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Music Festivals 2019: ROMP Festival

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Dec 242018



I have SO MUCH upcoming on my ROMP article everyone, it always offers SO MUCH to the patrons of this event, and always has such a great lineup. ROMP does a LOT for the Owensboro and Kentucky local community that I MUST support it!

Along with 199 other fine festivals nationwide my website is proud to endorse this community staple so close to my home here in West Kentucky. I’ll have MUCH MORE about the crafts and special programs deals going on here, so y’all just sit tight and wait for me to update this one!


On June 26-29th, 2019, ROMP Festival takes place at Yellow Creek Park, located in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Produced by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the four-day music festival celebrates bluegrass and roots music, local artists, and healthy, farm to table food vendors.

Headlining the initial lineup release are Hall of Fame members Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury.  Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder will feature special guest Patty Loveless.  Also appearing are bluegrass/folk-rock favorites Trampled by Turtles and Americana music icon, Steve Earle.  Rounding out the initial release are Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, The Wood Brothers, Billy Strings, the Jeff Austin Band along with The Travelin’ McCourys performing The Grateful Ball, and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers.  More artists to be announced soon.

Presale tickets are on sale now.  Four-day tickets are available at the heavily discounted rate of $130 through Sunday night, when prices go up.  Onsite tent and RV camping passes are also available.  Children 12 & under are free.


Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder

The Del McCoury Band

Trampled By Turtles

Steve Earle And The Dukes

The Wood Brothers

Rhonda Vincent And The Rage

Billy Strings

Jeff Austin Band


Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro


3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown


3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Comfort Suites

2-star hotel
Suite hotel with a heated indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront

3-star hotel
Informal riverside hotel with a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Super 8 Owensboro

2-star hotel
Budget option with free breakfast & WiFi
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Days Inn Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with an outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 17% less than usual

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Lodging with free WiFi and hot breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn by Hilton Owensboro South

3-star hotel
Classic rooms, a pool & a putting green
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown

3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Motel 6

2-star hotel
Simple budget lodging with outdoor pool

Cadillac Motel


Motel 1311 W 2nd St

231 Motel


Motel 1640 Triplett St

Ramada Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with casual dining & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Wingfield Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Casual hotel with free breakfast & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 10% off

Sleep Inn

2-star hotel
Modern hotel with a pool & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Comfort Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Basic hotel with indoor pool & hot tub
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Quality Inn

3-star hotel
Modern hotel with seasonal outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Explore Yellow Creek Park

Beyond the music: Yellow Creek Park offers many activities for all age groups. Located in the park is a softball field, disc-golf course, tennis courts, and basketball courts. Along with these, there are spots for fishing as well as picnic shelters to cool off during the heat. The park also provides an idyllic nature trail stretching farther than two miles appealing to those who enjoy peaceful hikes and great scenery. Yellow Creek is very kid-friendly and includes a spray park and play ground for children, as well as playing home to the Western Kentucky Raptor Rescue Center and the ROMP mascot, Hootie. 


celebrating banner.jpg

ROMP Festival: Celebrating the Roots & Branches of Bluegrass

Hosted by the Bluegrass Music Museum & Hall of Fame

Celebrating its 16th year, ROMP Festival will return to Owensboro’s Yellow Creek Park. Headlining the initial lineup release are Hall of Fame members Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury.  Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder will feature special guest Patty Loveless.  Also appearing are bluegrass/folk-rock favorites Trampled by Turtles and Americana music icon, Steve Earle & The Dukes.  Rounding out the initial release are Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, The Wood Brothers, Billy Strings, the Jeff Austin Band along with The Travelin’ McCourys performing The Grateful Ball, and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers.  More artists to be announced soon.

Daviess County’s Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its nature trails, winding creek and fishing lake, and sweeping tree-lines, plays host to ROMP each year.

A full line-up of artist-led instrument workshops takes place throughout the day, as ROMP artists interact with fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and forums include songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga (all levels), and bluegrass jamming 101.

Additional offerings at ROMP Festival include organic and farm-to-table food vendors, craft vendors featuring Kentucky Proud products, art installations and professionally-led children’s activities.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam throughout the weekend, as well as dance the night away at the late night stage, featuring nationally acclaimed acts in the park’s rustic Pioneer Village.

Artist additions, single day tickets, vendor applications and daily schedules will be available in 2018. To stay up-to-date with the latest news from ROMP fest, visit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign-up to become a ROMP insider.

About the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum:

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is a 501c3 non-profit located in Owensboro, Kentucky focused on gathering, preserving, exhibiting and disseminating the artifacts, history, collection and performance art of the global history of bluegrass music through an educational experience.

Mar 232018





Ricky Skaggs
Sam Bush
Rhiannon Giddens
The Travelin McCourys
Alison Krauss
Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver
Jeff Austin Band
Billy Strings
Parker Milsap
We Banjo 3
Michael Daves
Russell Moore And IIIrd Tyme Out
Robbie Fulks
fireside Collective
The Po Ramblin Boys
Phoebe Hunt And The Gatherers
Love Cannon
Sheriff Scott And The Deputies
Pert Near Sandstone
Mile Twelve
Barefoot Movement

Pre-sale pricing ends Sunday at midnight. 

General Admission and VIP daily tickets are now available! Pick your favorites and plan your ROMP adventure. 
Grab your passes early for the best deal of the year – pre-sale pricing for daily tickets ends Sunday March 18th at midnight.
Planing to camp with us? One tent camping pass is good for one or all four nights of ROMP camping. Learn More. 
Don’t forget: kids 12 & under are free!
Buy Tickets

Kids Zone

ROMP is fun for the whole family! Kids 12 & under are free, and have a ton of activities to participate in throughout the weekend.


8:00-9:00 Craft Time – Mandolin Harp & Paper Fan

Help us kick off ROMP with Craft Time in the Kid Zone!  Children are invited to make and decorate their own Mandolin Harps and Paper Fans so they can stay cool all weekend and jam along with the artists on stage.

9:00-10:00 Interactive Children’s Music – Melody Garden
Join multi-instrumentalist and children’s songwriter, Rebecca Smith, for an hour of interactive children’s music! Expect nature-themed songs where imaginations can soar!  Many percussion instruments and movement props will be available to the children, if they wish to dance and play!  It’s like a mini-festival just for children!  An instrument petting zoo will be at the end for anyone wishing to strum a guitar, ukulele, or banjo.

10:00-11:00 Build Your Own First Aid Kit – The Medical Reserve Corps
Accidents can happen anywhere.  The Medical Reserve Corps will teach your children how to be “prepared, not scared.”  Kids will learn basic First Aid and will build their very own First Aid Kit.

11:00-12:00 Whooo is Hootie? – Western Kentucky Raptor Center
Get up close and personal with ROMP’s mascot Hootie the Owl!  The Western Kentucky Raptor Center will provide a hands on program where children will learn about birds of prey and animal rehabilitation.

12:00-1:00 Sound Science: Exploring Ears – Sky Science Festival
How we hear is a process that starts with our ears. The size and shape of an ear is important, and two ears are better than one. Surprising examples of sound that gets heard without using your ears will be shared.

1:00-2:00 Leaf Printing – 4-H Cooperative Extension Service
Calling all Tree Huggers!  The 4-H Cooperative Extension Service will teach your children about trees, leaves, and the natural environment while demonstrating Leaf Printing.

2:00-3:00 Appalachian Dance Workshop – Sara Roby

Get moving with traditional dance from the Appalachian region.  Led by Sara Roby, a spirited and inspiring instructor who will teach children traditional movement, clogging, and games.


8:00-9:00 Kid Yoga – 270 Power Yoga

This ain’t your momma’s yoga!  Join Britt Bertolotti from 270 Power Yoga for a Kid Centric Yoga program to start the day off right.  Your kids will have fun while stretching out their sleepy bodies so they are ready for a ROMPtastic day of music and play!9:00-10:00 Learn a Fiddle Tune – Randy Lanham
Join Randy Lanham, the Education Director for The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum for a one hour workshop where children will be introduced to the fiddle and will learn to play a tune.  *This workshop is only open to 25 children. Come early to get a spot. Children will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

10:00-11:00 Craft Time – Rock Painting & Flower Crowns

Join us for Craft Time where kids will have the opportunity to paint rocks and make flower crowns.

11:00-12:00 Interactive Children’s Music – Melody Garden

12:00-1:00 Appalachian Music & Storytelling – Gerald Mullins
Join Gerald Mullins, an educator & musician from Eastern Kentucky as he shares stories and music from the Appalachian region of Kentucky.

1:00-2:00 Sound Science: Lower = Longer / Larger / Looser – Sky Science Festival

Make simple instruments with sliding straws, buzzing rubber bands, and tuneful tubes – with all creating lower sounds when the thing responsible for making the sound gets longer, or thicker, or looser.


8:00-9:00 Glitter Tattoos – Glitter Momma

Glitter Momma has been spreading glitter & sparkle at ROMP for many years.  Join her in the kid zone to get your own glitter tattoo so you can shine all day!
9:00-10:00 Belly Dancing – Samovar Dance Group
Move, groove, and shake it all around with Erica LaViolette & Michelle Gross of the Samovar Dance Group of Louisville, KY. Erica and Michelle will demonstrate several forms of international dance with props and will teach children a traditional belly dance.

10:00-11:00 Grown Your Own Garden – Green River District Health Department

Can you dig it? The Green River Health Department will talk with children about healthy eating and the importance of locally sourced foods while children get dirty digging their own garden.

11:00-12:00 Meet The Mammals – WKY Raptor Center 

The Western Kentucky Raptor Center is back with mammals this time!  Meet a baby fox, a hedgehog, and other mammals and listen while staff shares stories of mammal rehabilitation.12:00-1:00 Harmonica & Kazoo – Art The Dude
Art The Dude loves to introduce kids to the world’s most perfect instrument – the harmonica.  Join Art for his 7th year at ROMP spreading the Harmonica love and walk away with a harmonica or kazoo of your own.

1:00-2:00 Sound Science: Hearing Things That Are Quiet – Sky Science Festival
Make tools to hear quiet sounds; a stethoscope to listen to heartbeats or a device to help you understand a whisper from across the room.





Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro


3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown


3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Comfort Suites

2-star hotel
Suite hotel with a heated indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront

3-star hotel
Informal riverside hotel with a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Super 8 Owensboro

2-star hotel
Budget option with free breakfast & WiFi
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Days Inn Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with an outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 17% less than usual

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Lodging with free WiFi and hot breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn by Hilton Owensboro South

3-star hotel
Classic rooms, a pool & a putting green
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown

3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Motel 6

2-star hotel
Simple budget lodging with outdoor pool

Cadillac Motel


Motel 1311 W 2nd St

231 Motel


Motel 1640 Triplett St

Ramada Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with casual dining & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Wingfield Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Casual hotel with free breakfast & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 10% off

Sleep Inn

2-star hotel
Modern hotel with a pool & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Comfort Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Basic hotel with indoor pool & hot tub
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Quality Inn

3-star hotel
Modern hotel with seasonal outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Explore Yellow Creek Park

Beyond the music: Yellow Creek Park offers many activities for all age groups. Located in the park is a softball field, disc-golf course, tennis courts, and basketball courts. Along with these, there are spots for fishing as well as picnic shelters to cool off during the heat. The park also provides an idyllic nature trail stretching farther than two miles appealing to those who enjoy peaceful hikes and great scenery. Yellow Creek is very kid-friendly and includes a spray park and play ground for children, as well as playing home to the Western Kentucky Raptor Rescue Center and the ROMP mascot, Hootie. 




