Sep 212018
 

It’s time once again for me to endure my yearly task of massive undertaking out here at the June Bug Ranch in Cookeville Tennessee, the mighty yearly festival that has evolved into one of my annual  events The Muddy Roots Music Festival. This big banger happens every Labor Day Weekend, and it’s usually hot, hot and hot…mostly nothing else but rain. You will find out quickly JUST WHY they call it Muddy Roots.

I haven’t missed a single year of Muddy Roots action, and in 2010 I began a rough version of my website. Learning and observing things, people and scenes. Mostly I began to appreciate music, REAL music of all types. This very website here was basically relaunched in 2013, but Muddy Roots pretty much helped inspire my whole platform of operations…I embedded the only rule Muddy has into my daily operations..”Don’t Be A Dick”.

The weather this year certainly didn’t disappoint if you were looking for heat and sun. I myself like cooler weather and cloudy conditions but I guess mother nature said no this year, lots and lots of water. One nice thing they did was what used to be stage 2 was an entire tent to provide shade for the patrons this year. It also held the fourth open mic stage, which I will touch on later, most of the acts on that stage transpired when I was asleep but I wanted to acknowledge the efforts of the man involved.

The only drawback to the tent on the PBR stage, was the heat. Now that’s not truthfully the festival’s fault, but yeah the weather made the loaded tent hot and stuffy. But the added merch space to shop was awesome, also the fact that there was NO stage 1 or stage 2 or stage 3 made it sound more “equal”. Sometimes bands that have never visited or patrons that haven’t ever been might think stage 1 is better than stage 2..that’s NOT A FACT, I’m just making a guess.

The new PBR stage was in the flat part of the backside of vendor row, and had open grass in front of it for the sun lovers. The bad news..this stage had a LOT of the Doom Metal near my camper late night, and I used sleep medication to sleep through Sleep. Yes my friends, I didn’t stay up for many of the later acts, it’s hard on me now. Maybe I’m just getting older and out of shape, I don’t know? The wonderful thing about Muddy Roots is the diversity among styles of music and the respect we have for those differences. I conversed with many people whom weren’t as enthused about the abundance of Doom Metal here, or the new faces..and actually convinced a few people to see things like I do. I’m not really into that stuff and I don’t really think it’s repugnant, I just don’t care for it.

I suppose my coverage this year wasn’t as intense as many years in the past because of the lineup, but there were so many changes to take in..most of them positive. Maybe the year we had all of the Bluegrass wasn’t as big of a deal to the crowd that enjoyed Sleep or High On Fire, and that right there is indeed what makes Muddy Roots so unique and stellar..diversity and the acceptance of other genres.

The staff here at Muddy Roots outdid themselves this year in making this festival the best one yet. I’ll tell you what folks the immense growth in attendance went noticed by me immediately.  I do not think I have witnessed a larger volume of people here. The stage managers Mr. Chad Martindale and Mr. Mark Simmons once again made the two older stages a huge success, and are always willing to lend a helping hand to get set list information and pictures for me.

Many many people labored effortlessly this entire week to bring us this fun, Mr. Chris Cahill, Mr Robert Brown, Mr. Joe Dooda, Miss Destiny Smith, Miss Kelly McNoldy, and SO MANY photographers like Miss Delane Chavez and Mr Milton Chavez. Honestly right now there are many I haven’t named and will name soon. I pretty much tried to retain as much as possible in little time.

I wanted to point out how easy it was at the ticket gate with Miss Kelly there and I wanted to THANK MISS Kimber the personal loan, even though it was insanely HOT, I got my gathering together and finally got ready for some music. Now for many of you that know me personally, my adopted Father passed away this past July and left me with no vacation time left. I had to omit Day 1 on Thursday, which to my dismay contained many of the bands I liked.

But my goodness what a beautiful day today! I did a quick jaunt down vendor row to greet old and new friends to get over to the Wood Stage to see an old friend I featured some time ago. The first act I will bring you is Miss Rebecca Jed.

You might remember my coverage of her then duo called the Bucksnort Beauties At Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge last year. We did a wonderful review on her previous album “Wildfire And Moonshine”, which you can read HERE. Now that she is doing more shows solo, she has a NEW album she is promoting now called “Cowboy Up”.

