Jun 032018
 

The 52nd Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is sponsored by the Central Indiana Bluegrass Association, Miss Dixie Hall’s Foundation, and media by Moonstruck Management. The legendary Tommy Lamb and Jamie Johnson will serve as Emcees for the festival. Sound will be provided by Tom Feller & GBS Productions.

The Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is the proud winner of the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Event of the Year Award. For more information on the numerous festivals taking place at the park this year, please visit BillMonroeMusicPark.com.

As a website Mr. Joshua and I cover 175 festivals yearly, and Bluegrass festivals play a large role in this equation. This event right here that transpires on June 9th – June 16th is perhaps the largest and most integral event in the entire Bluegrass scene.

This year at the 52nd annual festival you will witness over 60 bands perform on multiple stages in Indiana. Below, you’ll find a complete schedule of events including videos and maps so you can properly enjoy this event.

The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground is centrally located in Brown Country Indiana.  The park is home of the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival the oldest, continuous running bluegrass festival in the world and the home of the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Museum.  Please check out the VIDEO of Brown County below!

The Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground is one of southern Indiana’s finest and largest campgrounds. It is located on a 55-acre tract of land in the small town of Bean Blossom in beautiful and historic Brown County, Indiana. The historic music park boasts over 55 years of music and is the home of the Brown County Jamboree, the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Museum, and Bill Monroe’s world famous Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. The campground has general camping, rustic log cabin rentals, and fishing lake.

Known as the Mecca of Bluegrass, the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground hosts the oldest, continuous running bluegrass festival in the world. In 2013, the Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival (June 8-15, 2013) will be celebrating its forty- seventh year with over 50 bands, music and instrument workshops, a bluegrass camp for kids and a whole lot more!

The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground hosts approximately eight music events throughout the year. We literally have something for everyone! Visit the park, and you can enjoy everything from bluegrass to blues; gospel to rock-n-roll, we even have a fall festival featuring mules, horses and wagon trains! So, combine your love of music with your love of the outdoors. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the sounds of great music live on stage in our wooded amphitheater. All of our shows are held rain or shine so check the Events page for more information, and you can click HERE for tickets.

The picturesque and natural surroundings of the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground provide a beautiful backdrop for your outdoor wedding, reception, reunion, picnic or any other special function that you can think of!

Centrally located in Brown County, the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground is within minutes of a number of year-round activities and attractions, including: golfing, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, boating, biking, hiking, outlet shopping, museums and theaters. Enjoy historic Nashville, located only 5 miles south, where you can shop at the more than 350 antiques and specialty shops. Take a scenic drive through the Bean Blossom Covered Bridge, the most photographed and painted bridge in the state and a 2003 Rand McNally “Best of the Road” trip.

Now one thing that makes this festival different than others is that they offer their patrons many workshops and they teach patrons many things. At the same time the music is going on the workshops are also teaching the patrons many things. this festival abounds with a plethora of history and lessons about  the history of Bluegrass music.

Best Western Martinsville Inn

$72
2-star hotel
Budget hotel with free breakfast & WiFi
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Acorn Ridge Bed and Breakfast

$101
Bed & Breakfast

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Martinsville-Bloomington Area

$126
2-star hotel
Modern hotel with free breakfast & pool
Free breakfast

Brown County Inn

$119
3-star hotel
Relaxed hotel with a pool & dining

Hidden Valley Inn

$109
Hotel
Casual all-suite hotel with free Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi

Salt Creek Inn

$79
Hotel
Budget hotel with simple rooms & suites

Quality Inn

$112
2-star hotel
Casual hotel with a games room & a pool

Creekside Retreat

$149
Hotel

Royal Motel

$44
Hotel

Cornerstone Inn

Hotel
Warm quaint guesthouse with free Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi

Hidden Valley Inn

Hotel

Hotel Nashville

2-star hotel
Low-key hotel with free breakfast & pool
Free Wi-Fi

Artists Colony Inn & Restaurant

Hotel

Salt Creek Inn

Hotel

Oak Haven Bed & Breakfast

$79
Bed & Breakfast
Casual B&B with free drinks & YMCA entry

Quality Inn

Hotel

The Walnut Street Inn

$98
Hotel
Warm hotel offering relaxed rooms
Free Wi-Fi
DEAL 22% less than usual

Quality Inn

$90
$110
2-star hotel
Simple lodging with free WiFi & pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 18% off

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Bloomington

$113
3-star hotel
All-suite hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hilton Garden Inn Bloomington

$110
3-star hotel
Modern hotel with a lively sports bar
Free Wi-Fi
Jun 032018
 

This Thursday June 14th Red Dirt scene member Mr. Dalton Domino will be visiting Nashville at the Exit Inn playing new music from a forthcoming album called “Songs From The Exile”, which he has completed all the writing for.