Artist-Led Workshops

Join us under the pavilion in Pioneer Village for artist-led, instuctional workshops throughout the weekend.
Full Schedule:


Casey Campbell
Wayne Benson (IIIrd Tyme Out)
Robert Bowlin


Dave Howard (23 String Band)


Mike Bub
Ron Block
Tony Trischka
Randy Lanham
Robert Bowlin
Wil Maring
Noam Wall
Aaron Bibelhauser
Sam Bush
Jenni Lyn
Casey Campbell
Tommy Norris
Michael Daves
Stephen Mougin

‘Glamping’ at ROMP

Have you ever heard of “Glamping”?  Glamour camping…nothing like having your comforts of home setup and ready for your arrival to ROMP. We’re proud to partner with Dancin’ Daves once again! Flying to ROMP and want to camp? Dancin’ Dave’s has got you covered.
Dancin’ Dave’s offers first-class camping accommodations. Whether you’re traveling from the opposite coast, across the pond, or just across town, you can have a full festival experience without the hassle of having to pack everything needed for a comfortable stay. We do all the work, including arriving early to secure a premium location just for our guests. Why pack camping supplies when you need that room for your banjo and cooler? Just show up, stay for the party and leave the tear-down to us. Camping has never been so easy!

The Dancin’ Daves village has a limited capacity, so get in while the gettin’s good!

•  1 Person Tent – $125
•  2 Person Tent – $155
•  3-4 Person Tent – $205

You can also add the following amenities (you must rent a tent to rent any of the following items):

Solar Shower – $45
Gazebo with Table – $95
Gazebo with Kitchen – $135

Jun 172017

It’s time once again to feature the ROMP Festival that is hosted by  ROMP and International Bluegrass Music Museum. This outdoor festival  takes places in June on the 21st to the 24rth at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro Kentucky.

AS ALWAYS this article WILL include FULL inforamtion on hotels and maps of everything you need to FULLY enjoy this festival. I have compiled MANY emails and researched EVERY angle of this festival, so you can have the ultimate survival guide for this treasure in Owensboro Kentucky.

Folks this one is close to home for me and always a fun time when I cover this festival, and this year’s lineup is super exciting. Here is some history and some information about it straight from their website:

The 14th annual ROMP Festival will be led by the legendary American roots pioneers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, progressive bluegrass virtuosos, Punch Brothers, innovative musician, Keller Williams and his project blending bluegrass and Grateful Dead songs, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass,Grammy Award winning folk rockers, Los Lobos, and multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens. Held in Owensboro’s Yellow Creek Park, the four-day music, camping, and art festival will take place June 21-24, 2017, and will feature over 30 top bluegrass, folk and Americana acts.

Additional acts include 14-time Grammy winner, Jerry Douglas, progressive bluegrass jam band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Grammy Award winning group, The SteelDrivers, bluegrass pioneer, Peter Rowan, old-time folk music aficionado, Pokey LaFarge, Celtic folk rockers, Scythian, Galway, Ireland’s We Banjo 3, and 10-time IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year, Michael Cleveland, plus many more. A full list of artists confirmed can be found below.

Daviess County’s Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its nature trails, winding creek and fishing lake, and sweeping tree-lines, plays host to ROMP each year.

A full line-up of artist-led instrument workshops takes place throughout the day, giving musicians the chance to interact and teach fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and forums include songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga (all levels), and healthy living through music.

Additional offerings at ROMP Festival include organic and farm-to-table food vendors, craft vendors featuring Kentucky Proud products, art installations and professionally-led children’s activities.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam throughout the weekend, and dance until dawn at the infamous after parties, featuring national acclaimed acts on the cabin stage in the park’s rustic Pioneer Village.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum, producer of the event, will open new exhibits, host performances throughout the daytime, and present a film festival of documentaries the museum has produced on Bluegrass Music’s First Generation.  Museum admission is free to festival-goers.

Artist additions, single day tickets, volunteer opportunities, vendor applications and daily schedules will be available in 2017. To stay up-to-date with the latest news from ROMP fest, music fans can visit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign-up to become a ROMP insider.

This park has a playground area for kids and a spray area to cool off with, and camping is available for 15 dollars extra and 70 for RV’s. You are required to vacate the area by 11AM the following day of which you pay. The camping area will open to the public at 8 AM wends some campsites require you to walk a short bit. Here is a detailed map of the festival grounds and you can buy tickets HERE.


After party – Pioneer Village

9:00 PM – Kelsey Waldon

11:00 PM – Driftwood


Main Stage – Yellow Creek Park

4:00 PM –Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

5:15 PM – Dailey & Vincent

7:00 PM – Peter Rowan Band
8:30 PM –  Rhiannon Giddens

10:30 PM – Los Lobos

After party – Pioneer Village

12:00 AM – Hogslop String Band

1:30 AM – The Wooks


Main Stage – Yellow Creek Park

2:00 PM – High Fidelity

3:15 PM – The Wooks

4:30 PM –  Billy Strings

5:45 PM – We Banjo 3
7:00 PM – Jerry Douglas Band
8:45 PM – Punch Brothers

10:30 PM – Yonder Mountain String Band

After party – Pioneer Village

12:00 AM – The Dustbowl Revival

1:30 AM – Billy Strings


Main Stage – Yellow Creek Park

11:45 AM – Kentucky Bluegrass Allstars

12:45 PM – Snyder Family Band

2:00 PM – Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

3:15 PM – Becky Buller Band

4:30 PM – Rob Ickles & Trey Hensley

5:45 PM – Pokey LaFarge

7:00 PM – The SteelDrivers

8:30 PM – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

10:30 PM – Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass

After Party – Pioneer Village

12:00 AM – Scythian




Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro


3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown


3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Courtyard by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Contemporary hotel with an indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi

Comfort Suites

2-star hotel
Suite hotel with a heated indoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront

3-star hotel
Informal riverside hotel with a pool
Free Wi-Fi

Super 8 Owensboro

2-star hotel
Budget option with free breakfast & WiFi
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Days Inn Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with an outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 17% less than usual

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Owensboro

3-star hotel
Lodging with free WiFi and hot breakfast
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn by Hilton Owensboro South

3-star hotel
Classic rooms, a pool & a putting green
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Owensboro Downtown

3-star hotel
Redbrick hotel with free WiFi & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Motel 6

2-star hotel
Simple budget lodging with outdoor pool

Cadillac Motel


Motel 1311 W 2nd St

231 Motel


Motel 1640 Triplett St

Ramada Owensboro

2-star hotel
Simple hotel with casual dining & a pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Wingfield Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Casual hotel with free breakfast & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast
DEAL 10% off

Sleep Inn

2-star hotel
Modern hotel with a pool & a gym
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Comfort Inn & Suites

2-star hotel
Basic hotel with indoor pool & hot tub
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Quality Inn

3-star hotel
Modern hotel with seasonal outdoor pool
Free Wi-Fi
Free breakfast

Family Friendly: For families with children; no late night parties 
Bring the kids and have a fun-filled family festival experience! Family Friendly camping includes quiet hours from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.

Late Night: The ‘Wrong Side of the Creek’; very close access to the After Party stage 
Feel the need to stay up all night and enjoy live music until sunrise? This is the place for you!

General #1: For those in the middle; easy access to stage and vendors
Camp within a close walking distance to the main stage and the food and craft vendors. Good place for those to camp who don’t want to be in a Family Friendly quiet zone, and don’t want to stay up all night in the Late Night camping area.

Woods: For those in the middle; easy access to stage
Camp within a close walking distance to the main stage. Good place for those to camp who don’t want to be in a Family Friendly quiet zone, and don’t want to stay up all night in the Late Night camping area.

1 Day Only:
A Wednesday Only, Thursday Only, Friday Only, or Saturday Only night camping is valid for that night only, and must be vacated by 11AM the following morning.

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping

Have you ever heard of “Glamping”?  Glamour camping…nothing like having your comforts of home setup and ready for your arrival to ROMP. We’re proud to announce that Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping will be joining us for the second time. Flying to ROMP and want to camp? Dancin’ Dave’s has got you covered.

Dancin’ Dave’s is excited to announce that we will be providing 4 nights of cushy camping accommodations for this epic event! Our village only has a capacity of 35 tents, so get in while the gettin’s good! Just show up and we’ll take care of the rest.

  • Small (pup tent) – $100 – Sleeps up to 2 on floor bedrolls. Best for kids. No cots.
  • Medium (8′ x 8′) – $125 – Sleeps 1 on a cot (up to 2 on floor bedrolls)
  • Large (9′ x 9′) – $155 – Sleeps up to 2 on cots (or 3 on floor bedrolls) – Most popular tent for 2 adults!
  • Jumbo (11′ x 11′) – $205 – Sleeps up to 3 on cots (or 4 on floor bedrolls)

*Packages DO NOT include admission to the festivals. To pay by personal check, select the “Money Order” option when checking out. Prices are for the entire weekend, Wednesday through Sunday.

Your tent will come with the number of cots listed above. If you would like a different number of cots or bedrolls, or would like to bring your own bedding (an air mattress, for example) please let us know by sending a message via our contact form.

You can also add the following amenities (you must rent a tent to rent any of the following items):
Solar Shower – $35 Gazebo with Table – $75 Kitchen – $115

Don’t leave the kids at home
We’ve planned the perfect family weekend including tons of kids activities, family camping and so much more! Don’t forget, children 12 & under are FREE!
Kids can enjoy hours of fun including music workshops, arts & crafts, games, face painting and educational exhibits.
Full schedule of activities listed below. You can also schedule your weekend using the official ROMP app. Download now from your app store.
Kids Zone Schedule
Thursday, June 22
8am – 9am: Parachute Fun
9am – 10am: Create your own wind chime
10am – 11am: Create your own cape
11am – Noon: Exploring Rocks & Minerals
Noon – 1pm: Growing a Garden
1pm – 2pm: SKy Science Festival – “Light”
Friday, June 23
8am – 9am: Create your own Mask
9am – 10am: Create your own Fan
10am – 11am: Fiddle Fun with Randy Lanham
11am – Noon: Harmonica with Art the Dude
Noon – 1pm: First Aid Fun
1pm – 2pm: SKy Science Festival – “Celestial Objects”
Saturday, June 24
8am – 9am: Create your own ROMP Owl
9am – 10am: Create your own Pinwheel
9am – 1pm: Fun with Body Zorbs
10am – 11am: Kazoo with Art the Dude
11am – Noon: Meet & Greet with Hootie & friends
Noon – 1pm: Dance workshop with Barry Lanham
1pm – 2pm: SKy Science Festival – “Rainbows”

Welcome, campers!

Gates open Wednesday, June 21st for the 14th annual ROMP festival!
Entry Times:
8:00am – RV camping pass holders
10:00am – Tent campers, all ticket holders 
Upon arrival, let us know in which area you wish to camp. You must have a camping wristband to camp. Wristbands will be checked throughout the festival; be sure to wear the right one for that day. Reminder signs will be posted throughout the park. If you only purchased a single day ticket and wish to stay additional days, just go to the gate to buy the proper wristband. 
One-Day and Two-Day campers will have a specific area in which to camp. You must be out by 11AM the following morning.
If camping in an RV, everyone in your RV must have both ROMP and camping wristbands.
Some campsites require that you park and hike into the area. If you have to park and hike your camping gear into the camping area, it should only be a 2-5 minute walk.
ROMP Camping 101

In preparation for this years festival, we asked our friend and long-time ROMP attendee and camping expert, Kelly Farr, for some ROMP camping tips.

Camping at Romp is an awesome way to immerse yourself in the full festival experience!  The following is a suggested list of things to bring and some tips for enhancing your camping experience.
  • suncreen/hat/sunglasses
  • water!
  • tent
  • sleeping bag
  • air mattress/cot/sleeping pad
  • pillow
  • extra tarp (can be used under tent for moisture, or above for shade)
  • flashlight/head lamp/lantern
  • fan (battery powered)
  • extra batteries
  • chair/blanket 
  • towel (hot showers available!)
  • bandana
  • rain jacket
  • bug spray
  • citronella candle 
  • hammock 
  • $ for vendors
  • Romp app to create your schedule
  • musical instrument/frisbee/hula hoop/etc
Camping Tips:
The first thing to do is chose your camping area, for example; late night, family friendly, etc.  Then you will need to chose a campsite.  Somewhere flat, with shade, and that will drain well in case of rain is ideal.  It will be helpful to put a tarp under your tent to protect from moisture.  An additional tarp can be hung over your tent for shade or extra rain protection.  Since it sometimes rains at Romp, it is a good idea to roll up your sleeping bags and clothing and place them in the middle of your tent to keep them from getting wet if you are away form your campsite.  It is also a good idea to keep your food/cooler outside your tent, or in your vehicle to keep animals from being tempted.  A bandana or blindfold can also keep the early morning sun out of your eyes if you need to sleep in a little.  Remember to drink plenty of water, and just ask the friendly ROMP staff if you have any questions!

