Monthly Archives: June 2019

Merlefest 2019 Recap: Keeping Tradition Alive. And News On 2020.

Many of you know that FESTIVALS are one of our core specialties here on Gary Hayes Country, and we follow and report on over 200 of them in America. I am not even half done with my 2019 work on festivals, and I have a plethora of 2020 dates rolling into my inbox. Honestly as a fan I’m completely astounded and excited…as a journalist I’m overwhelmed with work.

Merlefest out there in North Carolina has always been a good one vastly supported by me and my crew here for many years. It is one of the largest festivals in America hosting 10 stages over 3 days and attended by over 75,000 people. This festival brings in millions in revenue to the state of North Carolina, and is sponsored by many.


MerleFest 2019 Keeps North Carolina Music Heritage In The Forefront
Highlights include Steep Canyon Rangers’ tribute to North Carolina, Avett Brothers’ homecoming, and Del McCoury’s 80th Birthday Celebration
Chris Austin Songwriting Competition Winners Announced
April 28, 2019 – Wilkesboro, N.C. – MerleFest, presented by Window World, has officially come to a close, but not without a number of electric collaborations, spontaneous sit-ins, and world-class performances. Wynonna & The Big Noise, Amos Lee, Tyler Childers, Sam Bush Band, Brandi Carlile, and The Avett Brothers all brought extra MerleFest energy to the Watson Stage, marking another successful year for the long-running festival. Early estimates show that from its start on Thursday, April 25, to its close on Sunday, April 28, participation over the festival’s four days exceeded 75,000 attendees and artists from across the world. MerleFest, held on the campus of Wilkes Community College, is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, which funds scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.
“We’ve had an incredible weekend,” Festival Director Ted Hagaman said. “With over 100 artists on 13 stages over the four days, we again feel we succeeded in providing a quality and successful event for all involved. Preliminary numbers show we attracted thousands of fans from all over the world. We appreciate their support. This event could not happen without the work and dedication of our 4,500-plus volunteers and the many great safety and service agencies in Northwestern North Carolina. We’re already looking forward to MerleFest 2020.”
Chatham County Line kicked off the 32nd annual MerleFest with a big “newgrass” bang. At the top of their game, Raleigh-based Chatham County Line appeared right at home on one of the biggest stages their home state has to offer. After Thursday’s sunset, Wynonna Judd and her band, The Big Noise, set about conjuring up enough rock and roll, blues, and country juju to knock the first-day crowd right off their feet. Once the crowd had recovered, the ones left with enough energy to carry on into the wee hours were treated with more electric boogie music in the form of Donna The Buffalo. Sporting dancey rhythms and electric improvisation, Donna proved to be the ultimate weekend ice-breakers, encouraging the late night crowd to let loose during their First Night Dance on the Bojangles’ Dance Stage.
Before the sun had set on Friday, patrons were treated to show-stopping sets from the likes of Texas troubadour Radney Foster, Boston-based bluegrassers Mile Twelve, and the soft folk harmonies and humorous musings of The Milk Carton Kids. Upon the close of the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition, festival first-timer Amos Lee took the Watson Stage with his unique blend of soulful Americana.Tyler Childers closed out the Watson Stage with his now famous concoction of mountain music, old school country, and 1960s The Band-ish rock and roll. Under the bright stage lights, Childers rollicked through songs off of his award-winning 2017 album “Purgatory” to the delight of fans, some of whom had traveled to MerleFest on Childers’ merit alone. During Childers’ set, eclectic folk rockers Scythian set up in the Dance Tent for their second set of the day, the annual Friday Night Dance. Keeping the night owls rocking until almost midnight, Scythianreminded fans just how fun their music can be.
Saturday saw Chris Austin Songwriting Competition winners perform on the Cabin Stage to an audience eager to hear these up-and-coming songwriters before they’ve hit the big time. Now in its 27th year, the contest is an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of music industry professionals (Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, better known as The Milk Carton Kids, Cruz Contreras of The Black Lillies, and Texas-troubadour Radney Foster), under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.
The first round of the CASC took place in Nashville, Tenn., and was narrowed down from 970 entries to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general and Gospel/inspirational.
Each of the 12 finalists received admission and lodging for three nights at MerleFest. Finalists attended a workshop Friday morning given by D’Addario prior to the finals. After the contest, all finalists took part in a songwriting mentoring session with Jim Lauderdale and the on-site judges. The first-place winners in each category received $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance at the Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 20-minute set on Saturday at the Cabin Stage. In addition, the first-place winners received a live performance/recording session with Saloon Studios Live, D’Addario strings, Shubb Capos, and their winning song will be aired on WNCW 88.7. Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. See below for a complete listing of winners and finalists.
1st Place- Anya Hinkle (Asheville, N.C.) – “Ballad of Zona Abston”
2nd Place- James E. Woolsey (Petersburg, Ind.), David Foster (Petersburg, Ind.) – “Sugar Ridge Road”
3rd Place- Wyatt Espalin (Hiawassee, Ga.) – “Light Coming Through”
1st Place- Andrew Millsaps (Ararat, N.C.) – “Ain’t No Genie (In a Bottle of Jack)
2nd Place- Hannah Kaminer (Asheville, N.C.) – “Don’t Open Your Heart”
3rd Place- Shannon Wurst (Fayetteville, Ark.) – “Better Than Bourbon”
1st Place- Alexa Rose (Asheville, N.C.) – “Medicine for Living”
2nd Place- Bryan Elijah Smith (Dayton, Va.) – “In Through the Dark”
3rd Place- Wright Gatewood (Chicago, Ill.) – “First”
1st Place- Russ Parrish (Burnsville, Minn.), Topher King (Savage, Minn.) – “Washed By The Water”
2nd Place- Ashleigh Caudill (Nashville, Tenn.), Jon Weisberger (Cottontown, Tenn.) – “Walkin’ Into Gloryland”
3rd Place- Kevin T.Hale- (Brentwood, Tenn.) – “We All Die to Live Again”
On Saturday, Molly Tuttle returned to the MerleFest stage for the first time since she won the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition in 2012. A rabid crowd ate up every guitar lick and melody Tuttle played as she continues to push the envelope of what can be played on a dreadnaught guitar. The Waybacks’ annual Hillside Album Hour found the bay-area band covering Led Zeppelin IV in its entirety with Sarah Dugas (formerly of The Duhks) handling most of the vocal duties and Sam Bush, Jens Kruger, Red Young, and Tony Williamson backing them up for yet another memorable Saturday afternoon set. Sam Bush Band lit up the Watson Stage ahead of Brandi Carlile, running through his career-spanning catalog of “New Grass” tunes and closing with his new rousing rock and roll anthem, “Stop The Violence”. Traditional Bluegrass super group Earls of Leicester once again paid excellent homage to the giants of the genre, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. In an era of progression for the genre, the Earls brand of picking reminded the crowd that it’s perfectly OK to stick with tradition from time to time. Brandi Carlile and her band closed out Saturday with her signature songwriting style and vocal fireworks. Drawing from her newest release, “By The Way, I Forgive You,” and then diving deeper into her past works, Carlile and longtime musical partners Tim and Phil Hanseroth belted and whispered in close three-part harmonies well enough to make every last MerleFest attendee’s jaw drop. To close out an already special night, Sunday headliners Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers joined Carlile around a single mic at the front edge of the Watson Stage and performed the Avett’s “Murder In The City”, drawing a huge reaction from the already stunned crowd.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper introduced Steep Canyon Rangers Sunday afternoon on the Watson Stage. Late last year, Gov. Cooper declared 2019 to be North Carolina’s “Year of Music”, adding, “from bluegrass to the blues, from gospel to funk, from beach music to indie and hip hop, North Carolina is the birthplace of many musical styles and iconic performers.” Gov. Cooper was in attendance for Steep Canyon Rangers’ “North Carolina Songbook” set on the Watson Stage which dove into the rich history of the region’s music, specifically the musical heritage of their—and the festival’s—home state, and solidified their place in MerleFest lore. Bluegrass patriarch and hair-style pioneer Del McCoury celebrated his 80th birthday surrounded by friends, family, and the Del McCoury Band. Del and the boys fired up the Hillside Stage, highlighting his eight-decade milestone with class and style that only the McCourys can provide. North Carolina’s own The Avett Brothers closed out the festival after having joined their father, Jim Avett, for Sunday’s annual Gospel Hour. On the Watson Stage, gladly playing tunes that spanned their almost-two-decade long career, The Avett Brothers had the crowd singing along from the very first line. While many MerleFest patrons have seen the Avetts at the festival before, this performance proved that the brothers and their band have now truly transcended to the next level of much-deserved stardom.
About MerleFest
MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.
About Window World
Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned offices nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 15 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, the Window World family provides funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which honored the foundation with its Organizational Support Award in 2017. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $8 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports the Veterans Airlift Command, a nonprofit organization that facilitates free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families. Window World has flown over 100 missions and surpassed $1 million in flights and in-kind donations since it began its partnership with the VAC in 2008. For more information, or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebookand Twitter.
For more information, visit
MerleFest is proud to announce they’ve extended their long-running partnership with Window World through 2024—they have been supporting the WCC Foundation for over 18 years. “MerleFest is an amazing event that brings people together from all walks of life to celebrate incredible music,” says Window World Chairman and CEO, Tammy Whitworth. “As a fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, MerleFest works wonders for the students and families in our shared community of Wilkes, and we are honored to be a part of that great tradition for another five years.”
“Window World has long been a friend to the Wilkes Community College Foundation, helping to support the college since 2005,” adds Ted Hagaman, MerleFest Festival Director. “In 2015, Window World increased its sponsorship by becoming the presenting sponsor for MerleFest, the foundation’s primary fundraiser funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs for the college. We are very pleased to announce that Window World has extended their sponsorship for an additional 5 years through 2024 and are thankful to continue our partnership with such a world-class company.”

Keep up to date with MerleFest 2020!

The Family Of The Late Mr. Tilford Sellers Announce Record Release Party In Indiana.

I have been in constant contact with Mr. Patrick Bowman’s mother, on a very personal level. She wants to express her love and gratitude to all of us in the music community for remembering Mr. Patrick AKA Tillford Sellers. I ran into him many times on my road travels through the years, and we always had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s work within the music community.

I wrote a nice memorial about him when he was killed in an automobile accident in Indiana. I also recently released some information HERE for the upcoming album that is being released by his loved ones. This project was one that was being worked on right at the time of his death, and his former band members rallied together to make this happen.

Sentencing for the man that killed him and injured his fiancee has been scheduled for July 12th, and as I learn of the outcome I will publish a follow up article on here.


Tilford Sellers Tribute – Record Release Dates and Locations!

Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Columbus Bar, 322 Fourth Street, Columbus, Indiana

Saturday, August 24, 2019 – Duke’s Indy,
2352 S. West Street, Indianapolis, Indiana

Stay Tuned. Additional details will be coming very soon.

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument, sitting, guitar, hat and beard

Another Day With You by the late Tilford Sellers will soon be available on colored/black LP, CD and digital download. There will also be a CD of the demo versions of each song.

All proceeds from each sale will go to the Patrick Bowman Memorial Music Fund. Recipients of this award may use the money for tuition and/or music related expenses such as music lessons, equipment, travel, studio time, etc.

Many thanks to the Bowman family, Dave Becker, Kyle Battin, Eddy Price, Ryan Payton, Lisa & Steve Thompson, Thom Woodard, Justin Meier, Brad Wallace, Jerry Miller, Wes Eberhardt, Paul Mahern and everyone else who helped bring this beautiful album to fruition. 

UPDATE (May 16, 2019) — Ruel Pedigo was found guilty of reckless homicide, causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance and causing serious injuring while operating a motor vehicle with a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12.

COLUMBUS, Ind – The tow truck driver accused of causing the crash that killed an up-and-coming musician now faces felony charges in Bartholomew County.

Ruel Pedigo, 49, is now charged with Reckless Homicide and Causing Death While Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Controlled Substance in the Blood, and Causing Serious Bodily Injury when Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Controlled Substance in the Blood.

The charges followed a nearly four-month investigation that found Pedigo had Methamphetamine in his system when the tow truck he was driving ran into several vehicles at a stoplight on State Road 46 in late January.  The crash killed 36-year old Patrick Bowman and seriously injured Bowman’s fiancee, Sarah Fliehman.

“Columbus Police, with the help of State Police went through airbag diagnostics, downloaded information from vehicles that were involved in the crash,” said Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris.  “They also looked at nearby security camera footage.”

Harris says the key evidence came from a blood draw from Pedigo shortly after the crash occurred.

“When we received the results back, it showed Mr Pedigo had methamphetamine in his system,” Harris said.

The charges against Pedigo follow nearly four months of waiting for the family of Patrick Bowman.

Patrick Bowman, aka Tilford Sellers, is remembered as a talented musician with a promising career in country music.

“Patrick was a loving fiancé, brother, son, and valued friend to many,” a family statement said.  “There are no words to describe the devastation we all feel.  Patrick’s death has left a horrible void in so many lives.”

Bowman is remembered as a talented singer-songwriter with a promising career in country music ahead of him.  Bowman performed under the stage name “Tilford Sellers” and recorded original country music with his band “Tilford Sellers & the Wagon Burners.”

“We believe Patrick would want to be remembered for his music,” the family statement said.  “Patrick was one of five nominees by the Ameripolitan Music Awards for the 2018 Honky Tonk Male Artist of the year.  His music career was looking brighter every day.”

Bowman’s family says he was in the process of recording an album at the time of his death.  That album is now set for release in late summer or early fall.  All proceeds from the album will go to a scholarship fund in his name, administered through the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County.

The fund is taking donations for the scholarship.  A link to that donation website can be found here.

