Feb 282017
 

IT’S OFFICIAL FOLKS
I shall be attending the 2017 Moonrunners Music Festival this year. It takes place on May 5th and 6th in Chicago Illinois at Reggies Rock Club and is an indoor two stage event. ALSO I am to understand there is a record store upstairs and the food is really good.

I have a few side articles to this article for some record releases tied in with this event this year, if you remember last week I caught up with Joseph Huber and got to reveal a little of his NEW album. Also Scott H Biram’s new album launched Friday night, and I’ll be writing about that album as well as Duane Mark’s new vinyl release.

HERE is the link to purchase tickets to this newly acquired Muddy Roots event, folks be sure to stop by my command center and say hello to me as I cover this event in it’s entirity, unless they announce a sunday show and I cannot stay for the entire sunday. As of right now I have NO time schedule of any performances only a lineup.

Shooter Jennings
The Legendary Shack Shakers
Scott H Biram
Jesse Dayton
Left Lane Cruiser
The Hooten Hallers
Shawn James And The Shapeshifters
Last False Hope
Urban Pioneers
Jospeh Huber
Escape From The Zoo
Ted Russell Kamp
SS Web
James Hunnicutt
Rachel Brooke
Adam Lee
Viva Le Vox
Husky Burnette
Jeff Shepherd
Pearls Mahone
Duane Mark
Stump Tail Dolly
Soda Gardocki
Call Me Bronco
AJ Gaither
Devil’s Cut
Wont Stay Dead
Still Alive
Evil Empire
That Ol Coondog
Brittany Avery
Mystery Actions
Jimmy Swope
Piss Poor Players
Gary Moore II
Brett Conlin
Mason Tinsley

I am staying at the South Loop Hotel which is only about 5 blocks from Reggies. That folks is about the only nearby hotel that I have found so far. This is an indoor event so the rules of the festival are pretty much the rules of the venue, however like EVERY festival there is ONE main rule: Don’t be a dick.

Hotel information! We have a block of rooms at the South Loop Hotel for May 5th and May 6th. Unfortunately, there is a big conference in town that weekend, so the special price will be $169 per night. They are big rooms, so share with your friends to split the cost! Email or call Sheila Ward directly to reserve your room. They will go quickly!

Chicago South Loop Hotel
11 W 26th Street
Chicago IL 60616
www.chicagosouthloophotel.com
312-225-7000

Sheila Ward
sheila.ward@fhginc.com
Direct: 312-674-2234

Folks I just got contacted by the festival coordinator and was given the schedule:

Ok one more thing folks single day passes are now on sale for Friday 40 and Saturday 45. The after party has already been announced with Billy Don Burns and MORE!
Feb 262017
 

This article shall be all about my day in the Nashville area yesterday as i stopped and caught up with many friends at many places, all in the name of local music. If some of you don’t know one another you need to, and i make these articles to help all of you network better and learn about each others music and businesses.

So I got downtown and in honor of Johnny Cash’s birthday I toured the Cash museum again. There were many artifacts in there that any true Country Music aficionado would appreciate and of course I had to buy some stickers for my collection.

Then I ventured down to The Benchmark Bar And Grill over on second avenue across the street from the Wildhorse. If I’m not mistaken this is the old Picki’n Parlor but I’m not really sure. They had a really nice stage area for songwriters to play for tips, now mind you this is how they make their living down there and playing pop country is what the tourists demand. You can go find original Traditional Country at Robert’s and Laylas, here you listen to both. I did not eat any food there but it did look pretty appetizing and the beer prices were usual.
Miss Mandy Mae Hallman always has had a special place in my life because she reminds me of myself when I first moved to town. I played many venues for tips and roadhouses and dives, I had many bands and played many a cover song before turning to journalism. I just have a knack for Country Music history and delving into other people’s music, and this young lady has NEW MUSIC coming in 2017 and I’ll bring you that in new music features.

Most of you know I was raised in the Wisconsin area not too far from here she was raised just a few years later than me. `So we both love those darn Packers and Culver’s cheese curds, and all that good stuff, she’s talented and pretty, just a downright good soul. You can easily ascertain that she was raised by good people and her original music is nothing less than amazing to me, she did play one from her upcoming album I’ll touch on that song when she releases it.

She played a four hour set with an Okie fellow named Issac Mathews and like I previously said they were playing popular music that was being requested by patrons. Mandy played “Bye Bye Baby” by Jo Dee Messina, “Make Me An Angel” by John Prine and Bonnie Raitt, and she did a good job on that one I might add. ‘Kerosene” by Miranda Lambert and “Wild One” but my favorite one was “Why Don’t You Stay” by Sugarland, I’ll be honest I do like that song. I thought she did a really good job on it.

Issac Mathews played some darn fine Gary Allan songs like “Man To Man” and played the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Fishing In The Dark” complete with bass riffs on an acoustic. And he did a damn fine job doing it too, he did a Toby Keith song and then played O’l Red. O’l Red is an newer George Jones song covered by Blake Shelton. I honestly had a good time I would go back to see her play again anytime, I just keep missing her. Yesterday just worked out so well!

The Vinyl Bunker is basically an independent record label store and is the Muddy Roots headquarters. I stopped in to get the Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners on vinyl, I have them on my stage in Kansas City this year at the Westoprt Roots Fest. Muddy Roots has some announcements coming form him this year SOON and I’ll bring you that as well!

You need to go pick up the new Roots Music guide that Mr. Jason published and I shall be soon adding my contact input into this project to help out touring local music flourish. Festivals..how many of you have emailed me wanting numbers on HOW TO get on the festival roster? Well with this newspaper your manager can.

Live True Vintage is a vintage clothing store run by my good friends Mr. Geoff and Miss Tammy Firebaugh. Mr. Geoff has contributed to Country Music by touring with the tail end of BR5-49 and was on the recording Tangled In The Pines, and now he plays bass with Hillbilly Casino.

They gave me some really cool pieces for my collection a rare T Shirt from Boots Randolph when he had his bar in Printer’s Alley. Boots Randolph was a prominent part of the Nashville Sound and his saxophone songs were part of Country Music history. Mr. Geoff also gave me a vintage BR5-49 sticker for my collection.

I’ll admit when I arrived at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in East Nashville I was greeted with THREE big surprises the first was that my friend Mr.Joe tends bar here and I didn’t know that so I got to spend part of my evening catching up with him. We do not cross paths as often as I’d like them to, the second was the food, you know the menu isn’t the largest but sometimes quality trumps quantity and in this case the Chicago beef sandwich was indeed quality. The third surprise was the jukebox that gives you 6plays for a dollar, now trust me you do NOT FIND that nor do you find this array of quality classic Country Music and not just the same old same old top hits, there are some rare goodies mixed in there as well.

This was a pretty roomy Honky Tonk and was a true breath of fresh air for me the likes of it bringing out my Classic Country geek mode. I could sit there and drink beers and listen to Don Williams and Cal Smith and watch Bonanza ALL NIGHT, Mr. Joe runs a great bar out there. GREAT service and stage facilities at this venue if you ever get an opportunity to go see a show there DO IT!

The Heath McDaniel Band was first and they are from Ohio,they brought an array of cover songs to the show first with songs like “Mind Your Own Business” and “Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way”.  He played “Whiskey Bent And Hellbound”, before playing “Country Heroes” by Hank 3. Not a bad job doing that song either!

He played an original song about his home bar in Ohio called “Good Time Charlie’s”, and being from the Ohio area he played Outlaw Country by Dallas Moore and I have included the video in the article. He played a version of “Georgia On A Fast Train” by Billy Joe Shaver.

The song “Everyone Wants To Be Hank But Nobody Wants To Die” was pretty much a true song. I don’t believe I have to elaborate much on the meaning of that song. He then played “The Ride” and followed that with “All My Friends” by Hank Williams Jr along with “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”. This is apparently becoming one of the local hangouts as some of us are looking for free parking and a roomier venue to drink and enjoy local music, Mr Joe is doing a fine job here! Quite an impressive crowd here tonight and reasonable food prices make this venue a SURE BET. He closed his set with a song called “You Can Have Her”, and Merle Haggard “Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”.

Next up is a man named Mr. Crash Hamilton who will be doing a few before the Bucksnort Beauties go on tonight. As some of you might have seen on social media this is the official release of Wildfire And Moonshine which is their debut album. I was invited by Miss Rebecca Jed and Miss Mae Bliss tonight to cover their event and so far I am glad I did I’m having a wonderful time here.

They call him the guitar wizard and he hails from Mississippi, once you hear him play his blues you can easily ascertain his influences and style is all his own. I am noticing a truly warm and special guitar tone from this man with leads that are just absolutely amazing.

