May 292017
 

My first day of this excursion began late Thursday night when my buddy Mr. Jared McPherson came out to spend the night and traveled with us out there to the Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City Missouri. I believe this year to have been a landmark year for this festival, both on attendance and music. From a music standpoint last year was an epic occurrence with many Legends and happenings, but 2017 knocked last year out of the ballpark. It literally beat anything it’s ever done in the past in every sense of the word.

ALL of the stages held their own relevance to the meaning of the festival,and the arrangement was so well coordinated that everything went pretty well from what I could ascertain. My stage went smooth as silk and there were no problems at all. EVERY ACT had a steel guitar and sounded grand in every sense of the word, BUT you will read about that later folks. Right now you will read about my journey there and how this weekend began.

I work closely with a LOT of people in this business and share good and bad knowledge, contacts information and so much more. I team up with many people to share trip costs and venue promotions, and Rebel K Child jewelry is one I work with many times. I’ll be working with her several times in 2017, Westport was one of them, I’m quite positive that she’ll continue to feature her products there.

We rented an SUV from Enterprise in Glasgow Kentucky, now to be honest if you remember I had a truly negative experience with them on my Chicago trip. But I learned it’s really WHERE you go within the brand, because we were treated like royalty there.Corporate was not involved so I’m sure we were probably treated better because of this fact, because once corporate is involved it turns into a fiasco.

We had a truly blessed trip out there in every sense of the word, it was early and grueling after working most of the night on other ventures, and day 1 was actually a 35 hour marathon of hardcore music and excitement for all four of us. I had a stellar crew of co-workers that drove long hours under extremely tiresome conditions, that stepped up to help me get this job done. Rebel K Child both helped me out so much and I couldn’t have done it without Miss Kristie and Mr. Mike.

I also had another assistant this weekend helping me in any way I needed it, and I’d like to thank Miss Sara Leann Schulte for all of her help all weekend. I usually can maintain control alone but with not having an option to stray far from my own stage, I simply couldn’t do everything I needed without a helping hand. Also I needed photos of myself on stage introducing all of the acts, additionally I had her shoot the video for the FIRST EVER LIVE episode of my “Steel Guitarists Along The Road” series with Mr. KC Steeler as my guest. I run an extremely demanding operation for festivals, when you hire me to cover it, you won’t get second rate National Enquirer subject matter like other “Country Music” blogs. I need someone who will stay awake and do what I need to help me as I concentrate on the set list and song content, and Miss Sara did just that for me.

This isn’t party time for me, and it certainly isn’t fun and games. We have an obligation to those that purchased tickets to see a top notch show, and I have an obligation to those that hire me to provide the BEST coverage I can provide them. With that being said when I need vehicle keys or photos and videos RIGHT THEN, it’s a fact, and she came through for me in a timely manner.

Miss Kaylee Reeder and her absolutely wonderful staff at the Westport Saloon that all pitch in and help this establishment shine. This area is well known for being a Roots Music venue and well known for great food, as well as so many wonderful sponsors that help it carry the torch for the music scene out there in Kansas City. I could just go on and on about the wonderful staff there, and every one of them are always glad to see us there.

So let’s talk about our hotel shall we? We stayed at Crossland Studios In Kansas City and we arrived there in the afternoon after driving all late night and early morning. The area was convenient and appealing but check in is 3:00 PROMPTLY and when I say PROMPTLY I mean do NOT TRY to get room at 2:58….you go at 3 EXACTLY. The rooms are REALLY nice though complete with regular sized fridge and oven, apparently they are designed to be extended stay rooms. For the price I felt pretty satisfied with my choice to book this hotel, I’m doing some more research in this area here for this festival and several more in Kansas City so in future articles I’ll have other options for hotels in this aspect of the venture.

We settled in and got some dinner while preparing to come down to the Westport district for the pre party Friday evening. Even with the pre-party we were treated to the best possible music that Mr. Jody could fiendishly plan, he probably sits up in that office and rubs his hands with malicious delight as he books these main acts. The VERY FIRST night we were treated to one of the most important occurrences to happen in Roots Music in years. If you recall a while ago I ran the story about the last show of the Broken Band as all the members went different ways. Well Friday night we were treated to history in it’s true form.

Greeting old friends and becoming reacquainted with old friends and meeting new people as well as Jo Jo the dog, who sat next to me at my table with his owner Mr. Jay Lev. Networking is what always makes me so excited to venture out here. All the different bars going on at once , It’s a whole district of music going on at once. The Westport district is indeed the epicenter of the Kansas City Roots Music Scene and in just a little bit I’m going to touch on a LIVE album that A.J. Gaither recorded there at the Westport Saloon. I sat and had a nice conversation with my good friend Mr. A.J. about WHY he chose the Westport and what he’s up to now, also I got some insight about his plans for the future. See folks many times when we are just having a friendly conversation It’s actually information being obtained to write about your music, so be sure to tell me everything you would like mentioned.

The very first band I watched were The Culprits as they brought their own blend of Honky Tonk music to the saloon tonight. They are from the Kansas area, and they represented the local scene here very well. I absolutely enjoyed their set tonight as did the rest of my company, the saloon was rapidly becoming packed with people I knew and people I had yet to meet. This weekend remedied that however, and trust me I left with a refreshed palate of newly acquainted website readers and personal friends.

The Culprits were already in full swing when I arrived there and they played “Little Ramona” by BR5-49, which I believe was one of their won originals. See,BR5-49 had an uncanny ability to take rare cover songs and play them convincingly original. Part of the reason was they were so obscure unless you were a music guru, it was believed to be an original song. They did their set really well with the help of our friend KC Steeler, who I’ll be surprising you with later on a little side project I had going…..SSShhhhh don’t tell Mr. Travis I did this he don’t know about this one yet! I brought my “Steel Guitarists Along The Road Series” with me to do some LIVE work, this time it won’t be just in print. I took some time out to get one on one with Mr. Colm and you will get to not only read about him but SEE him on MANY videos from this weekend.

“Sugar Daddy” was next mixed with some great solos and instrumentals all throughout the songs, I highly suggest checking out this band further along with all the other bands I feature on here. They played a long version of a song called “Let’s Get Liquored Up” that involved the participation from the audience. Now mind you this early that was easily obtained, at midnight well that might have been harder…because they got liquored up quite well. It’s Westport Roots Festival and it’s party time, and party we did well into the A.M. In fact I could say like their last song called “Tear It Up” we did indeed tear it up in every sense of the word. GREAT band here to kick things off tonight and I was preparing to work here folks, I got all this covered.

The Ghosts Of Grandad’s Past are another local Kansas City fixture that does some covers of Those Poor Bastards really well.  They began with “Death Came To My Door” and followed that with a song called “Want To Lay Here And Die” about having door people at their funeral to prevent some people from seeing their dead bodies. They played called 99-105 about getting pulled over while driving drunk and high, so apparently they enjoy the fast lifestyle and playing dive bars for the next tank of gas.

“Sun Goes Down, Dark As Night” was next before they closed with a cover of the ever popular classic song “Rye Whiskey”.  They play dark and haunting songs of the other side of life, like the song “Down By The River”.  This three piece band was a great beginning to the festival here tonight, they played songs about whiskey and drugs, all of those wonderful things that local bands sing about!

The Kansas City Bear Fighters absolutely rocked the rooftops tonight, I mean they literally brought down the house. They have a terrific marketing idea on their merch and have an even better marketing idea on their music, it’s different and fresh. It’s unlike anything you have ever witnessed before and you just cannot classify them with anyone really.

They opened with “Spring Break 3035” and went into a song called “Take My Legs Away”, they introduced that one to be about mermaids. Then they went into a song about “Female Parts” called “Smitten with Her Kitten”, and a pretty good one called “Large Marge”.

Many instrumentals adorned their set throughout the entire thing and it was filled with songs like “Ain’t life Strange” and the “Panda Bear Song”. Also there was a song about “The Devil” included as they showed off their different styles of playing and their influences of various directions. “Hello Oblivion” and “Safari” closed out their portion of the festivities tonight, as well as the song “Ancient Ones”. As I learn more about this band you can be sure to catch it here on this website.

Mr.Lorin Walker Madsen is by far some of the finest West Coast Honky Tonk I have ever witnessed. I LOVE that Honky Tonk out there like my buddy Jon Emery whom you’ll be hearing about again soon in my album features articles, all the way up to my friends the Ponderosa Aces.  Now this young man is one I have been communicating with for long periods of time and haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, well that’s the pertinent thing about festivals..you have that chance.

