Monthly Archives: March 2017

Steel Guitarists Along The Road.

Austin Tripp
Travis Egnor

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.

This edition of my series Steel Guitarists Along The Road brings us to the right arm of Whitey Morgan Mr. Brett Robinson. To the right of Whitey night after night sits a slender and talented individual that helps bring such an Outlaw Country sound to the band the 78’s as a whole. Whitey Morgan just absolutely burns up the roads playing a whopping amount of shows across America, and trust me for the door fee you pay you get ONE HELL OF A SHOW!

He was gracious enough to take some time with me after a show with Dallas Moore at the Nashville Palace on his off time. He and I and his wife had a wonderful conversation at the Music City Bar And Grill, Mr. Dallas also stayed until he had to hit the road to the next gig.

My last edition brought me to talking about Mr. Brett and his involvement in landing Mr. Austin Tripp the current spot of being steel player for Cody Jinks and you can read more on that story HERE. This man just absolutely embraces the history of Country Music while embellishing the current local scene with his own history as well, and one day I am going to write a book on the things I witnessed and learned from people like him.

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 video here I took has a really nice solo of his playing the Nashville Palace show I’m also going to post one of him with Whitey Morgan below it, I STRONGLY URGE you to go support Whitey Morgan And The 78’s BUY SOME MUSIC from the band! You can get their newest album Sonic Ranch on colored vinyl LP and trust me it’s AWESOME! Mr. Brett played on Sonic Ranch, The Acoustic album, and LIVE from Flint Michigan all of which are absolute MUST HAVES in any collection.

How did you start playing steel guitar?

I grew up in Moundville, Alabama listening to country music. I started playing music professionally in Columbus, Ohio after attending the University of Alabama. I was playing rhythm guitar in a country band there. We played mostly Waylon, Merle and Paycheck type stuff. It wasn’t long before I realized that what I loved about the music was something our band lacked: a steel guitar. I got one on consignment there at a shop and immediately started gigging and learning as much as I could.

Who inspired you the most?

Definitely Ralph Mooney. Of course his playing from the beginning is historic, but really what got me started was Waylon’s live stuff.

How did you begin playing with Whitey Morgan And The 78’s?

About six or seven months after I started playing steel guitar, Whitey scooped me up in Ohio. My band there opened for him a couple times and I would sit in. The second time the writing was on the wall. Our drummer turned to our guitar player and said “I guess we are losing Brett.”

Where did the 78’s get their name?

That year was one of the last great years for that outlaw sound.

What differentiates you from other players?

Mr. Brett
My sloppiness haha. I learned in a vacuum kinda. Pretty much everything I know I’ve learned since Whitey hired me, so it was a lot of learning missing guitar harmonies from the records. Kind of backwards.

What makes up your sound?

Mr. Brett
Sho-bud and Show Pro guitars and Fender amps. Mooney, Chalker, Lloyd Green and Big Jim Murphy.

Can you give me any news on the album?

Mr. Brett
We’ve got a single all worked up that we are playing on the live shows, probably get that recorded and released asap. Whitey has been doing some great writing and we should start the new record in May.

What are the future plans for the band as a whole?

Mr. Brett
I think the plan is and has always been to do our own thing til we are ancient and can’t physically do it anymore. It’s what I love about Whitey, he’s a man of principles and stubborn in the best way possible. He’s got a vision and is uncompromising and unapologetic about accomplishing that with his boys. Even if it kills us haha.

2017 Music Festivals: Muddy Roots Nashville Boogie.

It’s that time again to bring you my article on the Muddy Roots Nashville Boogie and bring it I shall, as I always do every year. This event and the Muddy Roots main event in Cookeville are ones that I have never missed a single year of and I have reported LIVE from them for the entire three and a half years my website has been functioning.

On May 18-21st Nashville will once again fall victim to an all out assault on crappy music when Mr. Jason and his crew of REAL MUSIC crusaders usher in the real deal to the Opryland area.  Over 80 performances on 5 stages, over 4 days at 3 venues. Located at the Grand Ole Opry House, Opryland Hotel, & Nashville Palace. Includes a large indoor car show, western fashion show, huge vintage vendor market, pinup contest, a record convention, and a vintage slide show.

It’s becoming so large you cannot possibly soak in the entire event all at once, the only complaints I had were solved last year with the addition of the shuttle bus that transports you form the hotel to the Palace on the hour. I have to carry a computer bag around and it took it’s tole on my legs. Also the first year the side stages had problems with some of us just ordering water or small drinks, that has also been taken care of. I DO STRONGLY implore you eat at participating venues and spend money, but you can only eat so much, so often.  PLEASE remember to TIP I DID understand the waitstaff’s side of the deal here, I tired to solve it as politely as I could.

So now, mind you there are TWO PLACES to go for tickets on the entire deal here for a ticket single day or wristband for the weekend click HERE and for tickets to the Opry House finale on Sunday the link is down below at the bottom. I usually post a map of the area in my festival articles and there is a complete list of local hotels down below here is a nice map of the Opryland area for those of you thinking of coming and are unsure of our area here.

The Sonics / Wanda Jackson / Asleep at the Wheel / Nikki Lane / Legendary Shack Shakers/ The Blasters / Big Sandy And The Fly-Rite Boys / Lee Rocker / Hillbilly Casino / The Delta Bombers / Webb Wilder / Robert Gordon / Chuck Mead / J.P. Harris / Sonny Burgess / The Rhythm Shakers / Woggles / Psycho DeVilles / Deke Dickerson / the Krank Daddies Jack Rabbit Slim/ Charlie Hightone / Omar Romero / Jane Rosend The Deadend Boys/ Country Side of Harmonica Sam / The Doggone Honkabillies / The Cowpokes / Ike Jonson & The Roadhouse Rangers / Kay Adams/ >A Man Called Stu / Crystal Dawn & The Runnin’ Wild / The Planer Rockers / Gizzelle / The Margraves / DJ Howlin’ Jay / DJ Julea / DJ Randy Fox / DJ Nascar / / Eddi & The Scorpions/ >Ryan Cain & the Ables/ / Cheryl Deseree / The Desperados / Jason Lee Wilson / Roy Kay Trio / Julian Davis / The Royal Hounds / Kyle Eldridge & The Rhytm Rounders / Green Line Travelers / Josh Hi-Fi & The Rhythm Kings / Suzette Lawrence / Shuggie & The Sugarstuff Trio / Brazilbilly/ Country Side of Big Sandy / Billy Harlan / Art Adams / Jittery Jack/ Johnny Powers / W.S. “Fluke” Holland / DJ Easy Ed / DJ Sailor Tony / DJ Phantom / DJ Lonesome / DJ Levi Dexter / DJ Del Villareal / The Tremors / The Sabers / Cavaleros / DJ Bob Irwin / Little Lesley & The Bloodshots / Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones / Dusty Chance & The All Nighters</>

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

Don’t miss the grand finale performance with Jerry Jeff Walker, Bobby Bare, Deke Dickerson, JP Harris, Joshua Hedley, Billy Harlan & Big Sandy at the Grand Ole Opry House. Separate tickets on sale for Friday March 31, 2017 at

For the first time in over twenty years Country Music Legend Jerry Jeff Walker will perform an entire set here at the Opry House along with bobby Bare and others that are linked above in this article.


Steel Guitarists Along The Road.

Travis Egnor

I have so many different series going on within my website that sometimes It’s hard to keep them all well groomed and current, but I do. This endeavor turned out to be a major undertaking in both a positive and negative way for me but I took the negative a turned it into a learning experience to which I could still capitalize on as a man. Attempting to pin some of these hard working steel guitarists down has been a challenge, people THINK the music business is one big party, or a wild drunk fest full of drugs and women…and it’s not. ANYTHING can be turned into that I suppose but most people don’t STOP and understand the time and effort placed into pulling off a profitable show.

I have been wanting to do this project for some time now and I either didn’t have the time or the resources to pull it off in the fashion it deserves to be done in, I don’t do ANYTHING half assed or in hokey fashions. I comb my information but sometimes I make horrible face palm to the forehead mistakes and I retreat with my tail between my legs…but I come back out swinging and more aggressive than I was when I made that mistake. I know THE PEOPLE that once graced the stages of Country Music behind the steel guitar, Pete Drake, Hal Rugg, Ralph Mooney,Little Roy Wiggins and the Legends of the instrument. BUT when it came to tuning and how it works I once knew nothing about it, and I thought well HOW can I write about Country Music in Nashville and NOT KNOW?

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 scorn 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 you will 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.

I cover over 9,000 songwriters,bands and artists on here from six different genres and many of them involve steel guitarists in some fashion or another. I know TONS of them but YOU might not so I thought WHY NOT start interviewing THEM and bringing THEM to the forefront so we can better appreciate the artists they play for?  I don’t ask many questions about their “boss” unless it’s a mutual band, BUT many of them are readily willing to divulge information about the man (or woman) up in the front that employs them. In fact I am enjoying these last few years where the WOMEN have been releasing the stronger albums like Sunny Sweeney and Margo Price.


This installment of my series brings me to the telephone with the current steel guitarist for Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies and his name is Mr. Austin Tripp he called from south Carolina last night and graciously donated some time with Gary Hayes Country and I thank him SO MUCH for this opportunity to bring you folks this article!

How did you get started playing the steel guitar?

Mr. Austin
Well, it’s really a long story short but I used to play the fiddle and I began playing it at eleven or twelve. They used to have country music shows out at a little antique shop close to where I lived, and they had a fiddle player there that I befriended around the end of 2004. We went out there to the store, they had a steel player and a fiddle player and banjo there was a bunch of people. I was interested in watching the fiddle player and it was mostly Bluegrass but every once in awhile that steel player would start up and I was like man that sound. The sound of it is what attracted me to it and I got to watching him play a little lick, and I didn’t know nothing about it. I didn’t know what the instrument was called I didn’t know anything.

I finally got the courage to approach him and ask him what it was and he said it’s a pedal steel guitar, I said well I got to learn how to play one. He said well, I’m not a really good teacher but I can show you a few things. The problem was I didn’t have one and I didn’t know where to even find one and it was hard for him to show me on his and have to sit down and play it. So in the summer of 2004 and 2005 I worked all summer for a friend of mine and bailed hay to save up money to buy my first steel.

I couldn’t make it do what I wanted, I couldn’t make it do the crying and all that stuff but he lead me along, and I got to where I wanted and after a month and a half of getting one, I got started playing with him. He also plays the guitar and he would play it and let me play steel behind him, and the rest is history. I love the sound of it and I love the challenge that it put up, I’m one of those types that loves a challenge. I kind of got bored with the fiddle to be honest, and I was looking for a challenge and I found it in the pedal steel guitar.

