Album Feature – Urban Pioneers – Come Out Swingin’

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Mar 042019

By Joshua Wallace

The Urban Pioneers are back with their sixth album.  It’s a follow up to last year’s double releases of Hillbilly Swing Music and The Urban Pioneers String Band Play 10 Old Timey Favorites.  This album goes back to more of a country and bluegrass feel for the band and I feel like it is one of their strongest releases yet.  Jared McGovern continues to grow as a singer and songwriter while Liz Sloan continues to be an amazing fiddle player and singer in her own right.  Let’s take a deeper look at some of these tracks.

The album kicks off with a mostly instrumental jam in the title track “Come Out Swingin”.  The track lets you know what you’re in for as the band comes out swingin’ for the opener.  It’s mostly an instrumental till the very end with a quick chorus of the title.  I love the Tejano stylings of “Hungover Texans”.  It’s something different for the Urban Pioneers as the band continues to show different sides of their music.  The folk punk band out of San Marcos, TX called 36″ Wheels who originally did the song.  I love the addition of the accordion by Abel Casillas on this track.

Another favorite is “Holdin’ On” and this track is a slower track that showcases Jared’s songwriting.  This track is also some of vocals from this band across their six albums.  Liz Sloan’s fiddle solo is great here as well.  “People Vs. Me” is another example of Jared’s great songwriting.  It’s about his his own personal run in with the law.  The story of that is out there and I won’t recount it here, however Jared turns it into one hell of a protest ballad about the entire experience.  However, the best protest song on the album, and possibly my new favorite Urban Pioneers song is “TPAA”.  I can actually see this being a crowd favorite for live shows as it’s a fun protest song against corrupt cops everywhere.

I have been following the Urban Pioneers since before day one of this band and I have seen them grow as a band.  I’ve seen their style evolve and the core unit of Jared McGovern and Liz Sloan grow as musicians and as a unit.  This sixth album from the Urban Pioneers represents some of their best work, and that is hot on the heals of Hillbilly Swing Music which also represented some of their best work.  You can find this album everywhere as of Friday February 22nd, 2019 and the band is always on tour in support of their music.  They’re currently on tour with Scott H. Biram and The Goddamn Gallows and you can find those dates below with ticket details on the band’s website.

Favorite Tracks : Come Out Swingin’, Hungover Texans, Holdin’ On, People vs Me, Flint, MT, TPAA

Urban Pioneers – Come Out Swingin’ (2019)

  1. Come Out Swingin’
  2. Ragamuffin
  3. Hard Work and Dedication
  4. Old Fashioned Love
  5. Piggy Man
  6. Hungover Texans
  7. Holdin’ On
  8. Singin’ Tractor Driver
  9. People vs Me
  10. Election Day
  11. Flint, MI
  12. TPAA

From March 7- April 7 On tour with The Goddamn Gallows and Scott H Biram

Thu, MAR 07 – Beachland Ballroom & Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Fri, MAR 08 – The Shrunken Head – Columbus, OH
Sat, MAR 09 – Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
Sun, MAR 10 – King’s Rook Club – Erie, PA
Tue, MAR 12 – The Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
Wed, MAR 13 – The Stone Church – Brattleboro, VT
Thu, MAR 14 – The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant – Manchester, NH
Fri, MAR 15 – Cafe 9 – New Haven, CT
Sat, MAR 16 – Stanhop House – Stanhope, NJ
Sun, MAR 17 – Kingsland Bar & Grill – Brooklyn, NY
Mon, MAR 18 – City Winery DC – Washington, DC
Wed, MAR 20 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
Thu, MAR 21 – The Ramkat – Winston-salem, NC
Fri, MAR 22 – The Jinx – Savannah, GA
Sat, MAR 23 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
Sun, MAR 24 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
Tue, MAR 26 – Saturn – Birmingham, AL
Thu, MAR 28 – The Concourse – Knoxville, TN
Fri, MAR 29 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN
Sat, MAR 30 – Buzz Bomb Brewing Co – Springfield, IL
Sun, MAR 31 – Outland Ballroom – Springfield, MO
Tue, APR 02 – The Burl – Lexington, KY
Wed, APR 03 – The Southgate House Revival – The Sanctuary – Newport, KY
Thu, APR 04 – The Brass Rail – Fort Wayne, IN
Fri, APR 05 – Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom – Milwaukee, WI
Sat, APR 06 – Reggies Rock Club – Chicago, IL
Sun, APR 07 – The Sanctuary – Detroit, MI

Album Feature – Vandoliers – Forever

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Mar 042019

By Joshua Wallace

The Vandoliers bring a unique sound to the alt country scene.  They have a mix that bends alt country, punk Tejano and even some southern rock influence.  Forever is the band’s first album since signing to Bloodshot Records and what I believe is their third overall album.  Let’s take a dive into some of these tracks.

The album kicks off with “Miles and Miles” which gives you a hint at the vibe you’ll get throughout the album.  This track is a mix of alt country with punk rock grit that sets the tone for the album. I also dig the next track “Troublemaker” which has a bit of a Rancid influence.  This track brings in the band’s Tejano sound as well. It’s a unique mix that makes for a fun track.

Another fun track is  “All In Black”. I love the horn riff that highlights this one.  Stick around for the awesome guitar solo too. Speaking of guitars, “Shoshone Rose” is a highlight if you’re into modern southern rock.  The track opens with a killer groove that permeates through the track. It’s the best guitar work of the album and I dig it. Finally, the ballad “Cigarettes In The Rain” is a highlight.  It’s another change of pace for the album that really highlights the songwriting for this awesome group.

