Heart In Hands Benefit Show.

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Sep 262021

It’s time once again for me to do my yearly feature in West Tennessee with my dear friends over at Heart In Hands Critter Hollow in the Stewart Tennessee area.  Even though this event is a relatively new one for me (this being my third year), I have made some truly blessed memories here.

Every year The Romero and Foncree families get in cahoots with SO MANY OTHERS that labor ever year for this wonderful, and important event. This year, I kind of leaned more toward being a “fan” more than a media outlet. Many of you that read my articles on a regular basis know how my last two years went. My 2020 and 2021 were both spent focusing on my own well being, so that I could help my own daughter evolve as an adult.

This yearly event has become quite dear to my heart, and a regular part of my yearly schedule of events. For three reasons :

1. It’s close to the house, in case of emergencies.

2. The lineups are ALWAYS so awesome, and there have been some terrific sets.

3. It is IMPORTANT to support foundations like this to control homeless pets.

My own cat here was a rescue as a kitten, I found her in an abandoned building, and brought her home to live here. She is an indoor only cat, and has established that she is the queen here..you know how that goes.

Much like hunting, we as a society need to have population control, that means spay and neuter all pets, and stop “dropping off unwanted” babies! Many of these wonderful places of business give second chances to these animals, as they nurse them back to health, and provide them with shots so they can be adopted by good people that DO want them!

I did go to every event this year with my usual means of documenting all of the music, however we camped this year, so that meant I cooked during some of the music. However, to be honest I could hear it quite readily from where we were camping.

They open up their home and their property each year for us all to come and enjoy the music, and enjoy seeing old friends again. There is just an absolute plethora of folks that help make this possible, and they could never do this without YOU!

Many of the artists on this lineup here, I will be featuring a few times this year at many different venues like this one. Three of them in total, will also be featured in my next HUGE article for Muddy Roots.

Austin Stambaugh was first today, and I remember him from last year, as a few others on the bill here today. Mr. Austin brings a Traditional Country flavor to the mix, and he doesn’t really try to be Country. On one hand, he covers some truly fine Country tunes that not your average person knows.

He tells a great story song about getting to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a boy, it is rather lengthy but it really is an entertaining story. I always enjoy his folk inspired Midwest humor and wit, as he plays both original and cover songs. You can venture out down to Nashville, and find him at Robert’s Western World and other various honky tonks.

Miss Milly Raccoon was another guest from last year, whom also played at their wedding we attended this year. She is a talented singer and fiddle player from New Orleans, that plays in many different bands. She arrived with her beloved dog ( as did many of us), and I thought this picture captured her better than onstage ones I took.

Her music encompasses so many different aspects of life, and I am very amazed she has not been recognized by more music media outlets than mine, and a few others I ran across while researching her music for this event.

“Another Cup Of Tea” was one of the songs she played today for us, which had a nice ragtime tinge to it. The song itself has some pretty complex lyrics, and you’ll really have to listen to it for yourself. She played the song called “No Buying Time” as well.

I always link the artist’s websites on their names to provide you ample ways to purchase their music, and support them from here. The foremost onus of my website I have here, is to do just that. PLEASE take a few moments to support some of these bands on this article…and all of the other ones I release in 2021.

Mr. Noah Fowler brought this trio to us, and they played the Steve Earle song called “Sometimes She Forgets”, from the 1995 album called “Train A Comin”. In my honest opinion that album is one of Mr. Steve Earle’s finest works to date, and I enjoy it more than “Guitar Town” or others.

I remember them playing one of the most beloved Bluegrass classics called ‘Fox On The Run” from the 1970s era of popular Bluegrass songs that trickled over into Folk and bands like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and their ilk.

Miss Angela Autumn was a new find for me, I was not familiar with her or her music until today here. I’ll be honest, I did get to listen to her set, and I enjoyed her music but at the same time I was grilling supper for my daughter, whom was working in her vendor spot.

It was refreshing to see these younger artists giving their nods off to long lost Legends like Mr. Gram Parsons, and others while maintaining a Country presence at the same time.

I did indeed delve into her music a lot, and I urge you to do the same as well. I’m quite adamant on the fact that you will not be disappointed  in my suggestions to do so.

Have you ever had some friends that you just don’t see everyday, but when you do reconnect you just pick up where you left off and it’s like you saw each other yesterday? Yeah, me too, and I have that gift with these two fine gentlemen here. I cannot say enough kind things about the almighty Sweet Ga Brown from the Chattanooga area.

