy Creek Rd for 2.4 miles to the 4-way stop sign intersection in Mt Solon. Turn right onto Natural Chimneys Rd (VA-731) and follow for 0.6 miles to the entrance to Natural Chimneys Park, turning right onto Natural Chimneys Lane.

Schedule
FRIDAY
SHENANDOAH MOUNTAIN STAGE
12pm Anna & Elizabeth
2pm Front Country
4:30pm Naomi Shelton
7pm Steep Canyon Rangers
9:30pm Dawes

THE SOUTHERN STAGE
1pm The Woodshedders
3:15pm Sierra Hull
5:45pm Hiss Golden Messenger
8:15pm Jarekus Singleton
10:45 The Black Lillies

THE ROOTS STAGE sponsored by Blue Sprocket Sound
2pm Blue Yonder
4:30pm Bumper Jacksons
7pm Driftwood
9:30pm Yarn

THE KINFOLK STAGE
12pm Appalachian Stories
1pm Making Music Together
2pm VA Wildlife Center
3pm The Woodshedders Kids Set
4:15pm Red Wing Lil’ Fiddlers
5pm Crankies
6pm The Steel Wheels Kids Set
7pm Square Dance

SATURDAY
SHENANDOAH MOUNTAIN STAGE
12pm Anna & Elizabeth
1:30pm Jon Stickley Trio
3:30pm Chris Smither
5:30pm Drew Holcomb
8pm The Steel Wheels
9:40pm The Lone Bellow

THE SOUTHERN STAGE
12:30pm Dom Flemons Trio
2:30pm Mipso
4:30pm Good Lovelies
6:45pm Tony Furtado
11pm Mountain Heart

THE ROOTS STAGE sponsored by Blue Sprocket Sound
1:30pm The Judy Chops
3:30pm The Walking Roots Band
5:30pm The Hollering Pines
8pm Big Ol’ Square Dance
9:30pm JP Harris

THE KINFOLK STAGE
1pm River Buddies Workshop
2pm Appalachian Stories
3pm Making Music Together
4pm The Judy Chops Kids Set
5pm Newbranch
6pm The Fernandez Sisters

SUNDAY
SHENANDOAH MOUNTAIN STAGE
12pm The Hot Seats
2pm Amy Helm
4:15pm Aoife O’Donovan
6:45pm Shovels & Rope

THE SOUTHERN STAGE
11am Gospel Set w/ The Steel Wheels
1pm Nora Jane Struthers
3:15pm TRIBUTE SET
5:30pm Dustbowl Revival

THE ROOTS STAGE sponsored by Blue Sprocket Sound
12pm Shenandoah Alley
2pm Sarah Lynna
4:15pm Gallatin Canyon

THE KINFOLK STAGE
12pm The Fernandez Sisters
1pm Newbranch
2pm Walking Roots Band Kids Set
3pm River Buddies Workshop
4pm The McKenzies
5pm Square Dance

Jun 262016
 

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Folks yesterday night I released a mega article of 2016 deaths in Country Music, and it contained one of the Legends that wrote one of the songs that made these men famous as a band..Guy Clark. The song “Desperados Waiting For A Train” is on this boxed set on CD 2 and it also included album number 1 that was self titled and produced by another person on the list and that was Lincoln Moman.

In 1985 the four of these Legends began an iconic journey through the trails of the world as quite possibly one of Country Music’s most popular super groups The Highwaymen. They were actors each on their own rights and together they re did John Wayne’s Stagecoach.

PBS premieres a new installment of its American Masters documentary series, The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End, and Legacy teams up with Columbia Records to release a four-disc CD/DVD package, The Highwaymen Live – American Outlaws. The live box set hits stores May 20th, while the documentary premieres a week later on May 27th.

The concert video has them in their prime as they promote their second album from 1990 and features every one of them in the spotlight along with some Legendary musicians like Robby Turner on steel. This band was kind of like the Eagles where they each perform their own well known hits and also their own signature songs.

Disc 1 (Recorded live at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, March 14, 1990)
1. Mystery Train
2. Highwayman
3. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
4. Good Hearted Woman
5. Trouble Man
6. Amanda
7. There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang
8. Ring of Fire
9. Folsom Prison Blues
10. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
11. Sunday Morning Coming Down
12. Help Me Make It Through the Night
13. The Best of All Possible Worlds
14. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)
15. City of New Orleans
16. Always on My Mind
17. Me and Bobby McGee

Disc 2 (Recorded live at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, March 14, 1990)
1. Silver Stallion
2. The Last Cowboy Song
3. Two Stories Wide
4. Living Legend
5. The Pilgrim: Chapter 33
6. They Killed Him
7. I Still Miss Someone
8. Ragged Old Flag
9. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky
10. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way
11. Night Life
12. The King Is Gone (So Are You)
13. Desperados Waiting for a Train
14. Big River
15. A Boy Named Sue
16. Why Me
17. Luckenbach, Texas
18. On The Road Again

Disc 3 (Live tracks recorded at Farm Aid V and Farm Aid VI, March 1992 and April 1993)
1. Mystery Train
2. Highwayman
3. The King Is Gone (So Are You)
4. I’ve Always Been Crazy
5. The Best Of All Possible Worlds
6. City of New Orleans
7. Folsom Prison Blues
8. Intro/Highwayman
9. Shipwrecked in the Eighties
10. Desperados Waiting for a Train
11. One Too Many Mornings (Previously Unreleased Studio Recording)

Jun 262016
 

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Alright folks, I suppose instead of writing individual articles about how many Legends and younger artists Country Music has lost in 2016, I included them all in one big article. So right now I am working myself stiff writing this mega awesome tribute to all of these truly iconic people Country Music has lost in 2016.

In fact for God’s sake 2016 isn’t even half over yet and already it has taken many of our powerhouse top names within many areas of Country Music from the Outlaw Era to the Bakersfield Sound Era to songwriters and even an WSM 650 announcer. So folks I cannot always jump on individual articles for everyone BUT I DO keep track of all the deaths and I DO truthfully miss these great contributors to the genres we love.

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Freddy Powers

Freddy Powers who died in June of 2016 was a truly gifted individual that gave Country Music many number one songs for the likes of Merle Haggard who also died in 2016. He also wrote songs for Willie Nelson and produced the classic album “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” in 1981.

He began at a young age to juxtapose Country and Dixieland Jazz together to make a style of music unbeknown to the general public at any time pretty much, I never heard anything like it to be honest. He went on the write one of my favorite songs Teddy And Doyle Wilburn ever recorded called “Nothing At All”. His early band The Powerhouse Four” were a major attraction in Vegas highly adored by mob bosses until the government changed the face of Vegas and he put the banjo down for Country Music.

He assisted in ushering in the Outlaw Era of Country Music in the 1970’s when he and Merle Haggard bought houseboats next to each other on Lake Shasta and wrote all those classic songs while his tenure as one of Merle Haggard’s Strangers was as hallowed as Norman Hamlet and Roy Nichols.