If you like your country with a bit of a different flavor, this album is for you.  There is a mix of alt country, punk rock, Tejano and even southern rock here. It all melds together well to create an amazing melting pot of influences on one album.  If you’re new to the Vandoliers like I am, dive right in and give this record a shot. It’s available everywhere you can find good music from Bloodshot Records as of February 15th, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Miles and Miles, Troublemaker, All On Black, Sixteen Years, Shoshone Rose, Tumbleweed

Vandoliers – Forever (2019)

  1. Miles and Miles
  2. Troublemaker
  3. All On Black
  4. Fallen Again
  5. Sixteen Years
  6. Shoshone Rose
  7. Bottom Dollar Boy
  8. Cigarettes In The Rain
  9. Nowhere Fast
  10. Tumbleweed

Introducing “Voices In The Hall” A New Podcast From The Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum

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Mar 032019
Just Announced
Just Announced: Voices in The Hall A Podcast by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Season One Begins Feb. 22
Featuring artists Dierks Bentley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rosanne Cash, Dave Cobb, Jessi Colter, Larry Gatlin, Emmylou Harris, Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, Ray Stevens, Charlie Worsham
Listen. Subscribe. Share. @VoicesInTheHall | #VoicesInTheHall |
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum presents Voices in the Hall, insightful conversations with compelling artists, from megawatt stars to highly influential players, who propel the story of American music forward. Host Peter Cooper is the Museum’s senior director, producer, and writer.


Here is where you can find out more information..

Dierks Bentley

Singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley came to Nashville as a Vanderbilt student and soon found himself immersed in the city’s street-level

February 22, 201940:14Listen »

Dave Cobb

Dave Cobb is the most respected and admired producer of country music’s 2010s, or whatever we call the second decade of the

February 22, 201936:28Listen »

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash has won four Grammy awards, has scored fifteen Top 20 country hits, has written one of music’s great memoirs in

February 22, 201925:35Listen »

Ricky Skaggs

As the first out of the gate in what is often called country music’s “neo-traditionalist movement” in 1981, Ricky Skaggs helped bring

February 22, 201934:58Listen »

Voices to Come

Episode 7: Jessi Colter

Episode 8: Ray Stevens

Episode 9: Sierra Hull

Episode 10: Larry Gatlin

Episode 11: Emmylou Harris – Part I 

Episode 12: Emmylou Harris – Part II

Music Festivals 2019: Luck Reunion.

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Mar 032019

Del Fest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Suwanee Spring Reunion
ROMP Festival
Red Ants Pants
Aiken Bluegrass festival


Luck Reunion Reveals 2019 Festival Lineup
Live From Austin’s Cactus Cafe
Presenting Sponsor Southwest Airlines® Kicks Off 2019
“Southwest: On The Rise to Luck” Program
February 7, 2019 – Austin, TX – Luck Reunion, the flagship festival of Luck Productions, is pleased to announce the 2019 lineup for the annual event taking place at Willie Nelson’s “Luck, TX” on Thursday, March 14th. Along with presenting sponsor Southwest, the boutique collective unveiled the diverse artist roster as part of the Lucky Draw Live ticketing event hosted at the iconic Cactus Cafe and presented in partnership with KUTX.
Lucky Draw Live was the third installment of Luck Reunion’s fan-forward ticket buying initiative; offering fans the opportunity to buy tickets in-person, in addition to anintimate performance from Hayes Carll and Southwest: On The Rise to Luck 2018 winner, Thomas Csorba.
Anchored by a performance by Willie Nelson & Family, the 2019 Reunion will showcase more than 40 artists representing a wide swath of genres across five stages. The World Headquarters Stage, situated outside of Nelson’s famed “Headquarters” haunt will feature acts such as Shakey Graves, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Lukas Nelson, and more; while the Sources Stage will host a full female roster headlining Mavis Staples and will feature kick-ass ladies including Brandy Zdan, Mountain Man, Courtney Marie Andrews, Yola, and more. Nathaniel Rateliff will return to Luck with an intimate set on the Chapel Stage, preceded by artists including Cedric Burnside, Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos, and The Cactus Blossoms; and the crowd-favorite Revival Tent will welcome celebrated acts such as Strand Of Oaks, Langhorne Slim & The Law, and Low Cut Connie. In true Luck fashion, surprise special guests will join Jade Jackson on the Saloon Stage lineup.
The full lineup is as follows:
Willie Nelson & Family
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Shakey Graves
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
The Marcus King Band
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Illuminati Hotties
Particle Kid
Paula Nelson & Jesse Dayton
Southwest® Artist On The Rise
Mavis Staples
Mountain Man
Courtney Marie Andrews
Haley Heynderickx
Angie McMahon
Sunny War
Brandy Zdan
Hayes Carll
Strand Of Oaks
Langhorne Slim & The Law
Low Cut Connie
The Nude Party
Quaker City Nighthawks
Thomas Csorba
E.B. The Younger
Logan Ledger
Nathaniel Rateliff
Cedric Burnside
Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos
The Cactus Blossoms
Dylan LeBlanc
J.S. Ondra
Billy Strings
Lola Kirke
Waylon Payne
The Lucky Draw Live event on Feb. 7th also served as the official reveal of the three contenders for the 2019 Southwest: Artist On The Rise To Luck program, a platform created by the airline dedicated to supporting the careers of developing artists and demonstrating the initiative to propel up-and-coming creatives. Beginning today, fans will be called upon to learn more about the three finalists via the carrier’s music website, Later this month, fans will have a chance to vote on to help determine who will win a coveted main stage slot at this year’s Luck Reunion. As part of Thursday’s Lucky Draw Live, Southwest’s 2018 Artist On The Rise, Thomas Csorba, revealed this year’s contenders:
Madison Cunningham: Los Angeles, California
Katie Pruitt: Nashville, Tennessee
Cha Wa: New Orleans, Louisiana
The burgeoning artist platform is upping its ante this year. Beginning in March the selected Artists On The Rise, chosen by a panel of music industry experts, will embark on a three-city Southwest: On The Rise to Luck Live Tour, presented by The Rustic,featuring live shows at each of the venue’s locations: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. While music-lovers across the country vote via for their top choice, Texas fans will have the opportunity to check out all three acts vying for the sought-after Luck Reunion set. For more information, please visit The Rustic’s event page.
March 7 – The Rustic Dallas; 3656 Howell St.
March 8 – The Rustic San Antonio; 17619 La Cantera Parkway at The RIM
March 9 – The Rustic Houston; 1836 Polk St.
Luck Reunion presented by Southwest, will take place on March 14th in Luck, TX, less than thirty miles outside of Austin, and feature both artists who have defined American music and artists who are redefining it. Luck Reunion performers, or “Luck Family” as they’ve grown to be called, all take after the event’s gracious host, free-wheeling legend Willie Nelson, in that they bow to nothing but inspiration, refuse to play it safe, and are always open for collaboration. In between once in a lifetime sets from their favorite new artists, fans will have plenty of chances to refuel in style with refreshments by The Mountain Valley Spring Water and food options curated by Austin Food + Wine Alliance, celebrating Central Texas chefs who are pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to have a cookout in the Hill Country.
For more information on this year’s festival, please visit Luck Reunion’s Website. For more information Luck’s ticketing process, please visit Luck Reunion – Ticketing. Please note there will be one remaining “Lucky Draw” on Friday, February 22nd.
About Luck Productions:
Luck Productions is a rogue cultural collective headquartered in Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX. Anchored by its flagship event, the annual Luck Reunion, Luck Productions creates experiences that embrace our past while cultivating new traditions in American roots culture. In addition to the Reunion, Luck Productions has hosted pop-up events including “Luck Mansion” residencies during Nashville’s AmericanaFest; a featured stage activation during Highwater Festival; the “Luck Hotel” content and concert series in Dallas; and the new “Luck Social” supper and song series held in Luck, TX.
About Southwest Airlines Co.:
In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 58,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to serve Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting
Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest Airlines or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.