We hit it off years ago right away, because we share the same first and middle names, and we have such likened musical interests. He and Mr. Dave Dowda are old old music friends, and loved and respected by me greatly. I have a deep appreciation and admiration for Mr. Dave Dowda’s knowledge of music history, so much that when he starts into stories…I just shut up and listen.

These two absolutely tore up the stage with songs like “I Broke Wahoo’s Leg”. That song is a well written classic about life from death’s point of view, with references to  many a downfall of music’s greatest heroes, like Mr. Hank Williams and Mr. George Jones…and even Mr. John Denver.

While I listened to him belt out ” I’m Gonna Live Forever”, I took the liberty of walking around the ranch to see some of the residents of the area. I got to meet some of the guests and people here enjoying the music and the food.

It is truly amazing to me just how exponentially this event has grown through the years,  with the help of so many others pitching in to make it profitable for the pets that cannot provide care for themselves.

It’s totally cool to adopt a stray animal you find, and give it a safe and healthy home forever…but it takes more than that. Animals are like humans in that they need love and attention from their human. Businesses like this one care for these animals until that correct person comes along.

My daughter Meghan has been working very hard on her craft business, and she brought her wares out to the ranch to donate a portion of her profits to the cause. She has an extensive line of different items with may different patterns available on MB’s Crafts.

This year there were a couple other vendors including her, and more to do for the kids…like wallowing in the creek that runs through the ranch. I got in that cold water myself, because the afternoon was HOT this year. Funny how the next weekend at Muddy Roots was mild and comfortable.

Mr.Cody Lee Meece is a name I was familiar with, as I spent some time dwelling on his 2020 album “The Break”, we also talked multiple times on social media and finally got to meet in person today. He was here today to support my friend Mr. W.D.Miller.

I have been featuring his music for many years now, as he always brings out his true and gritty Honky Tonk Country to any event he is billed on. I have ran into him in Ohio at the Southgate House, Muddy Roots, and a few other festivals and events in the past.

He is another one of those artists that I cannot see why he isn’t given more attention than is given. He maintains such a true passion for history in his music, and lets his influences resonate in his art.

I was having some camera issues in the heat, and I did not get any viable photos of the only artist that has played every year for this event Mr. Doc Elliot. I always enjoy his covers of Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” , and others he does when gets on his piano.

His album “Rowdy Kind” boasted one of his songs he played called “Bloody Mary Monday” about having those ever popular Monday blues. He also played another song off that album called “Destiny”.

I’ll tell you what, I have had the pleasure in seeing so many great sets on this stage before they built a roof on it, and each year ( much like the rest of this event ) the lineup just keeps getting better.

Trust me, once Mr. Doc gets up there on that keyboard, you’ll wholeheartedly agree with me on the fact that his set is not one to miss, anytime you can get the chance to see him play. He played a song by Mr. Leon Russell called “Song For You”, and he played one he wrote that got cut by Texas Legend Mr. Kinky freidman.

Mr. Dylan Walshe is another old friend I met from Muddy Roots and other various music shows. He is from Ireland, and many of his songs are modeled after those old Irish folk tunes, that leave a warm and homely feeling.

His vocal range is amazing, and he uses that to embellish his well arranged songs like my personal favorite ” Raggle Taggle Gypsey”. That song is about a man that finds his wife, who ran off on him for another man. Many of his songs culminate into portions of his A Capella lyrics.

“Straight To Hell” was another her played tonight, where he included the children and the audience here in reciting the song title with him. He always does this song so well, and the crowds always love it.

Way back in 2005, I was recently divorced and bummed out about it. I got into MySpace and started discovering more bands like the ones that already influenced me like the Old 97’s and Split Lip Rayfield. I was into Red Dirt and Jamgrass as well, but artists like Hank III, and this man..whom I consider an underground Legend Mr. Bob Wayne…followed by the final band The Legendary Shack Shakers.

One of my finest musical memories was back in 2013 when he brought Country Music Legend Mr. Red Simpson to play an entire set at Muddy Roots on the wood stage. He made some epic memories there like playing the song they wrote together. “Dope Train” was a song that he got to write with Mr. Red before they played there that year.