Album Feature – Jim Lauderdale – From Another World

By Joshua Wallace

Jim Lauderdale has released From Another World which is the follow up to 2018’s excellent Time Flies album.  Jim has been on a run of great albums as of late and From Another World is no different. Inside you’ll find some good country, good songwriting and a great album.

The track “The Secrets Of The Pyramids” is a somewhat psychedelic country love song that compares the mysteries of the pyramids to the mysteries of the heart.  It’s a great example of the good songwriting you find throughout Lauderdale’s career. “Like People From Another World” keeps that theme and talks about two lovers as if they’re from different worlds, and that’s good.

“For Keeps” is a great ballad on this album.  I love the instrumental with the piano and pedal steel.  There is also a nice classical guitar solo on this one. “I’ll Forgive You If You Don’t” kicks off with some great pedal steel work for this heartbreak love song.  This entire record has some great pedal steel work to dig into. Finally, “Are You Trying To Make A Song Out Of Us?” picks up the tempo for the album closer. The song compares a couple in love with all of the interconnected parts of a song that work together.  I love the lines “You can play my heart like it’s your guitar / Tune me up and let it rock and don’t you ever stop”. Like the rest of the album, it all just works to create a great track and a great overall experience.

From Another World is another gem in the late career of Jim Lauderdale.  I highly recommend this record if you’re a fan of good country. Lots of great pedal steel work throughout the album and great songwriting too.  From Another World is out everywhere you can find good music as of June 21st, 2019.  

Favorite Tracks : The Secrets Of The Pyramids, Like People From Another World, For Keeps, I’ll Forgive You If You Don’t, Are You Trying To Make A Song Out Of Us?

Jim Lauderdale – From Another World (2019)

  1. Some Horses Run Free
  2. When You Can’t Have What Your Heart Wants
  3. The Secrets Of The Pyramids
  4. Like People From Another World
  5. One Away
  6. Listen
  7. For Keeps
  8. Slow Turn In The Road
  9. I’ll Forgive You If You Don’t
  10. Graceland Horses
  11. Ever Living Loving Day
  12. Are You Trying To Make A Song Out Of Us?

Bluegrass Giant Mr. Jeff Austin Has Died.

One of my many friends I have made in my travels on the West Coast Mr. Julian Davis whom is a prodigy in his own right, recently began playing in the band of the mighty Bluegrass juggernaut Mr. Jeff Austin. As many of you already know ,Austin is a 15 year founding member of the Yonder Mountain String Band.

This past week he had cancelled a string of upcoming shows because of medical emergencies, and his band reached out for prayers. On Monday June 24th he was pronounced dead after being put into a medically induced coma, he was 45.

If you ask mefor my opinion, who it was that singlehandidly pionerred the Jamgrass or Newgrass movement for the future pickersto evolve it was Mr. Jeff Austin or Mr. Sam Bush.  Back in 1998 he founded the Yonder Mountain String Band in Colorado with Mr. Brian Johnston on banjo, Mr. Ben Kaufmann on bass and Mr. Adam Aijala on the guitar. They were formed to open for a band at the Fox Theater in Boulder Colorado, and quickly built a loyal following. In April of 2014, he left the band for creative differences and conflicting career goals, and he was replaced by Mr. Jake Joliff.

He grew up in Illinois and quickly mastered the mandolin, where Mr. Brian Zjohnston reportedly told him to play anything loud and fast. From there on the four gained steam and created an iconic band that usheredin new growth for Bluegrass that is loathed by purists and praised by younger generations.


Miss Jeannie Seely Awarded Major Accolade In Nashville.


Jeannie Seely Embodies the Spirit of the Award, Now Named After Her For Future Recipients

Jeannie Seely

NASHVILLE, TN. – (June 21, 2019) – Country music royalty and soon to be fifty-two year member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie Seely, was honored and recognized for her contributions to the entertainment industry by the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Women in Business. Acknowledged and congratulated by Country Music icon and her friend, Willie NelsonThe Standing Ovation Awardwas presented to Ms. Seely by Gus Arrendale at the inaugural Influencing Women Awards Gala, It’s a Ball Y’all.

Jeannie Seely has created influence and significance in the entertainment industry and has shown the advocacy of other women in her field by mentoring and supporting them in their professional success. She generously shares her time, advocating for her community and various organizations. This year’s recipient embodies the spirit of the award, which will now be named after her.

“I am blessed to live, work and play in the community I love, and to be recognized for your efforts is humbling and such an honor,” said Jeannie Seely. “Thank you to my wonderful friends, neighbors and peers.”

“As the committee was determining the categories for our awards, it was unanimously agreed that this particular award should only be presented to one person, Jeannie Seely,” stated Executive Director – Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce; Terri Williams Nutter. “She exemplifies all the traits, and embodies the spirit of the award, which will now be named after her.”

Jeannie Seely has blazed a trail for others to follow throughout her musical career. From her first singing appearances on a local Pennsylvania radio station at the young age of eleven to her over fifty years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jeannie has consistently paved the way for female artists. She was the first female to host a Grand Ole Opry half-hour segment, as well as the first to wear a mini-skirt on the Opry stage. Nicknamed “Miss Country Soul”, Jeannie possesses a beautiful voice and infamous sense of humor.

“Jeannie embodies everything it means to be a powerful woman in the music industry. She has remained classy -poised-and relevant to decades and continues to inspire generations of females to this industry including myself,” said Carly Pearce. “Her talent and class have allowed Jeannie to sustain her career over six decades. A Grammy award winning artist, Jeannie continues to write and record. Her latest album, which includes collaborations with Bill Anderson, Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Willie Nelson and more, is tentatively set to release this fall. She regularly hosts and performs on the Grand Ole Opry and is an on air personality and host on Sirius XM’s “Willie’s Roadhouse.”

Not only is Jeannie an admired artist, she is also a community advocate. She has served on the Board of Directors for both the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce and as a longtime spokesperson for the Humane Society.  She is also actively involved in the Opry Trust Fund which provides financial assistance to those in need in the country music industry. She is a resident of Donelson and active community member.

The Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee held the  inaugural Influencing Women Awards Gala, It’s a Ball Y’all, presented by Springer Mountain Farms in Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry. Sponsored by Ryman Hospitalities, Inc. and Pinnacle Financial Partners, the evening celebrated influential women and businesses in the community. Fifteen women and three businesses were nominated in six award categories. Additional honors went to Gina Keltner – Beyond The Glass Ceiling Award, Megan Sticker – Woman To Watch Award, Pinnacle Financial Partners – Champion of Women Award, Lisa Eastland – WOW Award, Michele Mazzu – Heart of Donelson Award and Betty Cannon – Lifetime Legacy Award.

Stay in touch with Jeannie Seely on her website and all of her social media platformsFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Jeannie Seely:
Country music legend Jeannie Seely has achieved chart topping songs as a solo artist, as a duet partner, and as a songwriter. Early in her career, Jeannie’s deeply moving vocals earned her the nickname of “Miss Country Soul”– a title that’s still used today. Jeannie’s biggest dream came true when she was inducted as a member of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, becoming the first Pennsylvania native to do so. Jeannie takes much pride in her involvement and support of musicians’ rights. In 2017, Jeannie celebrated her 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  From her 1966 Top 10 Billboard album The Seely Style to her recent self–produced album Written In Song, consisting entirely of songs she’s written, Jeannie’s recordings have spanned six decades and provided enjoyment to country music fans all around the world. In his 2003 book “Finding Her Voice: Women In Country Music,” music critic Robert K. Oermann wrote, “With her chin-out, tough/tender, heart-of-gold manner, Jeannie Seely remains one of country’s most completely modern female personalities,” and that statement still holds true. Keep up with all things Jeannie Seely at

About The Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Women In Business:
Recognizing that women command a dynamic place in today’s workplace and community, the Donelson Hermitage Chamber of Commerce formed Women in Business (WIB) in 2007 with a  Mission Statement declaring: “Women in Business coming together in friendship to celebrate, connect, mentor and support each other.” The Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce is the community resource connecting diverse people and businesses for the continued economic development and overall enhancement of the Donelson-Hermitage communities.

Jeannie Seely

Album Feature – Aaron Watson – Red Bandana

By Joshua Wallace

Red Bandana is Aaron Watson’s first studio LP since 2017’s Vaquero.  This album picks up where Vaquero left off and is 20 tracks deep with good country music.  Aaron Watson continues to produce good stuff and Red Bandana is looking like it will be high on my year end album list.  When an album has 20 songs, it often means there can be a few duds in the bunch, but that is not the case here.

“Ghost Of Guy Clark” kicks things off with an nontraditional song that is more of a recitation.  Don’t let that fool you, this song will still get your blood pumping and get you excited about the rest of the album to come.  If that track gets your blood pumping, “Dark Horse” takes hold of that adrenaline and doesn’t let go. I love the banjo riff that opens this upbeat track that almost sees Aaron rapping through the verses, but it’s done in a way that just fits this track.  It reminds me a bit of “Freight Train” from The Underdog, and it should be a similar hit for Watson.

Switching things up a bit, “Legends” is a great song about country music heroes and legends gone by.  It’s a tasteful callback to those old songs that just never die. “Am I Amarillo” is a very George Strait inspired love song about possibly moving on and trying to make that decision.  “Live Or Die Trying” is another favorite that is somewhat in the same vein as “Dark Horse”. It’s a song about never giving up until you’ve achieved your dreams which is something Aaron Watson has done his entire career.

“Riding With Red” is a tearjerker about an old cowboy that has passed but Aaron looks up to highly in this song.  It’s an amazing example of the great songwriting you find throughout this album. “Home Sweet Home” is another great ballad on this album.  I love the line “My illusion’s delusion has come to conclusion / This world’s not what it seems”. Finally, “You On My Hands” is a smooth country love song like only Aaron Watson can do these days.  He’s written a few good ones over the years and this is another.

This album is a long one, clocking in at 69 minutes, but it’s full of good tunes and none of it disappoints.  I saw Aaron Watson back on his tour for Vaquero back in 2017 and it may be time to catch a show again with all of these new songs.  Red Bandana is available everywhere you can find good music as of June 21st, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Ghost Of Guy Clark, Dark Horse, Legends, Am I Amarillo, Live Or Die Trying, Riding With Red, Home Sweet Home, Shake A Heartache

Aaron Watson – Red Bandana (2019)

  1. Ghost Of Guy Clark
  2. El Comienzo del Viaje
  3. Dark Horse
  4. Heartstrings
  5. Old Friend
  6. Kiss That Girl Goodbye
  7. Country Radio
  8. Legends
  9. Am I Amarillo
  10. Blood Brothers
  11. Live Or Die Trying
  12. Riding With Red
  13. Red Bandana
  14. Trying Like The Devil
  15. Home Sweet Home
  16. Burn Em Down
  17. Shake A Heartache
  18. You On My Hands
  19. To Be The Moon
  20. 58

2019 Music Festivals: Roostertail Music Festival.

We are hot and heavy into the festival season here in Kentucky, as of this weekend we have friends over in Owensboro at ROMP, we have friends traveling to East Kentucky for the Festival Of The Red, and we have friends headed to The Great Blue Heron. As you know festivals are OUR SPECIALTY, and we cover over 200 a year like this!

We cannot make this one in person BUT WE ARE working in partnership with our friends over at Country Music Armadillo and I’ll be posting ALL of their coverage, as I go up to Wisconsin to tend of some family business. I myself am taking some time off to help my daughter out, and I’ll back on the road in July for Master Musician’s Festival.

We build Spotify playlists for any festivals that do not have one, and I built one for them on accident. I am only going to embed the OFFICIAL playlist on here for you. To be honest I have one giant mission on this website, and THAT IS to intertwined EVERY MUSIC COMMUNITY into one another, so these bands and artists have a plethora of festivals to play and stop at. AND FANS can find NEW bands they may not even have known about!

So why don’t I tell you a little bit about this one in Madison Indiana called Roostertail Music Festival. This one looks VERY FUN folks,with some serious Red Dirt and Americana acts in the first week of July ( July 4rth- 6th).  Here is the website description:

It may look like a sleepy river-town but rest assured we are cranking up the heat this July! In addition to the fastest boats in the world, the Roostertail Music Festival will feature REAL COUNTRY and the best Alt Rock around! From Grammy nominees to Billboard chart toppers, we promise to have something for everyone who loves great music.

Within driving distance of three major cities, make this the family or friend reunion of the summer. Celebrate America’s birthday in America’s hometown with the hottest musical acts touring.

A truly one-of-a-kind experience enjoy local shops and vendors, camping, food, brews, activities, artists, fireworks, festival merchandise and MORE…


Best Way Inn

Family friendly establishment, affordable with many amenities. Weekly rates available.

Address: 700 Clifty Drive


Phone: 812-273-5151

Broadway Hotel and Tavern

Indiana’s oldest hotel & tavern. Award winning restoration in downtown Madison.

Address: 313 Broadway

Phone: 812-265-2346

Clifty Inn at Clifty Falls State Park

clifty-innSuperior lodge rooms & suites, reasonably priced, on-site restaurant. Indiana’s best kept secret!

Open year round.

Address: 1650 Clifty Hollow Road


Phone: 812-265-4135 or 877-925-4389

Comfort Inn

comfort-innPerfectly located for Clifty Falls, historic downtown area and Hanover College.

Address: 3767 Clifty Drive


Phone: 812-273-4443 or 1-800-424-6423

Falls Restaurant at Clifty Inn


Home cooking overlooking the scenic Ohio River.

Breakfast Buffet
Sat. & Sun: 8am-10:30am

Dining room hours
Sun-Thurs- 8:00 am to 2:00 pm | 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Fri & Sat- 8:00 am to 2:00 pm | 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Address: 1650 Clifty Hollow Road


Phone: 812-265-4135 or 877-925-4389

Hillside Inn

hillside-innPanoramic river view rooms overlooking historic downtown Madison.

