Well now today was somewhat of a milestone for me, in that I had successfully camped for the first time in 10 years. I’m an avid hunter and outdoors man, but the camping I cannot physically handle anymore. Well, this year I was adamantly instructed by many I would have NO choice, and honestly if you read my previous article for day 1, you find that YES there is no way you can come and go at night. Not on those windy hairpin roads unless you KNOW where you’re going!
Also with some of the later bands it was fun to lay on my air mattress and listen, while I sweated profusely in that hot muggy tent. YEP even in the night air it was still hot, hot hot. Now, I’ll be truthful it was truly easier with the sides of the holler having tall trees to block the sun earlier than it set. From noon to 4pm was absolutely BRUTAL, but I want to say this: Mr. Byron personally brought me water several times..not asked somebody from the staff to do it…HE DID IT. Not just for me but for MANY. If that isn’t a giving and concerned soul I’ll eat my left sock.
The bands were all fed and taken well care of, and so was the media invited here. ANYTHING I needed or wanted I could have, and that’s the bottom line! Anything I needed to perform my job here I had at my disposal, and I think by the end of this article you will concur, I did that job well. I got a lot more information to share here for this event. I made myself a damn fine campfire breakfast here complete with hot sauce for my eggs at a vendor called Redneck Hipster Hot Sauce. Mr. Craig McDavid helped me select the style of sauce for me and my palate. The garlic Habanero was what I selected, and I only needed a smidgen of it!
After eating I decided to start my day with another run off the merchandise tables. As usual there were plenty of volunteers all working together in happy fashion, Mr. Byron’s daughter Miss LeeAmber and his wife Miss Kelli once again slayed the job back there. They made buying “stuff and junk” and “junk and stuff” FUN, because it’s important that we do buy things like that to keep gas tanks and bellys full. I want my friends to be able to support their families on their chosen profession of touring musician.
I ran into some wonderful people from the Somerset area that asked me to include them called Buck Creek Adventures where you can rent some canoes and kayaks.They run a really neat looking LLC up there, and offered me a visit for the day sometime for including them. Please go check them out and rent a canoe for the day! I talk to EVERYBODY and immerse myself into the entire deal when I work a festival.
I got some barbecue pieces on a stick from the Roll N Smoke truck, I guess one could call them medallions. just big ass chunks of marinated meat on a stick. I’m not even sure what they were marinated in, but you can carry it around and move around. See that’s a festival food key thing, what can I market to eat that’s profitable and convenient to carry around?
So the first band that performed on Saturday I missed a lot of, I did cover them this past spring in Huntington WV for W.B. Walker’s 5 year anniversary show. You can read all about that event right HERE. This band was called The Winetree.
Mr. Ryan Harvey and Mr. Isaiah Muller are multi talented both in their own right as writers and musicians. They found their name from a friend’s old winter sweater, and took a lot of influence in Kentucky where they are from. Just as the song they played here today I caught was called “Kentucky”.
This duo has peaceful harmonies and down home well written country folk ballads, and puts a smile on my face every time I know I’m getting to see them on anybody’s set. I’m thinking of hosting a few Appalachian stages in future festivals, and they are on my MUST CALL list to book.
So this early portion of my article is going to focus on these two people Miss Teresa and Mr. David Prince, who have a wonderful band called Luna And The Mountain Jets and they hail from East Kentucky.I first encountered them a few years back also during the W.B. Walker anniversary shows.
If you’ll recall I did cover them during the Master Musicians Festival in the Somerset area,to which they performed a damn fine show. Well, they did not fail to disappoint here either, with energetic rock and roll with a great influence from the likes of Fleetwood Mack all the way back to the rock and roll evolves into rockabilly era.
I say that because the last song in their set was Blondie cover called “The Tide Is High” from the 1980 Autoamerican album. Like I said I AM an ultimate music NUT, and I enjoy knowing my stuff like albums and dates. But their show began with the song “Thanksgiving Day” from the 2016 album called Telling Stories.
The Luna album boasted the song called ‘That Thing You Said”, and the 2008 Blaine Girl album included the song “Pepsi Girl” which I actually relate to switching it over to a guy. The last time I went back to where I grew up it was like Mr. Joe Huber said my old playground was a battlefield.
