Aug 052017

By day three of being out here I found the crown jewel of Tumbleweed festival to be the fans and the friendships forming here, this is quickly becoming JUST LIKE any other festival, having faithful followers and fans. If you don’t really know music slang terms a “Rail Rider” is a gal that is can always be found along the front rails of the concert. AND NEVER MOVES, now then you got your music chicks that constantly move all over. They aren’t there for the music they are there to be seen, those aren’t REAL Rail Riders those are music chicks. There’s a huge difference, both are needed and supportive of the local music scene but the rail riders are true warriors that brave the sun and heat.

I need to publicly apologize to Mr. Damien Gunn for missing his set today, I had other matters going on at this time and wasn’t able to catch his set. I did however get the chance to see him play at night.

As my job as a media person I NOTICE THINGS and I watch for things happening while the crowd watches the music. Because the pickpockets and merch thieves WANT YOU to look away while they pull their bullshit. IT IS MY JOB to help Mr. Doug make this a safe and fun experience for everyone. There was no reason for bullshit here, and I’m WELL TRAINED to see these things. This guy up here looked shifty but he turned out to be ok…(just kidding).

I watched this young lady brave the heat and enjoy the music and I saw it touch her soul. Miss Kaeleigh Grace was her name and she was by far the coolest person there, and one of the prettiest people I have run across in many years. Just to witness her passion raises my hopes even more that people like Mr.Colter Wall will move up to another echelon of commercial exposure because of her.

Where do I even begin about boasting on Mr. Colter? WHERE?  He is my 2016 Artist Of The Year and he is currently on Young Mary’s Record Company and manged by her as well. She is doing GREAT THING in the music community with many artists. Pictured above on the right is Mr.John Clay who plays drums for the speedy Creek band but also has his own music. He is a power in his own right and you can check out his music by clicking on his name there.

His self titled album was produced by Mr. Dave Cobb and will defiantly grace many TOP 50 lists of this year, the vinyl is back in stock now so go pick that up. He came out and played lone acoustic songs quickly dropping that smooth baritone voice on unsuspecting people in the crowd. I watched people drop drink cups in disbelief from out of this young man so small comes a voice so powerful and poignant.

He played an old Jimmie Rodgers song first, along with “The Devil Wears A Suit And Tie” from his first album Imaginary Appalachia. He played for us the acoustic ballad “Codeine Dream”, which displays truly fine songwriting and paints a picture in your mind.

And then like usual he plays “Thirteen Silver Dollars” while halfway the song the band joins him to embellish the gorgeous vocals.  “My .44” was next as he displayed many different songs in this set, showing us a little taste of the upcoming songs he has planned already. I see longevity in this young man, and he is a beacon of hope for REAL Country Music. Here’s a video from that song folks, I thank him for the verbal permission.

Then he invited Mr. David Vaughn Lindsay whom also released a truly fine EP to come out and sing one of his own called “Taste Of Rain”. That song was therapeutic for him as he recently lost his father and his best friend Mr. Jon. We all gathered years ago to pay our respects for The Colonel Jon Hensley.

This bunch uses one another as stepping stones to further each others music and that’s what this community needs more of, it’s a fraternity NOT a competition or a war. There aren’t too many chiefs and a shortage of Indians here. THEN…THEN he played his crowning achievement as of yet. “Kate McCannon” not only is this an ingenious marketing doorway it is perhaps one of the most well crafted songs I have heard in the last damn decade.

The opening lines about the ravens and the dark and evil way this song pounds this murder ballad into your cranium takes your breath away. This man commands total mental attention from you while he is onstage, he consumes every ounce of your soul and grinds it into pain and injects it back into your blood.

Mr. Colter is in no fashion a cruel person away from the stage, in fact he is one of the most approachable and kind friends I have in the business, I’ll gladly do anything for him and Miss Mary anytime. It was equally pleasant to reunite former band mates Mr. Mike Bulle And Mr. Jason Simpson,who played together for John King and The Mud River Revival.  Truly a mutual respect and love for one another there, Mr. Mike has become a true blessing to me and I couldn’t have done this job to this magnitude without him. Something as simple as driving for us allowing us to work is more needed than he realized.

At this juncture they were coming in by the droves. Absolute madness was pouring into the park like ants after a Popsicle on the sidewalk. Unbelievable the amount of attention this event garnered for being such a drastic turn of format.  I will tell you the main stage went from ONE unique voice to ANOTHER one FAST.

Mr.Paul Cauthen has recently released an album “My Gospel” that also made my TOP 50 of 2016. He displays a VERY RARE vocal ability and carries his notes with power and dignity. I quickly made my way back to the stage to catch ‘Marfa Lights” first.

As you can see,he brings a HUGE entourage to the table wherever he goes. And he is certainly different from any other act we had this weekend. However at the same time he remains relevant to the Americana and Country scene with his multi sounding set.

Plenty of soul and passion encompass his entire arsenal of songs, as he covered “Folsom Prison Blues” in a truly different approach to covering that song. My complaint of too many covers was squelched with his version of it…it was fresh and new.

His backup singer accompanied his vibrato truly well, this young man makes his notes carry through an open field with authority and poise. He was absolutely precise in every point I looked to criticize him on. I can’t hit anything point he failed…none. AT FIRST I had trouble making out his vocals but when I moved it fixed that problem, man he REALLY KILLED IT this weekend.

“Saddle” was next followed by a song he called “Cornbread Moon” if I’m not mistaken he spoke of a new album very soon, but I may have misheard that. “Hanging Out On The line” was next which displayed some more fine songwriting and vibrato.

“Be There Soon” and also included was “I’ll Be The One” was used for closure for this set that finally climaxed with his album title “My Gospel”. This is one of those artists that has NO happy medium, you’ll either LOVE HIM or HATE HIM really. We ALL have our own opinions on music and he is indeed different in his own way, and to me there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

It’s time now for the arrival of the Titans of Country Music here, Legends abound at the gates Mr. Billy Joe shaver stops to tell the security guard a joke, they both laugh and he makes his way up the ramp. You know when you are an Outlaw Legend that’s 78 years old and still playing as many shows as he does you can do pretty much anything.