If you don’t know how this works, ask around. Luck, the Luck family of artists, and everyone on our team prides themselves on bringing together an exciting new lineup of music and offerings every year. Lineup will be announced soon enough!



We are a very small event with a large demand. We try our best to avoid ticket scalpers, bots and losers who wish to profit off of our collective good times. We don’t sell all of our tickets in one online sale and we have our own way of doing things. (For more in depth ticketing instructions visit

⚡ We distribute Luck Reunion tickets on a rolling basis via several Lucky Draw ticket drawings leading up to the event.

⚡️For each Lucky Draw, submissions will open one week prior to the Draw date. On the day of the Draw, winners will be picked at random and sent a code to purchase tickets.

⚡️The unique code must be used within 72 hours of release. If the code is not used, another code will be sent to the next randomly selected Lucky entrant.

⚡️Limit of 2 tickets per transaction

⚡️Each Lucky Draw is autonomous from the last. You must submit your email for each new Draw.

⚡️Our email list and social media is a great place to find out about potential ticket giveaways.

⚡️Luck Reunion is 21 + . Minors under the age of 21 may only enter under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. ID required at gates. Anyone over the age of 6 will require a ticket to the event

⚡️There will not be tickets sold at the gate – please do not come without a ticket in hand.

⚡️VIP tickets includes access to Oak Tree Lounge and World Headquarters front porch viewing areas and waived parking fee.

⚡️ Due to the desired intimacy of the event space by the Nelson family (and for your own enjoyment) this event has a capacity cap. We know that this means many of our loyal fans will not get tickets every year. Please try your best to keep your eye on sales and giveaways and know that we are doing our best to make sure every fan has an equal chance to be #inluck. As the Rolling Stones said it best; “You can’t always get what you want”…

⚡️This is a rain or shine event – no exceptions or refunds – On occasion authorities may ask us to hold gates or temporarily evacuate the grounds in the case of an emergency. In this case we will do our best to communicate updates via the Luck app and social media. Should authorities mandate a full event shut down we will handle refunds only in the case that the event was not open to the public for at least 6 hours. No refunds will be granted for any other reason. 

⚡️No animals allowed – ADA service animals allowed with valid credentials.



⚡️Beverages are complimentary (even the adult kind) and we will have a variety to choose from…

⚡️We have enlisted some amazing food trucks and vendors to keep even the most picky of appetites happy. We have asked our food truck partners to be conscious of vegan and vegetarian dietary needs. In addition we are asking more vendors to attend than ever before. We are always conscious of having more food available to our guests.



⚡️Reserve your round trip ticket on our charter bus from downtown Austin to the 2019 Luck Reunion. There are a handful of schedules to choose from. These charter busses will run with assigned times and schedules. If you are familiar with our past bus programs we think you will really dig the upgrade! Click here to purchase your bus tickets:


⚡️Parking – On-site parking available for $20 and is available on a first come first serve basis. We will have signs pointing you in the right direction as you get closer to the event site. Once the on-site lot is full we will direct overflow to our new overflow lots. These lots will have provided shuttle service to and from event. We will do our best to make the experience as fast and enjoyable as possible. please enjoy the experience. Lots of great people to get in and out of our gates! Parking lot will open at 10am on March 14th.