Address: 831 E. Main Street


Phone: 812-265-3221

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

holiday-inn-newNewly renovated, conveniently located. Great for family and business travelers.

Address: 300 Franks Drive


Phone: 812-265-1111 or 1-800-holiday

Riverboat Inn & Suites

riverboat-innRiverfront weddings and rooms, bar, boat parking, meeting room, fun!

Address: 906 E. First Street


Phone: 812-265-2361

Super 8

super-8Enjoy the sights and sounds of river life. Our location , close to Ohio River area attractions like Clifty Falls State Park and local businesses.

Address: 308 Demaree Drive


Phone: 812-273-0757







Amy Noel
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The High Divers
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm 


The Pass
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Fredrick the Younger
6:20 pm – 7:15 pm

Little Stranger
7:35 pm – 8:30 pm

Jamie Lin Wilson
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Mike and the Moonpies
10:30 pm – 12:00 am


Brent Mathis
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

16 Bones
3:20 pm – 4:20 pm

Edgar Red
4:40 pm – 5:40 pm

Justin Wells
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

American Aquarium
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Brent Cobb
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Whiskey Myers
10:30 pm – 12:00 am

Will-Call Rules

From our neighbors at Mad Paddle Brewery we will be slinging some special “Ya Gotta Regatta” Cream Ale and Irwin Irish Red! Find them in the park and along the riverfront.

Mad Paddle Brewery is hosting our will-call at the brewery 301 West Street in Madison:
Monday July 1st: 12:30-5:30
Tuesday July 2nd: 12:30-5:30
Wednesday July 3rd: 12:30-9:30
Thursday July 4th: 8:00-10:30
Friday July 5th: 8:00-10:30
Saturday July 6th: 8:00-10:30
Sunday July 7th: 8:00-6:30

Please bring receipt of purchase and identification. If you have misplaced your receipt please E-Mail us through the website at and we will re-issue your purchase receipt.

RV Rules

  1. Payment
  2. Legacy: Invoices will be sent out January 2nd. Full Payment is due by February 28, 2019
  3. Failure to make payment by this date will result in forfeiture of parking site
  4. New RV Parking: Full payment is due at time of reservation.
  5. Check In: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 after 12pm
  6. No later than Thursday, July 4, 2019 – 4pm
  7. Check Out: Monday, July 8, 2019 before 11am
  8. RV Dimensions:
  9. RV’s in Campgrounds A, B, C, D and E1 to 20’x40’
  10. RV’s in Campground E2 are restricted to 20’x50’
  11. RV’s in Campground F are restricted to 20’x40’
  12. Electric/Water: All electric sites are 30amp service. Water hookups or fill stations are available.
  13. Each reservation will include 2 combo wristbands.
  14. No Fires
  15. Gas or Charcoal Grills are allowed
  16. Quiet time: 12am – 7am
  17. Service Animals with approved documentation and permits.
  18. No bicycles, skateboards, hover boards, roller blades or skates inside Madison Regatta Gates
  19. Dump wagon is available upon request of camper. Camper will pay $25.00 to A1 Portables.
  20. A1 Portables – Mike Benson 812-914-2184
  21. 1 parking pass is assigned to each camper. This parking pass is for 1 vehicle to be parked in designated areas.
  22. No Firearms or Weapons

Camping Rules

  1. $40.00 per 12×12 spot
  2. Reservations can be made online:
  3. Spots are first come first serve. Be generous to your neighbors and follow the 12×12 rule
  4. Each tent camper is required to purchase the Madison Regatta Music and Racing Combo wristband. $40.00/per person
  5. Check In: Thursday, July 4, 2019 after 9am
  6. Check Out: Monday, July 8, 2019 before 11am
  7. Electric/Water: These services are not available for tent camping. Personal Generators are allowed except during following hours: 12am-7am.
  8. Showers: Available at Crystal Beach Swimming Pool.
  9. Daily from 12pm-6pm
  10. $2.00 per shower
  11. No Fires
  12. Gas/Charcoal Grills are allowed
  13. No Fire Pits/Bowls
  14. Quiet time: 12am – 7am
  15. Service Animals with approved documentation and permits.
  16. No bicycles, skateboards, hover boards, roller blades or skates inside Madison Regatta Gates
  17. No Firearms or Weapons

Tarp Rules

  1. Must Present Tarp Receipt Upon Request
  2. Set-Up Thursday, July 4th tarps can be set up
  3. Nothing on the sidewalk.
  4. No Over-Night Camping In Tarp Area
  5. No Open Fires Or Grills IN Tarp Area
  6. No Encroaching On Safety Barrier
  7. All Tarps Must Be Removed On Sunday July 7th After Final Race

Where To Buy Wristbands In Person

German American – All Madison Branches

First Financial Bank – At Clifty Drive and Cragmont Street in Madison

Farmers Bank of Milton – Madison Branch

Madtown Liquors

The Bottle Shop

The Visitor Center

North Side Liquors

Where to Buy Everything Else

For Tarps, Golf Cart Passes, Parking Passes and RV information visit Madison Regatta Office located at 201 E Vaughn Dr, Madison, IN 47250 or call (812) 274-0400.

Racing Gate Hours

8AM-5PM Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 7th. Racing beginning between 10-11AM Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 7th.

Music Hours

Gates to Bicentennial Park open 3:30pm Thursday July 4th, 3:30pm Friday July 5th & 1:00pm Saturday July 6th.

Alcohol/Food Rules

Carry in alcohol is permitted to those over 21 with a valid ID FOR RACES ONLY. Glass bottles are permitted but plastic and aluminum are preferred. Carry in alcohol NOT PERMITTED IN CONCERT VENUE, beer and cocktails will be served by vendors within concert area.


Entry gates to festival at following streets: Mill, Broadway, West, Mulberry,

Jefferson, Walnut, East and Ferry St.

Album Feature – Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home

By Joshua Wallace

Ride Me Back Home is the 69th studio album for Willie Nelson.  This album completes the “mortality trilogy” which started with God’s Problem Child in 2017 and also included Last Man Standing in 2018.  This is overall a more mellow record though there are still a few faster tracks here. Most of the tracks on this album were written by Buddy Cannon and Willie Nelson, but there are covers here from Guy Clark, Billy Joel and Mac Davis.  It’s another great album in a series of albums in the past couple of decades that proves again and again that Willie still has it.

The album kicks off with the cowboy tune “Ride Me Back Home”.  It’s a western leaning tune that is a cowboy’s bittersweet ode to his horse and one of the many great examples of good songwriting on this album.  “Come On Time” picks up the pace a bit on a track that heavily features Mickey Raphael’s harmonica. It’s almost lamenting and celebrating the passage of time at the same time.  It’s one of my favorites on this record.

“Stay Away From Lonely Places” is a more mellow tune that kicks off with some nice piano work.  It features more of the smooth jazzy sound that Willie has developed over the years. It urges the listener to “stay away from lonely places, for a while”.  “Nobody’s Listening” is another tearjerker about it can feel like no one is listening when life is at its worst. The track asks “But what good is the song that he has to sing / When nobody’s listening?” and then adds  “But I know why he has to try to sing / ‘Cause he believes that somebody’s listening” so there is always hope that someone is listening in the end.  Finally, “It’s Hard To Be Humble” is a great cover of the Mac Davis original and features Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah on the track also. It’s a great addition and almost a throwback to the great Willie and The Boys : Willie’s Stash Vol. 2 LP.

Willie Nelson continues to release great albums later in his life and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down any time soon.  Ride Me Back Home is a great conclusion to the “mortality trilogy” of albums. It will be interesting to see what is next for Willie as he usually follow up these releases with a covers album in the same year.  Ride Me Back Home is available everywhere you can find good music as of June 21st, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Ride Me Back Home, Come On Time, Stay Away From Lonely Places, Nobody’s Listening, It’s Hard To Be Humble

Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home (2019)

  1. Ride Me Back Home
  2. Come On Time
  3. My Favorite Picture Of You
  4. Seven Year Itch
  5. Immigrant Eyes
  6. Stay Away From Lonely Places
  7. Just The Way You Are
  8. One More Song To Write
  9. Nobody’s Listening
  10. It’s Hard To Be Humble with Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson
  11. Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening

Complete List Of Ky And Tn Local Shows.

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

Mr. Joshua and I cover hundreds of shows a year, and many festivals in person. Online, we cover 200 festivals yearly and bring a LOT of news to the masses. Folks WHATEVER YOU DO PLEASE support live venue music.


Urban Pioneers
Springwater Supper Club July 11th

Alex Williams
Craig Verses
The Southgate House Revival July 11th

A Man Called Stu
Spring water Supper Club July 11th

Jerry Douglass
Bluegrass Hall Of Fame July 12th

Junior Brown
The Southgate House Revival July 12th

Kristina Murray
Corsair Brewstillery Taproom July 12th

The Hardin Draw
Exit In July 12th

John Prine
Kelsey Waldon
Lu-Ray Park Ampitheater
Central City Ky July 13th

Jane Rose And The Descend Boys
Spring water Supper Club July 13th

David Ball
American Legion Post 82 July 16th

Russell Moore And III Tyme Out
Station Inn July 18th

Tn Jet
Josh Morningstar
southgate House Revival July 18th

The Farmer And Adele
The Southgate House Revival July 19th

Missy Raines
The Station Inn July 19th

Ronnie Milsap
SkyPac Bowling Green KY July 20th

Rye Davis
Bourbon Barrel Tavern July 25th

The Steel Woods
The Shed Maryville Tn July 27th

Steel Woods (opening for R.E.O.Speedwagon)
Ryman Auditorium July 29th

Kristina Murray
American Legion Post 82 July 30th

The Steel Wheels
City Winery July 22nd

The Legendary Shack Shakers
Southgate House Revival August 1st

Nick Dittmeier And The Sawdusters
The Wicked Eyed Woman August 1st

Blackfoot Gypsies
Mercy Lounge August 2nd

Brett Cobb
Rye Davis
Spillway August 3rd

The Bottle Rockets
Beaver Dam Ky August 3rd

John Anderson
Country Music Hall Of Came August 8th

Mark Chesnutt
Cahoots Dance Hall August 9th

Erin Enderlin
3rd And Lindsley August 10th

Ray Wylie Hubbard
3rd and Lindsley August 11th

James Carothers
Southgate House Revival August 16th

Raelyn Nelson
The 5 Spot August 19th

Read Southall
The Basement East August 22nd

Jimmy Fortune
Kentucky Opry August 24th

Austin Lucas
The Basement August 29th

Tim Atwood
Two Rivers Campground September 1st

Dwight Yoakam
Ryman Auditorium September 8th and 9th

Little Harpeth Brewing September 8th

Holly Williams
City Winery September 8th

Whiskey Myers
Minglewood Hall September 13th

Drew Holcomb
Ryman Auditorium September 14th

Rhiannon Giddens
City Winery September 21st

Whiskey Myers
Bourbon And Beyond September 22nd

Gene Watson
Kentucky Opry October 25th and 26th

The Steel Woods
Minglewood Hall September 26th

Greensky Bluegrass
Minglewood Hall October 2nd

Chris Stapleton
Fed ex Forum Memphis Tn October 5th

Trishia Yearwood
Schermerhorn Symphony Center October 5th

Ian Now
Exit Inn October 10th

David Ball
American Legion Post 82 October 15th

Joecephus And The George Jonestown Massacre
Exit In October 20th
Ian Now
The Southgate House Revival November 1st

Chris Stapleton
KFC Yum Center November 2nd

Josh Abbott Band
William Clark Green
Marathon Music Works November 3rd

Chris Stapleton
Memphis Tn November 5th

Josh Abbott
Cannery Ballroom November 7th

The Rhythm Shakers
Nashville Palace November 8th

Southern Culture On The Skids
high Watt November 9th

Ryan Bingham
The Ryman Auditorium November 11th

The Charlie Daniels Band
Bridgestone Arena November 20th

Unknown Hinson
Exit Inn December 31st

Album Feature – Matt Woods – Natural Disasters

By Joshua Wallace

Matt Woods is back with his new album titled Natural Disasters.  It is his first release since 2016’s How To Survive. This album is full of good driving rock n roll, smooth country ballads and just good Americana.  Woods has developed his signature style over the years and Natural Disasters is one of his best releases to date.

The album kicks off with “Blue-Eyed Wanderer” which is a fun country rock track that also serves as the album’s lead single.  It really sets the vibe for the rest of the record.  If you’re looking for hard driving rock n roll, look no further than “The Dream”. It’s a song about a favorite car from days gone by and it’s something everyone can relate to.  Songs like “My Southern Heart” take the album into more ballad territory where Matt Woods gets to do the kind of tearjerker ballads he’s known for. The range of Wood’s songwriting is really strong on this album as he writes both great rock tracks and great ballads.

The track “Drive-Thru Town” is another slower number about those small American towns you drive through in America.  The kind of town where if you blink as you go through it you might miss it. It’s another great example of great songwriting on this album. “Jailbird Song” picks up the tempo in a good track about life in a jail.  It’s another great example of some of the killer riffs and nice solo work that is present throughout this album on the more rocking tracks. Finally, the album closes with the ballad “Corner Of The World”. It’s a track about finding your own corner of the world

Matt Woods continues to release amazing records and Natural Disasters is no different.  He’s constantly touring and you can find out where he will be next and when he will be near you at his website.  Natural Disasters is available everywhere on June 28th, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Blue-Eyed Wanderer, The Dream, Drive-Thru Town, My Southern Heart, Hey, Heartbreaker, Jailbird Song, Corner Of The World

Matt Woods – Natural Disasters (2019)

  1. Blue-Eyed Wanderer
  2. The Dream
  3. Drive-Thru Town
  4. My Southern Heart
  5. Hey, Heartbreaker
  6. Cold Civil War
  7. Jailbird Song
  8. The Devil Drinks Scotch
  9. Sitcoms
  10. Corner Of The World

Tumbleweed 2019.