The new video series he started in April upon which he releases an acoustic video each week, like the one entitled “Love Is Dangerous” Mr. Dalton is allowing his fans to hear the entire album acoustic before he releases it. Every week he takes the train from San Marcos to Dallas, and he has 42 new songs under his belt.

Every week on thursday at noon central he has been releasing a new video of a new song like this one called “Shadowlands”. He has been writing all of these songs at the end of a bad breakup and relationship. As the breakup went through different stages he made new songs, to reflect his feelings.

He stated on a video interview I watched that the album shall be recorded and released this year or next whenever he feels he has said all he needs to say, and this new album will have lots of steel and fiddle. I will be keeping an eye on this man and his music, and sadly I’ll not be able to make his show. If YOU GO you will be able to hear this new music and much more, I myself feel that he is growing as an artist and a performer. His live sets are becoming more and more exciting by the year!

Jun 022018
 

I bet you are tired of seeing festivals on here right?…..HELL NO!
So let’s hop on over to Colorado and talk about The Choice City Stomp for a few moments. I have a wide group of friends nationwide from A TON of scenes, and these folks in Colorado are very very special to me. Miss Elaine and her Mom are wonderful people, you know this website is dedicated to the PEOPLE even more so than the bands. This website is also dedicated to the memory of Jon Hensley, who was a music junkie even more than I am…and Jo Jo the pup.

I cover about six genres and scenes on this website, and you know Roots Music really doesn’t have the competition that Bluegrass has as far as festivals go. I myself LOVE them because it brings a TON of different acts all into one place, or in this festivals case, two.

See this festival is set up kind of like Americanafest, Fayetteville Roots Festival, and Heart Of Texas Festival. Those are all different genres and scenes BUT they are all indoors as well as outdoors, and they all involve multiple venues. Much more of a “local” atmosphere, and you know that’s NOT a bad thing. Mr. Jimmy and his crew always sets up some terrific music for their patrons every year, and I NEED to get out there one day soon…promise. So let’s cover the where and how first.

Sat, June 2nd at Swing Station:

2pm Joey Henry’s Dirty Sunshine Club
3pm DW Doucet
4pm Wallula
5pm Elli Perry
6pm Bob Fleming & the Cambria Iron Co.
7pm Tejon Street Corner Thieves
8pm Randall Conrad Olinger
9pm Dusty Rust
10pm Tom VandenAvond
11:20pm the Calamity Cubes!

Sun, June 3rd at Swing Station:
2:30pm Brian Johanson
3:25pm Eaglecock

(members of Dig Deep and Saddle of Southern Darkness)
4:20pm Kiel Grove
5:20pm Wonky Tonk & the Highlife
6:30pm Left Lane Cruiser

Hilton Fort Collins
Ad
$130
3-star hotel
Traditional hotel offering 2 pools
Fort Collins Marriott
4.1

$125
3-star hotel
Upscale lodging with American dining
Motel 6
3.2

$76
2-star hotel
Straightforward rooms & an outdoor pool
Remington Flats Hotel
4.5

$183
5-star hotel
Chic, modern studios with kitchens
Free Wi-Fi
Americas Best Value Inn & Suites – Fort Collins East / I – 25
3.7

$77
2-star hotel
Low-key hotel with a seasonal pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 18% less than usual
Americas Best Value Inn Fort Collins
3.3

$60
2-star hotel
Budget option with free breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
Best Western University Inn
3.9

$123
2-star hotel
Modest hotel with free WiFi & breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
Candlewood Suites Fort Collins
4.6

$144
2-star hotel
Modern extended-stay hotel with BBQ area
Free Wi-Fi
The Armstrong Hotel
4.5

$189
2-star hotel
Restored 1923 hotel with eclectic style
Free Wi-Fi
Northern Hotel
3.7

