2019 Festival News Series NATIONWIDE .

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Nov 122018


Welcome to a NEW SERIES here on Gary Hayes Country for the upcoming 2019 festival season. As you know WE ARE the festival KINGS of underground and some mainstream festivals, and I watch over 200 nationwide festivals. So several times a week I’m going to feature news and update news from a different festival each time.

Every festival will be linked on the top with a list, you can check on the news of them all. Find ones in YOUR area and BUY A TICKET, or HEY why not plan a trip to one you have never been to yet? Have some fun and explore America, and find NEW MUSIC.

So HERE IS my FIRST FESTIVAL I want to begin featuring, my good friends over at DelFest in Maryland.

The String Cheese Incident to Perform at 2019 Delfest!

YAY! That’s right, folks. The String Cheese Incident just announced the start of their 25th Anniversary Tour and guess what lovely little fairground along the Potomac River they’ll be stopping by?! DelFestivalllllllllll!

Full On Sale This Thursday, 11/15!

We’re happy to tease out this 2019 DelFest headliner in advance of our FULL ON-SALE at 1pm EST this Thursday, 11/15. This onsale will include a very limited number of 4-Day Early Bird Passes (the lowest price you’ll get all year), all RV Passes (Hookup and Dry RV), all DELuxe VIP Packages (including RV), DELuxe DELivered RV packages, Show Sherpa (hassle-free camping) and On-site Parking Passes.  (Note, there will be NO LOTTERY this year for DeLuxe RV packages.) Ticket Payment Plans are available!

Check our website at www.delfest.com for ticket link on Thursday 11/15. Then be on the lookout for more lineup news in the weeks to come!


If you are into Bluegrass and the new generation of Bluegrass or the Newgrass or Jamgrass or whatever you want to name the genres ( I just call it GOOD MUSIC) you MUST go visit DelFest and celebrate the best festival on the east coast.

Also this last year was the birth of the very first Bluegrass Congress, that had special invitations mailed out and accepted by some of the genre’s greatest contributors.

Ameripolitan Awards To Honor Mr. Larry Collins AND MORE NEWS!

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Nov 112018

I have a lot of projects brewing for 2019, I have already verbally or signed contracts with 4 festivals and a few small shows across America. So fret not my dear readers I shall be down in Memphis to cover the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards for you!

HERE IS my complete coverage of the event as well as my LIVE BLOG which I had fun doing last year. I’m going to embed some history of the event here, as well as the nominees for 2019 because voting is OPEN NOW, and you can vote by going HERE.

Down below I have included all the links for the bands and artists involved and will be HEAVILY tagging them on social media. PLEASE go voice YOUR opinions and VOTE for YOUR favorite band, and if you cannot make it to Memphis YOU CAN log on here for my live blog.


About Ameripolitan

We’re not leaving Country Music behind, we’re taking “real” country music with us.
The Ameripolitan Music Awards were created to benefit and acknowledge artists whose work does not readily conform to the tastes of today’s “country” or other music genres and organizations. It also provides fans with a means of finding these artists and their music.

Ameripolitan – This thought provoking word is intended to be an invitation to discuss the future of the music that is important to so many of us. By leaving the hopelessly compromised word “country” behind and exclusively using the term “Ameripolitan”, our intention is to reestablish this music’s own unique identity, elevate its significance and help reinvigorate it creatively. Also, because of our place in history, we have the privilege and responsibility to pass a great musical tradition on to future generations who will otherwise have no direct connection to this music.

We believe this extra effort is necessary because, for the majority of people under the age 50 years old, their country music experience has been vastly different. As far back as the 1970s, corporations began descending upon country music. Executives, disdainful of the great musical tradition they had inherited, were placed in charge of country music. With ruthless efficiency they separated the music from its roots, redefined the brand, until finally, they succeeded in remaking country music their own superficial image. Today, the only remaining vestige of tradition in country music is the name.

The days of debating the definition of what is, and what is not country music now seem irrelevant. No one involved in producing country music today can even begin to comprehend the argument. Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd are classic country to them.

In our opinion, it is time to concede the point, leave them all to their own devices, and put the whole unpleasant chapter behind us. Once we have stopped wasting our time defending the “good name” of country music or decrying the ill-suited alternatives, we can go back to where the record skipped and continue on from there.

The Ameripolitan Music genre is here. We invite all of you who love Ameripolitan Music to help spread the word.

Image may contain: text that says "MUSIC WITH PROMINENT ROOTS INFLUENCE OUTLAW WESTERN SWING ROCKABILLY HONKY TONK To reserve rooms at the Guest House at Graceland, call 1-800- 238-2000 and use block code 190221AMER. For the Magnuson Hotel, call 901-207- 7924, call-in code is Ameripolitan2019"

Ameripolitan DJ


Guest House at Graceland to host 2019 festivities Feb. 22-25


(MEMPHIS, TN) – Inventor of the surf guitar, rockabilly and punk pioneer Larry Collins of The Collins Kids will be honored as the Keeper of the Key at the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards, held for the second year in Memphis at Graceland’s Guesthouse Hotel, Feb. 25, 2019.