I have so many people to thank right off the bat and I have only been here for a half hour. So many people labor effortlessly to bring us these types of events. Companies and groups of people like Mr. Jim Guthrie and his wife Miss Victoria that run the page called The Honky Tonk Hotel. They not only support the shows in the Kansas City area they BOOK THEM. See Tumbleweed Music Festival is essential to the local music community for MANY reasons, and what Mr. Jim does ties in with the festival in many positive ways.

All of these people and all of these groups play small or large parts in creating a trail of opportunities for the bands and artists we report on. Honky Tonk Hotel isn’t exactly a media outlet in the fashion that I am, they are a media outlet in their OWN fashion…but if you PUT US TOGETHER ,we stretch from K.C. to Nashville and West Virginia with those artists. We have Texas and the Okies here, with bands like Reckless Kelly based out of Texas but formed in Idaho.

I need to THANK my friends Mr. Doug and Miss Piper and Mr. Kevin Bordegon from Borda Productions for putting this on every year, and for inviting me to the initial festival he decided to change directions on the format of the music. I have a lot of respect for him on a personal level because he honestly LOVES ALL the music he promotes. He loves the DJ and dance music that some of this community may not totally understand, or like. But I ask you, if it makes people happy why be against it?

The weather here is GORGEOUS tonight I mean absolutely PERFECT I am well rested and it’s 70 degrees and I’ll be commenting on the ENTIRE event from the medical tent to the front gate staff.  These festival articles have become quite articulate from a different point of view than “the other guys”. You know you got the bigger websites doing REALLY NICE reporting on the bands…but who reports on some of the things YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU COME? ME!  I shall have you well informed about all things from the food to the places you need to go get medical attention.

South and North off Hwy 69 you have 399th ave, which your GPS will say “Your destination is not a paved road”. THEN AND ONLY THEN you know it’s festival season. The parking area for daily parking is EXTREMELY ample and spacious, and I have my little nook set up where I can hear the music from my space here, I don’t need to have my computer near the stage. I can wander and not worry about leaving any equipment lay around, there is also a very nice VIP lounge with air conditioners and it is manned with people at the door and he was kind enough to watch my computer for me when I needed to implement my media pass for photos and such.

All around I’m hearing staff member asking “Do you need some help?” There are golf carts buzzing around that will take you down to the stage area for a nominal fee, and you can DAMN SURE BET I’ll be taking them up on ANY offer they throw at me. I have been contemplating buying my own golf cart for this type of thing, more on that later. The guys that ran the VIP lounge were VERY nice,in fact I’ll give him TWO shouts out. I had some initial problems with some of the stage staff in the beginning, but we got those issues resolved and I didn’t let them ruin my visit one bit. People make mistakes, and I have taken it up with that person privately.

As I do with EVERY festival I tour not only the bands and the venue, but the food also, and I’m going to tell you about the places I was shown and the vendors that were here, as I’m writing this on day 2. I want to give a HUGE shout out to the staff at the V.I.P. lounge for letting me keep my computer in there, and not worrying about it when I was taking pic rounds. The food vendors were well placed and great at suggestive sales, like the man that had a fried lasagna sandwich. Now folks THIS WAS unlike ANYTHING I have EVER tried or tasted. This particular cuisine has flatbread Paganini bread with homemade lasagna rolled in breadcrumbs, seven cheeses instead of JUST ricotta, and homemade sauce. This is Sam And Louie’s Pizza in Iola Kansas, selling me their masterpiece of food truck cuisine that to be honest as of yet NOBODY has topped at ANY festival I have EVER attended.

The back vendor with all of the polish sandwiches and fried chickens I deal with at three other festivals, they are good people with some damn fine go to food that can please everybody. Everything was reasonably priced accept for water, nobody should be price gouged for water. Drinkers need access to cheaper water or a refill station for water, it encourages pacing them and prevents medical tent traffic. It’s always nice to HAVE a medical tent but not NEED one. I would like to shout out and honor the wonderful folks that ran the medical tent, for giving me a NICE place to take my insulin and keep my supplies so I didn’t have to carry needles around.

The merchandise booth was easy and readily available to accommodate any order you had, very nice attendants and you could buy multiple people’s merch in one card swipe, instead of three or four if you buy more than one artist’s merch. It was quick and easy to spend my entire paycheck on shopping items, like the CBD oil tent, that offered non THC choices for people like me, for nominal prices. There was just SO MUCH to do besides JUST music, so if your kid has a less than five second attention span, there is PLENTY to do for everybody. The pool looked amazing, as did the cabins that can be rented during the festival as well as canoes and fishing.

After we had a wonderful national anthem we were introduced to our emcee of the festival accept for the main acts that have their own recorded intros, and it was none other than my buddy Mr. Mustang Mitch from the Mustang Mitch Radio Show in East Tennessee. I thought he did a well studied job of digging up info on each act as he ushered them on for us.

He and I first met each other during the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis Tennessee, and since then we have become really wonderful friends. We talk as much as we can on and off the record as people. I admire his character and what he has created to embellish the local music scene, he CARES about the music he promotes.

The first act was actually a rotating cast of school kids playing cover songs called The School Of Rock. Let me tell you what, these kids were dynamite. The guitarists were amazing on songs like “Hot For Teacher” from the Van Halen album 1984. Not only that song but others like “Black Betty” had some truly fine guitar work among the kids.

They rotated singers like the young lady that sang the Rush song “Closer To The Heart” from the 1977 album ” A Farewell To Kings”. She pinpointed the high notes with a lot of accuracy and grace, and although cover songs usually make me yawn, these were unique and enjoyable. I think it was due to the youthful appreciation of classic music from the rock  of the 70s and 80’s like Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine from the “Slippery When Wet” album.

The various combinations of band members played the song “Twice As Hard” by the Black Crowes, along with “Hotel California”, and I’m going to add that the lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist nailed the notes on that song. The intro is not easy to play right off the bat, these kids were just young teens, so I was actually quite impressed in their studies and care for notation and precision.

My old buddy Laid Back Country Picker brought his entourage all the way from East Kentucky out to Kansas to play his good Country Music for us and treat people right. His wife on the guitar Miss Honey was in rare form today avoiding wrecks and writing checks as her says, along with Mr. Bartholomew Dixon on drums and Mr. Asplundh Truck on bass.

He opened with his version of Waylon’s song “Are You Ready For The Country”, and his song called “I Live In The Now”. I have been blessed enough to cover his set many many times in the last few years, in many different states and I look forward to many many more. And as he taught us all about the ever popular “Party Line” , the entire festival was filling up and getting ready to party all weekend. Even I was getting ready to have a few good pulls of moonshine myself.

He has a second album in the works and plans to record it in Nashville sometime this year. One of the songs off that fortthcoming album is called “Treat’n People Right”, a song title more people could take a little lesson from on manners. I know, you may point fingers…sure, but this song makes even me look in that mirror and take a good look at my own self. How do YOU treat people?

“Truck Stop Sam” was a song by an old classic truck stop comedian named Mr. Gene Tracy, who did some adult material in history. I began to delve into what his act was, and this guy puts Mr. Redd Foxx to shame. Everyone that enjoys adult comedy needs to go check his videos out.


They went into playing the ever popular “Kathy With An 8 Ball” before going into an instrumental filled song to close with their rendition of Go Go Godzilla by the Blue Oyster Cult from 1977. So as he was finishing up his set I went down food vendor row to see everyone and meet new friends, and find my go to coke cola refill place. And maybe do a little early shopping from the vendors there, as they played “Okie From Muskogee” and also “Magoffin County Cadillac”.

Many of the vendors here this weekend selling wares and handing out information were from all over the United States, and I got the chance to talk with many of them during the weekend. Hunt Of A Lifetime is a non profit group that helps children 21 and under with terminal illnesses have a hunting or fishing experience.

Red Dirt Lifestyle
This Or That Food Truck
Scout’s Barbecue
Winkle Concessions

Miss Senora May has been making a name for herself out in the East Kentucky area, and with some booking help out here she has been playing some shows as well. She was the third act on the first day at Tumbleweed and began her set with “Only Want You” from her debut album “Lainhart”.

She played a few of her songs dedicated to her brother who left at an early age to join the military like the song called “Semper Fi” , where she showcased some growth vocally in her songs from the last time I watched her set. Her band tonight was Wayne Graham along with the very talented Mr. Josh Nolan, brother of Miss Chelsie Nolan.

“Dogs Of Mexico” was a new one I had never heard before either recorded or live, along with a song she wrote about her broken down van named Gertie called “Big Old Bag”. Also another song I had never heard called “Natchez Clean” was included in her set. I really enjoyed this round here with new promising material from her, and a direction all her own.

From her album she pulled out “Milk And Honey” and her signature song about her family and where she came from called “Lainhart”. The only other new one I caught was called “Intertwined” before she sang the song called “Elusive” which she wrote about addiction, and people that hunt and do not eat what they take.

The last two songs of her set again we’re pulled off her debut album and they were called “California King” and her last song she closed with was called “Country”. This was truly a divine way to begin a three day marathon of all types of music here this weekend, and Tumbleweed never ceases to please my appetite for national acts along with regional openers.

The energetic and eclectic Town Mountain Bluegrass band from the great state of North Carolina that possesses a modern sound while maintaining a strong respect for tradition and historical facts. Their new album called “New Freedom Blues” proves that by adding a drum kit, and still playing old time based tunes like “Down Low” which was in their set without Mr. Tyler Childers.

They opened with “Up The Ladder” from the “Leave The Bottle” album which was a good way to begin any set as fast as that song is, it woke up this crowd pretty damn fast. Their next song was the tightly sounding “Struck It Rich” from the “Heroes And Heretics” album.

Their cover of the song “I’m On Fire” was pretty good and they followed that up with “Coming Back To You” was a song about the road and coming back home to his woman. Town Mountain is Mr Bobby Britt, Mr. Zach Smith, Mr.Jesse Langlais, Mr. Phil Barker, and Mr. Robert Greer.

Next up was “Lawdog” and that was followed by “Tick On A Dog” from the “Southern Crecent” album. They then presented us with the title track from thier new album m called “New Freedom Blues”. Also from the Southern Crecent album was a song called “Whiskey With Tears”.

They closed their set with the song called “Deadman’s Cove”, and they left the stage hot this evening for the next act M r. Ritch Henderson. He was very gracious on the messenger with me about the set, and expressed his utmost gratitude to the directors of Tumbleweed for having him.

I thought he did a BANG UP JOB up there to finish off night one, and go back to my NICE hotel for the night. He played one called “Is Lonesome All I’ll Ever Be” and played the song “Decoration Day” by the Drive By Truckers. He kind of went into other songs in a medley format.

He had a true sense of honor up there and a passion for signing his songs with Grace like the song called “Autumn Moon” and later on in the set he played one called “One Other Way” and went into the Sturgill Simpson song called “Turtles All The Way Down”.

He played one of my favorite Alex Williams songs called “A Little Too Stoned” followed by “If It’s Only For Tonight” and others called “The incarceration Song”, and finally a Tyler Childers cover called ” Shake The Frost”. I applaud the people of Tumbleweed for having some of these up and coming artists on the roster to enjoy all placed into the day and evening so others can find new music to enjoy.

My Suburban extended stay hotel was absolutely HEAVENLY and my right arm Mr. Joshua Wallace booked me a perfect hotel room. This room had a full kitchen and a full fridge for extended stay guests, and will now be my GO TO HOTEL for Tumbleweed. Now, there were others in this area that were VERY NICE with more options for kids. HERE is the website for Lenexa Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, it was beyond 5 stars for me.

I want to point out my barbecue experience brought to me by Mr. Jim Guthrie and that was Joe’s In Kansas City restaurant near my hotel. I had a combo meal of Brisket and Kansas City ribs. I didn’t like any of the sides they offered, and the gentleman that took my order said they couldn’t do anything else for me, so I went without sides. The staff was kind of fast to get you in and out, and I thought that was sort of rude, but the food made up for that.

I would DEFIANTLY go back there and eat, those ribs were absolutely marvelous and done PERFECTLY. The sauce was REALLY GOOD, and the perceived value of the atmosphere of the restaurant makes you want to spend more to get better food. It has a nice country theme to it, and is adorned with cool decor. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you go, if you ever visit Kansas City.

The very first act I got to see on Saturday was Mr. Chad Vaughn also a Missouri native who brought along Mr.Will Wails on guitar, Mr. Jeff Nickolson on bass and Mr. Tom Winborn on drums.

I finally got to meet him this weekend, as we have correspond many times in the past when there was a large  auction and fund raiser held on his Son’s behalf in the past. He is a hard working musician, that often travels with many of these other pickers. His music is a little bit Country and a little bit other genres, if you really listen to his music you’ll see MANY influences.

The song “Pretty Mama” is basically about hot women, and I mean who doesn’t know a pretty mama? he and his wife and family were very nice folks and it was a pleasure to be able to meet them all. I got the chance to hang out with a lot of their families all weekend, I had such fun.

He played a song called “Bootlegger” about a man in southern Missouri he knew ( you make the deduction as to exactly WHO it was) as he mentions his mother as well. Nowadays Moonshine is legal in some parts of America now, and that way of life is a long lost story. But I’m going to tell you this….I don’t drink much anymore but I DO buy Moonshine and I will drink it at times.

He is the father of this brave young man here Mr. Aaron Vaughn who is one of the bravest people I myself have ever met. He is awaiting a heart transplant, and gets to have fun and play like all kids do. But I watched this young man enjoy music all weekend, and swinging his drumsticks around all weekend.

Mr.Chris Stewart came out this weekend to entertain us with some great original music. He is making a name for himself in the Missouri area with the help of the Honky Tonk Hotel and other groups in the area, and does some really great local shows. These artists that are just starting out, you mark my damn words people…they care more than the mainstream people do by far.