She played a few off the album including the title track “Wildfire And Moonshine” , and another called “All The Hell With All Y’all”..I’m going back to Arkansas. Now folks Arkansas is where she makes her home with her trusty wolfdog and her little man Mr. Noah. She is one of my coolest friends in the Nashville area, and it’s always a pleasure to see her.

I got to watch her play some Loretta Lynn covers and other songs from the new album ‘Cowboy Up” and I will include a track list right here. If you want to buy ANY of these albums here, you can always click on the artist name here.

She has a great Honky Tonk sound to her and I have always liked her down home writing style, she proudly carries her passion of Traditonal Country music, and she is developing her own style. Another focus on Muddy Roots this year were Female Artists. Now that may be an argument there..and I concur that “Female Fronted Bands” are NOT a genre, but I also concur that a lot of festivals under schedule the female artists sometimes.

TRACK LISTING:

1.Cowboy Up
2.Drive
3.Shot Gun Willie
4.Get Rite To It
5.Wreck My Train
6.Feel Like Sinning
7.Alpha Wolf
8.Snake Skin Jacket
9.Mustang
10.Hillbilly Jungle

Here’s a pair of names you will be hearing more of this year. This is Andrea Colburn And Mud Moseley. I have been hanging onto this album as well to tell you more about it now! I mean what better time to wait than until now right?

The first song they played was from their first album called “Sad Songs And Switchblades” from 2015 and it was called “Hwy 9”. It’s a horribly poignant song of murder and blood. This pair comes to the stage meaning business with six bullets in her gun, and when she finishes her song you are dead!

After playing some covers she played “Bones” which was another haunting song about moving smelly bones of a lover who lied.  Burning bones and digging up bones what better way to go into the chilly fall Halloween season than this band? You mix up a GREAT Honky Tonk thump sound with some shock rock type music, and you have this band!

The next song was called “Becky (Take My Boots Off Again)” which on the album has a really good Hillbilly Twang, as does the entire album. From one of the hillbilly queens of underground Country Music this set was amazing.  The next song was also off the new album called “Turn Out the Lights”, which is about being poor pretty much.

I especially appreciate the lead guitar work of Mr. Mud Moseley his sound rivals the lead guitar work of Miss Tommy Ash and others. and underground Country needs more of it! “Sad Country Song” was next which talks about a crazy girl at a bar, playing songs and getting drunk. Maybe she wrote it about herself or maybe not…who knows but ANYBODY can appreciate this twang!

“Garbageman” was next followed by “Shirley” which was another one of the good ones off the new album with a pretty cool shuffle beat. It was the first song from the album, and when I first popped it in I was immediately hooked on their sound…but the next song “Dark River” I REALLY LIKED the guitar work on. The intro and leads were absolutely amazing, and once again a song about a dead body in a dark river…and the body returned!  From what I remember of her set they closed with a few covers, and I shuffled on to the next band!

Tracklist for Easy, Sleazy and Greazy:
1.Shirley
2.Sometimes
3.Garbageman
4.Sad Country Song
5.Bones
6.Becky (Take My Boots Off)
7.Bad With You
8.Full Moon Over Georgia
9.Turned Out The Lights
10.Dark River
11.Tied To the Bed
12. Shirley (1947 Relapse)
13.Pepperoni Sue

Another band with a forthcoming album, is the Texas based Blackgrass Gospel, whom I have featured in the past as well. Their self titled debut album dominated their set from what I could tell, and I got some terrific shots of this band with my NEW camera here!

Their first song was called ‘419″ , and another called “Dead Man” until I noticed the song called “Broken”. My liver is flooded today folks, and my lungs collapsed the other night! I tell you what, this band has evolved in leaps and bounds live. They are one of the more punk influenced string bands that Muddy Roots offers, and I like them a lot.

“No Soul To Give” was next, you can’t give your soul to someone because you got no soul to give. That song features some really good banjo work as well as the song called “Shit Creek”. While it’s true much of this type of music isn’t for everybody, neither was the Doom Metal, and like I previously stated..that’s what’s great about Muddy Roots.

“I Eat The Living” was next, and is probably my favorite song on their first album about zombies. I just think the beat is really cool, next up was the song “Stack Them Bones”. They played another new song called “Barnacles” and closed their set with “I Will Haunt You” and the song called “Cold Beer And Whiskey”. We will certainly be featuring their new album when it is released.