He played the song ” Till The Wheels Fall Off” , and he went right into the story of old “Sam Tucker” from the Alabama mountains. He turned mud into gold, and was heavily sought after by thieves. I shall also be featuring the last three artist sets on my upcoming Muddy Roots articles, I am working on now.

Speaking of being influenced by the Roots bands of the 1990’s, this band out of Paducah Ky heavily influenced my musical tastes in many genres, simply because they really do not have a genre that anyone can lump them into.

For almost 25 years, the band has included a revolving lineup ( not that that is a bad thing ), and has recorded a plethora of classic albums regarded by many as iconic releases.

Even though my favorite LSS album was during Mr. Joe Buck’s tenure of the band ( the album being Cockadoodledon’t ) it was truly a dream come true to hear some of the classic songs from “Hunkerdown” album, with the almost all original lineup. The only member missing was their original drummer.

The four members that were on stage tonight were guitarists  Mr. Nathan Brown, and Mr. Brian Berryman, upright bassist Mr. Todd Anderson and of course Mr. J.D. Wilkes. Now, I will say that ” Back To Paducah” is one of my favorite songs, and it was heavenly to hear it live.

In fact many of these songs I have never heard live in all my time of seeing The Shack Shakers. Songs like “Tickle Yore Innards” were played in classic LSS fury, as Mr. J.D. went all over the place on the stage.

I have gone on the record before proclaiming my admiration for the mind of Mr. J.D.Wilkes, and his own love and respect for tradition and history of music as a whole. Many times his songs on various other sets have inspired me to conduct further study into subjects like that old tinker piano he had.

He holds a special place in Nashville as a local Legend here. I truly enjoy talking with him about the days of old down here, and hearing all of his road dog stories about people. They also went on to play a stellar set at Muddy Roots as well.

This event will always hold a special place in my heart, as a patron and a music fan. I will come down every year I am able to do so, and help this event grow into becoming an almost festival type environment.

Also, I wanted to thank Mr. Josh Koons for running sound for us these last few years out there. It is always a pleasure to see you out there, and to watch you get bigger as well each year. So many people labor ardently each year to help these young ladies run this event.

The Birthday Party For Mr. W.B. Walker.

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Sep 022021

These past two years have been full of personal trials for me, and I am finally coming to the end of what is needed of me from both major issues that needed my full attention. I am slowly getting back into the position of being able to travel a little, so I slid up to West Virginia to The Loud ( formerly The V Club ) for the birthday party of Mr. W.B. Walker, who created The Old Soul Radio Show.

Even though I have not been out much, I have been buying vinyl and other forms of music, and I have maintained my collection of posters and the like. I been watching videos and keeping an eye on what’s going on with local music, through my friends that feature it like my friend Ol’ W.B.Walker.

I guess one could say this year, I went back to my roots and attended the 2 functions that helped launch what I do so ardently here. W.B.Walker, and Muddy Roots Music Festival both were catalysts to my 12 years as a hobby journalist.

I really don’t consider myself a media source, or even a major journalist like other websites. I guess I am more of a blogger in some ways, and I consider each reader a blessing and a friend. If YOU are reading this on my behalf, W.B.’s behalf or ANY of these fine artists behalf…..I THANK YOU. I love each and every one of you, and trust me…I’m grateful to still be alive here. I been through a lot in the last 2 years, and many of you have been my friends through it all..and that is more than a man can ask for.

I am going to approach this article and several others this year in a different form. I did not attentively sit down and watch EVERY SONG from EVERY artist like I normally do. BUT I’m adamant that you will still enjoy this article I made. As I have previously stated, I will eventually go back to the magnificent way I once reported on music shows, but for now I am enjoying just being a fan and a building block for the music and venues I love.

My friendship with Mr. W.B. Walker began many years ago, back when he first had the ideas of his podcast. We both had one of the same friends in Mr. Chris Miller, who at that time hosted Blue Ribbon Radio, one of the first podcasts I ever listened to myself. See, I started this underground music lust during the Myspace era, where I found many of these people first.

He contacted me just to talk as friends, as he fished for ideas from different perspectives on what he wanted to do. By God, O’l Mr. W.B. done went and created an empire for local artists in the Appalachian region  of the United States. When I got with him for a picture, he said to me “Man, you been here since day one”.

