Monthly Archives: November 2018

Miss Margo Price Debuts New Video And Announces Baby News!

Miss Margo Price has had a stellar year in 2018, and so has Third Man Records for that matter. In fact, I shall let you in on a little tidbit of clue here, my ALBUM OF THE YEAR is from this label. Now I’m NOT trying to downplay Miss Margo’s 2018 offering called “All American Made”, but the Album of 2018 WILL BE one of her label mates!

She debuted a brand new video for the title track of the album last week, I wanted to share it with you friends. She headlined one hell of a wonderful concert at the Ryman that sold out fast, after only putting out two albums.

She has steamrolled onto the scene that in my opinion is kind of lacking on recognizing the females on an even basis, even on the local levels. Sadly, I see many of the festivals scheduling the gals on the smaller stages and on the earlier or later time slots. I firmly see Miss Margo as one of the leaders of the fight in that battle here.

This past month, as her label boss Mr. Jack White played the Bridgestone arena here in town, she announced the her and her husband are expecting their third child. As all of the dates for Mr. Jack White he requires the crowd to keep their devices put up, thusly there was no video of the announcement save for what was recorded by them.

I already have many festival lineups turned in for 2019, and I can tell you that Miss Margo is included on many of those lineups. So fear not folks she IS FEATURED on some of them, in fact the very first time I got to see her solo was at Muddy Roots. I honestly forget what year, but it was before her debut album even hit the market. I knew right then she was going to be a force to be reckoned with.


2019 Music Festival Series: Moonrunners.

PEOPLE I have many festivals that have lineups pouring in, because Thanksgiving weekend is a HUGE time for lineup announcements. Every Thanksgiving day my friends over at Moonrunners Music Festival in Chicago announce their lineup.

This year, my website has taken a different direction in order to conserve time for me next year AND also to have more time to promote the events to you. I’ll be releasing MANY of the articles for them NOW, and I will be updating them weekly.

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

The official sponsoring hotel is the South Loop Hotel which is only about 5 blocks from Reggies. That folks is about the only nearby hotel that I have found so far. This is an indoor event so the rules of the festival are pretty much the rules of the venue, however like EVERY festival there is ONE main rule: Don’t be a dick.

Chicago South Loop Hotel
11 W 26th Street
Chicago IL 60616

Sheila Ward
Direct: 312-674-2234

2019 Music Festival Series: Winter Wonder Grass.

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie








The inaugural WinterWonderGrass Vermont, held at the Stratton Mountain Resort! WinterWonderGrass is mostly an outdoor event with numerous heated tents housing side stages, the kids’ zone, coffee, ar and beer tastings. We are part music festival, part beer festival, and 100% mountain adventure. Bump into the artists of WWG on the hill, then join us each day at 1:45 for 3 hours of daily beer tastings (2-5 pm), and music on four stages. The event ends at 10 pm, if you want to keep jamming, you can buy a ticket to the after parties around Stratton Village. More information at:

The event is outdoors in the winter and takes place snow, rain or shine (no refunds) WinterWonderGrass is an all-ages family event, must be 21+ to purchase alcohol.

  • Thursday, December 13 | 9 pm kick-off party with The Infamous Stringdusters 9 pm (separate ticket) @ Grizzly’s bar

  • Friday, December 14 | 1:45-10 pm – Beer/Cider tastings 2-5 pm

  • Saturday, December 15 | 1:45-10 pm- Beer/Cider tastings 2-5 pm

  • Sunday, December 16 | 1:45-9:30 pm- Beer/Cider tastings 2-5 pm


Music, winter sports, craft beer, fresh eats, and family is what makes up the three days of the WinterWonderGrass Festival. With deep roots in Colorado, California and now Vermont, the event has established itself as a leader in the winter lifestyle culture where the quality of experience outweighs the notion of quantity. WinterWonderGrass is an intimate gathering where inspiration and connection sit at its core. Our community is focused on sustainability, local non-profit support, nurturing the next generation and truly backing the arts, where together, we’ve planted the seed for long-term sustainability.

WINTERWONDERGRASS supports The Stratton Foundation

Each year WinterWonderGrass supports local non-profits – with a focus on music education, environmental protection, musical education, community initiatives, and disaster relief. The festival boasts a strong environmental program diverting over 85% of festival waste from landfills. We donate $1 for every ticket sold. A Klean Kanteen stainless steel commemorative festival mug is included with each three-day festival ticket – no single-use plastics are on site. WinterWonderGrass is a community and family-friendly event with a colorful kid’s zone including face painting, hula hooping and crafts. Kids 12 and under are free, seniors 75 and older are also offered complimentary admission.

Lift tickets as well as Grass After Dark tickets must be purchased separately. All festival passes include resort fee, credit card processing fees and ticket management costs.


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ― John Muir


















Big Contest, we aren't kidding, it's huge



2019 Music Festival Series: Americanafest.


Also please join me on December 6th as I watch the CMT coverage of the awards and shows from this one, learn more about that HERE. This eidition as well as ALL OF THE OTHERS will be updated MANY MANY TIMES!

Our conference portion features numerous panels, seminars, exclusive day time performances, and much more, proudly providing Nashville’s most educational music industry forum. This special event covers the interests and needs of artists, managers, labels, radio stations, publishers, agents, promoters, retailers, legal and business affairs executives, merchandisers and new media professionals – all enthusiastically attended and presented by music industry leaders.
 And FYI, you do not have to be a member of the Americana Music Association℠ or in the music industry to purchase a conference registration and attend all the events. We encourage all music lovers to be apart of the conference experience.

If you choose not to be a part of the entire AMERICANAFEST experience through a conference registration, then our festival wristband is the option for you. For six nights, AMERICANAFEST will feature 230+ live performances at almost 40 of Nashville’s most prominent venues and much, much, more! However, wristbands do not guarantee entry if venue is at capacity. In the event of a line, conference registrants have priority access. If there is a must see band on your list we suggest arriving to the venue early.

It’s no secret that music brings people together. 2019 AMERICANAFEST® Festival Wristbands are on sale now for a chance for you and a loved one to discover your next favorite artist in Music City, Sept. 10-15, 2019.

For just $75, you’ll be able to experience hundreds of showcasing acts in various venues across Nashville and have the opportunity to attend select special events that offer even more music, some food and good times.

From intimate singer-songwriter moments over a glass of wine to rocking out a dive bar with a beer in hand, there’s no shortage of memories to be made at our 20th annual AMERICANAFEST.

Gift Festival Wristbands

Looking for the perfect compliment to a 2019 Festival Wristband?

Our merch store is loaded with AMERICANAFEST gifts and goodies suitable for any holiday budget. With 10% off all 2018 merch, we’ve lined out some options to help ensure you’re making the right choice without breaking your wallet.*

$25 & Under
Gift Festival Shirts
$20 & Under
Gift Festival Posters
$5 & Under
Gift Buttons, Stickers and More
* To receive your order by December 25, domestic orders must be placed by December 17 and international orders must be placed by December 9.
In case you missed it:
  • Set your DVRs: Catch highlights from this year’s Americana Honors & Awards during the premiere of “2018 AMERICANAFEST®,” airing this Thursday, Dec. 6 at 9/8c on CMT. Read more
  • 2019 AMERICANAFEST® Gold Circle Packages and Conference Registrations are also on sale for our 20th annual event on Sept. 10-15, 2019 in Music City – buy your preferred pass here.
  • We’ve announced our new artist resource, the Americana Tour Blueprint! This new member benefit is an ongoing map of today’s Americana-friendly venues, radio stations, record stores and publications designed for artists to use as a tool to book a tour while supplementing their run of shows with potential marketing support. Read more
How You Can Attend the 2019 Honors & Awards

Photos: Getty Images

It’s a special night when you can share a moment with distinguished artists from the Americana music community. From commemorating legends to welcoming the next generation of pioneers, the Americana Honors & Awards gives you a seat to witness great acts be recognized and celebrated for their musical impact.

You’ll see once-in-a-lifetime performances at the historic Ryman Auditorium by artists you would otherwise never see on the same stage in one night.

Only attendees who purchase a 2019 AMERICANAFEST® Conference Registration are eligible to purchase tickets* to the Honors & Awards show.

Want to attend? 
If you purchase a Conference Registration by May 1 at 11:59 p.m. (CDT), you can have an early shot** at securing seats for this cannot-miss event. This year, you’ll be able to choose any available seat at the prestigious ceremony so we can provide you with the best experience on September 11.

We also have ticket price tiers starting at $90*** so you can make the best choice for your budget. To view the seats that will be available for purchase, please click here.

If you can’t purchase by May 1, we’ve created a ticket purchasing schedule to help ensure that the earlier you buy a Conference Registration, the better chance you’ll have at scoring a great seat.

What happens after I buy my Conference Registration?
On these select dates notated below, an individualized code will be sent at 10 a.m. (CDT) to each unique email address associated with a 2019 Conference Registration. The ticket sale will begin at Noon (CDT) on these same dates. Please note that codes are only sent and valid while tickets last.

Buy Your Conference Registration for Ticket Access



Nashville’s airport is designed to keep you moving, with an easy flow to and from the terminal’s 45 gates. The award-winning airport features a range of dining and retail options, two massage bars, a nail salon, terminal-wide Wi-Fi access, an extensive Arts at the Airport program featuring visual art and live entertainment, a full-service business center with foreign currency exchange – and even space for one last meeting before you head home. Airport Information Center: Call 615-275-1675 or visit


Visit Music City has compiled an extensive list of transportation options including information regarding bus service, car rental, taxis, etc:

For information on downtown parking, please visit


The AmericanaFest Shuttle is the free shuttle that runs between the host hotel and most AmericanaFest venues. During the daytime events, the shuttle service will be available to and from any venue that is not within a walking distance of a mile from the hotel. Please check the details of the specific event for shuttle availability once the schedule is announced. For the nightly showcases, the shuttle will make a continuous loop to every participating venue from 7pm until 1am departing approximately every 30 minutes. The shuttle service is provided as a convenience. If you need to be at a certain event at a specific time, you might consider taking alternative transportation.

Club Hotel Nashville Inn And Suites
Country Inn And Suites Opryland North
Best Western Opryland
Holiday Inn Express Opryland
Airport Super 8 Opryland
Courtyard Nashville
Hampton Inn And Suites
Guest House Inn
Days Inn Opryland
Fiddler’s Inn Opryland

The wait is over. Gold Circle Packages, Conference Registrations and Festival Wristbands for next year’s event are now available for your purchasing pleasure.

For those wanting the ultimate AMERICANAFEST® fan experience, our Gold Circle Packagesare now on sale at $999 with a very limited amount available.

If these packages are outside of your budget, don’t fret. Whether you’re looking to get the most our festival has to offer with a Conference Registration at our early bird rate* of $299 ($199 for Americana Music Association® members) or just jam out at all of our nightly showcases with a Festival Wristband at only $75, you can now secure your pass to this destination music event.

Buy your preferred pass below and join us for our 20th anniversary on Sept. 10-15, 2019 in Music City.

Buy Your Pass
Need somewhere to stay? Come stay with us at The Westin Nashville – our hotel block is now open! You can make your reservations at our host hotel by calling (615) 248-2800.


Here’s a Sneak Peek of Our 2019 Conference

We’re bringing you a keynote with Brandi Carlile, a conversation with Jade Bird, two live podcast tapings of Chris Shiflett’s “Walking The Floor” featuring Delbert McClinton and Yola plus more

Photo: (L-R) Brandi Carlile // Top Row – Jade Bird, Keb’ Mo’ // Bottom Row – Yola, Erin Rae

In less than one month, we’ll be bringing our community together to talk about today’s topics and issues at our 20th annual AMERICANAFEST Conference.