The Ameripolitan Awards show, the culminating night of four full days of festivities celebrating rockabilly, western swing, outlaw and honky-tonk music, will be hosted by Ameripolitan founder Dale Watson alongside Ameripolitan Award winner and western swing bandleader Big Sandy. The artists who will be honored that night will be chosen by fan vote, a process that opens today.


Tumbleweed Going Southern Rock in 2019

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Nov 082018

By Joshua Wallace

Tumbleweed has announced more artists for their 2019 festival and this year is looking to be southern rock themed.  Headliners Blackberry Smoke and The Marshall Tucker Band join the already announced Whiskey Myers and Alabama.  We also get Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Chelsea Nolan, Chad Vaughn and Chris Stewart.  In addition to these announcements, there will be a Black Friday Blowout Sale from Friday November 23rd to Monday November 26th so get ready to get some cheap tickets.

This is only Phase 2 of the lineup announcements and two more are coming, so this is only the beginning!

Gary Hayes Country will have full coverage of this year’s festival leading up to and after the event so stay tuned!

Album Feature – Josh Card – With A Heavy Heart

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Nov 072018

By Joshua Wallace

You might remember Josh Card as a guitar player for Whitey Morgan and The 78s or you might even remember his 2017 self titled album under Josh Card and The Restless Souls.  He is back and whether you want to call this a debut solo release or a sophomore effort, this album will make you forget about all that came before and you will simply know Josh Card as that guy with a killer honky tonk band from Florida who puts out amazing records.  He enlisted Dean Miller to produce With A Heavy Heart and this time around is by far superior to his 2017 album. This record is album of the year material and I’m saying that in a year with some amazing albums across the board.

You know exactly what you’re in for from the opening notes of “Suffer” when the whine of the fiddle and the guitars bring you into a honky tonk shuffle tune that sets the pace for the record.  Like a good opening act, this track will get your dancing feet moving as Josh ponders why he still suffers over a lost love.  Another highlight is the slower paced “Won’t Chase Your Love” which really showcases Josh’s songwriting ability. He tells a great story of a love which has died because a lover has given up his fight.

Further testament to Josh’s songwriting ability is the very personal tune “Forgotten Love”.  Like many of us, Josh Card has dealt with Alzheimer’s and this song brings that personal experience to the table and adapts it in a way that everyone who has experienced losing a loved one to the disease can relate to.  It’s a track that really pulls on the heart strings and it’s a subject matter that really deserves more time than it gets. I also really dig Josh’s take on the deep Neil Young track “Unknown Legend”. It is from Neil’s 1992 album Harvest Moon and Josh stays faithful to the original while adding some honky tonk flairs to the folksy country Young tune.

Josh Card has created one hell of a record in With A Heavy Heart.  2018 is a year that is quite heavy in good honky tonk and traditional country records and this is one of the best.  The songwriting is amazing and the players on these tracks are top notch. Dean Miller did a fantastic job with producing this album.  With A Heavy Heart is out everywhere on November 9th, 2018. Be sure to check out Josh Card on tour this month and beyond. We will have full coverage of his album release show this Friday in Jacksonville, FL at The Jacksonville Landing.

Favorite Tracks : Suffer, Won’t Chase Your Love, Better Off That Way, Forgotten Love, Devil’s Blood, If You’re Wondering

Josh Card – With A Heavy Heart (2018)

  1. Suffer
  2. Won’t Chase Your Love
  3. Better Off That Way
  4. Forgotten Love
  5. Choice To Make
  6. Devil’s Blood
  7. Unknown Legend
  8. Wait For Me
  9. If You’re Wondering
  10. Run On

Album Feature – Carson McHone – Carousel

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Nov 062018

By Joshua Wallace

Carson McHone embodies the spirit of Americana.  She draws a lot from roots and country music, but there are still other influences present.  She doesn’t try to pigeonhole herself into any one genre and floats from the honky tonk sound to Dylan-esque folk and elsewhere on the spectrum with ease.  Let’s take a deeper dive into the sound of this record.

“Drugs” is a great ballad on this record that compares the need you can have for a lover with the need you can have for drugs.  I love the pedal steel that cloaks this track in a sadness that amplifies the intensity of the need. Contrast that with the faster more honky tonk inspired “Good Time Daddy Blues”.  I love the kind of call and response format of the verses here. It really gives the track a honky tonk blues kind of vibe.

I also really dig the country ballad “Gentle”.  This track is paired with an intro which kind of feels like the band is trying to find the track before it finally kicks in.  It’s a class country post break-up tune heavily draped in fiddle and pedal steel that is bound to break the heart of any one in their own neon cell.  “Goodluck Man” is slower ballad that starts out as a sparse guitar track and the rest of the band kicks in as the track goes on to reveal a slower almost mournful soundscape on a track that is on the mournful side of heartbreak.

