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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.