Freddy Powers developed Parkinson’s Disease and had a long battle with the disease but still remained active for many years until his death upon much encouragement from his beloved wife Catherine.

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Steve Young

Ironically I was actually with Shooter Jennings when I received a text that Mr. Steve Young had died, I didn’t have the heart to inform Shooter of the news because I knew how much love he had for this man and I just didn’t want to spread this tragic news before the family did.

He was an Altamont Original and he was part of what I call the “Altamont Seven” where they lined up seven iconic songwriters for one of the biggest rounds I ever witnessed on a festival stage hands down. He contributed many songs to music like the epic song “Seven Bridges Road” for the Eagles.

Probably one of the coolest moments I had ever witnessed was at “Outlaws And Icons” where the secretly had Whey Jennings come in from behind him to sing “Lonesome Ornry And Mean” and he stopped and said “Oh Dear That Sounds Exactly Like Waylon, Who Is That”? One of the truly finest performances of that song I ever heard.

He also recorded his own version of the Utah Phillips classic “Rock Salt And Nails” and named his first album after the song. Steve Young was one of the many overlooked Country Music Songwriting Legends that we had left.

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Hoyt Scoggins

Hoyt Scoggins was a truly obscure and rare Country Music Legend in that he was actually present when Hank Williams finished “I Saw The Light” and was very close to Hank And Audrey Williams and often visited their home on Franklin Road. He and Hank Williams both shared a mutual admiration for Roy Acuff and during Hank’s rapid decline in 1952 Hoyt Scoggins was right there with Hank.

Hoyt also spoke at the funeral service for Hank Williams which to this day is still one of the biggest public gatherings in Alabama history. He went on to own many record labels and co-worte songs with Walter Bailes and many others, he was very involved with the Starday label he was inducted into the Alabama Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame as well.

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Jimmy Eaves

Mr. Jimmy was a frequent guest on Ernest Tubb’s Midnite Jamboree and was a prominent radio announcer in the Texas music scene. mmy was born in an Oklahoma town that no longer exists and also from a small town named Poolville Oklahoma. At a very early age he was given a guitar and taught by friends to play Hank Williams songs, and began performing at churches. In 1955 after his hero passed away he was under the impression Country Music was not going to move forward and he enlisted in the service, and in 1958 he was discharged.

Drought and depression were prominently what he returned to when he came home and he did farm work until the Legendary Panther Hall opened in 1961. He was very involved in the historic Country Music venue until his children were born, and he decided to quit the business to raise his children and be a father. For nearly twenty years Jimmy did not perform or record music to be there for his family.

After his children were grown, he began his musical career again. He formed a band in the late 1980s and called it the “Pure Country Band”. He recorded the first album in 1990. A tribute to Hank Williams, Sr., it was called “Jimmy Eaves Sings the Hits of Hank Williams”. He was also performing in the Fort Worth Stockyards at a club called “The Longhorn Saloon” for about six years. Other CDs followed; one in 1997 entitled “Jimmy Eaves Sings Pure Country” and another in 1999 entitled “Bringing Back Memories”.

In May of 2001, Jimmy and Frankie Miller released a country gospel CD called “Frankie Miller and Jimmy Eaves Singing Gospel Music the Country Way”. Jimmy says it was a pleasure to work with such a talented person as Frankie Miller, “The Black Land Farmer” and they also tour together on most shows. They have performed with many country acts such as Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Willie Nelson, Claude Gray, Floyd Tillman, Tilmon Frank and others over the past few years. Jimmy and Frankie were guests on “The Midnight Jamboree” at the Troubadour Theater in Nashville, Tennessee with Darrell and Mona McCall also at the original “Ernest Tubb Record Shop” on Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee with host George Hamilton IV.

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Sonny James

Sonny James was one of the few Country Music Legends I have never met and I was never around him, but that fact alone had no bearing on my love and admiration of his music. Honestly, a point I often raise with those that often bash and scorn “pop country” (and honestly I have had my own tirades) is that in the 1950’s and all through the years some of these men and women that sang Country also sang pop country of their time…Sonny James was one of them. His sound and style often crossed over to the pop realm of his time, but I also cover the argument that the pop country of the 50’s certainly was not the packaged horrible overproduced butt wiggling that exists today.

In fact Sonny James was one of the ones that was credited with ushering in the “Nashville Sound” of the late 1960’s, and era that I have been heavily studying. This was the era that was answered by another branch of Country Music, the Outlaw Movement and in fact both branches of Country competed for sales.

onny James was born James Hugh Loden on May 1st 1929 in Alabama, and he began performing at an early age. His entertaining took a short lapse when in 1949 he was sent to Korea as part of the National Guard however he was sent home a short time later.

Back in Nashville his roommate the Legendary Chet Atkins who pretty much pioneered the Nashville Sound altogether strongly suggested to Legendary producer of Capitol Records Ken Nelson to sign James Loden. Ken Nelson suggested that in order to not be confused with some other stars of the time to change his name to Sonny James, and that’s how the name was made.

Through the short time he began recording he was noticed as a quiet and humble man and possessing a wide array of mannerisms that earned him the nickname “The Southern Gentleman” by his peers. He began to record for Capitol Records in 1950 with his first single being “Short Cut” which wasn’t well embraced, however his fiddle skills were and he began playing fiddle for Jim and Jesse McReynolds so fondly that after his tenure with them they couldn’t find another fiddle player to rival his style.

His next single for Capitol was “That’s Me Without You” and that one was embraced by radio and others however chart wise he never scored many hits until 1957 when his ballad “Young Love” hit both the Country and Pop charts high up. With it’s polished sound and production it pretty much was one of the backbones for the Nashville Sound.

Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s he was a regular on the Ozark Jubilee and had a star on the walk of fame. He was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and in 1965 he rivaled Buck Owens as the biggest star on the Capitol roster, although in the early 1970’s upon the death of Don Rich, Buck Owens was pretty much halted.

In 1971 he made a cassette tape for the Apollo 14 space crew to listen to and in return he was presented with an American flag they brought to the moon. He also produced many albums for people in the 1970’s and in 1972 he was brought over to Columbia Records by none other than Clive Davis and although he only remained on that label until 1979 he recorded the greatest album of his career for them called “In Person In Prison”. That album was actually recorded in the Tennessee State Prison with some of the prisoners playing on it.

He retired form the music business in 1983 until he was brought back to the spotlight upon his induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2006.

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Curtis Potter

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.

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Red Simpson

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.

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Ray Griff

Mr. Ray was one of the finest and most overlooked Canadian Country Music Legends we ever had, and his albums are highly sought after by collectors although they are now all re-issued. He began songwriting in the 1960’s and had early cuts by Johnny Horton and Gentleman Jim Reeves, and although his own albums had very little commercial success on the charts he is very much revered.