He is playing his own version of “Milk Cow Blues” before steamrolling into his own version of the Cash classic “Folsom Prison Blues” on Cash’s birthday weekend nonetheless. He informed us he is playing nothing but Country songs with Blues in the title and the video I have for him was his version of “Working Mans Blues”.

Miss Rebecca Jed and Miss Mae Bliss make up the Bucksnort Beauties who invited me to come work for their show tonight. She played Defeated Lonely And Blue from her album and this video is from her third song called “The Hell With All Y’all I’m Going Back To Arkansas”.

They have really good harmonies on the song “Whiskey Night” and the other I really enjoyed was the fact they are performing all original songs tonight like “Spit On The Diamond”.  Rebecca Jed is showcasing portions of her album like “Zachariah Harris” and they did play a cover of “I’ll Be There”. The name of her album is called Wildfire And Moonshine and the album has six tracks on it and was released officially tonight.

The Worlds Greatest  Eagle Scouts were next tonight and this place went wild. They are more of a jam band than anything with songs like “Tell Me Mama” that were almost five minutes long laced with more guitar solos and harmonica than anything I have witnessed in quite some time. Basically it’s members of the Blackfoot Gypsies and rotating band members and songs that are just pieces slapped together.

This band is loud I mean like Sim Cesna’s Auto Club loud people and they are high energy fast paced rock and roll. Most of their set was long instrumentals with two lead guitars one of them being a pretty mean slide guitar complimented by one of the meanest harmonica players I have ever witnessed.

I’ll be honest at this point in the evening my phone was so weak and their songs are so incredibly lengthy I do not believe I can even capture any of this on video, being a side project I wasn’t quite sure what I could print about this band.

Feb 222017
 

THIS IS the link you need to click on to buy tickets to this wonderful event that I touch on every year. Here lately I have been on a BIG Bluegrass kick one of the reasons being that there are many Bluegrass festivals I cover early on in the year. Three just faded out time wise and I have six more coming in the next two months.

From June to July you can catch some truly fine Bluegrass acts at the Ryman from the Opry, as the Ryman is extremely rich with history of this fine genre. It has so much splendor and beauty that you cannot dispute the authority it has over Bluegrass.

It was here in the 1970’s that Bluegrass Legends Bobby and Sonny Osbourne became the first Bluegrass band to play with plugged in instruments until 1974 when they moved the Opry to the house it’s in now. Apparently there was a noise ordinance and they had to unplug their instruments and play their hit Rocky Top, which became the official state song in the 80’s.

in the 1940’s Earl Scruggs joined the Legendary Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys to begin a historic tenure with an iconic band. In 2006 the state of Tennessee honored the Ryman as the official birthplace of Bluegrass Music, however I personally dispute that statement I do NOT dispute it’s contributions to it. I don’t dispute this is where Flatt And Scruggs formed the Foggy Mountain Boys after leaving Bill Monroe and formed the structure for the three part harmonies many Bluegrass Bands now have.

This series brings together the new era of Bluegrass like the Infamous Stringdusters and blends it with the likes of Ricky Skaggs and more! For the ticket price I tell you that there is NO reason for you to miss this event, go catch at least one night of fine Bluegrass music here.

June 22 Artist TBA

June 29 Earls of Leicester

July 6 Artist TBA
July 13 Dailey & Vincent

July 20 Infamous String Dusters

July 27 Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Feb 222017
 

On March 4th, PBS will premiere Patsy Cline: American Masters as part of their Women’s History Month programming. Get a first look at the trailer for the new documentary above as you can witness firsthand what PBS will soon be offering and what I find cool about this is right now the Patsy Cline museum downtown is almost open for business above the Cash Museum.

Patsy Cline, born in 1932, died in a plane crash on March 5th, 1963, at 30 years old. She would have turned 85 this year and she was killed aboard with Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas. Actually at the time of the plane crash Patsy was an opening act and never truly reached the pinnacle of her career as a headlining act. Back then Country Music offered many package shows where you could go see 4-6 popular acts at one time for a set price.

American Masters is a long-running series on PBS that profiles America’s most important artists and cultural figures. Check local listings for air times and dates. So folks you often hear me say I do NOT watch TV until now, I got Bluegrass Underground new season and Sun Records TV series, and now this.

The documentary will also show never-before-seen performances and rare footage captured at her estate for fans to get the authentic picture of what the country icon’s life was really like behind the scenes. The Country Music Hall Of Fame has an entire replica of her Nashville Office, and she was one of the many people I have studied on a personal level.

She was the first solo female to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame ten years after her death, and her life was filled with arguments and controversy over the fact of legendary producer Owen Bradley wanting her to record pop country, suggesting her label only hinted at her potential. Her contract strongly demanded she only record Honky Tonk Country and when there was no steel guitar or fiddle she would become rebellious.

She had several appearances on the Opry and always received standing ovations and strong welcome, also in the 1960’s she was mentoring a young Loretta Lynn and was taking her under her wing as a young artist. Just as the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter prefaced she did indeed have a huge impact on Loretta’s career as an artist.

Feb 212017
 

New West Records has always been a top independent label in my book when it comes to real music, I mean heck I could write an eclectic list of music they have released I love. Devil Makes Three, Daniel Romano, Jason James, and many many more. I could literally fill up an entire website of albums they have released that I love.

MANY of my TOP 50 of 2015 and 2016 were New West Records releases and I am quite sure that my 2017 list shall be chocked full of their releases because already in Feb I have one or two chosen to include in my 2017 list.

Folks if you simply click HERE YOU can begin your collection of the colored vinyl reissues of their classic “Live In Austin Texas” line of recordings. This from their website:

Since 2007, New West Records has curated the finest collection of recordings available from the Austin City Limits television program, on DVD, CD, and vinyl. These recordings, culled from hundreds of performances from the 1970s to the 2000s, represent one of the greatest treasures in American music.

Now, in 2017, we’re pleased to announce a variety of first time vinyl releases, including some titles on exclusive colored vinyl. Join us as we dig through the archives and uncover some of the greatest live recordings in history.

Right now currently you can purchase Guy Clark and Merle Haggard (Merle will be red) vinyl. And you can pre order Neko Case and Steve Earle, however I’m not sure what colors they will be re issued upon as of yet, and also New West records has released a mixtape of great classic music.

Austin City Limits is the longest running music series in American history and has been broadcast on PBS for almost 40 years and is currently the only TV series ever to be rewarded National Medal Of Arts. So periodically throughout 2017 this label shall be reissuing more concerts from this series of recordings and as they announce other ones I might add them to this article.

 

Feb 192017
 

 

Mr.Joshua Hedley is a household local name around the Nashville area, and he is very revered by the natives of the local scene here. Last night I witnessed fierce respect and love expressed toward him by members of the Opry inducted Old Crow Medicine Show ,and Margo Price.

“O’l Hed” is moving forward in his musical career and will be the subject of more news on my website as I am allowed to speak of his news, much like I recently expressed in my last article about Joe Huber I want to bring YOU my readers the BEST news before anyone else does however not at the liberty of ANY band or artist.

The Nashville Palace is under new ownership and so far It’s pretty much the same however the menu has changed a little bit. My favorite hot dog is no longer available, but those are small changes I’ll have to get used to in this occurrence because it IS STILL a hotspot and place to be on weekend nights for my local scene. Last night was his last night to perform his weekly set there so Iwent on down to watch him play and I’m truly glad I did.

I arrived at about 11:30 to get to watch him perform a truly fine version of “There Stands The Glass” originally recorded in 1952 by Blane Smith, however it was made more successful commercially by Webb Pierce in 1953 and it  was written by Russ Hull, Mary Jean Shurtz and Audrey Greisham. “All My Exs Live In Texas” was a song written by Sanger Shaffer and made popular by George Strait in the early 1980’s. Many of the choices made tonight were very nice and enjoyable cover songs in an always iconic ambiance.

“Old Violin” and the Waylon classic “Mental Revenge” made up a portion of his lineup last night as well as “Yesterday’s Wine” and one of my favorite John Anderson songs the Kent Robbins penned “Straight Tequila Night” off the Seminole Wind album from 1991. After he played “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” he went around for tips as his band played “How I Got To Memphis” and “Should I Go Home Or Should I Go Crazy” and more.

The video below is from his performance of the song “Tennessee Border” which I remember Hank Williams doing as well as a few others, before he went into the Merle Haggard classic ‘The Old Man From The Mountain” which Fuzzy Owens produced in 1974 on Merle’s 30th album. Ironically despite it’s name it really was his 20th studio album but he counted LIVE albums and gospel releases too.

He showcased his finest vocals of the evening on the song “Window Up Above” from George Jones from 1960 and includes a b side of my favorite song Jones did that fell into obscurity and that was “Candy Hearts”. See much like me Mr. Joshua is a Country Music NUT that salivates over obscure and rare classic Country Music and delivers the songs with precise amounts of pain, I enjoy that.