He brought us songs like “Behind The Wheel” and “Lonely Highway” ,tried and true songs of lonesome heartbreak and despair. But also on the other side of life’s curtain lies a proud working man with ragged hands within songs like “My Collar Ain’t White”.

He played songs like “Robbed” and “Travelin Man” before his musicians anthem “Slave Of The Road”. Man I’ll tell you what I have been following these folks around to various parts of America, in the years past. I couldn’t do this job and ALL the extra stuff involved with it like loading/unloading and social media. It’s a tough tough life, and it’s NOT for everyone.

“Ain’t Getting Caught” was next and he closed his set with “Another Last Call”. Truly a damn fine display of original songs here tonight by a truly gifted Honky Tonk hell raiser here at the Westport.

A.J.Gaither is one of the OMB or One Man Bands here at Roots Music Festivals, I got to stop and talk with him about why he chose the Westport Saloon to make his LIVE album. Honestly as soon as I finally got to see him perform some of his great songs there like “Biscuits And Gravy” the answer was evident.

He played a few other songs like “Long Way To Go”, and always gets a good response at the Westport Saloon no matter when he plays. Often times musicians have their own “home bar” or venue they usually do very well at, this is Mr. A.J’s place indeed. “Don’t Want To Go To Heaven” was part of his set, as he praised us for showing up so early and getting this party started already.

Mr. A.J.is correct NONE OF THIS would be possible without Mr. Travis Fields and what he does with the saloon, and he can also tell you the story of why there are four roses in four roses bourbon and the “Bad Decisions” that sometimes comes along with drinking.

Jayke Orvis reunited his classic lineup of The Broken Band tonight, including original member Mr. Joe Perez, who took a leave from music for personal reasons. We miss him but you know what, it’s awesome to see them make those choices too. I didn’t start my website FULL TIME until my own child was 18, and I had fewer responsibilities in order to do this.

The place went WILD as they opened with “Clinch Mountain Back step” and went into “Bound To Ride”. I tell you WHAT none of the four members lost any of their timing or speed in these few years of not playing these songs, and it was kind of like they just picked up after a week!

Liz Sloan’s stage presence is probably one of the finest in all of local music,and her talent is absolutely impeccable. Their level of professionalism in a sometimes unprofessional realm is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the business side of things. I cannot think of four people I admire more than these four right here, I share a relevant past with Mr. Jayke and it’s quite possible we played in the same area and didn’t know it as children.

Mr. James is quite possibly one of the smartest people you will ever encounter, and will hold a conversation with you about anything from trees and birds to 80’s Heavy Metal. He TRULY enjoys seeing you and TRULY enjoys music fans, if you are there to appreciate the music this man will accept anybody. I met him at Porter Wagoner’s funeral for goodness sake, and it was like we knew each other for years.

“Pick Up The Steam” was another they played I believe that’s a Weary Boys tune, followed by “Streets Wont Be The Same”. “Gone Forever More” was next as they didn’t say much to us, they just kept barrelling out those songs we love like ‘Empty Bottles”.

He DID say if you aren’t a Hank Williams fan he cannot be friends with you, as they did a GREAT version of “Kaw Liga” like they always did do. “Crooked Smile” “Shady Grove” and others filled their set list like “Feelings Like This” and MY personal favorite “Thunderbolts And Lightning”.

They had the whole place roaring to the song “Dreadful Sinner” before doing the instrumental and “Murder Of Crows” which was their logo, followed by “Shot Down” and “Raise The Moon”. One of their most popular trademarks was taking metal and transforming it into the Bluegrass sound as they did with “Battery” off one of the greatest metal abums of ALL time..Master Of Puppets.

May 262017
 

You know folks I deal with literally hundreds of festivals in five main genres, and nowadays most of them are capping their ticket sales to under 2500, because they don’t want overcrowding. I can certainly see that as a positive thing by all means, and well into it’s seventh year is a tried and true Bluegrass festival called The John Hartford Memorial Festival out there in Bean Blossom Indiana.

Why, many people will agree with me this festival is the VERY ONE that coined the term “Newgrass”. Now Newgrass pretty much broke the mold of the common Traditional structure of Bluegrass and the three and four part harmonies involved within it. Mind you, it wasn’t always accepted by all within the Bluegrass scene , and in a way..it still isn’t.

But yonder way comes the “World’s most laid back festival” by way of Indiana, and it happens next week, you can purchase tickets HERE. The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground.

The John Hartford Memorial Festival is selling 3-Day & 4-Day primitive camping passes and festival tickets on our ticketing page.  No 1-Day or 2-day camping passes will be sold on our web site, they will be sold at the gate during the festival. Camping cost is NOT included in the festival ticket purchase. If you are camping you must pay a separate camping fee. Reservations are not required for primitive camping but are highly recommended for RV campsites. Primitive camping locations are spread throughout the park and are first come first serve.

If you would like to reserve an RV site with hook ups you must call the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground at (800) 414-4677. We urge you to do this as soon as you can. These sites are coveted and will go fast! For any additional questions about camping reservations, camping with hook-up prices, or anything else regarding camping, call the Campground.

Steep Canyon Rangers

Travelin’ McCourys & Jeff Austin Present: The Grateful Ball,

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Pert Near Sandstone

Rumpke Mountain Boys

Run Boy Run

Larry Keel Experience

Mountain Sprout,

The Tillers

Bawn In the Mash

The Lil’ Smokies

Chris Dollar And His String Band

The Hammer And The Hatchet,

Joseph Huber,

The Last Revel,

Growler,

Old Salt Union,

The Wooks,

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys,

The Ransom Notes,

Glade City Rounders,

Blunderbus,

Whiskey Bent Valley Boys,

The Matchsellers

The physical location of the festival is:
5163 SR 135 N, Morgantown, Indiana
5 miles north of Nashville, IN on SR 135 (Bill Monroe Memorial Hwy)

The park is located on state highway 135 between Morgantown and Nashville, IN.

Click Here for Google Map Directions.

The GPS Coordinates are as follows.
39°16’11.8″N 86°14’60.0″W

Off of Hwy 65 just a little bit south of Indianapolis Indiana in Morgantown, just north of Nashville Indiana it is located pretty close to my Tn/Ky area. Most of my local readers can get there in about four hours tops, and it is indeed a nice facility I have been there myself during non-festival functions.

This is the sixth year for this festival and I see no sings of it stopping in any fashion (at least I hope not).
So with that in mind I usually list some hotels in the area for those of you like me that cannot camp for whatever reasons.

This festival is golf cart friendly and is near another of my favorite festivals in the Nashville Indiana area so I know the area well and there are grocery stores around and this festival has laundry available too. Sooo enojy this festival folks because I think it’s a pretty damn good addition to my series!

Brown County Cabins
Comfort Inn
Abbey Inn
Creekside Retreat
Always Inn

May 252017
 

On November 23rd 1992 the Grand Ole Opry lost one of it’s most beloved figures. A man that embellished Country Music with grace and poise, and he died with more dignity and honor than a thousand of today’s “stars” of Country Music. A man that even the likes of Hank Williams Sr heralded as Country Music’s Godfather, even Waylon Jennings held all cussing around in respect to his stature of this genre. Roy Acuff was and still is one our most beautiful leaders of the Opry and performed on the stage of the Opry up until the week he died in a house that faced the Opry front doors.

Every morning he awoke and lifted his head to look at his precious place where many people began their journey in the music industry. It launched so many people’s careers and created a home for many of our beloved Legends, in the form of providing a staple place to perform after their prime of their careers. Every weekend you can still go to the Opry and see people like Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seeley week after week, you can still see Mike Snyder telling jokes and Bobby Osborne play Rocky top which became the Tennessee state song in 1982.

I am sitting here on a small wooden bench in front of the final home of his writing this article, because I deemed it appropriate to do so. I firmly think Mr. Roy would approve of what we are doing here this weekend and that is appreciating true music, ALL kinds of music. Rockabilly music was originally forbidden on the Opry stage, but the main focus here is the fact that we are bringing REAL Country Music to the Opry stage tonight.

Mr. Jason is the heartbeat of Muddy Roots, and in my opinion is a prime example of the American Dream…one of the kings of DIY businesses. A small entity that is usually ignored by the major media outlets and hated upon by the bigger groups in the industry, because they are promoting and creating the false music that Muddy Roots exposes as fake. Those people that listen to the plastic music don’t know who Bobby Bare is nor do they care, they aren’t told to care. They are impressionable and “programmed” to like what’s placed in front of them, and they just “go with it”. The Muddy Roots crowd isn’t falling for that bullshit and they aren’t tolerating it, in their own way once Roy Acuff understood their sincerity, I think he would have approved of this evening’s relevance.