How long did you play before you played for Cody Jinks, and how did you start with Mr. Cody?

Mr. Austin
I started playing professionally since 2009 and I was still in high school. I got offered to go on the road with a band called Broken road, we played with many acts. We played all over Georgia, parts of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. We opened for Jake Owen, Colt ford and few others, and I would get to know their steel players and know the bands. Fortunately right after I graduated high school I got the call to go out on the road with Easton Corbin, I didn’t know much about the road, I was green. I didn’t know anything about life on the road I was just getting exposed to it. Thankfully one thing lead to another and after doing shows with Easton I did shows Jake Owen and up to about 2010 I started doing shows with Blake Shelton and that lead me to my big gig and that was with Luke Bryan. And I was with Luke for a year and a half.

I took some time off from playing to care for my grandmother who passed away in 2013 from breast cancer. I took some time off to care for her and started working a manufacturing job for about three years. When my grandmother passed on I got the itch and I was ready to get back out on the road, and play music full time. One night I messaged Brett Robinson who plays for Whitey Morgan, and asked him questions about his guitar. He had got a brand new one and I was just asking him about it, we got to become friends both on Facebook and talking on the phone.

One day I got the courage and I asked him man, who plays for Cody Jinks? And he said well right now nobody, they are going through some lineup changes and nobody was playing for him. Brett was playing for him but it was wearing him down because he was setting up playing with the 78’s doing sound check and playing shows with both bands. I said ask him if he needs a steel player and about six months later in August of 2016 on my birthday I was on my way to work. Brett called me and sang Happy Birthday to me and he said I got you a present and I said what’s that? He said in two weeks you are going to start with Cody Jinks if you want, I said HELL YES so two weeks later I loaded up my steel and headed for Texas and that’s how I started playing with him, and I been with him ever since.

Without giving away secrets what makes up your sound, and what do you different from other people?

Mr. Austin
My biggest thing is I don’t follow the mainstream steel players, and I’m not taking anything away form them by no means and I learned a lot from them guys like Paul Franklin and Mike Johnson, those guys. But my biggest thing is what Cowboy Eddie Long told me years ago, he said when you play the steel play the way YOU want to play it and play what you hear and that will set you aside from everybody else. I can hear a song and put my own twist on it because I didn’t want to be like everyone else, and I have a unique sound and a style of playing.

The best way to describe it is when Cowboy Eddie did the first two Jamey Johnson records they just set up in the studio and put a microphone up and just played, they didn’t go back and redo anything. That’s what mad me really pull away from mainstream steel guitarists. My tone is really in my guitar, I’m endorsed by BMI and I have been for a year now. We designed this guitar around MY OWN specifications and I feel VERY comfortable behind my guitar. It’s a mix of Eddie Long’s tuning and my own personal tuning and we put custom pickups in it, and it’s MY weapon. It goes back to every steel player since the 1950’s they say it’s in the hands.

What’s your plans for the future, I see you are hitting the road again soon?

Mr. Austin
We have a lot of stuff going on, this year I believe is going to be the year for Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies. There’s a lot of stuff that is happening right now, you know Cody’s been in it for ten plus years and It’s only March, well we did two tours this year. This last tour we did Conan O Brian and Music City Roots show in Nashville and that wasn’t mainstream TV that’s local in Nashville but Cody said that’s the first time he’s ever done anything like before and of course Conan that was new for all of us.

This year we have shows opening up for Jamey Johnson and we have a few festivals, but we are going into the studio I think sometime in the fall and release a new album. We have already been to the studio a good bit recording a few songs here and there, we did that cover of the Pink Floyd song Wish You Was here, and that actually surprised us all because we had no idea it was even going to be released. We kind of done it as a last minute deal and I think it made it up to number four on the Texas charts and on the national ones I think it made it up to number twenty eight. I couldn’t believe it blew up because there’s not many people who could take a classic rock song and turn it in to a country song and make a hit out of it.

Well you know Whitey Morgan did that with a Springsteen song. I started incorporating more Red Dirt into my website and even though that crowd isn’t embracing Nashville they do really well out here and I’m enjoying it.

Mr. Austin
Well the Texas music comes back to me and you know people listen to what the radio gives them to listen to and sadly enough they don’t play anything from any of the Texas guys and it’s sad because that to me is music that’s the way I feel. When I get on my motorcycle and take a ride some of the Texas songs like Jason Isbell and Wade Bowen are what get me into my feelings and that’s the kind of stuff that I listen to. It should be played on mainstream radio but they wont because it doesn’t sell to teenagers today I guess unfortunately.

Now I’m getting three to five thousand hits a day and I can’t get over that five thousand mark but people like what I feature.

Mr. Austin
It’s getting out there and honestly I have been a fan of Cody’s before I even worked with him, just because he has pushed the music out there and he’s trying to get above that Red Dirt scene and sort of branch out and get above and beyond and rise up but he’s staying true to where he came from. That’s what I love about working for him, we do everything our way but our way is the people’s way and that’s what I love about him. They come from all over to the shows and a lot of times we see the same crowd which is awesome, the last show we did in Denver Colorado and there were people there from Tennessee and Arkansas and I had a friend fly in from Georgia to see us. They want that rawness, they don’t want the orchestrated concert that you pay seventy five to a hundred dollars to see and you’re sitting in the nosebleed section. They want to see the rawness of the real deal I guess you could say.

Your Flockers are a very strong following let me tell you,I have had a lot of dealings with them. Let me tell you I’m involved in many scenes being the type of media that I am. I’m in with Bluegrass people and the Muddy Roots people and Americana folks, and they are a pretty dedicated bunch.

Mr. Austin
They are very dedicated and you know I started right at the end of August and I was number fifteen hundred or sixteen hundred. At that time Cody did not have anything to do with the Flocker group, they started themselves and asked him if they could start a fan group. Cody said go ahead you can run it and do whatever you want to, so it did. Now they are up to twelve or thirteen thousand members and they’re dedicated. They come to every show there’s a least a row of them at every show and it’s awesome I love them, they’re a fun group of people.

At every show there’s always one or two that keep us entertained and they take pictures for us and things like that. They help us like on April the sixth there’s a show in Nashville to honor Merle Haggard, they had posted that they were looking for talent. Man, the Flockers got on there and started blowing it up by posting get Cody Jinks, get Cody Jinks and they had to shut the page down. They were trying so hard to get us on the show.

As a steel guitarist who influenced you the most?

Mr. Austin
I would probably have to say Cowboy Eddie Long, I don’t know him too good and I have only met him a couple of times but he showed me many things on the steel guitar and I have known him for about a year now. I would have to say the style and the way I play it would have to be Cowboy Eddie. But alongside him would have to be Ralph Mooney, I been listening to Waylon for as long as I can remember. I loved the song Rainy Day Woman and I remember hearing Ralph start it off with that steel, when I first started playing the steel I was venturing more towards Ralph Mooney his tone and his style. He said in an interview one time his style was simple but effective and you know he was with Waylon until the day that he died.

Yes, and he was the first steel guitarist to ever be put in the front line, Ralph Mooney was. Now I notice you sit to Mr. Cody’s left is that the reason you do that?

Mr. Austin
You know really Cody loves the steel and I watched videos of his past steel players and I wanted also to sit right beside him, and I asked him where do you want me to sit? He said man I need you on the front line so people can hear your leads. That’s another reason I love him he doesn’t care about just him, I don’t care about exposure for me but I love it when people come up and ask hey what is that you’re playing. Cause I’m right up front and everyone sees me and they cannot miss me.

They ask questions and that’s what I love, we were playing a show at the Wescott Theater in Syracuse New York and there was young man that I have pictures of on my Facebook of he was right up front all night. I was watching him study me all night he was probably about ten or eleven and he was just amazed by what I was doing. After the show I was walking out to the bus, and his dad stopped me and just like I asked that guy, he said man what is that you’re playing? I said It’s a pedal steel guitar he said my son was amazed by it and I brought him on the stage and he sat behind it,I let him play it and he said it was so cool.

He was inspired and I’m pretty sure his parents were out a lot of money in those next few days but that’s what I like. I like to be on the front line to inspire as many people I possibly can. I don’t want to say it’s dying but on mainstream country radio, it’s gone. The Texas guys are pulling it out but man I don’t want to see it die.

That’s why I wanted to start this series because there are so many of you in I want to say underground music per say, and there a lot of bands that have steel guitarists but nobody knows about them.

Mr. Austin
Yeah, probably in the past ten years it’s just dropped out so much and I know everybody rags on Luke Bryan and those guys but you know I worked with him and Luke has a steel player right now but it’s just not headlining like it was back in the day. The one that is promoting it the most right now is Easton Corbin with Jamie Lennon.

I agree with you and I think Jon Pardi is doing it really well too.

Mr. Austin
Jon’s good his steel player is a good friend of mine Andy Ellison.

Yes,I’m going to get him on this series soon.

Mr. Austin
And there are several young steel players that I’m friends with on Facebook I haven’t had the opportunity to meet them yet but there is a young kid I think he’s thirteen named Jacob King he’s playing a lot of the Midwest steel guitar shows. They’re great steel players not like when I first started I didn’t even have Youtube to learn by so they got a little advantage on me, I love to see young people playing the steel. I’m still young but I love the younger people sitting down and getting involved with it. And it’s addictive once it starts I want to see them on the Grand Ole Opry.

I’d like to see you on it too, my main goal when I started this website is I want people like Whitey Morgan and Cody Jinks and my daughter who is twenty, I want her to able to say they are Legends when she’s forty. That’s what I want.

Mr. Austin
Somebody asked me the other day there was some thing that was comparing Cody and Whitey to Waylon and Willie and all that. It comes down to Waylon and Willie and Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard they didn’t get to where they were by following someone else, and that’s what we are doing. We’re doing our own thing and it takes time. Time and exposure is the key and eventually I think everybody is going to get turned on to our music. For Whitey Morgan he’s been at it for a while now and this will be a big year. For all of those guys this year will be the year a lot of people wake up and say hey these guys got something going on.

Another thing with Whitey and Cody and people like Ward Davis, our fans are their fans and vice versa and a lot of time they will go to both shows in one night or two. There’s a circle fans if Whitey’s close they’ll go to his show and if we’re close they’ll go to our show and that’s a great thing. It’s not just we only like this guy or we only like that guy let’s not go to it.

Well every scene is like that, I was going to go see The Reverend Horton Heat and the G damn Gallows but I covered them many times and I decided on Wade Bowen. I am trying to incorporate more of the Texas music into this and even if I have to take off work I’ll do it to get to see people like Sunny Sweeney. She needs to be an Opry member, hell she plays more than some of the members.