⚡️No overnight parking or camping

⚡️Single space vehicles only. No RVs, campers, passenger vans or busses allowed on site without prior consent.

⚡️Carpooling is recommended

⚡️Be sure to check the availability of your favorite rideshare company – not all rideshare companies may be in play where you are originating from. We will have a designated car-share drop of area.



⚡️This is the Nelson’s home and working ranch and as such we recommend our guests stay within the gated confines of event and not disturb the wildlife and animals

⚡️Blankets and “blanket villages” are only allowed off the main throughways in low-traffic areas. Please respect the requests of our many volunteers and team members helping us keep the peace and enjoyable viewing for everyone!

⚡️This may not be the best atmosphere for the little one but if you do bring the family please keep an eye on your flock

⚡️There is seating in the Revival Tent, and some of the food truck areas but be advised it is an all day festival and you will be on your feet a lot. We do not allow outside chairs or seating unless an ADA accessibility request is presented.

⚡️We will have complimentary water stations on site – feel free to bring an empty water bottle – don’t get sneaky… we know your ways! Besides, why bother – beverages are free?

⚡️Prepare for the elements – it’s Texas y’all so it could be any range of weather conditions. We have seen a range of between 45 and 105 on our event dates and if you were there in 2016 you know to be prepared for anything. We won’t give up until you do or safety is at stake.



Our ADA team is here to support all handicapped and disabled individuals to the best of our ability. We trust that you have reviewed the Festival Grounds info to ensure this is the perfect environment for you prior to purchasing a ticket. If you have a unique case send us a direct message and we will work with you on supporting your needs for a great day in Luck



We may require bag checks at the gate. This ain’t a border checkpoint but you catch our drift. Bring your blankets and the gear you need for the elements (sun screen etc..) You may bring an empty water bottle to use at our complimentary water stations.


The items below – leave em at home.

⚡️Outside food & beverage



⚡️Weapons (see our firearm statement below)

⚡️substances… you know what we mean, right?

⚡️Bad vibes

⚡️Oh yeah, and again, no pets. – ADA service animals allowed with valid credentials.



Yeah we know, everyone is a photographer these days. Take a few photos and tag #luckreunion when you share them. Please be courteous to your fellow attendees and don’t hold your damn phone in the air all day long. Professional photo and video cameras are not allowed. NO EXCEPTIONS. Any DSLR / video cameras etc… will require a press pass or you will be asked to leave the event.



Listen y’all our guiding principal is based on the family code, “Don’t be an Asshole”. Willie Nelson and his family are letting us throw you a party in his backyard. Be respectful of them and each other, pick up after yourself and if you smoke dispose of yer butts in a proper way. Do not bother the rescue horses and other wildlife. Stay within the confines of the fenced areas. Prepare for a music festival environment with limited access to seating and shade. This is an outdoor, rain or shine event – plan accordingly. Have a great time and be cool – can’t be any easier than that.









Ameripolitan Awards Pictures.

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Mar 032019

Here are the articles for the showcases and most of the events that were transpiring all weekend.


(MEMPHIS, TN) – In a night filled with incredible musical performances, artists in rockabilly, western swing, outlaw country and honky tonk music were honored at the sixth annual Ameripolitan Music Awards, hosted by Ameripolitan founder Dale Watson and Ameripolitan Award winner and western swing bandleader Big Sandy, at the Guest House at Graceland in Memphis tonight.

The awards were the ultimate cherry on top of four days of music and festivities in Memphis. Here is the complete list of winners and honorees.


Honky Tonk Female

Whitney Rose

Honky Tonk Male

Jesse Daniel

Honky Tonk Group

Two Tons of Steel

Western Swing Female

Grace Adele

Western Swing Male

Justin Trevino

Western Swing Group

Big Cedar Fever

Rockabilly Female

Tammi Savoy

Rockabilly Male

Jimmy Dale Richardson

Rockabilly Group

The Delta Bombers

Outlaw Female

Summer Dean

Outlaw Male

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Outlaw Group

Mike & the Moonpies

Ameripolitan DJ

Woody Adkins The Real Deal Country Show KOPN 89.5

Ameripolitan Venue

Roberts Western World, Nashville, TN

Ameripolitan Festival

Rockin Race, Malaga Spain

Ameripolitan Musician

Deke Dickerson

2019 Keeper of the Key

Larry Collins

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. The Ameripolitan Music Awards began in 2014 in Austin, Texas. The fifth annual event will be held in Memphis, Tenn., in February of 2018.


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. The Ameripolitan Music Awards began in 2014 in Austin, Texas. The fifth annual event will be held in Memphis, Tenn., in February of 2018.

Austin-based honky-tonker Dale Watson carries on in the tradition of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson with his “Ameripolitan” brand of American roots music. Dubbed “the silver pompadoured, baritone beltin’, Lone Star beer drinkin’, honky-tonk hellraiser” by The Austin Chronicle, Watson sat in with Jimmy Kimmel’s house band as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) from SXSW 2015. He also emceed the first ever SXSW “Ameripolitan” showcase featuring the best of Honky-tonk, Outlaw Country, Rockabilly and Texas Swing music. Since the release of El Rancho Azul in 2013, Watson’s profile has risen considerably via appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS), Austin City Limits and The Sun Sessions(PBS) and as a guest on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. A veteran touring artist and consummate entertainer, he is on the road more than 300 days a year. He also put his money where his heart is and took over ownership of two struggling Texas honky-tonks, the Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin (home of Chicken $#!+ Bingo) and The Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwigs (outside San Antonio).  If not on the road, he and His Lone Stars perform at one of them each Sunday. Dale has flown the flag for classic honky-tonk for over two decades. He’s christened his brand of American roots “Ameripolitan” to differentiate it from current crop of Nashville-based pop country. The Alabama-born, Texas-raised Watson may be the hardest working entertainer today and is rapidly approaching legendary status. He is a country music maverick, a true outlaw who stands alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.


