Jan 282017
 

This one is really just a huge party thrown by my friend out there in Kansas City Dylan Thomas Dorrell who runs a shindig called Double D Productions.  Along with the folks over at Muddy Roots whom are some of the top contributing folks to my website present the tenth annual Dylan’s Big Birthday Blowout Bash 2017. This transpires Feb 9-12th 2017 at three venues in Kansas City, and the separate dates will have the band AND venue links available for you to click on to do some research if you’d like to.

I’ll be down there in May for the Westport Roots Festival if all goes according to plans sometimes with me the old body cannot always do it all anymore and I’m just taking life one day at a time. As long as I can do this, I plan to I can promise you that much. as far as festivals go, I try to change up some of them every year so I can juggle many of them but I’ll be honest I have my favorites and a few of them are just juggernauts on the scheduled bands.

I have literally over 100 current lineups POURING into my inbox from California to New England with Americana, Red Dirt, Bluegrass, Country, and Bluegrass..and other genres as well. There are quite a few things I would like to bestow upon all of you concerning this event, some news about a few of the bands here on this list I don’t always get to write about as much as I would like to.

I recently had an enlightening conversation with Mr. Travis W.T. Newton from a band I covered a few years back at Muddy Roots Main festival in Cookeville, County Graves. If you will recollect my previous coverage from Muddy Roots, they performed a damn fine set in what was their last performance together in that juncture. Back in 2015 HERE is my write up from their performance on stage 3. I shall NEVER forget that incredible gospel medley they closed their set with last time, now for the first time in awhile they are returning to Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club on the Sunday leg of this festival type deal.

I recently spoke with Mr. Travis Newton concerning the ordeal and here is what he had to tell Gary Hayes Country:

This is going to be an interesting one for us, because the lineup is going to have two of our best friends that never played with CG before on top of the original three piece that is Nate McReynolds (Upright), Benjamin West (Mandolin), and myself. The two new guys are Baker McKinney from Shawn James & The Shapeshifters playing banjo, and Tyler Giles playing pedal steel. It’ll be a really fun and really intense show and I can’t wait.

As far as the future goes, I can’t really say what’s gonna happen. We always plan to play at least once a year and have a damn blast when we do. It’s sort of difficult because we’re all so spread out, but worth it when it all clicks. Nate and Ben are two of my best friends in the world and my two favorite folks to play music with. There’s gonna be something more for County Graves down the line at some point, I’m just not sure what exactly yet, there’s something on the horizon though.

Here’s the set list:
Sometimes They All Come Back
Part II
Calvary Hill
Arkansas
Dry Counties
Dust
Illinois Blues
Home Fires (WTN)
Old Pine Grove (WTN)
Bloody Williamson
Hellfire Victory
St James Infirmary
No Mansions

The Urban Pioneers will be appearing on the Friday leg of this event and Their latest album “Feast Or Famine” made my TOP 50 OF 2016. I recently was interviewed by Mr. Dustin Doug from Pirate Farm Radio where I briefly elaborated on all 50 of my choices, also they are busy filing their new variety television show “High On The Hog” which I’ll write more about at a later time.

I’m positive as they embark on their latest tour that we will be treated to some more wild onstage antics and offstage mischief by this trio. Also if you may not have heard they will be rejoining Mr. Jayke Orvis for a Broken Band reunion ONE TIME ONLY EXCLUSIVELY at the Westport Roots Festival that you can read more about HERE.

Currently I am busy checking out NEW albums released in 2017 and Roots Music Legends Split Lip Rayfield are no exceptions. “On My Way” is a twelve song masterpiece that is high up on my suggestion list for 2017 already. I got to see them last year at Muddy Roots on stage 1 and they killed it out there, I spent a lot on cd’s during this set.

Dates are set.
I’m thrilled to be once again be teaming up with The Westport Saloon to bring you this party. 4 days of cheap fun.

As usual, Friday and Sunday are FREE thanks to the good folks at the Westport Saloon.
Saturday price kept as low as possible thanks to Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club!
Thursday will be cheap. Think $1.25 a band or so.

The greatest hotel IN THE WORLD, America’s Best Value Inn on Broadway has offered us a deal this year if you book directly through the hotel and don’t use the internet. THE GREATEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD!!! AKA…it’s kinda shitty but closest to both venues in Kansas City and they like us and never give us shit for party rockin…

AMERICA’S BEST VALUE INN!!!

816-531-9250

Call direct (don’t book online) say you’re coming for DYLAN’S PARTY and get 10% off an already cheap room!!!

Thursday, Feb 9: The Bottleneck $8 (Lawrence, KS) Rock And Roll Bender
Le Grand
Young Bull
Godzillionaire
Feast Ov Fools

Friday, Feb 10: The Westport Saloon FREE
The Hooten Hallers
Freight Train Rabbit Killer
Urban Pioneers
Whiskey Dick
Acousta Noir
Rock Bottom String Band
Jimmy Swope

Saturday, Feb 11: Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club $25
Split Lip Rayfield
County Graves
Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy
Two Ton Strap
Adam Lee And Matt Woods
Ghosts of Grandad’s Past
Brook Blanche
Cole Thomason

Sun, Feb 12: The Westport Saloon FREE
Jospeh Huber
James Hunnicutt
Soda Gardocki
Dylan Walshe
Dana Sipios
Lilly Dooman
Jeff Shepherd
Tim Vee
The Bastard Children of Booker Noe

I do not believe I need to go over any “rules” as with my other festival articles to be honest, this is not a camping event and it’s all indoors as far as I know. Each venue has it’s own rules and it’s mostly just common sense PLEASE just observe rule number one “Don’t Be A Dick”.

Jan 222017
 

I just got off the phone with Pirate Farm Radio where I did a pretty lengthy phone interview about my TOP 50 Of 2016 and you have my number 7 pick, the Midwest Farmer’s Daughter herself Margo Price. Now I finally got to catch her a few years ago at Muddy Roots Music Festival where she performed a stellar set for us on the Old Wood Stage on a hot afternoon.

She captivated the audience with a brilliant display of Honky Tonk sound and style, and believe you me when I say that from an Americana standpoint the women are bringing bigger gloves than the men in the past few years. She’s one of the prominent ladies raising awareness to Americana music with her vibrant display of weekend stays in the Davidson County Jail, with descriptive songs of smoking crack and blowjobs.

You combine her with the poignant hurtful songs of  one of Appalachia’s upcoming powerhouses and my 2016 Artist Of The Year Canada’s Own Colter Wall you have a show that I strongly urge you not to miss if ti comes to our area. Mr. Colter has new merch available and Miss Margo has a TON of stuff available on her website as well.

Mr. Colter has already had a busy 2017 touring with Steve Earle And The Dukes at a bunch of City Wineries locations and also some shows with Amanda Shires. So both of these artists are indeed deserving of praise for their personal accolades in their own right, and both put forth one hell of a live show. Colter Wall possesses one of those distinguishable vocal styles that sicks out like a rooster wearing socks. You can indeed pick his voice out easily and plainly from other people.

03.24.17 // Austin, TX // Emo’s

03.25.17 // Dallas, TX // The Kessler

03.26.17 // Oklahoma City, OK // ACM@UCO Performance Lab

03.28.17 // Memphis, TN // 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Plaza

03.29.17 // Louisville, KY // Headliners Music Hall

04.02.17 // Cincinnati, OH // 20th Century Theater

04.04.17 // Columbus, OH // The Basement

04.05.17 // Indianapolis, IN // The Hi-Fi

04.07.16 // Chicago, IL // Thalia Hall

04.08.17 // Minneapolis, MN // First Avenue

 

Jan 222017
 

Last night I had a very unfortunate thing happen at the Nashville Palace, for the FIRST TIME EVER I was misinformed (of my own fault) of the start time at 5. I got there at 7 when they were signing autographs and the show was packing up, and needless to say I felt like a total boob. In my defense I have been incredibly busy on many different factions of Country and Americana music all across this nation. I know literally thousands of managers and bands, I’m familiar with more songs than I could write down, and I’ve spent time in more green rooms than in my own living room.

