Sep 172016

Pre Party
Day 1 Part 1
Day 1 Part 2
Day 2

This morning I was WELL rested after a great nights sleep at the hotel I want to tell you again how truly wonderful America’s Best Value Inn Cookeville was to me these past few years, Mr. Owen Mays and I found this great reasonably priced hotel just down from La Quinta Inn where I used to stay until 2013.

I am going to touch on the acts that performed on the Old Wood Stage and the Big Tent Stage within the next two articles and the Little Tent Stage which is stage 3 will have it’s own article altogether because there were so many great acts on all three stages and I had to do a TON of flip flopping.


Julian Davis started my day..shouldn’t he start EVERY day? I mean what better than to have the sixteen year old picking machine such as this to take you back into the 1950’s and then whup your ass and bring you back into the 1980’s as he turns “Ace Of Spades” into a Bluegrass tune.

He is from Pittsburgh Kansas and he makes that evident with his opening song “Kansas Plains”…Kansas was WELL represented here this weekend by all forms of music and the tribe ran deep from the Westport Saloon gang. he followed up with “Fan It” and “Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”.

The instrumentals and vocals were in absolute tip top shape this time as they always are and his new album is for SURE on my TOP 50 of 2016..high up on it. He possesses great musicianship and great poise while maintaining a relaxed look up there, it just is IN this young man’s bones. Songs like “chocolate Jesus” prove that evident and maintain that opinion in my book.

His version of Pokey LaFarge’s “In The Jailhouse Now” and the cover of “Ruby” left me with even more appreciation of his live show, and I just cannot get enough of his sets at festivals. What a truly blessed beginning to a great day of music on the Junebug Ranch.

The Hardin Draw was next up on the agenda and I have covered them in the past a few times, in fact last Thursday night they were at the Basement East. David Talley-Vocals/Guitar, Aaron Swisher-Mandolin/Vocals, Jason Dietz-Bass, Laura Beth Jewell-Fiddle/Vocals Patrick Johnson-Electric Guitar/Vocals, Lauren Horbal-Drums/Percussion make up this Nashville based band that often frequents many festivals I cover.

“Judas” is always is terrific song to start out with and they also played “Old Friend” and the last one that I remembered was called “Adelle”, now mind you right at this time I AM in flip mode from all sets in order to catch just a little bit of everybody’s music. Today was a terrific landmark schedule of epic proportions of so many good bands that I wanted to see and hear.


Brook Blanche played a solo set on the Old Wood Stage so I wandered that way for some of his set, to be honest I wasn’t totally familiar with his solo work at all, I knew very little about it. “Through The Night” was the first song I knew of his set, and when I returned home I had some time to research his set more.

“Misery” was next and was one of the best songs of the entire set, as Mr. Brook sat and belted out his songs in his gravely signature style as the night began to set in upon us. Another good song was “Head Of The Table” as he brought up other people to sing with him and entertain us.

He closed his set with “Your Side” and lastly “Prettiest Girl”. I tell you what I was truly enjoying his solo music but of course I’ll always be a Calamity Cubes fan in many ways, there isn’t much that will ever change my opinions of their music. If I ever hear any news on their continuation or their end I will inform everyone on that.

I want to take a moment to touch on one thing about Muddy Roots in the future, as of 2017 it will officially take over the helm of Moonrunners in Chicago. I have always been a huge supporter of that festival sadly I haven’t yet had the opportunity to attend it. I don’t exactly live down the street from it to be honest. So starting in spring of 2017 I’ll have some more information on this addition to the Muddy Roots brand.

Now then speaking of solo sets we also had the Colonel J D Wilkes drop by the Old Wood Stage to play a really cool piano that used to be featured in Tin Pan Alley and he played us some truly amazing songs.


His first song was “Alabama Stomp” and later on he brought up Mr. Julian Davis again to play with him and there were several more up there with him as well. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to catch the entire set that he played however I DID GET to see and hear him play “Sugar Baby” and a new one he called “Bible, Bottle And Skull”.

You know every time I hear him and study his music the stories and information he shares with the crowd is truly amazing and you benefit greatly from his show, you go away knowing more than when you came and I firmly believe that’s important. “Shake Rattle And Roll” was next and another he called “Red Wing”.

I really like all his bands he has and his solo work too, I really like “The Devil Gets His Due” it’s one of my favorite Dirt Daubers songs. And I also love “Cockadoodledon’t” by the Shack Shakers, did you know Joe Buck played bass on that album? YEP. All in All it was indeed a truly epic set..and was getting better as the night went on.