Explore Yellow Creek Park

Beyond the music: Yellow Creek Park offers many activities for all age groups. Located in the park is a softball field, disc-golf course, tennis courts, and basketball courts. Along with these, there are spots for fishing as well as picnic shelters to cool off during the heat. The park also provides an idyllic nature trail stretching farther than two miles appealing to those who enjoy peaceful hikes and great scenery. Yellow Creek is very kid-friendly and includes a spray park and play ground for children, as well as playing home to the Western Kentucky Raptor Rescue Center and the ROMP mascot, Hootie. 
May 212016

Moonrunners Music Festival
Crooked Smile Fall Fest


OK Folks the time has come for me to unleash my festival fury upon you unsuspecting readers with my series of June festivals that are coming in quick fashion. I’m already covering one next weekend and I have two under my belt in 2016 already and this one is another close festival to me, I wouldn’t be able to run this job from my house but it is still pretty close. I cannot promise whether or not I’ll be down there for one day or two but I’m planning to be there for what I can of the ROMP Fest that is put on by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro Kentucky, and it happens over four days.

June 22-25th 2016 will see the summer heat and the ROMP festival fly into our area for folks to enjoy Bluegrass music and Roots music at the same time. This is the thirteenth annual fundraising event for the museum which is dedicated to the preservation of this precious genre of music. Riverpark Center Complex in Owensboro Kentucky is where this event takes place.

This park has a playground area for kids and a spray area to cool off with, and camping is available for 15 dollars extra and 70 for RV’s. You are required to vacate the area by 11AM the following day of which you pay. The camping area will open to the public at 8 AM wends some campsites require you to walk a short bit. Here is a detailed map of the festival grounds and you can buy tickets HERE.


The lineup is here”
Old Crow Medicine Show
Del McCoury Band
Sam Bush Band
Jerry Douglass And The Earls Of Leicester
The Infamous Stringdusters
Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives
Steep Canyon Rangers
Lee Ann Womack
Larry Sparks And The Lonesome Ramblers
The Travelin McCourys
Della Mae
Bryan Sutton
23 String Band
Town Mountain
Billy Strings
Wood And Wire
Jon Stickley Trio
Front Country
The Tillers
Old Salt Union
The Lil Smokies
Bumper Jacksons
Breaking Grass
Sheriff Scott And The Deputies
Annabelle Watts

OK Folks so you know the routine here is a link to over 12 hotels in this area I have found and you can search for competitive prices HERE because if you are like me I cannot camp. I’m pretty sure if I go for one day I might just drive home afterwards. I sure would love to see Old Crow Medicine Show.

More News On Mr. Del McCourry.

 News  Comments Off on More News On Mr. Del McCourry.
Mar 172019

So I have been following Bluegrass Legend Mr. Del McCourry for years now, many years ago he played a GREAT show at Muddy Roots. I also recently saw him at 3rd and Lindsley where he and Grammy award winning artists The Travelin McCourrys both tore the place apart. His energetic stage shows are inspiring many younger Bluegrass artists like Mr. Billy Strings and Miss Sierra Hull, along with more Country youngsters like Miss Emi Sunshine.

He recently celebrated his birthday as he took over the Grand Old Opry HERE IS WHERE you can go read about his 80th birthday there. He has many guests and special friends show up to love on him proper, and now he even has his OWN festival every year in Maryland. DelFest is a heavily supported festival on here.

He is included in many of the nation’s festivals in many states, and they are ALL included here in one website. Festivals like The Blue Ox, Old Settler’s Music Festival, Merlefest, The Aiken Bluegrass Festival, ROMP, Grey Fox, High Sierra, Rockygrass, Whimmydiddle, and Pickin In the Pines.

DelFest just recently released their entire daily schedule and entire show program  I have included that all into this article at the bottom. I also have included some of his show dates below.

View this email in your browser

Daily SchedulesAnnounced

Start planning your musical adventure now!

The daily grids for DelFest are now posted on our site. Enjoy our interactive scheduler where you can sort by day or by stage, view additional artist info, and even create a personalized schedule and sync to your phone or calendar.

Check out the Daily Schedule here >>

Final Lineup Additions Announced

DelFest is excited to announce the addition of The Kruger Brothers, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Bowman, Bowman & Dré, The Sounds of Laurel Canyon, and The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys! And just like that, we have ourselves the 2019 DelFest Lineup!

Single-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day Passes On Sale Now

Tickets at current discount price will be gone soon!

3-day, 2-day and single-day tickets for DelFest are on-sale now, along with Show Sherpa (hassle-free camping) and On-site Parking Passes. 4-Day Passes are on sale at the current price now through April 1st (no joke!) Get yours before prices go up. Ticket Payment Plans are available!


Learn to play Bluegrass from Grammy Winners, The Travelin’ McCourys!

The DelFest Academy (held just before DelFest – Sunday May 19 through Wednesday May 22) is a friendly, encouraging, and intensive four-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass serving as instructors for students of all levels. The Academy offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and dobro led by all-star instructors providing lessons to students which target their individual needs and leave ample time for plenty of one-on-one interaction. In addition to our Grammy-winning host band, The Travelin’ McCourys [Rob McCoury (banjo), Ron McCoury (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle), Cody Kilby (guitar), Alan Bartram (bass)], returning to teach this year will be Sierra Hull on mandolin and husband Justin Moses on dobro, along with Frank Solivan and members of Dirty Kitchen – Mike Munford (banjo) and Chris Luquette (guitar). Also returning is an academy favorite Ronnie Bowmanon guitar and vocal class joined by wife, Garnet Bowman.

Learn more about The DelFest Academy



Wed, MAR 20
Del & Dawg @ South Orange Performing Arts Center
South Orange, NJ
Thu, MAR 21
Del and Dawg @ Landmark on Main Street
Port Washington, NY
Fri, MAR 22
Del & Dawg @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Troy, NY
Sat, MAR 23
Del & Dawg @ Tarrytown Music Hall
Tarrytown, NY
Thu, MAR 28
Lucas Theatre For the Arts
Savannah, GA
Fri, MAR 29
Terminal West
Atlanta, GA
Fri, APR 12
Old Settler’s Music Festival
Dale, TX
Sat, APR 20
A Little Help From My Friends show with The Gibson Brothers, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Dre Anders, & Cody Kilby @ Paramount Bristol
Bristol, TN
Fri, APR 26
The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries
St. Louis, MO
Sun, APR 28
Wilkesboro, NC
Thu, MAY 02
City Winery
Chicago, IL
Fri, MAY 03
Stoughton Opera House
Stoughton, WI
Sat, MAY 04
Hopkins Center For the Arts
Hopkins, MN
Thu, MAY 09
Del & Dawg @ Paramount Theatre
Charlottesville, VA
Fri, MAY 10
Del & Dawg @ Grand Opera House
Wilmington, DE
Sat, MAY 11
Aiken Bluegrass Festival
Aiken, SC
Thu, MAY 23
Cumberland, MD
Fri, MAY 24
Cumberland, MD
Sat, MAY 25
Cumberland, MD
Sun, MAY 26
Cumberland, MD
Fri, JUN 07
Del & Dawg @ Camp Greensky Music Festival
Wellston, MI
Sun, JUN 09
Pagosa Folk N Bluegrass Festival
Pagosa Springs, CO
Fri, JUN 14
Blue Ox Music Festival
Eau Claire, WI
Fri, JUN 28
ROMP Festival
Owensboro, KY
Sat, JUL 06
High Sierra Music Festival
Quincy, CA
Thu, JUL 18
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
Greene County, NY
Fri, JUL 19
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
Greene County, NY
Sun, JUL 21
The String Cheese Incident w/The Del McCoury Band @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Morrison, CO
Thu, JUL 25
Georgia Mountain Fair
Hiawassee, GA
Thu, JUL 25
Georgia Mountain Fair
Hiawassee, GA
Sun, JUL 28
Lyons, CO
Sun, AUG 11
Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival
Alta, WY
Thu, AUG 15
Music Box Supper Club
Cleveland, OH
Fri, AUG 16
Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival @ RiversEdge Ampitheater
Hamilton, OH
Sat, AUG 17
Great Lakes Center for the Arts
Petoskey, MI
Sat, SEP 14
Del & Dawg @ Fox Tucson Theatre
Tucson, AZ
Sun, SEP 15
Del & Dawg @ Pickin’ In the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival
Flagstaff, AZ
Sat, SEP 21
Bourbon and Beyond
Louisville, KY

Music Festivals 2019 Nationwide: Rio Frio Fest.

 News  Comments Off on Music Festivals 2019 Nationwide: Rio Frio Fest.
Mar 092019


Image may contain: text

Del Fest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Suwanee Spring Reunion
ROMP Festival
Red Ants Pants
Aiken Bluegrass festival
Hoxeyville Music Festival

Texas folks have some very awesome festivals this year, and this one right on the Frio river is no exception. The Texas Red Dirt community has some truly wonderful festivals this year, and one of my favorite festival companies sent me the absolute HOOK UP on when and where the Texas festivals are!

I have some informational articles on Read Southall Band and Mr. Jason Boland made my TOP 50 OF 2018. Also, Mr. Dalton Domino has some other articles on him lately. So yes, all of these bands have been prominently featured on this website.

Koe Wetzel • Roger Creager
Shane Smith & The Saints
Read Southall Band • Shea Abshier
Randall King • Chris Colston
Kevin Fowler • Jason Boland
Walt Wilkins • Clay Hollis
Dalton Domino & Kody West
Mario Flores • Gabe Garcia • Lucas Ebert
Chris Saucedo • Sarah Hobbs • Isaac Jacob
Waitin’ on Hayden

And more to be announced!

Shane Smith & The Saints

• Lodging: River Cabins to Luxury Homes
plus RVs and Camping – You Choose!

• 3 Day Pass – Good for All Concerts
Thursday through Saturday Plus
Activities, Events, and Cookoffs

• Single Day Tickets or 3 Day Passes Available
First Come, First Served

As always with my festival articles here are some maps and directions for this event.

Rio Frio Fest Lodging


You choose! River Cabins to Luxury Homes, RV or Camping on or near Rio Frio Fest concert grounds.

*You choose based on availability at time of your reservation

FREE shuttles to concerts – Be safe and take the shuttle. Ask your lodging provider for details.


Lodging Discount for 3-Day Rio Frio Fest 2019 Passes Available Until January 28, 2019 or until sold out.

Limited number of discounted tickets available. Sold on a first come, first served basis.

Ask your lodging provider for a Rio Frio Fest Discount Code.

How to Make Your Lodging Reservation

• Visit
• Contact the lodging / RV location of your choice.
• Ask your lodging provider for additional days or individual night stays (based on availability and lodging provider restrictions).

*After confirming lodge reservations, purchase your Rio Frio Fest concert tickets of choice immediately and utilize your discount promo code.  (based on availability at the time of purchase) Promo code discount expires January 28, 2019 or while supplies last. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Music Pass ONLY.)

*While most lodging/ RV/ camping sites offer the Rio Frio Fest promo discount code, some may not. It is your responsibility to confirm this with your lodge or risk no access to concert discount

*Concert tickets are not included with your lodging reservation. Participants must purchase tickets and may apply promo code (some restrictions apply) while supplies last for discounted passes.

First come, first served.

Promo code discount expires on January 28, 2019 or until sold out. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Pass ONLY.)

(Be sure to confirm that your lodging of choice is participating in the Rio Frio Fest packages and ask for a discount ticket promo code)

Rio Frio Fest FAQs & Directions

  • Spring Break on the Frio?

It’s a Texas thing! Just ask anyone who has been to Concan, TX… It’s one of the most beautiful and fun spots in Texas! The Rio Frio Fest is going to turn up the heat even more by bringing your favorite musicians (every day and night) and of course, outdoor activities, Big Crawfish Boil, and more!

  • How do I use the FREE shuttles?