Bands understand my friends understand it’s NOT EASY to do this gig here and even I miss the bulls eye on some shots, BUT FOLKS HAVE I GOT THE GOODS FOR YOU. So today we are going to touch on many things from the 70th Anniversary of that good old Midnite Jamboree hosted this week by Ronnie McDowell along with his guest Richard Lynch. As always Miss Jennifer Herron did a wonderful job as the announcer behind the podium that does the commercials where they play albums available at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop downtown. In fact not too long ago I wrote an article on Country Legend Jeannie Seely who shall be hosting it on March 4rth. Additionally they played a new boxed set of Jimmie Rodgers that just has been released, and E.T. was responsible for the lot of his recordings being made available to the public.

Of course Ronnie McDowell opened with his classic hit “Older Women”, and went in depth to explain all of his hits as he performed them. I really learned a wealth of information from this hour and a half of music, additionally I was truly entertained by his charismatic stage presence. He followed that up with his follow up song called “Watching Girls Go By” which garnished over 1 million radio plays.

He introduced his band as Billy Joe Royal’s piano player, the Legend himself Doyle Grisham on steel who is a Coral Reefer Bane member and recorded such classic hits as “Margaritaville”, as well as Mr. James Ducher who also plays for Jimmy Buffet. His son Ronnie McDowell on the drums (who was introduced as being from his house) and “Eddie” on bass, Eddie played for Roy Drusky, Jack Greene and Stonewall Jackson.

“Bringing It To You Personally” was next before he embarked upon another one of his stories about someone he is a BIG fan of, Elvis Presley. In 1954 shortly after Hank Williams died Elvis debuted on the Opry and was approached by Ernest Tubb, who was told it’s OK to be different. He was invited to play the Midnite Jamboree on Broadway, so they walked through Tootsie’s bar into the Record Shop where he performed the Jamboree. Guitarist Scotty Moore said every year that predeceased this event Ernest Tubb sent Elvis a Christmas Card until Elvis passed away.

In 1984 the song “Ruin My Bad Reputation” was at number 1 and that was his next offering as he went into a story about approaching Ernest Tubb’s bus as a young man. He elaborated to E.T. that he did a little of him in his show in a song where he did him and, Cash, Marty Robbins and Hank. He went on to ask if E.T. minded to which he replied “Hell No son, I wish you’d do my entire show”. Another reason I enjoy Mr. Ronnie and all of the many stories he touches on much like Billy Don Burns and people of their Ilk.

At that juncture he brought out Richard lynch to perform their new song that they just cut called “Love Tattoo” which derived from a poem a friend of his wrote in a hospital room. Mr. Richard turned it into a song and I’ll be including the video in this article prior to editing. I’m also going to embed this video of his future work with Bluegrass Legend Rhonda Vincent that his management brought to my attention.

So now then my friends going back to Mr. Ronnie’s command of this stage tonight he performed his 1979 hit “Wandering Eyes” with precise dignity and grace. He just absolutely OWNS the audiance during his shows and caters to US as individuals. He becomes connected with you as a fan, singing in the aisles and as he 1984 “Tied Up Baby” that went to number 2.

In 1985 he rleased a song called “Make Love To You In A New York Minute And Take My Texas Time”. As he went into telling us about his 8 years of opening shows for Conway Twitty with his THEN band the Kentucky Headhunters he performed “It’s Only Make Believe” which was written by Jack Nance. He recorded it with a portion of Conway Twitty doing parts of the song included in his own.

“If Only I Could Paint The Way I Feel” was a song that gave him the opportunity to tell us about his painitngs like the famous one he painted of George Jones getting his DUI on the lawnmower. He included his story of how George called him on Christmas day to bring it over to him and the spent the holiday together, and George stared at it for 30 minutes. Also this set included his 1984 hit “Bringing It To You Personally” before he went into a beautiful closing song written by Mickey Newberry “I Wish I Was In Dixie”.

All in all this show was truly a blessed time at an iconic venue for a wonderful cause tonight. I need to focus more on some of these future performances like the Riders In The Sky and MORE hosts in the future here. This area remains vibrant with Honky Tonk music and boasts many great places to have a few beers and some good food. I don’t care what anybody says about this area I remain positive about it and enjoy going over that way!

Jan 212017
 

Ok everybody as most of you know I have many music festivals being featured for you on this website and Mardi Gras Texas Style is nothing short of amazing in many ways. To be honest there aren’t many on my radar or in my inbox until at least March, however I found a few for Feb. Down there in Dallas Texas we have a Red Dirt one day festival going on with some awesome acts like my buddy Shooter Jennings and MORE! Here’s the details and the lowdown complete with ticket and hotel links.

I love music festivals because they bring many acts together into one large (or in some cases smaller) area for me to cover at one fail swoop. Now granted festivals ARE difficult to cover for just one man but doggone it I’ll do my best to bring you the BEST 2017 festival coverage I possibly can. I especially would like to continue to bring more of the red Dirt Texas Country sound to my website and it’s events like this that warrant my opportunity to engage in such music.

You can label it “Red Dirt” or “Americana” or “Roots Music” I just usually call it GOOD music that I feature on this website. And even though I am a little biased, Shooter puts on a good show I can assure you. This event looks to be an outdoor and indoor festival that will commence rain or shine and the front gates open at 2PM, I have included some general information on here as well. Both of the main stages are located in climate controlled buildings so you do not have to worry about inclement weather.

You will NOT be allowed to leave and come back to the festival and also coolers are NOT allowed. There is no camping available and there will be full bar services for patrons. Once I saw the lineup I was ecstatic about this event out there in Dallas, Now as far as the lineup It appears to be on five stages with sponsors naming the stages accordingly:
99.5 The Wolf:
Casey Donahew
Stoney LaRue
Mike Ryan
Parker McCollum

Coors Light:
Cody Johnson
Shooter Jennings
Roger Creager
Randall King
Tyler And The Tribe

99.5 The Wolf East Stage:
Shane Smith And The Saints
Dalton Domino
John Baumann
Matt Kimbrow
Sarah Hobbs

Coors Light West Stage:
Kyle Park
Joey Green
Blue Water Highway Band
Songbird Jones

I have been wanting to get out to Texas for some time now and one day soon I plan to remedy that portion of my bucket list. You can purchase tickets for this event HERE. As always upon looking at websites and doing research of different areas I found a suitable list of accommodations for you if you see what you like PLEASE patronize  this event.

Aloft Dallas Downtown

1033 Young Street · Dallas

214-761-0000 · 193 Rooms

 

Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market

2325 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-630-3330 · 200 Rooms · 40 Suites

 

Candlewood Suites Market Center

7930 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-631-3333 · 141 Suites

 

Holiday Inn at Dallas Market Center

4500 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-522-6650 · 216 Rooms

 

Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown

1015 Elm Street · Dallas

214-742-5678 · 307 Rooms · 5 Suites

 

Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown

Reader rating: 3.0 out of 5

1933 Main Street · Dallas

214-741-7700 · 172 Rooms

 

Days Inn Dallas

13313 Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

972-488-0800 · 72 Rooms · 2 Suites

 

Hotel Palomar Dallas

5300 E. Mockingbird Ln. · Dallas

214-520-7969 · 198 Rooms

 

Fairfield Inn Market Center

2110 Market Center Blvd. · Dallas

214-760-8800 · 117 Rooms · 10 Suites

 

Hyatt Summerfield Suites Dallas

Uptown2914 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-965-9990 · 141 Sui

In closing folks I wanted to tell you I have a TON of festivals coming in through the grapevine and I’ll be posting up more festival articles soon, exposing TONS of more bands.  Folks there is SO MUCH good music out there waiting to be heard and supported by people like YOU!  Go find it!