The Cowpokes are a band that come from the local Nashville scene out of the American Legion Post in East Nashville. With powerhouse producer and steel guitarist Andy Gibson on the steel and Mr. Brendan Malone this band is absolutely on key and already play like a well oiled machine.

They play prominent Western Swing and old classic Country Western music, like the Moon Mullican song “I’ll Sail My Ship along” from 1950. Mr. Moon was the King Of The Hillbilly Piano Players whom also played with the Blue Ridge Playboys, also recorded the song “Ragged But I’m Right” before Johnny Paycheck made it popular. However that song was originally recorded by Riley Puckett first, Mr. Moon made it commercially successful as well.

They played the song ‘They Call Me A Playboy” by Wynn Stewart from 1962 along with a really great song called the “New Panhandle Rag”. I’m going to have to venture out there one night when I’m off of work to see more of their set.

I have always held mammoth guitarist Deke Dickerson in high regard as a player and a historian as well. I enjoy going to see musicians you can not only watch but I enjoy the ones that stop and talk to the audience, and teach them things. Knowledge is a precious gift and a powerful weapon, I learned tonight that Country Music Legend Onie Wheeler died ON the Opry stage. Now folks I did know he died of a heart attack, but I had no idea he died actually on the stage.

He and Big Sandy both chose Onie Wheeler songs tonight, and not only was that history mutually significant between those two, but iconic drummer J.M. Van Eaton was there to play on some of the songs he originally played on like the Jerry Lee Lewis classic “Great Balls Of Fire”.

Mr. J.W. played on all of those Sun Records classic albums from all of those artists from that time frame, and he did splendidly well on those songs again. He started with Jerry Lee Lewis song “Let The Good Times Roll” which I do believe was originally released in the late 1980’s but I could be wrong about that one.

The Onie Wheeler song he chose was called “Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox” from 1959 Sun Records with “Tell Em Off” being the B side. He closed with my favorite song Mr. Billy Mize wrote “It All Depends On Who Will Buy The Wine” that Jerry Lee Lewis did but I liked Charlie Walker’s version better.

Billy Harlan is a local Legend to me in my area, being a radio disc jockey during the time Hank Williams Sr died. He has had a resurgence into the Rockabilly Music scene through Muddy Roots Record label Read More Here on that subject.

He played “I Ain’t Elvis” and followed that with “My Fate Is In Your Hands” that was recorded by Hawkshaw Hawkins before his iconic death in 1963 with Cowboy Copas and Patsy Cline. He closed his set with my favorite and his staple hit song “I Wanna Bop”.

Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys are Rockabilly Legends from the west coast area, and what’s nice about the Boogie is it brings them all to the Nashville area so I can cover their sets on this website. Anytime the west coast acts of any genre come out this way (or Red Dirt artists too) I usually rush out and see them, because there’s NO telling when they will return.

“That’s All” was the first song I noticed him playing, before playing Jerry Lee Lewis “I’m Sorry”. He closed his set with a song called “I Feel Sorry For You”. He also played a set at the Palace I believe but I missed it for other obligations.

J.P.Harris is an artist that I have always loved in every way, he plays COUNTRY. He doesn’t play any of the offshoot genres that are described by many. His new duet EP just recently cam out called “Why Don’t We Duet In The Road” and it includes “Golden Ring” with Kristiana Murray. I featured her at this past Muddy Roots.

This was a truly wonderful start to the Country portion of this show and did certainly whet our appetite for the main acts tonight. He opened with “Two For The Road” and went into “Oklahoma Is A Long Way Away” both from his first album he made, before going into a cover of “Why You Been Gone So Long”.

Mr. Joshua Hedley is a name YOU WILL hear more of on this website I PROMISE YOU. Now I took videos but I will not post them because these are new songs from an upcoming album. In fact I don’t even know the new song titles so I shall just speculate what they are.

His first one was perhaps the best called “Counting All My Teardrops” which not only showcased his vocals in a new and true form it embellished his lyrics really well. I was astounded by his ability to display his influences of traditional Country Music here. It resembled an old Conway Twitty song or the likes of that era song, but with a fresh new twist from a young man.

“Let’s Take A Vacation And Fall In Love Again” was well written and pleasant to listen to in a slew of hurting and heartache songs. “This Time for The First Time” was another truly fine song from the forthcoming album as well as “You’ll Be Better In The End”. AGAIN these are ONLY speculations on the names as SOOMN as I learn some information on this album it WILL be featured on here. He closed with “When You Wish Upon A Star”.

Bobby Bare was pretty much regarded as the original Outlaw of the 1970’s and is credited with ushering in the Outlaw Movement. Muddy Roots has featured him many times in the field, and as he walked out onto that stage and stood in that circle he gazed upon the crowd and said “Well I guess I had better sing some songs, huh”?

Standing brazenly in front of his band with age and growl in his voice he began with “I Wanna Go Home”, and went into “Winner” which had the crowd going on his trademark wild story songs like this one.

He went into “Streets Of Baltimore” and his equally famous trademark song “Dropkick Me Jesus”. I tell you what on so many classic songs from his past the enthusiastic audience sang along with every note he did, as he displayed ageless delivery of every note. Time has not faltered this Legend in any way but positively making his lessons of mistakes in life even more convincing. The stories and pictures painted by these old Outlaw songs of days gone by are many and vivid to someone like me.

“500 Miles” and “Four Strong Winds” were next followed by “Margie’s At The Lincoln Park Inn”. He stopped every couple of songs to tell jokes and share witty smart assed quips and one liner jokes. Before going into Shel Silverstein’s song “Still Gonna Die” off the Old Dogs album he made with Mel Tillis, Waylon and Jerry Reed. Mr. Jerry played on all of Bobby Bare’s classic albums, having helped Mr. Bobby’s career out immensely.

“That’s How I Got To Memphis” was second to closing along with “Marie LeVeaux” his only number one hit song, although he had many Top tens in his four decade career. And as he releases his new album soon called “Things Change” I see nothing changing for this man. Hopefully he will be around with us for many many years to come, because we need him.

Jerry Jeff Walker has brought Country Music so many songs I couldn’t even begin to name them all, and tonight as he performed his first Nashville set in twenty seven years he was just grateful to be there. “You Called Me out here to yell at me huh?” as people yelled out songs they wanted to hear.

As he opened with “Gettin By” and went into “Pickup Truck Song” he also displayed that time has not faltered his voice any, nor has it dented his ageless wit. He remain the same precise and crafted tunesmith we all know and love. He is the true last of his ilk the Townes Van Zandts and Tompall Glasers of his era probably survived only by Kristofferson and Mr. Tom Ghent. Mr. Jerry Jeff is the last of the breed, in every sense of the word.

He played the classic song “Navajo Rug” next along with one of his most popular songs “Mr. Bojangles” and followed that with “Trashy Women” that was recorded by Confederate Railroad”. That to me was a classic album for sure, in every sense of the word.

He took his long sleeve shirt off and decided to stay awhile before playing “Derby Day” and got ready to treat us to another set of classic songs here. He went into “Leaving LA Freeway”, and told some stories before going into the song “My Favorite Picture Of You” and more!

“The Cape” was next followed by one Miss Sunny Sweeney just cut called “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight”, along with his most noted rowdy bar anthem called “Up Against The Wall” made popular by Ray Wylie Hubbard. This truly was indeed a grand second set he played tonight here, and next he played “Those Were The Days”.

His encore included “The Armadillo Song” “Good Hearted Woman” and another song called “Little Bird”. There were four or five songs I missed while writing notes down and jotting things down on various places in my books. I know he played a Rusty Weir song as well, and once again received another standing ovation here at the Opry tonight.

Last year the Chris Issak show was truly enjoyable but THIS show was indeed the crown jewel of all Muddy Roots performances in my opinion. There has been many many Legends play in the field, at the Boogie and the Spring Weekender. In my opinion this one was the best I have ever had the pleasure to witness, and left me absolutely speechless. I had to wait a few days to even write words about this one folks it hit me that hard.

May 212017
 

Well folks I have returned to the Opryland area for more music and fun today as the car show opened up early and the vendor area was bustling with early risers, and coffee drinkers like me. I’m not going to lie folks today’s action was pretty damn good from the first band all the way to the last one of the night.

The bad news, was Mr. Dex Romweber had to cancel and the good news was the Legendary Shack Shakers played longer sets. Out here in the Ryman Hall the music was incredibly loud and the acoustics were very powerful, the bass players sounded like thunder all night. Absolutely incredible sounds and antics from many performers tonight, and none of the bands slouched in any fashion.