He came out and stood there for a moment and looked upon the crowd and began the witty quips saying “So I suppose you want me to play some shit for y’all huh?”  “Well, let’s see what I can remember now?” The crowd began to roar in delight to his cussing as he rolled into “Heart Of Texas” and “Going Out Of Style”..(“Fit To Kill”).

I mean when you are HIM you don’t need to blow shit up or run around like a banshee you just stand in one spot and sing. And that’s precisely what Mr. Billy Joe does.  NO frills or fluff just timeless classics like “Honky Tonk Heroes Like Me” that Waylon recorded an entire album of his songs dedicated to him.

He explained to us that he was just “An Old Chuck Of Coal” as he played us classic songs that spanned six decades of his music today, his vocals weathered and worn like his signature denim shirt he wears. Still, despite the aged vocals he possesses an ambiance that rivals none other in music…period.

“Georgia On A Fast Train” was next followed by a story about Dale Watson. He wrote a song about Shaver before asking for permission, and before Mr. Billy went into “Wacko From Waco” he explained the story about him shooting a man “Right between the mother and the fucker”. Yes folks he shot a man and it resulted in the song “Where Do You Want It”?

Well Mr. Dale called and asked if he could write that and Mr. Billy said sure I guess you could, he said well Billy I already wrote it. Before Billy could turn around it was already on XM Radio.

Just as he went into “Black Rose” and his signature song “Thunderbird” a once in a lifetime thing happened for us Tumbleweed attendees…the arrival of the main act. Mr. Jamey Johnson the walking talking controversy that is Jamey Johnson, love him or hate him he is a juggernaut.

he’s been around the block a few times, and appeared to be moving slower in his age as well. He walked out onto the stage and stood there as they sized each other up and pretended to begin to fight. Both truly displayed a mutual respect and admiration for each other right here in Kansas City.

MAN right next to me while you got THAT transpiring you have Mr. Cody Jinks walking around greeting the fans, and you got Mr. Paul Cauthen by the gate greeting people. You got people running every direction in this place! As Mr. Billy is playing “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (When You Aren’t Wanted Anymore), you got so much going on at once…but I got y’all covered.

We had GORGEOUS WEATHER this weekend the Lord truly blessed us with PERFECT weather after an almost HORRID outcome from the weather. The rain was totally gone before the festivities began full scale. And BAM he finally performed my personal favorite song, the Patty Loveless song “Fallen angels Fly”. When my paternal father died this song was played at his funeral, as he he was lowered into the ground.

He finished his set with a story about a woman with “an ass that defies gravity” so he sang “Stop The World” and declared that “I’m Gonna Live Forever”.  Mr. Billy Joe Shaver left us speechless I’m not sure of it was due to the fact that he is still in prime performing condition…or that he can come up there and say fuck fluently at 78.

Here is the online description of the famous shooting incident:

On April 2, 2007, police in Lorena, Texas, issued two arrest warrants for Shaver on charges of aggravated assault and possessing a firearm in a prohibited place. This was in connection with an incident outside a tavern, Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon in Lorena only two days prior, on March 31, in which Shaver shot a man, Billy Bryant Coker, in the face with a handgun. Coker’s injuries, however, were not reported as life-threatening.

Witnesses interviewed by police report hearing Shaver say “where do you want it?” and then, after the shot was fired, “Tell me you are sorry” and “No one tells me to shut up.” Coker told police the attack was unprovoked. Shaver’s attorney declared that Shaver had shot Coker “in self-defense” after Coker threatened Shaver with a knife.

In an August 2014 NPR interview, Shaver said that he shot Coker because he was “Such a bully” and that “I hit him right between a mother and a fucker. That was the end of that. He dropped his weapons and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘Well, if you had said that inside, there would have been no problem.’

After unsuccessfully attempting to surrender to police in Austin, Texas, who were unaware of the warrant, Shaver turned himself in at McLennan County Jail in Waco, Texas on Tuesday, April 3. He was released after an hour on $50,000 bond and gave his scheduled performance at Waterloo Records in Austin that evening, where he reportedly told fans, “Don’t forget to pray for me, and tell your kids to pray for me, too.”

He was acquitted in a Waco court on April 9, 2010 after testifying that he acted in self-defense.

The Texas-based country musician, Dale Watson, wrote a song about the incident titled “Where Do You Want It?”. The song has been recorded by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s and appears on their self-titled sophomore album, released via Bloodshot Records.

How do you possibly follow THAT? Why with powerhouse Red Dirt warrior Mr. Roger Creager I mean this man is truly an adventurous soul. He does it all from snorkeling with dolphins to jumping out of planes. He took over the stage and followed Mr. Billy Joe shaver quite well.

He opened with “Turn It Up” form the album Surrender from 2011, and followed that up with “Little Bit Of Them All” from the 2104 album Roadshow. I LOVED his song “Wanna Wanna Bar” because of course he mentions GARY. Only I don’t sip on no coke and rum.. I’m not much of a hard liquor man anymore.

“I Got The Gun” was next as well as “Love” from his 2000 album from that same title, he brought his smooth songs to us to break the wilder momentum we had. With beach themed songs like “Cowboys and Sailors” he quickly changed to a ragtime there of New Orleans with “Jambalaya” and “Shreveport To New Orleans” all the way to “When The Saints Go Marching In”.

He THEN went over to Mexico and Tex Mex type material the likes of “Long Way to Mexico” and another song called “Gulf coast Time” the current theme of his new album he just released.

He played songs like “Where The Gringos Don’t Go” and “Different Than I’m Feeling Now”, however my favorite song he plays is the “Everclear Song”. Mr. Roger has so many wonderfully written songs that span so many albums it’s hard to pick and choose which ones complete a perfect set list for him.

On into the night folks as the sun began to set we began to party and eat some AWESOME food. The vendors provided some darn fine vittles while the VIP area enjoyed COLD bathrooms, I wanted to do my taxes in a crapper for the first time in my life. Here is a tour of the sun setting upon us out here folks, YEP the rail riding queen is still here.