I hurried over to the PBR stage to see Call Me Bronco a band from Louisville that recorded a VERY COOL album on the Rusty Knuckles label.  They have a brand spanking new album forthcoming in February that I am eagerly awaiting to tell you about.

Besides their awesome “4 AM” and other favorites of mine, they played some new songs. Much like Blackgrass Gospel, this band has evolved as well, as a unit and sound wise. It was fun to watch them play on a big stage with that much room on it.

A new song that Mr. Samuel proclaimed ANYBODY that can tell him all of the references got a free shirt, that song was called “The Day That Punk Rock Died”.  I was indeed wandering around trying out my new camera, and meeting new folks this year. I think this band was exposed to a whole new audience, here as they displayed other songs called “I’m Not Being Vindictive,I Just Don’t Wanna Hold Hands With You”.

For the more punk loving fans, this band is releasing a terrific EP in 2019 with songs like “St. Joseph’s Burning” and “Cody’s Song”. They also included two songs that aren’t recorded tonight called “Cigarettes” and another called “we Wear Black”. I would like to THANK Mr. Samuel St. Samuel for the help on the song titles, as I had lyrics jotted down. As the sun faded out, and relieved us from that awful heat, I went across the aisle to see my good friends The Rock Bottom String Band.

So I know they opened up their set with “The Grey”, and at this time I had been up 37 hours in the heat. And playing with my new camera, not really used to the flash yet nor do I know how lenses work…YET…just wait folks. Wait on HERE as I learn how to use this thing better in part 2!

Mr. Dave and Mr. Johnathan both taught me stuff, and let me use zoom lenses. From the great state of Texas I bring you Miss Mackenzie Dart, Miss Tara Miller, Mr. Alex Shultz and Mr. Griffin Harrison on the bass. Now, they have had some lineup changes but I have always enjoyed them since I found them in 2014.

So equally from the 2016 album “Home Ain’t Where I’m From” we had the song “Deacon’s Daughter” . They then played some new songs from their three song EP called “Por Vida” and those songs were called “Mark On A Map” and another called “Layi’n Low Lately”.

Then they called up Mr. Gary Lindsey from Black Eyed Vermillion to help them play the song “Devil In Me”. After that I believe the song was called “Scrapi’n By” off the 2016 album, and they closed their set with the song “Witches” and then one of my favorites “Till’ We Die”.

Hobolight Photography has been gracious enough to allow me to use some of their photos on bands I missed and other various tidbits I wanted to touch on. Like the clean up crew and the bathroom attendants that worked VERY VERY hard to make this a fun and clean and safe environment to enjoy our music at.

The Everymen played one of the rowdiest and FUN sets of the weekend, and to be honest I had so much FUN watching this show I forgot to write the songs down! I know folks that maybe some of you were hoping I would cover more bands like I usually do, but this year it grew to such epic proportions that it just wasn’t possible. The growth in attendance made it harder to become mobile, and now honestly that’s NOT such a bad thing..is it?

Everymen photo courtesy of Miss Jenni Maria. Thanks for the use of that one!

So I usually break this down into days but this year I am just going to have two parts if that’s o.k. with y’all. I wanted to touch on a few of the things I missed like the open mic stage on the late night portion of the PBR stage. Tucked away in the corner of a smaller merch sales area, was the stage that Mr. Justin Boot whom I have had the pleasure of meeting a few years back, was running.

This stage flourished late night more than any time and much to my dismay it ROCKED when I was sleeping. Also in my defense I got really sick after the festival, I felt it coming on. I suppose at 47 I am partied out, I think the entire weekend I had 2 beers, and a few pulls of moonshine. I like the shine when I’m sick with O.J. and honey and lemon.

Mr. Justin ran a DYNAMITE stage here this weekend with surprise acts the likes of  Mr. Tim Vee, Miss Lara Hope And The Ark Tones, Black Eyed Vermillion, Mr. Fritz from the duo of Whiskeydick, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Miss Molly Gene, The Rock Bottom String Band and Red Necromancer.

From what I heard it was truly an amazing experience in carrying on the music all day and night long this weekend. No matter WHERE you went or WHAT you did, there was music and food to enjoy.  Merch to shop for and new faces to meet and greet.

