Country Music Armadillo Visits Roostertail Music Festival Day 1.

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Jul 242019
 

 

Hidden away in the hills of southern Indiana just along the banks of the Ohio River is Madison, Indiana, a quiet, but beautiful town with a history every bit as deep and wide as the river it saddles to the south. The small town has carved out a reputation as one of the most prominent tourism towns in the state with it’s beautiful classical architecture, unique shops, unrivaled scenery, and the mighty Ohio as a backdrop. One weekend out of the year is the crown jewel of attraction for the town, however: 4th of July Weekend. The historic Madison Regatta brings the fastest racing boats in the world to the waters of the Ohio River just south of town and thousands of people pour into the usually quiet little town for the kind of great American experience that is all too rare these days.

The whole town converges in the Southernmost blocks to catch a glimpse of the jet engine boats skipping across the water, or to visit the carnival set up along the river’s edge. To visit old friends and make new ones, to enjoy the freedom of summer and the freedom of America.

There’s also one badass music festival that takes place in conjunction with all of it. The Roostertail Music Festival is the new kid on the block as far as weekend festivities go, but in just a few short years it has caught national attention as a destination event that should be on your calendar the next year as soon as the current one ends.

And that is a narrative that I will absolutely echo.

Taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the week of the 4th the Roostertail Music Festival is one of the best events you’ll attend in a summer. Family friendly, clean, well organized, and best of all incredibly affordable. You won’t pay an arm and a leg to get a ticket, but you’ll get an arm and a leg’s worth of music for what you do pay.

I arrived Friday afternoon, missing the first night of music due to work, to find the town buzzing. The parade, featuring all of the jet powered boats set to race on the river throughout the week and floats from all of the local businesses, clubs, and dignitaries was about to take place. Lawn chairs lined the sidewalks, people milled about going in and out of shops, and you could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. To the South of Main Street towards the river sits Bicentennial Park, and you couldn’t ask for a better setting for such an event. Perfectly designed for optimal viewing and the hills of Kentucky rising out of the background make the park a picture perfect place to hold a music festival.

Kicking the action off Friday just as the parade up on Main Street was ending was Louisville-based rock band The Pass. Roostertail prides itself on maintaining a diverse lineup with something for everyone, all while making an effort to shine a light on some lesser known acts out of nearby music hub Louisville, Kentucky. The stream of listeners coming into the park was steady, and not even the heat of the early July evening could keep the dancers from getting going.

Another spotlight was cast on a talented group out of Louisville following The Pass as Frederick The Younger filled the air of the park with their groovy mellow melodies. Many in the park too refuge in the shade on the West end of the park, enjoying the show out of the direct heat of the sun. Even the band’s drummer sought some relief of her own, putting her hair up in an impromptu bun, using a spare drumstick to anchor it.

Up next was the first of the nationally touring acts of the evening as hip-hop duo Little Stranger took the stage all the way from Philadelphia. Featuring guitar playing and dancing the pair had no trouble catching the attention of the still growing audience. As the sun fell into the trees the rail in front of the stage filled up with eager fans responding excitedly to each song the pair performed.


Click HERE to see our full Roostertail Music Festival Image Gallery from Day 2!


The evening took a decidedly country turn next, as Jamie Lin Wilson took ownership of the stage with her band in tow. The last time I had seen Jamie was at Tumbleweed 2018 in a solo acoustic set during the heat of the day near the end of her pregnancy. Her set that day showcased her powerful vocals and excellent songwriting, but here at Roostertail she was able to bring the heat with the full band, and did she ever deliver. Sporting a Mike and The Moonpies shirt in the kind of camaraderie that I appreciate about this movement Jamie took total control of Bicentennial Park and commanded the attention of everyone in the park. Between songs she displayed a wit and charm that rounded out the perfect total package of a set. I had never had the opportunity to see Jamie with a band, and her set left no doubt that that was my loss.

Headlining the night was Mike and The Moonpies, who have gained an incredible amount of momentum in the last 16 months, especially here in the Midwest region. The crowd pressed up against the rails several rows deep while others caught the show from their chairs throughout the park.