Within those years, the two of us have turned one another onto some truly terrific bands and artists. We turned around and used various forms of outreach to expose those artists to the world in our own way. Now, Ill be honest in one aspect…Ol Mr. W.B. has an exponentially larger fan base than I do, and his sharing a podcast of a band is by far more helpful than my articles, in my opinion.

I worked diligently in 2010 to bring the Roots Music to the world, working with all of these festivals for bands like The Tillers, Joe Huber, Matt Woods and others. I was attending many festivals for many different types of music, like Bluegrass and ( what people call ) Jamgrass, and I also sometimes feature Rockabilly.

However, when this new community of music trickled out of the Appalachian regions of the United States, Mr. W.B. was one of those responsible for bringing many of them to light. This is NOT to say that others did any less or or did not equally promote this music as well, but for me as a fan, I learned more about that community from him, and a group out of West Virginia called The Honky Tonk Heroes.

I’m most likely going to jump all over the lineup here, as it changed a little, and there were a few changes. There were special songs that a few of them play, that I finally got to hear live tonight. I had such an enjoyable time catching up with my friend Miss Tammy, Mr. Andy Nickles and others, that I did not watch all the music the whole night. I was outside on the patio area for a while, so we weren’t talking during the performances.

The Winetree is a duo that I do not get to see often, but when I do, I absolutely admire their soft, close knit harmonies and their home grown demeanor. They write some damn fine songs that are elaborate, in an easy to understand fashion.

Mr. Ryan Harvey and Mr. Isaiah Miller have been friends of mine for a while now, and I have enjoyed their music in many different places in my years of doing this stuff. I always enjoy seeing them and listening to thier harmonies on songs like “Kentucky” and others.

As I previously stated, I didn’t focus on every song this time around. So, I think what I’d like to do here is focus on some of the songs I like by these artists, on top of mentioning what songs I did see them play. I thought a lot about how to get back into the game here, and this was the best way to go.

One of my favorite songs they play is called ” Banks Of The Ohio” because it’s one of those beautifully written easy going songs you can relax to. ” Bottle Rockets” is another one of their good songs I have heard in the past.  The past is exactly where their sound emanates from, and that’s not exactly a bad thing in any fashion, I hope they continue to bless us with their music at future events that Ol W.B Walker hosts.

One of the many people I looked forward to seeing tonight was a dear friend of mine, Miss Chelsea Nolan. She is a major part of this Appalachian community of music, as well as her brother Mr. Josh Nolan. There has been many festivals I have had the pleasure of covering their show at, however the first time I heard her music was on the Old Soul Radio Show podcast.

Many years and many different states have I traveled to festivals and shows, where she was a part of. Every one of her sets are amazing, filled with laughter and an all out appetency to bring joy to her audience.

Although two of the only original songs I recall was ‘Build A Fire”, and a new song that I did not recall the title of. But what made this set so special to me, was her eclectic choice of cover songs like “Pinball Wizard”, from the Who’s movie album called “Tommy”.

You know, may artists have a set list that is really just a litany of the same songs over and over. Sometimes I really enjoy some new cover songs, like her version of “Mercedes Benz” in the style of Miss Janis Joplin, on her classic album “Pearl”.

Mr. David Jameson stopped by tonight to join us in celebrating his birthday tonight, as he shared some of the songs from his forthcoming debut album that I shall talk about in future articles. But, for right now I am just checking out his promo package here with great enthusiasm!

Right now, he released a single from the album called “25 To Life”. The song is a poignant tale about life in a Texas prison, and how the days just linger on and on. It has a terrific and rugged western tinge to it, being an old sounding outlaw tale.

Mr. David is already a seasoned traveler of the WORLD, let alone just our country here. There lies no doubt in my mind, he is currently planning a major assault on the music community. That is a truly fine thing to assume about this young man here, and I’m glad that it was brought to light by O’l W.B.

Mr. Tony Logue is a songwriter from west Kentucky that reached out to the both of us in the past few years, and sent us his music for us to enjoy, and share. We both became instant fans of his honest and straight edged Kentucky music. He sings of down home heartaches, and fear of loosing your job, the centerpiece of your identity and income. “The Storm” truly touches on areas of life that make the listener very cognizant to the struggles of many in this area of Kentucky.

He actually JUST FINISHED recording his latest album, and he played a few songs from that album tonight. At this time, I cannot divulge any information to you about the album other than it will  be a fall release date.