FREE shuttles to and from the concerts and activities are available!  This is what a real Spring Break is all about! The Concan community offers buses and other shuttles throughout most of the Concan lodges, camping and RV communities. Ask your lodging provider about pick-up schedules and hours of operation. Here’s to a safe Spring Break!

  • How do I make lodging reservations and receive discounted concert tickets and Rio Frio Fest program?

Go to the Lodging banner on this website and then click the Hill Country Rivers website link and click on the “Concan” tab. Pick any lodge that fits your needs. River Cabins to Luxury Homes, from Lodges that sleep 16+ people to RV and camping sites, you choose! Be sure you confirm with the lodge (before making your reservations) that the lodging includes a discounted promo code for reduced concert tickets. Promo code discount expires January 28th, 2019 or until sold out. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Music Pass ONLY.)

  • Where is the best lodge to stay?

It all depends on what your needs are. You can stay on the Frio River, at the Concan Golf Course, the legendary swimming hole, or even right next to the concerts and activities. ALL lodging choices are in close proximity to the festival site. Plus, many lodges offer free shuttles to and from the festival site (ask your lodge if they provide a free shuttle or if they are close to shuttle drop/pick up location.)

  • What dates should I go?

3 day passes (best value) and single day tickets are available. Enjoy one or all of these amazing concerts. See the performance schedule to fit your style for Spring Break fun. It’s good Texas times and music the entire week! See schedule here.  Concerts will sell out.

  • Do ALL Concan/ Frio area lodges include the Rio Frio Fest discount promo code for reduced concerts?

While most do, some may not. You must ask and confirm that the lodge includes the promo code BEFORE making your reservation. If for any reason, a lodge does not include the discount code, ask them to contact Dickson Productions before you make your reservations.

  • How do I pay for my lodging and concert pass?

You will arrange lodging reservations with your lodge of choice. Payment is strictly between you and your lodge. Once your lodging reservations are confirmed, immediately purchase your RFF concerts of choice and utilize your promo code (provided by your lodge) to receive exclusive discounted tickets (some restrictions apply).  Rio Frio Fest tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.

Note: You must have met all payment requirements by your lodge at beginning of your stay to obtain your Rio Frio Fest promo concert discounts.

  • What does my Rio Frio Fest promo code include?

Exclusive reduced price concert tickets, Rio Frio Fest program, and schedule are included when you check in providing all concert details, Concan community free concerts, activities, helpful hints and more.

Note: Some lodges provide free shuttles to and from the concerts. Ask the lodge when making reservations. 

  • Am I guaranteed entrance into ALL Rio Frio Fest activities and concerts?

You are guaranteed entrance to all House Pasture Cattle Company nightly concerts (for dates of purchase) with your pre-purchased Rio Frio Fest concert tickets. However, some daytime concert and activities areas may have limited capacity. While these daytime activity areas have lots of room, they may fill to capacity and a one out- one in policy will be in effect.

Exception: In the case of inclement weather, all events are subject to be moved indoors. If indoor venue is filled to capacity, a one out- one in policy will be in effect.

  • How do I get my festival concert tickets, official event program and schedule?

After completing your online purchase, you will receive a ticket voucher (please print.) Ticket vouchers may then be exchanged for the appropriate wristband at one of our Dickson Productions check-in locations (times and location will be provided on your ticket and online). Rio Frio Fest program and schedule will be provided at your lodge and/or concert grounds.

You may redeem your Rio Frio Fest 3-Day wristband at the Dickson Productions desk, located at House Pasture Cattle Co., Wednesday, March 13th through Saturday, March 16th from 2:00pm to 10:00pm.

Pick up your wristband in advance to avoid the wait on the night of the show!

  • Where are the concerts and activities held?

Nightly concerts will be held at the outdoor (and/ or indoors) concert grounds next to the House Pasture Cattle Company. Click here to see a map- HPCC. Additional concerts and activities will take place at the Neal’s Lodges Joe Jimmy’s Stage or Neal’s Water Hole, plus the Frio Country Resort’s Riverside Cabins area-“The Beach”. Needless to say, there’s always a party going on!

  • Can I purchase concert tickets only (without lodging?)

Dickson Productions will release a limited amount of nightly concert tickets; all tickets sold on first come first come served basis.

  • Where is Concan, TX?

It’s about 81 miles West of San Antonio; an easy and nice road trip through Southwest Texas. Click here to view a map and directions- Concan, TX

  • What is the weather going to be like?

It will be about the same as any Texas beach, except Rio Frio Fest will heat it up even more with a non-stop lineup of concerts and activities like no other. Experience the South Texas Hill Country and the beautiful Frio River and enjoy the good times and great people that embrace that “Texas state of mind” with Texas music and activities plus the natural beauty this special part of Texas offers.



Emergency 911
Local Police / Fire 830-278-9147

ATM at House Pasture Cattle Co.

First State Bank
Highway 127 West, Concan, TX 78838
(830) 232-4490
Lobby/Drive Thru
9:00am-3:00pm M-F
Drive up ATM – 24 Hours

For free shuttle information, please check with your lodging provider. Please utilize the shuttles or designated a driver – DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE!

For any lodging questions, or for information about additional activities, ask your lodging provider.

Festival Guidelines:

Rio Frio Fest is committed to providing a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, but there are certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure a safe, fun and genuine festival experience for everyone. Please adhere to the following:

Rio Frio Fest Concert Grounds (House Pasture Cattle Co. / Joe Jimmy’s)
Evening Concerts

• No Coolers
• No outside food/alcohol permitted. (*alcohol will be sold at the festival)
• No re-entry for minors or single day ticket holders (no exceptions)
• Wristbands are non-transferable and must be intact on your wrist at all times.
• No pets allowed on the festival grounds, or parking lots (licensed ADA assistants accepted).
• All participants and their belongings are subject to search upon entry or re-entry.
• Lawn chairs & blankets allowed only in designated areas
• Children 12 years old and under admitted free with adult. Children must be supervised and within normal voice range at all times.
• No unauthorized vending – if you’re not a registered vendor you may not sell or distribute anything on the festival grounds
• Please use the proper trash receptacles to clean up after yourselves
• Park in designated parking areas only. Violators will be towed at owner’s expense.
• No illegal or illicit substances of any kind
• Festival goers must abide by all local, state, and federal laws.
• Drones are prohibited at any RioFrioFest function or activity.
• DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Ask your lodger about a shuttle services to and from the event or arrange a sober ride.

* This is an all ages event. In order to consume alcohol you must be at least 21 years of age with a valid state or government issued ID. Due to the dry county, all IDs will be checked and registered at the front gates and a drinking wristband will be issued.

River Stage
“The Beach”

The following items ARE ALLOWED at the Riverside Stage ONLY.

• Coolers
• Outside Food / Alcohol
• Lawn Chairs / Blankets
• Water Toys (tubes, floats, etc.)


• NO GLASS containers
• Park in the designated areas ONLY
• Do not park past barricades
• Always be aware of pedestrians and drive carefully

These are general guidelines for Rio Frio Fest participants. The venues, lodges, and community may have additional guidelines or rules that you must adhere to.

Map of Concan, TX

Music Festivals 2019: Luck Reunion.

 News  Comments Off on Music Festivals 2019: Luck Reunion.
Mar 032019

Del Fest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Suwanee Spring Reunion
ROMP Festival
Red Ants Pants
Aiken Bluegrass festival


Luck Reunion Reveals 2019 Festival Lineup
Live From Austin’s Cactus Cafe
Presenting Sponsor Southwest Airlines® Kicks Off 2019
“Southwest: On The Rise to Luck” Program
February 7, 2019 – Austin, TX – Luck Reunion, the flagship festival of Luck Productions, is pleased to announce the 2019 lineup for the annual event taking place at Willie Nelson’s “Luck, TX” on Thursday, March 14th. Along with presenting sponsor Southwest, the boutique collective unveiled the diverse artist roster as part of the Lucky Draw Live ticketing event hosted at the iconic Cactus Cafe and presented in partnership with KUTX.
Lucky Draw Live was the third installment of Luck Reunion’s fan-forward ticket buying initiative; offering fans the opportunity to buy tickets in-person, in addition to anintimate performance from Hayes Carll and Southwest: On The Rise to Luck 2018 winner, Thomas Csorba.
Anchored by a performance by Willie Nelson & Family, the 2019 Reunion will showcase more than 40 artists representing a wide swath of genres across five stages. The World Headquarters Stage, situated outside of Nelson’s famed “Headquarters” haunt will feature acts such as Shakey Graves, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Lukas Nelson, and more; while the Sources Stage will host a full female roster headlining Mavis Staples and will feature kick-ass ladies including Brandy Zdan, Mountain Man, Courtney Marie Andrews, Yola, and more. Nathaniel Rateliff will return to Luck with an intimate set on the Chapel Stage, preceded by artists including Cedric Burnside, Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos, and The Cactus Blossoms; and the crowd-favorite Revival Tent will welcome celebrated acts such as Strand Of Oaks, Langhorne Slim & The Law, and Low Cut Connie. In true Luck fashion, surprise special guests will join Jade Jackson on the Saloon Stage lineup.
The full lineup is as follows:
Willie Nelson & Family
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Shakey Graves
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
The Marcus King Band
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Illuminati Hotties
Particle Kid
Paula Nelson & Jesse Dayton
Southwest® Artist On The Rise
Mavis Staples
Mountain Man
Courtney Marie Andrews
Haley Heynderickx
Angie McMahon
Sunny War
Brandy Zdan
Hayes Carll
Strand Of Oaks
Langhorne Slim & The Law
Low Cut Connie
The Nude Party
Quaker City Nighthawks
Thomas Csorba
E.B. The Younger
Logan Ledger
Nathaniel Rateliff
Cedric Burnside
Nicole Atkins & Jim Sclavunos
The Cactus Blossoms
Dylan LeBlanc
J.S. Ondra
Billy Strings
Lola Kirke
Waylon Payne
The Lucky Draw Live event on Feb. 7th also served as the official reveal of the three contenders for the 2019 Southwest: Artist On The Rise To Luck program, a platform created by the airline dedicated to supporting the careers of developing artists and demonstrating the initiative to propel up-and-coming creatives. Beginning today, fans will be called upon to learn more about the three finalists via the carrier’s music website, Later this month, fans will have a chance to vote on to help determine who will win a coveted main stage slot at this year’s Luck Reunion. As part of Thursday’s Lucky Draw Live, Southwest’s 2018 Artist On The Rise, Thomas Csorba, revealed this year’s contenders:
Madison Cunningham: Los Angeles, California
Katie Pruitt: Nashville, Tennessee
Cha Wa: New Orleans, Louisiana
The burgeoning artist platform is upping its ante this year. Beginning in March the selected Artists On The Rise, chosen by a panel of music industry experts, will embark on a three-city Southwest: On The Rise to Luck Live Tour, presented by The Rustic,featuring live shows at each of the venue’s locations: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. While music-lovers across the country vote via for their top choice, Texas fans will have the opportunity to check out all three acts vying for the sought-after Luck Reunion set. For more information, please visit The Rustic’s event page.
March 7 – The Rustic Dallas; 3656 Howell St.
March 8 – The Rustic San Antonio; 17619 La Cantera Parkway at The RIM
March 9 – The Rustic Houston; 1836 Polk St.
Luck Reunion presented by Southwest, will take place on March 14th in Luck, TX, less than thirty miles outside of Austin, and feature both artists who have defined American music and artists who are redefining it. Luck Reunion performers, or “Luck Family” as they’ve grown to be called, all take after the event’s gracious host, free-wheeling legend Willie Nelson, in that they bow to nothing but inspiration, refuse to play it safe, and are always open for collaboration. In between once in a lifetime sets from their favorite new artists, fans will have plenty of chances to refuel in style with refreshments by The Mountain Valley Spring Water and food options curated by Austin Food + Wine Alliance, celebrating Central Texas chefs who are pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to have a cookout in the Hill Country.
For more information on this year’s festival, please visit Luck Reunion’s Website. For more information Luck’s ticketing process, please visit Luck Reunion – Ticketing. Please note there will be one remaining “Lucky Draw” on Friday, February 22nd.
About Luck Productions:
Luck Productions is a rogue cultural collective headquartered in Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX. Anchored by its flagship event, the annual Luck Reunion, Luck Productions creates experiences that embrace our past while cultivating new traditions in American roots culture. In addition to the Reunion, Luck Productions has hosted pop-up events including “Luck Mansion” residencies during Nashville’s AmericanaFest; a featured stage activation during Highwater Festival; the “Luck Hotel” content and concert series in Dallas; and the new “Luck Social” supper and song series held in Luck, TX.
About Southwest Airlines Co.:
In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 58,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to serve Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting
Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest Airlines or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.