Mr. Austin
Yes, I cannot wait for that day. Brett and I were fortunate enough about three weeks ago to get to see her there. The night before she had her Trophy release at the Basement East. There were several people there Larry Gaitlin and Crystal Gayle and several others were there. When she started it was just Aw Goodness. It made me feel like back in the sixties it was Country Music and that’s what it comes down to. She’s Country Music.

I think with the new management being a woman she might speak to her musically from a different standpoint than a man and I think she has a really good chance. She will speak to her from a whole different level.

Mr. Austin
I believe so she’s doing a lot of things right. This CD I listened to it before it came out and there’s several songs on there that will go places. When she released that song from a table away it went up the charts and that’s the first song I ever heard her do, and I believe it’s going to be her year as well.

2017 Music Festivals: Del Fest.


One of my all time favorite festivals to write about that happens in the spring happens in Cumberland Maryland, and it’s called none other than Delfest. You know I LOVE ME some Del McCoury and I highly encourage you to attend the 10th annual Delfest on May 25-28th at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD.

The Del McCoury Band plays many of the festivals I cover throughout the year and it’s always nice to run into them on my website adventures. This is his own festival and never falls short of festival fun and you can purchase your tickets and passes HERE.

This is a multiple stage outdoor festival event, that is conveniently located by airports and many hotels.  The fairgrounds have permanent restrooms and showers, and we supplement the facilities with ample portable toilets. Please be courteous and take only the space you need. Roping off areas and saving space for latecomers is not acceptable festival etiquette. Camping overnight on Sunday is permitted. All patrons must leave the fairgrounds by noon on Monday. There WILL BE a family type camping area that is quieter at night, and camping IS INCLUDED in your ticket price, however you may not be camped near your vehicle due to attendance. You also have to purchase a separate parking pass to park your vehicle on the adjoining property. As always because I am a patron that requires hotels at my festivals that my website covers here are some that I found on their website and my own research.

Hotels and Motels

Fairfield Inn & Suites
21 N. Wineow St.
Cumberland, MD 21502

Holiday Inn Express & Suites La Vale/Cumberland
1076 National Hwy
La Vale, MD 21502


Ramada Cumberland
100 S. George Street
Cumberland, MD 21502

Red Roof Inn LaVale/Cumberland
I-68 at exit #40
12310 Winchester Rd SW, LaVale, MD 21502

Super 8 Motel La Vale/Cumberland Area
I-68 at Rt 53
1301 National Hwy
La Vale, MD 21502

Rocky Gap Casino & Resort
16701 Lakeview Rd. NE
Flintstone (Cumberland), MD 21530

Frostburg Days Inn
11100 New George Creek Road
Frostburg, MD USA 21532

Best Western Braddock Motor Inn
1268 National Highway
La Vale, Maryland 21502

Comfort Inn & Suites
1216 National Highway
LaVale,  MD 21502

Hampton Inn
11200 New George’s Creek Road
Frostburg, MD  21532

Microtel Inn
70 N Tornado Way
Keyser, WV 26726
toll free: 1.800.771.7171

Bed and Breakfasts/Historic Inns

The Inn On Decatur
108 Decatur Street
Cumberland, MD 21502
301.722.4887 or 240.727.7039

Town Hill Hotel Bed & Breakfast
31101 National Pike
Little Orleans, MD 21766

Local Campgrounds

Rocky Gap State Park
12500 Pleasant Valley Road
Flintstone MD 21530


Share your DelFest Photos March 29th!

Be in the DelFest Family Album!

DelFest really is like a family reunion each year—and not just for the McCourys! Your smiling faces are a real part of the fabric of DelFest and we love to see your own special DelFest moments and memories. On that note, today, March 29th we want to turn Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into a virtual 10th Annual DelFest Family Photo Album of memories! Find your favorite DelFest memories/photos and upload them now with the #delfestfamilyreunion hashtag and tell people what you love about DelFest! Then everyone can search for and enjoy each other’s photos…and we’ll reshare some on our pages as well!


Del McCoury Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
Trey Anastasio Band
Gov’t Mule
Bela Fleck
Railroad Earth
Leftover Salmon
Hot Rize
The Infamous Stringdusters
Steep Canyon Rangers
Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives
Tim O Brien
The Gibson Brothers
Sierra Hull
Jeff Austin
Donna The Buffalo
Sara Watkins
Noah Pikelny
Billy Strings
Joe Craven And The Sometimers
River Whyless
Dead Man Winter
Cris Jacobs
The Broomstix
Dead Winter’s Carpenters
junior Sisk And Rambler’s Choice
Dre’ And The Collective
The Ballroom Thieves
Head For The Hills
Ghost Of Paul Revere
Kitchen Dwellers
Grand Ole Ditch


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Bluegrass Legend Bobby Osborne Releases A New Albums In 2017.

We haven’t heard anything new from Bluegrass Legend Bobby Osborne since 2009’s Bluegrass And Beyond, but I feel we are in store for a real treat in the next few weeks with the release of Rural Rhythm Records. They are very proud to announce today’s new album release, “MEMORIES: Celebrating Bobby’s 60th Anniversary as a Professional Entertainer.” The album was produced by Glen Duncan, Bobby Osborne and Bobby Osborne, Jr. and contains many golden classics and new original songs written especially for this celebratory project.

As most of you know Bobby and Sonny Osborne were the first Bluegrass act to play on the Opry with amplified instruments as they played the 1967 classic Rocky Top with amplified instruments until 1974 when the Opry moved from the Ryman to the new house. They reverted back to acoustic instruments due to noise stipulations at the venue, and in the 80’s it was inducted as the Tennessee state song. The Osborne Brothers were also the first Bluegrass band to perform at the White House.

A new classic has emerged from bluegrass legend, Bobby Osborne.  The new album, ORIGINAL, features the pioneering high-lead vocalist in fine form, floating above inspired song choices and holding court over an all star group of bluegrass pickers and singers including Sierra Hull, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jim Lauderdale, Claire Lynch, Michael Cleveland, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley, Missy Raines, Josh Williams, Molly Tuttle, Todd Phillips, and more, hand picked by producer, Alison Brown.
Bobby will appear at the Grand Ole Opry today, March 31st to sign copies of the album, which are available now at the Opry store and website (available everywhere else June 2nd).  Available now for pre-order through the Compass store.

This one is available on Compass Records as well. This from the labels website on the available pre-order:

The new album features an all star cast of pickers and singers collaborating with Bobby on an eclectic set of songs. Relative newcomers Sierra Hull and Trey Hensley team up with stalwarts Stuart Duncan and Todd Phillips on grass’d up versions of Paint Your Wagon’s “They Call The Wind Maria” and the Bee Gees’ “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.” The never before recorded Darrell Scott song “Kentucky Morning,” featuring Rob Ickes, gives a nod to Bobby’s heritage while the cover of “Make the World Go Away” with the lush twin fiddles of Buddy Spicher and Matt Combs evokes Music Row circa 1962. Bobby’s touring band the Rocky Top X-Press, with sons Wynn, Robby and Bobby Osborne Jr., deliver an updated version of the Osborne Brothers’ classic “Pathway of Teardrops” while Ronnie and Robbie McCoury, together with Josh Williams and Missy Raines, collaborate on a version of the obscure Mel Tillis song “Goodbye Wheeling.” Additional performers include Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jim Lauderdale, Del McCoury, Darrell Scott, David Mayfield, Molly Tuttle, Bryan McDowell, and Kenny Malone.

W.B. Walker Turns FOUR!

A few years ago this guy hollared at me through Facebook, and had a question about Hank Williams Junior and siad Mr. Chris Miller directed him to me. Well we researched his quandary together until he found his answer, and he told me about his podcast he had going. Now mind you we were both influenced greatly by Mr. Chris Miller and His Blue Ribbon Radio podcast of drunken eclectic playlist format.

This man started a low budget podcast in his living room in a little town in West Virginia called Dingess, and he had his first anniversary show on his couch with toys all over the floor and beer cans all over the table. I mean this guy is a husband and a father just like we are but at night he transforms into (what I have called) the “Paul Harvey Of Podcasts”. This cat has the look and the voice to grab you by your privates and MAKE YOU pay attention to the music he spins.

Spins it he does folks, much like me HE BUYS the music he features and scours the internet for HOURS to find the perfect stuff to feature. Now mind you I am a bit more varied in my featured music than he is but he ONLY PLAYS what’s in HIS heart…just like I wouldn’t write about music I don’t like.

As social media evolved into the networking mecca that it currently is now he has taken advantage of his knack for using it to turn his living room circus into a full blown carnival broadcast from his own bar in his backyard that he worked for. I mean let’s face it this guy is the American Dream like many festival organizers I know, he busted his ass night after night to achieve every accolade he has in life. I pulled MANY MANY all night working sessions in my office here building this empire into a 3-5000 hit per day operation, and honestly that isn’t that impressive of total numbers for a website if you ask me.

I went out there last year to witness the man in his own playground and I’ll tell you if you think I HAVE my operation down to a science you haven’t met him yet. So this year on April 8th in Huntington West Virginia at The V Club like his last two anniversary shows. Mr. Don has a VERY fun venue out there and he is a super nice guy if you go make sure to stop and THANK HIM for working out the deal to host the show.
This man and his wife are like family to me and I stayed with them the whole time, it was the most pleasant visit I ever had in my music adventures. I look forward to re living this visit again for years to come.

You can buy tickets HERE or you CAN buy them at the door but i’m going to tell you UP FRONT…it gets PACKED UP THERE!

So let’s talk about this years current lineup for his fourth anniversary show shall we? Folks for TWELVE DOLLARS YOU GET ALL THIS MUSIC! Jesus use the money you save to buy band merchandise, ok?
You can listen to his podcasts by going to this link HERE.

Sam Williams
Billy Don Burns
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers
Joshua Morningstar
Tyler Childers
Arlo McKinley And The Lonesome Sound
The Horse Traders
The Local Honeys
Tim Lancaster

Chris Stapleton Embarks On Tour With GREAT Supporting Talent!

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Folks I study and watch MANY artists and bands with tour schedules and news all over the spectrum and I glanced across Chris Stapleton’s upcoming tour dates and WOW I tell you what he has some rotating opening acts that AMAZED ME.

Much like Shooter Jennings and other artists I DO like they offer people like Hellbound Glory and Jason Boland opportunities to bring their music to an otherwise unknown audience…the mainstreamers. Not long ago Eric Church (who I’m sort of “iffy” on) brought with him the Drive By Truckers on some shows and THAT was respectful to me, I gave him HUGE props on that. You know I’ll be upfront and honest (in a kind way)..I don’t care for Kid Rock at all, BUT I DO respect his appreciation of music I DO LIKE. It’s NOT “beneath him” to attend a Cody Jinks show, or employ Hellbound Glory to open for him, he also does a LOT for his fans so for THAT I cannot knock the guy too hard.