This has been one of the best of the three Boogies to ever happen here in Nashville and I’m looking forward to attending many more in the years to come. So with all the being said the first band I would like to touch on is Nashville based Jane Rose And The Deadend Boys whom had a good friend of mine Miss Mary Rodgers playing Sax for her. I covered her band the last time she played this festival in the past and it was a blessing to become reacquainted with her music.

” Wrong Kind Of Guy” was first as they opened their set with powerful lead vocal intros and blazing hot guitar lead solos, and ripping bass lines that rattled the walls. “Hot Rod Daddy” was next followed by “Bad Little Betty”. All of these bands embellish the great Rockabilly guidelines and lifestyle this weekend and the song “Bitten” and “Rock Crazy Baby” by Art Adams were no exceptions. All the way down to her gritty soulful carrying of notes on “Hound Dog” to the powerful “You Can’t Have My Husband” they rocked their way out songs like “Fool” and they closed with “Love Me Like A Man”.

Then I went upstairs to see the Riley Reed fashion show, and to be honest I don’t know anything about fashion so to try to understand the art of it in itself is a task I undertook with great enthusiasm and wonder. All the different designers and models displaying the different clothes and the care that is taken to mold each piece just right.

The designers were:

Manuel

Riley Reed

Fables

Rockin B Clothing

Katy K Designs

Tyler George

Fort Lonesome

My Vintage Look

Ellie Monster

North Country Maiden

Jerry Lee Atwood

The Psycho Devilles You know back in 2013 at Muddy Roots in Cookeville I became familiar with Hot Rod Walt and this band, also I had the opportunity to cover their set at many of the Boogies in the past. One song I did remember from last time was called “My Guitar Saved Me” and they followed that with one called “This Old Road”.

He was walking around handing everyone a sample FREE CD called “Swinging On The Moon” sponsored by Miller Beer and it contains three songs they played. “Ruby Ann”, “The Joke’s On Me” and another called “Chrome Sidepipes And SS Cragars”. However off the latest album they also played “Motor Honey”, and one called “Addicted To Love”.

Next up was “The Rebel” and a party song called “Victory Curls”, and a rocking tune called “Psycho Cadillac” and another called “Bar Fight” he played in two different speeds. Another great song called “My Way” was the difference between him and his father, who chose to work his whole life and when he retired he passed away. Instead Mr. Walt did things “His Way” and traveled the Country playing music. They closed with “Long Way To Go” , after their set I wandered over to the vendor area to visit with my car club friends from past festivals.

GOOD GOD possibly the BEST SET I EVER Saw The Legendary Shack Shakers perform EVER!  I just spoke to Mr. J.D.Wilkes and although he said a lot of it was random it was truly epic, and it involved crowd surfing and mass destruction of equipment. Much like the last set in Chicago not long ago this band absolutely slayed Nashville tonight in every way possible.

As they opened with their song “Mud”, they offered a heaping helping of their back catalog with songs like “Blood on The Bluegrass”, while lead singer the Colonel J.D.Wilkes ran around with an eclectic crazed demeanor. This set was much more different than two weeks ago in Chicago although it did contain many of the same songs.

They played “Hell Or High Water” and steamrolled into “Dump Road Yodel” while breaking guitar strings and part of their drum kit. Then they treated us to an instrumental and the song “Hobos Are My Heroes” all the while rarely stopping between songs. Literally they just changed tempos like when they played “Dixie Iron Fist”.

“No Such Thing” was next followed by the “Kentucky Song” and they closed with “Bullfrog Blues”. Their set included multiple stage diving episodes and came complete with J.D’s signature mic swinging and forehead popping, while sparing no use of his beloved harmonica thunder. The Legendary Shack Shakers sound like a tornado picked up a running locomotive. There was debris and broken strings everywhere along with cans, and every projectile one could imagine.

The Sonics are another band of Rockabilly Legends that we were blessed with this weekend. The Legends just keep coming at me this weekend here at the Boogie. These two sets were quite possibly the two greatest sets I have witnessed all year so far from ANY genre. I’m not going to lie these two bands absolutely created more chaos than like I said…all year.

They played a marathon twenty plus song set choked full of their timeless classic songs like “You Keep A Knocking” and “Psycho”. Their first song was “Cinderella” followed by “Shot Down” and “Cmon Everybody”. Despite their age they showed incredible poise and stamina, and showed that their age hasn’t slowed them in any way. As they displayed a terrific showing of their song “Sugaree” tonight and went into ‘Have Love” I realized their set was not nearly even half over yet!

“Be A Woman” was next followed by “Get In The Car” and “Head On Backwards” like pretty much all of the legends tonight they just blasted into song after song of old classic greatness. And for any true appreciator of music like me this was indeed a true treat to witness, and it could have lasted for days!

“Bad Betty” and the timeless classic “You Keep A Knockin”, was followed by “Louie Louie” and ‘Hard Way”. They also additionally came out and played some encores after completing their set with “Boss Hoss” and “Money”. They played the ever popular “Little Sister” and “Psycho” before finally leaving that poor clean up crew to sort out the mess.

The Country Side Of Harmonica Sam is a Swedish band that NEVER comes around here so I JUMPED at this chance to feature them and their rare brand of 50’s and 60’s Honky Tonk Music the likes of Buck Owens era music.

They have two full length albums out and played a REALLY LONG SET last night here at the Palace in the back parlor starting out with “Changing Her Thinking” and “We Have Strayed So Far”. Rolling right along into “Big City” and “Unjust Friends”.

They display every ounce of proper pop and twang to keep any Honky Tonk enthusiast busy with their five piece sound as the dance floor PILED UP with so many dancers you couldn’t see the floor, Holy Cow. This place was BUSY, and as they played “I’m Walking Slow” and “Unjust Friends” we wrapped up the main days of the Boogie in classic style all over the area.

“Blues Are Settling In” and “I’m Walking Slow” were next on the agenda for these boys. As people spun and danced to songs like “Why I Sing In A Honky Tonk” and “Empty Hours” I am pretty bummed that this band doesn’t come to the states more often but I can understand things.

“Drink After Midnight” and “Open Letter To The Blues” were next followed “Closely By My Teardrops” and “Cry Me A River”. They closer their set with “Even At My Best”, “Tears Don’t Stain” and lastly “Look Out Heart”. Truly an amazing job here by Muddy Roots and Mr. Jason Galaz, and EVERYONE ELSE who made this festival possible. All the bartenders and waitstaff.

THANK YOU ALL OF YOU!

May 202017
 

Well folks here I am in the middle of May with my spring festival work half finished, but I’m sure none of you mind. I have been all over the mid west already  traveling to many shows and festivals this year. It’s been so much fun let me tell you folks. So now finally this year I’m down here in Nashville Tennessee for the third annual Nashville Boogie Rockabilly Weekend brought to us by Muddy Roots.

Hillbilly Casino kicked off my weekend for me, I had to opt out of the first two days of this one folks but I’ll do my best to cover what I can of the remainder of this festival. I recently talked with bassist Geoff Firebaugh and got some information on their all new forthcoming album,which will be entitled “Red White And Bruised”.

This new album will be available July 14th and will contain thirteen songs that were recorded in Tennessee. In this article I shall allow you to see their new song and what those song titles are:

How Do You Think
Jibber Jabber
She’s Got Tricks
It’s Not Me
Toss Turn Roll
When She Kissed Me
Dog On A Chain
Trainwreck
Troubles
More Blues Than Green
Lowdown
Give It All Up

Now folks I did get to see their first set here tonight as they displayed some of their new songs for us last night. After opening with Crutchero guitar solo work they began with an old favorite “Debt With The Devil” and followed that with ‘You Got Me”.

This video is from their new song called “Trainwreck” that will be on the new album as well as some other new ones they played last night like “Give It All Up”. More of the songs they unleashed upon us last night were “Lowdown” and “More Blues Than Green”.

They played one of my favorite songs called “The Hole” before moving into a skit involving the Nashville Boogie man then which they played one called “Cmon Everybody”. They then went on into more new songs called “How Do You Think” and another called ‘Trainwreck”.

The last of the two new ones they played was called “Dog On A Chain’ before closing with some old recognizable favorites like “Violets In May” and “Knocking At Your Door”. ‘She’s Got Tricks” was another good new song they played before closing their set with “Tennessee Stomp”.

I’m very anxious to see what and who I can run into down there today so I’m about to go down there pretty early and have fun, I need to get some coffee and breakfast into these old bones before any music today. So let’s see what will be happening next.