Well the Flockers president Mr William Higgins came out with his admins and introduced Mr. Cody Jinks and I interviewed him before the festival, you can read about that HERE.

Mr. Cody Jinks blazed out onto the stage tonight and carried us into the final night and final hours of music here in Kansas City. Right off of Adobe Sessions he played “Momma’s Song” I guess everybody’s mom worries about us, when I first moved down here my mom always sent me money and prayed for me.

He followed that up with “She’s All Mine” and “No Words”. Mr. Cody also spanned his entire repertoire of albums tonight as he belted out song after song of epic greatness, backed by his band the Tone Deaf Hippies. He whipped the entire crowd into a complete frenzy with “Vampires”.

As I previously stated tonight this weekend represented a truly amazing array of backup bands and sidemen. Mr. Austin Tripp is an amazing right arm to Mr. Cody Jinks, and even though the Tone Deaf Hippies have had some amazing steel players through the years Mr. Austin is a crown jewel up there.

“Been Around” was next followed by “Give All you Can” off the new album as he transferred songs from that one and Adobe Sessions like playing “What Else Is New”. Before the greatest spectacle of ALL….THOUSANDS of people all singing “I’m Not The Devil”. When I posed that Mr. Ward Davis commented “That’s all we ever wanted”. I replied that I thought it was one of the most well written songs of the last decade.

“Chase That Song” was followed by the popular “Black Sheep” which I’m pretty sure spawned the name for the Flockers, afterward he played his version of Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” from the album of the same name released in 1980. He continued his covers with his commercially popular version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Which when I talked to Mr. Austin in his interview they were surprised how well it was received, you can read that HERE.

“Fast Hand” was next followed by “I’ll Get By” and then they finally played their anthem called “Cast No Stones” which also garnered many thousands of people singing along to those words as well. I mean pretty much everybody can relate to those words. “No Guarantees” was next along with his epic cover of “Black Hole Sun”.

You know folks this man has recently just absolutely blown up in the music scene because of his talent and his real Country Music, but more importantly because of US. The fans decide what sells and what fails, with support of buying stuff and helping them. WHY just today Mr. Austin and Mr.Keith needed help somewhere on the road and one of the Flockers dropped what they were doing and went to help…THAT IS what makes things work!

With that being said I want to THANK my good friend Mr. Derek Weave Weaver and his sidekick Mr. Stonewall the pup for inviting me into their home, driving me around and just welcoming me into their home. I’m touched, I’m humbled and I SHALL return the favor to someone else. You know it doesn’t matter WHAT TYPE of music it is one of you will always have my home, don’t go to Nashville and pay hundreds for a dang hotel room.

As the night settled in we jammed to “Hippies And Cowboys” and waited for the main act of the entire festival the giant, the mighty Mr. Jamey Johnson..

Love him or hate him he is a powerhouse draw and brings in thousands of ticket holders, as today I noticed many what I call “One Bangers” that came this afternoon and weren’t here all weekend camping. Many of them either work or just don’t camp, however either way there was a giant spike in one day people I could tell.

The food vendors were strategically placed correctly I was impressed MANY festivals make that fatal sales mistake, this is a science and for those of you that KNOW what I mean you’ll agree with me. There’s a REASON for EVERYTHING I DO…there’s a REASON these three articles came out a week after the event. It all comes from my evil genius brain I have for this stuff, Gary Hayes knows what he’s doing, and he knows when to do it.

If ever there was indeed a modern day Highwaymen ambiance..this was IT. This was indeed the crown jewel of finales if I have ever witnessed one to any festival. He came out to “High Price Of Living” and “Heartache”. However after a few songs once again my complaint reigns true, the cover songs abounded as he did “Mama Tried” and “Long Time Gone”.

Not that they were poorly performed because they were not in any way poor. I was just wanting more original material form the folks I don’t always get to put everything down and go see weekly. He did a wonderful job on “That Lonesome song” , however the other complaint I had was not one song off his first album. The label treated him like shit and shelved that whole album, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he legally couldn’t play The Dollar. I can understand him being jaded toward that scenario for sure.

There was so much stellar material off that first album that could have replaced the covers and still made a terrific set lineup, however songs like “In Color” are obvious classics indeed, you cannot EVER take his accomplishments away. He is indeed one of the greatest songwriters alive today, whether you like pop country or not, honky tonk padonkadonk made him millions.

He played a very patriotic segment which included “America The Beautiful”  which included a BIG lights and lasers show, I’ll tell you what this company and all the sponsors get a REAL pat on the back from ME on this deal. There were NO expenses spared, not one dime was held back!

He played the George Strait classic song “Give It Away” which was on Honkytonkville album, followed by “Kicked Out Of Country” which he wrote with George Strait when they were indeed kicked out of Country. A genre both of them have paved the way for those that did the kicking.

THIS WAS what we WANT to show Music Row…that THIS MUSIC IS COMMERCIAL and we want it. You see folks those people don’t actually LIKE that shit on FM radio…it fills ARENAS. Not the Ryman, YES the Ryman is a BIG show for Mr. Cody, but it’s not big enough. WE MUST sell more seats as people.

Now you might ask yourself Gary , how the hell can one person do that? SHARE THIS ARTICLE, SHARE THE MUSIC…..TALK…TALK…TALK…SHARE WHATEVER BAND YOU LOVE. Support ME and others like me that report on this stuff. I cannot do this without YOU. Miss Kaeleigh is important to me, she’s a voice.

He closed with three more covers but his version of “I Saw The Light” was astounding in every fashion. And as I made my way back to the late night stage I began to wrap it up for Tumbleweed folks, I had a long night of travel ahead followed after a bunch of packing and sorting. I bought over 200 in merchandise so I had to gather up all that, All in All it was a pleasant time hosted by a remarkable crew. I want to THANK Miss Piper and Mr. Doug and Mr. Kevin for their invite and for hiring me.

I hope with all my heart I exceeded your expectations from a work standpoint, here are some pictures from the late night stage which included Damien Gunn whom I once again apologize to for missing their set.