(6)
Hotel · 172 N College Ave
Days Inn Wellington Fort Collins Area
3.4

$118
2-star hotel
Simple hotel with free breakfast & pool
Free breakfast
Comfort Inn
4.0

$143
3-star hotel
Simple pick with free breakfast & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
La Quinta Inn Fort Collins
4.2

$139
2-star hotel
Hotel with an indoor pool & free WiFi
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
Quality Inn & Suites University
4.2

$111
2-star hotel
Classic hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Budget Host Inn
3.2

$59
2-star hotel
Utilitarian hotel with a hot tub
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
Econo Lodge
2.4

$87
2-star hotel
Casual hotel with an indoor/outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Hilton Fort Collins
3.8

$130
3-star hotel
Traditional hotel offering 2 pools
DEAL 22% less than usual
Super 8 Fort Collins
3.7

$88
2-star hotel
Budget hotel with free breakfast & a spa
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 20% less than usual
Best Western Kiva Inn
4.1

$134
Hotel
Unfussy hotel with pool & free breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
9 Motel
3.2

Motel
Free Wi-Fi
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ft. Collins
4.0

$118
2-star hotel
Casual hotel with free breakfast buffet
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Jun 022018
 

I made my way back to the Palace for the second day of music, I stayed in Nashville at a friend’s house because I just don’t get to see him often enough. I guess being an adult does that to everyone doesn’t it? I think I stated in day 1 I opted to forgo the western fashion show for the car show, and the music featured at the Palace.

The entire team at the Palace went out of their way to host a truly fine show here today, complete with stage manager Miss Jenn Ross whom I got the chance to talk with more later that night. She was quite a wonderful person and she did an OUTSTANDING JOB running things for all those hours. I like to talk to people and pick their brains on things and the more we chatted I learned she contributes a LOT to the Americana community. I deemed her to be a valuable asset to this scene, she’s got GREAT knowledge of music!

I wanted to point out another TROOPER that is there EVERY YEAR to emcee this event, and that is my good friend Rockin James Riley host of the Rockabilly And Blues Radio Hour on IHeart radio..that link will take you to his podcast. I ACTUALLY LISTEN to every podcast and radio show I mention, and I weekly wait for this one here! It’s my go-to source for weekly fill of surf and rockabilly fun, and he TEACHES YOU FACTS about what they play and the whens and who’s. HE IS ANOTHER valuable asset to this scene.

Once again my first band I covered was Little Leslie And The Bloodshots whichis a three piece Rockabilly band from New York now based out of South Carolina. Their new album “Heartbeat” is available now on U.K. based Rockabilly label Western Star Records.

O.K. So I was treated to some of the songs off this offering along with some old goodies like “Straight From Hell” that’s off their “On Fire” album. Miss Leslie is basically just that..a little ol gal that barely tops the bass top but I’ll tell you WHAT..she MASTERS that straight bass. She is FURIOUS on both bass and vocals and unleashes an frenzy of aggressive energy upon the crowd.

Rockabilly is fast paced energetic music with easy to get lyrics, it’s not a stop and make you think genre like Americana or Country. Western Swing and Rockabilly are totally different lyrics, and THIS BAND GETS ME every time, with songs like “For Your Love” from the new album. Another selection from the new album was called ‘Everybody Wants Me”, the new album is a mighty fine collection of thirteen well placed songs of Rocking music.

“Nothing Without You” was one I remembered from the last time I featured them at their last Boogie from the older album, along with “Your’e A Cat”. Their last selection was from their new album was called “Tell Me”, of course they stayed a while and greeted fans selling merch with the other bands.

Back in 2000 a fellow named “Chops” McClintlock began an iconic Chicago based Rockabilly band called The Krank Daddies who describe themselves as just pure ROCK AND ROLL.  Their live show truly was a spectacle to behold, and as their bio says they are on the cusp of conquering the world.

They began with some songs ( not in this order) ‘Rev it Up” and a high octane song called “Run Lil Baby” complete with his world renowned BEER SOLO, where he drinks while playing and plays slide with the empty bottle! He truly is one of the best guitarists on the local club stage scene. I would place him with Mr. Rory Kelly or Mr. Dallas Moore ANYTIME.

