Hello everyone, we are all here in Huntington West Virginia at The V club for the fourth annual anniversary party of W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio show where I came down to help him celebrate his accomplishments once again. This man’s podcast that he broadcasts from his little backyard bar in Dingess ,West Virginia has grown into a household name here, as well as nation wide. I attended his third one last year and you can read that HERE , I hope we pack the house again tonight.
Four years ago he was starting out poor and not knowing how to do things like he does today, this man put forth TONS of effort to better his style and his presentation. He now knows how to market his brand and his use of language and catchy phrases are what earned him MY personal nickname “The Paul Harvey Of Podcasts”. If you ever have the distinct honor to be a guest in his bar you’ll quickly see like I did once he trusts you you ARE family, and there is more love in his heart than my words can type on here. He and his wife Miss Fallon are BOTH damn fine people that distance doesn’t hold back true friendship..I’d be the first sumbitch in my truck on my way if they needed our help and it was an honor to witness this madness he has created with the help of so many others and a belief in a dream. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your religion and your personal love, this man has a deep love for God like me. I believe if YOU do ALL THINGS to HIS glory you WILL achieve your dreams and you WILL die a blessed man, W.B.Walker does that. I pray often and while I have friends that are Jews and Atheists I practice my faith and you’ll see me have a beer with an Atheist any day, the world needs more brotherhood and MUSIC is where it CAN happen.
He began his one year podcast birthday in his living room with four guests and even back then I was covering his action, until I finally got enough gumption to come up and see for my own self what the deal was..and I have been a member of his family ever since. Year 3 Year 2 Year 1. There’s a little recap of his past four shows for you to enjoy the GREAT MUSIC he has been featuring.
MANY people help him do what he does and some of them aren’t the musicians he features. Tonight the wonderful Melissa Stilwell Photography doing some awesome social media work and pictures, and my buddy Mr. Josh Green for helping everything run smoothly and managing the stage area. Miss Melissa is rapidly becoming a prominent force on the local music scene with her coverage of Appalachian area artists, doing work for Colter Wall, Tyler Childers and many more from this “scene” (if you want to call it that)…I just call it damn fine music, I call ALL of them regions the same thing DAMN fine music.
I already got a private show in the green room upstairs as Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns played some songs for us all. That video of him down below is from his playing upstairs along with Mr. Josh Morningstar who was also up there with me, I just wandered up to see who was there and was greeting everyone.You know this music business isn’t what you think, we don’t all hang out at each others houses every weekend. Sometimes it can be months or even a year before I see someone again, because like the Highwaymen said “The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends”.
I stayed at the Days Inn at Ashland Kentucky, it was off Hwy 64 and State Route 180 on exit 190. And I’ll let you in on a little tidbit of info, if you are planning on attending the Jewel City Jamboree this hotel is ideal. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Huntington and one exit from the airport ALL for under 100 bucks a night! THIS WILL NOW be MY go to hotel for this area from now on.
Right now the first act up is Tim Lancaster who is outstanding in his own right as an Americana folk style singer. His unique style and grace up there onstage was impeccable and a terrific way to begin tonight’s festivities.
He opened his set with a Jimmie Rodgers song called “Mule Skinner Blues AKA Blue Yodel Number 8”, and then off of his album “My Times With You” he played some songs called “Something Like Trout” and “Let Me,Let You”. He represents this area’s musicians extremely well, by spinning tales of lore from days long ago and songs like “Sugar Pie”. This young man was an absolute honor to shake hands with and get to know as a friend, he IS one of the real deals of his genre.
This video that I took here was from his song “Medicine Man” which was also an original off his album and he followed that by playing one called “Dear Lord” and closed his set with “Can You Hear The Sound?” Which he performed with two sets of mule jawbones. This Florida native is indeed inventing his own style and even his own appearance and will soon carve a niche in the local music scene. I’m sure that by the end of this article you too will appreciate this man’s music, I look forward to being more involved into his music in any way I can.
He has an honest and real demeanor and his presentation of his music was extraordinary on every level, and he is an absolute pleasure to watch perform. Truly already O’l W.B. has outdone himself in choosing talent for this show. He never fails to amaze me with what he chooses, and this honestly is becoming one of my favorite trips to make. Usually the weather is gorgeous the Daniel Boone National Forest is in spring mode and the Lord blesses me with a good trip up.
Now everyone this is my FIRST TIME to use my new laptop on a job AND my I pad together linked so I’m trying to bring you better quality videos and I’m learning how to use it better so please bear with me I didn’t get every band on here on video. The battery is not lasting long and I had other complications as the night went on…give me time to mater my craft with every job I do.