May 192017
 

Well It’s no secret to any of you I’m sure because I have been promoting it for weeks now, next weekend at the Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City, I’ll be hosting the Honky Tonk stage for the second year now. Last year I had some truly memorable occurrences while hosting that stage out there. Some truly epic teamwork formed last year, as I was made so welcome by the festival organizer Mr. Jody Hendrix and Mr. Travis Fields who owns the Westport Saloon. In fact the whole Little Class Records staff and every bar there made me feel so welcome, that I couldn’t digress on another invitation to host their Honky Tonk stage.

This brought me to the juncture that I now rest upon as I write this, whereas I was made aware of my lineup not long ago. To my personal delight I was made aware one of my two top headliner acts was none other than one of my childhood heroes Country Legend Mr. Moe Bandy!

Moe Bandy has recorded thirty seven solo albums, and charted 15 Top 10’s in his over four decade career.  He also recorded seven albums with Joe Stampley, and a duet with Janie Fricke. I tell you what folks, I cannot ruin much of the interview with pre-writing this intro because I’ll spill the beans on what will all be said. I have studied this man and his music for thirty five years, and for ME to interview HIM is absolutely an accolade in my tenure as a journalist.  I’m hoping this brings me to a whole new echelon in the Country Music website community.

Even in today’s market of pop country and other mumbo jumbo Moe Bandy remains relevant, while never withdrawing from his Traditional Country sound. Ohhhh..that sweet steel guitar and fiddle accompanied by the three chord format of classic Moe Bandy songs we all know and love. So let’s talk with Mr. Moe shall we, now mind you these guys and gals are busy so while it’s an honor to chat I didn’t want to overstay my welcome..

GHC:

How did you get started playing music?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Well my mother played piano, and my father played guitar and we started singing and playing music there at the house. There was a lot of Gospel music and a lot of Country music. I played a banjo at one time too, and learned a couple of chords. I got into a lot of talent shows and stuff like that.

GHC:

I can easily ascertain through your music that Hank Williams Sr. influenced you immensely. Whom else influenced you as a young man?

My. Moe Bandy:

Well I was influenced greatly by people like Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard and George Jones. Eventually all of those people I got the honor to go do shows with, so I got to go work with my heroes.

GHC:

Ray Baker produced many of your albums, who discovered you, was it him?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Well Ray Baker went on a hunting trip to San Antonio Texas, and I heard he was producer and he was going to be in the area. So I went to his hotel and told him I wanted to make a record, so he came to my show that night. I had a little dance type show we got started and we would do a session and I would pay for it.  I put out several small albums and I ran out of money, and finally we cut a song called “I Just Started Hating Cheat’n Songs Today”. It took off around the country and I signed with a label called GRC Records, and went from there.

GHC:

Right and you made three or four records with GRC until you went to Columbia in 1975,right?

Mr. Moe Bandy

Right, I had three albums with GRC and I turned over to Columbia, I signed with Columbia in 1975. I had “Bandy The Rodeo Clown” and that did well on the charts at that time. So we maintained a really good deal with Columbia and I was with them for many years.

GHC:

That’s one thing I always wanted to personally ask you. How did Whitey Shafer affect your career, I know he wrote a lot for you?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Yeah, he wrote songs for Ray Baker. Ray had a publishing company and Whitey wrote songs for him and that company. So when I came to Nashville to work for Ray, I got to be good friends with Whitey  and he started writing songs just for me and my first five songs were Whitey Shafer songs. Whitey and Doodle Owens and Lefty Frizzell and all those people he was writing with and I got to be good friends, and what a great talented songwriter he is. He just is absolutely great.

GHC:

In the 1970’s and early 80’s what was your music considered? Was it Mainstream or Outlaw or what was it mainly identified with?

Mr.Moe Bandy:

Well most people called it Honky Tonk music, you know just good old Honky Tonk plain and simple. They called it Honky tonk music at that time and I guess that what you could call it.

GHC:

Out of all of your albums what’s your personal favorite, and why?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

My personal favorite album would have to be  my latest  one (laughs), I have several. I did an album called “Many Mansions” on Curb Records I like a lot. We did a lot of different stuff on there and I wrote a lot of those songs. Also the album “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life” is one of my favorites too.

GHC:

Your 1985 album “Barroom Roses” and your last with Capitol, was that Richie Albright that wrote “after Loosing you” and “Settle Up With My Heart”?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Yes, that’s right.

GHC:

Tell me a little more about President Bush making the song “Americana” his campaign song?

Mr. Moe Bandy

Well he went out and got a bus and we would ride around to different places around the country with him and play that song all over during his campaign. It was a really great experience and I think it touched a lot of people.

GHC:

How have you remained so relevant in today’s market? You are still going just as strong as you were twenty years ago?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

I think it’s because I never changed my sound or my style. I still just play the same old Honky Tonk music i always have and my voice hasn’t changed either. I’m just the same Moe Bandy as I have always been.

GHC:

Lastly, Mr. Moe. Tell me the story of Joe Dodd the janitor that inspired the song on your latest live album, called “He Ain’t No Hank”?

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Oh yes, Joe was just a good man. You know when I was in the studio recording some songs, he was a janitor cleaning the building there. And we got to talking and he said well I wrote a song, and I said you did? He said yeah and played it for me and I liked it so we decided to record it and it’s called “He Ain’t no Hank”. Joe’s no longer with us now so it’s a very special song for us.

GHC:

Well, I tell you what it sure has been an overwhelming pleasure to do this with you Mr. Moe. You raised me as a child along with your heroes too, and I’ll tell you what I cannot thank you enough. I have been a Bandy fan for thirty years and you haven’t slowed down or changed your signature sound. We love you and more importantly we NEED you Sir, and at Westport we will have the party of the century.

Mr. Moe Bandy:

Buddy I cannot wait, we are going to Honky Tonk that place to tears, and it’s going to be so much fun. Thank you for this time as well.

 

 

May 192017
 

Ok folks so this installment takes us to Nashville Indiana and the Brown County Campground as they present the LAST EVER Muddy Roots Spring Weekender. It’s a smaller more secluded version of the main festival in Cookeville which I’ll also be at. Folks I tell you what I WILL ALWAYS be working for Mr. Jason on the promotions front and he does a LOT to keep me rolling.

Even as I write this I am about to embark upon his Nashville Boogie Festival in Nashville and then I’m off to another festival the week after. This festival just keeps happening during a busy time for me and I cannot attend, but I’ll tell you what this campground is gorgeous and I have been there many times.

At this festival you can hear NEW music from Joseph Huber which I reviewed HERE and also Left Lane Cruiser has new music out. Mr Brooke has his solo album available on vinyl and I’m not sure if it’s sold out or not yet, however there are many integral Roots Music acts on this bill.

Legendary Shack Shakers

O’Death

The Tillers,

Joseph Huber

Jayke Orvis

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes

Pine Hill Haints

Mountain Sprout

Brook Blanche

Dylan Walshe

Billy Cook

Left Lane Cruiser

Joey Henry’s Dirty Sunshine Club

Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Matt Heckler

Toe Knee Tea

Rock Bottom String Band

Pearls Mahone

You can click HERE and buy tickets and by the way I make NO money off your ticket purchase it goes ALL to the festival companies NONE of my festival articles do. As always I found some hotels in the area for those of you that are like me and do not camp. So with all this information in mind why not go set aside some time to relax and let Muddy Roots entertain you?

Brown County Cabins
Comfort Inn
Abbey Inn
Creekside Retreat
Always Inn

May 172017
 

Half of these websites out there that are raving over this young man’s latest release don’t know this is his latest release, and that’s honestly a shame. Imaginary Appalachia was in fact a damn fine album, it made my TOP 50 OF 2015 because of Mr. Colter’s unique vocal presentations. He pushes the lyrics out from the bowels of his very soul and what emanates forth is nothing short of music that far exceeds his physical age.

But much like Hank Williams was in the 1950’s, Mr Colter isn’t the youthful sprite he should be at this juncture…no Sir. By the end of this article you shall concur with me that I hit the damn nail right on the head with this one, this album here FAR exceeded anything I could have prognosticated when I spoke with him on the phone after work one night. We spoke because I phoned him to inform him I made him my 2016 Artist Of The Year.

Even back then he was working his way into the halls of bigger venues and selling them out, playing with the likes of Cody Jinks and Lucinda Williams. But nothing…NOTHING…prepared me for this endeavor I witnessed when my needle dropped on that wax for the first time. I don’t know how he did it or what factors made it happen, but he found his focal point here vocally and lyrically.