Ray Griff had an impressive 700 songs recorded in his career including the major hits “Canadian Pacific” for George Hamilton IV and “Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano” for Jerry Lee Lewis. He went on to write major hits for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Bob Luman, Wilma Burgess, Gene Watson and Johnny Duncan. In the 1970’s until this March Ray Griff remained a local Legend in the Canadian Music scene as March 9th he died of surgery complications.

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Joey Feek

Joey Feek touched all of our hearts this year with all of their posts from her long and drawn out battle with cancer that she fought at home with her husband Rory and all their daughters. Her bedside posts were viewed by literally millions worldwide and Country Music pretty much stopped when she died of cervical cancer in March of 2016.

Her and husband Rory Feek competed on the talent show “Can You Duet” and finished third however they were already making a name for themselves in town by establishing connections with Kix Brooks and many others. She released a 2005 solo album called “Strong Enough To Cry” however it was shelved and never released, however as a duo the released eight studio albums together.

In 2014 she was diagnosed with the cancer and she did some treatments however the cancer spread and went to other parts of her. Upon this news she decided to halt all treatments and return to Indiana to spend her remaining time in the house she grew up in. Her sister who was a registered nurse agreed to assist the hospice care unit to maintain her and at the end of February she fell into a deep sleep and never awakened.

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Dr. Ralph Stanley

First off he is known as ‘Dr.” because he received two doctorate degrees from two different colleges for music in 1976 and 2014. He was one of the highest and most respected Bluegrass Legends of all time and was credited with bringing the genre forth with the likes of Bill Monroe and a select few.

He was heralded by the Opry as it’s oldest member and was the first to be inducted in the third millennium and was greatly loved as a featured regular in the last few years of Muddy Roots Music Festivals. His ever popular recitation titled “O Death” was brought back to the mainstream by the film “O Brother Where Art Thou” and was revered as an underground anthem.

In April of 2000 The name “Clinch Mountain Boys” and the instrumental “Clinch Mountain Backstep” were placed in the Smithsonian Institute and the Library Of Congress and are American treasures. He originally began in 1946 when he and brother Carter Stanley both recorded together. He began developing a signature claw hammer style of banjo taught by his mother, and in his teens he progressed he and his brother formed the Clinch Mountain Boys that had a ever revolving lineup.

When his brother Carter died in 1967 Ralph kept the Clinch Mountain Boys name until his death this week. Ralph Stanley took over a year hiatus and due to heavy response of letters and media attention he decided to return to Bluegrass and continue solo, that decision turned out to prove essential to history and the proliferation of Bluegrass.

Amazingly he began the careers of Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley who were a Bluegrass duo of their own however at the time they were both underage and in order to tour their parents had to sign over custodial rights to Ralph Stanley in order to tour.

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Merle Haggard

Merle was and always will be one of the greatest Country Music Legends that ever lived, and was one of the few prominent forefathers of the Bakersfield Era of country Music. The Bakersfield Sound was a unique mixture of telecaster twang with steel guitar, and the lyrics were real, gritty and simple.

In his youth Merle was headed toward a criminal lifestyle and in fact before performing Country Music he was actually incarcerated several times and sent to Bakersfield jail after robbery and after a prison escape he was sent to San Quentin and was paroled in 1960. He was later pardoned by Governor Ronald Reagan 1972. He went on to release 47 studio albums along with 38 number one hits 8 live albums and 82 top singles before remarkably dying on his 79th birthday.

In 1962 he began recording and performing Country Music full time and began recording with Talley Records. His first national top ten record was “All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers” written by Liz Anderson mother of Lynn Anderson and as a result his band became known as the strangers.

In 1966 he recorded “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” also written by Liz Anderson and his 1966 album “Branded Man” is a Country Music classic album in many ways. It began a long list of albums “Sing Me Back Home” and more that featured the steel guitar talents of another icon Norman Hamlet, and the guitar talents of Roy Nichols.

His producer Ken Nelson also produced another member of the Bakersfield Sound Buck Owens. Merle Haggard and Buck Owens also had another thing in common..wife Bonnie Owens and because of this his appearances on the syndicated television show Hee Haw were select few.

The turning of the 1970’s brought out Haggard’s pride of being from Oklahoma as he brought forth “Okie From Muskogee” and “Fightin’ Side Of Me” and he declared the song a documentation of the uneducated that lived in America at the time. He has always represented the American working man and the blue collar man.

He received a Kennedy Awards honor in 2010 a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 an has an induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

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Guy Clark

Guy Clark was another American Country Music Legend who released more than 20 albums and had songs recorded by the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner,Rodney Crowell and more.

Most importantly he wrote one of the most revered Outlaw songs of all time “Desperados Waiting For A Train” made popular by the Highwaymen and the New York Times declared him a King Of The Texas Troubadors. EmmyLou Harris sang backups on his recording of the iconic song on his album Old No. 1 released in 1975 and he is often referred to as the fifth highwayman.

He was an accomplished luthier and often played his own guitars, and also mentored songwriters like Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell and helped arrange them as writers in Nashville. His home is featured in the film “Heartworn Highways” because it was an open house for songwriters and musicians.

Bobby Bare released the song “New Cut road” in 1982 and was on the top 20 Country charts, Ricky Skaggs also hit number 1 with the song “Heartbroke”. Vince Gill also took his cover of Guy’s song “Oklahoma Borderline” to the top ten in 1985.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Sandison/The Independe/REX/Shutterstock (2415362a) Chips Moman Christies Guitar Auction April 2000 Chips Moman with the guitar that will be the highlight of his guitars going on sale at christies The guitar is a 1957 Gibson Super CES which was given to Chips in the early 60's by Elvis Presleys guitarist Scotty Moore who played it on all of Elvis's hits between 1957 and 61 It is expectedto realize 25,000 - 35,000. Chips Moman Christies Guitar Auction April 2000 Chips Moman with the guitar that will be the highlight of his guitars going on sale at christies The guitar is a 1957 Gibson Super CES which was given to Chips in the early 60's by Elvis Presleys guitarist Scotty Moore who played it on all of Elvis's hits between 1957 and 61 It is expectedto realize 25,000 - 35,000.

Lincoln “Chips” Moman

Ironic as it may sound here we have another songwriting Country Music Legend that died one day after his 79th birthday much like Merle Haggard did. He also produced the iconic album The Highwaymen that included Guy Clark’s song “Desperados Waiting For A Train”. See how it all fits together sometimes within studying this and WHY I choose to do things they way I do now?

He wrote the ever popular B.J.Thomas “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” among many others, and began his career with Stax Records before founding the American Sound Studio in Memphis Tennessee. He produced a classic Elvis Presely album that contained the Mac Davis hit “In The Ghetto” and “Kentucky Rain”.

He co-wrote Lukenbach Texas for Waylon Jennings and produced some of my favorite Ronnie Milsap albums along with Willie Nelson and Barbara Mandrell. And sang the song on the demo for “Always On My Mind” that Willie Nelson recorded.