Mike and the boys did not disappoint, putting on what I will say is the best set I have seen them play yet. The excitement was apparent both from those in the crowd and those on the stage and it all blended for a perfect combination that results in one of those kinds of shows you hope you get to experience again some day. The energy was at fever pitch from the opening riff of “Road Crew” all the way through to end of “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”.

In the later stages of the set Jamie Lin Wilson made her way back out to the stage and joined the band for a couple of songs, showcasing a natural chemistry with lead singer Mike Harmeier that elevated the energy and excitement even more. After a 2 song encore Mike and The Moonpies left the stage to a thunderous ovation to bring to close the second night of the Roostertail Music Festival.

My first day on the ground at the Roostertail Music Festival was a blast. The music was all great, the event staff treated me with nothing but respect and kindness, and the event as a whole just has a welcoming feel to it. Seeing Mike and The Moonpies headline the event was special for me. I had been telling venues in my area to bring them in for years, but it wasn’t until May of 2018 when Dukes Indy answered the call and booked the show. It wasn’t a sellout show, but those of us who were there made sure to tell the legend of the show to everyone who wasn’t. When they returned in March the show sold out weeks in advance, and shortly later they were announced as headliners for this event. It’s nice to see the good guys get a win, and these guys are definitely good, and Friday night at the Roostertail Music Festival was most definitely a win not just for them, but for everyone who came out to see it.

Saturday would see an earlier start time on the stage in Bicentennial Park and even more talent taking the stage, all while boats ran heat races on the river behind it, and families enjoyed the great American weekend in small town America. Join us right back here tomorrow at the Country Music Armadillo as we take a look back at the final talent filled day of the Roostertail Music Festival 2019!


Click HERE to see our full Roostertail Music Festival Image Gallery from Day 2!

Country Music Armadillo Visits Roostertail Music Festival.

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Jul 242019
 

 

(Editor’s Note: Apologies for this article not making it up on time, I had a serious family emergency that took me out of town Thursday, and I had a weekend full of previously booked activities that kept me from getting this one out until now.)


Related: Friday July 5th Roostertail Music Festival Coverage


The Ohio River valley in Madison, Indiana was full of life for the final day of the Roostertail Music Festival. Down on the river boats ran heat races and time trials all throughout the day getting ready for the Main Event races that take place on Sunday of the weekend. In Bicentennial Park the music filled the air early, and kept the beat going all day.

Kicking off the action early was Louisville’s Brent Mathis with a robust, soulful set. With a great band backing him Brent impressed from the stage with a set full of his own original offerings. Having never seen Brent before I was very impressed with the excellent set that he played, and the crowd assembled in the park (Most of which sought what shade could be found as the sky above wasn’t providing a single cloud for cover) seemed to agree, responding appreciatively to each song played.

Up next to the stage was another Louisville act as the band 16 Bones brought their driving hard rock to the hot river valley. They exploded out of the gate washing over the park with a tsunami of intensity, and never let off the gas from start to finish even in the hot July heat.


Click HERE to see our full Roostertail Music Festival Image Gallery from Day 3!


Next up on the stage was the most interesting presentation of the weekend as Edgar Red climbed onto the stage covered in head to toe with a blanket as opera music played. He strode to the center of the stage, suddenly throwing the blanket off, revealing himself guitar in hand and horned viking helmet on his head. He immediately lit into his guitar, and away he and his band ripped with their guitar-fueled rock, whipping the growing crowd into a frenzy.

Towards the end of Red’s set I took a stroll down along the river to check out some of the action on the water. All day I could hear the boats between sets roaring around on the waves. The big, jet engine powered boats skimming across the water are a real sight to see. Seeing them disappear in cascades of water as they corner at each end of the course, watching the spray they kick up in their wakes (Better known as Roostertails,) and seeing the speeds these boats reach up close is quite a treat.

Back up on the stage was the man with a heart you cannot break. Justin Wells roared to life for the growing crowd in Bicentennial Park. The mountain of a man from Lexington was in top form for the Roostertail crowd. Justin has had some vocal cord issues in recent months (nearly rupturing one!) but he’s gotten that under control, and there was certainly none to be found as he played into the late afternoon in Madison. He referenced a couple of times during his set that the new album is done and coming our way sooner than later, and from what he played of it for us on this day it’s going to be a monster, friends.

