NewsComments Off on Album Feature – The Steel Woods – All Of Your Stones
By Joshua Wallace
The Steel Woods have come back with the follow up to their stellar 2019 album Old News. However, it’s no longer old news that this band kills it every time they release a new record and All Of Your Stones is no different. This album does release on a bit of a sad note as it is the final record that will feature Jason Cope on guitar following his untimely passing earlier this year. Jason Cope was not only the lead guitar player for this band, but a founding member and he was a lot of the drive behind their creative process. The band will carry on though and Tyler Powers is a great successor for Jason on lead guitar, but it is a heavy loss going forward. The band saw this record as a major release for them before Jason’s passing and now it serves as an honor to his memory and a foundation for the band moving forward without him.
The album kicks off with a tune written by Jason Cope as an autobiographical song called “Out Of The Blue”. It’s a song about overcoming demons and coming “out of the blue”. I dig how it starts off slow and builds to a headbanging guitar solo before going back to a slower pace for the finale. Another favorite is the acoustic “Ole Pal” which is written like one friend writing to another and keeping him up on everything that has been happening “since you’ve been gone”. It’s a touching track that leans more to the country side of The Steel Woods sound. “I Need You” is a great cover of the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song. It’s a live show favorite and it’s nice to have it on record here. Ashley Monroe is a nice feature on the track and only ads to an already great tune.
“Run On Ahead” is a song that I’m sure has a totally different meaning for the band since Jason Cope’s passing this year. It’s a great song that anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one can relate to. Finally, the album ends with what I think is one of The Steel Woods best songs in “All Of Your Stones”. It’s a great song and I can easily hear it being a sing-a-long at live shows with bigger crowds. That main riff is also just addicting and it makes you want to put that song on repeat.
This is another great record for The Steel Woods and further solidifies them as a cornerstone band in modern southern rock music. While this record will forever be thought of as the last record with Jason Cope as their original guitar player and founding father, it shouldn’t be overlooked as the crowning achievement that it is. It’s a great southern rock record and I highly recommend giving this one a listen. All Of Your Stones is out everywhere as of May 14th, 2021. Check out the band’s website for more info on tour dates and to pick up some merch.
Favorite Tracks : Ole Pal, I Need You, Run On Ahead, Aiming For You, All Of Your Stones
NewsComments Off on Merlefest Announces The Initial Lineup.
Tedeschi Trucks (Friday), Melissa Etheridge (Sunday), Mavis Staples (Sunday), LeAnn Rimes (Friday), Sam Bush (Saturday), Donna The Buffalo (all 4 days), Scythian (Thurs., Fri., and Sat. performances), and The Waybacks (Fri. and Sat.) will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10.
MerleFest, Presented by Window World, Announces First Round of Lineup
Tedeschi Trucks, Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, LeAnn Rimes, and more to perform September 16-19 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Tickets will go on sale June 10th and Chris Austin Songwriting Contest accepting entries through June 15th.
I have festivals and shows pouring in here people, I’m trying my best to tell you all about these lineups as soon as they come forth to me. I then dig deeper into their history, how they benefit the community and all the different activities.
May 11, 2021 – Wilkesboro, North Carolina – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the first round of performers for MerleFest 2021, which will take place September 16-19. Tedeschi Trucks (Friday), Melissa Etheridge (Sunday), Mavis Staples (Sunday), LeAnn Rimes (Friday), Sam Bush (Saturday), Donna The Buffalo (all 4 days), Scythian (Thurs., Fri., and Sat. performances), and The Waybacks (Fri. and Sat.) will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10.
Trucks: After a decade of creative partnership between singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, the artistic foundation of the Grammy-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, their performances carry a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live duos and bands in the world. Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences. Their genuine respect both individually as well as within the band’s ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.
As circumstances currently prevent the 12-piece ensemble from touring safely, the group returns in the summer of 2021 in a new form, billed as Tedeschi Trucks ‘Fireside Live’, as a nod to their band members back at home. With a total band configuration ranging between four and seven musicians slated to appear, these special shows, inspired by their recent online live streamed ‘Fireside Sessions’, are long-awaited by band and fans alike. Anytime, anywhere this musical family gathers is an opportunity to witness something rare, deep, and powerful. Tedeschi Trucks will perform on Friday evening.
Etheridge: Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs,” and “Ain’t It Heavy,” for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, “Yes I Am” (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest-charting album, “Your Little Secret,” which was distinguished by the hit single, “I Want to Come Over.” Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996. Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades.
In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up.” Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won.
In the last few years, Etheridge has released “This Is M.E.,” “Memphis Rock & Soul,” “The Medicine Show,” and has launched her own live streaming subscription and single ticket concert platform, Etheridge TV. Etheridge plays five unique shows Tuesday-Saturday at 3:00 p.m. PT and has done over 200 live streams in 2020. Melissa Etheridge will perform on Sunday afternoon.
About Mavis Staples: “I’m the messenger,” Mavis Staples says on her 80th birthday. “That’s my job—it has been for my whole life—and I can’t just give up while the struggle’s still alive. We’ve got more work to do so I’m going to keep on delivering my message every single day.” That message—a clarion call to love, to faith, to justice, to brotherhood, to joy—lies at the heart of ‘We Get By,’ Staples’ spectacular twelfth studio album and first full-length collaboration with multi-Grammy Award-winner Ben Harper. Backed by her longtime touring band, Staples breathes extraordinary life into Harper’s compositions on the record, delivering roof-raising performances with both a youthful vigor and a commanding maturity. The arrangements here are spare but weighty, matched by Harper’s suitably lean and thoughtful production, and Staples seizes the opportunity to showcase her remarkable evolution as an artist, one still growing and exploring more than half a century into her storied career. ‘We Get By’ is undoubtedly a timely collection, arriving in the face of deep social divisions and heightened political tensions, but like everything Staples touches, it’s also larger than any particular moment, a timeless appeal to the better angels of our nature, assuring better things ahead. Mavis Staples will perform on Sunday afternoon.
About LeAnn Rimes: LeAnn Rimes is an international multi-platinum-selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter who has sold more than 44 million units globally, won 2 Grammy® Awards; 12 Billboard Music Awards; 2 World Music Awards; 3 Academy of Country Music Awards; one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. At 14, Rimes won “Best New Artist” making her the youngest recipient to take home a Grammy® Award. LeAnn has been honored with the Ally of Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign for over 20 years of equal rights support, the 2019 HOPE Award for Depression Advocacy, and the 2009 ACM Humanitarian Award, among other recognitions, solidifying her dedication to making the world a better place.
The powerhouse vocalist lit up television screens this past December as she won “The Masked Singer” on FOX, mesmerizing the crowds as The Sun. Prior to that she starred and served as an Executive Producer in Hallmark’s “It’s Christmas, Eve,” which earned the highest TV original movie debut to date for the channel premiering to over 4.3 million viewers. Passionate about using her voice to help heal the world, LeAnn released a chant record in November of 2020 called “CHANT: The Human and The Holy (Soul of EverLe/Thirty Tigers).” Rimes continued her wellness journey with the launch of an iHeartRadio podcast, Wholly Human, which brings her lifestyle blog, Soul of EverLe, to life and introduces fans to the teachers and wise souls that have made a positive impact on her life. Next up, LeAnn will release her next studio album, “God’s Work” on June 25th and then will celebrate her monumental 25th anniversary as a recording artist in July, commemorating the release of “Blue.” LeAnn Rimes will perform on Friday evening.
MerleFest, presented by Window World, would also like to remind potential volunteers that the volunteer application period is now open, the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC) is accepting submissions until June 15, and applications for vending space in The Shoppes at MerleFest will be accepted through May 31. Information on all of these can be found at www.merlefest.org.
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 multi-day event. MerleFest is 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 franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 19 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®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $11.75 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization. For more information, visit WindowWorld.com or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.
NewsComments Off on ROMP Festival Initial Lineup Announced
ROMP Festival Initial Lineup Announced!
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Robert Earl Keen, and Sam Bush are slated to headline ROMP Festival! Produced by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, ROMP Festival takes place September 15-18, 2021 at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Additional artists on the lineup include The Infamous Stringdusters, Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange), Dan Tyminski, and We Banjo 3. The four-day music festival features bluegrass and roots music with onsite camping, artist workshops, food trucks, arts and crafts, kids activities, and more.
Tickets are on sale now. Four-day tickets are $170. RV camping passes are $150 for all four days in addition to a festival ticket. Tent camping passes are $25 per person for the entire festival, and VIP tickets are $425.
The rest of the lineup includes Town Mountain, The Lil Smokies, Balsam Range, Blue Highway, The Price Sisters, Mama Said String Band, Full Cord Bluegrass, Wolfpen Branch, Hot Brown Smack Down, The Josephines, and Giri and Uma Peters. More artists will be added to the lineup and announced at a future date.
Tickets can be purchased online at rompfest.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum or by calling 270-926-7891 during operating hours Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Who’s ready for live music? Join us for ROMP September 15-18, 2021 in Owensboro, Kentucky! The initial lineup has been announced featuring headliners Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) and many more. Ticket prices will be going up soon, so secure your tickets to ROMP today!
The best way to enjoy a music festival is by camping onsite! Yellow Creek Park is an expansive space as the host site for ROMP and features plenty of RV and tent camping areas. RV camping is $150 and includes everyone in your RV, and tent camping is $25 per person. A festival ticket must be purchased in addition to camping options. Check out this great mini-documentary produced by the Daviess County Public Library which explores many aspects of the festival, including how ROMP attendees set up their campsites!