Kristiana Murray and Logan Ledger have some REALLY GOOD harmonies and an even better steel guitar sound in fact I enjoyed their set as one of the best of the festival. I missed the first part of their set due to stopping for stage 3 but I did see them play songs like “Tell Me Darli’n”.

Another great song was called “I’m A Jukebox” and that was truly a well written song in every fashion right there. They also played some classic duets like “Someone I used To Love” and the Everley Brothers classic “Kathy’s Clown” also covered by many more.

They closed their set with a few more songs like “Sunrise” and “What’s In Our Hearts”. And I can easily tell you what’s in their hearts, SOLID Country Honky Tonk music folks…you can catch these two all over Nashville. I got to see them at the Nashville Boogie pre-party this year, amazing!

Sep 172016

Folks I am constantly checking on local venues in Tennessee And Kentucky to bring you the BEST possible list of bands and artists to see. This does NOT include my festival articles you must go to them and check on who’s playing where for that. Have a show YOU want to report to me? You can email.



Hellbound Glory
12th And Porter October 8th

The Willies
Lost River Cave Bowling Green Ky October 14th

Chris Stapleton
Ascend Ampitheater October 15th

Possessed By Paul James
Joshua Black Wilkins
The Basement East
October 15th

Dead Soldiers
Harp And Fiddle August 19th

Dead Horses
Exit Inn October 20th

Rhonda Vincent
Renfro Valley October 29th

John Conlee
Lagala Bowling Green Ky October 9th

Gene Watson
Kentucky Opry October 7th and 8th
the Honeycutters
International Bluegrass Music Museum @ Owensboro, KY

Thu, Oct 27, 2016

Sturgill Simpsom
Ryman Auditorium October 28th and 29th

Goddamn Gallows Halloween Bash
Gallows Bound
Hillbilly Casino
Stump Tail Dolly
Exit Inn October 29th

Travis Tritt
Skypac November 3rd

Matt Woods
The Basement November 3rd

Kelsey Waldon
Station Inn November 5th

Bonnie Bishop
3rd And Lindsley November 16th

Daniel Romano
The Basement East November 16th

Mandy Barnett
Schemerhorn Symphony Center

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Mercy Lounge September 23rd

Radney Foster
City Winery November 26th

Charlie Daniels
Volunteer Jam 2016 November 30th

Old Crow Medicine Show
Ryman Auditorium December 31st

The Devil Makes Three
The Cannery Ballroom Feb 4rth 2017

Ronnie Milsap
Schemerhorn Symphony Center March 5th 2017

John Conlee
Merle Travis Music Center May 5th 2017

Sep 172016

Pre Party
Day 1 Part 1
Day 1 Part 2

So starting with day 2 I’ll post the links for the others up above so you can go back to them or you might have missed one or two. Today built a large climax leading up to what I thought was a truly mastermind idea on everybody’s part in ALL those that made it possible: Stage now word was buzzing all over the grounds what Cracker Swamp Productions was up to teaming up with Miss Devilyn Carver and her husband. I’ll tell you what the four of them along with Nick’s son and John Noll and his crew was cooking up more than we could ever anticipate for an open mic stage and I pretty much decided that morning it was getting it’s own article.

I had to cut day 2 short due to some other business matters that evening and I also didn’t want to overdo it but the weather was SUPER splendid the entire weekend, I was fully prepared to sweat buckets and had rain gear and body wipes. I had antibiotics to fight the Muddy Roots mono that clings on the moonshine jars that get passed around out there, I have gotten the yuckies EVERY YEAR but this one because I was smart..I’m not 23 anymore.


My first band to cover from day 2 was The Rock Bottom String Band which is from San Marcos Texas. I have heard the name before and I never encountered the band in any of my travels I was indeed supposed to feature them at a different festival once but got sick and couldn’t go.

Alex Schultz,Adam”Akorn”Korn,Frankie”Fuckin Banjo”Alibro,Ryan Seilerand ,Tara Miller make up this band that truly impressed me way to early in the daytime on the Old Wood stage. I was writing notes on this band before I even was ready to work on this one. They opened their show with one one I recognized off their self titled album called “The Grey” and I missed a few more until I noticed “Home”.

They must be working on some new material to release a new album because they proclaimed the name of their new song to be called “Puppy Love”. They followed with “Alley” and “Scraping By”. A little bit of singing from all the different members of the band on selected songs make it an enjoyable set and I look forward to seeing them again in Kansas City in 2017 which I have been told will happen.

“Witches” “Bitter Sweet” and the last song I caught was “Till We Die” before I wandered off to the open mic tent to catch some of those bands playing on it. As I previously stated I’ll be including as many of the bands as I can remember in another single article for the stage 3 action. I’ll tell you what there were so many great bands and artists that played the open mic stage and some of them were scheduled too however.