If you don’t know how this works, ask around. Luck, the Luck family of artists, and everyone on our team prides themselves on bringing together an exciting new lineup of music and offerings every year. Lineup will be announced soon enough!



We are a very small event with a large demand. We try our best to avoid ticket scalpers, bots and losers who wish to profit off of our collective good times. We don’t sell all of our tickets in one online sale and we have our own way of doing things. (For more in depth ticketing instructions visit

⚡ We distribute Luck Reunion tickets on a rolling basis via several Lucky Draw ticket drawings leading up to the event.

⚡️For each Lucky Draw, submissions will open one week prior to the Draw date. On the day of the Draw, winners will be picked at random and sent a code to purchase tickets.

⚡️The unique code must be used within 72 hours of release. If the code is not used, another code will be sent to the next randomly selected Lucky entrant.

⚡️Limit of 2 tickets per transaction

⚡️Each Lucky Draw is autonomous from the last. You must submit your email for each new Draw.

⚡️Our email list and social media is a great place to find out about potential ticket giveaways.

⚡️Luck Reunion is 21 + . Minors under the age of 21 may only enter under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. ID required at gates. Anyone over the age of 6 will require a ticket to the event

⚡️There will not be tickets sold at the gate – please do not come without a ticket in hand.

⚡️VIP tickets includes access to Oak Tree Lounge and World Headquarters front porch viewing areas and waived parking fee.

⚡️ Due to the desired intimacy of the event space by the Nelson family (and for your own enjoyment) this event has a capacity cap. We know that this means many of our loyal fans will not get tickets every year. Please try your best to keep your eye on sales and giveaways and know that we are doing our best to make sure every fan has an equal chance to be #inluck. As the Rolling Stones said it best; “You can’t always get what you want”…

⚡️This is a rain or shine event – no exceptions or refunds – On occasion authorities may ask us to hold gates or temporarily evacuate the grounds in the case of an emergency. In this case we will do our best to communicate updates via the Luck app and social media. Should authorities mandate a full event shut down we will handle refunds only in the case that the event was not open to the public for at least 6 hours. No refunds will be granted for any other reason. 

⚡️No animals allowed – ADA service animals allowed with valid credentials.



⚡️Beverages are complimentary (even the adult kind) and we will have a variety to choose from…

⚡️We have enlisted some amazing food trucks and vendors to keep even the most picky of appetites happy. We have asked our food truck partners to be conscious of vegan and vegetarian dietary needs. In addition we are asking more vendors to attend than ever before. We are always conscious of having more food available to our guests.



⚡️Reserve your round trip ticket on our charter bus from downtown Austin to the 2019 Luck Reunion. There are a handful of schedules to choose from. These charter busses will run with assigned times and schedules. If you are familiar with our past bus programs we think you will really dig the upgrade! Click here to purchase your bus tickets:


⚡️Parking – On-site parking available for $20 and is available on a first come first serve basis. We will have signs pointing you in the right direction as you get closer to the event site. Once the on-site lot is full we will direct overflow to our new overflow lots. These lots will have provided shuttle service to and from event. We will do our best to make the experience as fast and enjoyable as possible. please enjoy the experience. Lots of great people to get in and out of our gates! Parking lot will open at 10am on March 14th.

⚡️No overnight parking or camping

⚡️Single space vehicles only. No RVs, campers, passenger vans or busses allowed on site without prior consent.

⚡️Carpooling is recommended

⚡️Be sure to check the availability of your favorite rideshare company – not all rideshare companies may be in play where you are originating from. We will have a designated car-share drop of area.



⚡️This is the Nelson’s home and working ranch and as such we recommend our guests stay within the gated confines of event and not disturb the wildlife and animals

⚡️Blankets and “blanket villages” are only allowed off the main throughways in low-traffic areas. Please respect the requests of our many volunteers and team members helping us keep the peace and enjoyable viewing for everyone!

⚡️This may not be the best atmosphere for the little one but if you do bring the family please keep an eye on your flock

⚡️There is seating in the Revival Tent, and some of the food truck areas but be advised it is an all day festival and you will be on your feet a lot. We do not allow outside chairs or seating unless an ADA accessibility request is presented.

⚡️We will have complimentary water stations on site – feel free to bring an empty water bottle – don’t get sneaky… we know your ways! Besides, why bother – beverages are free?

⚡️Prepare for the elements – it’s Texas y’all so it could be any range of weather conditions. We have seen a range of between 45 and 105 on our event dates and if you were there in 2016 you know to be prepared for anything. We won’t give up until you do or safety is at stake.



Our ADA team is here to support all handicapped and disabled individuals to the best of our ability. We trust that you have reviewed the Festival Grounds info to ensure this is the perfect environment for you prior to purchasing a ticket. If you have a unique case send us a direct message and we will work with you on supporting your needs for a great day in Luck



We may require bag checks at the gate. This ain’t a border checkpoint but you catch our drift. Bring your blankets and the gear you need for the elements (sun screen etc..) You may bring an empty water bottle to use at our complimentary water stations.


The items below – leave em at home.

⚡️Outside food & beverage



⚡️Weapons (see our firearm statement below)

⚡️substances… you know what we mean, right?

⚡️Bad vibes

⚡️Oh yeah, and again, no pets. – ADA service animals allowed with valid credentials.



Yeah we know, everyone is a photographer these days. Take a few photos and tag #luckreunion when you share them. Please be courteous to your fellow attendees and don’t hold your damn phone in the air all day long. Professional photo and video cameras are not allowed. NO EXCEPTIONS. Any DSLR / video cameras etc… will require a press pass or you will be asked to leave the event.



Listen y’all our guiding principal is based on the family code, “Don’t be an Asshole”. Willie Nelson and his family are letting us throw you a party in his backyard. Be respectful of them and each other, pick up after yourself and if you smoke dispose of yer butts in a proper way. Do not bother the rescue horses and other wildlife. Stay within the confines of the fenced areas. Prepare for a music festival environment with limited access to seating and shade. This is an outdoor, rain or shine event – plan accordingly. Have a great time and be cool – can’t be any easier than that.









Ameripolitan Showcases: Saturday.

 News  Comments Off on Ameripolitan Showcases: Saturday.
Mar 022019

Well hey everybody here I am at the Ameripolitan Awards kind of tucked away in my corner sort of doing my thing here. I’m writing this as I listen to my buddy Mr. Pat Reedy play his set tonight, however I got to see some old friends first. I am going to skip around here, and talk about many things I did, food I ate and I REALLY wanted to help out the hotel I stayed at. That hotel had incredible service and nice accommodations for me as a guest. Plus it was right around the corner from where the showcases were today, and not far from Graceland.

There is an absolute plethora of events happening all at once here all around the city, and if I tried to report on everything I would have to clone myself …twice! This is my first year for coverage this deep, last year I only covered the awards, I decided to go all out this year. I have many different side articles going on for you this weekend, so enjoy them all!

The Country Heroes were the first band up today and to be honest I was getting set up today with my camera and other things. However I did indeed get to hear their set, they were one of the bands from overseas…Norway to be exact. Their new album is called Honky Tonk Tears, and one of their songs was called “Satan Loves Country Music”. It was truly a great picking song about how the devil wanted to join their band.

Jørund Vålandsmyr: Vocal, Guitar
Bjørn Haglund: Drums, Vocal
Daniel Gullien: Guitar, Vocal
Ivar Brynhildsen: Bass
Tore Blestrud: Steel Guitar

Their next song was called “Texas And Me”, this song made me grin as it mentioned eight tracks and had a smooth steel guitar tone to it. I have yet to venture out into Texas, but in the next year or so I will defiantly be there one day. The last song of theirs I got down was “Hangovers From Your Kisses”, people this song had more twang and style than anything I could tell you about!

Mr. Jimi Palacios from NOLA County and I had a wonderful lunch today over at Exline’s Pizza near Graceland. Now if you want the BEST pizza in Memphis in my opinion that is it! If I ever come to Memphis, and when I don’t go there I feel cheated. The Travelodge Wyndham hotel where the first showcases were was just around the corner from my hotel, and so was Graceland.

I stayed over at the Quality Inn at 3105 Millbranch Road close to the airport. I found the room to be VERY nice and clean, with a few great features and spacious room to relax. It was easy to enjoy the music this weekend with such an easy trek to my hotel room, as you already know I have my list of go to places all over the United States to eat and stay.

The Western Swing Authority was an absolute THRILL to get to see, and I got some good shots of them. Dad’s Place was a GREAT venue, and in just a few minutes I shall be heading over there for the Kim Lenz album release party. They played some truly great cover songs of classic Western Swing, like “Roly Poly” that got people up swing dancing all over.

“Mississippi” was another great song, that glorified this city that we are in right now, Memphis. I did spend some time downtown on Beale street, I’ll talk about that soon here. “Dance With Who Brung Ya” made popular by Asleep At The Wheel. That band is one of my favorite one, and these Western Swing bands are some fun times. “In The Middle Of The Song” was another great selection off their Big Deal album. Very smooth and Bluesy melody that sets the mood for slow dancing.

Mr. Shane Guse, Miss Stacey Lee Guse, Mr. Paul “Chappy” Chapman, Mr. Ed Ringwald aka Pee Wee Charles, Mr. Matthew Lima, “The lovely and talented” Dan Howlett and Mr. Jim Boudreau comprise this large ensemble of swing greatness!

“Swinging From The Rafters” was the last song I got from them, I tell you what, I truly enjoy watching people swing dancing to this kind of stuff here. This song mentions illegal substances and other things, complete with horns and all the like.

I would like to say THIS, Mr. Dale did this RIGHT this weekend! I mean they had a shuttle bus take us from the hotel to the showcases EVERY HALF HOUR, which saved time and parking. They also had a food truck outside the main hotel venue, I have yet to try it as of now..but I will. There is just too much going on at one time for me to accurately document EVERYTHING myself. I missed the Album listening party for Mr. Chuck Mead on behalf of my friends at Plowboy Records as well.

Mr. Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners are a band that graced my TOP 50 OF 2018 but also consists of my friend Mr. John R. Miller who’s album also adorned that list! Got all that info? Now then, they opened with “Bloodshot Heart” from his new album “That’s All There Is And There Ain’t No More”. Enjoyed his true authentic Honky Tonk thump sound they have, always a hoot to cover their set.

“Burgundy In The Rain” is another song you just cannot make any better than it already is, Country Music at it’s raw finest. His first album “Highway Bound” is just as gold as his second, and I look forward to bringing you this new stuff he has loaded ready to go. “Lucky I’m Alive” is another song that speaks to me as a person, as I pretty much am lucky to be alive.

“Funny Thing About A Hammer” was next followed by “Big Wheels” roll slow, classic truck driver song. You cannot beat those good old fashioned truck driver songs no matter what era. The title track from his album called “That’s All There Is (And There Ain’t No more)” was next along with a song that describes my lunch hour at work..”Nashville Tennessee At 3 a.m.”

“Same To Me” from the second album and “They Know My name” from the first album were next, and one of the last songs I caught of theirs was “Coal Train Blues”. All in All this was by far one of the best sets of my weekend so far, however as of the time of writing this I still have today’s showcases to catch.

The Lucky Stars were also amazing here tonight, playing songs like “Shapes And Sizes” and another called “Hot Potato” this classic Western Swing band consists of Mr. Sage Guyton on vocals, Mr. Rusty Blake on steel guitar, Mr. Wally Hersom, Mr. Andy Weinstein, and Mr. Andy Bean.

“100 Dollars And No Sense” was a song about partying and drinking your paycheck away, and not caring about it at all..all of their songs feature some terrific steel and fiddle work, complete with cowbell. If you truly Western Swing Music like I do this band is for you.