The above video is from the song “Borrowed Angel” and he also played “One Dime At A Time” and a TRULY GOOD version of “Rose Colored Glasses”. I’m real glad I went down there to see his last show there and look forward to covering more of his original material in the future.

Feb 192017
 

Last night I ventured out into the Gallatin area of Tennessee where my friends Mr. Bradley and Miss Jenny Towle have a wonderful place they call The Amulet Farm, which is a rustic yet centralized homestead that hosts events. I must say one of my only regrets is that I didn’t get to see it all during the daytime and I didn’t get to stay long enough this time. I’ll do more articles from their shows in the daylight hours and display more of the venue in the future, as time allows.

I am always catching smaller more intimate shows for better opportunities to interact with artists on a more deeper level than just the music. Oftentimes I consider my job to find out the news and bring it to your computer screen first before anyone else..that’s a journalists job to get the scoop before the next person does. So do I have a scoop on Joseph Huber, truly I believe I do in fact I have more than I can reveal to you at this juncture. YES I DO want to announce all what I have but we got legal schmegal stuff and I have to respect Mr. Joseph and what is integral to his needs as well. In essence I have a duty to inform you but I cannot do that at the expense of another artist and more often than not…a friend.

Now folks in the coming months you know of  my ongoing ever popular festival series I write about 8 months a year, in fact I am the ONLY music related website that currently writes about over 175 nationwide festivals per year. Well in the upcoming month of May I shall be attending and covering the Chicago based Moonrunners music festival which is now a Muddy Roots production.

The reason I raise this festival is for two main reasons, one he is playing at this festival and two he is releasing his fourth solo studio album the day before this festival entitled “The Suffering Stage”. From the three songs I was treated to this weekend I can already tell you this will indeed be a must have album to add to your collection. Now I’ll be honest here I don’t believe he can beat “The Hanging Road”, but alas I said that about “Tongues Of Fire” beforehand…and it did respectively.

I can tell you this album will have several lengthy tracks and was a timely project that he spent a great deal of care with, and given his songwriting ability I wonder if there will be any poignant songs such as “Wanchese And Manteo” that fill this album. He has a unique ability to connect with a listeners mind and capture you for three or four minutes with his lyrics, and much like Tyler Childers he has a VERY distinct delivery and voice. He is NO cookie cutter artist in any way shape or form, and the band he is currently traveling with compliments each other with grace. Upright bassist  Mr. Eston Bennett and fiddle player Mr. Jason Loveall combine their talents to make this trio work and you can sense the ease they have for one another.

He in fact began his entire set with two new songs that I captured on video and for respect of Mr. Joseph we will keep that null at this juncture until I am verbally (or emailed) allowed to make them public from his camp. Now the first new song is called “You Showed Me”, and it was an upbeat song followed by a gambling song with different meanings called 16 10″ (I’m not certain if it will be numerical or spelled Sixteen Ten). The third new song he revealed to us last night was in my opinion the best one called “Diminish Things”, which did display some truly fine lyrics. Not much delving into the structure of any of these right now until I am given a green light to dissect them to you.

“Fell Off The Wagon” is one of the staple songs he has been doing in his sets for quite a few months now and it’s always a good upbeat songs that everyone enjoys, and he followed that with one called “Downtime” from his obscure first album “Bury Me Where I Fall”. If you can find his first album on CD it is considered a rare find to a Roots Music collector like myself and it’s always a treat to have some of those songs included.

The above video is from tonight’s performance of “Drop In The Bucket” and that was followed by “Old Mountain Tune’. He closed his first set with “Hanging Road” which he pointed out that his father inspired him to record that song and cited him as an influence.

His second set began with “Same River Twice” and another one of my favorites “Two Tongue Swear”. His second set contained many newer songs the likes of “Coming Down From You” before he went into the only two cover songs of the evening and one was a Public Domain folks song called “O Shenandoah”. His other cover was that of a John Prine song before rolling into “Hello Milwaukee” which is one of his songs of great regret that in spite of his getting to see much of America on tour his mind was stalled back in his hometown of Milwaukee Wisconsin.

“Father, Why These Stones” was next along with his second album “Tongues Of Fire” and his final closing song was “Dance Around The Daggers”. Truly a fine performance at a very intimate and friendly setting, with a beyond awesome bunch of people I am very blessed to call my friends. Music has many friends from many walks of life and more often than not during music events, differences and opinions are placed aside and forgotten. This is my journey into further music tonight that shall be published this afternoon.

Feb 182017
 

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.

David Allan Coe
Renfro Valley April 15th

Cale Tyson
The Back Corner April 17th and 24rth

Jason Eady
The Family Wash April 19th

Cory Branon
Exit Inn April 21st

Bobby Bare
Renfro Valley April 21st

Chely Wright
Music City Winery April 21st

Gene Watson
Renfro Valley April 22nd

The Royal Hounds
Dees liquor Lounge April 22nd

Jason Isbell
John Prine
The Ryman Auditorium May 3rd

John Conlee
Merle Travis Music Center May 5th 2017

Mandy Barnett
3RD And Lindsley May 6th

Elizabeth Cook
3Rd And Lindsley May 7th

Vince Gill
The Carson Center May 11th

Stoney LaRue
3Rd And Lindsley May 12th

Turnpike Troubadors
The Old 97’s
Marathon Music Works May 18th

Trace Adkins
Renfro Valley May 20th

Sean K Preston
Layla’s Inn June 2nd

Marty Stuart
Ryman Auditorium June 6th

Colter Wall
The Cannery Nashville Tn June 7th

Ray Wylie Hubbard
3rd And Lindsley June 18th

The Steeldriver
Yellow Creek Park Owensboro Ky June 21st

Pokey LaFarge
3Rd And Lindsley June 22nd

Blackberry Smoke
Kentucky Bike Rally-Sturgis July 15th

The Infamous Stringdusters
The Ryman Auditorium July 20th

Cody Jinks
Skypac June 28th

Jimmy Fortune
July 29th Kentucky Opry

John Conlee
August 12th Kentucky Opry

Gene Watson
October 6th Kentucky Opry

Feb 152017
 

On March 31st-April 2nd out there on the west coast we have Winterwondergrass which runs a festival in Colorado and California both. They are returning following two sold out years in Tahoe and since this is truly one heck of a fine Bluegrass lineup I thought I would dwell upon this festival as I have in the past. This portion is directly from their website:

OUR MISSION

“TO CREATE SIMPLE AND AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY GATHERINGS FOR THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT, CONCENTRATING ON QUALITY OF THE EXPERIENCE OVER QUANTITY OF ATTENDEES WITH A FOCUS ON DEDICATED ARTISTS, SUSTAINABILITY, LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCTS AND SUPPORT OF NON PROFITS.”

WE CREATE GATHERINGS WE BELIEVE IN.  THOSE THAT INSPIRE US and DRAW US INTO THEIR FOUNDATION AND CONTRIBUTE TO OUR ACTIVE ADVENTUROUS LIFESTYLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS IDEALS.  WE PLACE RESPONSIBILITY ON OURSELVES AND THOSE WE SEEK TO DRAW INTO OUR FRAMEWORK AND FESTIVALS AS NOT MERE ATTENDEES, BUT PARTNERS ON THE JOURNEY.

WE SEE TRUE CONNECTION AS A SPARK OF ART, A CATALYST FOR INSPIRATION. WHAT WE BELIEVE IS LOST IN THE SUBTLE VOIDS OF CYBER COMMUNICATION AND MEGA FESTIVALS IS THE UNDILUTED ESSENCE OF EXISTENCE — THAT WHICH IS SEEN, INTERPRETED AND SHARED THROUGH THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

CULTIVATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WILD NATURE, RAW ORIGINAL MUSIC AND THE PROTECTION OF OUR PLANET.  GIVE RESPECT, GET RESPECT.

WE HAVE INCREDIBLE APPRECIATION FOR OUR COMMUNITY!

As usual I shall list all of the bands on here complete with links to all of bands involved:
Infamous Stringdusters
Trout Steak Revival
Front Country
The Lil Smokies
The Good Bad
Fruition
Grant Farm
The Deer
Hot Buttered Rum
Sam Bush Band
Greensky Bluegrass
Dustbowl Revival
Brad Parsons Band
Bluegrass Generals
Ghost Of Paul Revere
Dead Horses
Head For The Hills
Jon Stickley Trio
Leftover Salmon
Pickin On The Dead
he Railsplitters
Dead Winter Carpenters
Peter Rowan
Horseshoes And Hand Grenades
Mandolin Orange

The link to purchase tickets is right HERE.