Our conference is a forum that invites music industry professionals, artists and fans for an opportunity to experience the current state of the music business. From insightful conversations with your favorite musicians to the impact of streaming on A&R and current publicity trends, there’s a topic for anyone who’s interested in learning about more about our industry. We even provide CLE (continuing legal education) panels for attorneys who are looking to get into entertainment law, thanks to our friends at the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville.

Here is the first glimpse into what we have in store at our conference headquarters at The Westin Nashville on Sept. 11-13.

Get to Know the Artist Behind the Music

AMERICANAFEST is bringing you a chance to hear from the artists behind your favorite tunes. 2019 Americana Artist of the Year Nominee Brandi Carlile will be giving a keynote interview during a sit-down with Tracy Gershon(Change the Conversation) as she looks back on her milestone year and ongoing mission to support women in music.Jade Bird, one of our Emerging Act of the Year nominees, will be sitting down with her label’s founder and president Daniel Glass (Glassnote Records) for a conversation on what artist development looks like in 2019, moderated by NPR Music’s Bob Boilen. From her own celebrated debut this past year to opening slots with acts like The Lumineers, Bird has a lot to share from her own experiences in her quickly rising career.Chris Shiflett will have a one-on-one discussion with this year’s Lifetime Achievement for Performance Honoree Delbert McClinton during a live podcast taping of “Walking The Floor.” 2019 Americana Album of the Year and Emerging Act of the Year Nominee Yola will also be joining Shiflett for her own session. Both guests will be sharing their creative inspirations, hardships, triumphs and everything in between.

Stay Up-to-Date on Today’s Industry Topics, Tools & Issues

Presented by the Artist Rights Alliance, Keb’ Mo’ will be joining an in-depth look at the state of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) alongside additional panelists including

U.S. Copyright Office General Counsel Regan Smith and Concord Music’s PublishingBrad Kennard. Haven’t been keeping up with this important legislation? No worries, consultant Erin McAnally will provide a brief overview during the panel to get you up to speed.

Freelance writer Marissa Moss (Rolling Stone, Billboard) has curated “Out of Balance,” a panel to address the gender imbalance often found on music festival bills. She’ll be joined byMark Cunningham (Red Light Management), Ali Harnell (Live Nation), Traci Thomas (TT Management) and Erin Rae, who is also nominated for the Emerging Act of the Year category at this year’s Americana Honors & Awards.

Caitlin Canty will be recalling blazing the trails on the inaugural trek of the Americana Tour Blueprint last winter, sharing insight on her experience with our membership resource. Moderated by Craig Havighurst (WMOT Roots Radio), she’ll be joined by our Manager of Membership Relations Anna Lee Crenshaw, her agent Mark Lourie (Skyline Artists Agency), Bruce Houghton (Hypebot) and Jesse Lundy (Point Entertainment).

Learn About The Roots of Our Community (pun intended)

Discover the many musical threads of the Americana umbrella during “Americana Music: Voices, Visionaries and Pioneers of an Honest Sound.” Author Lee Zimmerman will look at the history of Americana including how influential artists and our association have impacted its growth. He’ll be joined by Lellie Pittman Capwell (LPC Media), Robert Evanoff (1888 Media), John Lilly (Blue Yonder), Scott Miller (Artist) and Garry West (Compass Records).

Gospel music went through a transformative era following the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel scholar and DJ Kevin Nutt will guide a deep dive into the 1970s gospel music movement that was led by The Staple Singers, whose successes inspired several southern groups to experiment with funk and more. Formerly the lead singer of the Staples Jr. Singers, Annie Caldwell will be sharing her own experiences from this time with Nutt and Luaka Bop President Yale Evelev during “The Time for Peace is Now: Navigating African-American Gospel in the 1970s.”

When are these panels happening? Scheduling details and times are available here.

How can I attend? Our conference is exclusively open to those with a 2019 Conference Registration. If you haven’t bought your pass yet, click here.


Buy Your Conference Registration

Here Are This Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

Find out who’ll be recognized at the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards and how you can attend Americana music’s biggest night on Sept. 11

 Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
President’s Award

 Delbert McClinton
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance

 Elvis Costello
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting

 Maria Muldaur
Trailblazer Award

Join us as we honor The Bryants, Elvis Costello, Delbert McClinton and Maria Muldaur at our Americana Honors & Awards on September 11 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Want to share this special moment in music history?
 Tickets to the Americana Honors & Awards are exclusively available to AMERICANAFEST Conference Registrants for purchase. For details on Americana music’s biggest night, click here.To learn more about this year’s honorees, check out this article here courtesy of our friends at Variety.

In addition to this incredible slate of honorees, our 2007 “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award Recipient Mavis Staples will be recognized at this year’s Americana Honors & Awards.

In case you missed it …Rhiannon Giddens and the late Frank Johnson are the inaugural recipients of the Legacy of Americana Award.

Established in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), this award has been instituted to honor an artist, writer, producer or educator who has either made a lasting impression through music or inspired art to recognize the legacy of Americana music traditions.

Experience the Music of North Carolina at This Year’s Festival & Conference

From showcases to a keynote and musical book reading, here is an inside look at our programming spotlighting NC

Photo: (L-R) Top Row – American Aquarium, Rhiannon Giddens // Bottom Row – Jim Lauderdale, Rising Appalachia

Presented in partnership with Come Hear NC and Visit North Carolina, we’re proud to spotlight North Carolina as our regional music focus this year and bring you this incredible programming on Sept. 11-14 during AMERICANAFEST® week.

Scheduling details and times are available here.

Hear the Sounds of NC

We’ve got not one but two official showcases dedicated to the many influences that come out of the great Appalachian state. On Thursday, Sept. 12, catch night one at 3rd & Lindsley featuring performances by Chatham County Line, Malcolm Holcombe, Jim Lauderdale, Rising Appalachia, Emily Scott Robinson and Sarah Siskind. On Friday, Sept. 13, stop by night two at Mercy Lounge which will include showcases by American AquariumLiz BrasherJonathan Byrd & The Pickup CowboysDixon, Easter & StameySarah Shook & The Disarmers; and Travers Brothership.

Explore the Musical Origins of NC & Their Current State

An array of industry professionals and musicians with NC ties will dive into the state’s musical roots and today’s landscape during panels at The Westin Nashville. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, sit in on “A Brief History of North Carolina Music,” which gives insight into the many threads of Americana music that lead back to the state.

Next, on Thursday, Sept. 12, Chris Stamey will treat audience members to a musical book reading of his memoir during “A Spy in the House of Loud.”

The last day of the conference will be capped off with a keynote by Rhiannon Giddens and writer John Jeremiah Sullivan as the two discuss the erasure of American music history on Friday, Sept. 13.

Attendees can also get to know the musical hotbed of the city of Asheville on a panel that will include key players from one of the state’s flourishing music scenes. The following day, a special songwriter session at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will bring together American Aquarium’s BJ BarhamJonathan Byrd and Sarah Siskindfor a glimpse into their creative processes as the three artists discuss their own approaches to writing music.

Celebrate the State’s Heroes & Contributions

On Saturday, Sept. 14, grab some friends and head down to White Avenue Studios for a day party hosted by our friends at Come Hear NC and Visit North Carolina. You’ll hear an amazing lineup curated by Yep Roc Records.That evening, make sure to stop by The Bluebird Cafe as our North Carolina spotlight draws to a memorable close during “Amazing Grace: Celebrating Doc Watson.” Americana musicians from the community will be honoring this icon in song. Don’t miss it!
Rhiannon Giddens & Frank Johnson Are Our Inaugural
Legacy of Americana Award Honorees

Learn more about this year’s recipients, the new Americana Award and our partnership with the National Museum of African American Music

Rhiannon Giddens // Photo: Ebru Yildiz
We’re proud to reveal that Rhiannon Giddens and the late Frank Johnson are the inaugural recipients of the 2019 Legacy of Americana Award.

This new honor will be awarded during the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards on September 11 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Both of these individuals have made incomparable contributions to the legacy of Americana music in completely different eras, yet they share a connection. A MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, Rhiannon has dedicated her career to carrying on the underrepresented origins of African roots music and breathing new life into its deep history. In the U.S., her work can be traced back to the late Johnson.

Frank Johnson was a traveling folk musician and brass band leader of his own band, which was the most well-known group in his home state of North Carolina during the 19th century. Sadly, his contributions have been largely forgotten to the extent that finding a photo of him is seemingly virtually impossible.

Our new award was created to spotlight musicians like these and their enduring influence on our community.

What is the Legacy of Americana Award? Established in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), this award has been instituted to honor an artist, writer, producer or educator who has either made a lasting impression through music or inspired art to recognize the legacy of Americana music traditions.

The awards will also be showcased at the museum, which is scheduled to open in early 2020 in downtown Nashville.

Want to share this special moment in music history on Sept. 11?
 Tickets to the Americana Honors & Awards are exclusively available to AMERICANAFEST Conference Registrants for purchase. For details on Americana music’s biggest night, click here.
Rhiannon will speak more about Johnson and his contributions during her panel at this year’s AMERICANAFEST on Friday, Sept. 13 at The Westin Nashville. During a sitdown with writer John Jeremiah Sullivan, the two will discuss the erasure of American music history.

To attend this panel and more like it at our 20th annual music festival and conference, you can buy a 2019 Conference Registration here.

Sarah Shook Releases New Single On Bloodshot

By Joshua Wallace

Sarah Shook and The Disarmers recently released a new 7” single for The Way She Looked At You / Devil May Care. These are tracks that were recorded during Years recording sessions and they continue the same sound and attitude found on that record.

“The Way She Looked At You” is more of a ballad with some amazing pedal steel work throughout. This track would sound out of place if it was included on Years, however I’m very glad we’re getting to hear it as it is a very good track. “Devil May Care” sounds more like a lost Years b-side as it fits the sound of that record closer. I love the songwriting on this track and it carries the same country punk sound most of Years has which fits Sarah Shook so well.

This single is currently available from Bloodshot Records. We highly recommend picking up a copy on the label’s website or at a show.

CMT To Broadcast 2018 Americanafest Honors And Awards December 6th.

I have mixed feelings and multiple sentiments on the Americana label ( as millions of other people do) and although I find the giant abyss that bands and artists fall into here, I DO enjoy most of what is being passed off as this “genre” or whatever you want to call it.

I honestly DO enjoy a LOT of the bands this festival and scene portrays. I will continue to support them in every fashion I can, in print, and financially. I order merchandise weekly, and keep up with over 5,000 bands and 200 festivals to keep YOU my reader updated with ALL NEWS.

I promised Mr. Tyler Childers at Kickin In the Creek in East Kentucky, that I would not publicly elaborate on his little witty jab during the event itself, and I’m sure by now every other media outlet in existence has reported on what transpired…I don’t feel the need to.

However from a music fan’s point of view, I truly anticipate some damn fine performances during this broadcast. In addition, I feel a massive amount of new audiences will be brought forth to witness the music of many of the bands I hold dear on this website.

Watch This Year’s Americana Honors & Awards
Tune in to Americana music’s biggest night
Dec. 6 at 9|8c on


Missed your chance to attend this year’s Americana Honors & Awards or want to relive the moments when your favorites took the stage?

We’ve partnered with our friends at CMT to bring you “2018 AMERICANAFEST®,” a 90-minute special of the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards.