Joining us for the fourth time at ROMP, The Infamous Stringdusters stand out as the rare group who can dig deep into their bluegrass roots with their eleventh full-length record, A Tribute to Bill Monroe, headline the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, or perform alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh.
With a dedicated fanbase from around the world, the band have attracted a faithful international audience that continues to grow. Moreover, their powerful music and performances paved the way for a GRAMMY® Award win in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for 2017’s Laws of Gravity, and a number of International Bluegrass Music Awards in a variety of categories.
NewsComments Off on News On Podunk Bluegrass Festival.
“Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year”
Over here at Gary Hayes Country, we write about 275 festivals from many genre of music, and all over America. We scour the festival websites and social media for all of these different festivals, and groups.
Podunk is one of those festivals currently on their 24th year in 2021. Like many of the festivals I have done articles for this past week, they are TITANS of the Bluegrass festival circuit. They are juggernauts of the Bluegrass world, and I’m super proud to write articles for them.
They have the main stage for the bands, and regional acts on the showcase stage. There are so many other things to do at this one folks, and it’s one of the more prominent northeastern festivals.
It’s also one of the more popular festivals for what they call “back porch picking” which usually happens at every festival, but they actually designate an entire area for it. Every festival usually has campfire jams at each one, to be honest some of the best songs I’ve heard at festivals were intimate settings.
As with other festivals, I’m going to be launching other articles for them…and many, many more!
Our confidence is growing daily. The vaccination schedule for all adults in CT has been moved up a month to April 1st and the governor is expected to announce new loosening of restrictions in the next week or so.
Here’s Where We Stand at the Moment
Our talent team has worked very hard to bring back the same great lineup you were expecting in 2020 with only a couple adjustments. Click HERE to see the Main Stage artist list
We have frozen our ticket prices through June 30th. None of the normal price escalations will take place this spring.
We are extending our no-fee ticket offer through the month of April. If you buy the tickets directly on the Podunk site HERE now through April 30th instead of through Eventbrite we will absorb the fees.
Ticket sales have been brisk all month (30 AMP electric service is nearly sold out) so with the possibility that we might have to limit ticket sales based on state mandates at the time we suggest that you don’t wait too long to order.
We have decided to open up volunteer submissions. Go ahead and pick your crew but be aware that due to possible changes in how we might have to operate in August we may need to shuffle things around. Go here to get your name in – VOLUNTEER LINK
If we are a go we will of course take all the precautions necessary to keep everyone safe including strict enforcement of what ever mask and spacing mandates will be in place at the time. The festival may look different but the music will sound the same.
PODUNK TRADING POST WEBSTORE IS NOW OPEN
Support Podunk’s Veterans Appreciation Day at next year’s festival by purchasing this unbleached 100% cotton face mask embroidered with the Podunk logo.All masks are lined and have adjustable ear bands, copper nose wires and a filter pocket for a custom fit. Handcrafted by a local Connecticut sewist.
Free shipping and handling.
Limited quantities available at this time.
Our talent team worked very hard to bring back the same great lineup you were expecting in 2020 with only a couple adjustments. Click HEREto see the Main Stage artist list
We have frozen our ticket prices through June 30th. None of the normal price escalations will take place this spring.
We are extending our no-fee ticket offer through the month of June. If you buy your tickets directly on the Podunk siteHERE now through April 30th instead of through Eventbrite we will absorb the fees.
Ticket sales have been brisk all month (30 & 50 AMP electric service is nearly sold out) so with the possibility that we still might have to limit ticket sales based on state mandates at the time we suggest that you don’t wait too long to order.
We have decided to open up volunteer submissions. Go ahead and pick your crew but be aware that due to possible changes in how we might have to operate in August we may need to shuffle things around. Go here to get your name in – VOLUNTEER LINK
If we are a go we will of course take all the precautions necessary to keep everyone safe including strict enforcement of what ever mask and spacing mandates will be in place at the time. The festival may look different but the music will sound the same.
A Taste of Bluegrass
June 26th at the Hilltop Farm.
Site of the Former
Paddle Faster Bluegrass Festival
NewsComments Off on Lara Hope And The Ark Tones Release “Here To Tell The Tale” in June.
“Here To Tell The Tale” is the 3rd studio album from Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones. This eleven track, ALL ORIGINAL ALBUM
will be released on June 25th!
You can now pre-order CDs/Vinyl/Tshirts (and much more) including a signed Gretsch guitar, a private home or virtual concert from the band, or even a guitar lesson from our wizard “Shreddie” Eddie Rion!
If you’d just like a digital download of the album, you can also get that HERE
Right now, I wanted to deviate a little off my regular path to feature some Rockabilly, and Miss Lara has been a friend for a few years through their music. I LOVE ME some Rockabilly when I am in the mood. When I received this album I expected nothing less from them.
They have certainly ventured out into different echelons of music in their past offerings, and this album truly branches off into a different direction. I am eager to see them hopefully be included on festival lineups.
The very first song on here is “Let’s Go!” (which is on video below) which is an upbeat intro song about life in the fast lane. I mean, Rockabilly is all about going fast and all in! As a man who also deems he has no time to waste, this song spoke to me on a few levels.
“Here To Tell The Tale” contains some mighty fine guitar solos, combined with a signature tone that solidifies this album as their finest offering yet. At a nice length of 11 songs, it is a solid addition to your music collection.
The song “Some Advice” is a swinging good toe tapper that compliments the album quite well. It pretty much deals with the crud we call adulthood, just general things like “pay your bills on time”. All of the dreadful things you try your hardest to teach your kids.
You have a spaghetti western theme opener on song called ‘Running In Circles”, that just about any of us can relate to in the adult world. We all run around like chickens to live paycheck to paycheck, asking ourselves “Will I ever get that done?” If you are a self proclaimed procrastinator, this song will speak to you.
Friends, I am in active sobriety and no longer drink or take pills. But I love those drinking songs, and the Rootsy sound of the closing song called “Drink Toy Your Health”. I enjoyed the song’s tempo and style, and how it rings true with me as a person.
Do you want a sneak peek?! We released the first single, “Let’s Go”! Last week! You can stream or download it NOW!
NewsComments Off on Acousta Noir Releases His New EP “Lobo Sin Luna”.
Back in 2017 at Muddy Roots Music Festival, I ran into this gentleman here. Mr. Joshua James Esterline A.K.A. Acousta Noir. He is a one man wrecking machine on stage, with some wonderful Roots songs. Now, to begin this article, I’m going to re copy my coverage of his 2017 set.
Acousta Noir is also Mr. Joshua Esterline from Southern Oregon. Here is a website description of his work:
Coming from a background shaped by punk, rock and roll, roots, and various traditional folk styles, Acousta Noir brings a unique, yet oddly familiar, set of original songs to the table, along with his renditions of select and obscure covers.
Joshua first began playing music in 1994, and has been a part of a varied array of musical projects. These include punk bands (as a singer, guitarist, and drummer), singing for a heavy metal band, and a couple projects playing the upright bass.
Acousta Noir sets itself apart from the crowd by being akin to many acts, but defiantly unique from them all.
Life tends to work a little differently in Douglas County, Oregon, and Joshua works hard to embody that lifestyle in his music, while creatively utilizing his influences of traditional folk and country music, as well as punk rock and the good old story tellin’ side of things.
“Just how much punch can one guy pack into a set? You’ll be reeling as he blends raw bluesy soul with a rough and rowdy edge. If you like to dance, stomp your feet, or just have a good time, be there.”
So the sound in all of the tents in my opinion were not bad even though the weather and elements purposed a nefarious threat the first two days. I basically had a chair setup at all three stages the entire weekend and just bounced from stage to stage. I missed a few bands to be honest and I’ll have to find some helpers that will be willing to assist me with videos and pictures from this event. Speaking of videos let’s watch Acousta Noir.
His set contained a few strong Hank Williams Sr covers performed in a different dark demeanor that included the song “Ramblin Man” and he used the song “Angel Of Death” for an intro to the song “Radio Negrille”. He opened his set with “When The World Explodes” and went into “Wretchedness”.
This festival is choked full of great one man bands with a darkness to them and a morbid stomp of a one man kick drum and I look forward to supporting Mr. Joshua even further after this. “Tempest” was another song that displayed amazing rhythm ability from him today. He then played a song called “Firestorm” and another last song called “Bones”. See this event had so many bands that each band played a 30-45 minute set, and the first full day was rained out on stage 1 which forced them to move all of those bands into the tent stages.
This year I chose to linger longer at many of the bands instead of bouncing as much as I usually do and I’ll be up front and honest, I missed MANY of the bands last weekend…but I’ll do my best to cover as many as possible and I have tons of footage on both video and photo as well as notes.
So now, here is the new album that was released on February 1st 2021, and it contains four songs. He explained on his bandcamp website that these four songs were the first ones he wrote after he was hospitalized, and treated for throat cancer. I’m also going to include his own account of the EP here.
As a recovered addict of 19 months from pills and heroin, the song “Still Waters” spoke to me, as I worked my 12 steps of recovery. I lament pretty hard at my past mistakes, and even though I have forgiven my own self…I did things many haven’t forgiven me for. Just read this verse and tell me this isn’t a well written song…you’d be WRONG!
“This struggle I’ve carried through life
And the sins of an old time
Owned by a love hurt in past lives
I’ll do better next time”
“Shadow” was the final song here, and it too is very well written. You can use this song as a healing portion of your previous breakup. You can use it as a catalyst between you and your ex, by all means. Different people take songs on different echelons, and this man’s music can be understood in many ways..that’s why I like him!