“Blast Off” was their second song and blast off the band indeed did. This band takes you on a wild rocket ride, and the band makes all bad music capitulate as they unleash all things REAL upon unsuspecting new listeners. “Catch Me If You Can” was included in their set today, as well as the song called ‘The Devil’s Ride”.

One of my favorites was called “Don’t You Hesitate” ,but honestly I was still taken aback from that grueling guitar solo! “See Ya Later” and their classic song called “Johnny Cash kicks Ass”. They followed that up with a song called “He’ll Roll” and closed with their song called “True Blu Man”.

The car show was something epic and intriguing to me. I’m not really a big fan of muscle cars but I enjoyed looking and watching people share the enthusiasm and pride of things. In today’s day and age of social media fights and political hoo ha, it sure is refreshing to see strangers become friends and friends become better acquainted.  It was FUN watching children PLAY and get the chance to run around like CHILDREN, and although the weather was spotty all day they had a wonderful day to enjoy the vendors.

The Rocketz were established in 2004 in Los Angeles California.Now when they were playing I went and got some food, and even though I did get to take some pictures I  heard them play “Slow Down”. I was outside enjoying the car show and all the other parties that were simultaneously transpiring.

In my opinion The Psycho Devilles are also Rockabilly Legends here, I mean hell if Mr. Hot Rod Walt doesn’t have an armload of albums to pull material from? Despite the fact the Devilles have only been around since 2002, Hot Rod Walt has been ripping up stages since the 80’s.

They were formed on the streets of Atlanta Georgia in 2002, and are credited for 9 albums. One of the beginning songs he said was over 25 years old, and called “This Old Road”. They played a new song called “Sex And Fire And Gasoline”, which was an energetic anthem to the greaser lifestyle.

Some of my favorite songs he plays adorned the middle of his set this weekend here at the Boogie, like the song “Addicted”, honestly most every man can relate to a song about being addicted to his girl’s lovin. That’s a BIG part of Rockabilly and the Rockabilly culture that I relate to myself the most.

“My Guitar Saved Me” was one off the free CD he was handing out last year sponsored by Miller High Life, this year he handed out calendars. Good O’l Mr. Walt is always doing “Victory curls”, and as he covered a great version of the Elvis classic “Blue Suede Shoes”, I began to make my way over to the Opryland hotel again to see ANOTHER Legend…Mr. Levi Dexter!  HEY THERE’S THOSE SAME TWO DANCERS AGAIN.

Mr. Levi Dexter And The Gretsch Brothers absolutely KILLED IT up in the Presidential Ballroom tonight with a backup band from Japan. Absolutely TOP NOTCH Rockabilly music. Mr. Levi is a 2012 Rockabilly Hall Of Fame inductee with songs like “Get So Excited” and “Oklahoma Boogie” to his credit.

His stage presence is amazing and he commands the center of the stage with poise and he embellished the  weekend for me with songs like “Roots Man” and another called “16 Chicks”. His set was filled with many instrumentals and solos from his wonderful band tonight, and included the hit song ‘Seven Nights To Rock”. If you’ll remember BR5-49 covering that song as well off their first album.

“Boppin Bernie” was next followed by “Restless” and “Shaking All Over”. As he approached the close of his magnificent set he played “Lonesome Train” which displayed some truly amazing vocal abilities, he created a truly fine set climax with “Smokin” and “Meet You On The Other Side”.

I used the shuttle once again to return back to the Palace to finish out my second night here, much to my dismay on Sunday I ended up in the emergency room with an infection. I was extremely sick and I didn’t get to catch the Sunday night festivities.

Lara Hope And The Ark Tones I FINALLY got to cover this band from New York, EVERY TIME I was presented with an opportunity to cover their set something happened or I was tied up elsewhere. They released their second album last August called “love You To Life”.

They opened with the song called “Fast Cheap Or Well Done” which was the very first song from that album I just spoke of. They followed that up with a song called “Knocked Out” and displayed a very enjoyable band tonight as they played songs like “Stop Drop And Roll” and “Love You To Life”.

“He’s Not The Devil” was one of the songs I recognized off her first album “Luck Maker” as well as the last song they did called “Whiskey Pick” BUT FIRST they did some more songs off the new album like “Dr. Bartender” and others. This band is truly a treat to have on your festival lineup, and I truly enjoy their music. I hope to get the chance to feature them on future jobs!