Dylan Walshe has been a Muddy Roots staple for some time now and I been enjoying every set he does, quick with a toast of beer and quicker with a an old Irish folk tune like “Come My Little Son” he can really become a presence at any festival and that’s not a bad thing like sunburn which was a presence too.


The first song I noticed when I got to the big tent stage was “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and perhaps the best tune on his album “Love Is Blind”. The song he does that involves the audience more than any was “Straight To Hell” not to be confused with Hank 3, you know I plan to write a book about my stories of underground music and I already have one for Mr. Dylan as I mistakenly tried to take his beer. That beer would’ve been “Gone”…Cheers Laddie.

Several more great acts upon the hallowed Open Mic stage before some powerhouse underground Legends from Wichita Kansas the almighty Split Lip Rayfield in all their greatness including the ever famous junk bass “Stichgiver” played by Mr. Jeff Eaton and built from a 1978 Grand Marquis gas tank strung with weedeater cord.

Wayne Gottstine on mandolin and Eric Mardis on banjo make up the trio that also once had Kirk Rundstrum who died of cancer in 2007 sadly. His spirit was there tonight as they barreled into “Never Make It Home” and one of my favorites “Aces High” NO NOT Iron Maiden’s Ace’s High although there WERE TWO acoustic heavy metal songs this weekend.


According to the band The name “Split Lip Rayfield” was inspired by a real-life youth who went to high school with Eaton’s parents in Missouri. He acquired the nickname “Split Lip” due to constant chapped lips so bad his lip would split, and thus the name lingered in his mind.

The last two songs I caught of theirs was “Redneck Tailgate Dream” and “Biscuits” truly this set was really high octane and blasted off fast as Mr. Wayne is undoubtedly one of the fastest mandolin pickers underground music has to offer in any realm of America. Lightning fast tempo changes and chops abound on the stage when they are in prime form.

Once again my dinner was provided by my wonderful friends at G’z Bbq who always ask me how my sugars are and they serve ALL protein and if you have not had their food yet you are TRULY missing out!

It was nice to see Mr Jayke Orvis again solo, now lately he has been playing mandolin again for the Goddamn Gallows on a regular basis. Mr. Joe is out with the birth of his child and we HAVE a confirmation of the Broken Band lineup BACK ON for Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City 2017. I have NO confirmation of a continuation of the lineup as of this time but I CAN announce that happening.

The first song I remember being played was a new one that I didn’t know the name to so that’s a GOOD sign that he is planning more new solo music aside from what the Gallows are doing. “Pick Up The Steam” was my first official song I witnessed as I got set up for the last two sets before I had to leave.

“Streets” and the Hank Williams hit “Kaw Liga” proceeded “Crooked Smile” from what I consider an epic roots music album. Mr. Jayke has been involved in many iconic roots music albums including the .357 String Band’s Fire And Hail, produced by Mr. Andy Gibson who played steel for Hank 3 and was mentored by Mr.Kayton Roberts.

“Thunderbolts And Lightning”  followed by “Dreadful Sinner” were at the middle of the energetic show that the entire festival was enjoying. Mr. Jayke had the big tent going crazy with other songs like “Feelings Like This”. He played others songs in his set and finally played “All My Time Has Come” which included the crowd quite well.

Joe Huber was my final set I caught for the evening as I said I had some other business to tend to and SUNDAY was powerhouse for me it was choked full of sets I wanted to see. So Mr. Joe opened his set with “Fell Off The Wagon” and “Drop In The Bucket”.

I always absolutely enjoy his set and in fact next month I have him on my Crooked Smile coverage, and I am looking forward to it VERY MUCH. “Old Mountain Tune” was next along with “Working Man’s Blues” and “Same River”, you know a few years ago I called his music feel good music. He just plays some truly wonderful mountain music deeply rooted within Country and Bluegrass and much like Mr. Jayke he is from Milwaukee where I was raised.

“Shovel On My Shoulder” was next, and trust me folks when he releases new music I shall feature it with high praise although his three solo albums are quite sufficient right now new music from him would be cool. The final two songs of his set were two of his album titles “Tongues Of Fire” and “Hanging Road”.

He merely sits on a chair and plays heartfelt music for us out there in that old (usually hot) field but this weekend the weather was SO gorgeous and mild we didn’t have a problem all weekend. I remember one year I think it was 2012 Mr. Joseph was on the wood stage and he played “Can’t You Feel The Floods Coming” and RIGHT THEN it began to heavily’s one of the moments I shall NEVER forget. He has been a part of many of my Muddy Roots memories throughout the years.