“Feelin’ It” was next followed by a song called “It’s All Your Fault” , and a song off their 2000 album “Hollywood And Western” called “Get Off Your High Horse”. Another truly funny song was their song called “She’s The Quarter Horse Type Of Gal”. They also included in their set the songs “That’s What I Like About The South”, “Real Good Lookin”, and their final song was called “Sugar Mamma”.

This next young lady brought home the Outlaw Female award, which like the rest of them I shall focus on here in just a little bit. I have a pretty funny story from later tonight I ubered back to the Travelodge singing Amazing Grace at midnight with some of the Revves Brothers, with a VERY kind driver. We tipped her beyond well, and she deserved every penny, when I write a book this shall indeed make one of the stories.

Miss Summer Dean played a DAMN FINE SET with the Reeves Brothers. Her first song was called “Picket Fence”, and quickly got my attention on her vocals. Her debut EP called “Unladylike” is just a small taste of what will be coming in 2019, when she releases her full album.

“Queen Of The Clowns” was a very good song, and although I’m sure that some of the songs are new ones that have yet to be recorded, I’ll report on the ones I did know about. “A Heartache I Can Use” was a terrific shuffle song that got people up on the dance floor. It is always fun for me to watch all the dancing even though I don’t really do it myself.

She covered the Roseanne Cash song ‘Seven Year Ache” from the 1980 album of the same name, as well as two other covers. One was the Ernest Tubb song called “Driving Nails In My Coffin”, the 1946 powerhouse hit that was also recorded by other people. It was originally on her ninth album called TNT in 1978, and she concluded her set with “Alabama ( Can I Call You Hank)”.

I took the shuttle bus down to Beale Street and the showcases that were at the Blues City Cafe, and I had the opportunity to eat Memphis ribs there. I was GREATLY satisfied with the rack of ribs and the service I got there, my waitress was VERY friendly and sweet. It was VERY crowded in there and was difficult to get pictures and take notes simultaneously, so I just took pictures of Mr. Casey James Prestwood who was included on one of my TOP 50 OF 2017 from one of the hotel lobby parties.

“King Of Losers” was one of the songs of the 2017 album “Born Too Late”, and his set was absolutely amazing. In fact it was one of the better sets of this weekend. “Good Ones” was from his 2013 ‘Honky Tonk Bastard World” album, as well as his title track called “Born Too Late”.

“Beer Tear Saturday Night” is just one of his Honky Tonk shuffle songs that talk about one of our favorite subjects…drinking beer….and crying in it. I’ll be honest here, it just simply doesn’t get any better than Mr. Casey when it comes to heartache and pain. I’m very glad I got to be invited tonight into his “Honky Tonk Bastard World”..

“Don’t Let It Die” was from his new album, which I hope it doesn’t die, and I hope that he has some new material coming in the next year or so. “Sorry In Advance” is a well written song and one of my favorites, however the closing songs like a new one like “Wine Drunk” and a song by Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris.

Well now, let’s talk about another new band that just formed in January of 2018, and brought home the 2019 Western Swing Group award called Big Cedar Fever.  This energetic trio is based out of Austin Texas, and consists of Miss Georgia Parker on guitar, Mr. Ira Lee on fiddle, and Mr. Nick Lochman on the upright bass.

Their cover of the classic song called “Oklahoma Hills” was nothing short of exquisite and precise on every note in my opinion. I admired the instrumental portions of their set as they traded lead duties quite readily, and also the obscurity of some of their cover songs such as “The Girl I Left behind Me”. My favorite version of that was by Jim And Jesse McReynolds.

One of their new songs was played tonight called ‘Diner”, however I didn’t really get to catch as many of the sets here that I wanted to because of the space available. I’ll be completely honest, I couldn’t do that cramped of a venue. I needed to return to the hotel for the Kim Lenz Release Party.

Speaking of parties, the music was all over and not just on the stages. Whatever artists you enjoyed most, many of them were playing impromptu sessions all over the place. It just didn’t matter where you were, all weekend long there was music and friendships forming. That’s the great thing about music festivals and conventions, or events like this one. I myself made some awesome contacts and new friends, and I do EVERY year here. Wait until I tell you all about this man here..and I shall in part 2.


News On The GREAT Mr. Billy Strings…

 News  Comments Off on News On The GREAT Mr. Billy Strings…
Feb 102019

HEY EVERYONE I recently caught up seeing Mr. billy Strings if you’ll remember in Nashville at 3rd And Lindsley and you can read about that HERE. He is going to be making an Opry appearance on March 2nd, and I am planning on taking a ride down to see him perform if I possibly can.  In addition to that, on June 20th he shall perform at the Ryman as part of Bluegrass Nights At The Ryman.

He obtained the nickname Billy Strings from his aunt who inspired him, and saw his potential in many traditonal  Bluegrass instruments. His stepfather, Terry Barber, was a picker in the Michigan bluegrass scene, although he never played professionally. Barber was a heavy influence on his son, introducing him to traditional bluegrass at a young age. He has been burning up the roads like he burns up guitar strings, and also releasing new videos, I wanted to take some time to share them with you from his official press release:


Back in September we promised to release a new video on YouTube when we hit a daunting 3,000 subscribers on the Tube. At the time, we were at 1,200 subscribers or so, and are overjoyed to report that we surpassed our goal of 3,000 subscribers today!

We’re so very grateful for your support in helping us achieve this milestone, and are happily posting not one, not two, but THREE new live videos as a token of our appreciation.

We have some big plans for 2019, and you can surely expect some more action on YouTube in the near future. So, thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing, liking, upvoting, retweeting, bleating and herding.

Billy Strings – Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) [Bob Dylan]
Live from Antone’s – 11/8/18
Video by Dal Davis
Billy Strings – Little Maggie (Stanley Brothers)
Live from YarmonyGrass – 8/11/18
Video by Anne Leocha Friant
Billy Strings – Black Clouds (String Cheese Incident)
Live from Antones – 11/8/18
Video by Dal Davis


  • 08FEB’19

    DETROIT, MIDoors at 7:00 pm

    VENUEThe Fillmore Detroit



  • 09FEB’19

    DETROIT, MIDoors at 7:00pm

    VENUEThe Fillmore Detroit



  • 13FEB’19

    RIDGEFIELD, CTSolo Performance

    VENUEThe Ridgefield Playhouse



  • 14FEB’19

    STORRS, CTSolo Performance

    VENUEJorgensen Auditorium



  • 15FEB’19

    BOSTON, MASolo Performance

    VENUEHouse of Blues Boston



  • 16FEB’19

    PRINCETON, NJSolo Performance

    VENUEMcCarter Theatre



  • 17FEB’19

    WILMINGTON, DESolo Performance

    VENUEThe Grand Opera House



  • 22FEB’19

    BELLEVUE, WAFebruary 21-24, 2019

    VENUEWintergrass Music Festival



  • 24FEB’19

    STEAMBOAT, COFebruary 22-24, 2019




  • 02MAR’19

    NASHVILLE, TNDoors at 7:00pm

    VENUEOpry House



  • 06MAR’19

    MEMPHIS, TNDoors at 7:00pm

    VENUE1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall



  • 07MAR’19

    BIRMINGHAM, ALDoors at 8:00pm




  • 08MAR’19

    JACKSON, MSDoors at 7:00pm

    VENUEDuling Hall



  • 09MAR’19

    LAKE CHARLES, LADoors at 7:00pm

    VENUEBulber Auditorium



  • 14MAR’19

    SPICEWOOD, TXDoors at 11:00am

    VENUEWillie Nelson’s Luck Texas Ranch



  • 21MAR’19

    PENSACOLA, FLDoors at 7:00pm

    VENUEVinyl Music Hall



  • 22MAR’19

    LIVE OAK, FLMarch 21-24, 2019

    VENUESuwannee Spring Reunion



  • 30MAR’19

    SQUAW VALLEY, CAMarch 29-31, 2019




  • 11APR’19

    LAS VEGAS, NVApril 11-14, 2019

    VENUEBender Jamboree



  • 12APR’19

    LAS VEGAS, NVApril 11-14, 2019

    VENUEBender Jamboree



  • 13APR’19

    LAS VEGAS, NVApril 11-14, 2019

    VENUEBender Jamboree



  • 14APR’19

    LAS VEGAS, NVApril 11-14, 2019

    VENUEBender Jamboree



  • 19APR’19

    ATLANTA, GAApril 19-21, 2019

    VENUESweetWater 420 Festival



  • 20APR’19

    ATLANTA, GAApril 19-21, 2019

    VENUESweetWater 420 Festival



  • 26APR’19

    DENVER, CODoors at 8:00pm

    VENUECervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom



  • 01MAY’19

    NEW ORLEANS, LADoors at 8:00pm




  • 24MAY’19

    CUMBERLAND, MDMay 23-26, 2019




  • 25MAY’19

    THORNVILLE, OHMay 24-26, 2019

    VENUEDark Star Jubilee



  • 26MAY’19

    MARTINSVILLE, VAMay 23-26, 2019

    VENUERooster Walk



  • 15JUN’19

    EAU CLAIRE, WIJune 13-15, 2019

    VENUEBlue Ox Music Festival



  • 20JUN’19

    NASHVILLE, TNDoors at 7:30pm

    VENUERyman Auditorium



  • 22JUN’19

    BEND, ORJune 20-23, 2019

    VENUE4 Peaks Music Festival



  • 27JUN’19

    OWENSBORO, KYJune 26-29, 2019




  • 28JUN’19

    NEW MARTINSVILLE, WVJune 28-30, 2019

    VENUEBack Home Appalachian Arts & Music Festival



  • 18JUL’19

    OAK HILL, NYJuly 18-21, 2019

    VENUEGrey Fox Bluegrass Festival



  • 19JUL’19

    OAK HILL, NYJuly 18-21, 2019

    VENUEGrey Fox Bluegrass Festival



  • 20JUL’19

    OAK HILL, NYJuly 18-21, 2019

    VENUEGrey Fox Bluegrass Festival



  • 25JUL’19

    SCRANTON, PAJuly 25-28, 2019

    VENUEPeach Music Festival



  • 28JUL’19

    NEWPORT, RIJuly 26-28, 2019

    VENUENewport Folk Fest



  • 31AUG’19

    PAGOSA SPRINGS, COAugust 30 – September 1, 2019

    VENUEFour Corners Folk Festival



  • 15SEP’19

    MORRISON, CODoors at 5:00pm

    VENUERed Rocks Amphitheatre



2019 Music Festivals: The Aiken Bluegrass Festival.

 News  Comments Off on 2019 Music Festivals: The Aiken Bluegrass Festival.
Feb 082019



Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Suwanee Spring Reunion
ROMP Festival

I began including this particular Festival in my series two years ago, and it one of many I following South Carolina. Now in it’s fifteenth year He Aiken Bluegrass Festival proves to be one of my most responded to Bluegrass Festivals in the East.