They played their epic breakup song called “Walking Away” I believe everybody can pretty much relate to frustrations and hard times on relationship issues. I always, always, always have a terrific time watching this band perform and being around these two folks. Now in just a little bit I’ll be talking about a hilarious man that never seems to be around when Mr. David is, and a crabby lady that is always peeking around corners scowling at you. Ol’ Honey found out she had a fan club here on the creek today!
Here was another time I got a good look at how passionate Mr. Byron was toward the performers here, as he introduced Miss Senora May Lainhart. At this juncture Mr. Byron was weary and worn out, his voice was trembling trying to give out, yet he stood valiant and determined to finish this event by introducing EVERY ACT here.
Mr. Byron explained that he got to watch this young lady grow up from a child, and one could easily ascertain the real and honest family love here. Miss senora and Mr. Tyler Childers both came from this area too, and grew up here, and to this day they still live in these hills and hollers of East Kentucky. Mr. Byron is like a father to so so many of these young people in his community, and is a mentor to them. It almost made me jealous that I never had a role model like him to help raise me like this, to make sure these young adults never forget the Holy Spirit (which to me is most important) and to always be honest, love and respect one another. As I previously stated, this festival is unlike any other…it IS HOME.
Miss Senora May was included on that very first W.B.Walker Anniversary show recorded on his couch in his living room back when we first met. She opened her portion of the show with a song called “Don’t Need A Lot”, which showcased her down home vocal style.
She has indeed created her own style, and explains how simple she is in this song, she doesn’t need a fancy extravagant lifestyle. Just her home community and her family, and her awesome husband. Also, once again Mr. Josh Nolan played for her as well as nine other acts here..more on that man later on.
She played the title track song called “Lainhart” which includes references of Daddy bitching and shoveling hog shit, which in this area is just a way of life she is sharing with you. It is indeed a term of endearment and a measure of love. Also included in her set was the song called “Only Want You”, which is the last song on her new album. You can get onto her website and buy the album there.
She also played a song for her younger brother who is in the marines called “Semper Fi” . Before I begin talking about the rest of the wonderful acts here today, I wanted to touch on a few more of the wonderful people that helped make this event a success. The wonderful folks over at Country Boy Brewing for all the gift beers and shirts, I still got Cougar Bait in my fridge. One of the founders was camped next to me, and we had some good conversations together, and I got to share some ribeye steaks with them.
I wandered over to the next booth which was a really neat jewelry booth called Talagirl’s Curiosity’s she had some really different wares and things. I’m used to seeing hand made jewelry, but not to the extent of this ladies work. This was a pretty cool addition to the vendors here, can easily see why they chose her to be included.
EVERY food vendor and EVERY merchandise vendor is personally selected by the Roberts family, see they don’t just HOST music festivals they PATRONIZE OTHER music festivals like we all do. They KNOW the same things I do, and they LISTEN to people like me that go from New York to Florida doing this stuff. I been on the phone many times with Mr. Byron giving my input on everything from layout to traffic flow.
We spoke about the food vendor issue, and I found out WHY they got placed back where they did…power. NOT political power, physical voltage power. I never really noticed the generators running the truck, I missed that observation. He explained that to me, you know what, I think he has this whole scheme licked. Just by being the amazing human being that he is, that alone makes Kickin’ On The Creek one of the best. I’ll be honest Miss Tiffany over at Master Musician’s Festival runs an equally special operation that will warm your heart with joy.
I want to talk about the intense amount of community love and help the Robert’s family gets from so many great people and places. The Fire Department, the EMT’s that donate their weekend to help injuries that may occur. There wasn’t many rotten apples, but security was on the ball here.
They were courteous but also meant business, basically all festivals have ONE MAIN RULE. Don’t be a dick. It’s not hard to follow, right? I mean drink all you want but act like an adult, have a little smoke and a TON of food. But, doggone it respect your neighbor, share your shine and enjoy each other’s company. life is too short and too precious to break the only rule we have.