If you remember my TOP 50 of 2016 you will see the debut solo album from my friend Margo Price made my TOP 50 list, and she is currently on tour with my 2016 2016 Artist Of The Year Colter Wall. Well it appears she was reciprocated that opening slot to a HUGE audience now that on this tour SHE WILL be playing a few slots as well some others that have made my TOP 50 list. Smash album maker Brent Cobb who received HUGE critical acclaim with his album is playing some spots as well as a name you WILL hear more about on here Lindi Ortega .

I also wanted to quickly mention that his previous release with the Bluegrass band the Steeldrivers has been released on vinyl LP recently, and we are highly anticipating his new album. Now that the mainstream people have been exposed to him on that award ordeal maybe they will jump on our bandwagon and pay attention to Margo Price and others that REALLY DO deserve it.

























































It’s The Fifth Anniversary For Plowboy Records.

Leave it to one of my favorite venues 3rd And Lindsley in Nashville to host the fifth anniversary show for one of the coolest labels in this type of music Plowboy Records. I’m NOT going to lie, this place has WONDERFUL FOOD and an exceptional staff. Great security guys that always do a good job keeping the peace so you can enjoy the show, buy merchandise and have a cold beer. YOU can buy tickets by clicking on the Plowboy Records name up there, I promise you’ll have a GOOD TIME!

I mean WHY wouldn’t you LOVE a record label with a mission statement like this one:  Plowboy Records was established to promote and further the legacy of the late singer Eddy Arnold as well as to provide a platform for recorded projects that focus on the creation of authentic music regardless of genre.

If you recall many months ago I issued a pretty good article about the late Jim Ed Brown and his stellar release called In Style Again among other fine releases they have unleashed upon us. It’s plain and simple folks THIS LABEL isn’t afraid to pound a fist on the debate table and STAND UP for LEGENDS like Bobby Bare (who does a LOT for Muddy Roots) and The Kentucky Headhunters.

You can darn sure bet I’ll be writing about this upcoming album from the Blackfoot Gypsies and some other new releases this label puts out. And on that Wednesday night April 12th at 8 YOU TOO can attend a star filled evening with this celebration of REAL music at a truly fun venue.

Mr. Chuck Mead And His Grassy Knoll Boys are another fine staple within my local Nashville music scene here and I consider him to be a local pioneer on Lower Broadway of sorts, his former band is known for their eclectic and LONG live sets at Robert’s caught on record in two installments. He has released some DAMN FINE material on this label as well, and I covered him on a few festivals last year.

2017 Music Festivals: Lone Star Jam.

Folks I must tell you I have been on quite a binge on the Red Dirt Country ever since I began incorporating it into my website some time ago, if you’ll remember last week I covered Wade Bowen And Miss Kaitlin Butts when they stopped in Nashville.

I cover about 175 festivals yearly in this fashion mostly Americana, Roots Music, Bluegrass and now Red Dirt Texas Country is included into my agenda, so you can be assured I will feature quality REAL MUSIC from many genres all over the United States! As always you can buy tickets to all of the festivals I feature from direct links to their own website HERE I make NO MONEY off featuring ANY festival, this is ALL done on my expense.

This festival began in 2008 and by 2013 it grew to a two day festival as the Texas and Oklahoma music scene began to flourish and present day Red Dirt scene is booming to a HUGE margin. Many websites are featuring more of it as mine started about three years ago to mix it in with what I feature on a regular basis, and with good response from my readers.


Hotels,I found an abundance of them HERE is a page of over 40 of them for you to choose from in Austin. There will be a parking fee of 10.00 per day and it clearly states if you park in an adjacent lot you will be towed away. Obviously this is NOT a camping type festival so you’ll need a hotel if you don’t live in this area.

Aaron Watson
Casey Donahew
Stoney LaRue
Wade Bowen
William Clark Green
Roger Creager
Cory Morrow
Charlie Robison
Flatland Cavalry
Cody Canada & The Departed
Mike Ryan
Parker McCollum
Rob Baird
Dalton Domino
Randall King
Koe Wetzel
Kaitlin Butts

New Albums In 2017-HUGE LIST.

Hi everybody!

Hey I had an epiphany the other night while I was working on another project, WHY DON’T I make a weekly list of newly released albums of music that I love, and update it every couple nights.? Much like my list of weekly shows that I publish every week I shall now be posting every other night a good sized list of new albums I find from a TON of sources.

I’m not going to break it down into (what I will consider) my own genres, why should I? It’s just ALL damn good music no matter WHAT you call it, and I think you’ll agree that these are truly champion choices. I find out about SO MANY new bands and festivals every day by scouring the internet and subscribing to mailing lists and word of mouth.

My TOP 50 of ANY year is probably my most popular article of anything I ever publish that gets viewed by tens of thousands of people, my TOP 50 will indeed derive from this list here and I shall update this list several times a week. If YOU have some terrific suggestions for me you can hit me up on

Sunny Sweeney-Trophy
JonEmery Dodds-Hell Rooster
Billie Gant And Nick Geise-On And On
Richie Allbright-Poets,Prophets,Heroes And Friends
Old 97’s-Graveyard Whistling
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band- Front Porch Sessions
Split Lip Rayfield-On My Way
Natalie Hemby-Puxico
Ags Connolly-Nothin Unexpected
Dale Watson And Ray Benson-Dale And Ray
Band Of Heathens-Duende
Scott H Biram-The Bad Testament
Truckstop Honeymoon-Big Things And Little Things
Truckstop Gamblers-Here
Nikki Lane-Highway Queen
Infamous Stringdusters-Laws Of Gravity
Marty Stuart-Way Out West
Poor Man’s Whiskey-Rock Star On The Weekend
Southern Culture On The Skids-Electric Pinecones
Pert Near Sandstone-Discovery Of Honey
The Gibson Brothers-In The Ground
Cory Branon-Adios
The Traveli’n McCourys-Let Her Go
Tift Merritt-Stitch Of The World
John Hord-The Home You Made For Me
James Scott Bullard And The Late Night Sweethearts-Box Of Letters
William Matheny-Strange Constellations
Black Irish Texas-To Hell With The King
Jamie Wyatt-Felony Blues
Otis Gibbs-Mount Renraw
Austin James-Full Throttle
A.J. Hobbs-Too Much Is Never Enough
Fred Eaglesmith-Standard
Jeremy Steding- Odessa
Whitney Rose-South Texas Suite
Kris Kristofferson-The Austin Sessions
Kate Grom-Heroine
Lindi Ortega-Til The Goin Gets Gone
Drew Holcomb-New Year
Brad Good Band-One Red Light
Pat Waters-Heartbroke
Derek Anthony-Dreamcathcer
Greg Wickham-If I Left This World
Rebeca Loebe-Blink
The Drugstore Gypsies-Self Titled
Buzz Cason-Passion
Great American Taxi-Dr.Feelgood’s Traveling Medicine Show
Allison Krauss-Windy City
Travis Linville-Up Ahead
Patty Reese-Let In The Sun
Valerie June-The Order Of Time
Richard Lynch-Mending Fences
Koe Wetzel-Noise Complaint
Rodney Crowell-Close Ties
Tanner Fenoglio-This Town

2017 Music Festivals: The Highwater Festival.

So this edition of my festival series bring us to South Carolina in April for the inaugural High Water Festival which was created by Shovels And Rope along with the many people that help made this dream a reality. It appears that many people have stepped on board to assist in making this possible.

High Water Festival takes place April 22-23 at Riverfront Park in North Charleston South Carolina and you can purchase tickets for this event HERE. Many corporate sponsors make this event possible and affordable to you at under 70 dollars for a general admission basic weekend pass.

Shovels And Rope just recently played two shows at the Ryman here and their new album made my TOP 50 of 2017, so you can darn sure bet that this will indeed be a truly good time out there in South Carolina next month!

As far as hotel accommodations go there is a WHOLE LONG LIST of hotels HERE as they have partnered up with Hotels For Hope to benefit some proceeds from your booking. This is not a camping event and like me if you have some medical issues all of these hotels will bend over backwards to fit your needs to help you enjoy the music!

The Avett Brothers
The Shins
Shovels And Rope
Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats
Margo Price
Jump Little Children
John Moreland
JD McPherson
Deer Tick
Charles Bradley
Matthew Logan Vasquez
The Suffers
Julien Baker
Aaron Lee Tasjan
The Deslondes
Caroline Rose
Slow Runner
Arum Rae

Kaitlin Butts And Wade Bowen.

Well folks I was faced with a pretty serious quandary this weekend, I had originally intended to cover some bands I have covered many times before. However I was faced with an incredibly tempting whole new market and a whole new opportunity I have been wanting to capitalize on as of late..Texas Country.

They call it Red Dirt Country and it also emanates from the Oklahoma area as well, and my friend Miss Bridgette Lowder planted a large seed into my head last year as we got to know each other and compared knowledge. We exchanged our likes and hates of music and different scenes and styles, until we began to KNOW each other’s local scene. I took what she exposed me to and I seriously capitalized on the void I had here.

I am a music fan FIRST and a business man SECOND BUT nonetheless I AM both and I “see things” and I “see opportunities” when I encounter them. I found a whole new broad genre to expand on and learn, and learn it I DID folks and I began contacting Texas festivals and podcasts until I learned the ins and outs of the Texas Music scene.


So I ventured out this weekend into a very popular and gorgeous local venue 3Rd And Lindsley for a Red Dirt show.First, some things notable about this venue, the parking is GREAT if you get there early like I do. The crew is VERY friendly and I have always thought security does a REALLY nice job handling things, I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a major altercation there.

I ordered the prime rib sandwich and it’s ALWAYS really tasty and comes out in ample time, the only negative thing I have to say are the fries are not portioned well enough. It could stand to be a little more so I usually order onion rings which are REALLY good.  The tables are spaced out enough and the stools are comfortable, it’s a TRULY good place to go see a show, and the prices are reasonable I would highly suggest this for ANY shows.

Miss Kaitlin Butts opened the show tonight with sharp humor and rich smooth vocals, and despite her young age she brings an older sound to the table that any TRUE Country fan will quickly appreciate. Her 2014 debut album that was produced by Mike McClure a BIG NAME out there in Texas and Oklahoma is called “Same Hell Different Devil” and has ten songs she wrote by herself and one cover. Most of the songs that made up her set list last night were indeed originals I recognized from my studies of her repertoire as I prepared to write this article on her.

In fact her first song I missed as I was meeting new friends but I quickly scooted over to my table to catch “Same Hell Different Devil” which is basically falling for us men and our bullshit lines (sorry guys she’s onto us). It’s basically a palm slap in the forehead song that most women can pretty much relate to being sweet talked into falling for a clown that is playing with her emotions. It’s actually a pretty well written song and I’m appalled that she’s not more well known within this scene, let’s change that by going on to her website and buying her album.