I dig the tapestry of sounds Carson Mchone has put together here.  At times, it is very country, but it also delves into other influences to create a sound that is her own.  I hope to be able to see her live sometime down the road with this album. Carousel is out everywhere as of October 26th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Drugs, Good Time Daddy Blues, Gentle, Maybe They’re Just Really Good Friends, Goodluck Man

Carson McHone – Carousel (2018)

  1. Sad
  2. Drugs
  3. Lucky
  4. Good Time Daddy Blues
  5. Dram Shop Gal
  6. Intro [Gentle]
  7. Gentle
  8. Maybe They’re Just Really Good Friends
  9. How Bout’ It
  10. Goodluck Man
  11. Spider Song

Album Feature – Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel

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Nov 062018

By Joshua Wallace

The Pistol Annies have returned with a new album after each having successful solo of their own.  They have lived a lot since 2013’s Annie Up album and this record shows it. They have also tuned their sound into a more traditional country set-up that is certainly nothing like you hear on mainstream radio these days.  We here at Gary Hayes Country have been looking forward to this release since May.  Let’s find out if it lives up to our expectations.

I really dig the track “When I Was His Wife” which some can take as Miranda Lambert taking a shot at Blake Shelton, but it is vague enough that it could be applied to anyone’s ex.  Another favorite along those lines is the fun track “Got My Name Changed Back”. It’s another track that is vague, but could also be personal. One of the taglines for the record proclaims that the Pistol Annies came unleashed and told a bunch of truth.  Any songwriter can bring the truth to their music, it’s the mark of a good songwriter that can turn it into a hit and apply it to the masses.

“Levers Lullaby” is a slower track that takes the typical guy leaving the woman song and turns it around making the song from the woman’s perspective of the situation.  “Masterpiece” is a brilliantly written track comparing a relationship to a work of art or an 8 second ride or a good country song. I particularly love the pedal steel on this ballad.  You don’t get songs like this on country radio. Finally, I have to props to the title track “Interstate Gospel” and the opener “interstate Prelude”. The prelude pairs perfectly with the title track which is a barn burner sure to fit in alongside Pistol Annies classics like “I Feel A Sin Comin’ On” and “Hell On Heels”.

This new record from the Pistol Annies is exactly what you would expect from these women at this high point in their careers.  It takes the great sound and songwriting of the first two albums and just improves on it in every way. They have taken what they have learned from their solo outings and applied it here.  This record is a tour de force and one not to be missed. Be sure to pick up this album wherever you buy good music as it came out on November 2nd, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : When I Was His Wife, Got My Name Changed Back, Leavers Lullaby,  Commissary, Masterpiece, Interstate Gospel

Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel (2018)

  1. Interstate Prelude
  2. Stop Drop and Roll One
  3. Best Years Of My Life
  4. 5 Acres Of Turnips
  5. When I Was His Wife
  6. Cheyenne
  7. Got My Name Changed Back
  8. Sugar Daddy
  9. Leavers Lullaby
  10. Milkman
  11. Commissary
  12. Masterpiece
  13. Interstate Gospel
  14. This Too Shall Pass

Album Feature – Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters – All Damn Day

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Nov 022018

By Joshua Wallace

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters are back with their second full length LP following 2016’s Midwest Heart / Southern Blues titled All Damn Day.  This album’s sound picks up where the 2016 release left off and it heavily leans toward the alt-country side of Americana with flares of heartland rock throughout.  Let’s take a look at some of the tracks on this new record.

The track “Walking On Water” feels like it came off an old southern rock record.  It opens with some nice guitar riffs and a driving beat. I love that the acoustic is not lost in the mix as there is some nice acoustic work here too.  The title track “All Damn Day” is another guitar heavy song about putting in work all damn day. It’s a short track, but I love the guitar solo here.

“I Can’t Go Home” is more acoustic rock track leaning more to the alt-country side of the band.  “Trouble Song” is also a more acoustic track but it leans more into blues territory with it’s picking.  Even though it’s a bluesy track, it’s also very upbeat for a track about various troubles and I dig it.  “O’Bannon Woods” takes us back into guitar rock territory on a slower track where the riffs are as thick as the titular woods in the song.

If you dig a bit of alt-country with a side of heavier guitar rock, All Damn Day is the record for you.  It picks up right where their last release left off and finds the band with a more dialed in sound this time around.  Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters have their new album out now everywhere you can find good music. Give it a listen and find them on tour somewhere if they come near you.

Favorite Tracks : Walking On Water, All Damn Day, I Can’t Go Home, Trouble Song, O’Bannon Woods

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters – All Damn Day (2018)

  1. Love Me Like You Did
  2. Walking On Water
  3. Head To Rest
  4. All Damn Day
  5. Two Faded Carnations
  6. I Can’t Go Home
  7. City Of God
  8. Trouble Song
  9. O’ Bannon Woods
  10.  Many Stones
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