This album is SO throwback in demeanor that my father who has Alzheimer listens to this album and is convinced it’s from HIS era the likes of Marty Robbins Gunfighter songs, and you know what? I actually agree. The stories and scenarios are vivid and full of despair at times the likes of Red Headed Stranger or something from a Louis L Amour book.

“Thirteen Silver Dollars” the albums opener brings you back to his home of Speedy Creek in Canada, and directly paints a story within the mind of anybody willing to listen, while at the same time contains poignant strumming and powerful notes from his acoustic.

The cover of “Fraulein” is a duet with Tyler Childers made popular by many like Bobby Helms. The style and spin these two young men placed upon this classic song I’m positive would make Cash, or any of the Legends we adore smile. Perhaps one of the best songs on the album was the song “Me And Big Dave”, another great story that equally painted a picture on my mind as I closed my eyes and allowed the song into my head. It’s full of D chord strumming like the classic western songs of old, but honestly it’s not all about Mr. Colter.

This band of folks he has assembled and dubbed his “Speedy Creek Band” are just absolutely top top top notch in every aspect of the word, and with Dave Cobb at the producer’s pilot seat and our old friend W.B. Walker lending a hand flipping the record over it finalizes a powerful team of warriors marching forth in the name of REAL Country Music.

However the cream of this whole album lies within “Kate McCannon”, a powerful murder ballad story about a man in prison taunted by a raven in the beginning. The descriptions and references within this 5 minute song are just absolutely bone chilling. In fact I would have to say it’s one of my top songs I have ever heard in my life, the way he finds her with another man and the song builds up power as he pulls the trigger. It just comes out of your speakers kicks you right in the face.

“Snake Mountain Blues” was by far his finest song vocally with a very hazy and unfiltered rasp. When you watch Mr. Colter perform you can SEE where it comes from, he is a natural performer and cares very deeply about how the listeners feel when he’s done.

No, half of those websites have no idea what kind of a storm is brewing here, nor do they have any idea just WHAT they are “reviewing” this isn’t something I’m reviewing. I’m just telling you facts people, just absolute unarguable facts. There is a massive, cold, battle winding within the music community…and with Mr. Colter Wall on our side we have won.

May 162017
 

Folks I apologize about the delay in making album features as I have been incredibly busy with festivals, however I wanted to stop and tell you about a few albums here on the website that I strongly urge you to go pick up. Richard Lynch has had a successful Country Music Career that has spanned three decades up 5there in Ohio.

He is a prominent part of the local music scene up there in Ohio, and as most of you know I pay close attention to bands like The Tillers,Hocking River String Band,Mr. Dallas Moore and Mr. Heath McDaniel. Well, Richard Lynch is no exception to that long list of fine musicians that emanate from the Ohio area. I mean, folks the long list of bands and venues from that area I could talk about is endless. Not to mention festivals, my major function I write about here, some of my favorites come from the Ohio area.

I’ll be honest the list of new releases already in 2017 has blown me away, There is easily a TOP 50 now before the year even comes to a close. Of course I also involve myself in many genres, Traditional Country is one of my favorites. I LOVE what Tracy Pitcox does out there in Texas with Heart Of Texas Records, or out on the West Coast we have many REAL Country bands.

Just recently Mr Richard and Country Legend Ronnie McDowell recorded a mighty fine duet and you can read about that HERE as they tore up the Midnite Jamboree.

Shortly after that I received in the mail the new album from Mr. Richard Lynch called “Mending Fences”. Upon reading the credits RIGHT AWAY the song “When You Send An Angel A Letter” grabbed my attention because my good buddy Jeff Batson helped write that song, and what a great song it was. It contains a really good hook typically used in songwriting, but they implement it’s use in this situation to keep it from becoming mundane. “When you send an angel a letter, what the hell do you write”? Now that was a truly cool song, well written and it was a good choice on Mr. Richard’s part.

This album was produced by Edgel Groves and Randall Griffith and it showcased his vocals truly well, that’s honestly on of the things I look for in new releases as well as some mighty fine steel guitar work by Steve Hinson. It’s self titled track “Mending Fences” is perhaps one of the best songs on this album, he delivers the vocals in such a heartfelt and convincing manner it cannot be passed up on.

“Back in Love Again” is a powerful duet with Bluegrass Legend Rhonda Vincent that compliments the rest of the album truly well. And honestly in most cases I sometimes frown upon an album where the artist chooses songs from other writers in today’s age, Mr. Richard identifies truly well with the songs he chose and sings them like they came from his own heart. That is kind of a double edged sword, I miss having those Country Music Songwriting Legends, but I appreciate an artist that writes their own songs more now.

“Worth Saving” was a song he did co write and it did identify with him thus brought me closer to him as an individual and helped me overcome the frivolous task of wading through thousands of songs to find true Country Music treasures. Honestly this album is a true necessity for the yawning statement from people “There Is No Country Music Anymore”..or “Country Music is Dead”. We need to take album like this one and shove it down their throat and satisfy their palate.

This album contains some mighty fine songs, It’s not his greatest offering out of his entire collection BUT it’s nothing short of amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up on my TOP 50 of 2017 on some juncture of the spectrum.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Daddy’s Words
2.When You Send An angel A Letter
3.Mending Fences
4.In Over My Heart
5.Crazy Man
6.Back in love Again
7.Cut And Paste
8.Think And Drive
9.Worth Saving
10.Things You Shouldn’t Do
11.Knock Three Times
12.Country Music Isn’t Country Anymore

May 162017
 

Well my old friend PeeWee Moore is at it again as he proudly announces his THIRD ANNUAL Great American Honky Tonk Tent Revival, and in this edition of my festival series I’ll include hotel information.

NOW this festival is FREE YES I SAID FREE to ALL ages, and you can donate money for food and drinks. You CAN bring coolers and leashed pets, AND CAMPING is available! This man is literally running a 100.00 lineup for nothing folks..this is pretty much a NO BRAINER HERE.

The ONLY reason I won’t be there is because I was booked elsewhere already, so go stop on by and shake Old PeeWee’s hand for me, and tell him to keep up the fabulous work.

May 26-27-28th at The Pine Hill Theater Whitwell, Tennessee

Wayne Hancock
Official Roger Alan Wade
Billy Don Burns Official
Peewee Moore & The Awful Dreadful Snakes
Casper McWade
MoonDawg Hall
Josh Morningstar
Lew Card
Sweet G.A. Brown
B.B. Palmer
Will Dooley & The Tatum Brothers
The Rattlesnake Rattlers
Rebecca Jed And The Bucksnort Beauties

La Quinta Inn & Suites Cleveland

Ad 4.5

$99
3-star hotel
Bright hotel with a pool & a patio

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chattanooga-Lookout Mtn

Ad 4.0

$119
2-star hotel
Modern hotel with pool & free breakfast
Free Wi-Fi

Quality Inn & Suites

3.9

$84
2-star hotel
Simple lodging with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Days Inn Chattanooga Lookout Mountain West

3.4

$89
2-star hotel
Simple hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Best Western Royal Inn

3.9

$84
2-star hotel
Classic hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
DEAL 18% less than usual

Econo Lodge Lookout Mountain

2.9

$70
2-star hotel
Modest hotel with free WiFi & breakfast
Free Wi-Fi

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chattanooga-Lookout Mtn

4.0

$119
2-star hotel
Modern hotel with pool & free breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 19% less than usual

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Chattanooga I-24/Lookout Mountain

4.6

$189
2-star hotel
Lodging with free WiFi & hot breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Red Roof Inn Chattanooga – Lookout Mountain

3.5

$81
2-star hotel
Simple, modern hotel with a pool & Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Clarion Inn

3.7

$122
3-star hotel
Simple hotel with free breakfast & pool
Free Wi-Fi

Tiftonia TN Lodging LLC

Hotel · 3725 Modern Industries Pkwy

Best Western Kimball Inn

4.1

$64
2-star hotel
Casual hotel with outdoor pool & gym
DEAL 23% less than usual

La Quinta Inn & Suites Chattanooga – Lookout Mtn

4.1

$109
3-star hotel
Relaxed lodging with a pool & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Americas Best Value Inn & Suites

2.6

$69
2-star hotel
Simple hotel with on-site restaurant
Free Wi-Fi

Hampton Inn Kimball TN

4.5

$107
Hotel
Contemporary lodging with breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 15% less than usual

Super 8 Kimball

3.5

$65
2-star hotel
Budget hotel with free parking & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Quality Inn & Suites

3.1

$90
2-star hotel
Unfussy hotel featuring an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
DEAL 16% less than usual

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kimball

4.3

View
$99
2-star hotel
Modest hotel with free breakfast & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL Get 6% off plus free Wi-Fi with loyalty sign-up

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chattanooga Downtown/Cameron Harbor

4.5

$152
4-star hotel
All-suite hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 20% less than usual

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chattanooga Downtown

4.1

$153
$184
2-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with a saltwater pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 17% off

Westin Chattanooga

3.0

Hotel

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Chattanooga Downtown

4.4

$161
May 142017
 

Hey everybody welcome to part 2 of my coverage of the 2017 Moonrunners Music festival in downtown Chicago, I tell you what today I upgraded my phone and got a Galaxy 8 and I truly wish I had gotten it for the festival, so right now I want to once again thank Mr. Scott Mithun for the use of his videos.