“Twenty-five years, hundreds of thousands of miles, and over 3,000 live performances; what a dream it’s been!” said Robert “Big Sandy” Williams. “When I first got together for a garage rehearsal with a group of musician friends in the spring of 1988 in Anaheim, California, I never imagined that I would someday be celebrating the silver anniversary of the rocking little band that formed that afternoon.” Indeed, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are beloved by many, with fourteen albums of undiluted joyful music pulled from rockabilly, rock & roll, honky-tonk, rhythm & blues, soul and doo-wop. What A Dream It’s Been, out August 27 on Cow Island Music, is a collection of the band’s favorite original numbers – all acoustic, reinterpreted with fresh new arrangements, rhythms, and instrumentation.”Here I am, looking back at a wild ride that has taken us around the world countless times and put us in front of national television and radio audiences,” said Big Sandy. He and the band have made three appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, as well as All Things Considered with Melissa Block. As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and entertainer, Big Sandy has few contemporaries. With the release of What a Dream It’s Been, Big Sandy is at once acknowledging and celebrating the successes of the past 25 years, while setting the stage for further exploration and interpretation of the musical forms he is most passionate about.

Ameripolitan Showcases: Sunday.

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Mar 022019

I have been hanging out at Dad’s Place and right now Mr. Dale is onstage with the band, and he started with “Lonesome Fugitive” by Merle Haggard from the 1967 album of the same name. He is playing the Bob Wills song from 1974 “That’s What I Like About The South” wrote by Phil Harris.

This full band here is tearing this bar up today, with many more terrific acts to come here tonight at Minglewood Hall at both clubs tonight.  Right now Mr. Dale is playing one of his new songs from the “Call Me Lucky” album called “Haul Off And Do It”. You can also read our review of that album right HERE, as usual Mr. Joshua did a fine job of reviewing this one.

Nominated for Outlaw Male right now Mr.Steve Griggs is playing “Walk On By” from Mr. Leroy Van Dyke. He played an original song from his album called “Fort Worth To Bakersfield” called “Drinking Texas Off My Mind”.

Mr. Jimi Palacios was today’s first chicken shit bingo winner, and he chose a pocket, which he gets to do later. For now Mr. Dale played the ever popular song “Fraulein”, before the next guest came up. “Inside View” was another great song off the new album he played. So he got called back up to play the pocket game, and he chose a pocket…and he wins….26 cents…..and one hundred dollars! THAT’S how you play the game.

Mr. Billy Don Burns got up there and played “Hank Williams Lonesome”. He played one he said he just wrote called “I like Trains”. He is nominated for Outlaw Male of the year awards, and right now I am eating one of those free hot dogs Mr. Dale always sings about….good food. Like I previously said..he did this weekend up right.  The band is playing “Dim Lights Thick Smoke”.

“Working Man’s Blues” was next tonight, along with a bunch of swing music that is keeping everybody drinking and dancing on into the early evening here. Ray Price is the next shuffle song up there tonight, “Are You Sure This Is Where You Want To Be”.

Mr. Lawrence Peterson played was the song “Your’e The Reason”, and “One Woman Man”…and now they HAD a winner, that never got claimed. Going once…going twice..not claimed. Mr. Dale is playing more songs now until the next guest, or the next winner….who happened to be Miss Janis.

She took one of the pockets…and won….156 dollars! unbelievable!

“I Lie When I Drink” was another song that Mr. Dale played on his set tonight, as well as “Waltz Across Texas”. What a wonderful portion of the show tonight, VERY enjoyable time here. Miss Celine Lee and Mr. Dale both did a duet of Mr. Joe and Miss Rose Lee  Maphis “I’m Gonna Wear The Pants”.  So, since it’s 4:20 he played a Willie Nelson song called “Hello Walls”, followed by his title track “Call Me Lucky”.

I then went back to the hotel to refresh and write a few things, and I drove over to midtown to Minglewood Hall, off around Madison Avenue. I stopped over at Top’s Barbeque and had the smoked pork shoulder plate, which I did not like at all. The meat was horribly dry, and the sauce was sour vinegar based and runny. I tried three different sauces and all of them were not to my liking at all, although I did enjoy the sides. I make the absolute BEST of every road meal and I enjoyed what I DID LIKE of it!

Mr. Wayne The Train Hancock was one of the acts I was DYING to see This weekend, his newest album called “Slingin Rhythm” on the Bloodshot label was one that gathered much critical acclaim on my website as well as others. He began with an Ernest Tubb song called “You Nearly Loose Your Mind”, he wrote with Floyd Tillman.

From the 1997 album “That’s What Daddy Wants” he played the “Louisiana Blues”, one thing I noticed about Mr. Wayne is that he draws heavy influence from Ernest Tubb while maintaining his own style and sound. I say that because he “calls out” his band members to play solos, like E.T. did, but maaaan he plays slap bass rockabilly music.

To say that Wayne The Train wasn’t one of my original underground music influences in the early nineties would be seriously lying! When Myspace began and Roots Music was taking shape I was digging him and the Old 97’s, and Split Lip Rayfield..then came Hank III who also drew influence from him.

After a hellacious instrumental he played “Slingin Rhythm” the title track of his latest album, followed by the 1997 classic song and album “Thunderstorms And Neon Signs”. This set complete with Miss Rose Sinclair’s iconic steel guitar sound and style was easily one of the best sets of the weekend.