This unique music special is a must-see for fans featuring show-stopping performances by Brandi Carlile, Rosanne Cash, Tyler Childers, Fantastic Negrito, Buddy Guy, I’m With Her, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, k.d. lang, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, John Prine, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Irma Thomas!

You’ll also get to see exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews from additional members of the community including Courtney Marie Andrews, Mary Gauthier, The Milk Carton Kids and more.

Gather your family and friends this holiday season and tune in to the premiere of “2018 AMERICANAFEST” on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 9|8c on CMT.


"2018 AMERICANAFEST®" | Thursday, Dec. 6 | 9/8c on CMT

2019 Music Festival Series: Mardi Gras Texas Style.

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

Image may contain: text that says "SAVE THE DATE MARDI GRAS TEXAS STYLET SATURDAY - FEBRUARY 23, 2019"

One of my favorite things to do is promote festivals on here, currently we feature over 200 of them complete with full information on how to fully enjoy them to the fullest extent. Another thing I like to do is enjoy different music communities and try to juxtapose them all together on ONE BIG community for others to enjoy.

So let’s take a quick look into the world of the Texas Red Dirt community and look at Mardi Gras Texas Style out there in Dallas Texas….GO COWBOYS!

This one has been on my radar for some time now, and you can damn sure bet Ill get out there one day, and tear Texas apart!

18th Annual Mardi Gras Texas Style!
20 bands – 5 stages – 1 day – Saturday February 23, 2019

Turnpike Troubadors

Koe Wetzel

Shane Smith And The Saints

Josh Ward

Read Southall

Bri Bagwell

Shotgun Rider

Randall King

Dalton Domino

Vincent Neil Emerson

Michael Lee

Chris Colston

Aaron McDonnell

Kolby Cooper

Nick Hirsch

Tyler And The Tribe

Wynn Williams

Bradley Banning


It’s that time of year again! We are excited to announce that Mardi Gras Texas Style! is returning for its 18th year in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Food, fun and flavor… Don’t miss Texas’ best Mardi Gras celebration combined with 20 of the hottest Texas Country Music acts on 5 stages.

Get early bird tickets now for only $28.50*! Early bird tickets are limited in quantity, and ticket prices will raise once we start to announce the lineup on November 25th, so don’t miss this price for a limited time. Feeling VIP? Purchase a VIP ticket for access to a mixed beverage bar AND exclusive acoustic sets played by your favorite artists. 

Grab your boots and beads, and we’ll see you in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, February 23, 2019!

Mardi Gras Texas Style!


Celebrating its 18th year, Mardi Gras Texas Style! is a one-of-a-kind music festival that takes place at the Historic State Fairgrounds in Dallas, Texas. All of the food, fun, and flavor of the best Mardi Gras celebration combined with 20 of the hottest Texas Country music acts on 5 stages make this party the only place to be. This outstanding day is also an outstanding value with General Admission tickets starting at only $36.50* (in advance), or $48.50 (full price). For the ultimate Texas Mardi Gras experience, purchase one of the exclusive VIP packages for cocktail service and private acoustic sets, not available to GA ticket holders, played by a hand-selected group of your favorite artists (only a limited number of VIP tickets are available). Join us February 23, 2019 to enjoy beer, eats, and beads, alongside the very best in Texas Country Music, at Mardi Gras Texas Style!.

*Plus sales tax and ticketing fees

Mardi Gras Texas Style! 2018 Recap Video

Last year we danced to Cody Johnson, Easton Corbin , Stoney LaRue, Mike Ryan, AND more… Who’s ready to hear our anticipated 2019 lineup? Stay tuned for our official announcements starting November 25th!

I have been wanting to get out to Texas for some time now and one day soon I plan to remedy that portion of my bucket list. You can purchase tickets for this event HERE. As always upon looking at websites and doing research of different areas I found a suitable list of accommodations for you if you see what you like PLEASE patronize  this event.

Aloft Dallas Downtown

1033 Young Street · Dallas

214-761-0000 · 193 Rooms


Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market

2325 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-630-3330 · 200 Rooms · 40 Suites


Candlewood Suites Market Center

7930 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-631-3333 · 141 Suites


Holiday Inn at Dallas Market Center

4500 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-522-6650 · 216 Rooms


Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown

1015 Elm Street · Dallas

214-742-5678 · 307 Rooms · 5 Suites


Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown

Reader rating: 3.0 out of 5

1933 Main Street · Dallas

214-741-7700 · 172 Rooms


Days Inn Dallas

13313 Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

972-488-0800 · 72 Rooms · 2 Suites


Hotel Palomar Dallas

5300 E. Mockingbird Ln. · Dallas

214-520-7969 · 198 Rooms


Fairfield Inn Market Center

2110 Market Center Blvd. · Dallas

214-760-8800 · 117 Rooms · 10 Suites


Hyatt Summerfield Suites Dallas

Uptown2914 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-965-9990 · 141 Sui

In closing folks I wanted to tell you I have a TON of festivals coming in through the grapevine and I’ll be posting up more festival articles soon, exposing TONS of more bands.  Folks there is SO MUCH good music out there waiting to be heard and supported by people like YOU!  Go find it!

Legendary Leftover Salmon Releases New Book: Thirty Years Of Festivals.

A few years ago I began covering the new directions of Bluegrass influenced bands (some call it Jamgrass) I just call it good music. To dispute the the roads that Leftover Salmon has paved for today’s lineups would be absurd.

I cover 200 festivals yearly, and this band is indeed part of MANY of those lineups all over the country. This book chronicles the journey of  a merge with two bands in 1989 called the Salmon Heads and members of the Left Hand String Band played a one night stand.

Although the lineup has changed many many times the “Big Three” have remained until Mr. mark Vann passed away in 2002. However through the years Mr. Drew Emmitt and Mr. Vince Herman have been up front for these thirty years.

From 2004-2007 the band remained off duty and reunited to play the High Sierra Music Festival in California ( we cover that one). 2008 and 2009 marked a FEW performances, but in 2012 they released a landmark comeback album called Aquatic Hitchhiker.

Despite their on and off past, they certainly deserve many accolades and praise for their influence and assistance in ushering in the growth of the Jamgrass movement.

Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival!
New Book By Author Tim Newby Due Out February 2019 on Rowman & Littlefield

“History is made by those who write it, not the musicians who can’t remember it, Tim Newby knows our history and now it’s up to him to teach us what happened!” –Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon)

“Tim Newby has somehow managed to capture the unique combination of personalities that is Leftover Salmon; a feat that I would have thought fairly impossible. As unique as their music, Tim weaves his story through the sensibilities of the individual players which creates a wonderful kaleidoscope resulting in the definitive biography of a band that is still constantly changing and growing into their 4th decade.”
–Steve Berlin (Los Lobos)
DENVER, CO — Few bands stick around for thirty years. Even fewer bands leave a legacy during that time that marks them as a truly special, once-in-lifetime type band. And no band has done all that and had as much fun as Leftover Salmon. Since their earliest days as a forward thinking, progressive bluegrass band who had the guts to add drums to the mix and who was unafraid to stir in any number of highly combustible styles into their ever evolving sound, to their role as a pioneer of the modern jamband scene, to their current status as elder-statesmen of the scene who cast a huge influential shadow over every festival they play, Leftover Salmon has been a crucial link in keeping alive the traditional music of the past while at the same time pushing that sound forward with their own weirdly, unique style.

As Leftover Salmon nears their 30th year, their inspiring story is set to be told in a brand new book, Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! that will be released February 2019 by Rowman & Littlefield. In this book, critically acclaimed author of Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin’ Sound & It’s Legacy, Tim Newby presents an intimate portrait of Leftover Salmon through the personal recollections of its band members, family, friends, former band-mates, managers, and the countless musicians they have influenced. Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! is a thorough guide covering a thirty-year journey of a truly remarkable band. It is a tale of friendships and losses, musical discoveries and Wild West adventures, and the brethren they surround themselves with who fortify Salmon’s unique voice. Their story is one of tragedy and rebirth, of unimaginable highs and crushing lows, of friendships, of music, but most importantly it is the story of a special band and those that have lived through it all to create, inspire, and have everlasting fun.

Leftover Salmon. Photo by Bob Carmichael

Leftover Salmon. Photo by Bob Carmichael
Heading into their fourth decade Leftover Salmon is showing no signs of slowing down as they are coming off the release of their most recent album, Something Higher (released in 2018), which has been universally hailed as one of the band’s finest releases. Something Higher shows how even upon preparing to enter their fourth decade Leftover Salmon is proving it possible to recreate themselves without changing who they are. The band now features a line-up that has been together longer than any other in Salmon history and is one of the strongest the legendary band has ever assembled. Built around the core of founding members Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman, the band is now powered by banjo-wiz Andy Thorn, and driven by the steady rhythm section of bassist Greg Garrison, drummer Alwyn Robinson, and keyboardist Erik Deutsch.

The new line-up is continuing the long, storied history of Salmon which found them first emerging from the progressive bluegrass world and coming of age as one the original jam bands, before rising to become architects of what has become known as Jamgrass and helping to create a landscape where bands schooled in the traditional rules of bluegrass can break free of those bonds through nontraditional instrumentation and an innate ability to push songs in new psychedelic directions live.
Salmon is a band who, over their thirty-year career, has never stood still; they are constantly changing, evolving, and inspiring. If someone wanted to understand what Americana music is they could do no better than to go to a Leftover Salmon show, where they effortlessly glide from a bluegrass number born on the front porch, to the down-and-dirty Cajun swamps with a stop on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, to the hallowed halls of the Ryman in Nashville, before firing one up in the mountains of Colorado.

Leftover Salmon On Tour:

Thanksgiving Run- featuring pre/post shows and a Day of Giving at Moe’s BBQ Englewood
11/23 Fri – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO w/ Gasoline Lollipops
11/24 Sat – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO w/ Tenth Mountain Division

12/7-11 Fri-Tues – Strings & Sol – Puerto Morelos, Mexico

New Years Run
12/28 Fri – Crystal Bay Club Casino – Crystal Bay, NV
12/29 Sat – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – Chico, CA
12/30 Sun – Terrapin Crossroads – San Rafael, CA
12/31 Mon – Terrapin Crossroads – San Rafael, CA

1/15-20 Tue-Mon – Jam Cruise – Miami, FL
1/31 Thu – Soreng Theatre – Eugene, OR*
2/1 Fri – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR*
2/2 Sat – The Triple Door – Seattle, WA (2 shows)*
2/14 Thu – Wheeler Opera House – Aspen, CO*
2/15 Fri – Vilar Performing Arts Center – Beaver Creek, CO*
2/16 Sat – Washington’s – Fort Collins, CO*
2/21 Thu – The Steifel Theatre for the Performing Arts – Salina, KS*
2/22 Fri – Sheldon Concert Hall – St. Louis, MO*
2/23 Sat – North Shore Center for the Performing Arts – Skokie, IL*
2/24 Sun – Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI*
2/26 Tue – Woodward Theatre – Owensboro, KY*
2/27 Wed – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TN*
2/28 Thu – City Winery – Atlanta, GA (2 shows)*
3/1 Fri – The Caverns – Pelham, TN*
3/2 Sat – Dave Finkelman Auditorium – Middletown, OH*
3/14-16 Thur-Sat – Alyeska Resort – Girdwood, AK
3/22-24 Fri-Sun – Boogie at the Broadmoor – Colorado Springs, CO
3/29-31 Fri-Sun – WinterWonderGrass – Tahoe, CA
4/13-14 Sat-Sun – Bender Jamboree – Las Vegas, NV
4/26 Fri – Stoughton Opera House – Stoughton, WI*
4/27 Sat – Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts – Sheboygan, WI*
4/28 Sun – Sheldon Theatre – Red Wing, MN*

Mr. Mark Chesnutt Isn’t Gone…

Mainstream media outlets just want you to THINK artists who made REAL COUNTRY hits on the charts in the 80’s and early 90’s are GONE. Yeah, I KNOW what you are thinking what about Garth Brooks and Shania? Well, a lot of the wishy washy names are still mentioned by mainstream outlets I suppose.