Jan 202017
 

Last Sunday night my friend and I went on down to Nashville to have a little night out of fun, we had a wonderful supper at Jack’s Barbecue over on Trinity Lane for some wonderful vittles. As always It’s one of my go-to places for smoked turkey and trust me It’ll make you salivate and make your stomach happy with delight.  The one on Trinity Lane is my usually my starter before a Titans game or Bridgestone Arena show.

We briefly stopped downtown at Robert’s for a quick beer and saw the Tennessee Walkers play a number or two and I’ll spoil a future article..I got permission from Local Legend Chris Scruggs for an upcoming steel guitarist edition, now in case you missed my first one with Travis Egnor from the Horse Traders you can read that HERE. OK and also folks I will be including Miss Kelsey’s steel player Brett Resnick in a future edition.

So we made our way down to 8th Ave to the The Basement Nashville which is directly below Grimey’s Records not far from Douglass Corner Lounge and Zanies Comedy Club. I tell you WHAT for a Sunday night we had a REALLY GOOD crowd down there, all three of these bands are developing their own following in their own rights. I have covered these first two MANY TIMES in the past in different forms and places, and the first band I’d like to cover and share is the combo of Mr. Joe Macheret and Mr. Scott Risner called Truckstop Waterfall which is basically folk music with mandolin and fiddle and guitar.

Mr. Joe plays with Joe’s Truck Stop and The Tillers and a few others and Mr. Scott plays with Buffalo Wabs And The Price Hill Hustle which is a REALLY good band you MUST go check out if you never have yet. Sadly I was very sick last year during the Crooked Smile Fall Fest and I could not go to Indiana to feature them.

Regardless of their other ventures this duo is quite entertaining to watch play live. They have been currently on a several week tour with Tyler Childers and got to take some time off to do some fishing. In my opinion (and you can put this in your mailbox) Mr. Tyler is the next big thing to come out of the local circuit..the next Cody Jinks if you will. He IS destined for bigger and better venues..not that the Basement lacks ANY prestige, no no no but this young man is headed for places like 3rd and Lindsley and eventually the Ryman just give him a small amount of more time.

Now let’s talk about Truckstop Waterfall’s set, they opened with a song called “Camptown Races” and began to showcase their down home harmonies like “Lonesome Midnight Blues”. Mr. Joe tells Gary Hayes Country that the song “used To Be” was an old Bill Monroe song that he heard as a child. HEY Speaking of Bill Monroe I’ll be releasing an article about the 5 CD set coming out form Rhythm Bomb Records soon, watch for that.

“The Moon Sang” was the next song which was one of Mr. Joe’s  songs form his own catalogue. The next song was called many things in the past “Dig A Hole” or “Darling Corey” or “Dig A Hole In The Meadow”, It’s an old Bluegrass tune and it’s not documented for sure who wrote it, or I haven’t been able to research it to a pinpoint extent yet.

Perhaps the best song in their entire set was the song called “The L And M Don’t Stop Here Anymore” which fit into tonight’s ambiance quite well, you see Mr. Tyler represents a long lost group of people in East Kentucky and West Virginia that have only one means of living (legally)…mining coal.  They rolled on with a song called “Gypsy Moth” and displayed many song filled with talented instrumentals and solos, as Mr. Joe changes from guitar to his fiddle they compliment each other quite well in every way.

“Banjo Pickin Bacco Spittin Gal” was a song Mr. Joe wrote about an supposed ex girlfriend of one of his friends, and after he wrote the song the friend didn’t even remember her any longer. Gotta love them gals with a mouth full of dip from the Country, this song reminded me of the BR5-49 song “Hum Dinger”..which wasn’t their original song I do believe. “Columbus Stockade Blues” was next and that was followed up with a song that was placed in a movie called “Eat My Dust”. Now the song was an instrumental and the movie was Ron Howard’s and it was used during a car chase scene, I think you can Youtube the song and study it to place it in the movie.

I been saying for years now that I agree with W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show on Tyler Childers he’s an upcoming powerhouse juggernaut.I mean he is developing a heavy following in every city he visits brick by brick and day by day, and tonight was proof of that as this show garnsihed an impressive turnout for a Sunday night in my opinion.

The place was packed and the whole crowd sang along as he poured his entired soul into the old Utah Phillips song “Rock Salt And Nails” which was also made popular by Steve Young. I remmeber the very first one year anniversary show of W.B.Walker where they broadcast it from his living room couch, and I was turned onto Tyler’s music. My My My how time has grown us ALL. I was just a little blog and now much to Mr Tyler’s argument I have graduated into a Hobby Blog.

So “Honky Tonk Flame” was next along with “Boiler Room” as this set was choked full of some songs I haven’t heard live yet, I’m glad I indulged in this show. I’m sure I speak for my friend we had a wonderful time down there last weekend. Another song that blossoms forth a plethora of singer is the song “Nose To The Grindstone”. That song is becoming a working man’s anthem to be honest, as a Rheumatoid Arthritus patient I can see this song. I’m beat from years of hard work and body abuse, and I keep my nose to it as well.

“I Swear To God” was a good song and he followed that one with a song called “Purgatory” and accompanied that song with a short story about dating a Catholic girl. His wife now Miss Senora is also a very talented young lady and when I first heard of her she was Senora Mae Lainhart and now it’s Childers. They are both very talented and good hearted people I can’t get enough of.  Another powerfull song he sings called “Charleston Girl” was included in this set as well, that song is one of his more popular ones as well, I highly suggest you go pick up Live At The Red Barn Sessions albums.

“Lady May” was next and he followed that with a funny story about his new camper he bought from an honest Christian man and it may have been called “Country Squire”. Both he and Miss Senora are busy enjoying this new aquisition to his touring life, and buddy I don’t know shit about campers either but as many festivals as I cover I need one badly. He began to close his set with “Help Me Make It Through The Night” and “Time Of The Preacher” Reprise from Willie Nelsons concept album “Red Headed Stranger”.

His epic set was closed with “Follow You To Virgie” and a song that had the WHOLE PLACE singing along called “White House Road”. His songs are just so simple and easy to relate to however complex and poignant in their own manner as well. He defiantly isn’t singing about hipsters drinking lattes.

Miss Kelsey Waldon is one of my TOP 50 OF 2016 and anybody that wants to argue can TRY but you’ll not emerge victorious in any fashion. She IS a rising force within Americana Music or Red Dirt or whatever YOU want to label her I just call it GOOD STUFF, no fluffy lyrics or flashy anything just good pure Country Honky Tonk music. Unfortunately I have yet to feature her until NOW.

This above video is from one of the BEST songs of 2016 I knew of called ‘False King”, I mean the line “You can’t put a crown on the head of a clown and hope he turns out to be a king” is a stroke of genius in my opinion. From the first time I heard her thumping bass and steel infused music way back in late 2014 I was hooked on this woman.

“Dirty Old Town” was (as a lot of this set was) off her 2016 album of aforementioned accolade, and as I studied her style I noticed she has a pretty good stage presence and looked quite content within the confines of a venue such as this. That observation wasn’t always the forte of the younger ladies of Country Music but now in today’s local market the women are leading the pack for the lesser known music. It shall not remain lesser known if I have anything to do with it.

“You Can Have It” was next followed by “One Time Again” all of these songs were filled with ripping guitar solos as well as plenty of pedal steel and a fast paced whipping beat. This venue has in the past housed Legends of all types and in my opinion it’s an epicenter for the local bands and record junkies like me with Grimey’s up top. “Don’t Hurt” was next followed by a song she co-wrote with Country Music Legend Vern Gosdin called “There Must Be A Someone”.