My good friends over at Ellie Monster were there to provide us with vintage western wear as well as my dear friend Miss Sara Brown from Stoned Beautiful Jewelry. She makes the most lovely hand crafted turquoise and bone wares on the East Coast…really on ANY coast.

The vendors of food and clothes are also equally wonderful to become friends with, and get to know as people. Many of them I get to see often at other festivals all over the United States, like my friends at Pop’s Place whom took over the Billy Bayou’s Sweet Dixie Tea stand, I understand the previous owner had some health issues and sadly passed away.

There were a few more acts on Friday I wanted to see, but time and my need for sleep just wouldn’t permit me too. When I do this kind of thing I come right from my factory job of third shift, and go right to the music. I am usually up for long hours, and I don’t get much rest. So with that in mind I had to head back to my loaned camper for the night and sleep through Sleep..and it wasn’t hard really because I was exhausted.

The next morning began a little overcast and about 2PM, we had a damn good shower for about an hour that held up a few of the PBR stage acts. I had ALL my rain gear out at the ready under the Rusty Knuckles booth. I spent quite a bit of time over at the Wood Stage today, as many of the acts I wanted were there today. The wet ground from the morning began to flourish with vivid colors running from confetti left behind by the Everymen.

Children were running rampant flailing swim noodles left laying around by the epic swim noodle battle of 2018. I plunked my chair down with my books and belongings on it, and climbed up into the tower, which this year was closed to media only. Now by 4pm when the Gallows took the stage I was EVER SO THANKFUL I had a safe place to catch the action.

You know, every year I have a new band I find here, even if they have been on my radar or not. Today I bring you a FANTASTIC band called Blue Cactus from Chapel Hill North Carolina. Miss Steph Stewart and Mr. Mario Arnez make up the front duo of this band, and today it was just them two. Now, I want to articulate on how different the album is with backing vocals on songs like “I Never Knew Heartache”. Miss Steph’s vocals are reminiscent of the late Miss Tammy Wynette, including the backing DUM DUM DUM vocals during the chorus buildups.

That song was absolutely one of the most well written songs I have been blessed to hear in YEARS, if you give me a three chord and a truth song, this song makes you want to get DRUNK and STONED and CRY. The steel guitar brings her sweet vocals forward into the world with sorrowful fashion.

“Anymore Something” was their third song today, as I was absolutely transfixed on their show here today, I mean I was truly amazed with EVERY aspect of their music, their demeanor and their respect for history of Country Music here…you can just FEEL their charisma. Mr Mario’s lead guitar abilities were not too shabby either, I could rate others better, but his style and technique just FITS into what they do. He does not have the fish out of water appearance here.

The set opened with “So Right (You Got Left)”  the title itself bored me and made me think of many songs aptly named the same. BUT it was TRULY well written and I enjoyed the lyrics here, it made me smile and enjoy the twang from Mr. Mario.

“Not Alone (Till You Come Home) was next today, another well written song featuring her truly soulful voice. One thing I wanted to illustrate about the album is that all of the songs compliment each other truly well. They played a new song they called “Rodeo Queen” which was a good song, I’ll have to keep in contact with them for info on the new album.

I began to mosey onto the other stages here while they played a political song called “Finger On The Button”, I wasn’t really impressed with that one. Not really any sided on politics myself but it just really didn’t fit their entire presentation well,  but all in all it was one of the best sets of the weekend in my opinion….uh oh here starts the rain!

Miss Molly Gene One Whoaman Band did not get to play her slotted time at 1PM, but she did indeed get to play. I had to run back to my dump site to get my rain boots.  She is a Missouri based OMB, with just as much energy as Mr. Scott H Biram, with a meaner kick drum stomp! I got to hear her play a song with Freight Train Rabbit Killer and she played “I Am Strong, I Am Woman”.

The rain didn’t stay around for too long, however it was lengthy enough to be menacing and make mud. I climbed up into the tower later on during the next few sets while it rained and it helped keep my camera dry. I wasn’t sure about waterproofing my new camera.

While this was transpiring I kind of wandered around a little bit as they jumbled many of the bands to different times and stages. I did get to stop and see the Maness Brothers that got moved to the Spider Monkey stage. They have a high energy show going on, also form Missouri.