Some of the videos crashed and the laptop I thought was DONE updating busted out with one at the venue, to my dismay. I literally bought this laptop the day before the show, and I’m still learning Windows 10.
The Local Honeys hail from various parts of Kentucky and their harmonies are absolutely wonderful. I would have not have found them if not for W.B.Walker and his radio show, we exchange music quite often. They began with “Cigarette Trees” a truly fine song of pretest and coal miner’s despair. As I have said many times about this region the main source of income is truly and sadly a dying form of energy…coal. It gets very touchy and political in many ways and once you visit you can identify with them how imperative it is we save this natural resource’s use for energy.
They barreled into “Hares On The Mountain”, this time they had a trio as a third gal named Megan Gergory joining them, and she was from Alabama. Miss Montana Hobbs and Miss Linda Jean Stokley complete this lineup of lovely ladies with harmonies as smooth as the honey in their name.
This venue began filling up so fast, I couldn’t get up close to the stage again like last time. As they played a song called “Train” they vividly displayed their mountain music talents as they wove a tapestry of East Kentucky music to us here in West Virginia with a song called “Bonesky Folk” and a popular Bluegrass tune “How Mountain Girls Can Love”. My favorite version of that song is off Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder’s album “Ancient Tones”.
Their set also included “Tight Wad” and one called “I Can Tell” as they once again came forward with their wonderful harmonies. In my opinion ALL of these acts tonight absolutely killed it and it was difficult to decide who was the best, but they were one of the top ones tonight. Their last song was called “Huntington” as left the stage in tears upon commanding it tonight up there, they get a LOT of attention from O’l W.B. and I can see why.
You might remember The Horse Traders as their steel guitarist Mr. Travis Egnor Recently kicked off my Steel Guitarists Series with a wonderful interview on the phone this past winter. And there’s also news on their new album release in that article as well. Their first song was called “She Calls Me” and they followed that by another great song called “Ain’t No Ash will Burn”.
You know one thing I always notice about this band is how well they play together, like clockwork. Each one of them knows exactly what the other is doing and where they are within the song. One of the finest and most well groomed bands that is always featured every year here, and always a downright pleasure to write about. They brought up Sam Williams to sing his sister Holly’s song ‘Woman Like This”.
Patrick Stanley,Taylor Jones and Mr. Brandon Mooney complete this foursome of rocking Country boys and whatever else you wish to call them, Daggum I just call them some REAL music. They are seasoned veterans of this particular show having been on the three shows that were LIVE ,from this particular venue. Like I said the very first one was from his own home before any of this bloomed into the juggernaut it is today.
“Cheap Wine” was next followed by “Drinki’n” which displayed some powerful vocal from. As they traded leads with Mr. Travis on the steel guitar they closed their set with “Watch Your Speed” and “Foot Of Rain”. One hell of a damn fine display of talent here tonight by a truly fine band I am blessed to call friends!
The youngest son of Country Music Legend Hank Williams Jr. stopped in to see us all tonight and we enjoyed a nice set of his original material and some of his father’s hits as well. Samuel Williams began with his own song called “Darkwater” and as he is still developing his own style and trying out different ventures, we got a little taste of his influences.
As one would easily distinguish about any member of the Williams family he was heavily influenced by his father and sister Holly, and performed two of her songs tonight “Death Train”. Along with his Grandfather Hank Williams Sr, who he brought alive tonight with his rendition of “Kaw Liga” and the ever popular “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”.
“Let You Go” was next followed by “Rambli’n Man” and two more of his father’s songs that had the crowd singing along which was 1979’s OD’D In Denver off the Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound album and “Dinosaur” from the 1980 album Habits Old And New.
Josh Morningstar is one of the finest people I ever met in my music tenure here on Earth, and perhaps one of the few from my Altamont history that have evolved into the amazing man that he is today. Under the direction of great management and maintaining his own creative input he has accomplished more in a short period than anyone I know.
This man lives in Maryland but he IS one of the toughest road warriors I have ever met and is on the go so hard that he tires me out just watching him. This guy is in Detroit one night and the next he could be in Atlanta for all we know, he spreads out faster than shingles. He is constantly grooming his sound and experimenting with different appearances, while always succeeding to amaze his crowd…know WHY?
Because his is OUT THERE and burning up the roads and constantly on social media promoting his brand. He is always studying the market and much like me he notices detail and utilizes EVERYTHING toward his music and his business.