Mr. Tony and I have been around the block on the traveling game with one another, and I have had the privilege of seeing each other all over America. He is becoming an integral part of the national local music community, and a part of the Appalachian local music community as well.

Mr. Dalton Mills was one of the people that had an album on my TOP 50 OF 2020, with a MASTERPIECE of an album with songs like “John On The Run” and vivid story songs like “Runaway Dorothy Gale”.  When you go to see his set, you have to listen REALLY listen to his lyrics, to get the full effect of his music.

“Mountain Call”, is a poignant, well written tale laced with some really fine steel guitar that gives this song a nefariously warm push, as it rolls past your ears. Many of his songs are waltzes, and old time sounding tunes with lyrics that many Country Music fans will salivate over.

I have been keeping a close eye on this man here, this “Son Of Sin” here. You know there are literally hundreds of websites like mine making articles about Mr. Coleman Williams AKA IV And The Strange Band. Now me, I am ardently trying to approach all of this from a different perspective than all the rest.

Each one of the members of the Williams family has their own signature unique sound that I feel differentiates them all. You may seek to disagree with me, but I do not feel that he is trying to be “another Hank III”, and I do not think it’s fair to even try to compare them.  In fact, I have no intention to even go to one of his shows and try to compare him to anyone but him. I go to his show to allow his own music to speak to me, and to support his travels.

As his album fully releases, I’ll be touching more on his songs and music as he brings forth his sound that juxtaposes Doom Metal, with banjo laced Country..and a little bit of everything else along the spectrum. I can tell you some of the song titles like “Deep Down” and another called ‘Inbred”.

As a devout lover of Heavy Metal myself, I am enjoying his covers of Bad Brains songs among his other original songs. I also really like his signature touch of blending the many different influences into his thing.

Three of the greatest discoveries this year for me were these three following artists, Mr. Logan Halstead, Mr. Cole Chaney and Mr. Drayton Farley. Tonight, I had the opportunity to see all three of these play their songs. I’m going to be intensely studying these artists music, and bringing it all to you, my dear readers.

Mr. Logan Halstead has a really good song about coal mining, called “Dark Black Coal”. This song is a true lament of a modern day coal miner wishing a different outcome for his own kids. I see many influences in this new ilk of young artists coming around the bend in Eastern Kentucky and places like West Virginia, where he is from.

He is a self admitted metalhead, that was also influenced by many of the artists in this area that are becoming quite the success story. To that effect he decided to turn his asperations toward playing this mountain sounding music, as he found it spoke to him just as much as other genres.

I’m going to include the video show W.B. Walker has been working on for the last few months leading up to this birthday show here.

You have Mr. Cole Chaney as well, whom released a truly fine album this year, with a twelve song collection of songs he wrote, that you will surely enjoy. His album opens with a fiddle laced song called “Ill Will Creek”, which displays a VERY unique vocal delivery, and an ability to dominate the local market with his songwriting skills. There is indeed a devil in those hills for sure,

Back in the 70s, when Country Music was all about drinking and cheating…this area of artists talk about another common subject here, and that is the perils and laments of coal mining. The song called “Coalshooter” is just that appropriate song for those people.

Through the next few weeks I will be further looking into their shows, and striving to support them more often, as I can. I’m still slowly trickling back into the world of music, from taking care of some personal issues. But it just slows my mind that people so young can write such advanced songs, filled with adult issues.

Last but not least, we had Drayton Farley, another independent singer and songwriter from Alabama, whom equally belongs mixed in with these other fellows. He also released a debut album this year in late January , with a terrific line up of fourteen songs.

His song “American Dream ( Hard Up)” really spoke to me as a beat up old factory worker, who is supposed to be pursuing this dream..I strive not to. in fact, I strive to break that mold and pursue a career in the music business.

I’m quite confident that this man’s album will be heralded upon many “Best of the year” lists among many of the websites like mine that feature this type of music, and you can find out more about their music from people like W.B. Walker.

This entire evening was choked full of newfound talent that a behemoth radio show like The Old Soul Radio Show can pull off.  I’m telling you that he has always had a knack for bringing us the best new talent in his area…and hell all over the United States.

I have included the link over to his website in several places on this article, as well as the websites for all of these artists on where to buy their music and merchandise. It’s true that I have not truly been out there as much in 2021 as I usually am, however I am slowly getting back into it, and I am quite adamant on the fact these artists will all be a solid part of the music community.