“He Was Right” was next which displays a VERY impressive vocal range of changing high notes toward the end of it that grabs your attention and leads it to wherever she wants you to go. This woman commands the stage and possesses an impressive stage presence, with a sharp sense of humor as she quips about everything from her last name, to cheap skanks that should have their men stolen from them by a “Gal Like Me” which was also included in her set later on.

After she covered an Elizabeth Cook song she played one called ‘Gun In My Hand” which I enjoyed but another song that stuck out to me as a person was one called “Wild Rose”. It’s just basically one of those reckless youth songs we all lived at that age. Like I previously mentioned her young age doesn’t readily identify with the hard life lessons of her lyrics, there is much more age in her lyrics however it doesn’t make them unbelievable.

After playing “Damned If I Do” she played her own version of “In The Pines” which was VERY enjoyable with just her and a fiddle. If I’m not mistaken I heard Eddie Up was playing steel for her a while and I was wondering if he would be there last night. She has quite an impressive resume like she contributed to Flatland Cavalry and many other bands, and as she closed her set with a descriptive song about her mess of auburn hair she left us ready for Mr. Wade Bowen BUT wanting more of what she packs in her holsters!

Mr. Wade Bowen is one of the Texas Music Scene’s veteran performers having been established in 1998 and last night he opened with a song of his 2008 album “if We Ever Make It Home” called “You Had Me At My Best”. His songs are mostly upbeat and furious and his band plays like a top notch well oiled machine with a vigorous trio of guitarists that evenly trade lead licks, and not spoil the FUN but one of them played their encore behind his back!

His song called “Songs About Trucks” was next which is one of his later songs from 2013, and that one talks about lost loves but of a vehicle. We all have had our past loved vehicles down by the lake that we loved to listen to our cassettes in, maybe had your first beer in the back of, or passed the time with your favorite girl in?

“Make It Home” was next followed by a powerful ballad called “West Texas Rain”. Now, that song is one of my favorite songs he sings out of his whole catalogue. He interacts with the audience beyond grateful and includes them in many of his songs by making them sing along with different songs. You can easily detect that he is AT HOME up there on stage performing and brings a fresh sound to the table.

He played a few cover last night like “Looking Out My Back Door” by Credence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty was one of my idols too, and his band made this song equally powerful on this show. This style of Country music is rapidly growing in popularity right now and I would very much like to contribute to bring it to my local area full scale in massive amounts, because it has many good qualities.

This young man PACKED the house last night to the point where standing in one spot was difficult toward the middle of the venue, I haven’t seen it that packed since my coverage of the Cody Jinks show. He played a new song called ‘I Couldn’t Make You Love Me” which I understand he is readily recording now for soon release. He played “One Step Closer” and another called “Woke Up Today” which I dedicate to my friends with cancer and other ailments that are always grateful for waking up today.

Mr. Wade has many songs of inspiration and sometimes unlike more Traditional Country this genre has as many uplifting songs as it does darker ones. But when he played an acoustic song he dubbed one of his favorite songs it was called “Walls Were Blue” which is a gloomy dark song but it is indeed a classic song. “Till It Does was followed by “Trouble” and  after he played “Walls Were Blue” he played the Kristofferson classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night” with just him, as his band got a break.

“Who I Am” was next after the upbeat song called “Standards” which was a great song about rejecting a phony song  about not having hits and having standards to record better songs. It was on his latest album with Randy Rogers and I’m glad he isn’t selling out and choosing better songs, many artists in the mainstream cannot say that.

“The Sun Shines On a Dreamer” is another uplifting song about pursuing your dreams and not being afraid to take risks and scraping your knees once in awhile. Another powerful slow song he does called “Mood Ring” is absolutely loud and hard but the lyrics are mellow and can be related by men and women alike. This is a complete masterpiece, it is VERY well written and delivered in a true heartfelt vocal style by a sincere artist.

“Beat Me Down” and his set closed with “Saturday Night” which once again required crowd participation and amped us up for his energetic encore of two cover songs one being the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B Goode” is respect for the fallen icon of Rock And Roll Chuck Berry, and the Eagles/ Conway Twitty ‘Heartache Tonight”.

All in All I must say I was extremely happy with my decision to choose this show over any other, and I’m quite convinced we NEED to bring this type of Country into our local venues and festivals. ANYTIME I get the chance to see some of these artists I have been researching I’ll be SURE to bring  them to my website over and over again.

2017 Music Festivals: Crooked Smile Music Festival.


Mr. Donnie Wymer is at it again folks this article brings us back to Winchester Indiana where we once again visit with Crooked Smile Music Festival which as always take place May 21th and 13th 2017 at the Circle X Ranch and you can purchase tickets HERE.

You know I missed this one last year due to an illness for the first time EVER I called in sick to my other job, man I truthfully hated to miss it but I could just not make the drive. Mr. Greg Serio does the sound for this one I believe he will return, I haven’t been informed otherwise. Now let me tell you the venue is absolutely gorgeous with PLENTY of room to camp and enjoy the ranch, however like always if you are the same as ME you’ll need a room.

The Randolph Inn and Suites was the hotel I used last time and I will tell you this, it is truly a wonderful place to stay and I look forward to being there again in 2016. Overpass Motel is another good choice for this area. Last year I did some researching on the area as I attended the festival and I found this one to be a thumbs up. Winchestr Guest House Inn is a place I found online and I have never been there but I do know it’s a nice suggestion by the locals I have consulted.

There is camping included in your ticket price and this is a one stage operation and despite the fact this is a campground it is an indoor festival. Now, there are no food vendors but one that is run by the campground. HOWEVER let me tell you the food is REALLY GOOD. It’s cooked and ran by the local owners of the campground and supports their community, so eating there supports this local economy.

Folks this website I have has been recognized and supported by over 175 festivals nationwide and I am being supported by more venues every day. I cover and support over 8,000 local bands and national acts and I am adding more each week. I’m growing rapidly in amazing leaps and bounds, and traveling more now than I ever have, and I am always finding new and exciting ways to bring forth local music to YOU the reader.

The Tillers
Husky Burnette
Smokestack Relics
Jimmy Swope
Joe’s Truck Stop
The Bestuls
Dead Man String Band
Wonky Tonk
The Hamer And The Hatchet
John The Revelator
June Star
Devil’s Holler
Mikey And The Snakeoil Boys
Old Wolves
Brentney Campbell
Achilles Tenderloin
Steel Guapo
Jason Dawdy
WT Newton
Willow Tree Carolers

Album Feature: Richie ALLbright: Poets, Prophets, Heroes, And Friends.


Richie Allbright is a name even I confused at first encounter with him, by now he is used to being mistaken for the Country Music Legend that wrote the Dukes Of Hazzard theme song and produced many albums for Waylon Jennings after Lincoln Chips Moman.

This man had a turbulent history just like many of his peers the likes of Billie Gant and Billy Don Burns, and his new album released in September of last year drops a lot of names however it remains relevant to authenticity and was a welcome addition to my collection. I must admit when I first met him and received the album and witnessed all of this said name dropping I was in yawn mode, because honestly I have lived it too. But within a few SHORT moments I my skeptical intuitions were pleasantly lifted from my chest, and I dissected his lyrics and his view of life.

I found more honesty and passion for Country Music in this album than anything I have ever heard by chance last year and the ONLY reason it missed my TOP 50 was because I didn’t get it in my hands until 2017…for THAT you my readers have my sincere apologies. The descriptive way this man sees Country Music is absolutely extraordinary and although it may be construed as copycat to his heroes at first the longer you listen I MEAN REALLY LISTEN he has his own different twist to the same format.

He has a nasally vocal delivery that one would identify readily with the Texas Traditional Country Music the likes of Ernest Tubb. However in 1994 when he was in his twenties he left Texas for Nashville and began playing at Gilley’s on Music Row singing for tips and began suffering from many addictions,so he left and came back in 2008. Much like I was finding out by 2006 Country Music was changing (with the exception of bands like BR5-49) and he sought out Legendary Producer Fred Foster to make his demo.

The TOP picture is of his first full album “If I’d Known Then” produced by Bill Green, and he recorded “Kickin Down The Doors” in 2011. Forward to today’s day and age and you will find people like me writing about people like him, because I’m going to tell you like “Boland And Birmingham” you will LOVE Mr. Richie.

I’m going to be truthful “Holed Up In A Honky Tonk” holding someone new is a well written hook filled revenge song that Country Songwriting Legend Dean Dillon wrote that is recorded VERY well and filled with more twang than anything that has slid across my desk in many months. I about dropped my coffee cup to run to the volume control to turn it up. I set my spottily on repeat and listened to this song over and over and over…this was a masterpiece of overlooked Country Music grandeur.

“I Lived To Tell It All” was basically a story song that many of us have deep within our lives, many of us have contributed to Country Music in our own way. Many a times I have attended funerals of my Country Music heroes and many times I go visit their graves. The story of him meeting Kristofferson in a men’s room taking a leak was absolutely awesome, you don’t tell a man you love him when he’s in a bathroom stall was one of the greatest lines in the last twenty years.

This album has twelve tracks and was produced in the Station House Studio in L.A. and it was produced by Ted Russell Kamp who plays for Shooter Jennings. Mr. John Schreffler plays some damn fine leads on this album as well.. Mr. Richie tells Gary Hayes Country he went there to record this album on an analog tape to make it sound like the older vinyls we all grew up listening to.

“Stronger Than Me” was a poignant and dark story about alcoholism from his eyes and why it has gripped his soul as tightly as it has. You can smell this stains on his breath emanate through the speakers of your computer when this song is spinning on your drive. This song is colder than my ex wife’s heart.

Country Legend Johnny Rodriguez guest appears on the Mexican laced Spanish song  “Carmen” that puts you to mind of Marty Robbins…wink wink.. once again you easily ascertain his many influences with all of these heroes that I also share with him. High upon my pedestals you will find those people perched as well, and if you pass on this album you have cheated yourself out of ONE HELL of a rocket ride.

2017 Music Festivals: The Westport Roots Festival.


It’s time once again to launch my coverage of the fourth annual Westport Roots Festival out there in Kansas City in the Westport district. This is an indoor AND outdoor 6 stage festival in downtown Kansas City,Missouri that spans three days on Memorial Day weekend May 26-28th 2017. I have included a map of the entire area for this year, and what’s different this year is that my stage will be an OUTDOOR stage under a tent…but HEY It’s a party so who cares right?

Last year the folks at the Westport Saloon were so good to me and my help that it would have been ludicrous NOT to accept the offer to become a staple host of the Honky Tonk Stage there. This festival amazed me every year with booking a STELLAR LINEUP of talent on EVERY stage, and whatever genre of music you love there is a stage to facilitate your needs and food to satisfy your palate.