Grant Farm

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

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

One really nice thing I have read about this particular festival is that any designated driver can register at any of the bars for FREE N/A beverages.  I also wanted to point out some very nice things for this festival concerning the use of single serving water bottles.

Feb 112017
 

Out there in Brady Texas you have a wonderful Traditional Country Music operation called The Heart Of Texas Country Music Association ran by the good Mr. Tracy Pitcox and BY GOD it IS indeed in the heart of Texas. There is a museum there and also a label that boasts some of today’s most revered Legends the likes of Miss Norma Jean and Tony Booth. This fine group of folks also has cruises and awards for their ilk, as well as some truly stellar record releases that I usually go to Ernest Tubb Records Shops for.

Last year when they lost Country Legend Curtis Potter I wrote one hell of a fine article about him and greatly mourned his loss at home on Tru Country reruns. His absence leaves a large empty hole in my heart. You know with the truly great music they offer PLUS the new rise of Texas Red Dirt Country it almost makes pop country redundant doesn’t it?

This is their 28th annual event and some of it will be held at the Brady Civic Center: I’m going to highlight the dates with the correct ticket links to them so you can buy the desired date links.

March 17th

Bobby Flores And The Yellow Rose Band
Jeff Woosley And The Dancehall Kings
8:00 PM – 12:00 PM

Ed Davenport Civic Center
Brady, Texas
$ 21.00

March 18th

Moe Bandy
Darrell McCall,Tony Booth,Pretty Miss Norma Jean,amber Digby,Justin Trevino,
Kim Murray, Mona McCall,Kaye Tolson, Frankie Miller.

Ed Davenport Civic Center
Brady, Texas
$ 21.00

March 19th

Norma Jean’s Cowboy Church Show
with special guest Jody Miller

3:00 PM

Donations at the door

March 21st

Justin Trevino’s Two Step Tuesday
7:00 PM
Heart of Texas Events Center
Brady, Texas

General Admission or Tickets at the door

March 22nd

12:00 PM Steel Guitar Showcase
8:00 PM Jam Session with Roger & Sharon Kenaston

Free Admission to both events

Heart of Texas Events Center

March 23rd

Jake Hooker
Jody Nix

Ed Davenport Civic Center
Brady, Texas
$ 21.00

March 24rth

Johnny Bush
Justin Trevino
& Amber Digby

Ed Davenport Civic Center
Brady, Texas
$ 21.00

March 25th

JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ
Darrell McCall, Tony Booth, Amber Digby, Norma Jean,
Landon Dodd, Dottsy, Rance Norton & Dallas Wayne

Ed Davenport Civic Center
Brady, Texas
$ 21.00

Best Western
Best Western Brady Inn
2200 S Bridge Street
Brady, TX 76825

Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Brady
2320 S Bridge Street, Brady, TX 76825 US

Gold Key Inn
2023 South Bridge Street, Brady, TX 76825

Feb 072017
 

It’s time once again to embark upon the March festivals, where festival season is rapidly drawing nigh all over America. The Best Little Cowboy Gathering happens on March 9th-12th 2017 in La Grange Texas and features some really nice Traditional Texas country Music which I have always delved into and I have one other one coming soon from the Texas area that is a prominent mover of traditional Texas Country Music as well. This event happens always on the second weekend in March and if you like what you see you can purchase tickets for this event HERE. I’ll tell you what folks for the music and the venue, this one is a REAL value at 30.00 for the weekend, in fact it is one of the cheapest and most cost efficient festivals on my list in total.

It transpires at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in La Grange Texas, and this is an indoor AND outdoor event as there is a dance hall with inside and a pavilion with outdoor entertainment that happens simultaneously. FROM THE WEBSITE:  Most of our events are under a roof so any rain won’t hurt us. We go rain or shine! BRING A JACKET! Temperatures in March will drop 20-30 degrees after dark and it can get chilly. We also recommend you grab some sunscreen and your camp chairs as some of our dog and horse shows have limited seating.

2017 Schedule

Thursday

Inside Dance Hall

3PM – Coby Carter and 5 Miles West

7PM- Jeff Woolsey

NO ENTERTAINMENT ON OUTSIDE STAGE FOR THURSDAY

Friday

Featured Female Entertainer: Ginny Mac

 

Inside Dance Hall

12 Noon – Landon Dodd

4PM – Rocky King

8PM – Tommy & Jake Hooker

Outside Stage

3:30PM – Shoot Low Sheriff

7:30PM – Jeff Woolsey

Saturday

Inside Dance Hall

4PM – Jody Nix

8PM – Billy Mata

 

Outside Stage

10AM – John Wayne Impersonator, J. R. Edmondson

11:30AM – The English Brothers

1:30PM – Jody Nix Fiddle Extravaganza

3PM – The Lake Travis Fiddlers

5PM – Billy Mata

6:30PM – The English Brothers

8PM – Jason Roberts

Featured Female Entertainer

Ginny Mac

Jeff Woolsey Jeff Woolsey & The Dancehall Kings

Billy Mata Billy Mata & The Texas Tradition

Jake Hooker Jake Hooker & The Outsiders With Jake Hooker Tommy Hooker

jody nix jody nix

Landon Dodd Landon Dodd

 

jason roberts jason roberts

 

Rocky King Band Rocky King Band

 

Lake Travis Fiddlers

english brothers

The English Brothers

fiddle extravaganza

Jody Nix Fiddle Extravaganza

Enjoy a legendary mix of artists coming together for The Jody Nix Fiddle Extravaganza! See a mix of legendary artists join together for a truly unique musical time!

dutch ovens

Dutch Oven Demonstrations

 So folks like always I am including lodging as well however this website was kind enough to make my job easier with providing all the links and phones for me. I didn’t have to research anything accept the area on this one folks, go on out there and two step and swing away.

Motels

Hampton Inn – Business Highway 71 W – (979) 968-4900

Best Western – 600 E State Highway 71 Bypass – (979) 968-6800

River Valley Motor Inn – 1575 Business Highway 71 W (979) 968-8314

Oak Motel – 227 S Jefferson St – (979) 968-3133

Executive Inn – 1708 Business Highway 71 W – (979) 968-2600

RV Parks

Colorado Landing – 64 E Bluff View – (979) 968-9055

S&H RV Park – 3517 Post Oak Rd – (979) 249-2050 or (979) 966-3260

Suncatcher RV Park – 3033 S US Highway 77 – (979) 968-6868

Dippel’s RV Park – 8945 FM 2981, Fayetteville – (979) 249-3749

South Forty RV Park – 3689 S Highway 77 Giddings – (979) 366-9341

Bed & Breakfasts

Ammansville Cottages – La Grange – (979) 561-8691

Arbor House at Las Brisas Farm – Fayetteville – (979) 378-1108

Big Tin Flag B&B – La Grange – (979) 247-4770

Brendan Manor B&B – La Grange – (979) 968-2028

Cedars Cabins – New Ulm – (866) 625-4607

Country Butler LLC – Fayetteville – (281) 389-2727

Elisa’s Sunday Haus – Round Top – (979) 249-5522

LeBillet Doux – (979) 378-2222

Lodge on Lake Siesta – 11 miles from La Grange – (979) 732-2726

Skyrunner Guest House – La Grange – (979) 966-9698

Texana Trails and Lodge LLC – La Grange – (979) 247-4457

The Barn – 979-249-5819

Feb 052017
 

For many many years Country Comedy Legend Ray Stevens has brought laughter and smiles to the halls of venues all over the world. He plays the Grand Ole Opry and Branson equally often and I even witnessed him perform at a few festivals in the past. This above video is form his 2014 film Campin Buddies with Green Acres star, Tom Lester and many other wacky characters make this a funny film. He closed his Branson Mo theater in 2006 and sold it to RFD TV, and began playing his political songs.

He isn’t always for everybody that cannot look in the mirror and laugh at themselves and their own beliefs as he unleashes a barrage of political and religious humor upon the world of Country Music. Ray Stevens in truly one of the last REAL Country Music Comedians left the likes of Jerry Clower, Speck Rhodes and Minnie Pearl have all but been called home to Hillbilly Heaven. If you had a childhood like mine then the name Jeremiah Peabody is very familiar, or the phrase DON’T LOOK ETHEL…or ARE YA NAKEEEEEED?

To be honest Ray Stevens never slowed down at all, and as he celebrates his 78th birthday he appears to be upon another zenith as he announces the legal documents needed to proceed construction of his planned 27,000 square foot entertainment center called “CabaRay” which is slated to debut late 2017. This center will contain a 700 seat auditorium for live shows (of which he WILL book other acts) a dining area full service kitchen, three bar areas and gift shop.

Recording wise we haven’t heard from him since 2015 as he released “Here We Go Again” which included this song
“Taylor Swift Is Stalking Me” which was originally intended to be a part 2 to “It’s Me Again Margaret” but was directed away from that one as he just didn’t want to bring back Willard McBain  to us.