Aug 052017

I already converged upon this festival the first day with exceeded expectations, in many ways. I KNEW this was going to be a NEW HOPE for ALL REAL Country Music fans from the entire Country…and THREE FOREIGN Countries! First of all Kansas City is pretty central and easily accessible from  Texas AND Nashville which were obviously Mr. Doug’s two target markets of income. WELL PLAYED SIR, and the schedule was well juxtaposed but I had ONE major gripe..all the women were on the back stage and LATE. I wondered what was up with that? I myself thought Sunny Sweeney certainly deserved a main stage spot.

HOWEVER this WAS a NEW HOPE for us as REAL Country fans, people THIS IS the mecca of real Country Music whether you like the Red Dirt stuff OR the Nashville based stuff…here…we got it all. This was truly the major happening of the year when it came to Country Music in many fashions.

So the first band I had today was Porter Union which is Mr. Cole Porter and Miss Kendra Porter that formed a POWERHOUSE DUO. And this weekend was the first time I had the pleasure to partake of their music. Their entire album is focused on their marriage and how they met, and the songs on the album are well written and fit the direction this album takes us in.

I am going to make a HUGE prognostication right here on my website, THIS ALBUM is going to grace EVERYONE’S TOP 50 or TOP WHATEVER of 2017. THERE, I said it before Rolling Stone did sorry Miss Roxanne…I said it first. There won’t be a TOP ANYTHING without Porter Union. Just the name and meaning alone resonates LOVE and unity through music, and dammit we NEED MORE OF THIS. Just two absolutely down to Earth good kind people.

You can FEEL REAL in Mr. Cole’s handshake, I felt like I sold a car in the 1970’s when a handshake MEANT something and your word was good as gold. The precise care and passion that these two put into their songs is uncanny and on a level I’m not used to. You can just see the love in their ambiance that is around them and they pour that out into the audience for you to apply to your everyday life.

They opened their set with “This Life We’ve Made” is pretty much self explanatory and declares that he will gladly walk beside her in this life we’ve made, however this opening song merely trades off vocals and doesn’t focus their GORGEOUS  harmonies like the song “Don’t You Know”. The opening line of that song “Don’t you know when you hurt I hurt” is classic love song material. You just FEEL their affection for each other, and it’s something that I notice is missing in today’s youth, much less society as a whole.

“Don’t Look At Me” was a great up tempo song filled with steel licks that is enough to satisfy the palate of the pickiest Country Music fan. Once again it’s merely a reflection of how they hooked up, and I’m hoping that they can continue this trend of sharing their personal adventures together. I mean the song “Thief” was SO cleverly written about stealing your last name once again referring to matrimony outcome.

“Wildfire” is MY favorite song they have in the arsenal of song material, it just paints such a wonderful picture. That was followed by “Over You” and “The Child”. In fact they displayed the entire album today and included one cover which was “Clyde” by J.J.Cale, and as I previously griped about cover songs…this is why I enjoyed their set SO MUCH. I wanted original music and Mr. Cole And Miss Kendra Porter delivered just that with perfect finesse and passion. Miss Kendra’s stage presence was nothing short of angelic.

Shortly after their set they proceeded to the main stage where they performed our National Anthem to open the entire official festival on the main stage.

Mr. Mickey Lamantia is one of the artists I interviewed before the festival happened, and he has marketed his name and his music in quite a unique manner. He has been making quite a name for himself in the Outlaw Country Music scene in the past few years by opening for Mikey Gilley and the birth of his live feed show on social media.

He opened his show with “First Last One” which was a perfect two step Honky Tonk song about drinking copious amounts of alcohol. He followed that by a true song of loneliness and addiction called “I Chose The Whiskey”  displaying a weakness for liquor. He knows better and he knows he is hurting the one he loves but chooses the chemicals out of spite, Country Music is cored in weakness and addiction.

“Alcohol Tobacco And Firearms” is pretty much an anthem for the common country folks with an uptempo beat filled full of guitar twang and stiff beats. after playing a few others he played an acoustic portion to give the band a break which included a Hank Jr. cover of “Guitar Man”. Much like Porter Union, Mr. Mikey displayed almost an entire set of original songs much to our delight.

“Take Our Country Back” and ‘In Color” were also included in his acoustic set before he proceeded to play one of his signature songs called “Outlaw Life” and what I consider his most well written song called “23rd Psalm”, before he closed his set with Johnny Paycheck’s version of the song “11 Months And 29 Days” that Paycheck wrote with Jimmy Dale.

He brought another steel guitar Legend here today and that was Mr.Robby Turner, who is an absolute steel guitar WIZARD that is another piece of Waylon Jennings legacy we have left. He performed an absolute AMAZING set here today and we loved every minute of it.

The sound crew and production team worked feverishly all weekend long to bring us the BEST concert experience we could possibly expect for our money, and I firmly think that they delivered. The sound in my opinion was excellent except for a few minor mishaps during the Whitey Morgan And The 78’s set, which I’ll touch on later.

Mr. Jason Eady was introduced by the presidents of his social media fan club Miss Jo Marie before he barrelled right into the song “Drive” off of his new self titled album, which I’m sure will grace MANY a TOP lists of 2017. He sings one of my favorite two step songs about tales of old called “AM Country Heaven”, it makes me cry.

Bringing that album up his second song was called “Old Guitar and Me” from that very album, with his first being “Drive” from the new self titled album.  He reverted back to his new album many times throughout the set with songs like “Waiting To Shine” and the popular drinking song of lament called “No Genie In This Bottle”. That song is an acoustic and steel filled song about the bottom of a bottle, with many painful references to substance abuse and how it conquers your soul.

I was absolutely impressed with Mr. Jason Eady and his set tonight, and he brought out his wife Miss Courtney Patton for backup vocals. I’ll elaborate more on her later on in this article as her and Miss Sunny Sweeney performed on the other stage late. I’ll ,point out my positive and negative points about those sets and NEITHER GAL created ANY negative points.