He played many new songs tonight from his upcoming album and one of them was “Whole Lot Of Crazy To Live Up To” followed by “Went Back To Selling Drugs To Pay The Bills” both of which are original songs. He now travels with a seasoned band of talented road warriors called the Pickups, which just days ago played the Hagfest show at the Southgate House. They are Bobby Miller on lead guitar, Michelle Lucas on bass, Greg Johnson on steel, and Taylor Hernley on drums.
He covered Billy Joe Shaver’s “ride me Down Easy that David Allan Coe wrote and also Waylon J ennings recorded it on his Honky Tonk Heroes album of all Billy Joe Shaver tunes. “All That I Been Living For Is Gone” was next another original followed by “The Legend Of Miss Bobbie Jo” and “Cocaine”.
This man ALWAYS ends his set with “I Saw The Light” where he carries a LONG note and usually has the crowd whipped up into an absolute frenzy, but not before playing “Brand New Angel” and one of my favorites “Crying Eyes Of Blue”. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this man has nowhere to go BUT UP and he WILL go DOWN in history as a Legend, you mark my damn words on that…it’s a promise.
Video Credit: Miss Alexis Faye
Tyler Childers is the only one of the bunch that has been around for all four shows from W.B.Walker. He is from the Appalachian region that W.B.Walker and all of the Honky Tonk Heroes identify themselves with with pride. His unique style of vocal delivery sets him leagues above many others on his level of this profession. He sometimes travels with his band called the Foodstamps but tnoight he is solo.
He is releasing a new album in September for sure and I’m quite adamant on it’s outcome…awesome. This man represents the hard working blue collar coal miners of the region, and despite his youth he sings with experience of hard living and hard times. He had this club packed today and hundreds of people crying out his own lyrics because he has amassed an impressive following in this region.
He began with “Rock Salt And Nails” an old Utah Phillips song, and quickly went into “Nose To The Grindstone,mind Off The Pills”. One of the many songs the entire place goes ape shit nuts over singing along to, with lyrics that every hard working American can relate to.
“Clovis” was next along with another one they all sing to “Follow You To Virgie” and “Bottle And Bibles”. I say this all to often this man has a special gift for distinguishing his voice out from other people, you can pick it out easily. You can SEE the hurt in his eyes and the blood flow from cuts in his beat up hands. He is sixty years old trapped in a thirty year old’s body.
“Honky Tonk Flame” was one of his new ones along with “Feathered Indian” and “Adam” but the other one that absolutely SLAYS this venue was “White Bridge Road”. The ambiance of that song alone is as poignant and dark as the lyrics themselves, I mean what better to spend a weekend night drunk and singing along with songs about self destruction and despair? THAT MY FRIENDS IS Country Music, from one of the most honest regions of the great nation. All too often they get swept under the rug and this man pulls it up off the floor and snaps the rug dust in your face.
There really isn’t much I can say about Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns that I haven’t already said as I named him my 2106 Number one album of the year that was produced by Shooter Jennings. I mean for Gods’s sakes this man wrote songs for Connie Smith,Harlan Howard and Willie Nelson, the list goes on and on. And even at 68 I don’t see him stopping as he released a stellar new album from Rusty Knuckles label called “Graveyard In Montgomery”.
“Talk About Crazy” was the first song on his VERY LONG set list tonight as he took us on a trip through a slight taste of his entire catalog of albums tonight. “Outlaws At The Cross” was recorded on two of his albums previously and he followed that with a song about Billy The Kid called “Dead Or Alive”.
I truly wish I could have been older and around in his heyday when my favorite period of Country Music history was unfolding, that transition of the 50s and 60s into the Outlaw movement. It seems Mr. Billy was a product of both, and I study those changes with uncanny vigor. How it would have been to ACTUALLY SEE a short haired Willie Nelson sing Hello Walls and an elder Ernest Tubb on stage singing Rainbow At Midnight and my favorite Filipino Baby in the 1960s. He was 21 when I was born, and writing songs for Connie Smith while my mom was changing my diapers, but nonetheless much like Ol W.B. Walker, Billy Don Burns is probably one of the last living pieces of my infatuation during my youth with records. We CANNOT and MUST NOT loose him because NOBODY could fill that void, him and Whispering Bill Anderson and Jerry Foster and the many of his likeness brought Country Music to it’s splendor.
My personal favorite song was one about addiction called “Dark Side Of The Spoon” which laments the shameful side of addiction. He flips over to a more upbeat song about “Running Drugs Out Of Mexico” while Dark Side Of The Spoon is more slower and poignant. It truly hits home for many of us that have previously faced the struggle of personal addiction in some form.