The Aiken Bluegrass Festival announces lineup
for fifteenth annual festival
Featuring Del McCoury Band, Billy Strings, Keller Williams, and more
February 5, 2019 – Aiken, SC – Bluegrass royalty, Del McCoury Band, will headline the 15th Aiken Bluegrass Festival on May 10th & 11th in Aiken, SC. The two-time GRAMMY winner, celebrating his 80th birthday this year, is at the top of a bill that brings the three-stage festival back to the roots of bluegrass, while simultaneously celebrating the bright future of the genre. The full lineup includes red-hot Billy Strings, Keller Williams’ string band collaboration, Keller and the Keels, the 14th ABF appearance of Larry Keel Experience, hard-driving Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, groovy and soulful Cris Jacobs, the dynamic voice of Lindsay Lou, and rowdy North Carolinians, Town Mountain.  Brad Parsons & Starbird, Kitchen Dwellers, Tenth Mountain Division, Kyle Tuttle Band, Benny Galloway, Artist-at-large Zebulon Bowles, DJ Bontzilla, and Doug & The Henrys round out the lineup. In addition to performing, Benny Galloway will return as main stage emcee, along with new emcee, Kyle Tuttle.
The Aiken Bluegrass Festival is known for unique collaborations and this year is no exception as Billy Strings’ Psychedelic Circus returns with help from the Cris Jacobs Band. In addition, ABF will host Terrapin Mountain for the “Old and In The Way” tribute, a special-guest-loaded full band set from Kyle Tuttle, and the new and improved Campfire Stage, hosted by Benny Galloway, will host performances right in the campground.
The festival will be held at the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds (561 May Royal Drive in Aiken, SC) and is conveniently located close to many major cities; a less than 30-minute drive from Augusta, 2.5 hours from Atlanta and Charleston, and 3 hours from Asheville. On-site tent camping is available, as well as a deluxe RV area with power, water, and sewer. Primitive RV sites (no hookups) are also available. For those not wishing to camp, the city of Aiken has many lodging options at a variety of price points. For more information on camping, which is separately ticketed, please visit the ticketing tab on the ABF website.
The kid’s area, a festival favorite for many families last year, is back again with an expansion of the bouncy house playground, providing additional activity areas for music fans of all ages.
Stay tuned for a complete list of food and drink vendors, satisfying vegans to carnivores, and details on the craft vendors that will be on-site. Applications are now being accepted, click here for more information.
Gates to the fairground open at 10 am and main festival gates will open at 2 pm on Friday, May 10th.
Tickets are on sale now at and in the Aiken area at The Alley Downtown Taproom. Buy early to take advantage of Early Bird pricing on GA wristbands as pricing increases after Feb. 14th. A limited number of LOVE VIP packages are available, perks include early entry (Thursday) camping, 2 private cash bars, side stage viewing areas, a backstage Bloodys & Brunch event (with an acoustic performance and a catered meal/open bar), and a VIP-only screen printed festival poster.
More about the Aiken Bluegrass Festival:
The Aiken Bluegrass Festival was started 15 years ago by Steve and Jeannie Groat as a fundraiser for a local therapeutic horseback riding program, Star Riding. We are happy to continue that tradition this year with our partnership with Great Oak Therapeutic Riding. Since its inaugural year, the festival has twice outgrown its confines and now finds its home at the Western Carolina State Fairground. ABF has brought an array of bluegrass artists to Aiken through the years including Peter Rowan, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Greensky Bluegrass. Aiken Bluegrass Festival has its roots in traditional bluegrass and this year’s lineup boasts a bridge from bluegrass founder Bill Monroe to current and future superstars.

Trust me for the ticket price this is one of the more reasonable festivals of it’s kind. However when you buy tickets remember you MUST purchase a seperate primitave camping pass, but it’s only 5.00 per person. Coolers are NOT permitted in the stage areas only at your campsite, so you’ll have to buy beer at the vendor tents.
THIS LINK will take you to a nice list of local area hotels for staying for the festival if you are like me and cannot camp.

This festival is very special overall and in their community as well, because they benefit a great cause and bring in a lot of revenue for the state of South Carolina.

Bluegrass Hall Of Fame And Museum Announces Spring Concert Series.

 News  Comments Off on Bluegrass Hall Of Fame And Museum Announces Spring Concert Series.
Dec 302018

3/9 – Steep Canyon Rangers
3/16 – Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
3/23 – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
3/30 – Dailey & Vincent
4/6 – The Isaacs
4/12 – Sierra Hull

2019 Festival News Series: Merlefest.

 News  Comments Off on 2019 Festival News Series: Merlefest.
Nov 162018

Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival

Merlefest is one of my favorite festivals to provide information for, although I have never
covered this festival in person. However THIS YEAR I plan to fix that statement as I HAVE applied for a press pass to bring this action to your home!

In my usual true journalistic style I SHALL ATTEMPT to bring all the action to your doorstep here from North Carolina this spring.

MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2019, which will be held April 25-28. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2019 will be announced over the next few months.
The 2019 Late Night Jam on Saturday, April 27th will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with host Chatham County Line. This very popular after-hours hootenanny in the Walker Center gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history.
Ticket sales for both the festival and Late Night Jam are on sale now.
Wynonna & The Big Noise: Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30-million albums worldwide spanning her remarkable 35-year career. As one-half of the legendary mother/daughter duo “The Judds,” Wynonna was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”
Keb’ Mo’: Over the past two decades, award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’, has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. His most recent studio project TajMo, a collaboration with the legendary Taj Mahal, won the 2018 GRAMMY for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Additionally, at the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards, TajMo earned Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and Keb’ Mo’ also took home the title of Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year.
The Earls of Leicester: When The Earls of Leicester formed in 2013, their mission was ambitious but exact: to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, in hopes of reviving the duo’s music for long time admirers and introducing a new generation to their genre-defining sound. Within a year of releasing their self-titled debut, the Nashville-based six-piece far surpassed their own expectations, winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and earning six awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Now, with their first live album, The Earls of Leicester offer up a selection of songs that fully capture the pure joy and supreme musicianship that propel their every performance.
Sam Bush: From teen fiddle champion to groundbreaking mandolinist, there is only one Sam Bush. The son of Kentucky reared on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass came of age in the counterculture cyclone of the late ‘60s. In the genre’s outsiders like the Osborne Brothers and The Dillards, Bush heard the future, and by the dawn of the 1970s was leading his own New Grass Revival, driven by the power of rock-and-roll and the freedom of improvisational jazz. Bush and his hippie co-conspirators changed the bluegrass landscape, touring with Leon Russell, winning fans at festivals across the country, and recording Grammy-winning songs. At the group’s peak, after taking aim at the top of the Country charts, Bush walked away.
Tyler Childers: Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut,Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold. The album, co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, is a semi-autobiographical sketch of Childers’ growth from wayward youth to happily married man, told in the tradition of a Southern gothic novel with a classic noir anti-hero who may just be irredeemable.
Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force: Grammy-award winner Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of recordings, collaborative projects, and constant touring. The late ‘60s and early 70’s saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner, and the Rowans, where he played alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan.
“MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2019 lineup, commemorating the 32nd year of the festival. MerleFest continues its tradition of honoring the tried and true performers that our MerleFest fans have come to know and love like Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, and The Kruger Brothers and adding to them some of the top traditional plus acts performing today like Tyler Childers, Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Lindsay Craven, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager.
The full initial lineup includes the following:
We are thrilled to announce our initial 2019 lineup! Wynonna and The Big Noise, Tyler ChildersKeb’ Mo’Jerry DouglasEarls of LeicesterSam BushPeter Rowan and The Free Mexican Airforce, Jim LauderdaleScythianKruger BrothersGibson Brothers MusicThe Black LilliesRadney FosterJunior SiskChatham County LineDonna the BuffaloMark O’ConnorThe WaybacksYarn, T. Michael Coleman, Jim AvettJunior Brown Fan PageElephant SessionsCane Mill RoadSalt and LightThe Trailblazers, Wayne Henderson, Presley BarkerLaura BoosingerJeff Little/Jeff Little Trio, Jack Lawrence, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, String MadnessPete WernickThe Harris Brothers, Tony Williamson, The InterACTive Theater of Jef, Driftwood, Roy Book Binder, Joe Smothers, Jess Morgan, Jontavious Willis and Andrew Alli, Happy TraumIrish Wren MythenDavid LaMotteAmerican Aquarium, Bob Hill, Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Elizabeth CookGordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Larry Stephenson Band, Lindi Ortega, B Townes, Professor Whizzpop, Nixon, Blevins and gage, Mile Twelve, Si Kahn, Steve PoltzTodd Albright, Tom Feldman, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, The Local Boys, Shane HennessyMaybe April, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles, Dirk Powell Band, Carolina Blue, AZTEC SUN, Ken Crouse, Catfish Keith, Michaela Anne, Webb Wilder and our very own Flattop!
Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible


MerleFest Adds Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers to 2019 Lineup
Tickets on Sale Now
WILKESBORO, N.C. (Dec. 10, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, April 25-28.
Brandi Carlile: GRAMMY-nominated Brandi Carlile is currently celebrating her breakthrough new album, By The Way, I Forgive You, which debuted earlier this year at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Current Albums chart, Rock Albums chart and Americana/Folk Albums chart and Number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart—a career high for the Seattle-based group. Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, the album continues to receive overwhelming acclaim, including recent “Best Albums of 2018” coverage at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, NPR Music and more.
Most recently, Carlile joined forces with Sam Smith on a new duet version of “Party Of One.” Recorded at L.A.’s Capitol Studios, a portion of the profits from this recording will be donated to Children in Conflict via Brandi Carlile’s Looking Out Foundation as part of its ongoing campaign to raise $1 million for children impacted by war.
Beloved by fans and critics alike, Carlile has performed sold-out concerts across the world and has appeared on various TV shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Conan and CBS This Morning. Carlile will perform on Saturday evening at MerleFest.
Dailey & Vincent: Grand Ole Opry Members, Five-time GRAMMY award winners individually, three-time GRAMMY award nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award winners, and winners of 35 IBMA Awards altogether (including 3-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners and 3-Time Vocal Group of the Year Award winners), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, backed by one of the best bands on tour today, are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music; bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music. Now on Season 3 of their nationally broadcast television series, “The Dailey & Vincent Show on RFD-TV,” Dailey & Vincent bring their music to a national audience on a weekly basis. After a decade spent performing together and with over 1,000 airings of their PBS special “Dailey & Vincent ALIVE – In Concert,” their concoction of fantastically instinctive vocal blends of Dailey’s tenor and Vincent’s reedy harmonies has gained them well-deserved praise for their own distinctive style and worldwide recognition as American Music gold. Their most recent live CD, Dailey & Vincent ALIVE, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts and remained at the top position for over 15 weeks.Dailey & Vincent will appear on Thursday at MerleFest.
The Brother Brothers: The Brother Brothers are Adam and David Moss, identical twins carrying on the folk tradition for a new generation. Using minimal instrumentation, heartfelt lyricism, and harmonies so natural they seem to blend into one beautiful voice, the siblings draw on the energy and creativity of Brooklyn, New York for their full-length debut album, Some People I Know. The Brother Brothers will make their MerleFest debut on Saturday.
“For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the 4 day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2019 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers and we look forward to another successful festival in April.” The three artists announced today join over 75 artistsannounced last month via Rolling Stone Country. Headliners include Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’, The Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, Tyler Childers, and Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force. The Late Night Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation will be hosted by Chatham County Line. In addition to the above mentioned artists, the following will be performing at MerleFest ‘19:


Now in its 27th year, CASC is an extraordinary opportunity for songwriters to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.
All entries received from now until NOVEMBER 30 will receive an early entry discount price of $25 per entry, while submissions received in December and January will require a $30 fee per entry. All lyrics must be written in English and no instrumental entries will be accepted. The final deadline to enter is February 1, 2019.
Aspiring songwriters may submit entries to the contest using the online entry form or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697.
Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, which takes place Friday, April 26, during MerleFest. First place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 20-30 minute set on Saturday morning or afternoon.
New for this year, Saloon Studios will provide recording sessions for the four 1st place CASC winners…
  • Saloon Studios will invite the CASC winners to join Saloon Studios for a live performance at one of their upcoming shows
  • CASC winners will either be opening acts or may be paired for a Rising Stars show on Saloon Studios performance show
  • Saloon Studios will provide each CASC winner with the unmastered audio and video recording from that performance to use at their discretion. Saloon Studios will retain a copy of that performance and may also use it at their discretion
  • Saloon Studios is an intimate, close-up experience where artists perform in a 100-seat, mid-nineteenth century saloon replica with state-of-the-art sound technology.
In addition, D’Addario will host a mentoring session after the contest takes place on MerleFest Friday. MerleFest and D’Addario will LiveStream the contest via official Facebook channels.
“We are extremely proud of the career successes achieved by many CASC alumni. Among these are Gillian Welch (1993), David Via (1997, 2001), Johnny Williams (1998, 1999), Tift Merritt (2000), Becky Buller (2001), Michael Reno Harrell (2003), Adrienne Young (2003), Martha Scanlan (2003), Sam Quinn (2006) and Jeanette Williams (2007),” said Lee K. Cornett, coordinator of MerleFest’s CASC. “More recent alumni include Lara Lynn (2011) and Gary Alan Ferguson (2014). Other recent discoveries from the contest are Melody Walker of Front Country and Joseph Terrell of Mipso. I encourage all songwriters to put the final touches on your masterpiece and submit it to the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest!”
Net proceeds from the contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded over $42,500 to deserving students. For contest rules, ways to enter, and more details about the contest, visit our website.
Oct 272018

My regular readers know all about the Grand Opening Of The Bluegrass Hall Of Fame that is currently transpiring in Owensboro Kentucky (home of ROMP). There is a lot of partying up there with bands and workshops, I haven’t had the chance to go visit YET….oh do not worry folks I have BIG PLANS to cover this institution, and other happenings there in the future, but with all of the things happening at BOTH this one and the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, Mr. Ricky Skaggs has a LOT to be proud of!