His second album called ‘Daylight And Dark” was finally represented in his set with the song “Liars And Fools”, and perhaps his most popular song called “Whiskey And You” that was recorded by several other people. Most notably as of late it was Mr. Chris Stapleton, however I think Mr. Tim McGraw also did it in his earlier more country career.

One of his most vivid vocally descriptive songs he has is the song “Black Jesus”, man that song is a terrific tale of a friendship between him and a black man that worked together. I have MANY elderly black friends that enjoy this song when I played it for them.

“Rain” was another proper choice for this set, one thing nice about Mr. Jason Eady is all of his songs accompany one another truly well. All of his albums have a common core relation to them. He closed his set with a song claeed “Texas Cooking” which was a song by Mr. Guy Clark.

Mr.Ward Davis has been touring relentlessly with Mr. Cody Jinks and Mr. Whitey Morgan all over the country lately, and you can often see him around those bands. He is making quite a name for himself as a songwriter and an artist through his relentless touring and vigorous work, he mentioned he is recording a new album and played a song called “Geronimo” that will be on it.

His hard living anthem of REAL Country Music called “Old Worn Out Cowboys” graced us tonight as a large portion of the audience sang along to him. I was hoping that Mr. Jamey Johnson would have come out and sang too, but I figured he had not arrived yet. Still, this song is beautiful and it makes me cry. I LOVE Mr. Ward’s songs that he plays they affect me and speak to my soul.

He played a Pat Green song (or at least I identified it with Pat Green) called “I Bet Your Momma”. However his finest song in my opinion is the slow ballad that was recorded by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson called “Unfair Weather Friend”. That song was on the iconic collaboration between Nelson and Haggard called “Django And Jimmie”, and it graced MANY Top 50 lists of last year…including mine.

“Get To Work Whiskey” was another epic spectacle of championship songwriting on his part, as well as “15 Years In A 10 Year Town” which was the title of his album, and when his new album drops I’m quite adamant it will be held in high regard by many websites like mine.

FINALLY I got to hear the entire audience of THOUSANDS sing along to him and Mr. Cody Jinks sing “I’m Not The Devil”. later on in the festival during Mr. Cody’s set that very thing happened, and as Mr. Ward once commented to me “That’s All We Ever Really Wanted”…well it happened, and it is WELL DESERVED.

Another song he called “Something Big” was to be on the new album, don’t worry I’ll be keeping him on my radar so I don’t miss the info on the new album. “So What If I Do” was next followed by the ever popular “Highwaymen” and another cover of “Big River”. He closed his set with “Don’t Forget To Get Stoned”.

This venue was slowly filling up for the Friday night performance as many people got off work from first shift, and were arriving in droves. You had so much going on at once here it was unlike any festival I have ever witnessed this large of a scale, where the artists actually did interact with the audience on a large scale.

Behind me Mr Cody Jinks was greeting people and taking pictures with us while they were getting ready for our next act Mr.William Clark Green to come whip our asses with his Red Dirt Texas music. His new album Ringling Road made my TOP 50 of that year, with his unique style of Country.

He opened with his song “Next Big Thing” from that mentioned album before going into his song “It’s About Time” from his Rose Queen album. I liked that album and that song was about heartbreak and being suddenly single with the immediate rewards of doing that. Kind of a karma type thing about dumping people and being dumped yourself..and moving on.

Mr. William displayed DEEP passion in his vocals and facial expressions tonight and it’s quite evident he LIVES to perform up there. He brought his A Game tonight and poured out his very heart to this audience, and we ate it up! This was my very first interaction with his set live, I must admit I’d travel LONG ways to cross paths with him again.

“Won’t Back Down” was once again the cover song syndrome we dealt with all weekend, I did enjoy his version of it..but I’m here to hear his original songs like “Creek Don’t Rise”. That is a good fast paced song with wonderful vocals and guitar licks.

His band was on point tonight and accompanied him extremely well on all directions. As he played ‘Still think about You” and another song off the Ringling album called “Sticks And Stones”.  He then played “Fool Me One” from that same album, however the timing on that song was a little off to me. It sounds slower on the record and they played it a little faster live. Speaking of live his Live At Gruene Hall is going to become an iconic Red Dirt live album in 10 years…you wait and see if I’m wrong!

Now mind you he was one of the first Red Dirt acts I learned about in 2011 with his album “Misunderstood” and I was hoping he would play some material of of that album like the song “Drunk On Desire” and “Caroline”. Both equally stellar choices form that album, I enjoyed hearing them live. He had one other album out before Misunderstood called “Dangerous Man” and the only song I recognized off that album was “Wishing Well”.

The crowd was digging this young man and what he brought to the table tonight. We were being well satisfied with REAL Country Music this weekend in Kansas City, I was loving every minute of it for sure. I have TWO major trips to Kansas city yearly now usually always have an absolute wonderful time down there, the local scene is truly epic.

“Rose Queen” was next followed by what he said his mom hated the most was “Ringling Road” about all the crazy circus freaks on opium and drunk clowns throwing shoes.  He then went into some Joe Cocker cover portions and “Start Me Up” from the stones before going into his most well known song.

“She Likes The Beatles” was an anthem to relationships everywhere and full of energy that prepared the crowd for what was to come….the mighty juggernaut called Whitey Morgan And The 78’s. Right outside the gate Mr. Whitey was also greeting the audience before his set.

By the time Mr.Whitey Morgan And The 78’s took over the stage the crowd was pretty much liquored up and raring to go all night. This was such a well attended festival, and by now I could easily ascertain it would be a success. Mainly because of the PEOPLE, that’s right I’m SURE Mr.Doug will even agree YOU made it possible and functional..YES YOU…YOU the person reading this made Mr. Cody Jinks and Mr. Whitey Morgan what they are…future Country Music Legends.

You know the pop country people and some of the neo traditional snobs call Mr. Whitey a wanna be and a phony,but none of them have ever REALLY delved into his songs or his live show. This man and his crew tours RELENTLESSLY and is a damn hard working bunch, if you even attempt to put his brand down in front of me I’ll quickly debate you on that.