From his website:
These are home demo recordings of the first 3 songs written by me after undergoing surgeries and radiation treatment for throat cancer in late 2019. The songs were written in the first few months of 2020 while I was recovering, and learning how to swallow, speak, and eventually sing again.
I also recorded a cover of “Eli the Barrow Boy” by The Decemberists. This song has been regularly included in my longer sets since 2010, and I really felt that it fit well with the theme presented by my original songs on Lobo Sin Luna.
I know it’s been a hard year on all of us in the music community, and so I just wanted to share these rough demo versions with all of you to show that we have not all been completely defeated.
It’s a slow start, but I’m still here, and I’m still trying. Hopefully the next year will be a little easier, and allow for some time in the studio to get these songs polished up and released along with many others for the full length LP.
Cheers, and much love to you all, Joshua.
NewsComments Off on Mr. JP Harris is set to release “Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man” In June.
JP Harris announces new project, JP Harris’ Dreadful Wind & Rain, exploring Appalachian music
True, I enjoy reading other people’s articles and takes on many of the albums that blogs of my own ilk feature, however many of them are not as articulate as I am. None of them REALLY dig into the MEAT of the music on albums like this one. I LOVE THESE TYPE albums from artists like Tyler Childers, whom last year also produced one.
There was nothing short of pure passion put into this album, from an artist that is completely engulfed into this “pioneer” lifestyle of his, that I fine unique about his personality. I have talked to him many times, every time I learned something new, which I TREASURE about people like him.
“Old Bangum” is a song that is what we consider “Public Domain” ( as is almost the whole album ). However I do recall hearing a 1960’s recording by Miss Donna Everett, with a varied selection of versus. This song is just like the rest of them like “Mountain Dew” . There are so many versions of performing it, but ultimate it is the story of the hunter trying to take the wild boar’s life, and how he eradicated the beast.
“The House Carpenter” was the opening song here, and I have heard many versions of this one as well. One of the first ones I can recall on here was a 1930 recording of the song by Mr. Clarence Ashley ( which was different, but along the same likeness ).
A woman leaves her three children and her husband, whom was a carpenter for a spirit with ships filled with treasure. However the song get even further poignant when the ship breaks a leak and sinks down into the ocean. Other versions include Satan tricking her into coming to hell with him on that ship, other versions include apparitions.
Now the song called “Mole In The Ground”, that was penned by a man named Mr. Bascam Lamar Lunsford. He is also credited for writing “Mountain Dew” ( see what I did there?) ? Some perform this one as “Tempie or Tessie Let your Hair Hand Down”.
If you are a history geek like I am ( or sugar coat it and call yourself a Janissary) of old time tunes, from these guys that play fret less instruments, and play the stripped down classics like Mr. JP does. This is NOT the typical JP Harris And The Tough Choices album, but a side project for what he calls JP Harris’ Dreadful Wind And Rain.
New Album coming June 25 on Free Dirt Records
JP HARRIS’ DREADFUL WIND & RAIN – Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man – June 25, 2021 on Free Dirt Records
Around Nashville, JP Harris is either known as one of the best carpenters, building recording studios or meticulously restoring historic homes, or one of the best no-bullshit old-school country singers. But anywhere else he’s known as Squash (a childhood family nickname that never wore off), a quasi-mythical bearded figure known for rolling through underground picking circles, fiddler competitions, and stringband contests with his powerful banjo playing on handmade instruments. With Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man, his debut recording of traditional music under the moniker JP Harris’ Dreadful Wind & Rain, his alter ego is coming out of the shadows to celebrate this arcane and truly American musical repertoire. Together with long time friend and ace fiddler Chance McCoy (formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show), the duo feature ten tracks spanning the breadth of American old-time repertoire. Harris wades between ancient ballads that traveled from the British Isles to Appalachia to droning banjo ditties played on one of Harris’ coveted homemade banjos. Harris also works as a serious carpenter in Nashville which adds a unique authenticity to his version of the classic ballad “House Carpenter.” On this sparse and arresting recording, Harris isn’t mining his roots as a marketing pitch, he has the chops to back it up.
To make the album, JP headed for Chance’s homestead in the mountains of West Virginia. Chance produced the album, but “we’re old-time dudes,” JP confesses, “we weren’t worried about the takes. We were wearing cut-off short shorts and no shoes in an old sharecropper’s shack and going to the creek to drink beer instead of recording about half the time.” Still, the album sounds impeccable, the banjo ringing with Gothic tones and JP’s voice a-quaver with emotion at the hands of these ancient ballads. To get the studio finished, the two had to dig a 50 foot electrical trench by hand through solid shale, had to repair the roof in huge winds, thawed the ice off the slab with blow torches, in short they fought for this album. Fought to make it together and fought to carve out time to show respect to the old music that’s inspired both of them for the whole of their careers.
1. House Carpenter
2. Closer to the Mill (Going to California)
3. Mole in the Ground
4. Country Blues
5. Last Chance
6. Old Bangum
7. Barbry Ellen
8. The Little Carpenter
9. Otto Wood
10. Wild Bill Jones
How many of you have been eagerly awaiting music festival announcement? Yeah, me too, it feels SO SO GOOD to be writing these this week. Now, with all of the other festivals I follow, I’ll be adding information on this article as often as I can.
The venue that hosts this festival is GORGEOUS, and I can say that because I have indeed been there for other brands that have taken place here. The one thing I can say is that the hotels were a little bit of a drive, but REALLY NICE. I’m going to reflect back on the last festival to produce the information I’ll share with you in this article.
This is going to be a two stage event, one giant main stage and one wooden built camping area stage will offer the lineup that is advertised on the flyer here. This venue has such a vast camping area, and a HUGE area for kids to play on. Fishing and canoeing abound here for the festival goers, you can easily HEAR the main stage music while canoeing or resting.
There is a neat swimming pool, which you can also watch the music while swimming, or almost any of the activities they offer there. Now then, whether or not there will be a separate band lineup for the campground stage.
Get ready to dance this Fall. The full Firewater Festival lineup curated by Whiskey Myers is here. Whitey Morgan, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Brent Cobb & many others join this rockin’ event.
You won’t want to miss it.
Weekend passes + FREE camping starting at $134 or only $32/month with the payment plan.
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.
Welcome to the home of the Firewater Music Festival.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Kansas, you will be surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, rolling hills, and pristine lake water. This isn’t your typical festival venue. This is a venue made for Whiskey Myers & Family!
Kick-off each morning fishing in one of the ponds, cool off during the day in our pool, and sing the night away with bonfire sessions in our forest. A true camping festival experience.
Join Whiskey Myers & Family for a weekend full of experiences and memories!
NewsComments Off on Produced By Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly, Tylor & The Train Robbers To Release ‘Non-Typical Find’
I was turned onto this band a few years back, in 2017, as I found the album “Gravel” while browsing independent music websites. The great Miss Kim Grant sent me the next album called “Best Of The Worst Kind”. They remain to this day to be one of the best bands I haven’t seen live yet, and I hope to change that SOON.
This new album called ” Non-Typical Find” is an 11 track album of all new material from this band here, and is their third studio album. I’m going to be honest here, this album was their best offering yet. The opening song is really Country and the songwriting is honest. This band has gone in a slightly different direction to achieve the a bigger echelon of growth, and I for one was impressed.
TYLOR & THE TRAIN ROBBERS TO RELEASE NON-TYPICAL FIND (July 9, 2021)
Produced By Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly, The Family Band Dives Into Classic Roots Country and Modern Americana Music
Boise, ID April 19, 2021—Like most bands who tour over 200 days in a year, Tylor & The Train Robbers quickly saw their plans derail in the spring of 2020. Not to be hindered, they connected with their fans through other avenues. Launching a Patreon, they did regular virtual shows and built a community around their music. Most importantly, 2020 opened up the opportunity for the band to write and record this new album and work with Cody Braun (producer) and Rob Matson (mastering and engineering).
Non-Typical Find is Tylor & The Train Robbers 3rd studio album, and a first for working with a producer outside of the band. “It’s also the first time we’ve recorded an album of brand new songs that we had not already been playing live for months (or years) before recording,” notes Tylor Ketchum. “Lyrically all the songs were finished before we went in to record, but one of the things that Cody encouraged us to do was to let the arrangements come together in real time in the studio. We wanted to allow the songs to evolve during the recording process and leave room for creative collaboration with all the musicians who played on the album.”
Tylor & The Train Robbers has evolved into a family band. The core of the band was always Ketchum on guitars and lead vocals, his brother Jason Bushman on bass, and Johnny “Shoes” Pisano on guitars. In 2019 Tylor wed Jennifer Pisano, Johnny’s daughter, officially making him Tylor’s father-in-law and Tommy Bushman joined his brothers in the band. Tommy not only brings his own fresh approach to the band as their drummer, but he also adds a perfectly blended 3rd part harmony to their already well-oiled sibling harmonies. “Our producer Cody has a unique understanding of our band because he has also played music with his brother in their band Reckless Kelly and with his family for most of his life. Having him bring his vision to the record was really incredible.”
To elevate their sound, the band invited a few outside musicians to join them on this album–Brian Davies on Pedal Steel, Bernie Reilly on keys, banjo and cello, Cody Braun on fiddle and mandolin, and Jennifer Pisano Ketchum on back-up and harmony vocals. Jennifer can be heard on all 3 of the bands albums, but this time around she is featured on her namesake song, “Jenny Lynn and These Eyes”, and she is also co-writer on the track, “Something Better”. “We wanted to add new layers and textures to this project,” explained Ketchum. “They all delivered in a huge way.”