“High In Heels” was one of the songs off her 2014 offering “Goldmine”, although I enjoy her new album more this album was also a highly suggested acquisition to your collection if you are asking my directions.  “Not My First Time” was next in her set along with “Traveling Down This Lonesome Road” now I want to touch on something here. That particular song showcases her vocal range really well as she hit high notes with little troubles, I especially watch for the LIVE act compared to the RECORDED act. She does WELL LIVE and you usually see that more in local music than the bigger acts but the woman NAILS it..now in the future I shall look for vocal consistency.

I also want to flip back for a moment to “False King” and something bands often lack, TIMING. That song has a brief  pause toward the end and the band pulled it off nicely. I was waiting for that to either shine or shit, it shined quite nicely there. “Heartbreak” was next followed by “All By Myself”, and ended with a much wanted  encore of Waylon’s “Are You Ready For The Country”.

All in all this show was worth way more than the tickets were priced at but I can see why Sunday prices are sketchy for attendance reasons. I would have paid 15 easily for just either of these acts by themselves…but the lower price left more room to buy STUFF, and we ALL need STUFF right? RIGHT. Buy STUFF from YOUR favorite local bands folks.

Jan 142017
 

 

These past few years have been quite turbulent for Country Legend Randy Travis, but also have been very positive and touching. You truly find out who your friends are when you are down and out and honestly in the past few years Randy Travis has indeed discovered who his true allies were. Turns out just about 90 percent of the entire music community has rallied together in the past few months to honor him in many ways, one being inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame last year. During the award ceremony he stunned the entire music industry by singing “Amazing Grace”.

He was told he would never walk again let along perform and nobody is saying he will ever perform a full show ever again, but if this isn’t a miracle recovery from God I am left in a quandary of what is. It was rumored that the stroke he suffered was brought on by personal demons and that rumor was squelched by medical staff.

Now his friends and people whom idolize him will gather together at the Bridgestone arena in Nashville for a tribute concert for him. Tickets for Travis’ tribute concert go on sale 11 a.m. Friday at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office and through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Randy Travis Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises money for stroke research and rehabilitation.

1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis is Feb. 8 and will feature performances from Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Rodney Atkins, Chris Janson, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Michael Ray, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, The Randy Travis Band, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner Wynonna Judd, Jeff Foxworthy, Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Neal McCoy and Phil Vassar will all perform throughout the evening which will consist of a variety of songs,including Travis’ iconic hits.

More include Travis Tritt, Kane Brown, James Dupre, Scotty McCreery, Joe Nichols, Collin Raye and the Bellamy Brothers also will be on hand to entertain the crowd that night. Now as most of you know the currently retired Kenny Rogers will be performing that night as well as Tanya Tucker and many many more. This will indeed be a stellar lineup for a wonderful cause.

At the age of 57 Randy Travis has recorded twenty studio albums and has charted more than 55 songs sixteen of them were number one hits. Randy Travis entered into the market with “Storms Of Life” during a mainstream market saturated with pop country but Randy persevered and actually assisted in ushering in Traditional sounding Country the likes of Alan Jackson.

However in the 1990’s even the pop country began to change direction and he could not coexist with those changes. He then decided to focus more on Gospel music and had one chart success with “Three Wooden Crosses”. He went on to pursue acting and television shows including the iconic film “Black Dog”. He has sold over 25 million records and 22 number one hits. Six number one albums and six Grammy awards and CMA awards.  And on Feb 4rth he will receive love from his peers and will be reminded how much we love and treasure him.

Jan 142017
 

I do not really watch a lot of non music related television, I do indulge in the NFL but I sometimes out it on mute whilst I write or research for future articles. I haven’t watched CMT in quite some time for certain, I’m not really into videos or reality shows or crossroads weirdness. I do watch RFD TV and the likes of old Hee Haw and All of those older Country Music variety shows like Ronnie Prophet and such.

I have been diligently eyeballing this ongoing project offering from them for some time now however, and on Feb 23rd this show is set to debut. Honestly I am pondering exactly what to anticipate from them concerning this particular subject, will it be candied up and made to look politically correct or will it be historically accurate?

I mean let’s face it people this whole birth of Rock And Roll transpired during America’s most volatile time which was the Civil Rights Movement. Memphis in the 1950’s was a pinnacle of segregation and division as was the entire south. Music in itself was also on a pendulum of change as of course 1953 said farewell to Hank Williams and Outlaw Country and the Nashville Sound weren’t devised quite yet. In 1950 legendary producer Sam Phillips was concocting this thing called Rockabilly, which basically was Hillbilly and Rock And Roll juxtaposed together. He wasn’t the only one doing experiments with music however he was the most commercially successful with the outcome of his impromptu session that resulted purely by chance.

Initially this show was going to called “Million Dollar Quartet” and I’m not really sure why it was renamed “Sun Records” perhaps so they can expand on Sun Records as a whole and not just limit this series to one particular event? We shall soon see I think, as this show begins to unfold and it could go a whole variety of different directions to be honest. I have studied the Million Dollar Quartet for many years and I have read so many books on this subject from many different points of view.

The Million Dollar Quartet was an impromptu jam session that included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash,Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins and it happened on December 4rth 1956. The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 and soon after more tracks were discovered and released as the Complete Million Dollar Sessions in 1990 worldwide. There were so many legalities involved that the recordings were almost completely silenced altogether and simply archived.

The whole incident happened by pure coincidence as Carl Perkins who already had success with “Blue Suede Shoes” came into the studio that day and his brothers to record some new material. At that juncture Jerry Lee Lewis was an unknown Legend and was the latest acquisition on the label’s roster. He was still in his experimental stages where his real talent was not yet flourished or fed. Sometime that afternoon a young Elvis Presley arrived to just simply hang out with his current girlfriend to observe and schmooze with whomever he could find, as the place was a regular flophouse for it’s own roster. In fact the studio was complete with sleeping quarters and cooking areas for it’s artists to employ when required, as many of them were often vagabonds and broke.

According to many autobiographies about Johnny Cash including his own biography he was already there to witness the actual Carl Perkins recording, as he was one of Carl’s biggest fans and also “Cowboy” Jack Clement was engineering that day. Jerry Lee Lewis was the upcoming piano guru during this time but Elvis was the most nationally known star right then having been acquired by Sam for a large sum of undisclosed funds. In all four of their own rights they went on to blaze their own paths in their respective genres of music and even each others genres as well. Sun Records met it’s Sam Phillips directed demise in 1969 as Shelby Singleton acquired the label and was rumored to have been a recluse within the building and indulging in over 10,000 hours of tape to himself.

This show will be an eight part series and the cast includes Chad Michael Murray as Sun Records founder Sam Phillips; Billy Gardell as Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s manager; Drake Milligan as Presley; Kevin Fonteyne as Cash; Christian Lees as Lewis; Jonah Lees as Jimmy Swaggart; Trevor Donovan as Eddy Arnold, and Kerry Holliday as Ike Turner.

Jan 122017
 

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.

I get emails from literally hundreds of sources to compile this list for you and every day I devote usually up to an hour checking all the venues around and bands. I also patrol social media as best as I can to find shows in the Tn/Ky area for you.