However many people didn’t know the serious side of Ray Stevens as he signed to Monument Records and recorded the original version of Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Mornin Coming Down” which became one of the first two charting hits Ray Stevens ever had.  He did production work for many stars the likes of Dolly Parton and Patti Page and Brenda Lee.

In 1973 he released his most popular hit “The Streak” which was a commercial juggernaut at the time with merchandise sales topping almost 1 million and his other most popular song “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival” which was inspired by a true story. “I Need Your Help Barry Manilow” was another very successful song foe him as was many others. His live shows often contain purposely hokey and out of date props and costumes intended to look redneck and poorly crafted, he continues to perform and you can see him on the Opry in June.

Feb 052017
 

It’s been spring of last year that I have crossed paths with Rockabilly band Little Lesley And The Bloodshots from up there in New York, however I’m pleased to announce that The Muddy Roots Nashville Boogie has added them to their festival list for 2017 as well. Here’s a little rundown of MY MAY for you, I’ll be at Moonrunners in Chicago and also supporting Crooked Smile in spirit the second week, also the Nashville Boogie the third week AND THEN I’ll be hosting my own stage in Kansas City at Westport Roots that last weekend. So I’ll be covering their set this year as well as last year!

They have released a new EP and some videos that I wanted to share with you as I keep an eye on what they do, honestly I do not get the opportunity to cover as much Rockabilly as I’d like to with such a wide coverage of different genres I have. Western Star records have released their new album from the United Kingdom, and you KNOW they ONLY put out good stuff.

Now mind you folks,I’m not into 45’s as much but I shall most likely buy one at the show, I do have it on digital stick and I finally got a chance to sit down and write an article for them because I wanted to wait for the video so I had a little more meat for an article.  This EP has four really good songs on it, they played a few of them last spring during their set.

The band also now bases things out of South Carolina as well and this band just absolutely brings a fury of sound upon you when they annihilate the stage. They have been out on the road playing many shows this fall and winter and I’m truly looking forward to covering their set this spring in Nashville.

Feb 052017
 

Before I go into this article any further I have a story of my own regarding Mac Wiseman and me. You know I have been covering Country Music functions from a journalist’s point of view for many many years now. Some years back, about two exactly in 2015 at the Al Meniah Shriner’s Temple in Nashville, where they hold the spring and fall annual R.O.P.E. functions, we were all blessed enough to witness Mr. Keith Bilbrey bring the Mic over to Mac Wiseman’s table where he performed a song for us in his chair. What a blessed a surreal experience that moment was, if I ever write a book this will be included in one of the chapters of it.

As I filter and shuffle through pictures of the past R.O.P.E. gathering I am reminded of past friends that have long been called home to Heaven, Mac Wiseman is one of those that remain prominently with us and we are honored to have him. We all adore him so very much and we need him around for many years to come.

This past January he released a new album called “I Sang The Song” Life Of The Voice With A Heart on Mountain Fever Records  he releases a new album of refreshing music that will embellish your collection quite nicely as this album already boasts a number one hit .

 

THIS FROM THE LABEL’S WEBSITE:
WILLIS, Virginia—Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of a star-studded concept album celebrating the life and spirit of Country Music Hall of Fame member Mac Wiseman. I Sang The Song (Life Of The Voice With A Heart) is available today. The first single, “Going Back to Bristol,” featuring the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2015 Male Vocalist of the Year Shawn Camp, was released November 2016 and reached #1 on Bluegrass Today’s Top 20 Songs December 23rd.

What began as a casual weekly visit among friends quickly morphed into an unprecedented album project. Over nine weeks, Country and Bluegrass Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman met with Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz, sharing intimate details of his 91 years, and of his journey from Virginia boy to American roots music icon. That journey is the subject of I Sang The Song, the joyful and poignant album that springs from Mac’s storytelling sessions. In liner notes, Cooper writes, “The stories would have been remarkable coming from anyone. But coming from Mac Wiseman, an acknowledged master of American roots music who earned the nickname ‘The Voice with a Heart,’ the stories began to sound like songs. Thomm Jutz and I sat in small chairs that faced the easy chair, situated beneath a photograph of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Mac’s childhood place of worship. We wrote down the stories, and found them rich with melody and rhyme.”

To begin the recording process, producers Cooper and Jutz assembled an all-star band of musicians including mandolinist Sierra Hull and multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses—both also lent vocal talents—and bassist Mark Fain. Further, featured performers were carefully chosen based not only on artistic mastery, but also reverence for the album’s subject, Mac Wiseman. The result is a collection of perfect performances by John Prine, Jim Lauderdale, Shawn Camp, Junior Sisk, Alison Krauss, Andrea Zonn, Ronnie Bowman, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Becky Isaacs Bowman, Buddy Melton, and Milan Miller, with special vocal appearances by Mac Wiseman. Cooper says, “Everyone who sings on this album understands the greatness of Mac Wiseman and the responsibility inherent in voicing Mac’s story and interpreting Mac’s words. These artists approached the songs with joyful reverence that is palpable to anyone who listens.”

Track Listing:
1. “The Guitar”—Sierra Hull & Justin Moses
2. “Somewhere Bound”—Buddy Melton & Milan Miller with Andrea Zonn
3. “The Wheat Crop”—Junior Sisk with Sonya Isaacs Yeary & Becky Isaacs Bowman
4. “Barefoot Till After The Frost”—Jim Lauderdale
5. “Manganese Mine” – Shawn Camp
6. “Three Cows And Two Horses”—Buddy Melton & Milan Miller with Andrea Zonn
7. “Simple Math”—Jim Lauderdale
8. “Crimora Church Of The Brethren”—Junior Sisk & Ronnie Bowman
9. “Back To Bristol”—Shawn Camp
10. “I Sang The Song”—John Prine
11. “’Tis Sweet To Be Remembered”—Mac Wiseman & Alison Krauss

In 1993 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor, and in 2014 he was blessed with an induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. In 2014 he also released a brand new album of songs inspired by his mother’s handwritten notebooks of songs she heard on the radio when Mac was a child: Songs From My Mother’s Hand.

However from researching this album further I learned that all of the songs on this album were penned over nine afternoons at Mr. Mac’s house with his producers.  He is already looking into the future to pursue more new projects and recording even more new music he has written, Mac Wiseman has recorded more albums and songs than artists I could name that are Legends.

 

Feb 042017
 

 

Once prevalent down on lower Broadway in downtown Nashville existed five young men clad in suits and ties that played together like a well oiled machine, however in all honesty they were a machine that FOUGHT the machine. That machine I speak of was corporate Nashville who at that particular time was spewing forth contemporary Country Music like Blackhawk and Joe Diffie. But their attempt to sway a majority of fans away from REAL Honky Tonk Country Music was all for naught, especially due to the fact these five men were making Robert’s their base of operations with four and five hour sets of powerhouse music. Nashville soon had an epiphany and realized that they needed to be signed to a major label and marketed..and that happened much to the delight of people like me.

Chuck Mead, Gary Bennett, Don Herron, Smili’n Jay McDowell and Shaw Wilson named their band after the iconic Junior Samples skit from the once mighty Hee Haw television show. And I remember working with a young man that apparently was paid 200 cash for the legal use of their mascot the BR5-49 crow with the hat on, he used to deliver cokes to my store. There was also Bones Becker and Mark “Bugs” Ude at various times in the early nineties.

I never got to see them perform at Robert’s however I did get to see them play at Exit In while they were touring for their first self titled album and before they released their second album. They did have somewhat of a turbulent future from a whopping tour schedule and personal issues, and also health issues. I know Mr. Gary is truly having some unfortunate issues with his health and I’m sad to see him sick. I want to reach out to him and make it all better for him, and I cannot.

They went through some lineup changes including my now personal friend Geoff Firebaugh, who went on to begin Hillbilly Casino and the mighty Chris Scruggs who is a local Legend down here. He IS THE MASTER of the straight steel guitar and plays two at once. Perhaps the biggest blow to their existence was multi instrumentalist Don Herron getting hired by Bob Dylan, heck Don Herron contributed largely to J.B.Beverley’s album “Dark Bar And A Jukebox”.

There were nine albums released altogether however now in their hiatus they have released many live albums from their performances through the years, most recently was live from the Houston Astro Dome.   However now there is another album called Live On The BBC, now I want to stress this information: this is NOT like the Curb Records ordeal Hank 3 is enduring. These albums are being manufactured by THEIR own choice so your money isn’t going to any fraudulent label tricks and you can click HERE to purchase this album.