Tylor & The Train Robbers are known for being a tight, dynamic, hardworking band and their songs are a lyric-driven blend of roots, country, and modern Americana music. “A lot of these songs were written after the onset of the pandemic and I was inadvertently using writing as a way to process what was happening in my own life and in the world,” admits Ketchum. “Being forced to spend so much time off the road gave me a chance to really look at things from a new perspective—the band, what we had been doing, the pace we had been going and how we were managing it all. Reflecting on it helped me gain a new appreciation for it, but being home also gave me space to write about other things. I was challenged to write or finish quite a few of these songs on a deadline. I knew that I was going to be working with top notch people in the studio with Cody and Rob, so I really wanted to rise to the occasion and bring my best work to the table.”
The album kicks off with “Equation of Life” which highlights the 3-part brother harmony during the last chorus, singing a-capella. The song, “Jenny Lynn” was written for Ketchum’s wife, Jennifer. “I’ve spent a lot of time on the road with the band and sometimes we only have a phone call to keep us going until I get back home. In the studio, Cody had the vision of me recording this one as a single track performance, just me and my guitar as the foundation.” Braun’s melancholy fiddle melody is a nod to the Irish folk music sound and evokes a longing for home that is often written about by those who miss the one they love.
The title song is a true story, handed over from a buddy of Ketchum’s. “In 2019 he was horn hunting on his folk’s property and came upon human remains. The police thought that the person might have been linked to a case they worked on a few years earlier. He told me this story while we were at his cabin and we spent the night cooking up ideas about how the two fates may have been connected.” The instruments on the song help to tell the story. The line, “that’s when she started getting nervous and then her heart sank” is mirrored by the pedal steel and the guitar and bass walk along with the line, “I hiked downward to the bottom near the creek and up the other side”.
“Lemonade” featured a banjo solo and has a little bluegrass flavor, while “These Eyes” has a front porch feel. “It feels as if we were all sitting around in a picking circle, singing together,” Ketchum observes. “Johnny played acoustic lead and Cody brought in fiddle and mandolin to give it a more stripped down feel. Jennifer joined me on harmonies in the verses, and added a 4th part to the choruses. I wanted her voice to be present in the song because it was written about our lives together as an engaged couple stepping into marriage.”
The album ends on a positive note with the song, “Silver Line”. “In the midst of the pandemic and being forced to do everything in new and different ways, I had a lot of time to reflect on what matters most,” shared Ketchum. “This song came from recognizing how dependent we are on external things and systems and how easily it can all fall apart. It got me thinking about the lessons that have come from this year and that even the worst circumstances can yield something good if you choose to see it that way.”
Though the band have all been inspired by different people and experiences along their own artistic journeys, these days they stay inspired by the art they create together and the anticipation of each next step in their pursuit of this dream. “We know each other well and we bring that knowing into our songs and our live shows,” concludes Ketchum. “We work hard for each other because we are all equally invested in this music, the band, and the life that we are building around it.”
Non-Typical Find is a gem of a find, showcasing Ketchum’s lyrical talents and the innate alchemy of this family band. Tylor & The Train Robbers will tour the East Coast as support for Reckless Kelly in September of 2021.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Multi-award-winning bluegrass artist and Grand Ole Opry Inductee Rhonda Vincent has released the single,“What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen.” Building anticipation for a summer album release, this single, written by Porter Wagoner, is just the upbeat light hearted tune that the world needs. Delivered with a hard driving punch in only a way the Queen of Bluegrass herself can deliver, “What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen” draws on the idea that whatever comes your way will be, so instead of letting it bring you down, revel in the optimism of life. The banjo-infused tune speaks volumes with master instrumentation and lyrics that enter the scene like an old friend. “What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen” is part of a landmark career project for Vincent, her new album ‘Music Is What I See,’ which will be released on May 28 highlighting her incomparable talent.
Listen to “What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen” on Wide Open Country HERE.
“The Grand Ole Opry theme runs through this album. Porter Wagoner is one of the Opry themes. He wrote and recorded this song in 1972. I think it has a great beat for bluegrass and I love performing it. This song brings immediate smiles from the minute the banjo kicks it off. Plus it’s a happy song, and perfect for this day and time,” shares Vincent.
Due to pandemic restrictions, Vincent had to bring her album to a halt, but this Bluegrass queen is coming back in full swing with the release of “What Ain’t To Be Just Might Happen” and her upcoming album. Vincent’s high-spirited energy is clearly present through her soaring vocals, blend of new tunes, and fresh arrangements of classics. Fans will not want to miss what Rhonda Vincent has in store for the coming months as she continues to release singles leading up to a stellar summer album!
Rhonda’s previous single “Like I Could” premiered on People.com (April 28) – listen HERE.
For more information and to keep up with everything Rhonda Vincent, visit her website and follow her social channels below.
About Rhonda Vincent:
The Grammy-winning Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent began her professional music career at the age of five, singing with her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show. She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at twelve, performing with the family band at festivals on weekends. Rhonda struck out on her own, singing with the Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown. Her opportunity eventually led to a deal with Rebel Records. Her work caught the attention of Giant Nashville’s president, James Stroud, who signed Vincent to record two contemporary country albums. After Giant, she signed with Rounder Records where her passion for traditional bluegrass music flourished. With the release of her debut album “Back Home Again,” “The Wall Street Journal” crowned Rhonda Vincent the New Queen of Bluegrass. She’s a multi-award winner, with a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album (2017), Entertainer of the Year (2001), Song of the Year (2004), and an unprecedented 7 consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (2000 – 2006). Her powerful vocal style transcends the boundaries of bluegrass music, as evidenced in her collaboration with Dolly Parton on the Elton John / Bernie Taupin Tribute Project “Restoration” 2018. Rhonda Vincent’s lifelong dream came true when she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on February 6, 2021.
NewsComments Off on The Steel Woods To Release “All Of Your Stones” Next Weekend.
Right now, my right arm Mr. Joshua Wallace wrote a terrific article about their recent Georgia show HERE. I wanted to talk about the new release and give you the rundown on the track listing in this article.
The Steel Woods have been one of my favorite live bands in the last 10 years, and they have endured more tragedy than many of their ilk. In my opinion, they are destined to become larger than life because all what they have endured would have sent other bands home crying.
Last month, my staff writer Mr. Donnie Shelly wrote a heartfelt tribute to Mr. Jason “Rowdy” Cope, you can read that HERE.
Next weekend, The Steel Woods will be releasing this third album in my own turf here in Nashville! Their album release party will be May 14th at the Nashville Palace. There they will be be playing the album for us, and it will be available for sale.
NewsComments Off on On the Rise Country Artist, Noah Garner, Releases Official Video in Support of Upbeat Summer Anthem, “Spring Break Town”
I have been catching up on some new albums today, and ran across this young man. Initially I really didn’t like the more “radio friendly” format of the first song there, however as I delved deeper into this short album, I did enjoy the last two songs.
One was called “Cover Up Tattoo” which I’m quite sure many people can easily relate to. I guess this album had more a pop flavor to it, but you know what? I liked it!
I think when I was the age of this artist here, I also spoke of the dreaded hangover and swore I was never “Gonna Drink Again”. Ohhhh yes I had so many vivid memories of being sick all those mornings. Even though this song is targeting younger listeners, it speaks to older listeners who have those memories.
Watch the official video for “Spring Break Town” here.
ON THE RISE COUNTRY ARTIST, NOAH GARNER, RELEASES OFFICIAL VIDEO IN SUPPORT OF UPBEAT SUMMER ANTHEM “SPRING BREAK TOWN”
Video Premiered and Featured on AIM MUSIC and Nashville Country TV
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 20, 2021) — Noah Garner, an on the rise Country music singer/songwriter has released the official video in support of his current EP and featured single of the same name, “Spring Break Town.” The video was premiered byAIM MUSIC, and it was also featured on Nashville Country TV. The message to viewers is the hope it brings up memories for people of that one time, with that one person, in that one special beach town that they never want to forget. Video content was captured in Panama City Beach, FL featuring Garner with special guest Damara Coniglione by ThreePartFilms and directed by Jordan Marking. Watch the video on the Noah Garner Music YouTube Channel.
The story behind the video is a guy meets an amazing girl while on Spring Break and has one of those hot, fast burning loves. She has to leave back home, but she never leaves his mind. When he returns to perform a show in the same town, she goes back too, and comes out to his show, and they reconnect.
Noah wanted to highlight some iconic places in and around Panama City Beach with the visuals and the production team did an amazing job capturing footage in six locations all in one day.
“The artist and team for Noah Garner are a powerhouse of talent and beautiful humanity. They are fun to work with, professional and genuine people that I will always say yes to working with,” shared ThreePartFilms – Jordan Marking. “After working with them, it always feels like family.”
“The story and video for “Spring Break Town” basically made itself as it is built into the song and it is so easy to understand, everything just fell into place perfectly,” stated Noah Garner.
The upbeat Summer anthem was co-written by Noah Garner and Lenny Pey, produced by Michael Cruz and Buddy Hyatt and recorded at Freeway Sound Studios and Music City Trax. Distribution is being serviced by Mercia Records/Sony Orchard. Music is available for download and streaming here.
“I wrote this song because I have lived and heard the stories of many people that had experienced the excitement of Spring Break. I lived in Panama City Beach for ten years, and I was able to add my own personal story to it,” shared Noah Garner. “I came up with the idea when I was talking to my mom and best friend about Panama City and said the words “it’s nothing but a spring break town” and I ran with the idea. It is the first song that my good buddy, Lenny Pey, and I worked on together.”