American Aquarium came to the stage as the sun began to sink to the west. My first time seeing the band (Yes, you read the right) was definitely not a disappointment. Displaying a world-class fire and intensity from the first note to the last fronted by the electrifying B.J Barham the band laid it down heavy on the swelling sea of people in the park. Their intensity only seemed to heighten as the sun sank lower, and that fed right into the crowd who were looking to increase their own rowdiness as the shade spread over them. It was the perfect early-evening blend to set the table for what was left to come.


Click HERE to see our full Roostertail Music Festival Image Gallery from Day 3!


Georgia’s own Brent Cobb was up next, the first of the night’s two headliners. Backed up with an excellent band Brent took command of the stage and the audience gathered to watch him. A frenetic energy accompanied him throughout each song he played. Between songs Brent would take a moment to explain the songs, and what their meaning to him, and why he loved them. Brent played a truly incredible set without a sour note as the crowd continued to swell in the park.

As the stage was switching over for the last set of the night down on the river the first firework exploded in the sky. Launching from a barge out on the river, the Regatta puts on one of the most impressive fireworks displays I have ever seen. I’m not a big fan of fireworks, but even I was thoroughly awed and impressed by the show on display. Lasting nearly 20 minutes in length the display is one of the most impressive parts of an all around impressive weekend.


Related: Friday July 5th Roostertail Music Festival Coverage


When the fireworks on the river finished the fireworks on the stage began as Whiskey Myers came out to a thunderous ovation. A massive new wave of people filed into the park from the river banks where they had stayed to watch the fireworks, and the sea of people was impressive sight to see. Even more impressive was the music on the stage. Whiskey Myers threw it down as fast and as hard as the frenzied crowd could pick it up. They played a healthy mix of songs from previous albums as well as songs that will be out on their new album (that many who pre-ordered already have.) It was a raucous and rowdy display from the band, just the kind that they have come to be known for, and they held nothing back, showering the Madison crowd with every not they could.

At one point Brent Cobb sauntered back out on the stage and joined the band for a song. Brent has been touring regularly with the band recently and the energy on display as they collaborated was undeniable. The band played until after the midnight hour, and then came back for a two song encore. it was one hell of a barn burning set to headline the badass Roostertail Music Festival 2019 lineup.

After their set the Roostertail Music Festival staff and volunteers who worked not just during the weekend, but throughout the entire year to bring the event to life were brought on to the stage and showered with thanks by the fans. The team worked tirelessly to make the Roostertail Music Festival one of the best festivals in the country this summer and that is exactly what they did.


Final Thoughts…

Friends, I honestly cannot stress this enough to you: The Roostertail Music Festival and the Madison Regatta are the perfect all-American weekend getaway. World-class everything in a small town setting. It’s what the 4th of July weekend was always meant to be: The Great American Weekend where there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Where memories don’t cost a small fortune to make, but the memories you do make will be worth a small fortune. You simply could not ask for a more price-friendly weekend experience, a more beautiful environment for a music festival, for a more accommodating venue, or for a better team of people bringing the event to life than you’ll find at the Roostertail Music Festival and Regatta.

The weekend returns next year and you’d be making quite the mistake if you aren’t already eyeballing your calendar for a trip to the hills of southern Indiana to be a part of the 2020 Roostertail Music Festival and Madison Regatta.

Roostertail Music Festival On Facebook
Madison Regatta On Facebook
MadisonRegatta.com


Thanks:

I want to give a very big thanks to Brent Turner and Matt Wells for allowing me the opportunity to come down and bring this coverage of the 2019 Roostertail Music Festival here to the Country Music Armadillo. Brent reached out to me about being a part of the weekend before the lineup was announced last year, and after attending the 2018 show (Headlined by Turnpike Troubadours) as a fan and loving what I saw I was more than happy to jump on board. I’m already ready for 2020!

I want to give another big thanks to the rest of their excellent team, all of whom could not have been any nicer and more accommodating to me during my time on the ground. Some of the most friendly and helpful folks I have had the privilege to work with, I absolutely appreciate their heart and dedication to this great event.

Thanks to my beautiful wife Melinda for letting me run off on the holiday weekend to do this thing I do. She was supposed to make this adventure with me, but babysitting plans changed late and she had to sit this one out. The only thing that could make Roostertail any better is experiencing it with the love of my life, and we’re going to make sure that happens in 2020.