He opened with “Just Me And The Whiskey” and followed that with “Stop The World”. He opened with quick fast paced energy that sent the crowd into a honky tonk rocket ride in Kansas City tonight. I just sat back and soaked up the ambiance there with a possum eating shit grin on my face.

“Buick City” is a wonderful song he does see Mr. Whitey is based out of Flint Michigan, and I have covered his set many many times. I have interviewed his steel player Mr. Brent Robinson in my steel guitarist series, which will pick back up here soon after Sept 1st.

You know I want to say that the 78’s are such a top notch band that I would eagerly pay 20 bucks to just see them only. One of my complaints of today’s music scene is that the iconic bands and sidemen are non existent in today’s day and age, I mean what was Mel Tillis without the Statesiders  or Merle Haggard without the Strangers? Well here you HAVE the staple core sound that helps make Mr. Whitey shine brightly in the dark abyss of local touring music. I firmly believe that Mr. Brett is one of the many things that keep Mr. Whitey relevant, you can just FEEL the connection they have on many levels.

Mr. Brett makes my sentiments evident on the intro to “Cocaine Train” which I LOVE to hear him play even though it’s a cover song. I think he does a truly fantastic job on the song that Paycheck penned in the early 70’s, I got the opportunity to ask Johnny Paycheck about that song. He told me he wrote it on a napkin at a Shoney’s, and took it Billy Sherrill and recorded it on the 1979 album “Everybody’s Got A Family..Meet Mine”.

He went back to his first album with the song “Back To Back” a song about fading love of two people, that has a nice two step beat and good steel licks within the song.  He played the Scott H Biram song “Still Drunk Still Crazy Still Blue”, which was on the Sonic Ranch album that I was glad was still available on yellow vinyl before that sold out.

“Prove It All To you” was next once again from the first album along with “Honky Tonk Queen” which is probably one of my personal favorite songs he does. “Bad News” was included in his set along with the Merle Haggard cover of “Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”. That song was released in 1980 on Haggards 26th album called “Back To The Barrooms” and it was released right before he recorded his iconic live album from Anaheim Stadium, which was an album that fulfilled his contract with MCA along with his gospel album in 1981.

He played a song that Mr. Dale Watson wrote called “Where Do You Want It” now I’ll wait until I get to Mr. Billy Joe shaver’s portion of my articles to elaborate more on that song. The remarks that Mr. Billy Joe made introducing this song were just WILD.  “Going Down Drinking” was a great song of male celebration and alpha male stuff we all know and love. It’s a great man cave anthem.

“Crazy By Any Other Name” is another truly epic song he does and he followed it with “Crazy By Any Other Name” and another favorite of mine called “Memories Cost A Lot”. Also included in his set was “Turn Up The Jones” also the Bruce Springsteen hit called “I’m On Fire” and ” I Ain’t Drunk”. As they were wrapping up their set tonight I made my way over to the second stage for the later night festivities.

As you can evidently see the crowd had the same idea I did as they all equally prepared for a gal who has lately become a friend of mine Miss Sunny Sweeney and not to stray too far off this subject, but she plays the Opry with numerous frequent appearances so I have been on a mission to help her become inducted as a member. PLEASE help me help her by contacting the NEW Opry manager Miss Sally Williams, I have been on a mission to persuade Mr. Pete Fisher to induct her. Now that it has woman managing it, I’m hoping that Miss Sunny’s music can speak to her from a female standpoint and make her stand out above any other. Sunny Sweeney plays it frequently and I am adamant on the conclusion that she WILL represent it with passion and love. I WANT her to become a Country Music Legend that my daughter can enjoy when I am passed away, because as an activist and journalist THIS IS part of MY legacy.

She opened her set with a song off her new album Trophy called “Better Bad Idea” and shortly after she included the first song I ever heard her play that attracted me to her WAY BACK called “If I Could”. It’s a fast paced honky tonking song of grand twang. It was released in 2006 by her before she was picked up by Big Machine and re released in 2007, before the transfer of that label.

She is often associated with Red Dirt genre and that’s how I found her BUT she doesn’t consider herself that, from talking with her on a personal level she is JUST COUNTRY. But I’ll tell you what she LOVES being up there and playing music. She has REALLY evolved in the last few years and if you follow her pattern you’ll see her last two albums are WAY different from her first two. Just sit back and delve into what she does and dwell on it for a day and you’ll understand her.

“Pills” man what a great song, even though it wasn’t penned by her, she pulls the song off SO well, and it’s believable. it’s relevant to the direction of her new album and I CAN TELL YOU Trophy WILL be on my TOP 50 list of 2017…HELL it’ll be top 10. “Pass The Pain” is the opening song of the new album and it sets the mood of the upcoming album quite well.

The next song called “Whiskey Richard/Dick” was a song I have been hearing quite a buzz about on a local level, it’s a song I’m sure she might never record on a major label (however I would love it if she did) however it was cleverly written filled with many great hooks and hidden meanings. She is ONE HELL of a crafty songwriter especially when you combine her with people like Angaleena Presely and others.

She posed a good picture for me and that was cool, I appreciate all she does for my website. It really helps me help them when they help me. “Why People Change” was next followed by “Everybody Else Can Just Kiss My Ass” was her FU anthem on the album Provoked, about raising hell and partying. I’m sure all of us can relate to that song.  also later on she played “Backhanded Compliment” from that album.

She went into a story about how the album concept for Trophy came about as she played “Trophy” from that said album. This new album is her revenge for personal insults toward her and we get to share in her delight as fans. Not too may artists share their personal lives through music this closely as she has.

She commands her own world up there on stage as she played “Drink Myself Single” and the deeply written song “Bottle By My Bed” which at first I thought was a Jason Boland cover. Come to find out it was NOT and it was indeed a song of personal lament.  She closed her set with “Bad Girl Phase”. After finally getting to witness her set tonight I am regretful that I haven’t ever gotten the chance to see her perform live yet.

Miss Courtney Patton is the wife of Mr. Jason Eady and also a driving force in Texas music by herself. With vocals that are silky smooth and songs that are truly relate able, she puts on one hell of a show.