 

The Devil Makes Three
The Cannery Ballroom Feb 4rth 2017

Tanya Tucker
Collin Raye
Bridgestone Arena Feb 4rth

Hillbilly Casino
The Warehouse Clarksville Tn Feb 4th

Joshua Hedley
The Basement Feb 4rth

Dailey And Vincent
Capitol Theater Feb 7th

Michaela Anne
Basement East Feb 8th

Sarah Gayle Meech
Robert’s Feb 8th, 9th, 11th,16th, 18th,22nd 23rd,25th
March 2nd,4rth,

Roger Alan Wade
The 5 Spot Feb 9th

Sarah Gayle Meech
Layla’s Feb 10th,17th 18th,24rth,
march 3rd

Gene Watson
Nashville Palace Feb 10th

Martina McBride
Ryman Auditorium Feb 11th

Them Dirty Roses
Basememnt East Feb 15th

Sarah Gayle Meech
Mike And The Moonpies
Nick Dittmier And The Sawdusters
American Legion Feb 21st

Shovels And Rope
John Moreland
Warehouse Mt. Victor Feb 26th

Dallas Moore
Nashville Palace Feb 28th

Ronnie Milsap
Schemerhorn Symphony Center March 5th 2017

Pine Hill Haints
Grand Brewing Paducah Kentucky March 8th

Sunny Sweeney
Basement East March 8th

Angeleena Presley
#rd And Lindsley March 8th

JD Wilkes
Glade City Rounders
Mayday Brewery Murfressboro Tn March 10th

Old Crow Medicine Show
Opry House March 10th and 11th

Eskimo Brothers
The 5 Spot March 17th

Buffalo Wabs And The Price Hill Hustle
Station Inn March 17th

Unknown Hinson
Mercy Lounge March 18th

Wade Bowen
Kaitlin Butts
3rd And Lindsley March 18th

Hillbilly Casino
The 5 Spot March 18th

Shovels And Rope
The Ryman Auditorium March 18th and 19th

Parker Milsap
The Basement East March 23rd

Sierra Hull
City Winery March 24rth

Kasey Chambers
3rd And Lindsley March 26th

Richie Owens And The Farm Bureau
The 5 Spot March 30th

John Anderson
Plaza Theater Glasgow Ky April 1st

Kentucky Headhunters
Artemus Pyle Band
Renfro Valley April 1st

Hayseed Dixie
Exit/In April 4rth

JD McPherson
Ryman Auditorium April 8th

Rye Davis
Kellers April 8th

Sawywer Brown
Renfro Valley April 8th

Loretta Lynn
Ryman Auditorium April 13th and 14th

David Allan Coe
Renfro Valley April 15th

Cory Branon
Exit Inn April 21st

Bobby Bare
Renfro Valley April 21st

Gene Watson
Renfro Valley April 22nd

John Conlee
Merle Travis Music Center May 5th 2017

Mandy Barnett
3RD And Lindsley May 6th

Elizabeth Cook
3Rd And Lindsley May 7th

Stoney LaRue
3Rd And Lindsley May 12th

Trace Adkins
Renfro Valley May 20th

Marty Stuart
Ryman Auditorium June 6th

The Steeldriver
Yellow Creek Park Owensboro Ky June 21st

Jan 122017
 

It’s time now to delve into the wonderful world of an often overlooked genre of music…..Bluegrass. Often times when the general public doesn’t even have a clue about bands like Seldom Scene or who Del McCoury is I always commiserate with them. Often times they part ways with me with a better grasp of a decades old format of music, and if you tried to sit and analyze precisely WHEN it birthed you would have to ponder for a long time. You probably wouldn’t be able to firmly decide on what to report on the when and where it started, it wouldn’t surprise me if a damn triceratops was buck dancing to the Fruit Jar Drinkers.

Americana bands and String Bands also adorn the stage down here in a place called Bluegrass Underground which to someone like me is an automatic way to generate goosebumps on my arms. You see folks if you go out to East Tennessee toward the majestic Nickajack and Lookout Mountain you will tarry through McMinnville Tennessee. Folks, you KNOW ME and I love to incorporate music jobs with eating so if you are ever in that area you MUST STOP at Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse for a buffet that you will not believe your eyes or your stomach. Within those walls exist a Charlie and Ira Louvin museum complete with artifacts that are sure to compliment your thirst for knowledge like I have.

It is there a whopping 333 feet down inside of a mountain  that PBS airs a television series that began in 2011 and 36 episodes exist today. This show is broadcast from the confines of  the Volcano Room which is a subterranean amphitheater 333 feet below Mcminnville at the historic Cumberland Caverns. This program celebrates many genres of music from Bluegrass to String Bands and Americana. The acoustics within this theater are unlike any in the southern United States and more importantly the entire country, I assure you there is nothing like it anywhere.

Just recently they announced their entire lineup for filming their seventh season of taping for PBS on March 24th,25th and 26th 2017 and I have that lineup here folks:
* NOTE the complete schedule lineup after this one is NOT being filmed.
* You can purchase tickets to attend the LIVE filmed season on January 14th at 11AM.

Friday:
Russell Moore And IIIrd Tyme Out
Chris Robinson And The Brotherhood
Conor Oberst
The Mavericks

Saturday:
Kasey Chambers
The McCrary Sisters
Parker Millsap
Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors

Sunday:
Blues Traveler
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Marty Stuart And The Fabulous Superlatives
Don Bryant And The Bo-Keys

So according to their website this is the complete performance schedule for the weekends up until summer of 2017 and if you click on the colored dates above the individual shows here it will take you to the page to purchase tickets for any show you want!

Sat Jan 21st
https://flamekeeperband.com/
Billy Strings

Sat Feb 25th
Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver
Jenni Lyn

Sun March 12th-Sold Out
Tommy Emmanuel
Joe Robinson

Sat April 8th
The Larry Keel Experience
Rumpke Mountain Boys

Sat April 15th
Here Come The Mummies
http://www.laterzaclasse.it/

Sat April 22nd
Dale Ann Bradley
SHEL

Sat May 6th
Town Mountain
Haas Kowert Tice

Sun June 17th
>Larry Stephenson Band
Glade City Rounders

Jan 102017
 

Well HELLO EVERYONE.
WELCOME to my NEWEST series and creation I called it Steel Guitarists Along The road. I gave it this moniker because within this series I shall be visiting with MANY steel guitarists along the road of ALL realms of music. You know I’m going to go out on a limb here and be honest, I know PEOPLE and I know TONES, but I don’t know much about the actual instrument myself. Alas, I don’t pretend to know all about something I don’t and I am learning SO MUCH every day I compose articles. Hell I been laboring nights and days behind this keyboard for so long that I’m developing different styles and methods of allocating my time for everything.

You know one thing I learned from observing this music business for so many years and watching literally thousands of bands play…it’s a business. It’s a HARD tireless and sometimes scary business, it can be lucrative and tangible or it can be non profitable all in the shift of word of mouth. Good or bad your reputation and word of mouth can make you or break you out there, no matter how hard you network and use social media.

Another thing I learned from festivals and venues is the fact you MUST know how to carry a briefcase and conduct your business as a band and a BRAND. You ever notice how the simple R is the difference between BAND and BRAND, quaint isn’t it? Purposely done…I think not, nonetheless it is quite a thing to ponder. All within that scope of BAND and BRAND is how you market your product to ME the guy with the money in my hand. What are YOU going to do to make ME spend MY money on YOUR music? It’s all about HEART and SOUL, and how you express yourself to me, we all like different avenues of music and you aren’t going to please everyone all the time.

One portion of this whole musical journey I have taken is watching that person sitting behind that thing some bands have, called the steel guitar. It’s been one of the staples of Country Music since the 1927 birth of the Opry and the emergence of Hank Williams, heck even before him it’s existed. And today all around the Honky Tonks of the present day and age that I inhabit in order to bring you these articles, there lies a long list of people that bring the music to light.

Country Music has THREE staple pillars of it’s foundation or it’s backbone if you will. Those are in this order the songwriter, the producer, and the steel guitar in my opinion it takes those three to make a classic Country Music album. My point being Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” and “Wanted The Outlaws” as two prime examples that had all three. Shooter will tell you rapidly “Wanted The Outlaws” was the first platinum selling Country Music album EVER and defied the sough it was initially given by Nashville in the 1970’s.