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Joey Floyd

Mr. Joey was longtime member and fiddle player of pop country icon Toby Keith’s Easy Money Band, and also long time player in Keith Urban’s band. He made Country Music history by playing Willie Nelson’s son in the movie “Honeysuckle Rose”.

 

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Kevin Anderson

Longtime WSM Radio producer and music director Kevin Anderson died Monday, May 16 in Nashville. He was 56 and died of cardiac arrest. Now once again you will see exactly why I operate like this folks because he played for another one in this article Sonny James.

Anderson moved to Nashville from Stoughton, Wisconsin, to attend Belmont University, but left to join country artist Jana Jae’s touring band. He then began backing Sonny James on guitar and background vocals.

Anderson left the road to begin working at Nashville’s WSM Radio, first as a producer for Bill Cody’s morning show, then as WSM-FM’s music director. He also worked part-time as an announcer for the Grand Ole Opry during his career.

Well folks there you have it and I’m about out of time here on this particular article I have a ton of other projects going on here on the website and festivals, news and all kinds of other irons in the fire. So thanks for staying with me and reading this big old article.

Jun 252016
 

Well folks I finally got my computer speaker issue solved and this weekend I am working diligently at catching up on the website so here is a pretty good list of new albums I have been finding from the results of my digging. I’m hoping you find a few albums YOU enjoy in this list here my dear readers, because I wouldn’t feature albums or bands I didn’t truly enjoy.

Sometimes I do not always have time to run to the keyboard and make individual articles for everything I want to cover so how I work is I combine a bunch of like bands in one article for you. I was inspired to work in this fashion from my friend Brandon Walker who runs the W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show podcast, he features three artists in a like fashion. So let’s check out some new albums.

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The Boxcars Familiar With The Ground

I first heard of this bluegrass band in 2013 when they released their third album, and when I found it I bought their other albums as well. This is a band I have never got to see live or cover their show…yet. I have suggested their music to a TON of music festivals though.

When you study the members contributions to Bluegrass and study their resumes you find A LOT of name dropping. Mr. Adam Steffey who had some early tenure with the Lonesome River Band and served as a member of Union Station for seven years. Ron Stewart has played with JD Crowe And The New South, and having grown up only an hour from a festival going on right now called Bean Blossom he has Bluegrass in his blood. Mr. Keith Garrett came from Blue Moon Rising, Mr. Gary Hultman studied Bluegrass Music at East Tennessee State University, and finally Mr. Harold Nixon also played with JD Crowe And The New South as well.

I must say I listen to TONS of new Bluegrass albums and THIS ONE was one of the top albums I have heard in weeks, the harmonies on songs like “Brown Hill” were truly awesome and it has some DAMN FINE banjo picking. It’s a rocket ride of a tempo about whiskey and revenuers.

I also like smooth flowing mid-tempo songs like “When The Bluegrass Is Covered In Snow” which was a song about the seasons and nature. It also features some truly fine harmonies and solos, this whole album pretty much showcases off their individual talents in good fashion on instrumental songs like “Hogan’s Goat”.

‘Cold Hard Truth” is not a remake of the ever popular Billy Yates song that George Jones cut in 2000, however it is a slower haunting song about taking gambles on life. The album opens with a powerful song called “Lungs” which is one of those songs you can tell are loud as thunder live. I can tell you this I’m pretty sure their live shows are full of life and I strongly suggest you check them out.

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The Honeycutters On The Ropes

This band calls North Carolina their home and this is their fourth offering as well and let me tell you what a terrific offering it is! WOW I am impressed with Miss Amanda Platt and her vocals, this album was mixed well and sounds GREAT with songs like “Golden Child” that are easy toe tapping tempos. Just well written lyrics and jamming music, I could try to put them in many genres but let’s just call it damn fine music.

This album truly shines with it’s thirteen songs of greatness I LOVED Mr. Matt Smith’s steel guitar tones on the song “The Handbook” I LOVE that western swing pitch on this song. This song took me back to my own younger days of discovering love and music, and it was my favorite song on the entire album hands down.

‘The Only Eyes” is just an absolute slow moving jam, with more truly fine lyrics and Miss Amanda delivers the lyrics really well. The whole band is really awesome to be honest and they mesh well together in every way, like I said it’s a truly fine produced album. “Back Row” is another up tempo song that I enjoyed, I saw a lot of commercial potential in this album and I have heard it played on XM radio but I cannot see WHY major radio hasn’t picked this one up. I been the music lover in the back row before, the can sweats a circle on your jeans was a great well written line. This song paints a wonderful picture in your mind if you sit and listen to the words.

“Useless Memories” was…wow..more truly fine steel guitar features and “Piece Of Heaven” is another feel good song that pretty much anyone can relate to along with the fully twangy “Let’s Get Drunk”. This song was the twangy rowdy song I was looking for on their album I envisioned their capability of delivering.

This album closes with more truly fine jamming songs while the steel guitar and the beat pushes the song along well, “Hallelujah” is your classic Americana type song along with “Bartender’s Blues”. It has another good line All the Gunslingers Got Rings On Their Fingers I tell you what This album will most likely make my TOP 50 of 2016 and I hope it becomes available on LP, BUY THIS ALBUM!

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Sierra Hull Weighted Mind

This young prodigy is a complete knockout in the musician department as she is a classic mandolin picker and was called to the stage of the Opry by Allison Krauss at age 11. She did very well within Bluegrass music at a very young age and honestly I see nothing but major success for this gal who is now 24.

“Compass” is a very well written song and in fact Miss Sierra has wrote all of the songs on this new album accept one. I think she has TERRIFIC songwriting capabilities as well as her championship mandolin, and in her voice I see more influences to her style. I see Allison Krauss and I see Nickel Creek upon others.

“Choices And Changes” was another good song, and although some of the songs kind of run together because they are all the same tempo they are beautiful and impressively recorded. There just aren’t enough fast paced harder songs that I love about Bluegrass, her style is more slow and relaxed. Don’t get me wrong I am NOT bashing this album, no no it’s a darn fine offering from a truly wonderful person.

‘Weighted Mind” was a prime example of a whole different style of strumming and picking that not many her age can even hope to embrace, and I hope she continues this form and structure. “Lullaby” is another example of smooth relaxed vocals and younger influenced songwriting about growing up that anyone my age can relate to at that age. Leaving home and moving forward from your home you grew up in isn’t always easy and some never even do it.

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The Wild Feathers Lonely Is A Lifetime

“Overnight” is a downright jam, this band reminds me of the Drive By Truckers and Band Of Heathens together. I mean dammit this band just absolutely amazes me in many ways, and this album I REALLY enjoyed. This is only their second album but they play together like they have been around for years and this album was REALLY WELL done production wise.