“Rock On” and “Hank Williams Lonesome And Keith Whitley Blue” were next tonight as he and Josh Morningstar tore the place apart. Mr. Billy did an absolutely astounding job of bringing us toward the close of the show. I appreciate him for the history of this genre that he represents and to me…for me personally he represents the tradition of the older days because he was there. When the magic filled the air man, he was there. We just don’t have many storybook people left anymore that actually remember Bob Luman, and as he sat with me I showed him my profile. Pictures of me with Lynn Owsley who brought him on the Opry in the days of old to play with Ernest tubb, things like that are what makes him so special to us.
He played “Freight Train” and the title song from his new album “Graveyard In Montgomery” before closing with the ever popular “Desperate Men”. You know I’ll tell you what folks this man has more stories and tales than anyone I know because he was there, and he lived every moment of it all. He is one of the last of his ilk and he knows it but at the same time he’s not afraid to be just that, and he wears it well. He appreciates all of our love and our respect of him and what he represents…timeless classic Country Music that will never die. I know it’s inevitable that God will call us ALL home one day but the music he leaves behind will no doubt always be a prominent piece of Outlaw Country Music.
Video credit: Miss Alexis Faye
Arlo McKinely And The Lonesome Sound was an Ohio based band I have also never covered before today. Tyler Lockard, Brian Pumphry, Zac Roe, Sylvia Mitchell, and Sarah Davis make up the band The Lonesome Sound. They label themselves folk rock/soul but Like I always say I don’t care about genres or label I just promote GOOD music so promote them I shall!
They played an eleven song set tonight beginning with “Don’t Need To Know” and “All Night Long” both of which I was told they have performed on the Red Barn Sessions up there in Ohio. I am very familiar with that organization and was sent some CDs from there by my Ohio friends. There exists a VERY powerful scene up there with people like the Tillers and Dallas Moore and I could go on and on.
“Time In Bars” was next as they displayed a very soulful sound that I thought their band name aptly described quite well here. “All That I Could Do” was next followed by “Just Like The Rest”, I thought their vocal deliveries and solos set them apart from any of the styles of music tonight. We were treated to various styles of music however most of it was from the same region in one way or another.
“Where You Want Me” and “Wishing” were two of the songs I was familiar with from my research of this band in my preparation work for this event. As with ANY of these bands you can ALWAYS catch O’l W.B. Walker playing this music for you on his podcast.
They played “Dancing Days” before going into some Hank Williams Sr songs tonight as well as taking us into “Wishing On Wild Horses” and finally closing with “Dark Side Of The Street”. Absolutely a knock out stellar set tonight as we got ready for the main event tonight.
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers from North Carolina have an album coming out on April 28th from Bloodshot Records called SIDELONG, now I owe her an apology because of my misspelling of that on my TOP 50 OF 2015. She released the album independently and I was turned onto them by a mutual friend. Honestly back then I was just beginning to form my style and I wasn’t as educated on the computer as I am now, and my articles were not as informative or beneficial back then as they are now. Time makes you better and knowledge makes you stronger.
Eric Peterson – Electric guitar,John Howie Jr. – Drums, Aaron Oliva – Upright bass and Phil Sullivan – Pedal Steel make up the rocking Country Honky Tonk sound of the Disarmers. Bloodshot is releasing singles off of this album at a slow pace right now as they just released “The Nail” they played that one later in the set.
Sadly I missed a few of the songs due to packing up equipment and such but I managed to enjoy “The Road Leads To You” followed by “Nothing Feels Right But Doing Wrong”. “Heal Me” and “Fuck Up” were next followed by my favorite drinking song she does called “The Bottle Never Let Me Down”.
One of the first times I got to see her videos were from the Blue Plate Special series if you have never saw that series I strongly urge you to go check that out, and I thought of that series as she played the title track called “Sidelong”. They truly did a super fine job tonight up there and I had to do some digging but found out that “Home Fires Burning” and “Dwight Yoakam” were next followed by the closing songs.
As I previously stated “The Nail” is her newest single to be released off the Bloodshot release of this album and the last song was “Misery Without Company”. I don’t compare her to any of the female artists in ANY genre although she is typically classified as Americana I believe she stands out on her own. Her vocals are easily distinguished as her own and she’s not trying to sound like anybody but herself, and she’s not trying to impress anybody…she doesn’t need to.
She’s very proactive in her personal beliefs and her family life while balancing a road band and for THAT I completely commend her on, it’s NOT easy for a single man like me let alone having children. Balancing a mainstay in her son’s life and how proud she is of him makes her a person you can look up to in this industry…you don’t find these qualities in the music bushiness as often as you should.