If anybody wants the definition of a work horse Mr. Josh Nolan I recently asked him just how many sets he played this weekend and this was his response: I think I ended up playing 8 sets, most of which happened Friday Chelsea Nolan, Senora, Jeremy Short Those were planned and rehearsed These were not. Lol Ethan Hunt, Sean Whiting ,William Matheny A few songs with Grayson Jenkins
He has a nice album from 2014 called “Fair City Lights” and I had to buy a copy because the first song called “Do It Right” truly grabbed me as a person. I identified it well, and it spoke to my feelings. I thought it was a well written song for sure! He played a song called ‘East Kentucky Skyline”, and another song I have watched Miss Chelsea Nolan play called “Silver Line”
I did some wandering around again getting crowd shots and watched the fellow artists watching Mr. Josh play, that always does my heart good to see that stuff. There was no trying to outdo anybody here, each act brought a little something different to the table. As he played a song called “Green Bridges”, I gathered my notes and got ready for more.
Mr. Geno Seale released a damn fine album called Times As Dark As These, and he recently played at Miss Chelsea Nolan’s album release party. I had to work and couldn’t attend sadly. Now Mr. Geno was involved in quite a bit of the shenanigans with Miss Honey today, that ornery Ol’ lady done smiled today!
He made a pretty good statement today “This is not a scene, what we are doing here is a community” and to be honest I pretty much agree with him. I’m pretty grateful to be included in their community, and to be so widely accepted by every other community.
He has Mr. John R. Miller, and Mr. William Matheny both helping him play his set today. He played songs off his album the likes of “The Gospel” originally cut by Goose Creek Symphony, and more. Before he brought out Miss Teresa Prince from Luna And The Mountain Jets to play one with him called ‘Go On In Peace”.
He played a great song called “Found Pennies” which was one I never got to hear before today, It’s not on the record at all. I had to research to find the name, I just had my notes. I just enjoy his rough and raw take it or leave it vocals and style.
The song called ‘Hymns And Praises” is all about the music community being kind of like a religion on some aspects. Mr. Geno said it’s MORE than JUST music here, and I could see that decree is valid right here tonight.
Mr. John R. Miller stayed on the stage to bring out his next band, who mentored me a few years back The Prison Book Club from Shepherdstown West Virginia. They don’t know it but they inspired me along with Mr. Dale Watson, Split Lip Rayfield, Ray Wylie Hubbard and MORE!
Their first song was called “Roll It Up” and they went into the song called ‘Eat Your Brains” , before they played some songs off of the self titled album with the deer on it. Mr. William Matheny helped them today along with Mr. Tucker Riggleman on bass and Mr. M Tivis Clark on drums.
‘Six Pack” was followed by the song called ‘White Plain”. The song called ‘Nothing To Loose” is pretty much a good breakup song about loosing everything, now there’s nothing to loose…get it? They played “Coming Down” which Mr. John wrote, I know Mr. Tyler Childers plays it too, but it was originally a Prison Book Club song.
Now it’s time for a really funny story about that clown Laid Back Country Picker. You know as SOON as HE comes around you never see Mr. David, he goes in that damn bathroom for an hour. And of course mean Ol’ Miss Honey was in tow tonight, but THEY GOT HER TO SMILE!
“Partyline” was first, he has thugs after him because he accidentally got on their party line! After playing a new song he played a song called “Maggofin County Cadillac” which takes you on a tour of his area out there. Well, he told us a story about traveling with Mr. Tyler Childers out in Weston West Virginia during the annual Carp Festival, and it funny as shit. That song was called “David Bowie”, and it was a bout the nervous hospital and more!
He went on to play a song called “Truck Stop Sam” but here was the funny story, while they were playing some goobers decided to try to make Miss Honey smile…and they did just that! SEE we all voted her for president. Now AS ALWAYS under rule number one, you leave your politics at the festival gate! But THIS TIME we get a pass, they want Miss Honey for president.
I don’t think she realized she had a fan club, since she’s always so mean looking I think they decided she needs some loving too. So three folks dressed as her and went through the crowd, and got up on stage to stand behind her for a song until she laughed.
But to be honest, we LOVE HER VERY MUCH, you know what? The world needs MORE comedy in music, and laughter is chicken soup for the soul, too many politics and name calling out there. WHY CAN’T we just laugh at ourselves and enjoy one another? Laid Back is changing that, and I applaud that! AND HEY if it’s good enough for Mr. JJ Waters, and Mr. Tyler Childers, it’s good right?