The PBR stage had the most of the Doom Metal on Saturday,so I opted to focus on the music I appreciated personally more than feature music I didn’t care for. But I was extremely heartwarming to see it being supported in such a grand fashion here. I mean the Muddy Roots lineup shirts SOLD OUT in an HOUR, these “NEW” faces here were buying merch, and buying food, WHO could be upset with that growth?

I did check out a portion of the set that Stump Tail Dolly had, and it was equally nice to see them perform on such a big, nice stage. They have new music, and I don’t know all of the new song names right now, I’ll be catching up with Mr. Ryan soon on new things they are doing. They always have a great stage presence and powerful songs like “Cumberland Gap” and “Iv’e Endured”.

The last band I wanted to touch on in this half of the article here was a Tex Mex punk based band called Pinata Protest from San Antonio Texas. These four guys tear up the stage every time I have covered them, last year they were equally amazing on stage.

The lead singer plays an accordion and spins in circles like a crazed madman, and they have some wicked guitar solos. I did remember the song ‘No Que See”. Piñata Protest was founded by the Mexican-born singer and accordionist  Mr. Àlvaro Del Norte. The band includes Mr. Regino Lopez on electric guitar and vocals, Mr. Richie Brown on electric bass and vocals, and Mr. Chris-Ruptive on drums and vocals.

As the band blazed through energetic songs like “Vato Perron” the rain started, and I moved to my truck to get my rain gear for the day. See I come prepared, and I do NOT quit for anything. The band split up audience to their likes of red and green salsa, and I left before they acted on what that was all about.

Now, folks I want you to get ready for my second portion to this series because it will include a VERY special tribute to a Muddy Roots veteran the likes of the rest of us here this weekend. We had a very touching moment out here at the Junebug ranch with the New blood Tubs and the Gallows..but that will be the part 2, so stay tuned.

Sep 172018
 

By Joshua Wallace

When I last posted about Party In The Pines happening October 19th and 20th in White Springs, FL, I brought you news of the main stage lineup.  Today, I am bringing you news of the showcase stage lineup which features artists you will not want to miss.

Friday :

Josh Card, Hallie Davis, Cliff Dorsey, Dylan Garrard, Billy Rice Band and Kellen Vincent Band

After Party featuring Adam Wakefield and Tyler Wood

Saturday :

Raleigh Keegan, Tobacco Road Band, Grayson Rogers and Scotty Williams and the Drifter

After Party featuring Tyler Booth and Jacob Bryant

I am excited to see these showcase stage artists getting some exposure alongside the bigger names on the main stage.  I’m especially excited to see names like Josh Card, Adam Wakefield, Tyler Booth and Jacob Bryant filling out the lineup.  These guys will surely bring some traditional country music to the proceedings making it a lineup that is very diverse and has something for everyone.

Be on the lookout for more coverage of 2018’s Party In The Pines on Gary Hayes Country leading up to the festival including the reveal of the full daily schedule.

 

Sep 142018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Asleep At The Wheel have returned with a new album of original cuts and covers.  This is the first Asleep At The Wheel record since 2016’s Christmas album titled Lone Star Christmas Night.  This record finds the band splitting vocal duties between Ray Benson and new fiddle player Katie Shore. Katie has been featured on Asleep At The Wheel albums before, but not this heavily as she takes lead vocals on six tracks throughout the record.  This brings a fresh sound to a band that has been around since 1970.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Pencil Full Of Lead” which is a Ray Benson lead cut.  It’s a faster number that features the classic Asleep At The Wheel sound you’ve come to know and love with nice work from Eddie Rivers on both pedal steel and sax.  Another favorite is a track that was co-written by Ray Benson and Katie Shore titled “Call It A Day Tonight”. This is a slower jazzy number that really allows Katie’s vocals to shine.

Another favorite is the track “Pass The Bottle Around”.  This is a Ray Benson track that features Katie heavily on fiddle with a nice solo feature towards the end.  You do get the feeling that Katie Shore is the star of this album and Ray Benson is more of a support player.  The song “Weary Rambler” is perhaps my favorite that features Katie Shore on vocals. It’s another mellow jazzy tune about ramblers looking for freedom.  Finally, the album closes out with a number featuring Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers and written by Seth Avett. Basically, if you have ever wondered what The Avett Brothers would sound like with Asleep At The Wheel backing them, this is it.  The song pays tribute to Willie Nelson who has written about nearly everything you can write about and he got there first.