This festival is located in downtown Kansas City in what they call the Westport District, and there are two hotels within walking distance of the Westport Saloon here are the links:
AC Marriott
816 Hotel
Embassy Suites
And as always I will be researching this festival immensely and adding any I find, and after going in person for the year I’ll find even more. I FULLY intend on helping them grow through a multiple area media campaign I will introduce to you here. I have talked with the owner of the Westport Saloon and he told me the AC Mariott sponsors this event and offers reduced rates to the attendees.

So HERE IS the official 2017 Lineup:
Moe Bandy
Dale Watson
The Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash
Shawn James and The Shapeshifters
Jesse Dayton
Th Legendary Shack Shakers
The Goddamn Gallows
Jayke Orvis And The Broken Band
Tanya Montana Coe
The Hooten Hallers
Lavender Country
Julian Davis And The Hay Burners
Joey Henry’s Dirty Sunshine Club
Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys
Adam Lee
W.T Newton
Tyler Gregory
Dylan Walshe
Harmed Brothers
Howard Iceberg
Jimmy Swope
Kelly Hunt
Lorin Walker Madsen
Kiel Grove
The Kansas City Bear Fighters
The Ghosts Of Grandad’s Past
Crybaby Ranch
Monzie Leo And The Big Sky
The Good Hearts
Abandoned Bells
Ivory Black
Ford Theater Reunion
Black Irish Texas
Stump Tail Dolly
Granny Tweed
Dane Talley and the Hitmen
Elvis Hitler
Bloodshot Bill
The Quivers
The Loot Rock Gang
The Culprits
Big Iron
Skip Frontz Jr. And The Left Handed Luckies
Clayton Smith And His Enemies
The John Brown Boys
The Fall Down Drunks
Cactus Attack
Tejon Street Corner Thieves
Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen
The Ready Brothers
Good Time Charley
Loaded Goat
Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners
Jon Eric
Outlaw Jim And The Whiskey Benders
Dusty Rust
Chad Graves And His Honky Tonk Habit
Matt Campbell
The Bullhaulers
Brook Blanche Solo
Savanna Chestnut
Cheryl Deseree
Oak Steel And Lightning
Freight Train Rabbit Killer And The Legion Of Ghosts
Rock Bottom String Band
Young Valley
The Bastard Children Of Booker Noe
Red Sky Home
Victor And Penny
James Hunnicutt
Urban Pioneers
Kristie Stremel
Randall Conrad Olinger
Carrie Nation And The Speakeasy

3 Days, 6 Stages, 75+ bands, Ameripolitan Music Official nominee!
The Riot Room indoor and outdoor stages
Firefly Lounge
Buzzard Beach
The Westport Saloon
and an outdoor stage in the parking lot

Keep your eye on as we announce lots of special party hosts, add-ons, special guests and more sponsors!

80 acts for $40 if you buy now. $50 at the gate. This festival is cheap because of our CORPORATE SPONSORS! We’ve gone out of our way to find companies that support live music and are relevant to your interests!

Drink Four Roses Bourbon, Beer from Lagunitas Brewing Co and wine from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly! These guys truly support independent roots music without question.

And don’t forget WRF is Ameripolitan Music Official approved!

Folks this is from my stage last year, now this year it will be outdoors in the parking lot under a tent. Yeah I got the boot for 2017 but HEY I got MOE BANDY! For any more information I shall post updates to this article as I find them out and HERE is where to go for tickets!

News On The Hooten Hallers.

I wanted to steer away from some other projects I have going to focus on some Roots Music for a moment tonight and tell you some things about the Hooten Hallers who I’m SURE my website will cross paths with sometime in 2017. They are planning an April 2nd self titled new album on Big Muddy Records once again. I have featured their set many times on this website mostly from festivals across the nation.

Now last year they released an EP called Mountain Of Pain, which I included on my MUST HAVE list of over 200 albums for 2016 if you recall. I’m always going to consider Chillicothe Fireball one of their best albums to date and additionally a classic Roots Music album in it’s own right. Please go to their website and pre-order their new album, and tell Miss Kellie, Mr. Andy and Mr. John I sent you!

Due to legal reasons I could not include the video of their new single they released from the album today however I will include some dates and how you can pick up the album. You can join the album release party RSVP on facebook HERE for their album release party at Rose Music Hall in downtown Columbia Missouri.

Little Rock, AR
Delray Beach, FL
Orlando, FL
Charleston, SC
Belmar, NJ
Columbia, MO

2017 Music Festivals: Old Settler’s Festival.

The Old Settler’s Music Festival is one of my many Texas festivals that I cover yearly, and this is the third year I have covered it. It takes place on April 20-23rd at the Salt Lick Pavilion in Texas.

A Fine Playlist of Tunes for You

Our 30th anniversary Old Settler’s Music Festival is coming up soon – very soon. Have you got your tickets yet?

The post A Fine Playlist of Tunes for You appeared first on Old Settler’s Music Festival.

Camping here is a REAL treat I understand this from their website:

Camp Ben McCulloch rivals some of the most beautiful festival camping sites in the world according to our festival attendees with space available for both Tents and RVs or Trailers. Get your feet wet at Onion Creek, catch up with friends, make new ones — and definitely bring your instruments for some late night jams around  the campfires.Bringing the whole family? No worries — we have a family camping area, too!

large part of the action at Old Settler’s happens at the stage at Camp Ben, with exclusive performances for campers, only on Thursday and Friday. Catch the special “Settle-In” show on Thursday night and Korndog King’s “Pickin’ for the Campers” on Friday afternoon. Sunday’s show begins at 10 am with a Pickin’ & Prayin’ service. You can also wake up to morning yoga on Friday and Saturday.

Camp Ben is where some of our kids’ activities take place – and we offer a family-friendly camping area and playground for those with younger kids. Campsites at Camp Ben are first come, first served. There are no reserved sites and we strongly discourage saving spots or roping off areas for other campers. Please be considerate of other campers. See the information on Early Bird Camping to secure your favorite spot. Some people like to start camping early. If you come to the park before Thursday to set up your RV, tarp or tent, there will be a $15 per night tent/tarp fee and a $20 per night RV Fee.  No exceptions. To purchase your camping pass you can go HERE. Also this will open a PDF file where you can see the camping area of the park. HERE is a huge list of hotels for you as well.


Album Feature: Sunny Sweeney: Trophy.


So I suppose a lot of the “important” websites have already put out their statements on Sunny Sweeney’s fourth album Trophy, however I cannot resist following all of them in some aspects. First off I wanted to state that I personally have been on a provocative push toward the Opry organization to induct her as a member. To be honest I believe she deserves to have been bestowed  with this accolade for quite some time now. She holds dear the meaning and the tradition of this fine institution more than ninety percent of today’s new artists do.

She throws punches at your jaw through the speakers every time she puts out new material and Trophy her latest release doesn’t fail to continue to do just that. The VERY FIRST note is a steel guitar followed by a painfully slow and poignant song called “Pass The Pain”, that sets the whole ambiance of this album to an intended direction of what Country Music SHOULD sound like. You feel like you have been smacked in the face with a brick  with lyrics and vocals that are absolutely astonishing in many ways.

You know much like a few artists of today that I can name I love her so much because her vocal style and delivery sticks out like a rooster wearing socks. Have you ever heard older people say in MY day you could tell different artists from one another like Marty Robbins? WELL with Miss Sunny you get just that and nothing short of unique and different. Call her Traditional Country call her Red Dirt or whatever you want but she defiantly doesn’t sound like anyone else but Sunny Sweeney.

She wrote or co-wrote all but two of the tracks on this album which was produced by Dave Brainard and released on Thirty Tigers label.  The album picks up a little bit with the next song “Better Bad Idea” however the lyrics are well written on “Nothing Wrong With Texas” because you FEEL her comfort of home and where she hails from as a person. I think her last album Provoked brought us closer to her as a person to understand where her soul was at that time, and I hope she is healed and happy with her life now. She’s a fantastic person and I always have loved her haughty and clever humor, yet keeps it Country classy.

Pills are a problem with society as a whole wherever you go but it is more prevalent and abused in the Appalachia region, I was reading about an area of West Virginia where a town of 400 have been sent millions of them. As a RA patient I do understand the constant battle of the problem in America. This song “Pills” is a song from her to someone with a pill addiction, that many people will be able to relate to.

“Bottle By My Bed” is the ultimate song of lament and want…for a child. I think many people can equally relate to the want of having a baby, but the clever use of twist on the title was a surprise at first glance and first spin of the album. Being a parent is an amazing thing that you love someone before they even truly exist when they only exist in thought and aren’t yet conceived.

The greatest hero of my life that I have studied more than anyone was Hank Williams. My music loves are just as eclectic as the song here describes and I related to it better than any of the other songs included on this album. I feel like Hank understood me and knew me as a fan thirty years before I was born, much like I described being a parent was in the last paragraph.

The title track “Trophy” was the greatest song of revenge from a current wife to an ex wife that treated the husband like shit. It takes the term Trophy Wife to a whole level and NOBODY sings it better than Sunny Sweeney, this song wouldn’t sound believable from anyone else by any means. I am pretty adamant on this statement THIS ALBUM is probably one of my TOP 5 already before the robins even arrive for spring!

2017 Music Festivals: Merlefest.

I’m going to provide links to all the bands on my lineup on this article and it’s NOT going to be easy! The lineup on this one is a BIG BIG deal folks, this festival is not small time or little in any way.

Merlefest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College.
I thought at first it had something to do with Merle Haggard but no it was named and founded in memory of Doc Watson’s son who died in 1985. Doc Watson who died on May 29th 2012 often played the festival and provided much to the growth of the festival.

It is held on the campus of the Wilkes Community College in Wilksboro North Carolina and all these bands will play on 13 different stages…I’d have to hire a ton of help to cover this festival I’m going to up front and honest about this festival there is NO smoking or drinking allowed. So if you are coming down there intending to party hard…don’t. Cause this festival is for music lovers that choose not to imbibe in that. You can click on the main link up there for maps and directions to the festival. Here is the lineup to this behemoth festival and TRUST ME if you are just like me and like to enjoy the music in public in a sober fashion this is a GREAT festival and you can purchase tickets HERE.

CAMPING: is again offering fully setup campsites, at any of the wonderful campgrounds in the Merlefest area. We have been offering this fine service since 1999 and have had patrons from most states and many foreign countries as well. Our patrons arrive to their site to a high-quality tent, decked out with carpet, cots, lanterns, water jugs, gazebo and camp kitchen amenities if preferred.
Please check out the website, Dancin Dave’s for all details and of course you can ask any questions you have from there.
Oh…and Doc himself gave me his blessing when I started the business back in 1998…I actually came up with the concept on my drive home to Wisconsin from Merlefest that year. The next weekend I had the supreme pleasure of dining with Doc and Jack before their show in Madison that night…it was an experience I will always treasure!