Let’s revert back once again to a man that released a DAMN FINE ALBUM this year, and it’s a INSTANT TOP 50 inclusion for sure, and that is none other than John R. Miller And The Engine Lights and YES they played a KILLER SET here this weekend.
He opened with “Holy Dirt” which is the opener on the new album, and my favorite song on the album by far. His second song was called “Red Eyes”. I just love his unique sound, it is so different from the Prison Book Club music, he also plays bass for my friend Mr. Pat Reedy.
‘Back And Forth” is a slow and easy song from his first album called Service Engine that is my favorite song from that album. It speaks to me as an individual. He also included the song “Lights of The City” , song has some truly beautiful fiddle on it and the entire album has some really soft steel guitar tones on it, that bring out his vocals in a vivid way.
They also played the song called “Been Here Too Long” ,which pretty much rounded up most of the new album for us. I truly enjoyed listening to the album live here. He did revert back to Service Engine album for the song called “Motor’s Fried”, which was a good choice here. All of his songs flow really well together in a sense, and he has well written lyrics.
‘How It Feels In The Light” and the song called “Whale Party” closed out the show for him here. I am a big fan of ALL of this man’s work, all of his bands and his kick ass songs he does! The Engine Lights today were Mr. harry Clark (from the Wooks) on mandolin, Miss Chloe Edmonstone on fiddle (who did a SWELL JOB here), Mr. John Clay on drums, and Mr. Chris Justice (from Wayne Graham) on bass.
I did not get any pictures of the BAND not the person called Wayne Graham. Instead I’m going to post this from their website to explain their name :
Wayne was a renaissance man. Curiousity and good hand-eye coordination are a deadly combination. He was an electrician, a locksmith, a mechanic, a coal miner, a guitarist, and a singer, but the roles that took the highest priority in his life were husband, father, brother, and son. He approached life with a laughable optimism and proved over time he was right. He made sure to be my earliest memory and I have consulted him, wherever he is, with every major decision in my life. Over the years, I’ve met many strangers who knew him. Their tall tale is the same as those I’ve heard before. He was a legendary man with more soul than his body could hold.
Graham was the first one of his brothers to own a car. He was able to buy it because he started working when he was very young. When his younger brother graduated from high school, he drove him to college. He left his car with him and headed home to pine creek.
He married my grandmother and bought a small shack on Pine Creek. They moved in in February, a logging trail covered in snow, to a shack with quarter inch slits between the slats.
He slowly bought that mountain, acre by acre, building more rooms on his house for his growing family. He was the neighborhood farmer, old regular Baptist, democrat, World War II vet, coal miner, romance novel patron, Kentucky Wildcats fan. His image flashes in my periphery at least once a day, reminding me his constant refrain when he and Mamaw kept me in my early years, “This boy is gonna make me president.”
Mr. Joseph Huber is one of my all time favorite musicians I know from the (what they call) Roots Music movement or the Muddy Roots crowd. I just called it GOOD STUFF! He has been around for many many years starting out with the .357 String Band, before moving on to his own path.
And on that path he has put out four damn fine solo albums and along with Mr. Jason Loveall on fiddle, he has played just about every festival you could possibly name. He opened with “16-10” from his latest album along with another song that speaks to me especially because Mr. Joseph is from the same place as I was raised, Milwaukee Wisconsin. That song is called “Old playground Is A Battlefield”.
Another song he said he wrote while on the .357 String Band called “Drop In the Bucket” while busking on the streets. A drop in the bucket is all I need to hammer down on the banjo strings. He played another great song called ‘Old Mountain Tune”.
This community enjoyed his music tonight including the song called “Old Mountain Tune” , and a song called “Diminished Things” from his new album The Suffering Stage. From the album called the Hanging Road he played the song called “Coming Down From You”.
Also from this album he played the song called “Same River Twice”, and they played “Souls Without Maps” and closed with the title track from his album “Tongues Of Fire”. Before some of the later bands tonight I went out for a walk around to see more!
The Tillers were next, a wonderful band from the Ohio area. I equally covered their set from Muddy Roots only a few weeks earlier, and many other times. These four guys truly play wonderful down home folk and bluegrass music. Their new self titled album will probably be another good possibility for my TOP 50 of 2018.