The Farmer And Adele was a duo I had the chance to meet at Dee’s not long ago during the Magnolia Roads show there, I finally get the chance to cover their set as well. Miss Grace Adele and Mr. Kennan Wade brought their Western Swing beauty to the Boogie stage this weekend.

They have a truly refreshing and simple western style to their set complete with comedy, yodeling and fiddles. This band IS THE COMPLETE real deal for the Country Music purist and the people who crave dancing. EVERY member of this band compliments one another quite well, with songs like “When Bloom Is On The Sage” or the great fiddle tune “Cow Cow Boogie”.

Complete with an intro and all the other bells and whistles this band was very unique and stood out from the rest with originality. Perhaps one of the highlights of their set was the “Mockingbird Yodel” where many of the band members traded off yodeling.  “Twilight On The Trail” was another great song here tonight, as they displayed their love for traditional type music.

“He’s A Cowboy” and the song called “Cowhand Lullaby” were more heaping helpings of their list tonight that can whet your appetite for more swing dancing and sagebrush humor here tonight. What a wonderful approach to a close of an evening here at the Boogie. As they played songs like “Into the Wide Open Sky” and their last song called “Sundown Song” they left all of us wanting another set of their music.

The very last band I covered for this festival was a young lady I have featured MANY TIMES on this website. She IS on the horizon and is destined for greatness folks, with her husband behind that Telecaster lead guitar duties Miss Tommy Ash is the real deal folks with my favorite song she does called “Sugar In A Bottle”.

She is one of my favorite personal friends to see on the road, always quick with a smile and a friendly hug for these old bones. Her husband is just a quick with a handshake as he is with a twang filled solo that will blow your socks off! Just damn fine flat out good people!

She opened with “Motel Time” before going into Sugar In A bottle, and going into “Trip To The Moon”. She is growing as an artist and becoming more confident as an artist onstage. Her band is a well oiled machine no matter whom she employs, she leads them with much confidence. “Keeping To The House” was another good song but another high point  to her set was “Honky Tonk King”.

Her set was filled with so many great songs here I was beside myself with amazement from how well some of them were presented. So much wonderful steel guitar and twang to represent her motto HANG OUT WITH YOUR TWANG OUT. With songs like “Play With Fire” and “lost It all”, she delivers a powerful whiskey soaked punch to your palate.

“Log On The Fire” and the song called “ain’t Cha Mama” were next followed by another high point on her set called “Woman With The Working Man’s Blues”. This little gal from Arizona truly fulfills the ever popular question of “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”? As she closed with a few covers she played a song called “Sinner’s blood”.

Besides having a nasty battle with a flat tire after Miss Tommy’s set I had a pretty fun Nashville Boogie until Sunday when I ended up getting pretty darn sick. But as I write this currently I am MUCH better and getting ready to do my next music job in Wisconsin.

Jun 022018
 

I’m really happy to be a part of my 4th annual Nashville Boogie which is a yearly Western Swing, and Rockabilly extravaganza held at the Opryland Hotel here in the Opryland area of Nashville Tn.  As usual I got lost in this insane labyrinth of stairways and carpeted corridors, sometimes it seems you can walk for minutes until you find help. But eventually you find what you seek, and if this weekend you seek some truly fine Rockabilly music you came to the right place!

There is so much to talk about and show you about this festival, no matter how hard I study that map I always get lost pretty bad. But I found the first stage pretty easily since I have been here so many times. I eased into the Presidential Ballroom first for my first band to cover tonight Mr. Anthony Castagna who warmed up the stage tonight with some really good tunes like the Jimmy Lloyd Logsdon classic “Rocket In My Pocket”. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not as sharp on the precise history of Rockabilly as I am Country, and Mr. Jimmy Lloyd Logsdon was the earliest I could research.

His set contained a few treats as well like my buddy A Man Called Stu AKA Stu Arkoff, who played his song called “Trouble Maker” and followed that up with the classic “One Woman Man” made popular by George Jones in 1989. The band played some mighty fine instrumentals with “Whole Lotta Shaking” and a great rendition of “Shotgun Boogie” by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

He was also joined by Mr. Pope Paul from Pope Paul And The Illegals on bass guitar tonight and as I began to move onto the Magnolia Ballroom to cover my next act I watched them close with an instrumental he recorded at the Quanset Hut in Nashville for an upcoming EP.