New Routes is an album that feels like a new beginning for this old band.  They’re exploring new sounds and bringing a new singer to the forefront with the vocals of Katie Shore being heavily featured.  I feel like this record breathes new life into an act that some would say had become a tribute act as they have not released many original records over the recent years.  I’m looking forward to what comes from Asleep At The Wheel which now effectively features two vocalists and is still an amazing country and western swing band. New Routes is out everywhere you can find good music on Friday September 14th, 2018.          

Favorite Tracks : Pencil Full Of Lead, Call It A Day Tonight, Pass The Bottle Around, Weary Rambler, Willie Got There First

Asleep At The Wheel – New Routes (2018)

  1. Jack I’m Mellow
  2. Pencil Full Of Lead
  3. Call It A Day Tonight
  4. Seven Nights To Rock
  5. Dublin Blues
  6. I Am Blue
  7. Pass The Bottle Around
  8. Big River
  9. Weary Rambler
  10. More Days Like This
  11. Willie Got There First (featuring Seth Avett and Scott Avett)
Sep 142018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Willie Nelson typically releases two kinds of albums these days.  He does an album of originals and then he will do a vanity project which is often a covers album.  This time he has released a tribute to Frank Sinatra called My Way. The thing that sets this a part from some of his other projects are the arrangements for these songs.  He takes the big band arrangements of Sinatra and turns them into more country and western swing jazzy arrangements. The results are very Willie sounding but still retain the essence of Sinatra.

The album kicks off with Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” which still features a horn section but it’s anchored by Willie’s long time harmonica player Mickey Raphael who plays a large part in this album.  Willie’s guitar shines on this cut with a great solo. Another favorite is “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)” which is turned into more of a country blues number with an nod to the sound of the original.

“Blue Moon” is another favorite that moves into jazzy western swing territory.  The original by Sinatra was a big band jazz track that featured the horn section heavily.  I really dig the sound Willie creates on this one as he breathes new life into a classic. Norah Jones is the album’s only guest star as she duets with Willie on the track “What Is This Thing Called Love”.   Willie turns Sinatra’s classy ballad on it’s head and turns it into a jazzy duet fit for smoky dance halls.

Willie’s interpretation of other people’s songs can sometimes be hit or miss, but My Way is a big hit.  He pays homage to Sinatra’s signature sound while creating something new with a jazzy country western swing sound.  If you’re a fan of either artist I suggest picking this album up. It is available everywhere you can find good music on Friday September 14th, 2018.          

Favorite Tracks : Fly Me To The Moon, One For My Baby (One More For The Road), Blue Moon, What Is This Thing Called Love, My Way

Willie Nelson – My Way (2018)

  1. Fly Me To The Moon
  2. Summer Wind
  3. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
  4. A Foggy Day
  5. It Was A Very Good Year
  6. Blue Moon
  7. I’ll Be Around
  8. Night And Day
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love (With Norah Jones)
  10. Young At Heart
  11. My Way
Sep 102018
 

By Joshua Wallace

I had the privilege to attend the American Aquarium show this past Saturday night (09/08) in my home town of Valdosta, GA at Ashley Street Station and it was a good one.  This isn’t the first time American Aquarium has been to town, it’s actually the third that I can remember. The last time I saw them in town was 2014 and that was before BJ Barham went sober and with the old lineup.  That band was tight and always a good show, but the show I saw this past weekend was best I have ever seen them. This new lineup of American Aquarium is must see if they come to your area. They’re currently touring on the Thing’s Change record.  This is in my opinion their best album yet. It will be very high on my Top 50 Albums of 2018 list which will be published in December alongside the list Gary Hayes does.

Justin Kennedy Band

The show started off with the Justin Kennedy Band who played about an hour’s worth of mostly original material and a few select cover songs.  They are largely a southern rock group with some country influence. They played a few songs off their current album titled “Outlaw” including the title track, “Rockstar Heart”, “Travelin’ Man”, “Bandaids and Broken Hearts”, “Best I Ever Had” and “Letters”.  That last song I mentioned “Letters” was my favorite original of the night. It was a heartfelt ballad that deserves to be heard so check them out live or go find that track on your favorite streaming service. They also did a few select covers which included tracks by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Otis Redding.  Don’t sleep on this band if they’re playing near you, Justin Kennedy and company put on a great southern rock show with some good songwriting and killer riffs.