1 Andy Kershaw Introduction
2 What’s The Matter With The Mill
3 My Name Is Mudd
4 Interview
5 Even If It’s Wrong
6 Interview
7 Hometown Boogie
8 Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
9 Interview
10 Settin’ the Woods On Fire
11 Right Or Wrong
12 Andy Kershaw Conclusion
13 David Allen Introduction
14 Change The Way I Look
15 Bettie, Bettie
16 My Eyes Are Jealous
17 Georgia On A Fast Train
18 Pain Pain Go Away
19 Honky Tonk Song
20 Lifetime To Prove
21 Humdinger
22 I Told You No A Thousand Times
23 Little Ramona
24 If You Ain’t Lovin’
25 How Come It
26 Crazy Arms
27 Love’s Gonna Live Here Again
28 Cherokee Boogie
29 David Allen Conclusion
30 Saturday Night RnR Party with Geoff Barker

They represented the Opry with dignity and graced the stage there many times, with a presence that rivaled none and overpowered many of the “stars” of their time. They played covers that were so obsolete and obscure only a book nerd like me even speculated they weren’t original songs. At that time their entire length shows were so intense that patrons traveled hundreds of miles to witness a local band, at that time it was unheard of…until the juggernaut called BR5-49 came around and in MY WORLD they never left and they never will.

If any of you guys involved with the band ever read this, THANK YOU for the music.

Feb 042017
 

 

I just recently saw an update on social media that my friends over at Rhythm Bomb Records (Also Rockstar Records) have done something iconic for hardcore Bluegrass lovers everywhere. As of late I have actually been on a Bluegrass bender researching over 200 bands for a few upcoming festivals you can click on the HOME link after this and it will return you to the main menu and you can read about three of them this month.

The fine folks out there at RB Records have compiled a GREAT 5 CD set available NOW with a 68 page booklet that comes with it choked FULL of information about him and his wandering bunch of Bluegrass Boys, focused deeper than the hallowed 1989 Bear Family Boxed Set. From what I can ascertain this compilation is even more fattening for any Bluegrass lover’s palate, and if you are anything like me you will hunger for this knowledge.

There was such an ever changing and eclectic lineup of past Bluegrass Boys that no one compilation can completely encompass the entire spectrum of talent that once backed Bill Monroe, however this features the like of Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield.  I mean honestly The Bluegrass Boys were always pretty much one of Bluegrass super groups in the early 50’s having such fists as Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise, and Cedric Rainwater (AKA Howard Watts).  Honestly you could name Legend after Legend that stood alongside Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, Bobby Hicks….the list is indefinite. You can click HERE and pre order this 5 disc set NOW!

THIS DIRECTLY FROM THEIR WEBSITE:
ust in case that you are into BLUEGRASS music: Richard Weize Archives is releasing a 5 CD box set of Bill Monroe. Artwork by Sven Uhrmann.

For devotees of Bill Monroe’s music, the CD box sets issued by BEAR FAMILY beginning in 1989 were the answer to a listener’s dream: having the bluegrass originator’s complete recordings tastefully collected in boxes, with informative books included. What we now have is something even more dreamlike: all the familiar Monroe recordings for DECCA in 1950-51, featuring lead singers Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield, presented next to unbelievably all the outtakes (none previously issued) of all the tracks. Among other things, this means multiple takes of Raw Hide. For musicians and careful listeners who have studied that spectacular recording for years, it’s as though a new set of Stone Tablets has been found. It also means the “tape blip” we’ve always tolerated in The First Whippoorwill is now corrected, as the previously issued take was from a faulty tape dub whereas the “new” 1951 version is from the original master. Accompanying this gold at the end of the rainbow is a revised discography by Neil Rosenberg, and notes by Dick Spottswood (edited by Rosenberg) with recollections by Monroe fiddler Charlie Smith. Bluegrass music at its finest!

CD 1

1. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 1)
2. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 2)
3. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 3) OP 1950
4. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 1)
5. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 2, false start)
6. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 3) OP 1950
7. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 4)
8. My Little Georgia Rose (take 1)
9. My Little Georgia Rose (take 2, false start)
10. My Little Georgia Rose (take 3)
11. My Little Georgia Rose (take 4, fasle start)
12. My Little Georgia Rose (take 5) OP 1950
13. Memories Of You (take 1)
14. Memories Of You (take 2)
15. Memories Of You (take 3, false start)
16. Memories Of You (take 4) OP 1950
17. I’m On My Way To The Old Home (take 1)
18. I’m On My Way To The Old Home (take 2) OP 1952
19. Alabama Waltz (take 1)
20. Alabama Waltz (take 2, false start)
21. Alabama Waltz (take 3, false start)
22. Alabama Waltz (take 4)
23. Alabama Waltz (take 5)
24. Alabama Waltz (take 6, false start)
25. Alabama Waltz (take 7, false start)
26. Alabama Waltz (take 8) OP 1950
27. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 1)
28. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 2)
29. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 3)
30. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 4)
31. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 5)
32. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 6) OP 1950
33. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 1, false start)
34. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 2)
35. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 3) OP 1951
36. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 4)
37. Boat Of Love (take 1)
38. Boat Of Love (take 2, false start)
39. Boat Of Love (take 3)
40. Boat Of Love (take 4) OP 1950

CD 2

1. The Old Fiddler (take 1, breakdown)
2. The Old Fiddler (take 2, breakdown)
3. The Old Fiddler (take 3, breakdown)
4. The Old Fiddler (take 4)
5. The Old Fiddler (take 5, false start)
6. The Old Fiddler (take 6)
7. The Old Fiddler (take 7)
8. The Old Fiddler (take 8) OP 1950
9. Uncle Pen (false start)
10. Uncle Pen (take 2) OP 1951
11. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 1)
12. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 2)
13. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 3, breakdown)
14. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 4) OP 1951
15. Lord Protect My Soul (take 1, false start)
16. Lord Protect My Soul (take 2)
17. Lord Protect My Soul (take 3, false start)
18. Lord Protect My Soul (take 4)
19. Lord Protect My Soul (take 5)
20. Lord Protect My Soul (take 6) OP 1951
21. River Of Death (take 1/2, breakdown)
22. River Of Death (take 3, false start)
23. River Of Death (take 4, breakdown)
24. River Of Death (take 5) OP 1951
25. Letter From My Darlin’ (take 1) OP 1952
26. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 1)
27. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 2/3, breakdown)
28. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 4)
29. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 5) OP 1951
30. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 1, breakdown)
31. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 2)
32. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 3, false start)
33. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 4)
34. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 5)
35. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 6) OP 1952

CD 3

1. Poison Love (take 1, breakdown)
2. Poison Love (take 2, breakdown)
3. Poison Love (take 3, breakdown)
4. Poison Love (take 4, breakdown)
5. Poison Love (take 5, breakdown)
6. Poison Love (take 6, breakdown)
7. Poison Love (take 7, false start)
8. Poison Love (take 8) 9. Poison Love (take 9, breakdown)
10. Poison Love (take 10, breakdown)
11. Poison Love (take 11 false start, 2 breakdowns)
12. Poison Love (take 12 false start, breakdown)
13. Poison Love (take 13, false start) OP 1951
14. Kentucky Waltz (take 1)
15. Kentucky Waltz (take 2)
16. Kentucky Waltz (take 3) OP 1951
17. Prisoner’s Song (take 1, false start)
18. Prisoner’s Song (take 2) OP 1951
19. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 1)
20. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 2)
21. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 3, breakdown)
22. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 4) OP 1951
23. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 1)
24. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 2, false start)
25. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 3, false start)
26. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 4)
27. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 5, breakdown)
28. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 6) OP 1951
29. Brakeman’s Blues (take 1, breakdown)
30. Brakeman’s Blues (take 2, false start)
31. Brakeman’s Blues (take 3) OP 1951
32. Travelin’ Blues (take 1)
33. Travelin’ Blues (take 2 false start, breakdown)
34. Travelin’ Blues (take 3)
35. Travelin’ Blues (take 4, breakdown)
36. Travelin’ Blues (take 5) OP 1951

CD 4

1. When The Cactus Is In Bloom (take 1, breakdown)
2. When The Cactus Is In Bloom (take 2)
3. Sailor’s Plea (take 1)
4. Sailor’s Plea (take 2)
5. Sailor’s Plea (take 3, breakdown)
6. Sailor’s Plea (take 4) OP 1952
7. Sailor’s Plea (take 5, breakdown)
8. Sailor’s Plea (take 6)
9. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 1, breakdown)
10. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 2, breakdown)
11. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 3)
12. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 4, breakdown)
13. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 5) OP 1989
14. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 1)
15. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 2, breakdown)
16. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 3) OP 1989
17. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 1, 2 false starts)
18. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 2, false start, breakdown)
19. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 3,false start) OP 1964
20. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 1, breakdown)
21. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 2, false start, breakdown)
22. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 3, false start) OP 1989
23. Highway Of Sorrow (take 1, false start, breakdown)
24. Highway Of Sorrow (take 2)
25. Highway Of Sorrow (take 3) OP 1951
26. Rotation Blues (take 1)
27. Rotation Blues (take 2)
28. Rotation Blues (take 3, breakdown)
29. Rotation Blues (take 4, breakdown)
30. Rotation Blues (take 5)
31. Rotation Blues (take 6, breakdown)
32. Rotation Blues (take 7, breakdown)
33. Rotation Blues (take 8, breakdown)
34. Rotation Blues (take 9) OP 1951