The swing dancing folks pretty much wear me out watching them go, I have been shooting some terrific pictures of them tonight all over both ballrooms…and some in the hallways! Pretty much this event celebrates and embraces the Rockabilly culture and dress, and I like to watch it all happen. This event comes complete with a car show and record convention, full vendor area and so much more!

The fashion show was one of the functions I missed for other happenings at the Palace on day 2. I truly appreciate the western style dress however I am more beneficial to Muddy Roots if I cover the music on the website, so I decided to do just that. Included with my good times were some bad times as well, but none of them were the festivals fault, I ended up with a nasty flat tire that I got fixed at home. In addition I ended up the entire weekend with a trip to the hospital with the flu and an infection…Getting old sucks.

I’m going to include some dancers I encountered on multiple occasions at all three stages. This couple was SO energetic and I didn’t get an opportunity to talk to them BUT I’m sure they will be tickled pink to be loved on by us all. SEE THIS is what the Boogie is ALL ABOUT….FUN for ALL AGES. I’m going to SHOW YOU all the fun kids had too!

My next band I covered quite a few times was none other than Miss Jane Rose And The Deadend Boys Who always hammer out a wonderful set wherever they play. It sure was a treat getting to hear her sing about “Bad Lil Betty”, and how she loves her “Hot Rod Daddy” up here in Opryland.

Her set included many good songs like “Fool” and “Bitten” from the Poultricide album, and also “Whiskey Nights” off of her Damaged Goods album. I have indeed been keeping an eye on them for new music, and much to my delight I found some from them! According to the  set list one of the new songs was called “on Again, Off Again” and the other was called “Fucked Up From The Floor Up’.

Now folks I only got a little time to speak with her in passing today, so maybe I will catch up with her in the future for a chat about her future plans as of late.  She closed their set with a song called “Consequences”, and of course I migrated on to my next place! The trek from one ballroom to another was fairly easy once I got used to the stages, as I elaborated earlier I could NOT FIND the Magnolia Ballroom even as they had signs, and my map wasn’t much help in that instance. It was nobody’s fault but mine in that area. Once I did find them both I saw how good the layout truly was, Mr. Jason had them set up pretty good.

Also I wanted to point out how wonderful the shuttle bus service was for this festival once again. The staff at the hotel is always so nice to us and keeps the tables cleaned and traffic moving.  Much of my eating was done at the Scoreboard, and ill touch on what I all ate there in a bit. Honestly I packed some sandwiches in order to have money for shirts and stickers…you know…stuff N junk. Basically that is one complaint I have about this one, and I know it’s not Mr. Jason’s fault the food isn’t always affordable there.

Hillbilly Casino comes to us fresh off an Ireland tour, and are working their butts off in 2018. Their latest album called “Red White And Bruised” hit my TOP 50 OF 2017, you can read about that HERE. Also I’m SURE they WILL be featured at this year’s Muddy Roots Festival.

Their energetic set included quite a few new songs from their album including their second song “She’s Got Tricks”, and another called ‘Give It All Up”.  This unusually larger stage area gave lead singer Nic Roulette more room to unleash his vocalist fury upon…is that a BAD THING…not if you love America! There will be ‘NO Toll Taken” on those of you who don’t love America…I mean Hillbilly Casino IS AMERICA.

My baby’s “Low Down” was next followed by “More Blue Than Green” mostly off the above mentioned new album, as was one of my personal favorites called ‘Jibber Jabber”. Now, that one was being played live for many years before it got recorded on the album. They also played “Stop Drop And Roll” before going into WHAT I THOUGHT WAS Violets In May…ended up being a really cool version of “Ghost Riders In The Sky”.’

The Paladins began in 1980 on the west coast, in San Diego California by Mr. Thomas Yearsley and Mr. Dave Gonzalez they are one of Rockabilly’s most beloved Legendary trios. They coined the phrase Western And Bop as they played a combination of Rockabilly and vintage Country together, creating a unique sound all their own.

They have released nine studio albums in their tenure including their first self titled album which was produced by Mr. Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. In 2004 they took a small hiatus when Mr. Dave created the Hacienda Brothers western soul band, which garnered much success until 2008 when one of the members died. Fast forward to now and you have the Paladins….and they tore the place apart tonight, quite possibly the best act of the entire festival.