He opened with a song called “Time Won’t Wait For You”, which presented his vocal style and abilities. I was told that he is currently working on recording his first full album of original material and will be releasing it soon, and displayed some of the songs that will be on it like “Settle”, and “Sweet”.

This man is Mr. Al Enzian and we met in Mississippi at Outlaws Across The River just a few weeks ago.It sure is fun running into all of these people in different states and different environments but still playing the same music. Different crowds and more new people getting exposed to good music and good musicians.

He continued on with a song called “A Song About Me”, and sang one about being jaded called  “Jezebel”. That particular song had some lyrics in it that he wrote about my ex wife I do believe. “He Tried And She Tried” was another good song that is very well written about classic love gone gone wrong. Man I tell you what the line “Ashes and two rings of gold” is just damn good classic Country Music…Jesus. He concluded his set with a song called “Take The Blame”.

Next up was a young lady I featured MANY TIMES on my website, the most recent being during Hagfest in Ohio at the South gate House Revival. Miss Chelsea Nolan came out first by herself to play “Rock Bottom” which she wrote about an ex boyfriend. That is on her EP she just released recently.

She played “Build A Fire”, and a new one called ” Camel Wide Blues”. She then brought out the Wayne Graham Band, and her brother the multi talented Mr. Josh Nolan to play “Drunken Poets Dream” and others.

“I’m Not Her” was next followed by another new song called “The Serious Song” which I first heard at The Southgate House , and although she enjoys joking and laughing through her set, she does indeed sing some very serious lyrics. And the next song she played was called “If You Think It’s About You It Probably Is”.

She closed her set with the cover song “Me And Bobby McGee”, and I took the opportunity to go wander around the campground to the lake and petting zoo.

I just finished watching Sarah Shook And The Disarmers, if you remember her latest album “Years” released on Bloodshot Records earned a high spot on our TOP 50 OF 2018. Her band, The Disarmers are absolutely amazing in their own right. Each member contributes greatly to a unique Country stomping sound, that spotlight her vocals well. She stands at the helm of this band with poise and authority, as she belts out songs like “Parting Words” and “Fuck Up” which are both gloomy songs with poignant lyrics that she pulls off well.

From her 2017 re issue of “Sidelong” she actually opened her set with “Heal Me”. They went into songs like “Nothin Feels Right But Doin Wrong”, and other songs of dark deep pain in relationships that have gone to complete shit like “Lesson”. Her band is growing in strength and is tighter than ever, especially Mr. Phil Sullivan on the pedal steel.

The rest of this North Carolina outfit was Mr. Aaron Olivia on the upright bass, and Mr. Eric Peterson on guitars. ALSO SHE JUST GOT MARRIED SO IF YOU SEE HER CONGRATULATE HER. “Good As Gold” was also included in her set tonight as well as the song called “No Name”.

“Misery Without Company” was another one of those hardcore hurting songs, “Keep The Home Fires Burnin'” was included in their set tonight, as well as “Dammed If I Do, Damned If I Don’t”. “The Bottle Never Let Me Down”, was on here included also was “Dwight Yoakam”, and one of my favorites “New Ways To Fail”.

Mr. Ben and Mr. Noel Haggard are two of the four sons of famed Country Music Legend Mr. Merle Haggard who play their father’s songs and sing just like he did. They played the 1982 release of “Are The Good Times Really Over”, from the “Big City” album.

From the 1980 album called “Back To The Barrooms” they played “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”. That actually was one of my favorite albums he did for MCA, and some of producer Mr. Jimmy Bowen’s finest work. It featured the entire band the Strangers each in their prime. They also played “Workin Man’s Blues”, from the 1985 album “Amber Waves Of Grain”.

“Swinging Doors” was a 1966 album f the same name on the Capitol label produced by the immortal Mr. Ken Nelson and the followed it up with “My Favorite Memory” once again from the “Big City” album. One of the biggest hits Mr. Merle Haggard ever had was the song called “Mama Tried” from the same album of the that name.

Now then, the song called “California Blues” is from a 1969 album called “Same Train Different Time: A Tribute To Jimmie Rodgers”. As we all know Mr Merle Haggard idolized Mr. Jimmie Rodgers and regarded him as the ultimate hero. They finished their set with the well known song “Today I Started Loving You Again”.

Reckless Kelly man what all can I say about this band? Where do I even begin to articulate what I want in words? I have never had the opportunity to ever cover their set before, and I was perhaps the most excited about them out of anybody else, even the mighty Alabama.

In my opinion they are well on their way of becoming Red Dirt Legends, with a strong fan base that cannot be reckoned with. They have been at this for over twenty years now starting with “Millican” in 1998. They have a June 21st release of the 10th anniversary of Bulletproof LIVE, with some videos they have already released.

Now off that album their set list was adorned with songs like “Ragged As the Road” which is always a staple of their live show, and according to them, always will be. This band is ramped up for a big big year, and will be sure to deliver. They opened with their song “Passin’ Through”.

“The Champ” was from the 2026 “Sunset Motel” album and that song was followed up by the song “Wild Western Windblown Band” from their first two albums like Live At Stubb’s and others. They played one of their signature songs called “Seven Nights In Eire”, and played it well.

This lineup  tonight was Mr. Joe Miller on bass, Mr. Jay Nazz, and Mr. Willie and Mr. Cody Braun. Mr. Dave Abeyta left the band in February to spend time with family, I had it wrote down who took over for him tonight, and I lost the information…. I mean I only had 40 pages of junk from this festival.

They did play a song from Mikey And the Motorcars simply because their two younger brothers Mr. Gary and Mr. Mikey Braun play for that band, now the four of them play yearly in Idaho at the Braun Brothers reunion…GOT ALL THAT? Their last song was called “Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah” which is always their last song many times.

The mighty Georgia juggernaut called Blackberry Smoke was here tonight and opened with “Nobody Gives A Damn” about fake people with fancy clothes and perfect looking dates. This band don’t give a damn for sure, they just apologetically assault your ears with wonderful Southern Rock…or Americana or whatever YOU call it.. nobody gives a damn.

They followed that up with a song called “Six Ways To Sunday” off their classic album “The Whippoorwill”. I consider that album to be one of finest Southern Rock albums in the last few years. They played their old song called “Good One Comin On” from their first album called “Little Piece Of Dixie”, followed by “Workin For A Workin Man” from the “Like An Arrow” album.

The band consists of Mr. Charlie Starr, who sings, and Mr. Paul Jackson who does guitar work as well and sings. Mr. Richard Turner on bass, Mr. Brit Turner plays the drums and Mr.Brandon Still plays keyboards. They played the title song from 2018 album “Find A Light”, and also “Medicate My Mind”.

I know on this band I skipped around on the song list a lot because quite frankly this concert was a tough one with wanting to enjoy it as a fan too, with songs like “Waiting For The Thunder” that has some great stops and clapping. It’s a great middle set list staple that you can bank on being played until they retire, because it’s such a heavy hitter with great harmonies.

“Let it Burn” was on tonight as well, which almost made me think they were going to play Like An Arrow in order since those two songs go together, but nope because they played “Sleeping Dogs” and of course they played their first hit called “Ain’t Got The Blues”. They drew quite a large crowd here tonight, and many of the one day people chose not to camp.

I asked many of them just why they chose to do a one pass and got mostly the same answer…kids, which I can surely understand of course. “Time Ain’t Gonna Wait” was on their set tonight as I went back and caught a late night bite to eat before I watched the last two sets of the night.

Mr. Jackson Taylor is another one that is well on his way to becoming a local Legend among independent music communities. He possesses a strong reputation for adult themed shows full of language and actions that may be offensive to some and liked by others. Oftentimes people attempt to compare him to Wheeler Walker Jr…well I do not because he was a novelty act. Mr. Jackson means everything he says….which isn’t always good to the major media.

But to sit here and say that he hasn’t been busting his ass for over twenty years on the roads playing Country Music I would be remiss. I’m not going to get into this whole “Outlaw” crap with anybody, and it makes me yawn to be honest. I’m just going to say this man is just Plain out COUNTRY, and he can put on a show like no other. He has people that love him and hate him because of his outspoken and in your face mannerisms with no signs of slowing down, in fact he has a new album forthcoming from Sun Records in Memphis.

With that being said let’s talk about what he brought to the table musically shall we? He started out from way back in 2003 from the album “Hollow Eyed And Wasted” with “Long Legs And Long Necks” and followed that up with “Maria”. Both songs about drinking heavily and raising hell, two of which he proclaims to be good at, and displays it ever so well, causing a history of detriment from some and a history of praise from others.

Mr. Earl Hinton on the bass here tonight as well as Mr. Brandon Burke on drums who must have been filling in, although that could be wrong there. I have always been a big fan of his 2014 Live At Billy Bob’s album, as I am a collector of all of them and own some of them on vinyl.  Now one thing I dislike about his huge catalog is that he has recorded MANY covers. Covers are GREAT live but I’m just not hip on them on studio albums, however the fact he did do his “He stopped Loving Her Today/ Purple Rain” combo was nice.

From the 2011 album “Let The Bad Times Roll” they played “Boys In The Band” the groupie anthem, and believe me being a journalist and I SEE EVERYTHING good and bad I see a LOT of female (and male) hang arounds that get the free crap and sleep with the band. Don’t think I don’t see it…THERE ARE passionate fans, yes, but there are “extra” passionate fans too. Also, “Dark Days” from the 2007 album of the same name was played tonight. I had to stop over at the medical tent and partake in some bolus insulin real fast and I came back into it all to hear ‘Angels” followed up with “Cocaine” and finally the “Whiskey Drinking Song”.

Mr. Bryan James was the final act on Friday night and he ended the night in prime shape. Along with Mr. Chad Vaughn on bass, and Mr. Al again on slide, they played some originals and some covers for us. The first original I remembered hearing was called “Give A Damn” off of the 2016 album ‘This New Ways Getting Old”.

The other three songs that I caught were covers and they were “American Way” by Hank Williams Junior originally on the “America The Way I See It” album, “Ballad Of Curtis Lowe” from the Lynyrd Skynrd album “Second Helping”, and the Sturgill Simpson classic “Shit Mtn” from his iconic debut album.

The remainder of his band was Mr. Duncan Butts on drums, Mr. Don Rowe on bass making up this lineup here. And as I made my way back up the gravel to the parking lot I was so exhausted I paid one of those bike drivers to get me back to my truck, a 40 minute hotel ride was NOTHING for having a hot tub in my room…I NEEDED THAT!

Sunday morning my day began with Mr. Doug giving me a ride down to the stage to see my buddy girl Miss Tommy Ash begin the day’s exciting lineup under the hot sunny weather. I’m telling you what this has been an EXTRAORDINARY WEEKEND for weather, and NO RAIN or flooding or mud. It’s just a little breezy and there is ample shade during the afternoon hours side stage, where I am working.

Miss Tommy Ash is an Arizona native that came to Nashville to create her own sound along with her wonderfully talented husband Mr. Ben, who adds spice to her vocals with some serious guitar twang. I arrived in the middle of her set where she was performing “Sugar In A Bottle” and had the early morning crowd going wild.

Now to be honest, there were many fresh new faces here today, that bought one day passes or weekend passes and didn’t arrive Thursday. Also, they didn’t camp. They were more familiar with cover songs like “She’s In Love with A Rodeo Man” that Mr. Johnny Russell made famous, but at the same time this crowd was treated to original music ALL DAY or ALL WEEKEND. We turned MANY new fans onto people like Chelsea Nolan and her brother Mr. Josh Nolan, and THAT is important to us.

She played a divorce song called “I’m Keeping The House”, where she got rid of everything else but the house, and she played “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” from the 1968 album “Only The Greatest” by Mr. Waylon Jennings. One thing many people do not know about this song written by Mr. Jimmy Bryant is that Mr. Jim Alley originally recorded that song first.

After her set I went around exploring more because today was my last day here to really relax, I had a 9 hour ride ahead of me Sunday all day and I didn’t have time to screw around at all. I went on down to the pond and watched them have canoe races, archery range shooting, and dying while going up what they call “Buzzkill Hill”. My old decrepit ass wasn’t about to even try to go up that hill ( I think I said that earlier).

We had a full day of powerhouse acts coming up on today’s roster, and I wanted to see every act on today’s bill for SURE, so I made damn sure I was well rested and brought along all the essential meds I needed to pull the rest of this job off this weekend. I’ll post the backstage area for you on here along with a few great artist pictures I got while mingling with the people.

One thing I would like to illustrate here is this. I do get to hang out backstage and side stage with “the famous people” but I want to say THIS…THE REAL PEOPLE ARE YOU READING THIS! YOU make my website known, not them. I am usually out shaking hands in the crowd more than I am backstage, and I value YOU more than ANYBODY because YOU make the band roll on to the next gig.

Miss Jaime Wyatt is another act I covered in Ohio during Hagfest this past year.As I previously stated, she is working on a new album and is playing a few new songs from it about whiskey and coke. I’m not revealing any names right now, because I’m not sure if I can to be honest.

From her “Felony Blues” album she played many of her songs including “Wishing Well” and another about jail called “Stone Hotel”. See, much like me she is a reformed addict only I was on heroin, I think her choice was different than mine. But we both share past histories and we are both clean now, and we help others cope with the demon. I have LEAGUES of respect for her and her music, she is SO NICE to her fans!

“Giving Back The Best of Me” was her next original followed by two covers one by Mr. Merle Haggard and Miss Bonnie Owens called “Today I Started loving You Again” from the 1968 Bonnie And Clyde album, and the Waylon classic “Lonesome Onry And Mean” written by Mr. Steve Young.