Mr. Michael Oberst- banjo, vocal, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, kazoo, Mr. Sean Geil- guitar, vocal, dobro, banjo, mandolin, Mr. Aaron Geil- upright bass, vocals and Mr. Joe Macheret- fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals make up this truly Legendary band.
Their first song was from that said new album called “Revolution Row”, also they played the song called “Riverboat Dish washing Song”. One of the greatest and most well written songs I have heard in the years of doing this local music website. The song called “Willy Dear” is absolutely amazing, with a cleverly written ghost story.
“Dear Mother” was another great song from the new album that was included in this set, that showcased their new album truly well. I’m eagerly ecstatic about this band being included into so many other music communities like Mr. Joseph Huber.
Another awesome song they play is called “Tecumseh On The Battlefield” . Also included in their set were the songs “Treehouse”, “Mona”, and ” The Road Neverending”. I have always like the harmonies this band has together, and the way that they light up the stage with their charisma. You can JUST TELL they LOVE to play together and understand one another truly well.
They closed their set with two songs from my favorite album they have called Hand On The Plow, and those songs were called “500 Miles From My Home” and the last song was called “Old Westside”. They always leave us feeling jovial and they have fun up there on stage.
They do not stop and tell stories, because their songs do that FOR THEM. I got to share some camp food with a couple of the guys from the band, and I always try my best to drop money their way to keep them rolling on. And I believe they always will roll on.
As the sun began to set I took a couple good pulls of this wonderful moonshine I was given, and got ready for the next artists here. Some GREAT FRIENDS are coming to entertain us here. The excitement and energy was absolutely astounding here in the holler.
Mr. Byron was just as proud of the closing acts as he was of the earlier acts, he treated nobody different or less important here. I cannot say enough great things about how he runs this program here, and the new bands I have discovered here proves his top notch attention to music quality. I swear, this door here is like the gates of heaven as you go onto the stage into the lights.
Once again, there it is…Mr. Byron’s love for this community. I watched him go around hugging EVERYONE in the crowd, making ALL the guests feel wanted and welcome. Now mind you MANY directors do this TO A RENTED VENUE….THIS MAN WELCOMED US TO HIS OWN HOME. This was his front yard, you are sitting in!
Arlo McKinely And The Lonesome Sound are another Ohio based band that has been BOOMING in growth lately, so big he is selling out venues nationwide now. he has grown to bigger echelons in the last two years here. Mr. Arlo opened up with “Walking Shoes”, “Don’t Need To Know”, and another great song called “Right Where You Want Me”. Three great songs we all know and were singing along to, and dancing all over. My feet were even moving around but for me it was more of the corn liquor, I was buzzing pretty good. It’s alright I wasn’t going anywhere.
There aren’t many REAL CROONERS out there like Mr. Arlo like he does on the song called “iv’e Got Her” A TRULY smooth and beautiful song, followed by the song “We Were Alright”. Then the Lonesome Sound took a small break and Mr. Arlo played a few himself.
He played a great song he usually plays called “Bag Of Pills” , and a medley of songs one was called “Man’s Done Gone” and I wasn’t sure about the other song here. He also played “A Song Is Born”, before most of the band came back for the rest of the set.
“Time In Bars” was next from his latest album, and like I was saying about his vocals being so smooth the song “Wild Horses” always hits me right in the feels every time. And the songs I relate to even better with like “Gone For Good” were presented in a true folk and Country way. His vocal delivery is VERY unique and different, in many ways.
“Suicidal Saturday Night” was another song he played on this set before he closed the set with “Dancing Days” and the last song he played was called “Die Midwestern”. His growth is resulting in harder to attend shows due to the extreme amount of volume of want for ticket sales. It’s truly a great thing to witness for many of these bands I have been writing about for years.
Town Mountain was a BLAZING HOT Bluegrass band that has been around for awhile now. This Asheville North Carolina band that consists of Mr. Phil Barker – Mandolin, Vocals, Mr. Robert Greer – Vocals, Guitar, Mr. Jesse Langlais – Banjo, Vocals, Mr. Bobby Britt – Fiddle and Mr. Zach Smith – Bass make up one of the hottest Bluegrass bands on the circuit now!