Festival_Map_2017 that link right there will open a PDF file of the entire festival grounds and some of the nature trails there are to romp around on!

The Avett Brothers
Zac Brown Band
Bela Fleck
Marty Stuart
Del McCoury Band
Leftover Salmon
Sam Bush Band
The Earls Of Leicester
Jerry Douglass
Peter Rowan
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Kruger Brothers
Natalie MacMaster
Jorma Kaukonen
Tift Merritt
Sarah Jarosz
John Driskell Hopkins
Mandolin Orange
The Steel wheels
Chatam County Line
Sierra Hull
I Draw Slow
Jim Lauderdale
Mountain Heart
Bryan Sutton Band
Mitch Greenhill
Donna The Buffalo
The Waybacks
John Doyle
Jim Avett
David Holt
Pete And Joan Werrick
T Michael Coleman
Roy Book Binder
Andy May
Chris Jones And The Night Drivers
Claire Lynch
Front Country
Wayne Henderson
The Contanders
Happy Traum
The Stray Birds
Darin And Brooke Aldridge
Jack Lawrence
Jeff Little Trio
Carol Rifkin
10 String Symphony
Midnight Plowboys
Locust Honey
Bluegrass Expierience
Pat Donahue
Steve James
The Local Boys
Tony Williamson
Ed Snodderly
String Madness
Mark Bumgarner
Megan Nash
Ken Tizzard
Pat McInnery
Todd Albright
Joe Smothers
Charles Welch
Bob Hill
Andy Buckner
Bill Mathis
Mark Brinkman
The Gravy Boys
Steve And Ruth Smith
The Green Grass Cloggers
Eric Ellis
Scott Freeman
The BattleAxe Band
Ted White
Lydia Luce
The hook And Bullet
Dear Brother
Alberti Flea Circus
Counterclockwise String Band
Spice Creek Ramblers
Surry Line
Swift Creek
Uncle Joe And The Shady Rest

2017 Music Festivals: The Jewel City Jamboree.

It’s the Jewel City Jamboree once again up there in Huntington, West Virginia. Right on the side of the Ohio River at the famous David Harris Riverfront Park this is an all volunteer run BYOB event. The website does not say whether this will be a camping event, but it DOES say you can bring a tent. You CAN come and go with your wristband so AS ALWAYS I’ll post some area hotels HERE are sixteen reasonable choices.

I know I have been to the V Club with Ol’ W.B.Walker and I know we weren’t far from this at all so I have been in this area and I understand this venue and festival are LOTS of fun. This festival is VERY family orientated and kid friendly so bring the family for the music. This lineup is ONE HELL of a fine lineup and some of these bands are beyond my good friends. PLEASE folks I absolutely IMPLORE you to support YOUR community ran events like this, your WALLET speaks as loud as your HEART with an event like this. Your money isn’t going to corporate arena conglomerates from buying anything here and I’m pretty sure there are no nine dollar hot dogs. You can buy tickets HERE.

You might remember Mr. Travis Egnor from the Horse Traders (who are on this bill) helped me launch my rapidly popular Steel Guitarists Along The Road and I have been having lots of fun chasing down different steel pickers for this project. Another one on this bill is Mr. Rob McNurlin whom has also been a great friend to me and my website, he recorded a gospel album with an original  Johnny Cash Martin guitar and you can read about that HERE.

This piece from their website:

JCJAM3 is a multi-genre music festival held at David Harris Riverfront Park along the beautiful Ohio River. Music, food, friendship and a celebration of our local heritage will take place May 26th & May 27th of 2017. From Bluegrass and Old Time to Americana, the Blues, Rock and Western Cowboy Swing with a little of all in between, makes this one of the most unique festivals of the season. JCJAM3 is a 100% not for profit show staffed entirely by volunteers. Besides the great venue, food and music, the show supports local charities for Veterans and 1st Respondents with its net profit. So support local and live music and take this opportunity to show our Vets and 1st Respondents we care for.

Blind Boy Paxton
The Larry Keel Experience
The Suitcase Junket
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Woody Pines
Strung Like A Horse
The Reverend Billy C Wirtz
Dave And Valerie Mayfield
Big Rock And The Candyass Mountain Boys
The 1937 Flood
The Horse Traders
Wiley Dew
Rob McNurlin
Sasha Collette
Blues Crossing
Full Moon Boys
The Local Honeys
Traci Ann Stanley
Sasha And Shorty
Mike Gray
Stoney Point String Band
Adam Cox

This video was taken before the 2015 Jewel City Jamboree:

Album Feature: Rebecca Jed Wildfire And Moonshine.

A few weeks ago this these gals Rebecca Jed and Mae Bliss AKA The Bucksnort Beauties sent me an album and invited me to the album release party, and you can read ALL about that HERE. These gals hold tight the traditions of our local Nashville Country Music and bring a new breathe of fresh air to the ever popular “Anti-Nashville” sentiment. All of the people that constantly trash this fine city for (what they call) fake music need to put THIS album on their forehead with an industrial staple, and perhaps the songs like “Country Like That” will slowly trickle into their brains.

These two gals are two of the prettiest gals I have ever saw in my life, you want to hug them so tight and I think camo glitter will bust out. If there is anything such as a redneck diva these gals are it, Miss Mae Bliss is absolutely adorable and Miss Rebecca leads this band with her own unique way. Their vocals accompany each other with grace not many others can match, I haven’t heard blending that good since The Cactus Blossoms or Pistol Annies in quite some time.

They produced this album themselves and it was recorded at Eastwood Studios by Mr. Eric Fritsch. Now mind you for being only a six song album it boasts some of Nashville’s finest musicians the likes of Mr. Andy Gibson and Mr. Frank Rische, absolute Legends in their own rights.

“All the hell with all y’all” is their won personal F YOU anthem to the people and their groups that have overlooked these two gals and their music. I’m not sure why or how mainstream society pays no attention to music like this but I can say with assured authority they are ignorant and wrong.

The title track of the album “Wildfire And Moonshine” is equally something that came out of the backwoods of Tennessee like the name of the band, as Bucksnort Tennessee is a place that is known for both of those things. Only the boldest of the bold venture out into the Hickman County area…for any reason.

They bring a whole new perspective to the moonshine and trucks template that the popular pop country crowd follows and makes traditional lovers yawn. Mostly because their direction is honest and evident in their actions, it’s easy to ascertain they are two real deals in a crowd of packaged flashy junk that most normies go bonkers over as soon as Walmart puts it on an endcap display.

I wasn’t truly quite sure WHAT to expect from these gals as I began my evening a few weeks ago, but I assure you I left the bar that night with a new sense of love for these two gals and the musicians that involved themselves with their music that night, and if you click on their name up there YOU TOO can have your own camo diva album!


1.All To Hell With All Y’all (I’m Going Back To Arkansas)
2.Defeated Lonely And Blue
3.Zackariah Harris
4. Country Like That
5.Wildfire And Moonshine
6.Spit On The Diamond (And Make It Shine)

Album Feature: Nick Geise And Billie Gant.


I’m going to say this first and foremost outright honestly, I don’t feel worthy enough to do real album reviews and I never considered myself to be a major big influential website. NEVER in a million years did I EVER fathom this would turn into the juggernaut that it has, and I have people like Mr. Billie Gant to thank. I don’t really care what anybody reading this says to dispute my claim, this man IS A local Legend much like Greg Garing is in my area. I mean let’s face it he’s been playing in dirty dive bars, empty and full for longer than I been alive.

I had heard of him before my initial encounter with him on a frigid weekend in October of 2013 in Altamont Tennessee at a benefit concert for a man named Mr. Troy Rector who was involved in an accident. The show really didn’t go all that well publicly from a business standpoint, but the people I met and friends I made and got repainted with  were irreplaceable and beyond special.

Mr. Billie was part of what I called “The Altamont Seven” which was seven songwriting Legends one of whom was called home to Heaven, Mr. Steve Young. Another Mr. Billy Don Burns moved on to become my 2016 Album Of The Year. Now this man Mr. Billie once again gets to grace my website with a new album, one time at Outlaw Fest in 2014 he told me “You don’t like the type of person that would’ve made that mistake” when I talked to him about my past addiction. Honestly that was the highest compliment I ever received whether it was meant to be one or not, I felt uplifted and inspired to continue my website.

For a few moments we thought we may have lost him as well, as he was playing with another Legend Tom Ghent when he fell sick and suffered a stroke. They had to go into his neck and clear him out and he had a long period of healing time before he could sing again, and I was once told he might not return to us.

I think through our love and prayers he indeed persevered and drew strength to return to us in his own right with guitarist Nick “Giese Lightning” Giese in the form of this ten track album of raw songs. It opens with the best one on the album in my opinion called “House Of Cards”, which laments the choice of a bottle over a woman’s love.  Nobody can sing songs of lament sharper than Billie Gant I assure you people, all you need to do is listen to him for a moment and you will concur.

Another epic song that equally showcased his well written songs was “Lips That Touch Liquor” which puts us to mind of the prohibition era of that picture of women with the sign Lips that touch liquor will never touch mine. This was also one of the finest and well written songs on the entire album. Even though I firmly believe he could never top his Country Music anthem “Stop Fucking Up Country Music” this album comes close.

“Like Frank And Jesse James” was a pretty good description of Mr. Billie and Mr. Nick as they play together on this album like a true band of brothers but also like a well oiled machine. The lyrics flow from his mind with painful ease as he batters your mind with some of the most scathing Honky Tonk music you won’t find on any FM station. This album was produced and mixed by Mr. Nick Geise and Mr. Larry Sporing and you can purchase a copy by clicking HERE.


1.House Of Cards
2.I’d Love To See You Again
3.All I Want Is One
5.Lips That Touch Liquor
6.That’s What The Old Folks Say
7.The Hardin County Jail
8.Like Frank And Jesse James
9.Time To Say Goodbye
10.Just To Say I Did It All

2017 Music Festivals: Aiken Bluegrass Festival.

The Aiken Bluegrass Festival returns to the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds in Aiken, SC, on May 12th and 13th, 2017. This 13th annual event will host some of the biggest names in bluegrass around such as The Infamous Stringdusters, Billy Strings, Larry Keel and Vince Herman as well as our favorite Portland, OR based act Fruition. The 2017 line up also touts a hefty list of artists at large, insuring many collaborations that will be unique to the Aiken Bluegrass Festival stage. Included are Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain, Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Jay Starling of Love Canon and Lindsay Lou! The festival promises to be a weekend full of amazing music, unique craft and food vendors, on site camping, kid’s activities and drink concessions featuring products from New Belgium Brewing, Carolina Moon Distillery and so much more! You can purchase tickets for this event RIGHT HERE.