Local music as a whole contains such a plethora of well rounded steel guitarists and pickers waiting for you to discover them if you are willing to wade through the broken beer bottles and travel the worn out back alleys of America to find them. You have to look in the places most normal people wouldn’t, and you have to listen. You have to brave the heat and cold and discomfort of the fields and farms that spew forth these festivals, mostly you have to study and watch for them.

This installment of my series bring me to visit with a man that has been a friend for some time now his name is Travis Egnor and I found him through W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show. His band is called The Horse Traders and they romp around the East Tennessee and West Virginia area. You can see their video here and this is my wonderful visit I had with him transcribed into print in this article.

Cover photo of Mr. Travis courtesy of Melissa Stilwell Photography

GHC
Why don’t you tell me how you got started in music, and who influenced you the most?

Mr. Travis
Ok those are huge questions. Well the way I got started, I’m actually the only person in my family that’s musical at all and nobody else had any interest in it.My parents had this old console record player and they ended up with all of my uncle on my dad’s side records and there was everything in there from disco to early Alice Cooper, to Stevie Wonder and the Oak Ridge Boys and everyone just listened to what they liked. Again, they weren’t musicians so the music was always there. Ever since I was really, really young I was brought up with music on those records and I can’t really say that one particular artist really brought me up. I remember liking the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band a whole lot and that’s one band that I really look up to.

I wanted a guitar at five years old and I really wanted one badly I had a couple of plastic one for kids I think the company was Symphony and my first real guitar was a Silver Tone and I bought it in Huntington West Virginia at a place called Mac And Dave’s and I think they are still open but just getting ready to close. I just really wanted one and I cannot say one hundred percent that it took off immediately at five years old, and I had some lessons and those fell off as I drew interest in other things. I picked it back up at seven and I think from the time that I was about twelve it’s been a constant in my life.

GHC
So what started you on the steel guitar?

Mr. Travis
You know,I guess just wanting to hear that in my music. And when I played in Nashville there were all kinds of people playing them in the bands that was in but here in West Virginia when I moved back, there’s not a lot of steel guitarists around. I think there’s only me and James Barker who plays with Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps that are the really the only steel players around here, so I just learned how to pick one out.

I don’t play pedal steel I play straight steel and a buddy of mine Chris Scruggs got me into it, and this is a bold bold statement but I’ll make it anyway I would venture that he is one of the top three if not the best straight steel players in Nashville. Because there’s just not a lot of people doing it anymore and he has really mastered the instrument I mean he’s wonderful. He really got me into straight steel so yeah I just picked up the instrument and I ran across a man selling a six string console steel which is basically a lap steel with legs for a hundred bucks and began using it immediately as I created the Horse Traders. From there I just kept going and going.

GHC
When did the Horse Traders come about?

Mr. Travis
There have been a few different versions of the band but we have been together for about two and half years now and it was something that me and Jeremy Roberts we all know him as “Wood” and has been the drummer for the entire time until New Years Eve as he went on to do solo projects. He and I stared the Horse Traders as a continuation of the other bands that had members that lived here and in Nebraska, and that was fine for touring because we got together here or there it was fine. But when we began to work on new material it just got too complicated so we started up the Horse Traders with our good friend Frank Miller who has been in the band for two years until now.

GHC
Your new EP that’s out now, where are you going to go with that, and will you tour?

Mr. Travis
“I Don’t Mind” we have been playing around with that for about a year now and so we are getting ready to release a split ten inch record with a good friend of ours named Reverend Justin Hylton and we are releasing it in April and then in June we will go back and do a full length. So it will indeed be a full year for us because we will have mostly new material on the full length album. We will play with that for a little while and see where we go with that.

GHC
Without giving away any dirty secrets what makes you unique in your sound?
What differentiates you from other players?

Mr. Travis
As a steel player the player I have is a mid-1950’s Gibson Conselette and it has dual 8 string necks and I keep one in c6 tune and the other one I play around with a lot so I keep it in open G tuning. And I do a lot of behind the bar bending so I’ll be holding a chord with the bar but with my fingers behind the bar I’ll bend it so it sounds just like pedal steel. I’m able to bend those strings so well, but I cannot D tune the strings or hit any knee levers. But I do a lot of behind the bar bends so as a straight steel player that would be one thing that differentiates me from other straight steel players is my ability to do that. I’m not a super great player I can get around on it but I’m still learning so anything that comes from me is from a learning background and you never know what’s going to come out of it I think.

GHC
Now, you do other instruments for the Horse Traders as well right?

Mr. Travis
Yes of course I do in some of the songs I play electric guitar and I play baritone guitar. I play bass if needed of course Mooney is a very good bass player and I can play drums if we are recording and it’s needed. Mandolin, Dobro I can handle all of that.

GHC
You guys are a well oiled machine every time I have seen you play and you work well together.

Mr. Travis
It comes from being really good friends and we hang out together all the time.

GHC
Yeah you guys are more of a laid back atmosphere I cannot say that it lacks any professionalism because it doesn’t it’s very precise it’s just you guys aren’t as tense as some bands up there you know?

Mr. Travis
I’m glad to hear you say that and I don’t know what causes that other than our comfort with each other and the fact that we are having fun being with one another.

GHC
You mentioned Chris Scruggs I plan to contact him once I get my method more mastered and I plan to get Andy Gibson and others. I started with you because I feel your band deserved more exposure and do you have any future plans here in 2017?

Mr. Travis
Yes there will be a video coming out in the early spring and we are booking for festivals, we just got a new drummer so we are settling him into the lineup and we going to go from there.

Jan 082017
 

Shortly after one of the best contributors to the show Gordie Trapp died the Hee Haw fans were dealt yet another blow to their leftover treasure, as the show’s co producer Sam Lovullo died this past week in his California home from heart disease. In 1969 he and the two other writers noticed a rise in ratings during the Johnathan Winters show when it featured Country Music stars. The initial show was created by Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth who teamed up with Mr. Sam to produce and write the sketches and jokes while also listening to input from Archie Campbell and Gordie Trapp. Later on Mr. Archie and Mr. Gordie went on to have more creative input and were allowed to evolve some of their classic characters they made famous.

Mr. Sam went on to not only introduce the concept of the down home humor and skits that adorned our screens and our youth, but he also wrote the jokes and created many of the characters we know now. He produced the entire run of the show for all the 20 plus years save for the last five years of syndication.

As we all know the music portions of the  show were recorded before live audiences at Opryland and many of the frequent guests like Loretta Lynn and Cash would often be furnished overalls to dress in. However the joke and skit segments were filmed in bulk fashion to play through the week to save on production costs.  The show was one of the places that brought mainstream people the likes of Keith Whitley as he transcended from Bluegrass to Country, as well as bringing Ricky Van Shelton, Conway Twitty, Alan Jackson and many others. However one day the cornfield was set up, one day newscaster Don Harron (Charlie Farquharson) would record his news broadcasts, The judge Archie Campbell and also doctor skits were all pre recorded and a laugh track was edited in at a later time.

The shows hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark were already at the pinnacles of their career when they were chosen to host the show and accepted the spots. The Buckaroos often appeared on the show even past the 1974 death of Buck’s right hand man Don Rich at 34 in a motorcycle accident that left Buck Owens emotionally and professionally drained as a viable act of his time. Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson who masterminded many of Buck Owens albums self admittedly lamented of Don’s passing as the the end of Buck Owens And The Buckaroos. Toward the end of the show’s twenty year run Buck Owens left the show and it resulted in a rotating musical guest to accompany Roy Clark, and in the final season Roy Clark hosted the show solo.

Despite the show’s commercial success it sparked heated political debates within the CBS corporate offices as Michael Dann who hated the show personally but supported it professionally locked horns with Fred Silverman who believed it could not generate more ratings. In 1971 CBS dropped the variety show and forced it to continue on another network for a record twenty plus years. It in fact remains the longest prime time comedy show of it’s kind in history.