“From Outer Space” was next followed by “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Little Ways” and she finished her amazing set with “Your Loving Saves Me”, and when I say it was amazing I’m NOT lying. She is growing by leaps and bounds, gaining new fans daily because of websites like mine and a few others that cover her music. I’d pick her show over many mainstream acts ANY DAY because she is a true entertainer in every sense of the word.

What can I say about Texas man Mr.Randall King, well let’s take a look and see, shall we?He came to us from The West Texas plains, now claims Lubbock Texas his home. he just recently released his second album, which was his first full length album as his first was an EP.

His band was extremely connected to him and enthusiastic to be here this afternoon, however we had some nasty weather rolling in here that cause some detriment to the stage times tonight. But as he opened with “Her Miss Me Days Are Gone”, and went into his most commercially popular song called “Dent In It” which throws the term into credit cards and vehicles.

“Keep Her On Line” was a good slow pining for love ballad that most men can relate too when they say and do stupid shit we regret saying in a few seconds. One thing I like about him is that many of his songs are under four minutes, now that may not mean much to you, but to me it does. You can fit more songs into a 45 minute set at that length. If your set at a festival is 30 minutes and you have 3 minute songs you get a nice full set of 10 songs…see?

He played a wonderful version of Mr. Randy Travis 1987 hit “Forever And Ever Amen” that Mr. Don Schlitz and Mr. Paul Overstreet wrote for his “Always And Forever” album. “Cool Under Pressure” was next, about a high school boy that has his first date. Cleans up his truck and goes to pick her up, I can easily remember my first time doing those kinds of things.

“Tuggin’ On My Heartstrings” was in this set as well as two others that sadly I missed because I was talking to some new folks I met from Maryland that were telling me info on another festival I have my radar on up there called DelFest. So right now as the storms rolled in for a brief period of time we were moved into shelters for about a half an hour, which gave me some time to recoup and get ready for what was perhaps one of the biggest acts I have ever covered on here. But as I left the stage area I do remember him closing with “Another Bullet”.

Whiskey Myers based out of Texas has been covered on here MANY TIMES, and guess what…coming September 27th is their NEW album since the 2016 “Mud” album. Their new single called “Die Rockin” is out now all over. Their set was cut way short tonight because of the weather, which was alright with the band. You cannot argue with public safety or mother nature.

They came out both barrels firing “Frogman” at us heavy and loud exactly like Whiskuey Myers usually is. Out of all of the bands here this weekend, they are the most well known for over the top and loud shows…with cowbell…more…cowbell. Off the “Mud’ album this set included “Deep Down In The South” with long instrumentals as well.

This band consists of Mr. Cody Cannon is on Lead Vocals, Guitar, Mr. Cody Tate plays Lead Guitar, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Mr. John Jeffers plays Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lap Steel, Vocals. Mr. Jeff Hogg plays – Drums, Mr. Jamey Gleaves plays Bass, and finally Mr. Tony Kent Percussion, Cowbell, Keys.

From the “Early Morning Shakes” album they played that title song, as well as “Stone”. More notably they played their tribute to the south and to the Dixie flag with “Ballad Of A Southern Man”, which usually has entire crowds of people singing along to them. This band is well on it’s way to independent superstardom, and they are going to do it THEIR way, WITHOUT mainstream help.

Speaking of MUD, this rain brought in a large amount of mud down here and the aisles and walkways were just getting trampled on and slicker by the minute. My old clumsy ass went to sit down in a safe spot so as not to roll an ankle of throw out my knee. People were slipping and sliding all over, on purpose and on accident.

This area was filling up with the one day ticket holders, many of them were what I call “Normies”. You know your everyday mid 40’s man and woman with cursive initials on the windows and creed tattoos, most mainstream people like Alabama as well as die hard music snobs like yours truly.

Well now let’s see, where to start with The Marshall Tucker Band or let’s say the current lineup of this band.The original singer still valiantly remains upon the forefront Mr. Doug Gray, and I will admit that he moved slow but could still get the high notes pretty darn good. He possesses a very humble and warm demeanor like he was HONESTLY HAPPY to be here performing for this large Kansas crowd tonight.

As the band assembled and dusk began to arrive Mr. Doug said “Well boys let’s get it out of the way”, and right off the bat we were treated to their signature song from the 1975 “Searchin For A Rainbow” album the almighty “Fire On The Mountain”. This band does indeed do an alright job of keeping the spirit of the Caldwell brothers alive, but with any band like this, with only one member it can easily become just a tribute band. I think the only reason they have not is because of Mr. Doug on vocals, without him, if he ever gets replaced, this band would fade into history as the once colossal Southern Rock pillar it once was.

Today the band consists of Mr. Marcus James Henderson on the keys and other instruments,  Mr. Chris Hicks on guitar and vocals Mr. Rick Willis on guitars, Mr. Tony Black on bass and finally Mr. B.B. Borden on drums. Original member Mr. Tommy Caldwell died in an automobile accident in 1980, and brother Mr. Toy Caldwell died in 1993 at home peacefully in his sleep.

They are most notably remembered for performing at President Carter’s 1977 Presidential Inauguration, and gave the world of music 14 studio albums and several live albums. The band is named after a blind piano tuner in Spartanburg South Carolina, where the band originated from.

From the first self titled album they played the six minute long “Take The Highway”, and also the song called “Dog Eat Dog World”. The song ‘Midnight Promises came off the 2004 album “Beyond The Horizon”. Also from the first album they played “Hillbilly Band before ending their set with “Can’t You See?”.

In 1969 three cousins Mr. Randy Owen, Mr. Jeff Cook, and Mr. Teddy Gentry formed a band called Wild Country. They toured the southeast bar circuit in the early 1970’s, and in 1977 became the mighty Alabama band. Through the next few years they released a large catalog of albums and songs  that left everyone in anticipation for their set.

From the 1985 album “40  Hour Week”, they opened with the song called “Cant Keep A  Good Man Down”. From the 1984 “Roll On” album they played “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas”, which actually was a B Side for the song “I’m Not That Way Anymore”. This was one of two cases with Alabama that their B Side drew a number one hit. It references “Faded Love” by Mr. Bob Wills and “Louisiana Man” by Mr. Doug Kershaw.

“Tennessee River” came from their fourth album called “My Homes In Alabama”, with no other songs on this set coming from that album, although they did indeed dig deep into their catalog. Their twelfth album boasted the song “High Cotton” and their cover of the Bobby Bare classic “Song Of The South”.

Their harmonies remain absolutely flawless and unaltered with age, and aged they were looks wise but they still maintained a magnetic stage ambiance. Oh my childhood memories of this band made me cry many times during their set. I remember sitting with my mom watching this band play, as they stomped out “Mountain Music” which holds true to family and pride in America and pride for the South.

“Born Country” was originally intended to go on a studio album and was shelved at the time for other songs, and it ended up being included as a new song on one of their Greatest Hits Vol II. They played the 1983 song ‘The Closer You Get”, along with “Roll On”.  Also included was the 1981 song “Love In the First Degree” from the “Feels So Right” album, “Dixieland Delight” from the “The Closer You Get” album, which incidentally was the second B side song to become a number one hit.

The 1981 CMA Award single of the year “Old Flame” was included tonight as well, now mind you these songs were not in order.  I kind of jumped around on the set list here, as I jotted them down while wandering around getting crowd shots. Then I made my way back down to the media pit for the next two bands…and trust me the fun hasn’t ended, still to come THE STEEL WOODS!

The Steel Woods consist of Mr. Jason Rowdy Cope, Mr. Wes Bayliss, Mr. Johnny Stanton and Mr. Jay Tooke on drums, and they were assembled in Nashville. I have covered their set many times…MANY TIMES in the past, and in August I will be bringing you coverage of their set in the Caverns in Bluegrass Underground.

Their music is growing exponentially across the United States and among the many online fan groups they have are helping them GROW THE WOODS. I actually have not witnessed them play a bad set ever, usually bands sometimes have bad days and I just simply haven’t witnessed this with these four.

“The Rock That Says My Name” is the song that opened tonight’s show, followed by MY FAVORITE ” Wild And Blue”, and “Jezebel”. The loud and rowdy rumble of their guitar tones and hardcore drum beats whipped  the entire campground  into a frenzy, as many of us were feeling the effects of a day of imbibing in some refreshments….if you know what I mean?

From the “Straw in The Wind” album they played “Uncle Lloyd” which is a cool song about a friend a young boy’s father brought home who lost his family to his poor choices. It is a sad song of loss and alcohol abuse, but it is so well written that despite it’s poignant message it’s still enjoyable. “Whatever It Means To You” was next from the same album, as well as “Better In The Fall”, and the cover of “Hole In The Sky”.

They still play a rousing version of ‘Whipping Post” that the Allman Brothers made popular in 1969. They played the title track of their new album called ‘Old News”, which in my opinion is by far their most well written song as of yet. They closed their set with ‘Axe” and finally they played “Let The Rain Come Down”.

The very last band on the entire festival roster were The Comancheros whom are out of Columbia Missouri, and they are made up of four guys Mr. Tanner Jones – guitar, vocals, Mr. Bradley Hutchinson – guitar, Mr. Kyle Imgarten – bass, steel guitar, and finally Mr. R. Michael Cook – drums.

They were an energetic bunch that came out with a song called “Train Bridge” and went into the Don Williams 1978 classic “Tulsa Time” from the album “Expressions”. They have a pretty intense sound of their own, and to put them on so late at night was just what we needed to close the entire festival out.

“Shoot Me Down” was next followed by the Merle Haggard classic “Workin Man’s Blues”.  This band was essentially difficult to photograph because of their constant moving about the stage, and movements. “Saturday Night” was next followed by their cover of the “Boys Are Back In Town”.

They played a new one called “Caffeine, Nicotine And Weed” and followed that one up with a song called “Down In Flames”, and as I began to pack up all my belongings they finished their set up. I made my final rounds and said goodbye to a few older friends before leaving.

T Moe’s Pizza in Illinois is right off Hwy 57 as you merge onto it from St. Louis, and go a little south. I stop there EVERY TIME I go up or down 57. I’m telling you they have the absolute GREATEST local food in that area, it’s a nice little hidden place with a HUGE menu. I usually get a big pizza and eat it on the road while driving. Y’all KNOW I have my go to hotels and places to eat in EVERY CITY in America when you go to Southern Illinois you MUST STOP here.

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Album Feature – Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants Of the Sun

By Joshua Wallace

If you like your southern rock a little on the psychedelic side, then Chris Robinson Brotherhood is a band for you. Servants Of The Sun is the band’s first full length studio album following 2017’s Barefoot In The Head. As a side note, this is the band’s last album with long time keyboardist Adam MacDougall.  He left the band after it’s recording. This album in general is upbeat, funky and it feels like a good road trip record.

The record kicks off with “Some Earthly Delights” which features a nice keyboard riff in the opening moments.  It really sets the tone and lets you know what you’re in for here. I also dig “Venus In Chrome” which is another upbeat track that features some nice playing.  The solo that starts about 4 minutes in is a great example of the jamming this band can do. One of the early singles was the catchy “Comin’ Round The Mountain” and it’s the perfect road trip tune.  Finally, I really dig the slower number “Dice Game”. This track has great guitar work and songwriting. It’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the album.

I highly recommend checking out Servants Of The Sun if you’re into trippy southern rock.  This album has everything you look for in a good jam band record. I hope to be able to see some of these tracks live in the future.  Servants Of The Sun is out everywhere as of June 14th, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Some Earthly Delights, Venus In Chrome, Comin’ Round The Mountain, Dice Game, A Smiling Epitaph

Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants Of the Sun (2019)

  1. Some Earthly Delights
  2. Let It Fall
  3. Rare Birds
  4. Venus In Chrome
  5. Stars Fell On California
  6. Comin’ Round The Mountain
  7. The Chauffeur’s Daughter
  8. Dice Game
  9. Madder Rose Interlude
  10. A Smiling Epitaph

Album Feature – Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden)

By Joshua Wallace

Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real are back with their 5th studio LP Turn Off The News (Build A Garden).  It is the follow up to their 2017 self titled album. This new record finds the band continuing to zero in on their sound.  It focuses more on their rock influences with sounds that range from 70’s California rock to folk to blues and everything in between.  It’s a great record with some good deep cuts which we will dig into.

The album kicks off with “Bad Case” which is immediately reminiscent of early Tom Petty.  It sets the vibe for the rest of the album nicely. Another favorite which also echoes Tom Petty is “Where Does Love Go”.  This track falls on the more mellow side of 70’s acoustic folk rock with the driving rhythm often associated with Petty. The track “Save A Little Heartache” is a little more on the funkier side with The Promise Of The Real hitting on some grooves that will have you moving wherever you find yourself listening to this one.

The more mellow track “Mystery” features a guest appearance by Willie Nelson picking on the ever recognizable Trigger throughout the track.  This isn’t the only guest appearance on the album either. The record features guest vocals by the likes of Shooter Jennings, Sheryl Crow, Margo Price and Kesha on the album.  Another favorite is the slower rocker “Out In LA”. It’s a groovy number with roots in the blues and a killer bass line. “Something Real” brings us back to full on rock territory and this is one of the louder tracks on the album.  It’s sure to be a fixture at live shows. Finally, I really dig the acoustic version of the title track. I feel like it’s an improvement over the full band version that was presented as a single. The song works better as a mellow folk track.

Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) is a high mark for Lukas Nelson and The Promise Of The Real.  The album focuses on their 70’s rock influences while still keeping the funky, bluesey and folk vibes of their earlier work.  This band is building a very eclectic sound and I can’t wait to see what is next for them. Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) is available everywhere as of June 14th, 2019.

Favorite Tracks : Bad Case, Where Does Love Go, Save A Little Heartache, Mystery, Out In LA, Something Real

Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real – Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) (2019)

  1. Bad Case
  2. Turn Off The News (Build A Garden)
  3. Where Does Love Go
  4. Save A Little Heartache
  5. Lotta Fun
  6. Civilized Hell
  7. Mystery
  8. Simple Life
  9. Out in LA
  10. Something Real
  11. Stars Made Of You
  12. Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) – Acoustic
  13. Consider It Heaven

The Nashville Boogie.