“Reefer Boogie” was next which was also the song he played Monday night at the awards show, followed by three absolute classics like “87 Southbound” which had that classic slap bass thump. “Juke Joint Jumpin” was one of my favorite ones as well.  He closed his set with “Honky Tonk Man”, now the way that this venue is set up is that there are several rooms under one place. With that being said there were two clubs involved so we had to move back and forth tonight.

Miss Tammi Savoy And The Chris Casello Combo took home the Rockabilly Female award Monday night, I stopped to eat a bite at the 1884 club. They had a VERY GOOD french dip sandwich and pub fries, I REALLY enjoyed their food and will eat that again SOON during the Lucero show in April…more on that one later!

My buddy Mr.Zephaniah Ohora from up there in New York played a DYNAMITE SET tonight with a song off This Highway called “I Do Believe Iv’e Had Enough”, complete with his Honky Tonk shuffle and thump he is known for. This man has a new album in the works and played a few songs from it, like the one called ‘Heaven’s On The Way” and another called “Black And Blue”. I shall certainly be keeping an eye out for his news and we shall feature that new album and catch up with him.

“High Class City Girl From the Country” is a good song from his Highway album about a gal that moved to the city and went all high fillutin on us, we all know one of those people. Forgot where they came from and their roots. “Don’t Have That Last Drink” was another I did not recognize here.

He played the title track to his album called “This Highway” which is a great song about how time keeps rolling on and on. It talks about his life on the road and the life of a traveling musician. You know, I never really knew or understood how hard the road life was until I began living it myself on this website. My new truck I just got has already been in six states, and I don’t regret one part of it.

“Riding That Train” was one of the last songs he played along with “Always Late”, which is a classic Lefty song. I really enjoy his covers and originals, he always plays one hell of a great set. I look forward to many festivals and house shows with this man involved on them! I see nothing but an upward direction for this man and his music.

Mr.jimmy Dale And The Beltline are from Oklahoma and one of the bands on Wild Records. They were playing in the 1884 room while A West Coast powerhouse band called The Rhyolite Sound took over the B-SIDE Memphis.

Mr. CHRIS DAVIS on upright bass, Mr. LARRY REHA on guitar, vocals Mr. ERIK ALESI  on acoustic guitar and vocals, Mr. A.J. PALLUCK on drums and finally Mr. JAMES CASELTON on lead guitar make up this band here tonight who are nominated for Outlaw Group on Monday.

Their album called “Desert Honky Tonk” boasted their first song called “The Road To Loosing My Mind’. The lead guitar has a much smoother tone than other derivatives of Outlaw Country ( if you want to use that term), and even though they were formed in 2013 they have a unity onstage many young bands lack today. I’m sorry I cannot study this band more often live, I’d like to look for similarities and differences in technique.

“You Won’t let Me Love You” is a song I could relate to, whether it’s being friend zoned or some other bullshit I had in my youth that lead to a lonely adult life I have now. I have heard EVERY LINE from it’s not you it’s me…to oh I’m not looking for a relationship now….a week later she is dating?

“Downtown” and “Trainwreck’ were two more songs in their set today. Another good song was called “I think Too Much When I Drink Too Much”, basically it was a self explanatory song. One of the reasons I’m glad I don’t really drink much anymore.

“Setting Me Up” was one that was not on the album and I didn’t get to ask if it was new or a cover song tonight.  Their last song was called ‘Your Mind’s Made Up”, and that came off their album as well. This song was a toe tapper full of twang and rolling drums. ALL of these sets tonight were absolutely amazing, and I’m truly glad I could come see them this year for the first time.

Mr. Dallas Moore my buddy from Ohio is nominated for Outlaw Male on Monday, and as always he is tearing up the place. He began with “One More Ride” which is an older song followed by “Shoot Out The Lights” from the “Mr. Honky Tonk” album that made our TOP 50 OF 2018.

When I first met Mr. Dallas in 2013 he was riding high on his album called “Blessed be the Bad Ones”, which boasted this song called “Texas Tornado”, which is basically what he does. He plays a whopping 320 shows a year, and takes very little time off the road to bring his music to the masses with NO radio play.

“Bottle And A Bible” was next followed by my favorite song he does called “Raising Hell And Slinging Gravel”. He played the Hoyt Axton song called “Cat Named Kalamazoo” and closed with “Home Is Where The Highway Is” and finally “Mr. Honky Tonk”.

My new friend Mr.Jesse Daniel from California cleaned house this weekend, and gathered more attention than just about anybody here. I’m going to be heavily covering his music here for quite some time, and he will be getting a special article here shortly. “Big Fish” was his first song tonight, which basically mocks fake people.

“Hell Bent” on loving you is a good toe tapping song on loving your gal when you are on the road. This young man is just coming out, and I’m sure he has a LOT of road miles ahead of him in this game. “Soft Spot (For The Hard Stuff)” is a Honky Tonk masterpiece of drug use and debauchery. As a reformed addict myself I usually cringe upon songs that glorify drug use but dammit this one is presented so differently I couldn’t help but enjoy it.

“Coming Down Again” was next, basically about that subject….coming down. All of the songs on this album were so masterfully crafted that I couldn’t ignore it if I tried. “The Banker” was next along with “SR-22 Blues”, and two more called “California Highway” and ” One Dime At A Time”.

Two Tons Of Steelis a San Antonio Texas based band that Mr. Kevin Geil began a band called the Dead Crickets, which actually had an album called “Two Tons Of Steel” in 1994. Then in 1996, he renamed the band Two Tons Of Steel.