About Noah Garner:
23-year-old Nashville Recording Artist, Noah Garner, began singing and playing guitar at the age of six. He grew up in the small rural town of Dade City, FL. where his love of country music started at a young age while riding around in his grandfather’s truck singing along with the radio. He auditioned for American Idol when he was just 16 and received the golden ticket advancing him through to the Executive Producer round. It was during this time that Noah had the opportunity to do live radio performances and interviews and his radio presence was discovered. One week after graduating from high school, Noah was offered an opportunity to play on the infamous Broadway in Nashville. He left home three weeks later and made the move to Nashville to pursue his dream of making a living doing what he loves and soon discovered by National television star and Nashville recording artist, Big Smo. Noah toured as acoustic and vocals with Smo and the title track to his 2018 debut EP, Off the Hitch, was a collaboration project with Smo.
His first single, “Is It Raining Where You Are”, was released to commercial radio in August 2017, followed by his second single, “It’s a Huntin’ Thang.” All proceeds of this release were donated to non-profit, Camo Dreams. Noah’s six song EP, Off the Hitch, followed in 2018 with great appeal to listeners.
Noah considers some of his most important work to be with charities that he serves and donates his time to, including, volunteering as a music therapist with special needs children, He is a Music Ambassador for Camo Dreams, Inc. which takes special needs and terminally ill children on dream outdoor adventures and offering his time and talent to Musicians on Call, providing music experiences for hospitalized patients.
In 2019, after several years of cutting his teeth in Nashville, he began concentrating on touring, taking him through Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, and Florida. He recently made his Whiskey Jam debut, Bluebird debut, and is joining writer’s rounds all around Nashville. Noah has opened for Ashley McBryde, John Rich, Lonestar, and Jason Michael Caroll and is known for his energetic stage performance and ability to connect with his crowd.
Currently, in studio recording his highly anticipated debut full length album, Pieces of Me, he released the first single off that project, “Gotta Get To You,” in the Fall of 2020 and “Spring Break Town” in March of 2021 off the EP with the same name. Noah has signed to a global distribution deal through Mercia Records/Sony Orchard. Keep up with all things Noah Garner at noahgarnermusic.com.
NewsComments Off on Railbird 2021 Announced Dates.
As if 2021 wasn’t HOT enough? I’m over here at my office with over 400 emails, and 275 festival lineups to elaborate on. I have venues from almost every state in America, and news from hundreds of bands. AND HEY, let’s not forget all of these HOT new releases!
My email inbox is just absolutely brimming over with news and new releases. Everywhere I turn, I see my friends at shows and festivals. My wonderful friends at Railbird Festival have announced their 2021 dates.
I had this one planned for 2020, before all of the chaos and craziness ensued last year. With everything ramping slowly up again, we once again come to announce this wonderful event. I for one love this festival simply for the fact that they bring so much revenue to their community. One needs to remember ALL of the different businesses that benefit from a large music event..gas stations, hotels and stores like Dollar General all come out ahead when people have fun.
I currently have over 275 festivals I cover, and update the information weekly for them all. It’s a good way to find new bands to enjoy with all of this research and reporting. And YOU can find some new bands to enjoy by going to the event and TRULY stimulate the economy by supporting YOUR favorite lineup!
We’re excited to confirm that Railbird Festival will be returning this year but with new dates! Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 28th and Sunday, August 29th, 2021.
If you decided to hold onto your ticket from last year, be on the lookout for an email from Front Gate Tickets regarding your order and how to request a refund if you can’t attend the new dates.
Ready to get a head start on your festival plans? Take advantage of our Pre-Sale starting today while supplies last!
NewsComments Off on The Caverns To Return To Underground Shows.
Out of the many venues I ardently support in my area, The Caverns have always been one of them. In this article, I shall be telling you about how they adapted to the pandemic, to recover from being closed.
In February, I published an article HERE about how they had returned to live music by devising a plan to host above ground shows on their property all spring this year. However it has been announced that they will be returning to the underground facility in august.
Here is a plethora of information on what’s going on for the next few months, and as far as I can tell, they will be returning to the underground in august. It appears to be the outdoor pod atmosphere that will be continuing until august 8th.
Now, this brings me to another quandary that hasn’t yet been resolved by my own emails. I bought tickets last year for the taping of Bluegrass Underground, and it has not been rescheduled or re announced yet. I’m currently hanging onto my tickets, in hopes that they will re schedule it underground as it was intended.
Margo Price is Coming to The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater, May 28, 2021
Our pre-sale starts this Wednesday at 10a CT • Access code: PRICEPODS
On May 28th, for the first time since 2019, modern country traditionalist Margo Price and her band will headline a concert to an audience of in-person attendees. The socially-distanced show presented by Lightning 100 will take place outdoors at The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater, where all aspects of the event will adhere to strict guidelines to help protect the health and safety of everyone involved.
Watch the video below to get the vibe of how what an outdoor and socially distanced concert at The Caverns is like. To learn even more about how we’re bringing back live music responsibly, visit this webpage.
Don’t miss Margo Price with Jeremy Ivey on Friday, May 28, 2021! Being a subscriber to our e-newsletter has its perks, get your pods early during our exclusive pre-sale this Wednesday before they go on sale to the general public on Thursday at 10a CT.
The Caverns is proud to bring back live music in a responsible way with a new, socially distanced venue—The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater.
Join us outdoors on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Payne’s Cove for an epic night of music.
For these concerts, we have a solid plan to bring us all together, but it is going to take everyone doing their part. We’re all in this together. Between our staff, the artists, their crew and YOU—we are going to make this work!
Guests will arrive at staggered times, be asked COVID-19 screening questions, receive a temperature check, and enjoy the show from socially distanced pods. You’re welcome to bring your own chairs for this show as seating will not be provided. Masks will be mandatory, except when guests are in their pods. All concessions and merchandise will be ordered through an app and delivered contactless to your pod eliminating lines and limiting the need to leave your pod.
While the music plays on above ground, restrooms will be used inside The Caverns subterranean music venue to give guests an opportunity to duck below the surface to see the world famous underground music venue.
For all aspects of the event, The Caverns will adhere to the State of Tennessee’s Tennessee Pledge based on CDC guidance to bring back live music.
We’re Going Back to The Underground!
Melvin Seals & JGB, Sunday, August 8
The Caverns Pre-Sale Begins Thursday at 11a CT. Access code: CAVETHEDATE
Experience the one and only Melvin Seals & JGB underground in The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee on Sunday, August 8. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become “jamband music.” Today’s JGB also includes John Kadlecik, a full-time band member since 2019.
Titled “The Daze Between,” this concert in a cave will go down during the most important week of the year for Deadheads known as “The Days Between,” which starts on Jerry Garcia’s birthday and ends the day he died. And as we’ve all heard, never miss a Sunday show—this one starts at 4:20p CT.
The general on sale begins at 11a CT this Friday, but as an exclusive pre-sale for The Caverns e-news subscribers, get your tickets early on Thursday at 11a CT with the access code CAVETHEDATE.
Don’t get left on the surface. Overnight packages available with transportation to and from the venue. Start making your subterranean plans today.
This concert will take place inside The Caverns underground concert hall, which is being equipped with a ventilation system to improve air flow. This show is being sold to capacity, but pending COVID-19 developments, the audience size may be limited. COVID-19 mitigation stations with hand sanitizer and complimentary masks will be located throughout the venue. Masks are encouraged, but not required. COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged to attend, but not required. Get facts about COVID-19 vaccines here.
NewsComments Off on More News From The Moonshiner’s Ball.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, May 6, The Moonshiner’s Ball will release an additional limited quantity of car camping passes for the 2021 festival. Our original allotment of car camping passes sold out quickly this year, but after a recent site visit, our team has determined a way to fit in a handful more cars inside the venue.A Few Notes: Car camping passes are $60 and allow room for one vehicle and one standard-size tent. Car camping passes will be available at this link on Thursday, May 6, while supplies last.Car camping passes are only available to weekend pass holders. Weekend passes must be purchased separately (note: tickets are moving fast and we are over halfway to a sellout! Don’t delay!) If you don’t secure a car camping pass, don’t fret! Many of the best campsites available at the venue are not accessible by car, and we’ve got volunteers and golf carts to help you get your gear to your site.
I haven’t began my yearly festival articles as of yet, but when they all announce news or updates, I always try to release them in my weekly news releases. I publish articles daily on here, for so many different music genres.
So if you like this festival, or want to check into others like this one in your area then please do not hesitate to keep up with us over here on the website..We have more news coming!
TICKETS Tickets are flying off the shelf this year and we are more than halfway to a sellout this year! Get your weekend passes while they last.Daily schedule and day passeswill become available as the festival nears.Friends with Benefits add-ons are still available for folks looking to take their festival experience to that next level.Tickets this year will be limited in capacity with COVID-19 safety in mind. Click here for ticket options.
Rockcastle Riverside, home to our festival for the past two years (and the one upcoming) was damaged badly by last week’s flood. The Rockcastle rose to historic levels, floating cars and RVs, and filling the campground office literally to the ceiling. John, the owner and resident, had to be evacuated by helicopter it came up so fast. Everyone is okay, but there is a huge amount of damage, more than insurance could ever be counted on to cover.
We know times are hard, but if anyone that is in a good place to help, please consider contributing to this GoFundMe. John’s place is a Bluegrass treasure; one that we’d all be saddened to lose. Let’s do what we can to help him out!