Justin Kennedy jamming a guitar solo

American Aquarium takes the stage

After JKB finished up, American Aquarium took the stage.  The band quickly got down to business jumping into a track off their new album titled “The World Is On Fire”.  This is a good track to introduce the new band to new audiences with because it showcases the diversity of the band with quieter moments that give way to a rock heavy chorus.   It was followed up with another new tune in “Tough Folks” which is another heavy rocker that got the crowd going.

BJ Barham rocks out with Shane Boeker

The band didn’t just stick to new stuff, there were older tracks sprinkled throughout including a good version of “Casualties” and a great version of the local favorite “Hurricane”.  Before that track there was some back and forth with BJ and the crowd about the meaning of the song. “Hurricane” is actually about a girl from Valdosta, GA and BJ was trying to describe the relationship as somewhere between dating and relations but someone in the crowd interjected by calling it “f*cking”.  This made BJ crack up on stage and say something along the lines of “that is exactly the word I was trying to dance around saying in public”. This started a hilarious back and forth banter that broke up the more serious nature of the songs on the rock show.

Rhett Huffman on the keys

This set heavily featured tracks from the Burn. Flicker. Die. album which included another highlight of the night with a rocking version of local favorite with “Jacksonville”.  It ended with a psychedelic crescendo that takes the recorded version to the next level. Another track from that album was the great “Lonely Ain’t Easy” about a lover who takes everything including a prized vinyl record collection.  The country side of the band really stands out on this live version which features Adam Kurtz on the pedal steel.

BJ Barham puts everything into his songs

Another highlight of the night was the early hit “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart”.  This track was a rocking ballad with a sing-along chorus that had the crowd going.  BJ Barham sings this song with the same passion towards the subject that he recorded it with almost ten years ago.  It was the perfect lead in to the final track of the main set “Burn.flicker.die”. It was another rocker that highlights the songwriting of BJ Barham while leaving the crowd on a high note.  That prepared the small but rowdy crowd to erupt into a frenzy for an encore which lead to a finale of “Katherine Belle” that ended the night with an early track from the Dances For The Lonely album.

American Aquarium closes out the night with an encore

BJ Barham has finally created a band that is firing on all cylinders.  They can straddle the line between rock and roll and country as needed and both genres sound perfectly executed from this band.   The new lineup features Shane Boeker on lead guitar, Adam Kurtz on pedal steel, Rhett Huffman on the keyboard, Ben Hussey on bass and Joey Bybee on drums.  It should be noted that Joey is out of the band for the rest of the year for personal reasons, so Matt Alger filled in on drums. I cannot stress this enough, American Aquarium are a must see band.  If you love country, rock and roll, heartland rock, Americana or even just good music, go see this band while you can.  I love that they are still playing smaller markets such as Valdosta, GA because I feel like they will be moving on to bigger venues very soon.  As a final note, they are making their national TV debut tonight / early tomorrow morning (09/11/2018) on NBC’s Last Call With Carson Daly at 01:30 AM.  After that, they are still on tour for the rest of the month and I will post those dates at the end of this article. Go see this band, you won’t regret it.

 

September 10th Chattanooga, TN

September 11th Jackson, MS

Sept 12th – 14th Nashville, TN

September 15th Macon, GA

September 21st Jacksonville, FL

September 22nd Wilmington, NC

September 23rd Charlotte, NC

Sep 062018
 

If  YOU have a show YOU would like added to my list PLEASE email me at garyhayes2@yahoo.com. I literally watch more than 40 venues in Nashville plus belong to many concert websites in order to bring you this coverage. NEW IN 2018, folks I am always looking for ways to enhance what I do for you. So this year I’ll be reporting on further Kentucky shows, and further Tennessee shows as well.