But HOW ABOUT one of MY FAVORITES Mr. Mark Chesnutt, What’s he up to?Well I’m GLAD YOU ASKED. Let’s take a gander on what his camp is reporting to Gary Hayes Country, shall we?

You can now pre-order the brand new Mark Chesnutt – Christmas EP! The new EP contains 5 songs including: “Light Of The World”, “What Child Is This”, “Pretty Paper”, “New Kid In Town”, & “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy”! Each EP comes with a signed Mark Chesnutt Christmas Card! Great package for Christmas gifts for your friends and family! You can purchase by clicking the link below!


This is the latest release from him which includes eleven of the songs that have greatly influenced him in his youth. As we all know Mr. Mark has upheld the tradition of Country Music for many years, and has faced severe backlash from mainstream radio and media because of this.
Much like people like LeeAnn Womack, and a few others he has been pushed out of ‘Country” like the George Strait song says. Trust me folks THIS MAN is still rolling on strong and gracing the stage with his many number one hits.

Track Listing:
1. Lost in the Feeling
2. You Can’t Do Me This Way
3. Rollin’ With The Flow
4. Walk Through This World With Me
5. Apartment #9
6. Dreaming My Dreams With You
7. Heart Over Mind (Live)
8. Sunday Morning Coming Down
9. Would These Arms Be In Your Way
10. Lost Highway
11. Swinging Doors (Live)
Image of The Early Days "CD & Book"

This package includes the autographed album and autographed book! Trust me folks THIS BOOK is TERRIFIC, and brings a special perspective on his early life as he paid his dues in southeast Texas.

He dropped out of school at 17 and his father began to take him to Nashville to record songs. He played in the house band for a local bar in Beaumont called Cutters. As he slowly gathered a loyal fan base the rest was history…and BOOKS are important pieces of something THIS website cherishes….history.

Track Listing:
1. Welcome Fool
2. The Price Of Getting High
3. Heartache County
4. Since I Drank My Way To Houston
5. Rodeo Cowboys
6. Country Girl
7. Running Out Of Ways To Say I Love You
8. Let’s Make A Memory One More Time
9. Full Blooded Texan
10. Heaven On My Mind

Bonus Tracks

11. Girls Like Her, Men Like Me
12. Moanin The Blues
13. Ol’ Country “Original Version”
14. Too Cold At Home “Original Version”

2019 Festival Series: High Water Festival.

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

Once again we have ALL the good information of the ever popular High Water Festival in South Carolina, that sells out every year. We work VERY HARD to collaborate with 200 festivals nationwide every year, and this one is nothing short of wonderful.

Check out the Newest Additions to the VIP Experience

High Water is back and better than ever! Learn more about this year’s improvements below.

VIP Viewing Areas: An additional VIP viewing area has been added by the main stage.

Food Options: Exclusive food options will be available for VIP ticket holders.

BlanketsTo enhance the experience for all fans, VIP viewing areas and the area in front of the soundboard will be standing (or dancing!) only in 2019. Patrons are still invited to bring blankets, however they will only be allowed for use in the areas behind each stage’s soundboard. Signage will be present to help locate blanket-friendly areas.

Explore our Experience Add-ons

From oyster shucking to five-star dining, High Water has it all! Explore our experience add-ons to enhance your High Water weekend. Click HERE to learn more about Low Tide Social, Oyster Education Classes, and Pass the Peas.

Once you add a weekend pass to your cart, you will have the option to add Low Tide Social tickets and Oyster Education Classes. Pass the Peas tickets will be available for purchase at a later date.

** Keep in mind in order to enjoy these experiences, you must have either a GA or VIP weekend pass. 


HERE is a complete list of hotels associated with this event, now folks a portion of your hotel fees go to their charities.


Public On-sale Begins Thursday at 10 AM EST

Join us for 2 glorious days on the Riverfront! 

The dates are set and the 2019 lineup is out! The only thing standing between you and High Water 2019 are tickets. Let’s take care of that! High Water’s public on-sale begins TOMORROW, November 15 at 10AM EST. Grab GAand VIP weekend passes to secure your spot on the Riverfront! Low Tide Social tickets and Oyster Education Classes will also be on sale.Before on-sale begins, here are some tips to ensure your purchase process runs smoothly. Also, click the calendar buttons below to set a reminder for when on-sale begins. Time is of the essence!

  • Where do I buy tickets? Visit High Water’s ticket page here to purchase tickets. Additionally, a ticket link will be sent Thursday morning.
  • What is High Water’s ticketing system? High Water has a new ticketing system this year – Front Gate Tickets. Before purchasing, you will need to create an account. Get a head start and create your account here. At the top of the page, click “Sign In”, then “Sign Up” or login through your Facebook account.
  • What ticket options are available during on-sale? GA and VIP weekend passes will be available for purchase. Low Tide Social tickets and Oyster Education Classes will also be available for purchase as an add-on once you add a weekend pass to your cart. Learn more about tickets and amenities in the buttons below.
  • What is the purchase process? Once you add GA or VIP passes to your cart, you will have the option to add Low Tide Social and Oyster Education Class tickets. Front Gate gives you 10 minutes to complete your purchase. To prevent yourself from running out of time, look at the ticket options and create an account ahead of time.
  • I have a question about my order, what should I do? If you have a general question about your order before or after purchase, contact Front Gate Tickets here or call 888-512-7469.
  • Other questions? If you have a question about High Water, take a look at our FAQs here or email us at
  • What a smooth purchase process! Where can I share my praise? In addition to sharing your experience on social media, there is a customer survey on your confirmation page. We would love to hear your feedback, so we may improve the process for the future.




Create Your Personalized High Water Lineup Playlist

Plus, listen to our official Spotify playlist! 

Time to explore the lineup! Listen to the High Water artists you know and love plus discover new favorites with your personalized High Water playlist – all it takes is one click! Connect your Spotify account below and we’ll get a sense of your musical tastes to create a playlist just for you!

Plus, create and save your playlist by November 30th and be entered to win a $50 High Water merch voucher.

Not feeling a personalized playlist? No worries! Listen to High Water’s official Spotify playlist here.

Connect to Spotify


Explore High Water’s Home – North Charleston

Where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in N. Charleston

It’s time to start planning your High Water weekend! Here are a few resources to make the planning part easy, starting with where to stay in N. Charleston.

Score the fan rate on hotels near Riverfront Park when you book through High Water’s hotel search feature. We consolidate the best hotel rates in the area to provide you an unbeatable price and smooth booking experience.

Find a Hotel

High Water takes place in the heart of the low country – AKA foodie heaven! Whether it’s fresh fish, craft beer, or southern classics, N. Charleston has it all. Explore local favorites and start planning where you’ll eat now!

Food & Drink

When you’re not enjoying the music on the Riverfront, here are a few of N. Charleston’s must-do’s. Make the most of your low country getaway and experience it all!

Things To Do


Get a weekend pass for as low as $56 down! 

Explore High Water’s Payment Plan Options

Secure your spot on the Riverfront today and pay later

If you need a little help getting a High Water ticket, fret not! You can get a weekend pass for as low as $56 down when you select the “layaway payment plan” option during check out. Hope this helps spread out the money a bit this holiday season!

Learn more about our payment plan options here.

Buy Tickets

High Water Weekend Passes Make Great Gifts

Order your High Water merch in time for the holidays

Need a gift for your friends or family? Think outside the box and give them an experience they’ll remember with High Water weekend passes.

Complete your gift with a High Water t-shirt or water bottle. Check out the shipping deadlines below and order your merch items in time for the holidays!

Standard Shipping: Order by 6PM EST on 12/19
2-Day Shipping: Order by 6PM EST on 12/20
Next Day Shipping: Order by 6PM EST on 12/21

Merch Store


High Water’s Daily Schedules Are Here

Plot your day now…

We’re thrilled to roll out our daily schedules for High Water 2019! This way you can start plotting your day for when all your favorite (and soon to be favorite) artists take the stage. Let’s get after it, High Water!

Still need tickets? We’re getting down to the bottom of the ticket pile, but a few remain. Grab yours HERE!

View Schedule

We’re teaming up with N. Charleston’s own, Runaround Sue Vintage Boutique and Holy City Vintage Market to give one lucky winner the ultimate festival prize pack:

– (2) GA weekend passes
– (1) $100 gift card to Runaround Sue Vintage
– (1) Holy City Vintage Market tote bag with a vintage record

Sweepstakes ends at 12 PM EST on December 21st. Enter now!

Enter for a chance to win

Explore High Water’s VIP Weekend Pass

New Exclusive Amenities Added

This year, we have taken some time to really think how we can improve the VIP experience at High Water. With that said, we have come up with a few unmatched ways to make your festival experience even more luxurious. In addition to everything you’ve come to know as VIP amenities, we have added a few more glorious additions.
We can’t wait for y’all to enjoy the new VIP experience. Only a small numberof VIP passes remain, so grab them quickly. They will NOT last…

Album Feature – Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols – Forgive

By Joshua Wallace

Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols have recently signed with indie roots label Rusty Knuckles Music and have released their debut for the label called Forgive.  Whether you’re a fan of Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols or just hearing about them, you will find something to enjoy in this album. It’s a good traditional country album with something for everyone.  Here is a bit of what to expect from this record.

The album kicks off with a track called “Barnburner” which opens the album with a lone guitar riff before going into a song about stealing a lawman’s wife and the troubles that can come of it.  This track has a very western feel to it and I’m digging it. Another favorite is the track “Snakeskin Boots Boogie” which starts off with some nice harmonica soloing in a track about the mistreatment of a good pair of boots.  This song has some awesome getting down all over it from harmonica to the guitar work. It’s a boogie for sure.

Another hot track is “Last Call” which features some great bluesey guitar work.  It’s a great story track about a lover who is tired of waiting for his woman to come home from the bars.  It’s a bit of a role reversal from the typical version of this track which usually features the woman waiting around for the man.

Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols have turned in a great guitar album in Forgive.  The album is full of tracks with great guitar work and good songwriting. If you’re a fan of either, I highly recommend picking this record up or streaming it on your favorite streaming service.  I hope to catch Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols live sometime as they have come through my area here in South Georgia before. Forgive was released on Rusty Knuckles Music on November 16th, 2018. 

Favorite Tracks : Barnburner, Ain’t A Dog, Snakeskin Boots Boogie, Last Call,  Regret, The Twister

Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols – Forgive (2018)

  1. Barnburner
  2. Homeward Bound
  3. Ain’t A Dog
  4. The Decision
  5. Snakeskin Boots Boogie
  6. Get Thee Behind Me
  7. Last Call
  8. Life’s A Bitch
  9. Regret
  10. The Widower
  11. The Twister

Dalton Domino Has Recorded His First live Album.

Related image

Texas Country and Red Dirt is one of the many communities I follow on this website, and Mr.Dalton Domino is no stranger to my radar. His album last year called corners, was a somber reminder to me of my past with my addictions. It reminded me that there ARE others out there that equally hunger for that past taste of dangerous bliss. Although he was born in Memphis, he cut his teeth out there in the Lubbock Texas community in the years leading  up to his finally breaking through the ranks.