This album opens with another jam called “Sleepers” which is really nothing but a sleeper in tempo or sound, it’s a barrage of different sounds and types of roots. I see the Allman Brothers influenced them I see Neil Young did and I am loving the steel guitar twang in “Goodbye Song” intro. Take it from me this song is the best one on the entire album and not just because it’s about drugs but it’s just a tempo I enjoy in this type of music. Their stage show is absolutely amazing and they sell out fast.

“Happy Again” is another rabble rousing song about coming down and wanting to be up again, yeah even though their lyrics have some “sinful” meanings it’s pretty darn cool nonetheless. This is feel good music and they aren’t messing around! But the slow paced “Lonely Is A Lifetime” was recorded in a different way and the harmonies are REALLY good the likes of none other I have heard lately.

And one more really crazy thing I wanted to point out that doesn’t happen very often is I ran into a song called “Hallelujah” twice in one article from two totally different albums of two different genres. “Into The Sun” is a flat out jam with a rocking beat, and this album is another must have for your collection!

Jun 222016
 

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Freddy Powers was a songwriting Legend that I never got to meet, however some years ago I did get to speak to him on the phone briefly. He and his wife Catherine were at the Fontanel Mansion in Nashville and I missed them that morning to get to meet them. However he has always been and will be one of my favorite songwriters Country Music ever was blessed with, and he gave Country Music many gifts.

He wrote my favorite song “Nothing At All” for Teddy and Doyle Wilburn and it appears one two of their albums. He also recorded one of my favorite Bobby Keel songs “Daddy’s Honky Tonk” along with so many others that anybody would probably forget, there’s just so many spanning decades of music. He was the first artist to ever record a Willie Nelson song as he recorded “Heartaches Of A Fool”

He first developed a long lasting friendship with Willie Nelson and was invited to produce and play on his 1981 classic album “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which includes a signature jazz instrumental that he and Freddy Powers shared fondly. It was a tribute to Django Rhinehardt who influenced both Willie and Merle Haggard both of whom Freddy Powers contributed to as he also wrote “I Always Get Lucky With You” “A Place To Fall Apart” “Natural High” and went on to wrote most of the songs for Merle Haggard’s album “It’s All In The Game”.

In addition to that he played rhythm guitar for Merle Haggards band The Strangers for twenty plus years and they lived next to each other on houseboats. During that time songs like “Let’s Chase Each Other Across The Room Tonight” were penned, and he holds the CMA’s “Triple Play” award for writing three number one hits within a year.

He developed Parkinson’s disease and throughout his constant battle with the affliction he always emerged a champion humanitarian and well loved friend of Country Music. He developed the Freddy Powers Parkinson’s Organization to help fund and research a cure for the condition. He also arranged many shows in Texas to benefit research for it.

Tonight around the suppertime hours I was contacted and told Freddy Powers passed away today June 21st at his home with family.

Jun 212016
 

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Those wonderful folks over at the Nashville Palace are featuring more truly awesome music this weekend June 25th, as they present the inaugural Keith Whitley Tribute Show featuring some awesome talent for the LOW ticket price of 15 dollars and it will begin at 5:30.

This show will be hosted by his son Jesse Keith Whitley and will many of my friends and some of my heroes as well. You know folks for only being 33 Keith Whitley sure left an impact in my life as an artist..I never knew him in person as I was just graduating high school when he died in 1989, and even though he only left us with a few albums he like others that passed away that young left timeless classic Country songs that I’m sure will be shared this night.

What is well worth the money (to me at least) is the stories and the knowledge of his legacy and life. We all have our darkness and our personal problems and I never look into that side of the Legends, I’m interested in the stories and the things they contributed to Country Music and the studying I’ll get to do this weekend is what I lust for.

Not to mention the food there is great and the walls are adorned with more history than you can soak up in one night I spent a few moments during the Nashville Boogie just wandering the walls there. I love the Music Valley Drive area the most in Nashville, I always have a good time there.

You can click HERE to get your tickets to this event.

Lorrie Morgan
Darryl Worley
Ken Mellons
Kevin Denney
Wesley Dennis
Bryan Moffitt
Eric Lee Beddingfield
Kevin Moon

Also performing during the after party at the Music City Bar And Grill across the parking lot will be the following

Keith Nixon
Josh Morningstar
Guy Nix
Caleb Daugherty
Randy Hayes
Chris Caskey

Jun 192016
 

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Here’s a little tidbit of news for you, Country Legend Charlie Daniels birthday is the day before mine November 28th, whereas mine is the 29th. This year Charlie Daniels will celebrate his 80th birthday to coincide with the ever popular yearly event he hosts called Volunteer Jam.

He began the first one a the Nashville was Memorial in 1974 and the vinyl albums that highlight these classic shows are the pride of collectors everywhere. HERE is where you can purchase tickets to this event that has been announced with only one act so far, Kid Rock and it will take place November 30th at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee.

This fall he will also be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame and recently during Fan Fair he stopped his set to usher out fellow inductee Randy Travis out on the stage to see the people. Despite all of Randy’s personal demons and damage Country Music still loves and adores Randy Travis for what he has done for it.

Charlie Daniels holds honest and true to his Opry membership performing his required number of appearances and THEN SOME, in fact when he is home and in town he plays EVERY weekend. I mean that’s what the Opry is FOR so we have an institution to come see them when “mainstream” people dub them “no longer relevant”…whatever that means.

So folks in time as they announce more details about this event I shall be adding more pieces to this article and so please keep yourself posted on this matter here I’ll have more in a few short weeks.

Jun 192016
 

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I tell you what 2016 has been a year of ups and downs for sure, it’s been brutal in the death department taking a TON of our Legends and songwriters already. Country Music is becoming very volatile and tender as Legends like Mel Tillis and Dr. Ralph Stanley remain stable but very frail, it’s nothing more than old age.

Another beloved Legend that we still have with us is Don Williams who recently planned some 2016 tour dates but was forced to withdraw them and retire form public appearances altogether.
He DOES however plan to continue to release albums in his own signature “Gentle Giant” fashion.

In 42 years Don Williams has amassed 21 number one hits from 27 studio albums and many LIVE albums like this one from Ireland. THIS album will for sure be on my TOP 50 of 2016, in fact it might even be on my TOP 10 it was that damn good. You know folks Don Williams never was a real big public speaker with much dialog during his concerts, he’s NOT known for talking lots or telling stories in his sets. Instead he just stands (now sits) and sings hit after hit from an endless catalog of familiar solid gold.

However on this album during the song “You’re My Best Friend” the crowd loved this song so much they all sang along and for a brief moment he stopped singing and they sang to him and he replied with a deep growling “Yeah”. Eventually toward the end of the song he allowed the crowd to sing the entire chorus and had them sing it twice, you can tell he had a wonderful time with these folks. “You don’t know how pretty that is” is what he said toward the end of the song.