I have never missed a single year of the Nashville Boogie, and I’ll tell you why..the music and the people. The atmosphere is so wonderful and fun filled with color and flare, the western style dress and the ladies whirling all over on that dance floor. You have four places to go watch all different types of music and buy clothes of all types like western dress and rockabilly attire. This particular festival has no food vendors however instead focuses on the venues serving the food, next year in 2020 however Mr. Jason has already announced that it WILL BE capped at 1000 tickets. Also the Nashville Palace and the Scoreboard Bar And Grill have been named the official venues.

This early in the afternoon there was already many folks mingling and meeting for the first time, along with many old friends like I have here. And where better to begin a marathon of music and fun than with an American band like them? It simply doesn’t get any better than Mr. Ronnie Crutcher beginning with his guitar licks for the song “Violets In May”. If you have not known about this band, you need to and now you do..go buy their albums.

This event just grows and grows every year, and gets attended by more people than I had ever hoped to imagine, the vendor area truly has grown in size this year, and right away I noticed that the shuttle service has really improved in frequency and better interior. One thing I DO remember is catching the flu in this booth last year, it hit me hard.

The Palace itself has gone through some changes with the new management that created more space to dance up front, but I’ll be completely honest, they took out a lot of the historic decor that once adorned those walls. It was kind of heartbreaking to see that happen, and I noticed a few things went up in price. Once again the back room and front room menus were different to accommodate faster and more efficient ticket times for the heavier traffic back room

This has become much more of an entity than just a simple music festival or car show, no my friends this has become a whole other echelon of friendship and love for the common good. You have a car show going on outside of the Palace with Hillbilly Casino playing over at the Scoreboard Bar And Grill when I arrived today.  It was indeed quite pleasant to park and get out of the truck to hear “Debt With The Devil’ , and their official anthem song the good ol “Tennessee Stomp”.

This right here is Hillbilly Casino’s guitarist Mr. Ronnie Crutcher right after they played the song called “Violets In May” which they additionally played in the front bar of the Nashville Palace on Saturday night. I eagerly watched both sets of wild antics by the entire band that vehemently persuade audience support.

He is drummer Mr. Matthew Armn as he riles up the crowd at the Scoreboard by standing on his drum kit and slamming beers while clapping. This fearsome foursome are one of the best bands around because of their eclectic roots and deep appreciation of history.

As they were finishing up their set, I went outside to see the car show. The entire car show was bigger than last year and continues to grow yearly with more sponsors and vendors contributing. Hot rod cars and music are big parts of the Rockabilly lifestyle, and it’s always fun to see these folks celebrate that.

The back room of the Palace was where I enjoy setting up my computer area and I sat and watched the Gin Palace Jesters play one hell of a GREAT SET here tonight. Chicago’s own hillbilly swing band. But first let’s take a nice look at some of the cars involved in the show, like the original cruiser from the television show the Munsters. Mr. Butch Patrick who played Eddie Munster on the television show was kind enough to bring it for us to see, along with Grampa’s other coffin cruiser.

Now we shall revert back to the Palace where Chicago’s own The Gin Palace Jesters, who began their set blazing into “Honky Tonk Fool” which is from the 2005 album of the same name. From the 2015 album “For Better or For Worse”, they played “Show Me Your Tears”. That  is one of my favorite songs they play about fake tears and cheating women, along with those old classic drinking songs they idolize.

This band played the 2016 Boogie, and tonight they brought a truly fine show, with note for note precision for the simple fact that Mr. Chris Casello was joining in on steel guitar. In fact, tonight we had EIGHT that’s right count them….eight members on stage tonight.

They were FULL of Western Swing fiddles complete with double stops and twin fiddle work, as they wove a tapestry of Hillbilly music. Other members included Mr. Hank Sandwich, Mr. Greg Hirte, Mr. Conor Ostrow and Mr. Mike Hobson.

Their second album called “Roadhouse Riot And Other Songs With Words” boasted the next song called “Moonbeam”. The song called “Lover Not A Fighter is fromtheir debut Honky-tonk Fools album. The next song had a great story tied in with it about his youth, the song being “Ol Webb’s Bullhorn Pontiac”. I have done a lot of studying about Mr. Webb Pierce and his  silver dollar 1962 Pontiac Bonneville.

“Loosing Her Memory” was another great song off of the Roadhouse Riot album, and again off the debut album we had ” 18 Days And 18 Wheels” which was a GREAT trucking song. You know my friends, this band has some REALLY good beer drinking songs and old time trucker songs as well. Like the next song called “Drunk All My Troubles Away” and my personal favorite called “God Bless The Drinking Songs”. I love that one simply because it remembers the beloved Country Music Legend Mr. Jim Ed Brown, and his song called “Pop A Top”.

“Pomade On My Pillow” was a funny song, however the next song they played off the new album called “91 Proof” about drinking and brewing moonshine. I love me some good old home brew corn whiskey up here in Kentucky. The very last song I caught was called “Nashville Penny”.

Photo Courtesy of Mr. Dave Dowda

After that set I slid on over to the Opryland Hotel to the Presidential Ballroom to see Miss Nikki Hill I’m not exactly sure what to call her music other than powerfully fun, and I wasn’t very familiar with this North Carolina gal with three independently released albums under her belt. She has been called the  Southern Fireball, among other things.

However on the way to the music locations I stopped into the vendor area to see many old friends like two fo the people I met around the first Muddy Roots ( what we call Muddy Roots main) festival. For the amount of you that may not know what we mean by Muddy Roots, allow me to explain. Muddy Roots began on Labor Day weekend in 2010 as a festival to provide a HOME for bands that didn’t exactly “fit” into any genre, and it began to be called “Roots Music”.

It’s really NOT ANY GENRE it was Outlaw Country, Folk, Bluegrass, String Bands, Punk Grass and other various types thrown into a jumble of whatever they played. Mr. Jason thought outside of a box, and outside of a corporate guideline while STILL maintaining a business sense about the overall outcome. He saw an opportunity to capitalize on a target audience that nobody else did…except me. I saw it RIGHT AWAY and I wanted to tell him TAKE MY MONEY!

I wanted to help his dream grow by involving others and bringing others into the crowd with open minds and open wallets, and help these bands grow to be able to sustain a viable income playing their music. Rusty Knuckles was (and is) what I used to call the BIG THREE labels of that Roots Music, and in their prime they were all three very incredible labels that produced GREAT albums. I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Ralph Miller and Mr. Buck Thrailkill whom both represent Rusty Knuckles.

Her band was exceptionally vivid and loud, just like her lyrics. Her stage presence was powerful and as she wailed out the song called “Tell The Next World”, I noticed that she gathered a huge crowd so early in the day. That is not always an easy task at any music festival of any magnitude.

I’ll admit I’m not too familiar with her music, and I’m not into it as heavily as other bands here. However I have great respect for her ambiance on stage, and I can appreciate her fierce vocal delivery of songs like “Get Down And Crawl”. Her lead guitarist Mr. Matt Hill is also her husband , and the two of them rotate band members all over the United States.

I remained in the Presidential Ballroom for the next main act there Miss Linda Gail Lewis, sister of Legend Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis. She plays or hell of a mean piano and along with Mr. Robbie Fulks, she has released a ton of great music including the first song she played called “Boogie Woogie Girl From Tennessee”.

Much like her older brother, she too pounds out a serious rock and roll piano beat with everything from blues to country variations within her songs. She defiantly kicks her leg out far above her seat while playing the classic song “Roll Over Beethoven”.

Before I had to move back over to the Nashville Palace for more bands, I got to watch her perform the title track from her latest album called “Wild Wild Wild”. I also wanted to give a shout out to the people that were emcees of this event this weekend like Mr. James Riley from the podcast Hillbilly Blues And Radio Hour, also the Aztec Werewolf Mr. Del Vilarreal whom is a disc jockey on WCBN FM in Michigan.

Both of them did a really good job keeping the crowd in touch with the next act, and kept them all out there dancing. You know there were many DJ’s and dance classes as well. That is what this whole entire concept is, it’s NOT JUST MUSIC it’s a celebration of a lifestyle and culture all their own.

I took the shuttle back over to the Nashville Palace where the front room and the back room bars are going strong at the same time. I have my laptop set up in the back room here in my little corner booth and I can easily ramble around and get all my information and watch this amazing music.

Like this next band from Nashville Tennessee called The Hi-Jivers, who play some mighty fine rock and roll, and rockabilly music with eccentric covers and really nice original music. They are featured quite prevalent at the Nashville Boogie, as well as many of the bands on the Wild Records label.

In 2014 Miss Dawna and her husband Mr. Austin John moved to Nashville to form this band that released their first full length album called “Something’s Gotta Shake”. They closed their set with the song of the same name there, I’m talking about the Hi-Jivers. This band went absolutely crazy on stage with an amazing stage presence and unique vocal delivery of songs like “Hot Wire Woman”, and “Blood In My Mouth”.

Along with Mr. Hank Miles on the upright bass, and Mr. Jason Smay on drums, they barreled through songs like “Mean Woman” and another called “Ol Feeling”. Miss Dawna danced and wailed out the lyrics for songs like “Just One More Time” with true Rockabilly fury, you know folks we had a LOT of great female artists in this festival this weekend.

“Bulletproof” was next followed by “Got Me Wrong” and another song called “Get My Way”. One of the songs off their album was called “Sweet Talkin And Lyin'”.

“I Smell A Rat” is another good song they do followed up with “Any Woman You Please”, and the last song they played was called “Knee High And Risin'”. Now, I chose to skip Mr. Marcel Bontempi over at the Presidential Ballroom in Opryland, because he is playing another set on Saturday.

As that was going on in the back room,  we had Miss Cheryl Deser’ee performing in the front room with a full band of wonderful people, and smooth Jazzy Country Swing songs and all kinds of other musical influences here. I know her and I know her WELL, and she LOVES old Country and ALL TYPES of older music, and she knows her stuff! Incidentally off her album “Dreamy” that I didn’t hear tonight was the song called “Another Empty Bottle’. Like I said I was bouncing pretty hardcore tonight so I only caught parts of sets.

She is a little bit of EVERYTHING thrown into one album, the first song she did I got to watch was called “Home To Stay” which on the album featured Riders In The Sky, however with her stellar full band she had tonight this set was TRULY wonderful. One of the best sets of the weekend for SURE!

“Stage Door Jenny” was a pleasant slow song about getting drunk and mouthy and all kinds of other stuff filled with pianos and other things in the background. This young lady BRINGS IT when she does a show, and when she complements the music with her sultry vocals you get a CLASS ACT SHOW for damn sure. She is truly a pro, but you better ‘Keep My Name Off Your Lips” if you keep talking about her behind her back or she’ll kick your ass.

Shout out to ALL the Muddy Roots staff and volunteers that help Mr. Jason Galaz throw this damn shindig, at so many places at one time. Miss Cole, Miss Delany Chavez, Miss Kelly McNoldy and Miss Destiny make it so much fun to take part in the festivals. Always nice to see friendly faces at the ticket booth and merchandise booths. One of the merch booth ladies at Opryland helped put a shirt on a little baby it was adorable.

Sadly I opted to also skip Mr. Art Adams also, to catch this powerhouse band that only plays a few small dates in America called The Country Side Of Harmonica Sam. In fact, I am going to try my absolute best to recall everything I watched this weekend, but doggone it there was so much going on.

These five gentlemen deliver Honky Tonk Country in a 50s and 60s Bakersfield fashion.Country Side Of Harmonica Sam They dress the part and play the part equally well, and the five of them are a well oiled machine in every sense of the word. On upright bass you have Mr. Ulrik Jansson, on steel guitar you have Mr. Peter Andersson.

Mr. Johan Bandling Melin is on the lead guitars and back on the drums you have Mr. Patrik Malmros, to complete this band you have Harmonica Sam up front on vocals. Their stellar 2017 album “A Drink After Midnight” boasted their first two songs “Big City” and “Unjust Friends”. It equally  possesses the wonderful song called “Empty Hours”.

“The Day I Let Him In” was next followed by the title track of “A Drink After Midnight” which is my personal favorite song about drinking your memories of a love gone wrong away in order to sleep well. They played a brand new song from their upcoming album called “If That’s The Way It’s Gotta Be”, which has a really cool retro look on Spotify. They made it look like an old album cover with the 45rpm label in the corner.

“That’s Why I Sing In A Honky Tonk” was another good song they play, and they closed with “Tears Don’t Stain” and the ever popular “Lookout Heart”. Now at the same time in the front room there were SO MANY GREAT bands playing like a good man I’ll be featuring more as he releases more music on the Country Roots Records label, and that is none other than Mr. Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen

You know folks I don’t know a whole lot of people out in the New Orleans area but right now this is where he resides and plays locally. Apparently he started out in Missouri and made his way around the United States, following his dreams. And I’m glad he did because his mind is focused on terrific original music and some truly enjoyable covers, like the Mel Tillis written “Heart Over Mind” made popular by Mr. Ray Price.

His song “Early Morning Blues” is an easy mellow song that keeps the listeners attention with vivid lyrics and smooth rich vocals. Many of his songs are influenced by old time fiddle tunes, as well as his heart. Once you delve into his style you see his own playlist is adorned with the likes of Mr. Brett Ratliff and Mr. Benton Flippen.

He played the Left Frizzell classic “She’s Gone Gone Gone” that Mr. Harlan Howard wrote in 1964, along with a Roger Miller tune “A World So Full Of Love” from the 1970 classic album “A Trip In The Country”. After him that first night I got to see my buddy Mr. Ben Jarell, who released a GREAT new album called “Troubled Times” on Country Roots Records, it’s on our TOP 50 right now!