The event Two Ton Tuesday Live at Gruene Hall in Texas is 23 years and going strong. The summer long event has drawn over 230,000 fans from the entire nation at times. All of this information made me excited to see them up here tonight, and it might be why they won the Honky Tonk Group Award this weekend.

They began with a song called ‘Count On Me ( I’ll Let You Down)” from the 2017 album called “Gone”. The next song had a 2006 album named after it called “Vegas”, which was produced by one of my favorite producers Mr. Lloyd Maines. Mr. Kevin Geil, Mr. Jake “Sidecar” Marchese on Upright Bass, Mr. Will Owen-Gage on Lead Guitar and Mr. Rich Alcorta on Drums.

From the 2006 album Transparent they played the song called “Maybe I” followed by the new song called “Jumpin Tonight”. More songs continued their set with ones like “Your Kiss’ and another called “All Tied Up”. I went over to the B Side for my good friend Miss Tommy Ash.

She is a staple member of my local music community along with her husband who plays the HELL out of his guitar, with some AWESOME twang that only they present in true form. She first sang “Motel time Again” which was a 1967 Johnny Paycheck song from the Little Darlin Era of recordings.

Another great song she played was the Johnny Russell classic “She’s In Love With A Rodeo Man” , and one of her own called “Sugar In A Bottle”. That is a great song with terrific solos as is her entire set, as well as the song called “Sinner’s Blood”.  I also think Mr. Mustang Mitch did a wonderful job hosting this stage tonight.

Ameripolitan Showcases: Saturday.

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Mar 022019

Well hey everybody here I am at the Ameripolitan Awards kind of tucked away in my corner sort of doing my thing here. I’m writing this as I listen to my buddy Mr. Pat Reedy play his set tonight, however I got to see some old friends first. I am going to skip around here, and talk about many things I did, food I ate and I REALLY wanted to help out the hotel I stayed at. That hotel had incredible service and nice accommodations for me as a guest. Plus it was right around the corner from where the showcases were today, and not far from Graceland.

There is an absolute plethora of events happening all at once here all around the city, and if I tried to report on everything I would have to clone myself …twice! This is my first year for coverage this deep, last year I only covered the awards, I decided to go all out this year. I have many different side articles going on for you this weekend, so enjoy them all!

The Country Heroes were the first band up today and to be honest I was getting set up today with my camera and other things. However I did indeed get to hear their set, they were one of the bands from overseas…Norway to be exact. Their new album is called Honky Tonk Tears, and one of their songs was called “Satan Loves Country Music”. It was truly a great picking song about how the devil wanted to join their band.

Jørund Vålandsmyr: Vocal, Guitar
Bjørn Haglund: Drums, Vocal
Daniel Gullien: Guitar, Vocal
Ivar Brynhildsen: Bass
Tore Blestrud: Steel Guitar

Their next song was called “Texas And Me”, this song made me grin as it mentioned eight tracks and had a smooth steel guitar tone to it. I have yet to venture out into Texas, but in the next year or so I will defiantly be there one day. The last song of theirs I got down was “Hangovers From Your Kisses”, people this song had more twang and style than anything I could tell you about!

Mr. Jimi Palacios from NOLA County and I had a wonderful lunch today over at Exline’s Pizza near Graceland. Now if you want the BEST pizza in Memphis in my opinion that is it! If I ever come to Memphis, and when I don’t go there I feel cheated. The Travelodge Wyndham hotel where the first showcases were was just around the corner from my hotel, and so was Graceland.

I stayed over at the Quality Inn at 3105 Millbranch Road close to the airport. I found the room to be VERY nice and clean, with a few great features and spacious room to relax. It was easy to enjoy the music this weekend with such an easy trek to my hotel room, as you already know I have my list of go to places all over the United States to eat and stay.

The Western Swing Authority was an absolute THRILL to get to see, and I got some good shots of them. Dad’s Place was a GREAT venue, and in just a few minutes I shall be heading over there for the Kim Lenz album release party. They played some truly great cover songs of classic Western Swing, like “Roly Poly” that got people up swing dancing all over.

“Mississippi” was another great song, that glorified this city that we are in right now, Memphis. I did spend some time downtown on Beale street, I’ll talk about that soon here. “Dance With Who Brung Ya” made popular by Asleep At The Wheel. That band is one of my favorite one, and these Western Swing bands are some fun times. “In The Middle Of The Song” was another great selection off their Big Deal album. Very smooth and Bluesy melody that sets the mood for slow dancing.

Mr. Shane Guse, Miss Stacey Lee Guse, Mr. Paul “Chappy” Chapman, Mr. Ed Ringwald aka Pee Wee Charles, Mr. Matthew Lima, “The lovely and talented” Dan Howlett and Mr. Jim Boudreau comprise this large ensemble of swing greatness!

“Swinging From The Rafters” was the last song I got from them, I tell you what, I truly enjoy watching people swing dancing to this kind of stuff here. This song mentions illegal substances and other things, complete with horns and all the like.

I would like to say THIS, Mr. Dale did this RIGHT this weekend! I mean they had a shuttle bus take us from the hotel to the showcases EVERY HALF HOUR, which saved time and parking. They also had a food truck outside the main hotel venue, I have yet to try it as of now..but I will. There is just too much going on at one time for me to accurately document EVERYTHING myself. I missed the Album listening party for Mr. Chuck Mead on behalf of my friends at Plowboy Records as well.

Mr. Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners are a band that graced my TOP 50 OF 2018 but also consists of my friend Mr. John R. Miller who’s album also adorned that list! Got all that info? Now then, they opened with “Bloodshot Heart” from his new album “That’s All There Is And There Ain’t No More”. Enjoyed his true authentic Honky Tonk thump sound they have, always a hoot to cover their set.