He does indeed stop and acknowledge how truly wonderful the audience was to him in Ireland that night, however it is still minimal talking for someone who has so much history behind his eyes. This album contains some truly awesome performances of classics like “Amanda” and “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend”. In the beginning of the album he pretty much barrels into song after song without stopping, which pretty much sums up the amount of songs on the album for only being one album and not a two disc set.

This album is filled with so many top hits of his done with so much heart and soul that it quickly became one of my top favorite live albums ever, EVER! And with a stellar lineup of 19 songs on it, it is WELL worth the minimal 12 dollar price online.You will not find a better version of “Tulsa Time” anywhere on any of his previous live albums.

1. Good Old Boys Like Me
2.Some Broken Hearts Never Mend
3.Lay Down Beside Me
4.Back In My Younger Days
5.She Never Knew me
6.Elise
7.How Did You Do It
8.From Now On
9.If Hollywood Don’t You
10.Till The Rivers All Run Dry
11.It Must Be Love
12.I Believe In You
13.Imagine That
14.Tulsa Time
15.Amanda
16.You’re My Best Friend
17.Lord I Hope This Day Is Good
18.I Recall A Gypsy Woman
19.Louisiana Saturday Night

Now many of you will (up until now) state that the song Louisiana Saturday Night was first cut by Mel McDaniel, well it’s not true. It was originally recorded first by Don Williams in 1977 on the album “Country Boy” and it was written by powerhouse Bob McDill who wrote so many Don Williams classics it’s not know how many total. And with the team of Bob McDill, Don Willaims and producer Garth Fundis they provided Country Music with a slew of over 20 albums spanning Don’s 4 decades of smooth vocals and gritty guitar playing.

Jun 142016
 

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You know folks me and Mr. Joshua Morningstar only go back a few years but honestly I have saw him in more states and venues than many of the bands I cover on this website. There’s one main reason that is so, I truly admire his talent and I value his friendship.

I think Out Of The Box Entertainment has been doing a wonderful job promoting his shows and his music, at least from a fan’s point of view. I have been blessed to have been a part of so many music shows with Mr. Joshua included in them, I cannot even recall all of them.

I remember one year at a festival we were watching Ray Wylie Hubbard play his set and some random drunk guy tried his best to start a fight with me, no reason he just wanted to fight..and i just stared at him and laughed. Guy was quite comical, anyways Mr. Joshua just leaned forward and said “I had your back buddy” and we both laughed.

I shared many motels with this man and honestly I usually always got a place for him to sleep in whatever state I’m in at whatever show. Festivals, Douglass Corner, Bobby Mackey’s, some place in Illinois, Heck I saw him in more venues than I can remember like I said. Opryland, Crooked Smile Fall Fest, Altamont. I first heard this song played live at the V Club in Huntington West Virginia this spring. So now, here is some NEW MUSIC from my 2015 Artist Of The Year.

NEW SONG “MERLE HAGGARD DIED TODAY” BY SINGER/SONGWRITER JOSH MORNINGSTAR SERVES AS A MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTRY MUSIC ICON.

Nashville, TN – The day Merle Haggard passed away the country music world shook. Everyone was hit with the untimely death of a music icon. Some posted on Facebook and other social media, Josh Morningstar wrote a song. Morningstar, a veteran musician from Funkstown, Maryland, didn’t just mourn the passing of an icon, he mourned the death of one of his biggest influences as a country artist.

Josh said, “Merle Haggard was one of my favorite artists. His influence and his fingerprint is all over my music. The day he died it affected me, just like it did millions of others. I sat down and wrote a song, “Merle Haggard Died Today” I hope you enjoy it.”

An early video of “Merle Haggard Died Today” with Morningstar singing and playing an acoustic guitar on camera, which he debuted on his Facebook page the day Merle Haggard passed away, has garnered 34,000 views on his FB page, and 167,000 views and 5,400 shares on We Hate Pop Country Facebook page, in the first days he posted the video.

“Merle Haggard Died Today” will be available exclusively at the independent music artist site Bandcamp beginning June 17th at Joshuamorningstar.bandcamp.com.

Jun 142016
 

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Scoreboard Bar And Grill is a bar I like to go to for two reasons, the food is good AND It’s a Packer bar. Now if you don’t know me as a person I AM a football NUT, I watch every team I am NOT a hater although I suppose I have my least favorite teams too. The ONLY thing I do NOT like (but YOU might) is they allow smoking in there but there are so many TV’s it usually doesn’t bother me.

This September 16th and 17th they are launching a TOTALLY FREE pre-party to kick off their first ever Bike Week to be held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills Tennessee in 2017. This is the first ever of it’s type in the state of Tennessee and I’m going to be honest about a few things, first I know NOTHING about motorcycles or riding them nor is it an interest to me. Do I share the road with bikers? SURE! Do I have biker friends? I SURE DO! Do I like the music they do? OH YES YES I DO! In fact that’s why I am here to tell you about the music involved with this event and I plan to be there to support whatever they need.

So this is a two day event complete with raffle prizes a bikini contest and a poker run. There will be vendors and merchandise available as well. The music will begin at 7 on Friday night but those two acts will also perform on Saturday which begins at noon.

Moonshine Bandits
Kyle Wilson
Mud Bone
Dallas Moore
Charlie Bonnet III And The Rebel Ways
Thee Rock And Roll Residency

So now folks you KNOW ME and you know how I operate, I’ll always include some links to local area hotels in my articles and the good news is there are a TON of GREAT hotels in this area and at this time of year the prices should be reasonably low. I LOVE Music Valley Drive area, just too much food and endless activities to see.

Club Hotel Nashville Inn And Suites
Country Inn And Suites Opryland North
Best Western Opryland
Holiday Inn Express Opryland
Airport Super 8 Opryland
Courtyard Nashville
Hampton Inn And Suites
Guest House Inn
Days Inn Opryland
Fiddler’s Inn Opryland

Jun 122016
 

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Folks I listen to WSM a LOT, I also listen to live streams and Eddie Stubbs broadcasts every chance I get. You see folks, I am involved with so many different avenues of music and groups of people that it’s not easy being ME. However the Legends are one thing you can darn sure bet I’ll have the “scoop” on because I spend a lot of time digging up the latest news on the ones we have left.

2016 hasn’t been a very kind year to Country Music in ANY way shape or form…no..in fact it has liquidated an entire roster of songwriters and Legends and we are just approaching June. We have many more of our heroes in questionable health and various conditions. ONE Legend we DO have with us in good health and performing her Opry duties is jeannie Seely.

I have been keeping up on Tim Atwood and last weekend he was the host of the Midnite Jamboree, I heard him mention her doing a new album recently. His latest album “Buy This Piano A Drink” was a truly remarkable album in 2015, and this sparked my interest to do a little digging on the subject and this is what I found.

Reportedly around the beginning of summer she is supposed to be releasing an all new album of songwriting material forged by her solely and has been recording in the studio all spring for a recent release. I haven’t been album to find much more affirmative information about a title or any song names. I am still scouring around town making phone calls and digging for information on this matter.