Before I go any further I’m hoping I do not offend anybody but there were a few acts I simply couldn’t catch and I hadn’t gotten the chance to have any set lists turned in or I didn’t get a chance to track them down. I apologize for this in advance, I think I did the best job I could at maintaining the current two stage overlap. It’s NOT EASY doing all what I do for this length of time.

The Bad Saddles opened the day up in the side bar with a very high energy set that I needed along with four big cups of coffee to get this day underway here on a windy morning. I was up and ready to kick ass out here and enjoy some damn fine music, and do some more merch table shopping. I also had my daughter with me and it’s extremely hard to say NO to her, so I was buying two of things this weekend.

This fine rock band makes It’s home here in Joliet Illinois and is a prominent member of the local scene in Chicago, as you will easily identify upon their amount of local support and how much they are appreciated. They opened with a fine number called “Tanglewood” and followed that up with “Devil Door”.

The video up above is from “Long Way From Tomorrow” and they played another simply called “Happy”. They then closed with two more song called “Keep On Smilin” and one called “Radiator Blues”. I’ll tell you what I truly enjoyed this band this early in the morning, it was honestly nice to hear a GREAT band right off the bat!

The Decayed was Mr. Jahshie’s thrash metal band with members of his other band Last False Hope (whom I’ll touch on in just a bit) and I watched them from up top on the catwalk stages that line the top of the main stage. There’s furniture along the tops of the balconies of the main stage.

This band was pretty wild and loud, and they opened with a song called “Beaten And Battered” and followed that with a song called “My Decay”. Like many other bands here this weekend The Decayed is also a prominent member of the local scene in Chicago here.

“Hopeless” was next along with a song called “Not This Time”. Along with furious guitar solos and hardcore beats songs like “The Dream Is Dead” filled our ear drums as they closed with “Better Way”. It was one of the heavier bands I truly enjoyed this weekend.

Mr. Soda Gardocki is a staple band from other festivals that I haven’t gotten the chance to cover extensively yet. He played in the side bar this weekend and I think he did a wonderful job up there keeping us busy.

I had to return to the computer to update some things and run background programs in order to properly cover more sets tonight so I only got to check him out while playing “July”. But you can darn sure bet I’ll be covering his set even more throughout the years I do this.

Folks right now It’s time to talk about that dirty blues maniac we call Husky Burnette who opened his set with “Kick Rocks” off his new album out on Rusty Knuckles called Ain’t Nothin But A Revival. That album also made my TOP 50 OF 2016, it was truly fantastic. You can easily see growth in this man’s music lyrically and musically. He is an absolute guitar wizard with a finger slide, his shows are intense high energy and ha makes that guitar neck his bitch!

He continued with “Rising” which I believe he told me was a brand new song, and another one called “Pay By The Hour” before he steamrolled into “Law’s Riding Up” off his first album “Face Down In The Dirt”.

Mr. Brett Conlin put on one hell of a fantastic set here in Chicago today, and it was a true pleasure to catch up with him. I got the chance to talk with him a little biyt and get acquainted with his music more.

He opened with a song called “Pine Box” and followed that with “Ship Of Sin”. Another really good one was “Glad To See You Go” that song truly showcased his vocal abilities really well. “Everything I Know” was another one I noticed right away that was a well written song.

“Here we Go Again, Anyway” was next followed by “Home On Time”. He closed his set with “Whiskey Blues”. I shall be seeking him out more and more in the next few months and I will most certainly feature him again.

The Devil’s Cut is another Midwest band that is currently dong some touring work with the Ditchrunners, you can read about that HERE

“Left To Loose” was first along with “Cordel” and one off their second album called “Glass Chariot”. You know their cause and their lyrics truly speak for themselves and their drummer spoke some wise words on their website I shall reprint here:

“We have one of the worst economies, and due to that you have limited places to play. However, that has also really helped to create an underground community where people stick together, getting behind what is going on at the grassroots level. This communal aspect really comes through in our work, wherein most of the lyrical material and/or musical feel is based around the struggles that we all face due to a failing system”, says drummer Derek Vaive.

“The Body Electric” was next followed by “42 Arrows” and I think the next song was a cover song called “Shakedown On 9th Ave”. They closed their set with “Old Ghosts And Classic Cars”. Later on in the evening they came up to play with St. Christopher.

Mr. A.J. Gaither is one of our Kansas City friends that is part of the Westport scene and just recently released a mighty fine live album from it. He is a powerhouse OMB or One Man Band as they are called, and tonight he played “Biscuits And Gravy” with a mighty fine beat.

He also played “Natural Habitat” and declared Reggies to be the Chicago mecca for his music scene like the Westport Saloon is for his. One could easily tell he was just ecstatic to be there, and felt quite welcomed.

I went next door to see Mr. Matt Woods playing “To Tell The Truth” off his new album that like quite a few on this festival it also made my TOP 50 of 2016 with his album “How To Survive”.

He followed that up with “A Good Man” and the song called “The American Way” that I heard at Muddy Roots for the first time. I loved the lyrics to this song and I have always admired the way he delivers the songs, his stage presence is amazing. He closed his set with “Love From Brushy Mountain” and finally he played “Deadman’s Blues”.

Still after all these years I think “love From Brushy Mountain” to be his finest work in every aspect and even thought I liked songs off his new album a LOT it’s going to be hard for him to beat that album. I am eager to see him attempt to beat it though, and I admire his road dog schedule.

Mr. Duane Mark was one is just recently covered on the road with Sissy Brown in Tennessee and this time he had Mr Tim Vee playing bass with him. There were a few songs I caught and couldn’t find the name but I did see him play “Beer 30” and towards the end I caught “Her Mother” and he closed his set with the same song as the last time which was one by Roger Alan Wade “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb You gotta Be Tough”.

Mr. Adam Lee makes Chicago his home as well as many of the other artists here, and I have always enjoyed his versatile vocals. He brought Matt Woods up to sing “Call Me Bass Call Me Trouble”. I saw them perform that at Muddy Roots already, GREAT song.

His new album called “Sincerely,Me” brought out songs such as “Good Days” and “Show Folks You Mean It”. He also played a song called “Ten Years To The Day”. All in All I have always enjoyed his Honky Tonk style as well as his various other forms of music, and he is a truly gifted entertainer. He enjoys performing and it’s evident in his demeanor and music, I look forward to writing MANY more articles about him and his music.

Still Alive was another of the Chicago area bands and I missed their set. Band Members Dan – Guitar and Vox Dom – Guitar and Vox Bryan – Bass and Mikey – Drums make up this four piece band that mixes punk metal and ska.

Folks I assure you it’s nothing personal if I miss sets, I have to momentarily return to my laptop to do what I do as best as I can. I can and always will add set lists I find out about, and I will gladly edit these anytime for any band. I’m always looking to hire help as long as their heart isn’t out for free tickets and they actually WANT to report on the MUSIC!

S.S.Webb is my friends Mr. Henry Berger and Mr. Cris Bissell make up this Roots Music duo from Milwaukee Wisconsin that I have wrote many articles about in the past. I encounter them at many festivals around the country and have always enjoyed their music.

I enjoy the talks I get to have with Mr. Henry on politics and music and everything else we talk about, like many of you I can usually talk politics and debate or agree and still remain friends, it’s something I enjoy doing. I enjoy learning from others and understanding other people’s points of view, he’s actually quite an interesting person. A road musicians life is in no way an easy job and the insight he gave me last weekend was even more proof of my point that what they do isn’t one big party like your average person assumes.

“Dead Man’s Bar” was first tonight from their album “North” and they followed it up with “Bring Me Home” off the “Revenge” album and another called “Pullin”. “Any Old Thing” was next off my favorite album “Skulls Will Sink” as well as their next song “Chaser”.

S.S.Webb stands for Steering Ships With Broken Bottles and they have a nautical theme to their band. A few songs I don’t find on their albums were “See You In The Morning” and “Most Anything”. They closed their set with ‘Let It Burn”. You can darn sure bet that when they get ready to release new music I’ll keep a close eye on them for a review.