“Burgundy In The Rain” is another song you just cannot make any better than it already is, Country Music at it’s raw finest. His first album “Highway Bound” is just as gold as his second, and I look forward to bringing you this new stuff he has loaded ready to go. “Lucky I’m Alive” is another song that speaks to me as a person, as I pretty much am lucky to be alive.

“Funny Thing About A Hammer” was next followed by “Big Wheels” roll slow, classic truck driver song. You cannot beat those good old fashioned truck driver songs no matter what era. The title track from his album called “That’s All There Is (And There Ain’t No more)” was next along with a song that describes my lunch hour at work..”Nashville Tennessee At 3 a.m.”

“Same To Me” from the second album and “They Know My name” from the first album were next, and one of the last songs I caught of theirs was “Coal Train Blues”. All in All this was by far one of the best sets of my weekend so far, however as of the time of writing this I still have today’s showcases to catch.

The Lucky Stars were also amazing here tonight, playing songs like “Shapes And Sizes” and another called “Hot Potato” this classic Western Swing band consists of Mr. Sage Guyton on vocals, Mr. Rusty Blake on steel guitar, Mr. Wally Hersom, Mr. Andy Weinstein, and Mr. Andy Bean.

“100 Dollars And No Sense” was a song about partying and drinking your paycheck away, and not caring about it at all..all of their songs feature some terrific steel and fiddle work, complete with cowbell. If you truly Western Swing Music like I do this band is for you.

“Feelin’ It” was next followed by a song called “It’s All Your Fault” , and a song off their 2000 album “Hollywood And Western” called “Get Off Your High Horse”. Another truly funny song was their song called “She’s The Quarter Horse Type Of Gal”. They also included in their set the songs “That’s What I Like About The South”, “Real Good Lookin”, and their final song was called “Sugar Mamma”.

This next young lady brought home the Outlaw Female award, which like the rest of them I shall focus on here in just a little bit. I have a pretty funny story from later tonight I ubered back to the Travelodge singing Amazing Grace at midnight with some of the Revves Brothers, with a VERY kind driver. We tipped her beyond well, and she deserved every penny, when I write a book this shall indeed make one of the stories.

Miss Summer Dean played a DAMN FINE SET with the Reeves Brothers. Her first song was called “Picket Fence”, and quickly got my attention on her vocals. Her debut EP called “Unladylike” is just a small taste of what will be coming in 2019, when she releases her full album.

“Queen Of The Clowns” was a very good song, and although I’m sure that some of the songs are new ones that have yet to be recorded, I’ll report on the ones I did know about. “A Heartache I Can Use” was a terrific shuffle song that got people up on the dance floor. It is always fun for me to watch all the dancing even though I don’t really do it myself.

She covered the Roseanne Cash song ‘Seven Year Ache” from the 1980 album of the same name, as well as two other covers. One was the Ernest Tubb song called “Driving Nails In My Coffin”, the 1946 powerhouse hit that was also recorded by other people. It was originally on her ninth album called TNT in 1978, and she concluded her set with “Alabama ( Can I Call You Hank)”.

I took the shuttle bus down to Beale Street and the showcases that were at the Blues City Cafe, and I had the opportunity to eat Memphis ribs there. I was GREATLY satisfied with the rack of ribs and the service I got there, my waitress was VERY friendly and sweet. It was VERY crowded in there and was difficult to get pictures and take notes simultaneously, so I just took pictures of Mr. Casey James Prestwood who was included on one of my TOP 50 OF 2017 from one of the hotel lobby parties.

“King Of Losers” was one of the songs of the 2017 album “Born Too Late”, and his set was absolutely amazing. In fact it was one of the better sets of this weekend. “Good Ones” was from his 2013 ‘Honky Tonk Bastard World” album, as well as his title track called “Born Too Late”.

“Beer Tear Saturday Night” is just one of his Honky Tonk shuffle songs that talk about one of our favorite subjects…drinking beer….and crying in it. I’ll be honest here, it just simply doesn’t get any better than Mr. Casey when it comes to heartache and pain. I’m very glad I got to be invited tonight into his “Honky Tonk Bastard World”..

“Don’t Let It Die” was from his new album, which I hope it doesn’t die, and I hope that he has some new material coming in the next year or so. “Sorry In Advance” is a well written song and one of my favorites, however the closing songs like a new one like “Wine Drunk” and a song by Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris.

Well now, let’s talk about another new band that just formed in January of 2018, and brought home the 2019 Western Swing Group award called Big Cedar Fever.  This energetic trio is based out of Austin Texas, and consists of Miss Georgia Parker on guitar, Mr. Ira Lee on fiddle, and Mr. Nick Lochman on the upright bass.

Their cover of the classic song called “Oklahoma Hills” was nothing short of exquisite and precise on every note in my opinion. I admired the instrumental portions of their set as they traded lead duties quite readily, and also the obscurity of some of their cover songs such as “The Girl I Left behind Me”. My favorite version of that was by Jim And Jesse McReynolds.

One of their new songs was played tonight called ‘Diner”, however I didn’t really get to catch as many of the sets here that I wanted to because of the space available. I’ll be completely honest, I couldn’t do that cramped of a venue. I needed to return to the hotel for the Kim Lenz Release Party.

Speaking of parties, the music was all over and not just on the stages. Whatever artists you enjoyed most, many of them were playing impromptu sessions all over the place. It just didn’t matter where you were, all weekend long there was music and friendships forming. That’s the great thing about music festivals and conventions, or events like this one. I myself made some awesome contacts and new friends, and I do EVERY year here. Wait until I tell you all about this man here..and I shall in part 2.