In my opinion I think perhaps she is waiting until September for her 49th anniversary as an Opry member because to be honest she DOES honor all her required Opry performances to maintain membership which is more than I can say for some of these “new” members that NEVER perform it. Don’t get me started on this subject!

I for one would humbly welcome new music from her with open arms and add it to my collection of Jeanne Seely items I already have of an earlier time when she was paired up with Country Legend Jack Greene. I have a large collection of their work in my home.

 

Jun 112016
 

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ROMP Fest
Moonrunners
Crooked Smile Fall Fest

Way out there in Trenton Nebraska about two miles east, exists one of the coolest festivals I have never been to yet, pondstock At Lake Hedke is now under It’s 11th annual run. I have heard independent acts like St. Christopher (who is a friend) speak VERY excitedly about this event. This is one of the few festivals I have very little information about right now and as I learn more about this festival I will be including it into this series and continue to cover this festival for years to come.

I recently talked with the festival director of this event and he said this is a one hundred percent independent festival on a venue called Pondstock and it is on Lake Hedke Nebraska, thusly the name. This will be a Thursday, Friday and Saturday event and for a full schedule you can click on the link above.

There is a food vendor and also band merch areas where you can buy the albums and shirts you love so much!  For all other questions and where to purchase tickets please contact the festival team at the above link.

To find hotels in and around this area please check out this link HERE

Saint Christopher
Peculiar Pretzelmen
Joe Buck Yourself
S.S.Web
CrazyHorses
Keil Grove
The Drunken Cuddle
Nathan Kalish And The Lastcallers
Jaw Knee Vee
C.W. Ayon
Billy Cook
Mr. Smith
el Jefe
Champagne Charlie
Country Rebels
Lorin Walker Madsen
Freight Train Rabbit Killer
Smokestack Relics
Leonhardt
Sissy Brown
Primal Waters

Jun 052016
 

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First off before I say anything here I have to THANK Young Mary Sparr for the use of the cover photo and to Mr. Scooter Ward out in North Carolina for the constant updates as I was returning home from Louisville to see Mr. Brian Houserman in the hospital today.

Mr. Bandana and Brittany Avery AKA Six Gun Britt were two of the first people I ever met after my horrible divorce in the MySpace days, man those were some memories indeed. I was very very poor and left with thousands in bills from an abusive marriage, I left…just dropped everything and left. Lived in my car for a little while before I got back on my feet and was surfing MySpace extensively.

I began to notice this underground music, roots music or whatever you want to call it. I began to meet new people and new bands, and Mr. Bandana was my first one. I was already involved with music before my marriage and during my two year marriage I was made to drop music and pay all attention to her and her family. During that time Shooter was going solo and released “Put The O Back In Country”, Hank 3 was going from playing metal to signing with Curb Records and the Legendary Kayton Roberts playing steel on his first two albums. I found Kara Clark, The G Damn Gallows, J.B. Beverley, The Honky Tonk Hustlas, St. Christopher, The .357 String Band…and the list went on.

I met people like Mr. Bandana and we began exchanging inboxes daily, and swapping knowledge. He admired me and I admired him, and I loved his stories because much like Billy Don Burns sings…he was there. He was a seasoned road veteran for many more years than I had been alive, and served as security for Hank Williams Jr during his Jimmy Bowen produced iconic Outlaw Country albums of the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s.

I knew when people died within Country Music and I knew when they were born, I knew who wrote what and producers…but I never KNEW THEM like Mr. Bandana did. I can have all the book knowledge I want, I’ll never ever trump his position in the music business, because I wasn’t there. I didn’t witness iconic shows nationwide the likes of him or festivals like he did, and even though many admire my articles I’ll never know or touch people’s lives like he did.

He joked often he was an asshole and I always regarded him as OUR asshole and if you believe there is a “scene” he would have told you there wasn’t, there was just good music. He was quick with tittie jokes and sexual innuendos of all types with the ladies and he kept the middle finger and the rebel flag flying. If you knew his voice mail he told you to keep it flying on his voice mail.

He adored Waylon Jennings to the extent of his kissing his necklace symbol often and wore the many tattoos of many bands on his body, he was proud to be a part of music. He and I met for the first time when Hank 3 played the Hall Of Fame for the Williams Family Exhibit in 2009 and we talked for quite some time about everything. During our friendship we talked about everything from good brands of diabetic socks to whether or not Waylon and Cash really ate Froot Loops from a coffeepot in Reno Nevada.

We exchanged books within our tenure together many times and swapped many many pictures inboxed. I told him about all these bands I began to find and he did the same, eventually we both became regulars at Muddy Roots Music Festivals in Cookeville. He always drove his golf cart and he was dubbed “The Pain With A Cane” that cane flew around as he told stories to emphasize things.

Honestly in my opinion HE WAS the show, and the bands just happened to be there. I mean honestly I saw him in more states and more venues than anyone short of Mr. Joshua Morningstar. I remember the three of us standing on the porch of the services for Colonel Jon, who absolutely adored Mr.Bandana. He could name venues in places I never even heard of and had a collection of passes that someone my age could only dream about.

He turned me onto the pop country bashing website Farce The Music.com who I still to this day enjoy and the ever popular youtube video show Big D’s Redneck Minute where he broadcast the iconic video plea to reinstate Hank Williams back into Opry membership. I began finding all the Texas underground music and showing it to him like Sunny Sweeney and Heather Myles, and he showed me East Coast music like Ronnie Hymes.

Mr. Bandana died tonight around 8:30 central time in North Carolina from an infection. As soon as I learn of service arrangements I shall include them in this article or make another follow up article.

Jun 042016
 

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Billy Don Burns has and always will be a hero in my eyes, and tonight at Ernie Biggs Westport I got to formally introduce this Country Music Legend. Every time I am around ANY of the legendary songwriters, producers or musicians I always try my best to let them know they are admired and loved. We need this man here with us and although he had to go away for a little while we exchanged letters and I still have his letter on my wall.

I am going to spoil something here…as far as I’m concerned Shooter Jennings and the late Jon Hensley recorded an iconic album of Mr. Billy and you can read about it HERE. And like I said I’ll spoil it, he hit my Top album of 2016 more than likely. It will be HARD to knock him off my Top list, and he sounds SO GOOD on vinyl, speaking of Shooter Mr. Billy is indeed joining him on tour here soon and they named  the tour after Miss Misty.

He began with “talk About Crazy” and the song “Dead Or Alive” that he wrote at Billy The Kid’s grave in Texas, I first met Mr. Billy for the first time at Altamont and I got to ask him questions about Lynn Owsley and the Troubadors. Anyways, I got to hear him play that song for the first time at Altamont and I heard him play it in Ohio as well.