Recently, there have been some truly terrific live albums released in this Texas Music community like the amazing release from Mr. Aaron Watson in front of a record setting audience. True, Mr. Dalton has some major work to complete before he is on the same echelon as Mr. Aaron Watson, but he has indeed released a seventeen track acoustic live album, available at the beginning of 2019.

This two hour set was recorded at his show at the Blue Light Bar In Lubbock Texas. Now if you’ll remember, he is working on a new studio album as well called “Songs From The Exile”. He was releasing a new single live feed every week and we covered that In an article here, as he visited the Exit In in Nashville.

He is for sure going to be in my cross hairs for 2019 new music, and you can rest assured it will all be featured on here. As far as I’m told this live recording features Miss Morgan Rutherford on vocals, Mr. Sam Jones on the keys and Mr. Nick Gardner on lead guitars. So, until I feature him further here is how YOU can support him LIVE!

Nov 21 Wed

Lava Cantina
Kody West
Grant Gilbert
Nov 24 Sat

John T. Floore Country Store
William Clark Green
Nov 30 Fri

Cheatham Street Warehouse
Dec 15 Sat

Twisted J Live
Cody Canada and The Departed
Dec 23 Sun

Antone’s Nightclub
Jack Ingram


2019 Festival News Series: Merlefest.

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

Merlefest is one of my favorite festivals to provide information for, although I have never
covered this festival in person. However THIS YEAR I plan to fix that statement as I HAVE applied for a press pass to bring this action to your home!

In my usual true journalistic style I SHALL ATTEMPT to bring all the action to your doorstep here from North Carolina this spring.

MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2019, which will be held April 25-28. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2019 will be announced over the next few months.
The 2019 Late Night Jam on Saturday, April 27th will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with host Chatham County Line. This very popular after-hours hootenanny in the Walker Center gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history.
Ticket sales for both the festival and Late Night Jam are on sale now.
Wynonna & The Big Noise: Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30-million albums worldwide spanning her remarkable 35-year career. As one-half of the legendary mother/daughter duo “The Judds,” Wynonna was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”
Keb’ Mo’: Over the past two decades, award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’, has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. His most recent studio project TajMo, a collaboration with the legendary Taj Mahal, won the 2018 GRAMMY for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Additionally, at the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards, TajMo earned Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and Keb’ Mo’ also took home the title of Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year.
The Earls of Leicester: When The Earls of Leicester formed in 2013, their mission was ambitious but exact: to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, in hopes of reviving the duo’s music for long time admirers and introducing a new generation to their genre-defining sound. Within a year of releasing their self-titled debut, the Nashville-based six-piece far surpassed their own expectations, winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and earning six awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Now, with their first live album, The Earls of Leicester offer up a selection of songs that fully capture the pure joy and supreme musicianship that propel their every performance.
Sam Bush: From teen fiddle champion to groundbreaking mandolinist, there is only one Sam Bush. The son of Kentucky reared on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass came of age in the counterculture cyclone of the late ‘60s. In the genre’s outsiders like the Osborne Brothers and The Dillards, Bush heard the future, and by the dawn of the 1970s was leading his own New Grass Revival, driven by the power of rock-and-roll and the freedom of improvisational jazz. Bush and his hippie co-conspirators changed the bluegrass landscape, touring with Leon Russell, winning fans at festivals across the country, and recording Grammy-winning songs. At the group’s peak, after taking aim at the top of the Country charts, Bush walked away.
Tyler Childers: Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut,Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold. The album, co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, is a semi-autobiographical sketch of Childers’ growth from wayward youth to happily married man, told in the tradition of a Southern gothic novel with a classic noir anti-hero who may just be irredeemable.
Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force: Grammy-award winner Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of recordings, collaborative projects, and constant touring. The late ‘60s and early 70’s saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner, and the Rowans, where he played alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan.
“MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2019 lineup, commemorating the 32nd year of the festival. MerleFest continues its tradition of honoring the tried and true performers that our MerleFest fans have come to know and love like Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, and The Kruger Brothers and adding to them some of the top traditional plus acts performing today like Tyler Childers, Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Lindsay Craven, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager.
The full initial lineup includes the following:
We are thrilled to announce our initial 2019 lineup! Wynonna and The Big Noise, Tyler ChildersKeb’ Mo’Jerry DouglasEarls of LeicesterSam BushPeter Rowan and The Free Mexican Airforce, Jim LauderdaleScythianKruger BrothersGibson Brothers MusicThe Black LilliesRadney FosterJunior SiskChatham County LineDonna the BuffaloMark O’ConnorThe WaybacksYarn, T. Michael Coleman, Jim AvettJunior Brown Fan PageElephant SessionsCane Mill RoadSalt and LightThe Trailblazers, Wayne Henderson, Presley BarkerLaura BoosingerJeff Little/Jeff Little Trio, Jack Lawrence, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, String MadnessPete WernickThe Harris Brothers, Tony Williamson, The InterACTive Theater of Jef, Driftwood, Roy Book Binder, Joe Smothers, Jess Morgan, Jontavious Willis and Andrew Alli, Happy TraumIrish Wren MythenDavid LaMotteAmerican Aquarium, Bob Hill, Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Elizabeth CookGordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Larry Stephenson Band, Lindi Ortega, B Townes, Professor Whizzpop, Nixon, Blevins and gage, Mile Twelve, Si Kahn, Steve PoltzTodd Albright, Tom Feldman, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, The Local Boys, Shane HennessyMaybe April, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles, Dirk Powell Band, Carolina Blue, AZTEC SUN, Ken Crouse, Catfish Keith, Michaela Anne, Webb Wilder and our very own Flattop!
Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible


MerleFest Adds Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers to 2019 Lineup
Tickets on Sale Now
WILKESBORO, N.C. (Dec. 10, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, April 25-28.
Brandi Carlile: GRAMMY-nominated Brandi Carlile is currently celebrating her breakthrough new album, By The Way, I Forgive You, which debuted earlier this year at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Current Albums chart, Rock Albums chart and Americana/Folk Albums chart and Number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart—a career high for the Seattle-based group. Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, the album continues to receive overwhelming acclaim, including recent “Best Albums of 2018” coverage at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, NPR Music and more.
Most recently, Carlile joined forces with Sam Smith on a new duet version of “Party Of One.” Recorded at L.A.’s Capitol Studios, a portion of the profits from this recording will be donated to Children in Conflict via Brandi Carlile’s Looking Out Foundation as part of its ongoing campaign to raise $1 million for children impacted by war.
Beloved by fans and critics alike, Carlile has performed sold-out concerts across the world and has appeared on various TV shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Conan and CBS This Morning. Carlile will perform on Saturday evening at MerleFest.
Dailey & Vincent: Grand Ole Opry Members, Five-time GRAMMY award winners individually, three-time GRAMMY award nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award winners, and winners of 35 IBMA Awards altogether (including 3-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners and 3-Time Vocal Group of the Year Award winners), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, backed by one of the best bands on tour today, are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music; bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music. Now on Season 3 of their nationally broadcast television series, “The Dailey & Vincent Show on RFD-TV,” Dailey & Vincent bring their music to a national audience on a weekly basis. After a decade spent performing together and with over 1,000 airings of their PBS special “Dailey & Vincent ALIVE – In Concert,” their concoction of fantastically instinctive vocal blends of Dailey’s tenor and Vincent’s reedy harmonies has gained them well-deserved praise for their own distinctive style and worldwide recognition as American Music gold. Their most recent live CD, Dailey & Vincent ALIVE, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts and remained at the top position for over 15 weeks.Dailey & Vincent will appear on Thursday at MerleFest.
The Brother Brothers: The Brother Brothers are Adam and David Moss, identical twins carrying on the folk tradition for a new generation. Using minimal instrumentation, heartfelt lyricism, and harmonies so natural they seem to blend into one beautiful voice, the siblings draw on the energy and creativity of Brooklyn, New York for their full-length debut album, Some People I Know. The Brother Brothers will make their MerleFest debut on Saturday.
“For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the 4 day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2019 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers and we look forward to another successful festival in April.” The three artists announced today join over 75 artistsannounced last month via Rolling Stone Country. Headliners include Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’, The Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, Tyler Childers, and Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force. The Late Night Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation will be hosted by Chatham County Line. In addition to the above mentioned artists, the following will be performing at MerleFest ‘19:


Now in its 27th year, CASC is an extraordinary opportunity for songwriters to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.
All entries received from now until NOVEMBER 30 will receive an early entry discount price of $25 per entry, while submissions received in December and January will require a $30 fee per entry. All lyrics must be written in English and no instrumental entries will be accepted. The final deadline to enter is February 1, 2019.
Aspiring songwriters may submit entries to the contest using the online entry form or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697.
Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, which takes place Friday, April 26, during MerleFest. First place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 20-30 minute set on Saturday morning or afternoon.
New for this year, Saloon Studios will provide recording sessions for the four 1st place CASC winners…
  • Saloon Studios will invite the CASC winners to join Saloon Studios for a live performance at one of their upcoming shows
  • CASC winners will either be opening acts or may be paired for a Rising Stars show on Saloon Studios performance show
  • Saloon Studios will provide each CASC winner with the unmastered audio and video recording from that performance to use at their discretion. Saloon Studios will retain a copy of that performance and may also use it at their discretion
  • Saloon Studios is an intimate, close-up experience where artists perform in a 100-seat, mid-nineteenth century saloon replica with state-of-the-art sound technology.
In addition, D’Addario will host a mentoring session after the contest takes place on MerleFest Friday. MerleFest and D’Addario will LiveStream the contest via official Facebook channels.
“We are extremely proud of the career successes achieved by many CASC alumni. Among these are Gillian Welch (1993), David Via (1997, 2001), Johnny Williams (1998, 1999), Tift Merritt (2000), Becky Buller (2001), Michael Reno Harrell (2003), Adrienne Young (2003), Martha Scanlan (2003), Sam Quinn (2006) and Jeanette Williams (2007),” said Lee K. Cornett, coordinator of MerleFest’s CASC. “More recent alumni include Lara Lynn (2011) and Gary Alan Ferguson (2014). Other recent discoveries from the contest are Melody Walker of Front Country and Joseph Terrell of Mipso. I encourage all songwriters to put the final touches on your masterpiece and submit it to the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest!”
Net proceeds from the contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded over $42,500 to deserving students. For contest rules, ways to enter, and more details about the contest, visit our website.

2019 Festival Series: The John Hartford Memorial Festival.

Hey this series is already evolving into a BIG HIT for my enthusiastic festival loving readers of many communities of music. I have been ongoing in this relentless pursuit of over 200 yearly festival reports for almost 6 years now, and it continues with an Indiana festival in it’s ninth year called The John Hartford Memorial Festival. As always you can click HERE for my previous year’s coverage.