As they played songs like “Up The Ladder” and the GREAT cover of “I’m On Fire” they just steamrolled from one song into another tonight, and got everybody drunk and revved up for Mr. Tyler Childers! From the new album coming out on October 26th, they played “One Drop In The Bottle”. They also played the song called “Ruination Line”.
Mr. Tyler came out and joined the band for the song “Down Low” that will be on their new album coming out this month, and that garnered a huge response from this audience. I mean, as I stood on that stage ALL I SAW WAS PEOPLE all over. it was absolutely intense how quickly this place went crazy!
I’ll be trying to catch up with them on a later date here on an in town show they have lined up, because I had a camera charger problem here while they played. It was late, I was tired and hot…man was I burned up to a crisp. My whole body was sore form sun walking and my skin was raw from sun lotion, but MAN WAS IT WELL WORTH IT!
The intro for Mr. Tyler Childers was probably one of the longest of the entire festival, mainly because Mr. Tyler was one of the only acts to have played every one since day 1. My. Byron told me many stories of the first one with a hundred people and hot dogs were the only food you could buy.
Parts of the first stage were placed into the present stage much like the Opry did, and he told me of how small the whole plans were…Mr. Tyler still played. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are well familiar with the booming success of Mr. Tyler Childers.
He began his set with a somber and poignant version of “Time Of The Preacher” from the Red Headed Stranger Willie Nelson album, and he always does that song justice! He went right into “Banded Clovis” before even acknowledging the crowd, he didn’t have to! this was one of the longest and greatest sets I ever witnessed him play!
Once again he had the entire crowd singing along to “Follow Me To Virgie”, one of his more popular songs that he does and has plenty of crowd participation on it. This young man has spearheaded this music community into one of the largest markets I have ever witnessed.
He played a great “Lady May” that he wrote for his awesome wife Miss Senora, he played a LOVELY version of that song on the Opry. I flat out enjoy this man’s songs and have since I fist heard him on that couch in Dingess WV so many years ago.
He just barreled into songs like “White House Road” and others like the mighty “Deadman’s Curve”. He also played the song called “Born Again” off of his Purgatory album. I promised him I wasn’t going to write anything about his past comments this summer, and I shall not. I have PLENTY of grounds to cover on him without being cliche.
He played one of my favorite songs he does called “Nose To The Grindstone”, which tells a scary and dark story of the way of life in that area up there. Many of his stories paint vivid pictures of poverty and hunger for the evils of the world. Along with the song “Swear To God”, and “Feathered Indians”.
Now he played a NEW song called “Gemini” I’m not really sure about any new album plans, and I haven’t asked him about anything like that. But, we enjoyed the song. He then played “Charleston Girl” next along with a few more, before closing with “Honky Tonk Flame”, and leaving the place all tore up!
After Mr. Tyler was finished I was completely and utterly exhausted, and on the ride home that Sunday I drank over a gallon of water on the ride home, and had to stop for insulin. I was totally worn out in every possible way. But when I woke up Sunday morning I was in for a surprise, as I planned to stay until about 4pm and jaunt home to work that Sunday night.
I work third shift, and so I had to work at 10pm Sunday, that’s my Monday. So I awoke to the Local Honeys playing a small Gospel set as they announced there was a heavy rain coming, which makes the creek rise and that everyone has to leave as soon as possible. Now that was NOT being unfriendly…actually it was quite handy!
So I began packing my truck and saying my goodbyes for the weekend, I strolled around and took some last minute pictures of the entire event. All together I took over 1000 pictures and had 30 pages of notes, can’t you tell?
I just have way too many people to THANK for making my Kickin On The Creek experience the most amazing and enriching time I have had in a long long time. I KNOW I missed a TON of great bands but FEAR NOT I have jotted down ALL OF THEM and I WILL remedy this quandary as soon as I can!
Thanks for bearing with me for this long on both of these editions of this article, and I want to thank all the bands and managers that allow me to relentlessly pester them with my questions. I try my damn best to include as many people and facts as I can, and expose my readers to the FULL ASPECTS of the event so they will buy tickets in 2019.
See you on the road somewhere my friends!