“Twisted” was truly a song of splitting up and becoming divided as time drifts you apart. I love her steel infused music she has on both of her albums like the song “What I Didn’t Say”. Recently she played a series of Christmas shows with Miss Sunny and two others for their “Hard Candy Christmas” shows.

“War Of Art” was off of her latest album from 2015, which was a terrific uptempo song of family live while being on the road. Trust me as one who has followed these people around this great country, this life isn’t easy. She’s right signing in bars night after night isn’t a job for a mother or a wife.

She brought many great songs to the table tonight, like the upbeat song called “Light Fades” which brought out more of her Red Dirt influences. Now folks here was one of my TOP negative complaints about the festival overall, being this…ALL of the women acts were on the back stage and placed late at night. I’m not sure if this was a mere coincidence or planned but it wasn’t really well accepted by me. I’m NOT personally offended but I was discouraged as a patron who loves hearing the women play as much as the guys.

“Lamplight” was next which was a slow flowing song of well written lyrics and it also paints a truly terrific picture in your mind, it displays her talents for songwriting quite well. The song “Need For Wanting” was a song I related to myself, it’s a basic D chord two step filled with steel and GREAT vocals. Every guy can relate to her refusing to give into their bullshit lines, as a long since recovered addict I remember that gutter lifestyle of using people. She sings that song SO PRETTY and deliverers the song on the album equally well.

All in All I have been having a wonderful time here at Tumbleweed and I look forward to tomorrow and finding more wonderful new friends. Networking abounds out here in Kansas City for our second yearly trip out here, and I’m having many people to thank for having my crew and I out here!


Aug 052017

HELLO MY FRIENDS and my non Flocker friends, my Tumbleweeders, my non Warden friends and all other sets that were represented here this weekend. WOW what a HUGE event to unwind from, and return to life. I didn’t drink a whole lot this weekend to be honest and I hydrated correctly.

So for those of you that faithfully follow my website and love the Tumbleweed side articles, this will commence my main articles for this festival. There were a few side articles that were interviews and they were with the smaller up and coming acts, as well as the Flockers creator Mr. William Higgins, you can read that one HERE
ALSO: Mickey Lamantia (ML 750)
Dustin James Clark
Sunny Sweeney.

Now one thing you must bear in mind here, I cannot post videos from several of the acts involved here for legal issues. I CAN AND WILL chock it FULL of pictures and information on the music involved, and as many told me I worked my ass off this weekend. The way this festival was set up geographically I really didn’t have a long walk to my vendor tent, which was where I had the rental car parked and used Rebel K Child tent as my base of operations, as I often do at festivals. While she was setting up for Friday’s sales I walked around greeted people and got ready for what I could catch of the music from the Pre-party.

Together we have become a prominent festival combination for networking purposes and we team up on traveling costs making it possible for us both to expand and making it possible for ME to bring YOU the BEST festival coverage I can, if you weren’t there…by the time YOU read this I want you to feel like you were. THAT IS the purpose of my articles here, many other media outlets want you to engage in comments sections and drama subjects. Now folks that’s alright hell I do it myself even at times, but on my website here it’s more focused on information and appreciation of the music it featured.

We arrived late Thursday night, mainly because I had some personal medical issues that needed to be taken care of before I left town.  Then right about the Hwy 24-57 split the enemy reared it’s ugly head…rain. Not small light rains but menacing rains, that were tearing apart the Kansas City area throughout the night on Wednesday.

This rain was heavy and plentiful and my good friend Mr. Derek “Weave” Weaver (whom I stayed with) reported to me that they had seven inches plus of rain, and in some areas it was beyond damaging. As with ANY job I stay in contact with the directors and keep my team available for help offers. I was informed that this event had a lingering possibility of cancellation. You need to remember this event was RIGHT ON the river, and sustained significant flooding damage. The vendor area couldn’t provide electricity or lodging for them, and the main stage area couldn’t house sound systems and electronics. His team worked on into the night and early morning to render the park able to accommodate guests.

The rumor mill already began churning before the front gate opened….social media BOOMED with rumors of it being cancelled…being postponed….re scheduled and so forth. Borda Productions came forward and released a official statement that confirmed the natural disaster problems, however they STRESSED that the company has NEVER cancelled an event. Tumbleweed went on a little later than planned…but it went on.

Before I begin the music I just wanted to say that I have never NEVER MET a more down to Earth and welcoming duo than Mr. Doug and Miss Piper, there aren’t too many that honestly become personal friends. People that you would invite into your home and just put the business aside and be friends with, those two certainly were those type. This event became a VERY valuable and tangible networking tool for ALL OF US. Much like ANY festival friendships and alliances were formed, old friends were rekindled and new music was discovered.

NOW THAT is the MOST integral and pertinent part of this article and this event. NEW fans were exposed to NON COMMERCIAL and INTERDEPENDENT MUSIC that EVERY website they invited there daily promotes. Like us or not we are busy promoting REAL MUSIC the likes of the “smaller acts” like the first artist I caught…barely…I was so busy setting up that I missed most of the late night stage on Thursday. The first day and night was indeed A pushy and tiresome cluster of setbacks for me. I’m NOT going to lie it wasn’t until Friday that I was on my A Game, and ready to do what I do BEST…report on the MUSIC. There was a flag issue that bred MUCH drama that I shall opt to NOT touch on, I don’t NEED any drama for ratings. THIS IS A MUSIC PAGE and you’ll read information about their set lists and their future plans, I think I did a wonderful job of weeding out the drama mill stirrers so YOU can get the FULL ambiance of Tumbleweed…the non commercial Outlaw Music juggernaut that this man and his team have created.

Thursday night transpired in a large tent called the Camping Stage and also dubbed the Late Night Stage. This was readily convenient for my crew as she could run her vendor tent and WATCH some of the music simultaneously, and also the toilet facilities were close by her. The vendors has ample power and amnesties and for what they paid for a spot it was totally a cost effective festival in my opinion, so ALL you vendor friends of mine please contact Miss Piper and reserve your 2018 spot…the vendor row needed growth. THAT comes in time, and with our word of mouth, if YOU liked a certain product TELL THEM to bring it back. Seriously Mr. Doug can NOT expand his idea without positive AND negative advice from the ones who REALLY make it happen….YOU.