Brown County Cabins
Comfort Inn
Abbey Inn
Creekside Retreat
Always Inn

We now have 6 Songwriting contests under our belt. Over 150 John Hartford inspired songs have been submitted and our web site playlist is at 60+ songs. Click here to listen to our 2018 winner, Will Kimble and watch the entire showcase video. While you’re there, you can scroll through playlists and interviews dating back to 2013. The 2019 John Hartford Songwriter’s Challenge will kickoff at 12:01 AM ET on Jan 1, 2019. Read all the rules and guidelines by clicking here. So far, each of our songwriting winners have been booked for JHMF festivals! We consider all compliant entries for booking so please, get your act together and enter.
New Videos:
We recently uploaded tons of festival footage from our Band and Songwriters contests. You can view all the new, and soon to be new, videos by clicking here. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay up-to-date on all our published videos. We’ve got plenty of new and vintage material that we’ll upload throughout the year.
JHMF goes to IBMA:
World of Bluegrass, The International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual gathering of music loves in Raleigh, NC, is the place to be to meet and greet with Bluegrass Elite. At the weeklong gathering you’ll find up and coming stars and new acts, meet talent buyers, venue owners and tons of music aficionados.
Once again JHMF was well represented by promoters Tom Burkhart, John Hotze and Randy Kilper. Tom had this to say, “We had an amazing time at the IBMA convention in Raleigh NC. It’s a great place to see tons of new, and not so new, bluegrass bands from all over the world playing their music everywhere. We enjoyed meeting other festival organizers with whom we exchanged ideas to improve all our events. The Gig Fair allowed bands to apply to play at JHMF. We made sure to see many of the ones that we interviewed at their showcase performances.” One of our dear JHMF sponsors, Deering Banjos, recently published a firsthand account in their Deering newletter. For an enlightening firsthand experience by Jamie Latte  click here.
John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes:
Initially released at JHMF8, This massive, comprehensive collection of mostly never heard before fiddle tunes, scripted in John Hartford’s own handwriting, is a must have for any Hartford Head. Katie Harford Hogue, Matt Combs and Greg Reisch have pulled off a truly incredible feat in such a short time, pouring over nearly a thousand fiddle tunes that were handwritten by John, in 68 spiral notebooks, to come up with 176 mighty fine tunes. The book is loaded with drawings by John, never before publicly viewed photographs, stories by those closest to this man, who was iconic to the Newgrass movement, and who is still being celebrated over the world. As a bonus, click “listen” at the book’s website to hear each of the tunes performed by Matt Combs. Read about the book in an article by Ernie, by clicking here. You may also order the book by visiting the official John Hartford Site by clicking here.
Camping Info:

The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by theBill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground.

Reservations are not required for primitive camping but are highly recommended for RV campsites. Primitive camping locations are spread throughout the park and are first come first serve. If you would like to reserve a site with hook ups you must call the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground at (812) 988-4639. We urge you to do this as soon as you can. These sites are coveted and will go fast.

For any additional questions about camping reservations, camping with hook-up prices, or anything else regarding camping, call the Campground.
See You May 29 – June 1, 2019:
Where in the world can you go to sit back, relax, leave your worries at the gate, enjoy the campground atmosphere and listen to or participate in campfire jamming?  Where can you go to experience the most exciting, thoroughly entertaining bunch of pickers and singers ever assembled in the most laid back atmosphere in the country? Join us May 29 – June 1, in Bean Blossom, Indiana at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, “The Most Laid Back Festival in America!” That’s where it all takes place.
Be sure to check in often at to stay abreast of the latest info including early bird ticket sales, lineup releases, festival videos, photos, contest playlists, artist bios, news and the Morning Bugle Blog which will soon feature a very familiar face of staff member, the multi-talented Scott Nelson.
Welcome to JHMF9:
We are a family friendly, kid friendly, dog friendly, jam friendly, just plain friendly bluegrass and folk music festival. We strive to reach the right number of people for your maximum comfort and will continue to limit the amount of multi-day tickets sold to just 2,000 Full-Festival Tickets. Fill up your steam powered Aereo-Plain and follow your friends to Bean Blossom, IN, May 29 – June, 1 and enjoy The John Hartford Memorial Festival “The Most Laid-Back Festival In America”. 40+ bands, camping, jamming, dancing, contests and much more. Sit back, relax and leave your worries at home. Click here to purchase tickets.
Hourly Stage Schedule Announcement:
We are tickled to announce the Hourly Stage Schedule! In a little over a month every stage will soon be overflowing with folks plying their musical wares for you. Over forty bands will be spread over three stages (Hartford, Boogie, Hippy Hill) throughout the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground in beautiful Bean Blossom, IN. Start planning your festival fun with the help of the hourly stage schedule. Click here to see the schedule on our web site. *Schedule times are subject to change.
Ticket Sales – Get ’em While You Can:
Tickets to the festival are sold in four tiers. Pick ’em up while you still can as the first two tiers have already sold out. Tickets will be available at the gate unless we sell all 2,000 passes in advance. Just like previous years we are capping attendance. Get your tickets now, save a few bucks, and get ready to kick back and relax. Full Festival and Single Day tickets are on sale and available by clicking here. Don’t forget to look over your JHMF Family tree. Something missing? Maybe it’s someone you love. Share the love and bring your family, friends and (happy and leashed) dogs.
Camping Information:
The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground. Primitive camping locations are spread throughout the park and are first come first serve. No single day or two day camping passes will be sold on our web site, they will be available to purchase at the gate. If you would like to reserve a site with hook ups, or you have any camping questions, you must call the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground at (812) 988-6422.
Dancin’ Dave’s – Camping The Easy Way:
Dancin’ Dave’s

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping takes the “rough” out of roughing it. Offering first-class accommodations so that those traveling from the opposite coast, across the pond, or just across town, can have a full festival experience without the hassle of having to pack everything needed for a comfortable stay. They do all the work. Just show up, stay for the party and leave the tear-down to them. Camping has never been so easy. Click Here to RSVP with Dancin’ Dave’s.

The Low Down On Where To Stay:
The Brown County Inn

If camping is not for you, please make reservations now at our JHMF official host hotel, The Brown County Inn. Full restaurant and bar, year-round covered and enclosed open-air pool pavilion with a 2,500 square foot sun-deck and live entertainment. Located just six miles from the park, and only a three-block walk from beautiful downtown Nashville, IN. We’ve negotiated a special price just for our festival family! Visit their web site by clicking here and use the promo code JHMF9 for a discount on your room.

Songwriting Contest Announces Top 10 Winners:
Barker Thompson
Congratulations to Barker Thompson from St. Louis, MO our JHMF9 Songwriter’s Challenge winner with his song Banjo Clown! In our closest contest ever, Barker’s song edged Derek Kretzer’s “Man in a Hat”, by just one point! For his prize song Barker won $200 and two full festival passes.
The John Hartford Memorial Festival expresses our deepest gratitude to each songwriter who has entered our songwriting contests. Your craft is special to us and your music is enriching and enlightening. John Hartford would be honored to know how his music has inspired you and us.

Check back soon to listen to the top ten playlist and to read an interview with Barker. Be sure to watch the top 5, live on Friday, at the Hartford Stage, along with last year’s winner, Will Kimble! In the meantime, please visit our website contest pages, select Songwriter’s Challenge, and you’ll find our 2018 Top Ten playlist, and subsequent playlists all the way back to our very first event! Since its inception, we have listened to hundreds of John Hartford inspired songs and our playlist is now up to 80! Here’s how the top 10 played out:

1st- Barker Thompson of St. Loius, MO. Banjo Clown
2nd- Derek Kretzer of Bluemont, VA. Man In A Hat
3rd- Jim Boose of LeCompton, KS. If I Could Sing Like John Hartford
4th- Eric Davis of Middletown, IL. Predawn Glow
5th- Robert Thatcher of Signal Mt. TN, and Tom Brown of Dalton, GA. The Day the Julia Belle Came to Town
6th- Mace Hathaway of McClelland,  IA. If I Had My Way
7th- Beth Nelson of Olathe, KS. Steamboat Blow That Whistle High
8th- Scott Randle of St. Louis, MO. Oh How The River Has Changed
9th- Miriam Allen of Asheville, NC. I Would Not Be Here Blues
10th- James Lee Tarbet  of Imperial, MO. Lost Heroes
Updates at the Bill Monroe Music Park:
New Shower _ Restroom Complex
New Shower and Restroom Complex

Raise your hands, wiggle in the middle and stomp your feet because we have a reason to celebrate! The Voils family (who recently purchased the festival grounds) have made many facility updates to the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground. Check out this recent photo of the progress being made on the new shower and restroom facility. Stay tuned as more updates are planned for the very near future.

The JHMF Volunteer Jug Band:
JHMF Volunteer Jug Band
Just who is the Volunteer Jug Band? For the last several years you’ve seen and heard the Volunteer Jug Band as the entertainment for the Opening Ceremony. Unlike most festivals, we are a mission oriented event, in that we are not only honoring a ground-breaking and trend setting artist in the late John Hartford, but we are also continuing a legacy, so our opening ceremony is an official reminder that we are going to do just that. Held on Wednesday around 4:10PM ET on the Hartford Stage, we kick off with Katie Harford Hogue, giving her time to express her words of welcome and contemplative thoughts about our gathering in honor of her father and our Grand Master of Ceremonies, Hondo Thompson, will recite “I Reckon” from the album, John Hartford Looks At Life.
For the last several years, Ernie Hill, Danny “Hootenanny” Clark and Jon Griffin, along with Tom Burkhart on the Jug, have performed a medley of “The Star Spangled Banner and Wolves A Howlin”, the latter being a traditional hill song made popular by John Hartford. After that the JHMF Volunteer Jug Band joins in a John Hartford Song and invites the audience to sing along with “Hey Babe, Wanna Boogie”. Folks, the above mentioned musicians are part of the band along with festival creator John Hotze, artist relations coordinator Randy Kilper, festival volunteer recruiter and grounds supervisor Bob Riley, special ops Chris Pin and the man who literally brings music to your ears, soundman Dan Bent. We’ll also be joined onstage with some of our spouses, Patti Hill, Clare Burkhart, Terry Riley, Cheryl Kilper and Leslie Pin.
We do not practice and we do not apologize. What we do is join together to culminate a year of planning, booking, recruiting, writing, fussing, yelling and loving each other, all in about five minutes on the stage as a sigh of relief and realization of another year of bringing you a great event! This year we have invited a special little fellow and festival friend, Nolan Strupeck to join us as he performs, “In Tall Buildings”. Please come on in early and help us kick this thing into high gear, we’ll help you settle on down into laid back.
Visit The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Museum:
These shoes were recently found by the new owners (The Voils Family) of the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground! Hopefully they’ll be on display for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival. Don’t forget, your pass gets you free access to the Bluegrass Museum in Bean Blossom. Uncle Pen’s cabin is also on display and will be the location of the Pete Wernick Jam Camp taught by Jeff Burke. Itchin’ to pick? Click here to sign up for the jam class.
See You May 29 – June 1, 2019:
Where in the world can you go to sit back, relax, leave your worries at the gate, enjoy the campground atmosphere and listen to or participate in campfire jamming?  Where can you go to experience the most exciting, thoroughly entertaining bunch of pickers and singers ever assembled in the most laid back atmosphere in the country? Join us May 29 – June 1, in Bean Blossom, Indiana at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, “The Most Laid Back Festival in America!” That’s where it all takes place.

Some Thoughts On The Earls Of Leicester.

It’s not too often that I leak out many of my TOP 50 albums before the year is up, however on a few occasions I will do just that, such as this one. Live At The CMA Theater At The Country Music Hall Of Fame from The Earls Of Leicester WILL FOR SURE be on my list, allow me to elaborate why.

So let’s see now where do I start on this subject? You know in the world of Bluegrass there are so many bands that are taking Bluegrass and string bands forward to attempt to evolve the genre into other avenues, and that’s fine.

I mean absolutely you will most likely find on my TOP 50, and on this website everything from Billy Strings to Leftover Salmon, BUT THIS BAND is taking Bluegrass BACKWARDS to that same audience and they don’t even realize what is being done here. Mainly for the simple fact so many of the younger fans don’t take the time to do any research into their format, and they are convinced this is NEW music.

When in fact their very name is nothing more than a play on words in honor of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and this band plays music from their catalogue circa the years of 1954-1965..and nothing more.