CD 5

1. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 1, breakdown)
2. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 2)
3. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 3, breakdown)
4. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 4) OP 1951
5. Sugar Coated Love (take 1)
6. Sugar Coated Love (take 2, breakdown)
7. Sugar Coated Love (take 3)
8. Sugar Coated Love (take 4)
9. Sugar Coated Love (take 5) OP 1951
10. Cabin Of Love (take 1)
11. Cabin Of Love (take 2)
12. Cabin Of Love (take 3)
13. Cabin Of Love (take 4) OP 1953
14. You’re Drifting Away (take 1)
15. You’re Drifting Away (take 2)
16. You’re Drifting Away (take 3) OP 1953
17. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 1)
18. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 2, breakdown)
19. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 3)
20. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E1)
21. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E2)
22. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E3)
23. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 3, master) OP 1951
24. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 1, false start & breakdown)
25. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 2, breakdown)
26. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 3, breakdown)
27. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 4)
28. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 5, breakdown)
29. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 6) OP 1951
30. The First Whippoorwill (take 1)
31. The First Whippoorwill (take 2, false start)
32. The First Whippoorwill (take 3, breakdown)
33. The First Whippoorwill (take 4, breakdown)
34. The First Whippoorwill (take 5, breakdown)
35. The First Whippoorwill (take 6)
36. The First Whippoorwill (take 7) OP 1951 OP 2017, except where noted

Feb 032017
 

Tonight I ventured out to Clarksville out on Hwy 12 wherein lies the Bent Wrench Roadhouse which is a Packers bar embellished with much memorabilia of said team. Now mind you, this is a beer only establishment but you can bring in your own hard liquor and buy a cup of ice.

The food was presentable and was VERY good in fact I would venture out that way just to eat, it was truly that good. the pizza was frozen but doggone it I enjoyed it, and the appetizers were reasonably priced. Just an ordinary run of the mill corner roadhouse with a NICE smoking area and small stage for music. Actually for acoustic acts I thought it was quite comfy and quaint to have it, and the crowd was well receptive to them.

So like I have been previously doing with similar articles of this ilk I shall include all of the information about each of these acts separately in two sections tonight. Miss Sissy played first however I wanted to touch dwell upon Duane Mark as my first artist here depite them changing sets from hour to hour. They are on tour together for several weeks and stopped here before having the day off and heading to St. Louis..I hope the hot chicken was good y’all.

I covered Miss Sissy late last year and haven’t crosed paths with Mr. Duane since Crooked Smile Festival in 2015 in Winchester Indiana. The video below is a cover of Social Distortion’s called “Ball And Chain”.

He began his set with a song from the TV Show The Trailer Park Boys called “Liquor And Whores” that the charachter Bubbles plays followed by a song called “Happy Hour”. I requested one of his older songs, however most of his setlist tonight was off his newer albums. “Miner’s Blues” was included tonight as well as an Eagles cover “Take It Easy”.

If you catch this show in your area ask him about ear goggles, and listen to his stories about picking up his buddy “Homeless Dave” whom actually will be included in my further steel guitarist series in the future. As he plays “Hobo Insane” he touches on that story, he also played some songs by the White Buffalo called “Every Night” and “Bar And The Beer. In addition he played one called “How The West Was Won”, and as he played “I’ll Fly Away” he was well recieved by the crowd here.

“Red Letter” was next and “Beer:30” and then he went into a new song  called “Lonely Wheels”which will ONLY be available by purchasing his latest album on vinyl, and that album is called Land Of Opportunity And Sorrow. It shall be available for purchase on April 28th 2017, so go pick that up.

“Brittle Flower” was also included as well as “Stand My Claim” and at the end of his set they did some duets like “Jackson” which was really good, I think their vocal abilities compliment each other quite well. He closed his set with Roger Alan Wade “if your’e Gonna Be Dumb You Gotta Be Tough”.

Miss Sissy I covered not too long ago at Belcourt Taps on an entire weekend music show binge, what a wrecker that was! Speaking of which of course I requested her to play “Homewrecker”. She opened her whole set with a cover fo Hank 3 called “Not Everyone Likes Us”, and “Lone Star” by Norah Jones.

Roger Miller’s “King Of The Road” followed by “Birdcloud” were included in this set of hers as well as her story about being in love with her bass player and having to leave him somewhere on the road. That song is called “Leaving You Behind”, and she played “Your Cheat’n Heart” of course that was Hank Sr.

“Will The Sun Shine On Me” was another one of her originals she played tonight before she played “Mama He’s Crazy” by the Judds and one of Loretta Lynn’s very first charted songs form 1960 on a locally funded record label called Zero Records. It was her first commercially released single even though “Whispering Sea” was her intended first debut release.

Cody Jinks “Last Call For The Blues” and “Long Way From Home” were next followed by her own song “Last Resort First Regret”. She celebrated missing her good friend Jon Emery out there in California with his song called “Last Real Bar In California” and another of her own songs called “He says”.

Feb 032017
 

Folks its been a hell of a long week of music here in Tennessee and Kentucky but I did manage to get to the Spillway Bar And Grill for the first songwriter series that has ever transpired here. I wanted to say outright I have seen many fine shows here at the Spillway and I love the food and atmosphere here. But I have never witnessed such a sincere and fine attempt at appreciating the songwriting aspect of the music business.

I have been reiterating this for nearly two decades now in my studies of Country Music and this hypothesis even trickles into Bluegrass and Roots Music and other genres in various cases, it has three staple core pillars. The Producer, the songwriter and the Steel Guitar. If a Country album has all three you have a classic album the likes of Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger which in my opinion is the greatest Country album of all time. You have another fine example in Wanted the Outlaws which became the first platinum selling Country album of all time and became a thorn in the side of Music Row which at that pinnacle of history was pushing the Nashville Sound and Chet Atkins movement, not saying I didn’t enjoy pop country of that period of time…I did.

Basically getting back to my original subject, this was in some ways a typical writers night with a few small different twists, as the televisions were turned off and the tables were furnished with waitress lights that light up when you need service. NO talking is allowed during this event and the tables were moved onto the dance floor so we could get up close to the stage. One negative thing I had was I used my light and didn’t get anyone’s attention, make NO mistake the service is always beyond stellar and I think they were reluctant to approach tables during the music. That I can ascertain as a negative turned into a positive. I had NO problem going to the bar to order my food, if I miss a song I can contact the artist and they know I’m not perfect although I strive for it as best as I can.

Mr. Robert began the entire event with explanations on how the event was going to happen along with the opportunity to ask each individual singer questions. Each picker took turns playing one song just like The typical round fashion which is prevalent in Nashville. The stories and origins of most of them abounded in prominent fashion here at the Spillway tonight. This was indeed one of the finer songwriter nights in this area, and honestly it even rivaled the iconic Bluebird Cafe which is heralded as one of the nation’s finest.

I enjoy writing these articles that swap out turns in a fashion of focusing upon one artist at a time so that is indeed what I shall adhere to in this article as well. So with that being stated let’s focus upon a fellow I haven’t covered since and his name is Rye Davis.

Mr.Rye has been playing local music here for many years, but he was also a minor league pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and stated one of his fastest pitches was 98 miles and hour. People asked him many questions today, and that was one of them. His first song was one called “Make It Through The Night” As he introduced us to his style and the personality of his vocal delivery.

He was influenced by Waylon and Dwight Yoakam which is vividly present through his vocal presentations, he possesses a rare comfort of being on a stage at the focus of attention here tonight and I can easily see how much fun he is having with no tensity at all. His next song was called “No Wings” , and the video I have included of his on this article was a song called “She’d Know”. There is some brief dialogue at the beginning of this video which explains the song better than I could.

One of the more personal songs he played for us tonight was called ” This Side Of Heaven” which is what I am enjoying right this very minute, as I write this article portion before I enjoy these wings, currently he is reminiscing about how he got started playing at the Spillway.  Miss Mary Jo asked Mr Rye to tell the story behind his song “Blue Jeans” which pretty much every young man my age can relate to.

Man when I was a young man I used to throw my dirty clothes all over my floor and my mom (like many moms) would so they could look in your dirty jeans pockets to find guilty clues to what you have been into. Skoal rings, condom wrappers, love letters…etc.