One of the BEST things initially about this festival was the medical facilities and staff. With someone like ME I MUST have a way to keep insulin cold and a safe locker for medications. I NEED a CLEAN place to check my sugars and stay regular so I can work on this, I had that. I had comfort knowing I can have any possible bad situation handled for me or for my two other people that depend on me for safety. The security and medical staff were absolutely above and beyond what I was expecting and I commend them in every way possible.

The entire park was AWESOME in the amount of trees around to provide shade for us, I mean even with extreme heat (which wasn’t the case) one could have some relief. The vendor area was REALLY well shaded and also the main stage area had many nice spots I could set my chair up for work, it was not as campestral as I thought the grounds would be.

So the first act I got to see part of was Mr. Dustin James Clark and his all natural brand of Honky Tonk Country music, as he opened up the entire festival. I interviewed him earlier on and got a truly good perspective on what he was going to bring to the table here this weekend.

As I stated earlier the larger acts have mostly asked me NOT to publish videos of their performances and I shall comply with them accordingly. HOWEVER the up and coming guys and gals have been VERY adamant about allowing it. Many of them are my personal friends and he is NO exception, and I look forward to  watching what he can accomplish with a future full band. I think with proper steel behind him he would sound amazing, his EP is available on the website.

I recently contacted him via text and he provided me with a set list. He opened his set with “Land Of The Free” which was song about ignorance, and how we sometimes take our freedom for granted.  “If we don’t pull our heads out of our asses, we may not live in the land of the free”.

“Common Man’ was next (not the John Conlee song of the same name), but it basically talks about just being a plain and simple American. That’s pretty much what we were celebrating this weekend..freedom to be able to assemble like this. “She’s Everywhere I Go” was next followed by ‘Angel in the Hands Of A Devil”.

The Steve Young written song “Lonesome Onry And Mean” made popular by Waylon was next and later on into the weekend the one thorn in my side was this: too many covers!  One or Two per set was alright and actually many of the artists here (like Miss Sunny Sweeney) pull off covers from their albums…that’s expected.

“Broken Heart Billy” was next along with ‘Working Man’s Blues” and “Good Hearted Woman” but perhaps his crowning achievement on songs is the up tempo “Fast Cars Honky Tonk Bars And Long Legged Women”. This song was off his EP he had for sale, and I strongly suggest you go pick that up NOW.

You aren’t going to be disappointed in any way shape or form with this young man and his music. One thing you’ll notice about his original tunes…they are all well over three minutes long. One can approach that in two ways, he isn’t good enough of a songwriter to deliver a message quick enough OR he takes a little more time to paint a better picture in getting his point across. YOU decide for yourself on that folks, but I myself say it’s the latter of the two. He takes pride in what he sings and writes and he sticks out like a rooster wearing socks.

The Boomswagglers were a trio from Texas that has actually been around since the early Myspace era in 2007. They are considered a Roots Music original band by many, and I missed most of their set as well.

I’ll admit I’m not entirely familiar with this band and they weren’t as audience related as the other acts this weekend. All of them had merch available and greeted the crowd guests for pictures and talking, I didn’t see that in their instance, however I wasn’t present for the entire set either.  I’ll have to catch up with this band further on down the road at Americana Fest.

I did get to finally get settled in and got to witness the band that WON the competition to perform that camping stage called Greg Payne And The Piedmont Boys and they are from Greenville South Carolina.

Greg Payne – Vocals, Guitar
Matt Parks – Fiddle, Vocals
Chíef Spires – Bass, Vocals
Stuart McConnell – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Tony Pilot – Drums

I couldn’t say enough good things about Mr. Matt Parks their fiddle player, who played ONE HELL OF AN “Orange Blossom Special” written in 1938 by Ervin T Rouse and is widely regarded as the “Fiddle Players National Anthem”. Probably one of the most adamantly revered fiddle tunes in the history of music as a whole. He did the song justice and was flawless on many notes save for a few small ones that an untrained ear would easily miss. He is a DAMN FINE musician and overall this band had a HUGE stage presence tonight.

The one complaint I had overall about the festival with MOST of the bands as I previously stated was the selection of (or should I say OVER selection of) cover songs. I ENJOY them but I came here to hear their own original music, I do understand you have to entertain the people that WANT the cover songs. But I was hoping for more indulging into their own albums and partaking in well written original songs like “Rice And Beans” , I mean THAT SONG is just an absolute JAM!

However contradicting myself I thought their rendition of “Tulsa Time” was over the top terrific and the tempo was PERFECT. This band plays like a well oiled machine and is vocally intact, not many lagging vocals or off timed relations between the bass man and the kick drum especially on “Rice And Beans” where you can easily detect off time beats.

They opened their set with “Long Time Gone” and The “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” before going into their original songs like “Free Spirit” and “White Line Mercy”, which was a REALLY WELL WRITTEN SONG about being with a woman who loves cocaine. It’s an easily relate able song for many men in that situation, with a great up tempo beat, and I could easily ascertain the audience reaction to this song…which I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing?

“Alone Again” was followed by the song “35” which has a ton of twang. I relate to this song truly well above all of his songs. Being a 21 year CLEAN heroin addict I am 46 now and I’m amazed I’m alive. This a well written masterpiece of personal lament, and regret, the line about a pill and guitar pick in my pocket was what wins me over on this song.

“He Ain’t Got No Hot Water” was another up tempo party song they play, that displays GREAT vocal harmonies and fiddle. This song had the crowd dancing quicker than a cat will lick it’s ass, and it also displayed some common bass thump that I always identify with good old fashioned Honky Tonk music.

The covers that they DID DO were truly great to be honest, as they did “When I’m Stoned” by Jason Boland and The Stragglers, and also they did “Cast No Stones” which we would hear later by Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies. “Long Way From The Bottom” and “Traveling Outlaw Band” closed out the set, and the evening tonight. I’m just glad it was an early one because at this juncture I’ve been up for 31 hours and I was ready for a few hours of sleep.

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