Album Feature: Rylan Brooks – If Wishes Were Horses.

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Jul 042021
 

For me to say that this past year and a half haven’t been a personal struggle for everybody would be an understatement. Along with all of the pandemic crap, and so many personal struggles in my own life, I am finally able to come back to my website in an ardent fashion. It’s taken a long span of time to catch up to everybody, with the proper articulate detail, I enjoy putting into my articles.

One of the many years I went over to Memphis to cover the Ameripolitan Awards, I met up with a fellow named Mr. Nate Rylan. The two of us got to chatting for quite a long period of time, about what we do for music work.

He told me about a Project that he was a part of called Rylan Brooks a Country duo formed a few years back. They had a 2018 album called “Half Wild”, which I checked into and really enjoyed. Over time, neither of them ever forgot me, nor did they ever stop sending emails asking how I was in the most friendly and genuine fashion.

I owe these two men a sincere apology for being so late to the party here, I know many other websites featured their album first. But I promise you people that nobody can capture the detail behind this album, like I will. I had to step back and fight for my sobriety, and then I needed a year off to help my daughter out.

Perhaps it is my almost two year sobriety from heroin, pain pills and alcohol, that assist me in understanding and relating to their song material, or it may be the uncanny fact that they used to be an over the road trucking duo. See, another relatable quality I have is my factory job consumes a LOT of my time as well. Now, What I do at my job is work on the shipping dock. So basically, I load and unload trucks. I have a strong and loving appreciation for drivers and how trucks keep America rolling, along with a love for Country music like theirs that celebrate trucking in their songs.

One of the final reasons I liked this album so much was the way, and the style in which it was recorded. You can easily hear the old time influence in these songs  juxtaposed with a flavor of 90’s Country, with some damn fine two step shuffles and beats reminiscent of folks like Mr. Travis Tritt and others.

This new album was produced here in Nashville by Mr. Dean Miller, and has 10 original songs all penned by the two of them.  This album overall truly does bring me back to the 90s GOOD Country, better than anything I have heard in a long time, along with one of the best 70’s sounding ballads on the title track there.

They also enlisted some of the best studio musicians to help them bring this album to fruition, and after I studied them further,  I found out just WHY they have such a rich 90’s style. Many of the album’s contributors have played or toured with some of the greatest names of that era like the aforementioned Travis Tritt, Mr. Randy Travis and others.

Many of the songs are cleverly crafted, full of double meanings like “One Time Woman” being about a cheating two timing man, wanting a one night stand. Every song on this album compliments one another in a true honky tonk fashion, where many of today’s albums haven’t even a scintilla of.

 

MerleFest Announces Lineup Additions And 2021 Information.

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Jul 042021
 
May be an image of sky and text that says "STURGILL SIMPSON TEDESCHI TRUCKS MELISSA ETHERIDGE MAVIS STAPLES MARGO PRICE LEANN RIMES JOLNNYSWIM| SHOVELS & ROPE THE MILK CARTON KIDS BANJO BALSAM RANGE SAMBUSH IMLAUDERDALE JOLNCOWAN KRUGER BROTHERS TICKETS ON SALE JUNE PLUS MANY MORE PERFORMERS SEPTEMBER 16 10 19, 2021"
MerleFest, Presented by Window World, Announces Lineup Additions
Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shovels & Rope, and more to perform on September 16-19 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
TICKETS GO ON SALE JUNE 10, 2021!!
Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shovels & Rope, Balsam Range, Jim Lauderdale, John Cowan, Peter Rowan’s Free Mexican Air Force with Los Texmaniacs, Amythyst Kiah, Yasmin Williams, and Brittney Spencer 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. These world-class bands and artists will join previously announced performers 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.) Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10. More information can be found at merlefest.org.

Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” album, Sturgill Simpson has established himself as one of the most daring and most acclaimed artists of our time. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” (Grammy-nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Album) to the fuzzed-out rock attack of “Sound & Fury” in 2019, which was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammys. In October of 2020, Simpson returned to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, “Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1–The Butcher Shoppe Sessions.” The album, which he calls “a mixtape for the fans,” was dreamed up while he was recovering at home after being hospitalized with Coronavirus, and sees him reimagining songs from across his catalogue backed by some of Nashville’s finest acoustic virtuosos. He released “Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2 –The Cowboy Arms Sessions” in December, which features “Hobo Cartoon,” co-written with Merle Haggard. Simpson debuted in 2013 with his independent release “High Top Mountain.” Since then, he has challenged musical expectations—from recording with Kesha to touring with Guns n’ Roses— and branched out into the world of film and television. After making his acting debut in the “CBS All Access series 1,” he has appeared in several movies, including Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die” (for which he also wrote and performed the theme song), and had a pivotal role in the award-winning “Queen & Slim.” “The Sound & Fury” album was accompanied by a groundbreaking anime film (an interest he picked up during his years in the Navy) on Netflix. Simpson has been cast in Martin Scorcese’s upcoming film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” which is currently in production. He also remains committed to philanthropy, supporting such non-profit organizations as the Special Forces Foundation, Equity Alliance, and MusiCares. Sturgill Simpson performs Thursday evening. 
Far from overnight, Margo Price’s rise is the product of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifice. While she’d long been one of East Nashville’s best-kept-secrets, she burst onto the international scene with the 2016 release of her first solo album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.” The record debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, as she solidified her next-big-thing status with stellar appearances on Saturday Night Live, Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, The Daily Show, and more, sharing stages with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton, among others.
Following 2017’s acclaimed follow-up “All American Made,” three sold-out nights at the Ryman Auditorium in 2018, and a Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 2019, a lot more people want to know how Margo Price feels and thinks. On 2020’s “That’s How Rumors Get Started (Loma Vista), she’s crafted an album of layer and intrigue to make people listen closer than ever before. Produced by longtime friend Sturgill Simpson (co-produced by Price and David Ferguson), “That’s How Rumors Get Started” brims with poignant reflections and sharp prose, committing her genre-bending roots to record for the very first time. Singing of relationships and growing pains, motherhood and the mythologies of stardom, dissatisfactions and the defiance of expectations, Price pushes her sound to the edges of Americana as she stretches out into burning psych ballads, sky-high soft-rock, stomping road songs and gospel-imbued show-stoppers. “That’s How Rumors Get Started” reached #1 on the Americana album and singles charts, Billboard’s Tastemakers chart and Nielsen’s Americana/Folk chart, earning raves from Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Nashville Scene and more. But in both her emotive lyrics and bittersweet twang, Price is fueled by the fear that success might be fleeting, as the hardships she’s endured along the way – from exploitative business experiences to losing a child and her family’s farm – still haunt her: “If it don’t break you, it might just make you rich / you might not get there, and on the way it’s a bitch.” Margo Price performs Thursday evening.
As the Brontë sister wrote, “The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine.” Shovels & Rope, the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, embody that bond. Married for a decade, their covenant extends to blood and beyond: as parents, bandmates, and creative collaborators who can now add the pursuits of festival curators, film subjects, and children’s book authors to that mighty list. Having released four studio albums and two collaborative projects “Busted Jukebox,” (Vol. 1 & 2) since 2008, Trent and Hearst have built their reputation on skill, sweat, and, yes, blood. Now, with the tough and elegant new record “By Blood,” as well as their High Water Festival in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, “Shovels & Rope: The Movie”, and the picture book “C’mon Utah!”, Shovels & Rope are primed for their biggest year yet. Shovels & Rope performs Saturday evening.
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 9 critically-acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Balsam Range performs Saturday evening.

Here is some initial older information for this year’s festival.

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.
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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.