Folks WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE support live venue music

 

Miranda Lambert
Country Music Hall Of Fame September 19th and 26th

Bill Anderson
Red Barn Convention Center September 22nd

Ward Davis
Warehouse Mt. Victor September 22nd

Cecil Allen Moore
American Legion Post 82
Sept 25th

Ashley McBride
The Basement East Sept 27th

Anderson East And Brent Cobb
Ryman Auditorium Sept 28th

Dylan Walshe
The Basement September 30th

Trout Steak Revival
Pert Near Sandstone
The Southgate House Revival October 3rd

John Prine
Ryman Auditorium October 5 and 6th

Rye Davis
Riblickers October 4th

Kristiana Murray
Tommy Ash
The Basement October 4rth

John Moreland
The Warehouse Bowling Green October 4rth

Whiskey Myers
Plaza Theater October 5th

John Moreland
The Warehouse Mt. Victor October 5th

Lost Dog Street Band
Matt Heckler
Arlo McKinley
Exit Inn October 5th

Leftover Salmon
Exit Inn October 7th

Supersuckers
Exit Inn October 14th

Cody Johnson
Marathon Music Works October 19th

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Ryman Residency October 22-28th

Dwight Yoakam
Tommy Ash
Owensboro Convention Center October 26th

The Tillers
Willow Tree Johnson City Tennessee Oct 26th

Marty Stuart
Rupp Arena Ky Oct 27th

Rye Davis
Sidelines In Glasgow Ky October 10th

Connie Smith
Renfro Valley November 2nd

Tim Atwood
Trinity Music City November 6th

Cody Jinks
Tennessee Theater Knoxville Tn November 8th

Drive By Truckers
Cannery Ballroom November 9th

The Mavericks
Schermerhorn Symphony Center November 8-10th

Dave Alvim
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
3rd And Lindsley November 14th

Colter Wall
The Basement East November 14th and 15th

Billy Strings
The Standard Knoxville Tn November 16th

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Jaime Wyatt
The Warehouse Mt. Victor November 17th

Jaime Wyatt
The Warehouse Mt. Victor November 17th

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Cosmic Charlie’s Lexington Ky November 21st

the Steeldrivers
The Alhambra Theater
November 24th Hopkinsville Ky

Marty Stuart And The Fabulous Superlatives
Woodard Theater Owensboro Ky November 30th

Tyler Childers
Exit In November 29,30 and Dec 1st

Del McCourry
Woodward Theater Owensboro Ky December 8th

Jerry Lee Lewis
Schemerhorn Symphony December 10th

Billy Strings
3Rd and Lindsley December 22nd

Kacey Musgraves
Ryman Auditorium Feb 27th 2019

Kasey Musgraves
Bridgestone Arena March 1 and 2nd 2019

Sep 042018
 

Last night Miss Amanda Carlon from the Facebook based Outlaw Resurgence community reached out to me to help support a HUGE endeavor she has been undertaking to benefit a young man awaiting a heart transplant. OR has garnered quite an impressive following on social media in the last year, and has turned me to a couple GREAT bands through their live feeds. As the market became more saturated OR saw that, and slightly changed their approach and direction, but THEY WERE one of the original LIVE FEED based pages. I pretty much credit them solely for that method of weekly featuring new talent on a live feed, and creating a larger reach for them. The artists resulted in merch sales, which squelched the ‘playing for exposure” from the negative people.

They do a lot of great promotional work for beginning and established artists as well, and this weekend they will raise money for this little man here. This is little 8 year old Mr. Aaron Vaughn, and he is braver than most adults I know. The next time you feel like bitching about your problems, take lessons from this little guy and put yourself in check…because I have myself.

This is the Facebook group you can join to follow his journey in the home and hospitals as he awaits his heart transplant. He is on the list, however the list is long and the wait will be expensive. Miss Amanda has been working relentlessly for MANY WEEKS doing this for him, and asking for NO credit.

What she DOES want is your bids on the items so generously donated by folks like Mr. Cody Jinks, Mr. Whitey Morgan and more! You will just have to wait until Sunday to find out what is being offered. I understand that many of the items will be lumped into small merch packages to make it easier for her.

Once you win the bid you will be contacted to Payapal Mr. Chad Vaughn’s personal account, and the winner will pay the shipping for the item they win. Down below will be the link you need to be involved in the auction this weekend.

Any cards or mail can be sent to:

Aaron Vaughn
P.O. Box 153
East Lynne, MO 64743

This young man LOVES underground Country Music and his father Mr. Chad Vaughn travels the highways of America bringing us his music, so you can easily ascertain the struggle that the Vaughn family faces.  This is the link to bid on the merch items RIGHT HERE.

https://www.facebook.com/sfcantrell/videos/10217162315912823/?t=0

Find Nashville Ghost Tour at ScaryNashville.com