“Outlaws At The Cross” was another good one and I remember him playing “Desperate Men”. Now another song he played was a great song I heard Miss Bridgette London cover and it was called “Hank Williams Lonesome And Keith Whitley Blue”. You know I read another review of his show on another website and honestly I heard him just darn fine and in fact I wanted to give credit to a fellow not many folks do…the sound man. Rusty Jones from Professional Sound Services did a wonderful job running sound for us tonight!

“Haggard And Hank Are A Son Of A Bitch” is a Legend’s anthem in my opinion and I love hearing this song. I HATE hearing the next one but I need to as an addict. You see, you can be recovered all you want you will always be an addict and “Dark Side Of The Spoon” will always haunt me. Always.

“Memories Cost A Lot” is also performed by Whitey Morgan And The 78’s as well. He followed that with “Running Drugs Out Of Mexico” which is certainly a must do on his set list. He played several more before closing with “I Bet Hank Williams Woman Was A Lot Like You”. Billy Don Burns left the place in shambles and left a few ghosts in that venue tonight, and I want to tell you what an absolute blessing this was to be with him and see him again. He raised me to be the man I am today, they ALL did and I’m so glad I got to thank him today.

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Nathan Kalish And The Lastcallers have a new album out called Continental Breakfast Of Champions and displayed a damn fine show here tonight. This man and his band are based out of Nashville Tennessee not far from me and he has a Country band and a rock band both. “It Ain’t Here” was his first song, and this is one of the bands I wanted to get to finally cover tonight.

“Let Em Go” was another original song and he followed that with one more before going into “Ain’t Living Long Like This”. I enjoyed his different style of singing he has, very unique and I can easily pick him out of from others..I like that about him. I look forward to hearing many things to come out of this man and his music and I think he needs to be put out there along with many others.

He did “Good Hearted Woman” and “Mama Tried” before going into another original called “Overdosing In The U.S.A.” He closed his set with “Lonesome Ornr’y And Mean” by the late Steve Young, ironic thing is I was covering a Shooter Jennings show in Tennessee when I got the call from someone that Mr. Steve had died, funny how things happen like that.

john hatchett

Well these next few bands are all of the ones I was least familiar with in many ways and I was eager to learn about them, as I had indeed researched them all and was unaware of the raw talent all these bands had. The Jon Hatchett Band from New Orleans was another fine addition to tonight’s lineup here in Kansas City.

I had to tend to some other business and I returned to him playing “She Don’t Love Me No More” and also another song called “Thread The Needle”. This man like the rest of my acts here tonight was another stellar Country Music warrior in every right. I can see how these three bands connect and travel together and how the help one another…it’s great to see growth and friends.

The other song I really like of his was “Hammer Down Blues” and I bought his album as well. In fact it’s playing as I edit this article for spelling. I fully intend to seek out these bands in the near future and I hope they come to Nashville sometime.

meech

Miss Sarah Gayle Meech is one I have covered so many times and every time she just keeps getting better. I love both of her albums and this time she played some songs I don’t always get to hear, even though she’s based out of my area I just don’t get to see her as often as I’d like to. She literally plays more dates than just about anybody in my local area.

She started out with “All I Want” and one of my favorites “Old White Boots”. She played quite a few of them off her new album Tennessee Love Song, both of her albums are produced by Andy Gibson so THAT should tell you something and she recorded both albums solely on her own.

“Watermelon And Root Beer” was one off the new album along with “Love Of Mine” which was the first new song I ever heard before the album was released. I had some company and they wanted to Honky Tonk..so we went to see her at the Palace and she played it for me. You can pretty much keep up with current Meech news on this website!

She played “Let’s Get It Over” and “I’ll Be Gone” along with several more and soon after folks were dancing and partying to her tunes. I knew she was going to be a huge success here in Kansas City tonight, as she played “Sad And Lonely”. I’ll tell you readers what my all time favorite song she does is called “Foolish”. Funny Story last year at Muddy Roots Music Festival she was on stage 1 and asked the crowd if anybody had an 8 track played that worked and I did…she said “I figured Gary would raise his hand”.

She played one cover and it was Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”. She closed her set with “Stormy Wesather” and “One Good Thing”, and her very last song was “Say Goodbye To You”. I finally got to buy her new album on vinyl and she’s one of the artists I have all of her stuff now, so Miss Sarah you need to make a new album because I LOVE your music and I love YOU very much my friend.

jack grelle

Jack Grelle was absolutely amazing and just wowed me. His album Steering Me Away on vinyl is absolutely amazing, AMAZING. He’s a super nice guy I had an enjoyable time talking with him and he signed the setlist to me. Now you know I collect setlists so this was a true added treasure to my collection, I put them in a big scrapbook.

He opened with “Lonesome Heart” and one of my favorite songs he does “4 Doors” it’s just a good old fashioned toe tapper, people this man is just one hundred percent PURE Country Music. I’d go see him perform pretty much whenever I could, and would drive to see him play!

“Santa Fe” was a good song he played and so was “Don’t Follow A Line”. Another awesome well written song was “Hooked On Your Loving”, hooks were exactly some of the reasons I liked his songs. I admire the structure of them and the simplicity of them but at the same time they make you think too, I truly enjoyed him.

“Chase You Across The Country’ was exactly that…Country. Folks this man is just flat out one of the real deals of this kind of music and adding his album to my collection was long overdue. He closed with “Winterwind” and “New Mexico”, now honestly he could have stayed up longer and played and you would have heard no complaints from me.

hobosexuals

The Hobosexuals were absolutely great tonight, I like their format and they in fact tour around Missouri quite a bit with Jack Grelle and Jon Hatchett I see. Honestly I had a LOT of stuff to pack up and was making sure my help was doing alright packing up.

“She’s A Whiskey Maker But I Love Her Still” was a great song, hell all of them are! Very funny lyrics and if you like good old fashioned string bands this band will float your boat with songs like “I Ain’t Taking You Home Tonight” I tell you what I am STILL loving this vinyl album too. I bought every record I could get my hands on this time around for sure.

“Bottle Of Gin” was another good song they played tonight, I tell you what folks I had a blast tonight but it’s been a VERY long a rough day and it will be an even longer night. I shall be resting Monday and observing Memorial Day by honoring our veterans and service men and women out there, because without them we wouldn’t be able to enjoy good music like this.

Jun 032016
 

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Folks It’s time once again to return to the Hocking Hills area of Ohio where on a college campus we find a festival I covered last year called the Nelsonville Music Festival and folks last year they had none other than Merle Haggard headlining. If you are already familiar with this festival you can purchase tickets HERE.

Now this festival goes June 2-5th so folks the time is NOW to get your tickets for this event, and like last year I’ll have all the information you need here complete with links and such. Also please note this not an all Country or Roots music festival it has a little of everything in it and I don’t mind straying a little bit for them.

You need to buy a camping pass for an additional 30 dollars unless you want to check out my list of hotel rooms for this area venue.

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