Dave-drums, Curtis-guitar, Johnny-bass, Jeff-guitar, Mikey-percussion Manny-vocals make up the next band that plays Chicago hardcore music called Evil Empire this insert is from their website:

We have different interests, opinions, and personalities. We play music together to promote peace, knowledge, and truth. We don’t care if you’re into hardcore or emo. In fact, we don’t give a motherfuck. Just keep things real, stand up for what’s right. – Fuck all inequalities, smash imperialism, keep it real, have fun. That’s our stance. Teach yourself.

Miss Rachel Brooke is one I encountered many years ago and right now she doesn’t get out as much for personal reasons. So when she is on a bill and I see it I usually go support that festival right away. It was very nice to catch up with her and let her know I’m still out there doing this.

She opened her set with “Keep From Crying” and right off the bat displayed her signature obscure but distinguishable vocal style. She has one of the most unique voices in all of music, a quality many lack in today’s day. “Ashes To Ashes” was next along with “Fox In A Hen House”.

I went up into the back balcony to enjoy her set even further as she rolled into songs like “The Ghost Of You” and she played one called “Stocking Blues” (that might be an incorrect name) however it was a good song. She played the song that made the Muddy Roots compilation disc called “The Mystery Of Death”.

She played a few more in closing her set called “Dixie Darling” and one called “Empty House”, it was truly good to catch up with her and get a chance to see her again. I been a longtime fan of hers and I don’t plan on going anywhere for sure, you can darn sure bet that you’ll be hearing about this young lady in the future.

Last False Hope what can I say about Mr. Jahshie P and what he does for his music scene in the Chicago area, that I haven’t already touched on? He and Shooter have always teamed up to do terrific things for Underground Music up there, and this festival proves it.

Last False Hope blends Hardcore and Bluegrass together for an ultimate experience unlike any other, and I’ll be featuring them this summer as well at Muddy Roots. The first song of their I caught was “God Damn You” and another one they played was “Hollow”.

As with his other band Mr. Jahshie displays an untamed vigor onstage as he releases all his pent up emotions onto the audience while performing songs like “Wasted Nights” and the last one of theirs I watched “Why Do I Fuck Up Everything I Love”. I had to head back to my computer for another update before the night’s closing main acts took their respective places!

Mr. Ted Russell Kamp not only plays bass for Shooter Jennings he also plays his own music as well, and is a seasoned multi instrumentalist. He’s been a staple member of all of Shooter’s bands since 2006 when Shooter released “Let’s Put The O Back In Country”.

He opened with “Hold On” and went on into “My Heart Has A Mind Of It’s Own” off the 2013 album “Night Owl”. His next song was called “Every Little Thing You Need”. His next song was called ‘Rainy Day Valentine, which displayed his own identity as an artist. Mr. Ted has been a prominent producer and musician for many years as a solo act as well as being in the background. “Another Love song” was next followed by “Down to The Wire” before he closed with “If I Had A Dollar”.

Mr. Shawn James has some pretty powerful songs whether it’s him as a solo act of with his band the Shapeshifters. I haven’t ever crossed paths with him or his band so it was a pleasure to encounter him on this bill.

“Through The Valley” was one of his songs today as well as “Snake eyes”. Mr. Shawn channels his inner beast as he wails out lyrics to songs like “Delilah” from his album “On The Shoulders Of Giants”. His last song was called “Hell Hound”, which is also from that aforementioned album.

Call Me Bronco has been another band that has been covered on this website before on many occasions through various festivals and shows. They played their ever popular song “Burn The witch” as well as “4 AM” and “4 Shots”. I was getting ready for the next couple major sets out here tonight that are pretty much leading up to the wrap up of this festival for the weekend.

Saffron Lair: Bass/Backup Vocals, Tyler Palermo: Guitar/Backup Vocals and Violet Staley: Drums/Lead Vocals make up the next band called Won’t stay Dead another punk band from the Chicago area. I did catch some of their set however even with a song list I didn’t catch the names. I did manage to catch some of their set and I did enjoy it, but getting ready for tonight’s big juggernaut acts was a chore that I was salivating for some time over.

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Left Lane Cruiser is just absolutely loud and insane music. And they shake the roof off the venue when they play, it sounds like a freight train rolling by!

Their first song was “Booga Chacka” followed by “Big Momma”. They too, just released a new album not long ago called “Claw Machine Wizard” in April. “Heavy Honey” was next followed by a rowdy cover of “Black Betty”. Their last osng of the set was called “Zombie Blocked” and they left the rock club in complete and utter disarray tonight before the main acts even took the stage.

Mr. Joseph Huber is one I just recently featured as he released a new album last month called “The Suffering Stage”. I got the opportunity to feature two songs before they went public, then I got to feature the new album.

He plays what I call “Feel Good Music”, playing string band type old mountain music influenced heavily by bands like Alabama. I have and will be featuring his music for many years to come. He opened with “Playground Is A Battlefield” which I relate to very well being from a run down area of his same hometown.

“Sons Of The Wandering” was next along with “16-10″ and ‘Drop In The Bucket” from one of his past albums. Another selection off of his new album called “You Showed Me”. Afterwards he played the ever popular “Hanging Road” off his album of the same name.

He closed his set with “Old Mountain Tune” and the older song “Dance Around The Daggers”. Always a treat to witness Joseph Huber’s wonderful music and get to visit with him afterwards, he truly is a great friend.

Mr. Billy Don Burns is a songwriting Legend and I recently got the opportunity to hang around him more privately in West Virginia not long ago. He came out and played “Dark Side Of The Spoon” and “Running Drugs Out Of Mexico” before Shooter came out.

Shooter Jennings is always doing things that I report on on this website. This time he was with his own band and it was cool to see him under this element for a change. Not that I dislike him with Waymore’s Outlaws because I don’t, it’s just fun to see him play ‘Electric Rodeo” and “Steady At The Wheel” on his own as well.

“Don’t Feed The Animals” was next followed by A song called “Triskaidelaphobia” and the “Real Me”. the ever popular “Outlaw You” which mocks the current state of Nashville bro country is always popular. Now make NO mistake I’m NOT one of the types that mock Nashville as a whole, in fact there IS a GREAT music scene here in town. It’s just the major mainstream crap that Music Row produces that is being mocked.

“The Last time I Let You Down” was next follwed by another one of my personal favorites “Nashville From Afar” which was on his 2014 BCR Mixtape, he releases one every year and tonight I got the 2017 one. “Wild and Lonesome” was next folks followed by “I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone” off Coutach for Giorgio.

“Born To Die” was next followed by “The Door” and “The Other Life”. I thought O’l Shooter was on the mark tonight and I truly enjoyed his show because my daughter was with me for the first time ever for a music show. It was SO MUCH FUN enjoying the show with her. I never imagined my daughter would get to meet Waylon’s younger son, and I cannot thank him enough for that.

“Maifesto Number 1” was next along with “All This Could Have Been yours” and “Summer Of Rage”. He changed from guitar to keyboards throughout the entire performance tonight and with his dead on band that plays like a well oiled machine closed out his set with “Gunslinger” “4rth Of July” and as always “Good Time Charlie” for our friend Colonel Jon Hensley. Shooter if you are reading this I promise you that Jon’s picture will never leave my website and if it does I’m not alive running it my friend.

Escape From The Zoo was band from Houston Texas I missed and I was told they absolutely killed it up there. You can click HERE and buy their music and support this band as well. Folks that’s about all I got for you this time around, I urge you to get off the couch and see a show, support festivals and these bands.

One last act that wasn’t announced and was a last minute deal was one that I didn’t even have to be in the venue to know, however I DID see some of his set. Saint Christopher is one that I have covered many times on my website, and his question is always the same..Was it loud enough?

He brought out Corey Staley- Bass, and Derek Vaive- Drums to play in the side bar. “Let It Rip” was first followed by “How Low Can You go”? “Never Forgive” was next followed by Joe Fox from The Devil’s Cut joining him for “Revolution Motherfucker”.

“Regret And Guilt” was next as he bowels forth his aggressive vocals lambasting corporate rules and values, which could be understood as “St. Christophers Blues”. My favorite song he does is “Ride” and he closed his set and the whole festival with “We Are Legend”.

Even though St. Christopher howls out against mass purchasing and greed he IS FOR THE LITTLE MAN and the REAL American Dream. BUY LOCAL and BUY SMALL.
BUY STUFF from independent people and stop and take a moment to greet the artists and let them know they inspire you or speak to you through music. Of course I’m NOT saying skip your electric bill…just help me keep local music going…won’t you?

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