NewsComments Off on Released Today! 16 Original Songs of Pure Country Honky Tonk From West of Texas–‘Heartaches, Hangovers, and Honky Tonks’
A few days ago, I published this one while forgetting to include MY OWN commentary into the article. my apologies to all of those involved.
This album grabbed me RIGHT AWAY from the first few notes, as I noticed the reference to Hank Thompson, with his signature toned double stop before the song lyrics even began. The steel tone in the song “My Whiskey Life” compliments the piano VERY well.
Now, as a 19 month sober recovered addict ( even though opiates were my love) this whole album spoke vividly to me on many personal levels. The classic honky tonk heel thumper called ” Darlin’ How You’ve Changed” was one of the best, and most simple to understand songs on the album.
“Dead End Jobs Blues” is one of the most outstanding songs I have heard in a LONG TIME. The steel and lead guitar twang push this song’s beat into a rapid time. The steel solos YEAH I SAID SOLOS make this middle song one of the album’s highlights. This song is an absolute masterpiece of Country Music heaven, about being unemployed and hanging on by a thread to stay afloat.
This is a monsterous album with a whopping 16 songs like “Sign Of A Broken Heart”, which is pretty much another song of pain. It rolls on softly into your brain, and tears at your heart.
The song “12 Steps To Drinkin'” was a clever jab at the 12 step program that US AA MEMBERS adhered to while achieving a sober life. And NO I’m never offended at Country Music jabbing that, it is SUPPOSED TO! In fact this album overall spoke to me louder than MANY of the albums deemed “more popular”….
WEST OF TEXAS TO RELEASE HEARTACHE, HANGOVERS & HONKY TONKS
The Debut Album Finds West Of Texas In the Stretch Of Highway Where Bakersfield And Austin Come Together (April 16, 2021)
Los Angeles, CA —Jerry Zinn is the singer, songwriter and leader of West of Texas, a band formed in 2003. The band has shared the stage with other purveyors of “real” country music, such as James Intveld, Red Meat, Wayne Hancock, Big Sandy, 1100 Springs and many others. Heartache, Hangovers & Honk Tonks began as a 3-song EP called The Heartache Single that was released in 2010. It was poised to become a full album, when health problems hit Zinn and he was unable to sing.
In 2019 when Zinn recovered and was able to sing again, an exciting new lineup was assembled with shows booked from the end of March through May 2020. This, of course, was just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down live music around the globe. This drove Zinn into the studio where he went to finish the album he had started over ten years earlier.
Produced and engineered by Americana stalwart, Rich McCulley, Heartache, Hangovers, & Honky Tonks was also produced by Jason Eoff, Jeremy Long and Jerry Zinn. The album is brimming with players from the Southern California Country and Americana music scene; Jeremy Long, Dale Daniel, Erik Herrera, Dave Gleason, Gary Brandon, Jordan Shapiro, Rob King, David Serby, Robert Black, Rich McCulley, Dan Weinstein, Phil Glenn and Grant Langston.
West of Texas is good ole’ Traditional Country music and known for “tear in your beer” toe-tappers. These are songs of love, heartache, bad habits, being broke, and working for the man. Zinn is known for his unique vocal style that’s reminiscent of 60s and 70s country music and the songs contain a twangy guitar, crying pedal steel, a walking bass line and a shuffling drumbeat.
Zinn can write a good country song and he pulls from real life, from dead-end day jobs to putting the work into a relationship. “Life in California has an influence on you,” he observes. “You’re constantly searching for the authenticity in life.”
Zinn wrote all of the songs on the album with co-writing credit on “This Fool” (with Daniel Goldblatt), “12 Steps To Drinkin’” (Grant Langston), and “Foolin” which he co-wrote with his wife, Cindy Zinn. “It’s a cheatin’ song and those you don’t usually write with your wife, but this one, I did.”
The first song, “My Whiskey Life” immediately transports you to a Texas dance hall on a hot summer night with a beer in your hand. But don’t let go of your dance partner because the aforementioned, “Foolin’” will have you two-stepping until you’re out of breath. The album is full of slow, medium and quick tempo tunes, so if you’re not dancing, your foot will be tapping or your body swaying.
Zinn’s deep baritone voice guides the record throughout. From the Tex-Mex influenced “This Fool”, the strains of Cajun music in “Bayou Boy”, and the western swing sound of “Fixin’ to Love You”. The album ends with the classic country sounding “Sound of my Heart Breakin’” which Zinn says is, plain and simple, “…another heartbreak song.” That’s the sound of my heart breakin’ | And I’ll never ever love another | I know I’ve said this before | And I won’t let it happen again…
The songs on Heartache, Hangovers, and Honky Tonks are nothing but real. “I’m not one to follow what’s trendy, because I have no time to reinvent myself,” states Zinn. “Inspiration comes when it wants to and sometimes leaves as soon as it comes. It also has to work between having a wife, two kids and two jobs.”
From the beginning, Zinn set out to make a well-rounded country album that touched on a little of everything. “From the honky tonk shuffles, western swing, tex-mex, Cajun, ballads, etc. It’s all there,” he muses. “…except a waltz. Somehow, I didn’t write a waltz for this record. Next time!”
Heartache, Hangovers and Honky Tonks was an album worth the wait and if it’s any indication of what is to come, we will look forward to the next record, and that waltz.
All week long, I pop in my ear buds and listen to music or podcasts at work. I came across this one earlier last month, and I finally got the time to catch up on this one. I listened to the Margo Price episode as well as the Fionna Prine one and the one with Courtney Marie Andrews.
There is no music involved here, just interviews with these people. However anytime I find something like this, with so much talking, it is a staple opportunity to learn all kinds of information.
If you are someone like me, finding anything that is a wealth of information is a goldmine! Just trust me on this one .
We are so thrilled to premiere this first episode of Harmonics’ Americana April series. We recently had the privilege of speaking with Fiona Prine, President of Nashville’s Oh Boy Records, and wife and former manager of the late great songwriter John Prine.
It’s difficult to put Fiona into words – as a well-respected figure in the Nashville community, she’s a role model in the music business, as an activist, in fostering community, and in her loving spirit. The way she’s brought light to those around her throughout a year of her own unimaginable grief is beyond inspiring. And amongst this grief, she has still been able to beautifully keep the spirit of John’s incredible legacy alive a year after his passing.
Fiona and Beth talk about John’s recent posthumous Grammy wins (and Fiona’s experience accepting the award on his behalf) as well as the two’s love story, mental health and growing up in Ireland, her work with non-profit Thistle Farms, and so much more.
We’re so excited to premiere a month of Americana for our BGS followers! Host Beth Behrs has vulnerable, one-of-a-kind conversations with Fiona Prine, Margo Price, and Courtney Marie Andrews – coming your way April 2021.
Songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews has just released Old Monarch, a beautiful collection of poetry, and her very first of its kind. Beth’s own deep love of poetry makes for a perfect pair in this episode.
We kicked off Season 2 of Harmonics with the incredible, four-time Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter, Jewel, who joined us on Harmonics for an insightful conversation about her experience with mindfulness throughout her life as a response to anxiety.
In this episode from Season 1, Brandi Carlile talks about performing the album Blue for Joni Mitchell, the joy and connection of live music, anxiety, and singing with Dolly Parton at the Newport Folk Festival.
Allison Russell (one half of acclaimed roots music duo Birds of Chicago and a member of Americana supergroup Our Native Daughters) talks the healing power of music and artistic community, the history of the banjo, the intersectionality of the honest conversations currently being had in our culture, and much more.
Harmonics’ Americana April is brought to you by BLUblox.
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Since wearing them, I have noticed a massive difference not only in the quality of my sleep, but also in the reduction of my daytime anxiety. There’s a lack of science behind a lot of the blue light blocking glasses you can find online – they’re these mass-produced products without any understanding about how light actually impacts health. One of the things I love about BLUblox is how much research they’ve done, and how their products are directly based on their findings.
BLUblox also gives back: working in partnership with Restoring Vision for their buy one gift one campaign, for each pair of glasses purchased, they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in need.
Reclaim your energy and block out the unhealthy effects of blue light on your mental and physical health, and check out BLUblox.”
NewsComments Off on The Lineup For The Western Swingout 2021.
One of the festivals we watch on the ongoing list is our friends over at Western Swing Out over in California. This year will be the fourth annual festival, with some mighty fine acts on the bill.
Their website contains a brief description of what this festival is all about, as it has a special ambiance about it that differentiates it from everyone else….It’s all set in the 1950’s.
This from the website:
Join us Memorial Day weekend 2020 for the 4th Annual Western Swing Out Weekender in scenic Tehachapi, California.
This rustic desert gem of a small town is a hidden treasure and a perfect 1950’s time capsule of antique shops, roadhouse motels, charming outdoor spaces, 50’s diners, and museums. There’s even a train! Only one and a half hours outside of Los Angeles, and one hour outside of Bakersfield.
Enjoy your favorite Western Swing Bands in a picturesque small town environment. A perfect holiday weekend getaway for Western Swing, Hillbilly, Rockabilly, & Country Music fans alike!
Four days and three nights of live music, swing dancing, vintage vendors, and all the classic appeal of the vintage 1930s-1950s era.
The Western Swing Out Weekender 2020 returns with many event favorites including moonshine and whiskey tasting, best boots contest, vintage western fashion show, memorial day parade and picnic, and much more. Newly added: classic car show on Sunday!
All Concert Venues are in walking distance. We plan to invade the town with a foot stompin’ and rebel rollickin’ weekend of Western shirts, cowboy hats, and Patio dresses as far as the eye can see, all while enjoying an amazing line up of your favorite bands!