These six men the likes of Mr. Barry Bales, Mr. Jerry Douglass, Mr. Shawn Camp, Mr. Charlie Cushman, Mr. Johnny Warren and Mr. Jeff White, play it the way it was meant to be played, sing it the way it was meant to be sang and dress the part too. Just like Mr. Eddie Stubbs said when he introduced them on this LIVE album.

Every member of this band here is a powerhouse in their own right with Mr. Jerry Douglas, who is a pioneering dobro and steel guitarist. Mr. Jerry has contributed to over 1,600 albums on top of his own fourteen solo albums, in his fifty year career.

He assisted greatly on the breakthrough success of the famed “O Brother Where Art Thou” movement using the soundtrack there. On top of all that he is a wonderfully renowned Bluegrass Music producer having produced a number of records, many on the Sugar Hill label.

Mr. Shawn Camp has equally contributed much to Country Music having co wrote songs like “Two Pina Coladas” for Garth Brooks, and “How Long Gone’ for Brooks And Dunn. He has played in the backing bands for people like Alan Jackson, The Osborne Brothers, Trisha Yearwood and more.


2019 Festival News Series NATIONWIDE: Old Settler’s Music Festival.


Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

This is one of the festivals that has recently moved, however has withstood many obstacles to retain a viable festival life. HERE IS SOME INFO FROM THIS YEAR.

Best Western Lockhart Hotel & Suites

3-star hotel
Casual hotel with free breakfast & pool
Free breakfast
Lockhart Inn

2-star hotel
Simple rooms with cable TV & Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi
Plum Creek Inn

2-star hotel
Best Western Bastrop Pines Inn

3-star hotel
Simple hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
La Quinta Inn & Suites Kyle – Austin South

3-star hotel
Lodging with an outdoor pool & a hot tub
DEAL 23% less than usual
La Quinta Inn & Suites Luling

La Quinta Inn & Suites Austin Airport

3-star hotel
Modern hotel with dining & free WiFi
W Austin

4-star hotel
Trendy hotel with spa & outdoor pool
Free breakfast
DEAL 48% less than usual
Hotel Saint Cecilia

4-star hotel
Artsy boutique property with a pool
Best Western Plus Longhorn Inn & Suites

3-star hotel
Modern lodging with Wi-Fi & breakfast
Ellison House

Boutique Hotel
Hotel · 16228 Remuda Trail
The Driskill Bar

Hotel · 604 Brazos St
Polished cocktail bar with live music
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

4-star hotel
Sleek lodging with a rooftop pool & bar
Driskill Hotel

Hotel · 150-172 Old Pecan St
La Quinta Inn San Marcos

3-star hotel
2-story hotel with free WiFi & breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
DEAL 25% less than usual
Best Western San Marcos

3-star hotel
Unfussy hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free breakfast
Four Seasons Hotel Austin

4-star hotel
Elegant rooms, plus a saltwater pool
Lake Falling Star RV Resort

Resort · 7355 FM713
Best Western Regency Inn & Suites

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


In honor of her 6 Grammy nominations and being the Most-Nominated Woman of the 2019 Grammys, we picked up 3 vinyls just for you! Follow us on social to find out how to win!



The full lineup is finally here! We know you’re just as excited as we are to get this party started. New additions to this awesome lineup include The Lone Bellow (Trio), Black Pumas, Samantha Fish, Mipso, Ida Mae & so many more!Make sure you grab your passes soon before they sell out!


There’s no need to worry about traveling back and forth each day for the festival fun. Our forever home features rolling hills and wooded areas with plenty of space for both tents and RVs or Trailers. This is a perfect place to catch up with friends or even make new ones — and definitely bring your instruments for some late night jams around the campfires!

Everyone must purchase a General Admission Festival Pass as well as the Camping Add on. For Platinum and Gold buyers, camping is included.


Camp Shhhtimes brings the intimacy of a listening room, with a lineup of world-class musicians, to a crowd of hundreds. The nightly performers have ranged from local and obscure central Texas favorites to international touring bands. Shhhtimes is definitely something you won’t want to end and will never forget!


With the 2019 Old Settler’s Music Festival less than two months away, lodging is going quickly!

We still have camping available on and off-site. Catch up with friends, make new ones — and definitely bring your instruments for some late night jams around the campfires! Prefer a hotel? Scroll down for a newly updated list of availability near the Festival.
Don’t have a tent? Skip the setup and tear down with beautiful pre-pitched accommodations from WhereInn offers a variety of fully furnished, luxury tent rentals to suit your particular budget and camping needs, creating a hassle-free experience.
Enjoy the perks! 

  • Premium camp site close (but not too close) to amenities
  • Clean and safe accommodation ready when you arrive
    • Check in as early as noon Wed, April 10
    • Check out as late as noon Mon, April 15
  • Friendly front desk service to get you set up and party ready
  • Lots of cool goodies like Beverages, Toilet Paper, and Tissues
  • Battery Powered Multiple Colored LED Lanterns (includes Red for Optimal Stargazing)
  • Welcome Packets With Essentials Like Eye Masks, Ear Plugs, Sunscreen, Etc (includes Tickets for Showers, etc.)
  • A free parking pass with every package
Simple Camping for Two – $350 / Package – Price excludes festival tickets
Includes: 2 Thick Sleeping Pads/ 2 Large (80in x 40in) Sleeping Bags/ 2 Pillows with Cases/

Hub Tent for Two – $600 / Package – Price excludes festival tickets
The “glamping on a budget” option includes: 1 Large (7.8ft x 7.8ft x 6.5ft tall) Hub Tent/Air bed(s) for 2 (1 Queen or 2 Twin)/ Linens, Sheets, 2 Throw Blankets/ 2 Pillows with Case/1 Wooden Crate Table

Want the full glamping experience? Book a Deluxe Bell Tent for Twoor a Deluxe Bell Tent for Four.
More Info

Prefer a hotel?

Here are some accommodations near the festival with vacancy remaining – but rooms are limited, book now!

Best Western Plus Longhorn Suites
Vacancy ONLY on April 11th, 2019.
13 miles from festival
4120 E Pierce St.
Luling, TX 78648
(830) 875-5442

Cottages at Boldheart Farms
2 spots left for self-contained RV’s.
7 miles from the festival
1192 Sand Hill Road
Dale, Texas 78616 (near McMahan)

Coachway Inn
Limited Vacancy
13 miles from festival
1908 E Pierce St.
Luling, TX 78648
(830) 875-5635

Luling Inn
Limited Vacancy
13 miles from festival
100 S Mulberry St.
Luling, TX 78648
(830) 875-5646

La Quinta Inn & Suites
No Vacancy on April 12th.
Limited Vacancy on April 11th and 13th.
16 miles from festival
203 E HWY 90
Luling, TX 78648
(830) 351-5320

Plum Creek Inn
Limited Vacancy
16 miles from festival
2001 S Colorado St.
Lockhart, TX 78644
(512) 398-4911

La Quinta – Gonzales
Limited Vacancy
29 miles from festival
1631 Water St.
Gonzales, TX 78629
(830) 519-4255

Best Western Regency Inn
Limited Vacancy
30 miles from festival
1811 E Sarah DeWitt Dr.
Gonzales, TX 78629
(830) 672-5555

Sleep Inn & Suites
No vacancy, but adding to a waitlist.
28 miles from festival
2138 Water St.
Gonzales, TX 78629
(830) 672-1888

2019 Festival News Series NATIONWIDE : DelFest

The John Hartford Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

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. Now I have uploaded all of the wonderful information I have found about this event in one main place! One artist I wanted to touch on here was the AMAZING Mr. Tyler Childers who is burning up the music community venue by venue and all over America.

DelFest Initial Lineup Announced

You heard the news already that The String Cheese Incident will be back to Cumberland for the 2019 DelFest and you probably already guessed that Del (McCoury Band) and the boys (The Travelin’ McCourys) will be there as well. Today, we’re pleased to announce that Trampled By Turtles, Railroad Earth, I’m With Her (feat. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan), The Marcus King Band, Billy Strings, Sierra Hull, The Gibson Brothers & Mockingbird Band, Dré & The Gospel Collective, and The Broomestix will all be there as well! And that’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for more to come and in the meantime, get your tickets now while you can still enjoy Advance Price discounts!

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.


Tickets On Sale Now

Advance 4-Day Passes, Dry RV Passes (just a few remain!), Show Sherpa(hassle-free camping) and On-site Parking Passes are all on sale now. Ticket Payment Plans are available!


Announcing The Bluegrass Bloody Mary Bar at Del’s Place Pub

We’ve had a surprise brewing for a while now…or shall we say distilling? If what we had in store for DelFest this year wasn’t already fun enough, we’re excited to bring to DelFest the first ever BlueGrass Bloody Mary Bar at Del’s Place Pub. That’s right! The DelFest Foundation and Western Maryland’s own McClintock Distilling Co. invite you to Del’s Place Pub (in the back of the Music Hall) for our inaugural BlueGrass Bloody Mary Bar on Friday and Saturday from 10am – 12pm. Del’s Place will be offering bloody marys for purchase featuring a garnishing buffet of DELicacies to satisfy the most discerning palate—from basic mixes to pepper and bacon! And for your entertainment, McClintock Distilling is pleased to present two regional band fan-favorites each day! Friday morning will feature Wicked Sycamore and Man About a Horse and on Saturday will feature The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers and The Plate Scrapers. See ya at Del’s Place!

Less Than Three Weeks To Go!

Wow! It’s hard to believe DelFest is just around the corner. Here are a few reminders of what’s to come, along with some new features this year.

Get Your Tickets Now

…and parking passes, too! Prices go up on May 21st, so there’s still time to save on 4-day, 3-day, 2-day and single day tickets. BUY TICKETS HERE. Then be sure to download the Eventbrite app on your phone for easy entry.

More Than Music…

On-site at DelFest you’ll find incredible music all day long, Late Night Shows, a fun-filled KidZone, a quality Art & Craft Fair, delicious food and drinks, plentiful camping space and much more. See below for more details or check out the Activities and Attractions details online.

Art & Craft Fair

In the Grandstand music meadow you’ll find our Art & Craft Fair, offering a colorful array of quality clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and other crafts that our vendors create and gather from all over the globe. More info>>

Food & Beverage

DelFest features a wide variety of festival cuisine including local, ethnic, vegetarian, and vegan options.  Fine brews are available from Victory Brewing CompanySweetWaterTroegsDevils BackboneBud LightUnion Craft,1812 Brewery and Bold Rock Cider, and well as red and white wines and the BlueGrass Bloody Mary Bar on Friday and Saturday! DELicious!


Prepare yourself for another glorious day at DelFest by connecting your mind, body and spirit with DelFest Movement Playshops. We love our new spot on the Farmhouse Lawn. Bring your mat! And don’t miss our new playshop, RhythmextriX each day on the KidZone lawn. More info>>

So Much To Enjoy in Cumberland!

From biking to hiking to kayaking and so many other fun ‘ing-things…we picked Cumberland to host DelFest for a good reason! Check out all these things to do in town and in the surrounding areas!

Daily SchedulesAnnounced

Start planning your musical adventure now!

The daily grids for DelFest are now posted on our site. Enjoy our interactive scheduler where you can sort by day or by stage, view additional artist info, and even create a personalized schedule and sync to your phone or calendar.

Check out the Daily Schedule here >>

Final Lineup Additions Announced

DelFest is excited to announce the addition of The Kruger Brothers, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Bowman, Bowman & Dré, The Sounds of Laurel Canyon, and The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys! And just like that, we have ourselves the 2019 DelFest Lineup!