He closed his turns out with songs called “Love You Till Morning” and his last one was called “They All Know My Name”. Both of those were equally good songs in their own right, and I would highly suggest catching one of his sets sometime in the local area..you will NOT be disappointed.

Mr. Pat Haney is one of the Bowling Green areas local Legends who I have never had the opporuntiy to witness until today. He is quite possibly one of the most cut and dry and entertaining individuals I have ever encountered in my tenure as a journalist. I mean he emanates a “been there done that” ambiance that rivals the passel of writers with thousands of cuts playing the Bluebird or Douglass Corner Lounge.

He opened with a small tale of growing up in Detroit,where a place called “Little Kentucky” existed. His grandparents taught him about the place that even the mail carrier was afraid to embark into..it was that rough. So the mail carrier would deliver the mail to the tool room at the local factory, and often the intended recipients aquired their mail too late. In one instance the person which the song “Adeline” is about indeed did get his letter too late.

He continued his set with a song called “I’m Alright And You’re Somewhere Turning 62”. He wrote that song about an old dishwasher he met in a green room which was a dish washer area. He was in Bend,Oregon and had ear problems from the altitude where he had to rest.

His next song was called “I Should’ve Danced With You”, and he followed that with an eclectic subject song called “Hwy 40 Ain’t No Place To Be”. Folks you just need to go see him and ask about the house sitter named Emily and the kennel for kids that had a sandbox so refereed to himself as a cat. Don’t go into the woods because the wild animals eat children and a little girl named Sue that came out of the woods who taught him how to spit….to an old GTO he was rebuilding his father said would never run..and did.

TRUE QUOTE

“Songs are like viruses, they have a thirteen day incubation period and you throw up from the flu, and that’s a song”.

He sang a song called “The Nursing Home Song” which Mr. John King said he once played a nursing home and a resident was knitting and he played fifteen of his own, then played that song and she finally said “good song”. John King complemented the trio quite amicably. The three were very friendly and respected each other   as peers. I wanted to say the BEST song of his set in my opinion was one I didn’t capture on video and it was called “It Wont Be Over No Coal”. He closed his set with a song called “Licts” as in “derelicts”.

The third artist in this trio was one of my 2015 TOP 50 albums, John King who leads the Mud River Revival played a truly stellar set. In fact I was so busy writing and editing this I forgot to capture video of him until his last song which was “Man On The Mountain”. I AM going to include his promo video for his NEW song called “Free To Leave”.

He began his set with “Heaven Gained Another Angel”, and the ever popular song he includes in just about every set called “Veteran”.  I shall close this article with the official video for his new upcoming song called “Free To Leave”. His band The Mud River Revival has developed their own distinct sound that is clearly recognizable within the local scene in this area.

One of the new songs he performed was one of his songs that I related to called “Ghost”, see my own father suffers from Alzheimers and Dementia. He doesn’t honestly know things going on around him or who we are, however his soul still lingers somewhere in that body of his. He was inspired to write this by a lady in church that delivered a vicious stare to his son, and later was informed she had Alzheimers.  He also played “Nowehre Kentucky” and one that was requested called “It Ain’t Easy But It’s Honest”.

In closing I must stress my interest delving into further installments of this event, and how much of an impact this can have on his community. It brings together fans and artists that perform REAL music, and it won’t always be Country. In fact the next installment will feature some Rock acts in an acoustic fashion, and to the best of my knowledge will be of the same fashion as this one was.

Feb 022017
 

You have saw it on my sidebar for many weeks now the advertising for the GREAT lineup out there in Asheville North Carolina for the 22nd annual Bluegrass First Class hosted by Festival Director Mr. Milton Harkey and his organization that is fiercely dedicated to the proliferation and promotion of Bluegrass music in all forms. He is by all means one of the modern day pioneers of his craft in many ways:

  • One of the founding fathers of the IBMA (June, 1985) and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
  • Originator, founder and producer of The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Family Style Bluegrass Festival in Denton, NC (for 17 years)
  • Founder and host of the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass showdown, a talent search for bluegrass and acoustic bands throughout the US and Canada. Pizza Hut was the Title Sponsor.
  • Founding member of the South Carolina Bluegrass Society, Inc and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
  • Producer of several bluegrass festivals: Fox on the Run Bluegrass Festival in Lexington, Little Mountain, SC, founder of the Kinston Winter Bluegrass Festival in Kinston, NC in conjunction with the Eastern North Carolina Bluegrass Association.
  • Disk jockey for 1 year with a 3 hour weekly show at WCOS-FM Radio, a 100,000 watt station located in Columbia, SC.
  • Event producer at the Quarter Moon Listening Parlor in Columbia, SC.
  • Harkey continues to spend his spare time working with young bluegrass artists by providing the opportunity to showcase their talents and achieve the recognition of seasoned bluegrass audiences nationwide.

On Feb 17,18 and 19th at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville North Carolina you will find this stellar lineup of GREAT Bluegrass music to entertain you in fine fashion. So first we shall talk about the lineup of bands before all the rest of the information here. As usual I shall post not only the poster but all of the band links too!

Appalacian Fire
Will Clark & Rhythm Section
Blue Mafia
The Grascals
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
NOTE: Friday each band will perform at two daily times.

Carolina Blue
The Ditch Diggers
Town Mountain
John Cowan
Flatt Lonesome
Seldom Scene
Town Mountain
Dailey And Vincent
Jamie Dailey, Lou Reid, T. Baucom, BJ Cherryholmes and Marcus Smith

Some might fine looking accommodations embellish this festival and entice you to want to come and enjoy some music in this area folks, I highly suggest you come check out what they are doing out there. I can tell you previous experience that Asheville North Carolina is a gorgeous area. And the initial hotel that is hosting this event includes the ENTIRE HOTEL, this from their website:

There will be pickin’ around the clock in the halls, rooms, lounge, sunken lobby, and foyer. The entire hotel is reserved for bluegrass fans and performers – It’s all yours, so just have at it! There is one quiet wing in the hotel and in that area we respectfully request that there be no jammin’.

Asheville Rennissance

31 Woodfin St
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-8211


Days-Inn

Days Inn

201 Tunnel Rd
Asheville, NC 28805
(828) 252-4000

Free Hot Breakfast Each Morning

*Ask for the special Bluegrass rate: $73.10 + Tax

Feb 012017
 

Lately I have been indulging into a plethora of Red Dirt Country and also Bluegrass Music as well, in addition I also enjoy what Bluegrass purists dub as “progressive” Bluegrass which features the core of Bluegrass while omitting the mountain sound of it..if that makes any sense to you.

In today’s music market there exists a passel of these “progressive” Bluegrass bands and having been around for some eighteen plus years The Yonder Mountain String Band remains on the fore front of the list of them. I believe this is simply Bluegrass with a more modern sound, marketed to a younger audience akin to the marketing pitch of pop country minus the hokey plastic packaged overproduction of it. The difference you ask…this “progressive” Bluegrass doesn’t omit talent like pop country often does.

One of the select reason I adore this band so much is the longevity of their current (and steady) lineup of only one original member  being  gone, and that is the mandolin juggernaut Jeff Austin who is now solo and released a stellar album in 2015 on Yep Rock Records. He left YMSB citing creative differences and schedule conflict in 2014 and was replaced by Jake Joliff.

Back in 2015 YMSB’s offering Black Sheep earned a spot on my TOP 50 of 2015, yes it was indeed a darn fine album in every way and it continues to maintain it’s place within my constant rotation of albums when I am  into listening to Bluegrass of any form. This past spring while on their Black Sheep tour the band stopped into Austin Texas in April on their 2016 leg of this tour and recorded a LIVE DVD which you can purchase HERE.

They filmed it at Stubb’s BBQ at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin Texas last year and this is the set list of the show:

Buy
1 Trafficjam
2 Pockets
3 New Dusty Miller
4 Black Sheep
5 Traffic Jam
Set 2
6 Around You
7 Southern Flavor
8 Love Before You Can’t
9 Little Lover
10 I’m Lost
11 Anna Lee
12 All The Time
13 Robots
14 All the Time
15 Punk Sheep

I thought this DVD concert featured a nice variety of selections from a wide span of time having the first track “Traffic Jam” being from 2004 series of their “Volume”  live albums throughout their years of playing music and then going right into their 2015’s Black Sheep album released on their own label in Colorado Frog Pad Records. Fiddle player Allie Kral’s vocals are featured well on the song “Love Before You Can’t” on the Black Sheep album and on the DVD she is also featured well on them.

And HEY they are featured in many of my upcoming festival series features, so You’ll be seeing their name pop up on many of them including Winter Wondergrass out there in Colorado, their home state!

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