Western Swing Out
*B A N D A N N O U N C E M E N T*
WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE
THE BANDS OF
2021 WESTERN SWING OUT WEEKENDER!
Dave & Deke Combo
Tehachapi Ruff Riders
Lil’ Mo & the Lonesome Crows
Lil’ Sue & the Cowtippers
*COVID-19 precautions – We will be following all CDC Protocols and Guidelines set by The City of Tehachapi and the Kern County Health Department
1:00pm Vintage Western Fashion Show W/ Charlotte Del Rose
1:30pm Best Dressed Competition
2:00pm Dance Class w/ Steve & Karine Sayer
3:00pm DJ Big Sandy
3:30pm Josh Sorheim
5:00pm Whiskey Tasting/ Jeff Kroll (2)
5:30pm Dinner Break
6:30pm DJ Russell Ray Gere
7:30pm Ruff Enuff
8:30pm DJ Big Sandy
9:00pm Lindy Vs Jive Competition
9:30pm James Intveld
11:00pm DJ Russell Ray Gere
11:30pm Dave & Deke Combo
1:00am DJ James McAnally
9:30am Parade Meet-Up (Sure Stay Parking Lot)
11:00am Flag Ceremony
12:00pm Pic Nic Begins
12:30pm Jason Dae West
2:00pm Geoffrey Miller
Western Swing Out Sunday Full Day Pass
Due to popular demand we will be releasing a small amount of Sunday full day passes. (which include Monday Memorial Day Picnic) Tickets will be $75 each and can be purchased on May 25th starting at 5pm. For tickets and info go to www.westernswingout.com
Call for Volunteers
We are seeking additional volunteers for the 2021 event. Volunteers must be happy friendly folks to sell merch, work registration and much more. 8 hours of volunteering equal one full weekend pass, Contact us at email@example.com
Due to the pandemic we are operating under event size restrictions we therefore will not be hosting our full formal car show. However, we will have a designated area of reserved parking Sunday morning to showcase your classic /vintage cars and Motorcycles. If you would like to have your vehicle added to the list please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you missed it this past Sunday 5/23 here is a great Steller Shows Interview granting a insiders look at the Western Swing Out Weekender, past years and present!
Join Big Sandy, James Intveld, Lil’ Mo and Jerry Prefontaine for this in-depth view at the weekender. Big Sandy covers bands both past and present on this episode of Eclectic American Roots.
Eclectic American Roots goes behind the scenes of the four days and three nights of live music, swing dancing, and vintage vendors to show you the classic appeal of the 1930s-1950s era.
Every Memorial Day weekend, the annual Western Swing Out takes place in scenic Tehachapi, Calif. Enjoy your favorite Western Swing Bands plus Hillbilly, Rockabilly and Country Music in a picturesque small town environment.
NewsComments Off on The Steel Woods At Knockin’ Boots Saloon in Gainesville, FL
By Joshua Wallace
The Steel Woods (left to right) Tyler Powers, Wes Bayliss, Isaac Senty, Johnny Stanton
This past Saturday night I finally got to go to my first concert in over a year. It felt really good to be back at a live event. I went down to Gainesville, FL at a venue called Knockin’ Boots Saloon and saw The Steel Woods. This was my first time seeing them play live since I saw them at Tumbleweed Music Festival back in 2018. At lot has changed for the band since then. They are about to release their third album and they have a new guitar player in Tyler Powers who has replaced Jason “Rowdy” Cope after his untimely death this year. Tyler Powers has filled in for Cope in the past so he is not entirely new to the band. In fact, Powers fit right in and the band didn’t seem to miss a beat.
This was my first time being able to see a full set from The Steel Woods and I was not disappointed. We got selections from 2017’s Straw In The Wind, 2019’s Old News and the brand new record All Of Your Stones. Before The Steel Woods took the stage, there was an opening set from local artist Clay Brooker. This was also my first time seeing him perform. His band did mostly covers, but there were a couple of original tunes which were the highlights of his set. The Steel Woods then took the stage and started off with “Rock That Says My Name” and “All Of These Years” from Old News. These were great songs to start the night off with and it got the crowd rocking.
The band covered music from several Florida music icons through the night starting with a cover of John Anderson’s “Wild And Blue”. They also did a great version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Need You” and a well received version of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents”. If you have ever seen The Steel Woods live, you know they also do an amazing version of The Allman Brothers song “Whipping Post” and this show was no different. It’s great to see a band that leans so heavy on southern rock pay tribute to their influences in a city where that sound thrived.
There were also a lot of original tunes with some highlights being an acoustic set featuring a great version of “I’m Gonna Love You”. The set included killer renditions of “Better In The Fall” and one of my personal favorites “Straw In The Wind”. They then closed out the main portion for the evening with their slow and almost doom metal instrumental which leads into to their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Hole In The Sky” which is always a highlight to see live. After a short pause, there was an encore featuring some fan favorites including “Axe”, new track “All Of Your Stones” and “Let The Rain Come Down”. After more people are familiar with it, I can hear “All Of Your Stones” being a sing-a-long with larger crowds. It’s an amazing track live.
The Steel Woods are heading into Nashville, TN on May 14th next for a show at the Nashville Palace. Tickets are still available for this show at the time of publication for this article. Following Nashville, the band are on tour regularly again. You can check out their website for upcoming tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you. I highly recommend seeing them live if they do.
I have been dwelling on this album for quite some time now, and I have feeling you’ll be hearing more news from me here. One of her latest singles called “Momma’s Favorite Song”, REALLY spoke to me. It brought back some old memories to my own youth, and my own grandparents.
You’ll be hearing more from me on this, but for now I will release this press release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music singer/songwriter Ava Rowland turns up the heat just in time for summer with the release of her latest single, “Run Like Hell.” Sounding off the season with this upbeat love ballad, “Run Like Hell” highlights Ava’s vocal ability while also telling a story that everyone can relate to. This single details an all too familiar feeling of being head over heels in love and tumbling towards heartache. While everyone tells you to “run like hell”, you run from their opinions and let young love turn into a lesson. “Run Like Hell” is available now to stream and download on all digital platforms with a premiere on Country Sway.
“Run Like Hell” is a song about a girl who is crazy about a guy that her friends, family, and even his friends, say is going to hurt her. They’re telling her to get away from him as fast as she can…to fly like an angel and run like hell,” shares Ava.
With multiple singles in her back pocket leading up to the release of a summer album, Ava Rowland takes center stage with something to prove. Ava’s passion for country music truly shines throughout her latest project to highlight love with an expiration date. Ava constantly strives to be an uplifting and positive voice in the music industry through her faithful heart and rare storytelling abilities.“Run Like Hell” is a catchy single that will only leave listeners craving more of this rising star’s music. Fans will not want to miss what Ava has in store for the coming months!
Visit HERE to keep up with everything Ava Rowland!
About Ava Rowland:
In a world filled with far too many fakes and filters, there is 22-year-old Ava Rowland. A small-town girl with a big-time faith whose talent, look, and voice conjures up memories of a young Carrie Underwood, Ava has performed everywhere from Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café to CMA Fest. The Ohio native currently finds herself on the cusp of country music stardom courtesy of her new single “He’s Like a Habit,” which brings with it playful energy and an undeniable spunk that is sure to infuse the country music industry with a youthful spirit not seen since the early days of Taylor Swift. “I feel like when you have been given a voice by God, it drives you to make music that changes people.”
NewsComments Off on Elizabeth Cook At The Basement East.
I’m finally getting out to the Basement East, to support them and the economy. We went up to Grimey’s to support them as well, It just feels so invigorating to finally be back in the bars again covering this local music. As you may know, her latest album called Aftermath ranked very high up on my list in 2020, and she played the album in it’s entirety here tonight.
The method of social distancing here are extremely reasonable, and the staff is more than eager to help us accommodate those rules. My waitress was very nice, and checked up on us a ton of times. The merchandise table was open by the door, however it also was limited to how many could stand in line.
What they are doing is selling one ticket for general admission, however you must buy a table of four people. Many of the artists and bands are doing two shows each night to play to as many people as the venue used to hold before the rules here.
She came out on the stage to begin the show with Thick Georgia Woman from the new album, and followed that with one of the staple songs on the album called “Perfect Girls Of Pop”. She had a tailor made blue outfit on tonight made by Cybelle Elena from here in Nashville.
She did perform “Exodus Of Venus” from her album of the same name, as well as “El Cameno” from the Welder album, which is one of her more well known songs. However, out of all of her music, if you ask me of my own opinion Balls is my favorite album, and is vastly overlooked.
In fact if I delved into the entire matter further, I would go so far as to say she is indeed a local legend in Nashville. I really enjoyed the music she did with Mr. Boo Ray, and I think her album Balls is a vastly overlooked album in every way. She has been part of the many people that inspired me to be a Janissary of Country Music.
She is conducive to Country Music as well as other genres, because her heart is with us. She CARES about history and tradition. She plays the Opry VERY frequently, and lights up an end to a tunnel the Opry has now…when the next generation of “Grand Ladies” come forth?
A few times during the show, she enlisted the help of many of her friends to join her on a few songs. She played the song called “Daddy ( I Love You)”, bringing Miss Lillie Mae and Miss Scarlet Rische out to play fiddle and mandolin. As a father, whom has a daughter that is also an Elizabeth Cook fan, it was ever so special to see her perform this with my daughter there with me. It speaks to two generations of fans, that makes this song special.
An all star band was backing her tonight such as the very talented Mr. Andrew Lehey ( from Andrew Lehey And The Homestead), Mr. Steve Duerst, Mr. Steve Daly, and others that came out at various times.