Sam Lovullo had retired from producing for the final five years of the show’s run having lived through many of the deaths of the show’s main cast members and having to say farewell to many of the Country Music Legends that graced the Hee Haw stage with iconic performances the likes of Charley Pride and Clint Black. Having many of the former cast members passed away Mr. Sam saw the forthcoming change of the business and music and announced his retirement from television although he did occasional work including assisting in producing a fund raiser at the Opry for Johnny Russell.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Grace; brothers Tony and Joe; their children Linda, Lisa, Anthony and Torey, now manager for baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks; grandchildren Matthew, Katie, Nick, Taylor and Connor; and great-grandchildren Sage, Grace and Olivia.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. Cyril’s of Jerusalem in Encino. Donations in Lovullo’s honor can be made to St. Jude Medical Foundation.

 

Jan 072017
 

Bloodshot Records up there in Chicago is an iconic record label, hallowed immensely by fans of underground music like myself. Also, the bands that have paved the way for a lot of the Roots and Americana bands that inhabit the corner beer joints and major venues has been immortalized on the Bloodshot Records Label.  Old 97’s are one of those bands that blazed their way into the history books on the Bloodshot label alongside bands like Split Lip Rayfield, Wayne Hancock and the Bottle Rockets.

Now Bloodshot has re issued their classic 1995 album Wreck Your Life that brought them out to the masses before they moved onto Elektra Records and other labels. As far as I am concerned this album was one of the BIG cornerstones of Roots music that turned me onto whatever you want to call the music. You can pretty much label it whatever you want I just call it good music and my youth.

Rhett Miller, Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, Philip Peeples who started out in Dallas Texas around 93-94 have been the staple members of this band ever since. You can see them perform this year on a festival I have yet to make an article about BUT WILL called Old Settler’s Music Festival in Texas this spring. Also they have a forthcoming album this Feb called Graveyard Whistling and they will be touring in support of their eleventh studio album as well in 2017. This from their website:

On vinyl, Graveyard Whistling will be released with four different cover color options – red, blue, green and silver – with four matching vinyl colors in translucent red, translucent blue, translucent green, and clear. You can pre-order the album physically or digitally now, and check out Old 97’s 2017 tour dates.

This band is one of the few bands that have twenty plus years together that have no lineup changes within their ranks and that makes them pretty high up on my love list of grandfather bands that many of today’s bands looks up to. if there was a museum for Roots music this band would be one of the forefronts on the list for sure. Their live shows are also equally regarded as some of the best the local venues have to offer, despite the fact that they boast no rehearsal of their performances nor do they claim having a set list as their 2005 offering Satellite Rides recorded live at Gruene Hall in Texas proves.

Finally their County Fair music festival that came to downtown Dallas Texas was well received by thousands of people and bands. They brought a big old Ferris wheel, carnival games and music the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick and Robert Ellis.

Jan 072017
 

You might remember my article last year about Country Music Legend Jeannie Seely releasing a brand new album, to refresh your memory you can read that HERE. The new album will be called “Written In Song”, and will be featured in an album release party on January 10th at 3Rd And Lindsley. All proceeds will go to the Opry Trust Fund that helps out musicians in need.

Miss Jeannie is one of our ‘Grand Ladies” of the Opry we still have with us, and in 1967 when she joined she was the first Pennsylvania native to become a member. In 1969 she moved to Decca to partner up with Jack Greene which revitalized both of their careers, by making their road shows extremely commercially successful. I have a HOUSE FULL of Jack Greene memorabilia and along with Jeannie Seely their pictures and posters adorn my main living room (The VERY ROOM I WRITE THESE ARTICLES). It was actually after the initial provocation of her future husband Hank Cochran that she made the 1965 move to Nashville only to be turned down by many of the labels here in town. Monument picked her up in 1966 and after some help from various stars she went on to become one of Country Music’s most beloved songwriters and Opry members, and still is to this day.

However in 1969 when she moved to Decca records THAT WAS my favorite period of her career I admire the most as a fan. The 1970’s were the height of the Outlaw movement which rivaled the Nashville Sound, but Seely and Greene also did something popular then..the Duet Country I call it. You know Dolly and Porter (and Norma Jean) then we had Conway and Loretta..and more.

Now this album will contain fourteen of the stories of her own life contained in songs that were previously recorded by some her peers and her heroes. “Leaving And Saying Goodbye” was originally recorded by Faron Young in 1972 but more noticeably performed by the late Dawn Sears from The Time Jumpers. The mighty Merle Haggard who sadly left us last year recorded “Life Of A Rodeo Cowboy” off the 1978 album “I’m Always On A Mountain When I Fall”.

“Never Gonna See You” was a song that never got cut by anybody and it is a tale from a real life experience of hers, and she explains it is the first thing that goes through one’s mind when a loved one informs you of their intended departure. And Miss Jeannie explains that she doesn’t recollect precisely what point of time it is from that she penned it along with another song “The Pain Once Your Gone” which runs along the same lines.

“He’s All I Need” is a Dottie West song that was on the 1983 album New Horizons and in fact was Miss Dottie’s last charted album before her death in 1991. “Sometimes I Do” was recorded by Ernest Tubb on the 1977 album “Living Legend” on First Generation Records. This song has always been one of my favorite Ernest Tubb cuts, and always will be in fact the 1970’s are just a decade I so dearly love PERIOD with every aspect of music from Country to Rock.

Miss Jeannie reports that she waited until everyone forgotten whom she wrote some of the songs about, and that’s how she narrowed down by personally choosing which ones to record to only fourteen offerings on this highly anticipated album by many Country fans.

“Enough To Lie” was a GREAT choice that was originally recorded by Ray Price in 1966 off the iconic album “Touch My Heart” that included the song “There Goes My Everything” wrote by Dallas Frazier and of course originally recorded by Miss Jeannie’s counterpart Jack Greene. This link HERE will take you directly to her website where you can pre-order your copy NOW!

Jan 052017
 

Ahh the perils of working second shifts where the quandary of the day of whether to take off or watch shows on my phone at lunch breaks. I try my best to watch Music City Roots from the Factory in Franklin Tennessee every Wednesday night, I know last week they featured Leigh Nash from Sixpence None The Richer. She is releasing a REALLY GOOD Country album that she played a few songs from. This weekly show is hosted by Country Songwriting Legend Jim Lauderdale and broadcasting Legend Keith Bilbrey where they bring out featured Americana and Roots music with every show.

As you may already know Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies made my number three spot for my TOP 50 Of 2016 for last year and also I recently covered one of his sold out Nashville shows at 3Rd And Lindsley, you can read about that all HERE. If you already want tickets to this show, it usually sells out and you can go HERE and get them cheap.

Cody Jinks has become an underground sensation in the last few years by selling out venues ALL OVER America. He played a FREE show at Grimey’s here in Nashville where he released “I’m Not The Devil” on LP where it sold thousands of copies in it’s first week, you can read about THAT HERE. He has built a plethora of followers that travel long distances to see his shows and buy his music, and they call themselves “Flockers”. Akin to other bands such as Hank Williams 3, and many others I could name Cody Jinks has amassed a long list of accomplishments that are garnishing the Nashville suits and making them cringe like someone is scratching a chalkboard.

Also I want to spoil a little upcoming series for you that Cody’s steel guitarist Mr. Austin Tripp will be a part of. Right now I want to introduce a NEW “Steel Guitarist Series” where I’ll be visiting with local bands that have steel pickers. I’m going to delve into their sound, and who influenced them. Where did they come from, and how did they get involved with their current band? ALL THIS AND MORE will be soon found out!

Old Salt Union has gone through some recent lineup changes in the past year however they remain a viable must see at festivals and shows alike. Their St. Louis style string band fury has been unleashed upon unsuspecting crowds some 200 shows a year and they are a VERY hardworking band. Their new EP called ‘Cut And Run” made my honorable mention list and I truly enjoyed that album and look anticipate much more music from these boys!