As a dock worker at night in a factory I really relate to the song “Gearjammers Blues”, see just like the music business where I see how hard the road life is I also see the trials of the truck drivers. America really does move by truck folks, and being sad, tired and alone is indeed part of their blues. His band was truly tight up there, and I really enjoyed his set.

“Big Iron Train” was next and is a little heavier song than the rest, and is a well written song that he wrote with Mr. Brendan Mannion. It’s just a damn jam song about leaving home and going on adventures, this young man’s life has truly been an adventure for sure. He struggles with his father being away in jail, which is where the song “Daddy’s Prison Radio” comes from. He really and truly DOES WANT his father to hear him on the prison radio, we talked on the phone often in the past about parent problems with both of us.

“Highway Whine” was a great harmony song filled with great studio steel guitar provided by Mr. Mike Daly, and many backup vocals. ‘Marissa” he wrote with Mr. Garrett Miller. That song didn’t speak to me as vibrantly as the others like “Troubled Times In A Tribal Town”, it painted a grotesque picture in my mind of a horrible murder.

He finished up his entire album on the two times he played with songs like “Black Helicopter” “The Flyer” and finally he played “Colorado Bound”, a song about smoking pot, which pretty much helps these guys burn up the roads. Many people have gone to Colorado to do that, he also goes on toward the end of the album to thank everyone for their help.

His band tonight was Mr. James Robert Lanigan on the bass, Mr. John Papageorgiou on drums, Mr. Ryan Sanchez on lead guitars. On the steel he had Mr. Jordan Harazin, and on the keyboards he had Mr. Cullen Wade to complete his band. If you ever get the chance to catch him in your area YOU MUST DO SO!

The Cactus Blossoms…LORD I finally got to cover them on here, and their new album called “The Easy Way” featured their first song called “Desperado”, which OF COURSE featured their signature harmonies and soft guitar twang. This is a easy flowing song about being down by Mexico.

Next they played the song “I’m Calling You” which is also next on the album, and they played “Downtown” before they reverted back to their 2016 album called “You’re Dreaming”. This band does not move much on stage at all, however they are just absolutely captivating in many ways. Their precise musicianship is equal to nobody else at all, I would pay TOP DOLLAR to see them again.

From the first album they played my favorite song called “Clown Collector”, a toe tapper about a gal that loves loser guys. It just seems that too many gals nowadays want a man they “have to fix” or are jobless. They also played the song called “Powder Blue”, a much slower and more relaxed song about love and the sky. Once again we enjoy those wonderful harmonies and those golden voices from these two Minneapolis natives Mr. Jack Torrey and Mr. Page Burkham.

The first song off the first album was the awesome ‘Stoplight Kisses” which I’m sure by now they are tired of it, but they sound JUST LIKE the Everly Brothers. “Boomerang” is a song about a gal that keeps coming back with another name, I’m not sure if that means a married name or what.

“No More Crying The Blues” was one the higher points of their set tonight, they played that one REALLY good, also “Mississippi” was equally performed well tonight. “Change Your Ways Or Die” was one of their last songs and they finished with “Please Don’t Call Me Crazy”, from the new album.

The Screamin Rebel Angels from the great state of new York, man what can be said that already isn’t said about this trio of good folks? Miss Laura Palmer just absolutely SLAYS IT up front nightly for your entertainment, and whomever put together the roster for the front room did a splendid job. EVERY ACT I got to see was amazing in their own right.

“Oh! My Soul” is just a downright Rockabilly JAM with Little Richard screams and a steady hardcore beat complete with drum rolls and ramming guitar solos from Mr. Aaron and Mr. Al Martinez. From the “Hitch Hike” album they played the song “When I’m With You”. This new album they just put out called “Heel Grinder” was by far their best album vocally, what I meant was it was very well produced and captured her signature growl better than any other album.

Mr. Josh Bailey on drums beat away on those things with the title track from the “Heel Grinder” album also, one of the older songs I recalled was “Bumble Bee” but also the song “Baby Gets Down” had the dancing beats and stomping rhythm that this late night crowd needed, as I bounced back and forth to rooms, the other crowd could hear the Angels tearing up the front room!

“Mayday” is from the second album however they went pretty far back to the first EP called “Pounce Like A Tiger” with a song I LOVE called “Momma He Treats Your Daughter Mean”, as a father with a daughter I’ll KILL YOU if you are mean to my kid. THAT IS a Father’s song right there, and I love it. “Hands Off” was a good thump song about staying away from her man, get your hands off him..I wouldn’t mess with Miss Laura!

“Brassy Brown” was a slower smooth groove song, that had people dancing really fun, I was going around trying to take pictures of moving objects, so I used this opportunity to practice. I love the smooth guitar tone of this song and the solos. One thing about them is they got to play more songs in their set because they do not have longer songs like Country has a tendency to have.

“Right To Wrong” was another off the “Pounce Like A Tiger Album that I caught here tonight, I liked the vocals on the recording of this song, along with the song called “Let It Rain” which is a DAMN GOOD song here, saving my love for a rainy day is a good line. “Something On Your Mind” is a slower song about communication in your relationship, and they followed that with “Where You At”. The last song I caught of theirs was off their first EP called “You’re Pretty When You’re Quiet”.

Day two of the festival started pretty early in the morning with a wonderful lunch of Texas Brisket Sandwich at the Scoreboard bar and grill. Part of the festival focused on this bar and the Palace as well , and as a previously stated in 2020 it will house the entire festival.

The first band up during the car show on day two was the Psychobilly band called Hellfire Revival and although they have one album out, they did play a new song called “Ones In The Night” which had a horror theme to it. Their lead singer Mr. Chris Saint Clark growls out the lyrics to many of the bands gruesome horror punk songs as the rest of the band unleashed fury upon us VERY EARLY in the day.

Mr. Gary Burney and Mr. Jason La Lacona joined him upon stage today to deliver a rousing does of classic Hellfire songs like “Devil Don’t Run With Me” and “Drink Away The Bottle” followed by another called “Dv8or”. All of these songs can be found off their album called “Greatest Hits”.

“Necrotizer” was a rather different kind of a song however for a band like this with their shock rock demeanor it was quite fun. This band truly does entertain well with their bassist and the way he got into the music and went bat shit crazy.

The last song I got to see them play was called “Skeletons In The Closet”, I got the chance to see them play man years ago at the main Muddy Roots festival, when they played a lot of covers. Directly after them I stayed up there in the Scoreboard to watch Mr. Walt and the Psycho Devilles.

I’ll tell you what folks Hot Rod Walt has a TON of albums to pull songs from and he is STILL making more music, like their new album called “Rumble Road”. They played quite a few songs from that album like “Ain’t Got No Choice”. They pulled a few songs off their old 2005 album called “Psycho Cadillac”.

The songs they pulled off that album were “This Old Road”, which I have heard them play many times in the past, and also they played “Bar Fight”. Which makes the entire crowd yell you the name of it. There were two other songs they played that were new, and they were “Eighteen Wheeler Man” and also “Sex, Fire And Gasoline”.

There were other songs later in the set that were older, from his multi album catalogue and they were “My Guitar Saved Me” and also “Cute But Psycho”. Also in the Palace back room was Cherry Rat who comes to us from Las Vegas Nevada, and has Mr. Lee Jack and Mr. Kirk Highberger on the drums.

They have a 2014 album called “Bop To The Hell” which was their first song they played, along with “Rat Rod”. This is another good old fashioned Rockabilly band with bass thumps and hot rod lyrics that make people dance and swing into the night.  “Candy Lips” is a good song that showcased her vocals truly well, and had some nice guitar solo work.

This was a pretty damn good energetic band that got an early slot for good reason, a lot of the couples that wanted to spend the entire day dancing on and off got an ample opportunity to do so because of these early bands. “Love Hate” was another good song that showcases her Brazilian vocals very well, on the album it had steel guitar in it and I love the sound of it.

Miss Cherry Rat is on vocals while Mr. Lex Tats was on the bass, Mr. Joe Marshall is on the guitar and Pigmew was on the drums today, now I do know there is indeed a new album coming soon, and I’ll be on the lookout for that as well. From that new album they played a song called “Lone Wolf”, and another called “Get Behind Me Satan”.

The song called “Rockachola Dolls” was a good faster song with a rock and roll beat that had even me tapping my feet with fun from the drum rolls and guitar work. Their last song was called “Burning Heart” and was a slamming good song, this band just kept steamrolling through songs and each one was just as full of fire as the last.

The Lonesome Souls I kind of caught bits and pieces of their set because I met up with a friend of mine Miss Juelane and later on we went over to the Opryland to see a few acts in the ballroom before taking over a table in the back of the Palace front room for music in both rooms. She was NEW to many of these people, and to share something like new music with new fans who want to spend time and money supporting it is VERY valuable to me.

I got to hear them play a song called “False Hearted Girl” and another called “Love Me Right”. I couldn’t find out a lot about this band and tried to research them, and didn’t come up with much. I’ll have to put forth further effort into featuring them more on later dates and later jobs.

Mr. Billy Harlan in my opinion is a local legend around my area of Kentucky.he is a former DJ and did a lot of work with The Everly Brothers and others from Greenville Kentucky and West Kentucky. He began his set with one of the songs that earned him a Rockabilly Hall Of Fame spot called “I Wanna Bop”.

He is one of the more rock and roll portions of the rockabilly genre, like many of his ilk from the Sun Records and old Starday era. He was prevalent during the 50s and 60s when many of my musical icons were alive and well. I actually envy him for his knowledge and memories of the past, he is a walking history book, and you just need to care enough to STOP and listen to his stories.

“Make This School House Rock” was next followed by “I Ain’t Elvis” but I’m cool…his songs and lyrics are pretty easy to understand and dance to, he is pretty much old school rock and roll, and if you allow it to, it will take you back in time to a long forgotten era of American greatness with songs like “Be Bop Annie” and “This Lonely Man”.

He played the Everly Brothers classic “Bye bye Love” that was written by  Felice and Bouredaux Bryant along with other Everly Brothers hits, and he finished his set with a wonderful rendition of the classic song “Mr. Blue”. We both went back over to the Palace for the rest of Saturday night, and had a wonderful time together enjoying the music.

Mr. Marcel Bontempi was here this weekend playing some western swing and Country music for us, while in the front room there was Mr. David Ball going on. So OF COURSE I was traveling back and forth at a rapid pace, while still enjoying my guest’s company. I truly personally enjoyed this portion of it all myself. I LOVE the Country sound of all of these acts!

Marcel Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company is a different take on his original music in the fashion that they  put more Country into it, with songs like “Snake Oil Song”. I liked their old time references to history’s stories of snake oil salesmen. They played one called “Dixie Fried” and another called “Rambler And Rover”.

“Pistol Boogie” was another good song along with his version of “Steel Guitar Rag”. This was a band that I make sure that I do not miss when they come to America because Mr. Jason bring some mighty fine overseas talent here during the Boogie. Next year will be truly interesting to see how he pulls off talent this good in a smaller area, and the ticket cap will be fun to see the result of as well.

Mr. David Ball is absolutely fabulous even still now,in fact I’d go so far as to say he is better now than ever! And right now he is celebrating his twenty fifth anniversary of the album called “Thinkin Problem” which in my opinion is an iconic album in it’s own right, as he played songs like “What Do You Want With His Love”, a song about a pining lover pleading to get her to stop cheating on him.

The powerful ballad “When The Thought Of You Catches Up With Me” was next followed by two new songs from the album called “Come See Me’. This album is fourteen songs of love and hate like “Are You Lonesome For Me” and his first single off the album called “Pretty Baby”.

He did dig back into the past with songs like “Hot Water Pipe” from the 2010 album called “Sparkle City”, and “Too Much Blood In My Alcohol Level” from the 2004 album called “Freewheeler”. He of course ended the set with his timeless classic called “Thinkin Problem”.

This year to be honest there is a real plethora of Country stars from the 80s and 90s that are recording new albums or re recording their previous hits on new albums and also touring. Some are touring together on package deals and also visiting the Opry. It is integral that we appreciate these performers because they are our future Legends of Country Music.

So now let’s go check out the second set for Country Side Of Harmonica Sam in the back lounge. Their set was pretty much different from their first set, as they opened with “True Lies” and from the first album they played “We Have Strayed So Far Away”. This was the difficult part to go from room to room and enjoy all of the bands playing here. This song talks about a lost love and a wanting to have a break up, their songs are simple and easy to understand and enjoy.

“Country Girl” is another amazing song full of steel and gallop beats and when the chorus comes around it’s a full of fiddle. Even though it’s a cover song, they do a unique job of playing in their own right. “Yes I Will” was also included in their set, along with “Cry Me A River”.

The third day I didn’t bring my camera into any of the shows because we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the nightly acts. So allow me to explain ONE RULE I HAVE ON HERE: I DO NOT AND WILL NOT put down ANY music I don’t like. Because YOU may like something I don’t at some of the festivals, and I just don’t care for the B52’s. Never have cared for them so after Mr.JD McPherson played his set I left for the weekend.

Mr. RAYNIER JACOB JACILDO, Mr. JIMMY SUTTON, Mr. JASON SMAY and Mr. DOUG CORCORAN make up this bandthat I got to cover in 2017 at the Master Musician’s Festival, and this set was just as energetic and grand. “Abigail Blue” was first followed by the rocking bopping tune called “Fire Bug”.

He dedicated the song called ‘On The Lips” from the “Undivided Heart And Soul” album to passed on Legend Mr. Dick Dale. and as he stomped around on the stage playing songs like “Lucky Penny”. One pretty cool thing was that he lengthens out some of the instrumentals to make the songs longer and more intense live.

He closed his set with “Let The Good Times Roll”. After I watched his set I walked around the Opryland hotel and took a few pictures of the beautiful gardens there.