Now mind you a LOT of these people and their work are greatly admired by me, and I ardently study their work. Like the next name I’m about to throw at you…Miss Stephanie Lambring, whom joined her to perform “Mary The Submissive Years”. Miss Lauren Morrow and Miss Jillette Johnson and Miss Sarah Potenza, all joined her as well tonight.
“Bayonette” and the song called “These Days” were in the middle of the show, Also included in the set tonight were the songs, “Slow Pain”, “Bones” and the song called “Two Chords And A Lie”. The song “Half Hanged Mary” is another well written poignant tale about a witch..now..it was indeed molded after a poem.
One of the greatest songs on that entire album was Stanley By God Terry. You can take in this song on a few different directions, but the descriptions are all very vivid and paint a story in your head.
The closing song she played guest starred Mr. Aaron Lee Tasjan on lead guitars, as she covered “Too Drunk To Fuck” originally cut by the Dead Kennedys in 1980. Another band and scene I grew up with was the trash and punk metal of that era. I was influenced by so many different genres as well, and I really absorbed all of her passion for history, because I too share that passion.
This entire night was a special night to celebrate the new album and she did not disappoint me in any way. I expected no less than what was brought to the table here tonight by her or the venue!
NewsComments Off on Noted Photographer Phil Zimmerman Donates Collection
Noted Photographer Phil Zimmerman Donates Collection
I been studying the great genre of Bluegrass, and it’s history. I have diligently read about and studied the subject of what Bluegrass pioneer Mr. Carlton Haney concocted in Virginia in 1965, and what paved the way for today’s day and age, where we have hundreds of festivals to attend.
For years of my life, I have actively searched for Bluegrass memorabilia from this first festival. Sadly many of the items from these eras of old, are owned or long been discarded in the trash……people inherit things they have no idea how valuable they truly are.
This legendary hero has passed away, and donated his entire collection to the fine folks at The Bluegrass Hall Of Fame have curated a brand new exhibit. There is no finer institution for all of these precious artifacts, than the Bluegrass Hall Of Fame in Owensboro Ky.
This man has willingly been kind enough to donate his entire collection of his own life memories, that will now soon be on display for the public to see. I for one shall be arranging a visit to them to view this! I MUST SEE THIS!
Here is the entire press release:
Noted musician and photographer, Phil Zimmerman, has donated his entire collection of historic bluegrass-related photographs and early recordings to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Many of the images in this collection can also be found in his book, Bluegrass Time, which is also available through the museum store.
Zimmerman’s historic collection includes reel-to-reel audiotapes from the first multi-day, outdoor bluegrass festival held in 1965 in Fincastle, Virginia. Additional audiotapes of early bluegrass festivals feature Bill Monroe, The Osborne Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and Mother Maybelle Carter, along with the original equipment on which the recordings were made.
Executive Director of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Chris Joslin, commented, “I have long been a fan of Phil Zimmerman’s work. Many of his photographs were featured in an exhibition here at the Hall of Fame in 2008. The collection of photographs featured in his book, Bluegrass Time, are iconic, and the book remains a popular item in our museum store with visitors to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.”
Based in Connecticut, Phil Zimmerman is a professional bluegrass musician, photographer, teacher, and arts administrator who has performed all over New England during the past fifty years. In 1972, he was co-founder of the band Last Fair Deal in the Hartford area, which is still performing and still popular to this day, playing primarily mandolin, banjo, and guitar. During his career, Zimmerman also worked very closely with his long-time collaborator, Grammy-winning Stacy Phillips, both in The Bluegrass Characters and the duet Heroes of Tradition. Additional bands he’s been with include New York based Ernie Sykes and The Suffolk County Boys, and American Flyer.
In making his donation Zimmerman said, “I’m proud of the historic bluegrass photographs I’ve taken and original reel-to-reel recordings I’ve made of early bluegrass performances, and I’m delighted and honored that the prestigious Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum has offered my work a lifetime home as part of its permanent collection.”
As a teacher, Zimmerman has mentored many young musicians one-on-one and served as Director of Music Camps North for several years, overseeing multi-day music camps in Charlton, MA, where he recruited many of the most influential bluegrass musicians as instructors. An accomplished musician himself, he is known for having the heart of a teacher with an eagerness to help musicians learn, improve, and engage with the bluegrass community.
Chris Joslin further commented, “Phil Zimmerman has an energy and passion for bluegrass music that reminds me why people are drawn to this music and to the community of bluegrass. His photography is compelling because he captured historical moments in bluegrass music that were also part of his personal story.
Not only did he document people like Bill Monroe; he also played music with Bill Monroe and developed a friendship with him and many of the other artists he photographed. Phil Zimmerman’s photographs are important markers in the history of bluegrass music, and I am honored he trusts the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum with his collection and with his story.”
From his website:
It was a long, straight shotdown I-81 to the Route 220/Fincastle exit. My music buddy Peter Shenkin and I had no idea what to expect. All we had to go on was our love of bluegrass and a vague set of directions. We took the Fincastle exit and began looking for Carlton Haney’s First Annual Roanoke Bluegrass Festival. We found the turn-off and followed the dusty tire tracks across a pasture toward the tree line in the distance.
Even before we reached the makeshift parking lot, we heard the thump of a stand-up bass wafting across the field on the hot late-summer breeze. Moments later we were navigating between small groups of musicians picking away. Back at school there were barely enough players to scrape together one band, but there we were, surrounded by bluegrass!
Most of my memories from Carlton’s first festival have faded into general impressions, but a few memories still stand out. I’d been listening to Bill Monroe recordings for a few years by then, but had never seen him live. I was impressed by his regal stature, tall and straight, supremely confident, impeccably dressed, with his white Stetson to finish “the look.” When he spoke, his voice was as musical as when he sang, rhythmic, lyrical, right to the point.
It made an interesting contrast to Carlton’s slow North Carolina drawl, especially during Carlton’s Sunday afternoon production of “The Bluegrass Sto-ry.” Jimmy Martin presented another type of interaction with Carlton. Jimmy was full of energy and attitude! I thought his wisecracking with Carlton bordered on disrespect, but I’ve since learned that that’s just Jimmy’s way. “Carlton told me to be serious,” he said. “Well if I’m serious, he’s Roebuck!” he quipped.
The Stanley Brothers were very cool. They wore dark suits and ties, dark sunglasses, and loafers with white socks. Carter’s singing was almost conversational in its intimacy, while Ralph’s was more like the lonesome wind in the trees. George Shuffler was with them on his big Gibson Southern Jumbo guitar. George kept blinking his eyes rapidly, saying, “The sun, it effects my eyes….”
During the Stanleys’ Saturday night show, hundreds of moths were swarming around the bare light bulbs and small floodlights that lit the stage. At one point, Carter opened his mouth to sing and inhaled one of the moths! He gagged and coughed it out, exclaiming, “Them chocolate bugs is alright, but them vanillers, I cain’t hardly stand them!”
Benny Martin was an absolutely commanding presence, physically and musically. He had a dashing swagger, and was all over every tune he played. He remarked that, “Once you can play bluegrass fiddle, you can play any kind of music – jazz, classical, anything.” Bill Monroe, on stage with him at the time, seconded that opinion.
The highpoint of the weekend for me was the Sunday afternoon “Bluegrass Story.” Carlton asked for complete silence from the audience. “We don’t want to hear a sound,” he said, “just the wind in the trees.” Then Bill played his famous mandolin introduction to Muleskinner Blues, and they were off!
Bill was on stage for the whole show, with only a few minutes respite while the Stanley Brothers did two songs with their own band. Otherwise, it was a parade of former Blue Grass Boys taking their place at the mic with Bill.
Ralph Rinzler was orchestrating things behind the scene, while Carlton was emceeing. Toward the end of the afternoon, Carlton introduced Bill’s then current band, Peter Rowan, Lamar Grier, Gene Lowinger, and Bill’s son James William. Because I was seated at the edge of the stage taping the show for Ralph Rinzler, I could hear all the off-mic conversation.
Carlton introduced Bill’s son James, saying, “Here’s a young man who in future years is really going to have to bear down.” I heard Bill say, under his breath, “He’s going to have to bear down right now!”
The Bluegrass Story was the festival finale. After the reprise of Muleskinner, and the encore of John Henry, Carlton thanked everyone for coming, and for being such a good crowd. “There wasn’t no fights, no trouble, or nothin’,” he noted.
All the way home, the sounds of the weekend were ringing in my ears. I even thought I could hear banjo picking in the radio static. (This shouldn’t surprise anyone!)
So, how did a college kid from up North even find his way to Cantrell’s Horse Farm? Actually, I wasn’t always from “up North.” Born and raised in the Mid-West, I listened to the Opry Farm Show as a boy in Omaha. Later, living in a Chicago suburb, I listened to hillbilly radio station WLS and watched cowboy singer Bob Atcher’s TV shows.
After I entered the University of Rochester, I inherited a folk music radio show from a graduating senior. That led to a position on a committee responsible for producing cultural events on campus.
In that role, I was able to bring Doc Watson, among others, to our school. Ralph Rinzler was Doc’s manager at that time, and we became friends. Ralph kept me informed about his activities with Doc, and eventually as Bill Monroe’s manager.
In the spring of 1965, Ralph told me about a Labor Day weekend bluegrass festival that he was helping to organize near Roanoke, Virginia. He asked me if I’d be interested in helping out with the audio taping of the stage shows while he took care of staging. Well, boy howdy, yes! The rest is history….