There will also be performances by these artists as well so be sure to tune into this weekly show and support really terrific artists. To be honest I find a LOT of great underground acts from this show and it supports my community with music. THAT is an important factor when people like me write about this type of thing!

Jesse Kramer
Peter Case
Colin Hay

Jan 042017
 

Just recently I was contacted by Twang Thang Country Productions to feature a REALLY great show at the Nashville Palace and will also be performed at the Midnite Jamboree. Just recently I received a media package from the management of Mr Richard Lynch and I’m very grateful to be included in the promotions of this event.

I’m going to do my best at getting down there for this great event as the Palace isn’t very far from me up here on the Tennessee/Kentucky line. This month I have several GREAT shows I shall be attending in town and I’ll be telling you about every one of them, you can rest assured.

Richard Lynch and Ronnie McDowell will celebrate the release of their military tribute duet, “Love Tattoo” with two Nashville concert events on January 21, 2017, at Nashville Palace and Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree.

Independent Country Music Hall of Famer and country chart-topper, Richard Lynch is no stranger to helping American military veterans. His passion and dedication were tantamount to his founding of the Love Tattoo Foundation, a non-profit organization that honors and assists the American Veterans. First conceived in a poem, written by Chuck Brisben. “Love Tattoo” was recorded by Richard Lynch and released in 2015. Fast-forward to late 2016, and enter Vietnam Veteran and #1 Billboard country chart artist, Ronnie McDowell…

Twang Thang Country and MTS Management Group are very excited to announce a One-Night-Only “Real Country Music” event on January 21, 2017. Richard Lynch and Ronnie McDowell will officially release the heart-wrenching military tribute duet, “Love Tattoo” at two Nashville performances. At 5pm, Richard and Ronnie will host the release party and show at Nashville Palace. Tickets are available at HERE At 10pm, the pair will perform at the historic Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree, located at Texas Troubadour Theatre. The Midnight Jamboree is broadcast live on WSM AM 650.

“Love Tattoo” was written by Chuck Brisben, Richard Lynch and Terry Dennis. It was produced by Mark Moseley at Sound Control Studios in Nashville, TN.

All proceeds from the Nashville Palace ticket sales and the sale of the single will benefit American Veterans through the Love Tattoo Foundation.

Watch the story behind Love Tattoo Foundation right here folks:


The Love Tattoo Foundation is a non-profit organization that honors and assists the American Veterans who carry mental or physical scars, from serving our country. Its mission is to raise money and awareness to help give these Veterans the opportunities they sacrificed, so we could have ours. For more information, please visit Love Tattoo Foundation

Ronnie McDowell has charted more than thirty Top 40 hits on the Billboard country music charts. Two of his singles – “Older Women” and “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation” — reached Number One on the country charts, while eleven more reached Top Ten. He has also released more than twenty studio albums. For more information, please visit Ronnie McDowell

Richard Lynch is an American country music artist, who has compiled a long list of country hits and chart toppers in the world of traditional country music. His single, “A Better Place” topped the New Music Weekly AM/FM country chart, the IndieWorld Country Record Report, and spent an incredible 32 weeks atop the Roots Music Report True Country chart. His latest single, “We’re American Proud” is currently climbing country airplay charts. Richard is a multiple-award-winning artist and a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. Richard co-hosts “Traditionally Lynch” on Renegade Radio Nashville, airing every Thursday.

http://www.richardlynchband. com.

https://www.reverbnation.com/ richardlynchband

Jan 032017
 

My VERY FIRST festival of 2017 is Mountain High Music Festival in Mt.Crested Butte Colorado and it is presented by Country Music songwriting Legend Dean Dillon who is known for writing hits for George Strait. This event will be presented to raise funds for some local charities like Tough Enough To Wear Pink Crested Butte and also Adaptive Sports Center. Both organizations offer many activities and programs for their patients to continue normal life with their disabilities, and are wonderful charities to benefit from this celebration of music.

According to the website there all of the music will be performed on the mountain, at the base area and also in the town of Crested Butte. Many of the songwriters will tell stories and mingle with the patrons of the festival and to be honest the experience of that alone is well worth the asking ticket price.

Many of you know how my festival series works with all the different links to information of a different festival every week, this year is no exception. I have over 75 festivals to bring you that have REAL Country Music and Bluegrass, Americana and other genres.

So let’s begin with the where, how and when of this particular festival. It will take place January 11-15th 2017 in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado. You can purchase tickets HERE. ALSO this link HERE will take you to some lodging choices PLUS there is a combo choice with lodging, flight AND tickets. As always I shall research this area and include as many hotel options as I can uncover about the area, I’m ALWAYS researching and networking. The following piece is directly from their website concerning their master of ceremony Mr. Storme Warren.

Your 2017 Festival Host: Storme Warren

Storme Warren is the morning show host on SiriusXM’s “The Highway”. He also hosts the longest and most listened to weekly Country Music Countdown show, “The Highway Hot 45”. Along with running his own Television production company, hosting his TV and radio shows, Storme is also known as the “Dick Clark of Nashville” (Tennessean Newspaper 3-10) for his annual duties as host of Music City’s 4th of July Concert Spectacular and the city’s outdoor Downtown New Year’s Eve “Bash on Broadway”. During the summer months, Storme can be found emceeing music festivals from coast to coast and around the globe. With 32 years of broadcasting experience including 24 in Country Music, Storme has earned the title “Country Music’s Best Friend”.

So Now Let’s talk about the lineup for this stellar event this month in this gorgeous environment out there:

Dean Dillon
Kendell Marvel
Wendell Mobley
Travis Meadows
Scotty Emerick
Ashley Monroe
?Sonia Leigh
Sundance Head
Jody Booth

Now the initial website doesn’t have any information about specific rules or accommodations for service animals and disabled patrons, also there are no rules or explanation of designated alcohol areas or information on food vendors BUT YOU CAN contact the festival crew HERE with any questions about this event.

Jan 032017
 

Well my dearest readers I MUST SAY it has been one hell of a 2016 for music on both sides of the coin. We have had some truly great music released by some Country Music legends, some of which I shall mention in this article because it all ties together here. Mr. Jody Hendrix CEO of Little Class Records whom I talked on the phone with recently (Go Chiefs) informed me that Moe Bandy (Who made my TOP 50) and Dale Watson (Who also made my TOP 50) will be performing at the Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City Mo.

So it has been confirmed at The Westport Roots Festival that Jayke Orvis And The Broken Band WILL INDEED be reunited for a complete set. This set is EXCLUSIVE to this festival ONLY and will contain The Urban Pioneers Miss Liz Sloan and Mr. Jared McGovern whom secured a spot on my TOP 50 of 2016 with their album “Feast Or Famine”. This set will also include the goodwill ambassador of Roots Music Mr. James Hunnicutt. I have SO MANY stories about Mr. James, he was one of the first ones I began really talking to at Muddy Roots festivals after finally meeting him at Porter Wagoners funeral services in Nashville. Folks you MUST buy tickets for this one in order to see them because it’s a one time deal here!

Last year at Muddy Roots in Cookeville Mr. Jayke offered up some NEW tunes for us and did announce that he was writing and making new music, so I’m pretty sure in the future we will see some new broken band music. I had the blessed opportunity to see one of their final shows with S.S.Webb and I dug up the article and you can read that HERE WOW It’s been two years and longer since I last admired their full show.

I truly had some good times at this festival in 2016 it was HOT HOT HOT but I had an indoor stage and this year I will not have one. My Honky Tonk stage for 2017 will be outdoors and canopied for inclement weather, whatever they throw at me I’m pretty sure I can pull it off in my own fashion quite well. I’m REALLY looking forward to Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners and quite a few more…I think right now I teased you enough! See you in Kansas City friends!

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