Lastly thanks to all of you, the readers. Thank you for your support in reading this, thank you for your support of the event if you were there, and thanks to all who stopped to say “Hi” and speak during the weekend. I enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones during these excursions as much as anything else. If you have enjoyed reading about these two days of badass music I sincerely hope you’ll consider coming out to experience it yourself in 2020. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

See you on the banks of the Ohio in 2020!

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Complete List Of Kentucky And Tennessee Local Shows.

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Jul 242019
 

If YOU have a show YOU would like added to my list PLEASE email me at garyhayes2@yahoo.com. 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.

Blackfoot Gypsies
Mercy Lounge August 2nd

Red Shahan
The Warehouse In Bowling Green August 2nd

Brett Cobb
Rye Davis
Spillway August 3rd

The Bottle Rockets
Beaver Dam Ky August 3rd

Steel Woods

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

Robbie Fulks
3rd and Lindsley August 14th

Missy Raines And The New hip
3rd And Lindsley August 14th

The Dirty South
The Basement August 14th

James Carothers
Southgate House Revival August 16th

Boo Day
Cambria hotel August 17th

Raelyn Nelson
The 5 Spot August 19th

Read Southall
The Basement East August 22nd

Tanya Tucker
Exit In August 22nd

Darrin Bradbury
3rd And Lindsey August 23rd

Jimmy Fortune
Kentucky Opry August 24th

Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
The Caverns August 24th

Band Of Heathens
3rd And Lindsley August 25th

Lost Dog Street Band
Acme Feed And Seed August 26th

Rock Bottom String Band
Phat Bites August 28th

Austin Lucas
The Basement August 29th

Tim Atwood
Two Rivers Campground September 1st

Mandolin Orange
Ryman Auditorium September 6 and 7th

Dwight Yoakam
Ryman Auditorium September 8th and 9th

Supersuckers
Little Harpeth Brewing September 8th

Holly Williams
City Winery September 8th

Old Crow Medicine Show
Bluegrass Caverns September 8th

Dead Horses
Mercy Lounge September 10th

Darrin Bradburry
mercy Lounge September 12th

Whiskey Myers
Minglewood Hall September 13th

The Mavericks
Ryman Auditorium September 13th

Drew Holcomb
Ryman Auditorium September 14th’h

Caleb Caudle
The Anchor Fellowship September 14th

David Allan Coe
The Daviess County Lion’s Club Fairgrounds In Philpot Ky September 14th

Hogslop String Band
IBMM Owensboro Ky September 15th

Zepheniah O’Hora
The Basement September 19th

Rhiannon Giddens
City Winery September 21st

Whiskey Myers
Bourbon And Beyond September 22nd

Belle Plaine
The 5 Spot September 24th

Gene Watson
Kentucky Opry October 25th and 26th

Greensky Bluegrass
The Caverns September 25th

The Steel Woods
Minglewood Hall September 26th

Stoney LaRue
3rd And Lindsey September 28th

Jon Pardi
Ryman Auditorium October 1st and 2nd

Greensky Bluegrass
Minglewood Hall October 2nd

Lara Hope And The Ark Tones
Nashville Palace October 3rd

Cody Johnson
Owensboro Sportscenter October 4th

Chris Stapleton
Fed ex Forum Memphis Tn October 5th

Trishia Yearwood
Schermerhorn Symphony Center October 5th

Bonnie Bishop
3Rd And Lindsley October 6th

Ian Now
Exit Inn October 10th

Jesse Dayton
The Basement October 11th

David Ball
American Legion Post 82 October 15th

Infamous Stringdusters
the Caverns October 18th

Joecephus And The George Jonestown Massacre
Exit In October 20th

Kristina Murray
American Legion Post 82 October 23rd

Kacey Musgraves
Bridgestone Arena October 25th

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

Hayes Carll
Ryman Auditorium November 6th

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

Del McCoury Band
The Caverns November 23rd

Josh Abott
Mercury Ballroom Louisville Ky December 5th

Reverend Horton Heat
Cannery Ballroom December 18th

David Ball
American Legion Post 82 December 21st

Unknown Hinson
Exit Inn December 31st

Brandi Carlile
January 14,15th and 16th 2020
Ryman Auditorium