Single-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day Passes On Sale Now

Tickets at current discount price will be gone soon!

3-day, 2-day and single-day tickets for DelFest are on-sale now, along with Show Sherpa (hassle-free camping) and On-site Parking Passes. 4-Day Passes are on sale at the current price now through April 1st (no joke!) Get yours before prices go up. Ticket Payment Plans are available!


Learn to play Bluegrass from Grammy Winners, The Travelin’ McCourys!

The DelFest Academy (held just before DelFest – Sunday May 19 through Wednesday May 22) is a friendly, encouraging, and intensive four-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass serving as instructors for students of all levels. The Academy offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and dobro led by all-star instructors providing lessons to students which target their individual needs and leave ample time for plenty of one-on-one interaction. In addition to our Grammy-winning host band, The Travelin’ McCourys [Rob McCoury (banjo), Ron McCoury (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle), Cody Kilby (guitar), Alan Bartram (bass)], returning to teach this year will be Sierra Hull on mandolin and husband Justin Moses on dobro, along with Frank Solivan and members of Dirty Kitchen – Mike Munford (banjo) and Chris Luquette (guitar). Also returning is an academy favorite Ronnie Bowmanon guitar and vocal class joined by wife, Garnet Bowman.

Learn more about The DelFest Academy

Late Night Shows Announced

Take a nap now because you’re not going to want to miss any of these DelFestlate night shows!  New this year…by popular demand…headliner goes on first!


An Evening With Billy Strings (two sets!)


Yonder Mountain String Band | Larry Keel Experience


Railroad Earth | Joe Craven & The Sometimers


The DelFest Chaser: The Travelin’ McCourys with Sam Bush and More

All shows are separately-ticketed events and are only $25 each. Get more details here.


Discount Tickets Still Available

4-Day Passes, Show Sherpa (hassle-free camping) and On-site Parking Passes are all on sale at the current price now through April 1st (no joke!) Get yours before prices go up. Ticket Payment Plans are available!  3-day, 2-day and single-day tickets will be available April 13th.


Learn to play Bluegrass from Grammy Winners, The Travelin’ McCourys!

The DelFest Academy (held just before DelFest – Sunday May 19 through Wednesday May 22) is a friendly, encouraging, and intensive four-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass serving as instructors for students of all levels. The Academy offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and dobro led by all-star instructors providing lessons to students which target their individual needs and leave ample time for plenty of one-on-one interaction. In addition to our Grammy-winning host band, The Travelin’ McCourys [Rob McCoury (banjo), Ron McCoury (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle), Cody Kilby (guitar), Alan Bartram (bass)], returning to teach this year will be Sierra Hull on mandolin and husband Justin Moses on dobro, along with Frank Solivan and members of Dirty Kitchen – Mike Munford (banjo) and Chris Luquette (guitar). Also returning is an academy favorite Ronnie Bowmanon guitar and vocal class joined by wife, Garnet Bowman.

Learn more about The DelFest Academy

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

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.


Ameripolitan returns to Memphis Feb. 22-25

(MEMPHIS, TN) – There’s nowhere on earth to be but Memphis this February if you’re a fan of Ameripolitan music. Details out today for the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards weekend, presented alongside longtime friend and partner Tito’s Handmade Vodka, include five packed showcase line-ups and Awards Show performances by the legendary Larry CollinsRay Wylie HubbardBrennen LeighThe Reeves BrothersSophia JohnsonThe GoGetters, and more to be announced.

That Awards Show takes place Monday, Feb. 25, at the Guesthouse at Graceland, and is the culminating event of four full days of festivities celebrating rockabilly, western swing, outlaw and honky-tonk music. The show will be hosted by Ameripolitan founder Dale Watson alongside Ameripolitan Award Winner and rockabilly bandleader Big Sandy. The artists who will be honored that night will be chosen by fans, who can vote now through January 1 via Ballot Blaster.

The warm up to Monday night’s finale begins on Friday, Feb. 22, with a pre-party at Blues City Café on Beale Street. Showcases Saturday and Sunday at Magnuson HotelClub 152 and Minglewood Hall feature performances by James Intveld, Dallas Moore, Summer Dean,  The Lucky StarsThe Farmer and AdeleWayne HancockBig Cedar FeverTammi SavoyRose SinclairCarolyn Sills and many more. The Ameripolitan fashion show, happening Sunday at Club 152, will feature designs by Riley Reed, Manuel CoutureRocking B ClothingBernie DexterJuke Box MamaMonica J Veronica Designs, Ellie MonsterTina Vines, Ashlyn Evans65 ShillingsFables by Barrie and Vinyl Ranch.

“For the sixth year of the Ameripolitan Awards and our second year in Memphis, it feels bigger than ever and there’s no sign of it stopping,” Ameripolitan founder Dale Watson says. “I think those that take advantage of The Ameripolitan Showcases and Awards Show are going to hear music that will make them lifelong fans of some of these artists. It’s officially not just a night, it’s a week-ender. Welcome to the sixth Ameripolitans!”

Tickets for the full weekend and Awards Show are available now. 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 and use code Ameripolitan2019.

Friday, Feb. 22 | 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Blues City Café
Hillbilly Casino
Colton Turner Band
Three Blue TeardropsSaturday, Feb. 23 | 12 p.m. | Showcase at Magnuson Hotel 
Country Heroes
Western Swing Authority
Pat Reedy
Summer Dean with The Reeves Brothers
Lucky Stars
Malin Pettersen
James IntveldSaturday, Feb. 23 | 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Showcase at Blues City Café
The Farmer & Adele
Casey James Prestwood
Big Cedar Fever
The Rhythm Rounders
Rosie Flores

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 2 p.m. | Chicken $#!+ Bingo Showcase at Club 152
Dale Watson and special guests:
Celine Lee
Marcel Riesco
Bonnie Montgomery
Lawrence Peters
Steve Griggs
Whitney Rose
Peter Sandberg

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 6 p.m. | Fashion Show Showcase Club 152
Cheryl Deseree & Eva Darling co host
House band: The Farmer & Adele
Rebecca Jed
Cherry Rat
Abby Girl
More to be announced

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Showcase at Minglewood Hall 
Wayne Hancock
Tammi Savoy
Zephaniah O’Hora
Tommy Ash
Dallas Moore
The Rhyolite Sound
Jimmy Dale and The Beltline
Jesse Daniel w/ Carolyn Sills Combo
Two Tons of Steel
The Delta Bombers

Monday, Feb. 25 | noon – 2 p.m. | Cindy Walker Tribute at Rock n Roll Cafe 
Sophia Johnson
Rose Sinclair
Carolyn Sills
Katie Shore
Karen Biller
Brennen Leigh
Grace Adele
Cheryl Deseree
Sunshine Jackson
Stacey Lee Guse
Georgia Parker

Monday, Feb. 25 | 8 p.m. | Ameripolitan Awards Show at The Guesthouse at Graceland
Larry Collins (Keeper of the Key Award)
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Brennen Leigh
The Reeves Brothers
Sophia Johnson
The GoGetters
Roy Head
Jim Heath
Roger Alan Wade
Billy Mata
And more to be announced soon!


Festivities kick off in Memphis one month from today

(MEMPHIS, TN) – With one month to go until Ameripolitan music fans and artists descend on Memphis, showcase line-ups and awards show performers are locked in and tickets are almost sold out for the four-day celebration of honky tonk, western swing, outlaw and rockabilly music.

The 2019 Ameripolitan Awards weekend, presented alongside longtime friend and partner Tito’s Handmade Vodka, includes five packed showcase line-ups and an awards show featuring performances by Keeper of the Key Honoree Larry Collins and many more, including just-announced additions Unknown Hinson and Roger Alan Wade. The awards show will be hosted by Ameripolitan founder Dale Watson alongside Ameripolitan Award winner and rockabilly bandleader Big Sandy, Feb. 25 at the Guesthouse at Graceland.

The warm up to Monday night’s finale begins on Friday, Feb. 22, with a pre-party at Blues City Café on Beale Street. Showcases Saturday and Sunday at Travelodge by WyndhamRock and Roll Cafe and Minglewood Hall feature performances by James Intveld, Dallas Moore, Summer Dean, 
Bonnie MontgomeryThe Farmer and AdeleWayne HancockBig Cedar FeverSophia JohnsonRose SinclairCarolyn Sills and many more.

Just announced for Saturday, Feb. 23, Ameripolitan is proud to present Kim Lenz at her album release show for Slowly Speeding, kicking off just after midnight at Travelodge by Wyndham.

The Ameripolitan fashion show, happening Sunday at Travelodge by Wyndham, will feature designs by Lansky Bros., Riley Reed, Manuel CoutureRocking B ClothingBernie DexterJuke Box MamaMonica J Veronica Designs,Ellie MonsterTina Vines, Ashlyn Evans65 ShillingsFables by Barrie and Vinyl Ranch.

Tickets for the full weekend and Awards Show are available now. To reserve rooms at the Guest House at Graceland, call 1-800-238-2000 and use block code 190221AMER. For the Travelodge by Wyndham, call 901-207-7924 and use code Ameripolitan2019.

Friday, Feb. 22 | 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Blues City Café
Hillbilly Casino
The GoGetters
Three Blue Teardrops

Saturday, Feb. 23 | 12 p.m. | Showcase at Travelodge by Wyndham 
Country Heroes
Western Swing Authority
Pat Reedy
Summer Dean with The Reeves Brothers
Lucky Stars
Malin Pettersen
James Intveld

Saturday, Feb. 23 | 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. | Showcase at Blues City Café
The Farmer & Adele
Casey James Prestwood
Big Cedar Fever
The Rhythm Rounders
Rosie Flores
Lara Hope and the Arktones

Saturday, Feb. 23 | 12:45 a.m. – 3 a.m. | Travelodge by Wyndham 
Kim Lenz Album Release Show

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 2 p.m. | Chicken $#!+ Bingo Showcase at Travelodge by Wyndham
Dale Watson and special guests:
Celine Lee
Marcel Riesco
Bonnie Montgomery
Lawrence Peters
Steve Griggs
Whitney Rose
Peter Sandberg

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 6 p.m. | Fashion Show Showcase at Travelodge by Wyndham
Cheryl Deseree & Eva Darling co host
House band: John Paul Keith, Mario Monterosso and The RagTops
Rebecca Jed
Cherry Rat
Abby Girl
Whitney Rose
Andrea & Mud
Georgia Parker

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Showcase at Minglewood Hall 
Wayne Hancock
Tammi Savoy
Zephaniah O’Hora
Tommy Ash
Dallas Moore
The Rhyolite Sound
Jimmy Dale and The Beltline
Jesse Daniel w/ Carolyn Sills Combo
Two Tons of Steel
The Delta Bombers

Monday, Feb. 25 | noon – 2 p.m. | Cindy Walker Tribute at Rock n Roll Cafe 
Sophia Johnson
Rose Sinclair
Carolyn Sills
Katie Shore
Karen Biller
Brennen Leigh
Grace Adele
Cheryl Deseree
Sunshine Jackson
Stacey Lee Guse
Georgia Parker

Monday, Feb. 25 | 8 p.m. | Ameripolitan Awards Show at The Guesthouse at Graceland
Larry Collins (Keeper of the Key Award)
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Brennen Leigh
The Reeves Brothers
Sophia Johnson & Carolyn Sills
The GoGetters
Roy Head
Jim Heath
Roger Alan Wade
Unknown Hinson
Billy Mata
Wayne Hancock
James Hand
Gary P. Nunn

Tumbleweed Going Southern Rock in 2019

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

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

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

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

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