They played their very first single called “Slow Down” only the song does everything BUT SLOW DOWN, and neither did the set in any fashion. They unleashed an epic helping of their past classics the likes of “Sneaking In” and “Good Lovi’n”.

Absolutely NO SIGNS of age on tonight’s show everyone….time has not faltered their stage presence here, and they wowed the audience with more songs like “Get On The Right Track” and “Irene”, and as I began to pack up to make my way out to the Palace to see the next planned band I got to hear them play “Big Mary’s House” and they followed that up with “Lookin’ For A Girl Like You” . The last song I heard was called “Mercy”. I had to depart to hear the Cowpokes!

The Cowpokes are one of my favorite Country bands to watch in this area because despite the fact they play mostly cover songs, they are so obscure that it’s fun to hear their take on them. And of course it is always a treat to hear Mr. Andy Gibson on the steel guitar like that.

They played “One More Time” and another Webb Pierce song before they did indeed play an original song called “I Wanna Dance With You”. Another truly great song they play is the Mel Tillis song called “Heart Over Mind” , That was followed by the great song called “I Wonder Where You Are Tonight” by Keith Whitley. Their set concluded with the classic song “They Call Me A Playboy”.

In a nutshell the second day of the festival ( first for me as I had to work Thursday) was pretty much the best for me health wise. Music wise Saturday was equally stellar however I’ll have to say it now my favorite set of the weekend was by far the Paladins, after all these years they still have all the bells and whistles of a perfect show!

Jun 012018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Fans were a bit worried when American Aquarium effectively disbanded and reformed with new members behind BJ Barham.  The new band’s first album and American Aquarium’s overall 7th full length studio album Things Change will ease any questions you had in your mind about the new lineup.  In fact, American Aquarium may have released their best album to date. While this record is still very much a country rock record, it is more country forward than their past efforts. Their new pedal steel player Adam Kurtz is more heavily featured on this album than with the band’s previous records and that is a good thing.

I’m not usually a big fan of political records, but BJ Barham does it right here.  By the end of this record, you know how Barham feels about the state of the world, but it doesn’t feel like he is beating a dead horse by the end either.  This is evident in the opening track “The World Is On Fire”. It’s a country rocker that would fit well on a later Tom Petty album that finds BJ Barham looking at the state of the world as he struggles to deal with what it has become.  “Tough Folks” is another country rocker with a political edge to it. It’s a song about how tough people outlast tough times like the ones the country is currently going through.

There are some good country leaning tunes mixed in with the rockers though.  “When We Were Younger Men” is a country ballad that strips back the band’s sound and focuses on BJ’s storytelling as he tells stories of days past.  Another good country tune is “I Gave Up The Drinking (Before She Gave Up On Me)”. It’s a good love song that turns the country drinking song upside down and it creates a successful relationship instead of ending one.  From a successful relationship to an unsuccessful one, we go to the intimate and sparse “Shadows Of You”. It’s a mostly acoustic tune about missing a recent love. I love the line “like a minor chord, in a sad country song” when he is describing how lonely he is.  Finally, the album ends with “The Final Curtain Falls” which may be my favorite BJ Barham song. It’s another country love ballad where BJ is pledging his love till the final curtain falls. Like many songs on this album, the pedal steel guitar shines on this one and it makes it that much better.

The more I have listened to it, I think Things Change is American Aquarium’s best album yet.  That’s a strong statement to make about a band that is now 7 albums in, but the main factor here is BJ Barham.  He’s put together a great band to make these songs everything they need to be and that is what counts. If you like country rock mixed in with some strong traditional country sounds and really good songwriting, give this record a spin.  Be sure to buy or stream this album wherever you get your music fix on Friday June 1st when the record releases everywhere.

Favorite Tracks : The World Is On Fire, Tough Folks, When We Were Younger Men, I Gave Up The Drinking (Before She Gave Up On Me), Shadows Of You, The Final Curtain Falls

American Aquarium – Things Change (2018)

  1. The World Is On Fire
  2. Crooked + Straight
  3. Tough Folks
  4. When We Were Younger Men
  5. One Day At A Time
  6. Things Change
  7. Work Conquers All
  8. I Gave Up The Drinking (Before She Gave Up On Me)
  9. Shadows Of You
  10. The Final Curtain Falls