Trust me for the ticket price this is one of the more reasonable festivals of it’s kind. However when you buy tickets remember you MUST purchase a seperate primitave camping pass, but it’s only 5.00 per person. Coolers are NOT permitted in the stage areas only at your campsite, so you’ll have to buy beer at the vendor tents.
THIS LINK will take you to a nice list of local area hotels for staying for the festival if you are like me and cannot camp.

Festival Lineup

Friday, May 12th – Gates open at 12:00 PM

Doug and the Henrys – 5:00pm
The Herman Clan – 6:30pm
Guitacolypse Now – 8:00pm
Super Jam 1 – Andy Thorn, Billy, Jay Starling, Allie Kral, Travis Book and More!! – 9:30pm
The Infamous Stringdusters– 11:00pm

Saturday, May 13th – Gates open at 12:00 PM

Gipsy Moon Band – 1:00pm
Brad Parsons Band – Featuring Members of Fruition – 2:30pm
Lindsay Lou And The Ladies – Jenny Keel, Mimi Naja, Allie Kral, Lindsay Lou and Mackenzie Page – 4:00pm
ABF Super Jam 2 – As many artists that can fit on stage – 5:30pm
The Larry Keel Experience– 7:00pm
Billy Strings – 9:00pm
Fruition– 11:00pm

Sun Records Cafe is Great But NOT The First 24 Hour Diner On Lower Broadway.


I have many friends that were born into families of Country Music and have shared so many stories with me of what Nashville was like in the late 40’s and early 50’s, when the world of Country Music came to an abrupt halt upon the untimely death of it’s most notable superstar Hank Williams. Hank Williams left a void in the hearts of the entire world in 1953 when it was announced to the world he was dead at 29. Wall street stopped, China called our president and offered condolences and the state of Alabama witnessed the largest public gathering in it’s history when they buried him.

Back then the Opry was still at the Ryman Auditorium every weekend and after it the Midnite Jamboree which was created by Ernest Tubb rolled on until the wee hours of morning. There were many that stopped at Tootsie’s to become intoxicated on their way to the Jamboree from the Opry as it was right there. BUT what Sun Records Cafe failed to mention when they initially opened and boasted that this cafe was the first of it’s kind was the iconic Linebaugh’s.

There has been many clubs and diners in that area come and go and many of them were 24 hours as well, now I’m NOT saying this Sun Records Cafe is lying or falsely advertising…I’m just saying they didn’t do any  homework.  They failed to talk to people like my friend Miss Lynn Woodruff Gray who wrote quite possibly my favorite book of 2016 “I Guess You Had To Be There”.

Many of the stories that book contains revolves around the constant presence of Opry stars and touring acts that ate “The Worlds Greasiest Beef Stew” there. One story of Roger Miller taking Charley Pride’s breakfast and making him wait for his was a true classic story, I highly suggest checking out her book. And the pinball machines they had there even Mr. Keith Bilbrey told me once Waylon still owes him several rolls of quarters!

Now whether the Sun Records Diner is the first of it’s kind FOODWISE that might be a true statement altogether however for anyone to boast they are the FIRST 24 HOUR diner is uniformed and just plain out crazy. This cover photo is from my personal collection of stuff and one of the only things I have of Linebaugh’s.

This a poem of long lost Nashville Music Row folklore that Country music Songwriting Legend Shel Silverstein wrote as David Allan Coe,who used to order one order of mashed potatoes mixed with corn. No meat just the taters and corn. He literally lived inside of a hearse parking it in front of the Ryman and calling himself the Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy until Glenn Campbell cut the song of a different tune, literally, looked upon Mr. Shel as ge wrote this.

The Devil walked into Linebaugh’s on a rainy Nashville night
While the lost souls sat and sipped their soup in the sickly neon light.
And the Devil, he looked around the room, then got down on his knees He says,
Is there one among you scum who’ll roll the dice with me?

Red, he just strums his guitar, pretending not to hear
And Eddie, he just looks away and takes another sip of beer
Vince, he says, Not me, I’ll pass, I’ve had my share of hell,
And kept scribblin’ on a napkin, some song he was sure would sell.

Ronnie just kept whisperin’ low, to the snuff queen who clutched at his sleeve,
And somebody coughed—and the Devil scoffed—and turned on his heel to leave
Hold on, says a voice from the back of the room, ‘fore you walk out that door
If you’re lookin’ for some action, friend, well, I’ve rolled some dice before
And there stood Billy Markham, he’d been on the scene for years.
Singin’ all them raunchy songs that the town didn’t want to hear.

He’d been cut and bled a thousand times, and his eyes were wise and sad
And all his songs were the songs of the street, and all his luck was bad
I know you, says Billy Markham, from many a dark and funky place
But you always spoke in a different voice and wore a different face

While me, I’ve gambled here on Music Row with hustlers and with whores
And, hell, I ain’t afraid to roll them devilish dice of yours
Well, then, get down, says the Devil, just as if you was gonna pray,
And take these dice in your luckless hand and I’ll tell you how this game is played

You get one roll–and you bet your soul–and if you roll thirteen you win
And all the joys of flesh and gold are yours to touch and spend
But if that thirteen don’t come up, then kiss your ass goodbye
And will your useless bones to God, ‘cause your goddamn soul is mine!

Thirteen? says Billy Markham, Hell, I’ve played in tougher games
I’ve loved ambitious women and I’ve rode on wheelless trains
So gimme room, you stinkin’ fiend, and let it all unwind.

Nobody’s ever rolled a thirteen yet, but this just might be the time
Then Billy Markham, he takes the dice, and the dice feel as heavy as stones
They should, they should, the Devil says, ‘cause they’re carved from Jesus’ bones

And Billy Markham turns the dice and the dice, they have no spots
I’m sorry, says the Devil, but they’re the only dice I got
Well, shit, says Billy Markham now I really don’t mean to bitch
But I never thought I’d bet my ass in a sucker’s game like this
Well then, walk off, says the Devil, nobody’s tied you down
Walk off where? says Billy Markham, it’s the only game in town

But I just wanna say ‘fore I make my play, that if I should chance to lose
I will this guitar to some would-be star who’ll play some honest blues
Who ain’t afraid to sing the words like damn or shit or fuck
And who ain’t afraid to put his ass on the stage to make a buck

But if he plays this guitar safe, and sings some sugary lies
I’ll haunt him till we meet in hell now gimme them fuckin’ dice

And Billy Markham shakes the dice and yells, Come on, thirteen!
And the dice, they roll and they come up blank, you lose! The Devil screams
But I really must say ‘fore we go our way that I really do like your style
Of all the fools I’ve played and beat, you’re the first who lost with a smile

Well, I’ll tell you somethin’, Billy Markham says, those odds weren’t too damn bad
In fourteen years on Music Row, that’s the best damn chance I’ve had.

Then, arm in arm Billy Markham and the Devil, walk out through Linebaugh’s door,
Leavin’ Billy’s old beat-up guitar laying on the floor
And if you go into Linebaugh’s now, you can see it there today
Hangin’ from a nail on that wall of peelin’ gray
Billy Markham’s old guitar…That nobody dares to play.

I believe the ultimate demise of Linebaugh’s was the 1974 decision to build the Opry house and put it over by Opryland theme park. See Lower Broadway in the 1970’s was a dark and dangerous place, and the Opry attendance was rapidly declining. People didn’t want to stand outside in long lines in a bad neighborhood like that, so in 1974 Country Legend George Morgan was the last person to perform the Opry stage at the Ryman.

He also became the first person to perform on the new stage at Opryland. Many things transpired in that transitional period like the Osborne Brothers began playing Rocky Top with unplugged instruments once again to the applause of many Bluegrass purists. Rocky Top which became the Tennessee state song in 1986 and written by Felice Bryant was the first Bluegrass song played with plugged in instruments while at the Ryman.

This was just something I have been pondering for the last few months and decided to write about what I think when I ponder this subject. I truly think it’s simply lack of care for history and tradition to make statements based on “change” or “Evolving times” or whatever these suit and ties think they want to call it. I just call it “sad”.

The Urban Pioneers Launch New Variety Show This Spring.


These next couple weeks are gonna get pretty wild out at High On The Hog studio. Along with our hog trapping and normal shenanigans, we’ve got Husky Burnette, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, and Whiskey Dick all coming through. This is gonna be fun!

What’s all this Hoo Ha going on? Well, this is the new variety show from the Urban Pioneers called High On the Hog which will be set up along the lines of Hee Haw with some terrific special guests like the above mentioned bands. I contacted Mr. Jared early today and he quoted this “ We are still working hard on it. Its gonna be a lot of corny comedy, tons of music, and some informative and cultural type bits here and there too. It’s sure to be a lot of fun”.

Mr. Jared Miss Liz and the Pioneers have been trapping wild hogs and selling them to fund their project and they want to share their fun with us all, I’ll be catching up with the Urban Pioneers many times this coming years on the Moonrunners music festival in Chicago, Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City and Muddy Roots in Cookeville Tennessee.

2017 Music Festivals: Bristol Bluegrass Spring Fest.

This spring is already in full swing all over the United States with some terrific Bluegrass,Roots Music and Red Dirt festivals going on all over. I have been involved and reporting on all of them from this website, exactly 175 of them in 2017, how’s that for music journalism?

Out there is East Tennessee and Virginia lies Bristol a region known for It’s plethora of Bluegrass bands, It’s pretty much the mecca of Bluegrass was born there. Mr. Jeff Brown and Mr. Randall Hibbitts are both Bluegrass Legends in their own right and have created and organized a sellout festival every year.

Larry Sparks And The Lonesome Ramblers
Dave Adkins Band
Jeff Brown And Still Lonesome
Raplh Stanley II And The Clinch Mountain Boys
Kristi Stanley
Mike Bentley And Cumberland Gap Connection
Randall Hibiits
Po’ Ramblin Boys
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Larry Efaw And The Bluegrass Mountaineers
Lorraine Jordan And Carolina Road
Junior Sisk And Ramblers Choice
Volume Five
>Danny Paisley And Southern Grass
Tennesse Skyline
Bad Ridge

Now this video is from two years ago but it brings a great insight into the festival which is the same days as the last few years.
You can click on this LINK HERE and it will direct you to the local area hotels that are offering a festival discount.

This is Junior Sisk from 2015 who is also on the festival lineup for 2017, I rpomise you this is one of the premiere Bluegrass festivals around for Spring!
As far as time schedule right now this festival has not posted anything like that and I will post anything they announce.