So allow me to backpedal into the spring of this year while I was concentrating on Memphis and the Ameripolitan Awards the Hall Of Fame was bustling as to WHO would be inducted in 2018?
The time finally came to see Mr. Ricky Skaggs, Miss Dottie West and Mr. Johnny Gimble inducted.

He was heralded and honored this year at the Hall Of Fame as he was handed Mr. Bill Monroe’s actual mandolin, a sixty five year old pillar of the very foundation of the father of Bluegrass that permanently resides within the walls of the Hall Of Fame. He and Mr. Garth brooks began trading vocals on the versus of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, which is the traditional song that closes said event yearly.

Being a former member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys at a VERY YOUNG age, he personally promised the Legend that he would do all he could to uphold and maintain the genre of Bluegrass music after Mr. Bill passed away. I firmly think that he would be extremely proud of Mr. Ricky after his 2018 accomplishments.

Then just a few months after this happened it was announced on Sirius XM during alive broadcast of the Bluegrass Junction program that he had been also inducted into the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame Calls Of 2018. Along with Mr. Paul Williams, and Mr. Tom T. And Miss Dixie Hall.

In 1997 he founded and formed his own label called Skaggs Family Records and has released MANY great Bluegrass albums, after a short stint in the Country Music genre. Much like Mr. Ernest Tubb did for Country Music, Mr. Ricky Skaggs is nurturing the careers of many artists on his label.

Fast forward to today where he is playing two dates at the IBMA Hall Of Fame in November for tickets please click the link below!

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is thrilled to announce 15 -time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs will perform two dates in Woodward Theatre:
  • Friday, November 16th, 2018
  • Saturday, November 17th, 2018
A life full of music.  That’s the story of Ricky Skaggs.  By age 21, he was already considered a “recognized master” of one of America’s most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music.  His life’s path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.
Skaggs, a Kentucky native, is part of the recently announced 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Hall of Fame induction class, in addition to his recent induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  
Doors open at 7 pm, shows begin at 8 pm.
Tickets are on sale now!
Buy Tickets
Sep 232018

Welcome to part 2 of my Muddy Roots coverage, I hope you have been enjoying this labor of love I have been doing for many years for my old friend Mr. Jason. I’ll be honest here people, I do this for MANY festivals, but Mr. Jason is special to me because I could call him for help anytime and I KNOW he would come help me. I know he would come take me to a doctor appointment or pick my stranded vehicle up if I called him. He just had a baby girl everybody so PLEASE go hop on over to send him some love.

I DO have to criticize him now though on one aspect he changed and I found difficult to deal with, that was the format of the entire festival program. This year it was not all together and was harder to use on the fly, at least for me. I spoke to several others who also concurred with me on that issue.

One thing he changed I DID appreciate was they closed the tower on the wood stage to media ONLY, and during the Goddamn Gallows THAT saved my ass from being crushed by thousands of frenzied fans. I’m going to skip around on the afternoon acts here, because I was so enthused by the new discoveries I couldn’t remember which ones were what time.

Miss Sasha Kaleidoscopia Vallely, Miss Nikki Speake and Mr.Pietro DiGennaro make up this next band that hails from Atlanta Georgia, and they are called The Midnight Larks. They play some mighty fine rock and roll music here, they describe themselves as Surf noir, dark country, garage psych rock.

“Gunfighter” was one of their 2017 singles they released, and then they pretty much went down into their entire album here today. They had some pretty good harmonies, and I think they complimented the rest of the lineup on the early stages very well. “Loner” was a pretty good song here, which was what they were playing when I jotted this portion of the article down.

“Darli’n” was another song they played with VERY good harmonies and sound, I strongly suggest you go pick up their album and check them out on I tunes, or wherever you buy music from. “Shady”, “Shameless Child” and “Drawing Out the Flame” were also played here tonight in their set.

‘Summer Of The Preacher” was my favorite song out of their set, and as I began to mosey onward into the rain for other bands I heard them play songs like “Moontown” and ‘Endless Valley”. This trio really has a unique sound together, and I really couldn’t fit it into any genre myself, it’s just damn good music!

This whole idea for my website is pretty much for that reason, to talk about music I enjoy. I myself have music I don’t care for that I usually simply omit from my articles. it’s NOT MEANT to offend anyone that IS a fan, IN FACT I would rather just respectfully admit I don’t care for it to the fans instead of bashing it to my own fans.

I headed over to the wood stage for one of my personal favorite Muddy Roots alumni bands called The Goddamn Gallows who released a GREAT album in 2018 called The Trial. Now, this album contained a remake of the Mr. Jayke Orvis single called ‘Dreadful Sinner”. You can find the original version on his second solo album called ‘it’s All Been Said’.

The wood stage area began to fill up QUICKLY, and I mean FILL UP. I was VERY grateful they gave the media the tower this year, and as I learned about zoom lenses this weekend, I had FUN up there! The crowd began to get extremely rowdy before the show even began!

“Gutterbilly Blues” from the 2007 album of the same name is one of the first songs they played, Also, “City Of Hell-A” I’m pretty sure was included, from Ghost Of The Rails album. The next song was called ‘Sidewalk Slammer” from my favorite album called 7 Devils, but perhaps the next song called “Pass Me The Bottle” was one of their more well known songs.

The show got absolutely insane, and I’m glad of two things for the media’s sake. 1. IT WAS EARLY BEFORE EVERYONE WAS DRUNK and 2. THE MEDIA TOWER WAS CLEAR. BUT I WILL say that watching the Goddamn Gallows unleash their fury upon crowds is amazing and FUN.

The band consists of Mr. Courtney on upright bass or Fishgutzzz, Mr. Mikey Classic on lead vocals and guitar, Mr. Uriah Baker or the Baby Genius on drums and lead vocals on “In League With Satan” (not on this set that I remember) and Mr. Jayke Orvis on banjo, mandolin and vocals.

Off 7 Devils they played ‘Ragz And Bones” and also off the Swappin Spit album they brought out Mr. Gary Lindsay from Black Eyed Vermillion to play “Born To Lie” with them. THEN THE BEST ONE CAME called ‘Ya’ll Motherfuckers Need Jesus”. That pretty much brings out all of our fury to go nuts on that one.

“7 Devils” was next followed by the song called “load Yer Guns’ off the 2014 the Maker album. Now, they went to their new album called The Trial with a song called “Down With the Ship”. Toward the end of their set, they called out the entire group of the New blood Tubs, which is a great bunch of guys and gals that have a firearm  club associated with the Muddy crowd.

They have always been truly nice to me, and even though I do not get to see them as often as I’d like to, they always remember me and appreciate my work.  Sadly, they lost their brother Mr. Mikey this spring to health issues during his sleep. We spoke often about medical issues, the two of us online and in person. I have many things in common with the NBT including my love for firearms, and firearm safety.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how many of them exist, and I haven’t truly met all of them but the Gallows are members of their group, and they wanted to bring them out to have a brief party for their fallen members by spreading their ashes onto the crown during the set, and having an onstage mosh pit!

It truly WAS INDEED a fun and touching tribute for their loved ones, and as they played “City Of Fools’ from the new album we all remembered Mr. Mikey in the fashion HE WOULD HAVE WANTED….beers flying, shoes flying, people flying and FUCK THE WORLD!

“Raise The Moon” was next, WE ALL KNOW THAT HE’S COMING SOON,  and after that Mr. Jayke played “Dreadful Sinner” as I previously stated.  One of the pinnacles of their show, was the new song called “Shitwish” which I like, because I used to say that to my daughter ALL THE TIME. Wish in one hand and shit in the other, which one fills up first.

This was the memorial they had, and the spreading of the ashes into the audience that afternoon and I’m very thankful that I was allowed to document this portion of the event here at the Junebug Ranch. I think I used a pretty good opportunity to play with my new camera as the action commenced this afternoon.

The Gallows ended their set with “The Maker” and another from the same album called “Howli’n Winds”. It will probably be a few months before I run into this band again on here, so folks enjoy this while you can. Mosey on over to their website and purchase some stuff from the band..and tell them I sent you!

All the while they were playing I had my new friend up here in the tower mr. T Rex making fun of me. He was a real pesky nuisance (not really), he was defiantly here to PARTY!

I wandered around a while to gather my notes and rest awhile, this heat was absolutely draining me. In fact all year the heat has been draining my energy, I cannot wait until the fall weather comes finally. All of these summer jobs have been absolutely draining this year.

I got to meander past another one of the stages, where I got to catch Miss Rachel Kate play some of her set including songs like “Dancing Shoes” and the other one I recognized was “Hell Is Your Home”. I stopped to get a bite to eat and visit with my Rusty Knuckles friends before the next big major show of the night for me, O’l Munley and his crew!

My next act I covered was called Slim Cessna’s Auto Club which always puts on a terrific show, that draws a HUGE crowd.  This is a very unique band from Denver Colorado that has two lead singers named Mr. Slim Cessna and Mr. Munley Munley, and they take turns hurling insults and lyrics at each other.

One of the BEST bands in the local touring circuit they absolutely captivate the heathens and covert lost souls to follow “Commandment Number 7” and that is THERE IS A HOLE! Their second song was called “Mouth’s Gone Dry”.

As both Mr. Slim and Mr. Munley  brought forth their tales of doom and darkness smothered with Heaven’s light and redemption, we jammed in the heat to songs like “Americadio” and enjoyed Mr. Slim’s romp through the audience along with Mr. Munly strangling himself with his cord.

Their song called “Magalina Hagalina Boom Boom” from the SCAC 102 album preceded that ordeal as they began to bring us heathens the gospel, fitting this show should happen in a revival tent. As their next song was “Jesus In My Body, My Body Has Let Me Down”.

‘Thy Will Be Done”  or ‘Commandment 4″ was next with no shortage of razor sharp guitar strikes and steel guitar laced, keyboard filled madness. SCAC wrapped up their set with “This Is How We Do Things In The Country”, which is by far one of my favorite songs they play.

There certainly isn’t enough stage for those two guys to dance around and go crazy upon one another up there. I enjoy their energetic show, every time they appear at Muddy Roots. Their last songs I noticed were “Port Authority Band” and they finished with ‘That Fierce Cow Is Common Sense In a Country Dress”. Once again courtesy of our friends over at Hobolight Photography for some of these following pictures.

I went to bed early Saturday and I missed a few of the later sets that day, but Sunday I was up EARLY to have a nice breakfast at Scooter’s bar, and do a little shopping at noon when most of the vendors opened. OF COURSE I HAD to hit the Third Man Records rolling record store. I bought the new Margo Price album and some stickers.

This was definitely a record year for attendance at this festival in my opinion. I haven’t spoke with Mr. Jason on official turnout and numbers, but he did say there were around 1200 NEW ticket purchases. I know I’d like to THANK some of the guys from work that came for the first time.

So on Sunday on the wood stage comes a band I wanted to spend quite a bit of time on called Grassfed, and they hail from the Kansas City area. They are wildly popular in my Kansas City scene friends community and frequent the Westport Saloon. Mr. Jake Keegan sent me their new album not long ago, and I waited until now to tell you about it. If YOU LIKE what you see, go download it!

This band absolutely blew my mind folks, they have LIGHTNING FAST chops and play like a tightly wound well oiled machine. In fact this new album might just be TOP 50 material, I’m NOT KIDDING you people, this band is VASTLY overlooked.

Their new album is a bit autobiographical and brings us closer to the band itself, with songs like “Stacking Up Dimes” and “Gone, And I Ain’t Coming Back”. This grassroots Bluegrass band can definitely hold their own in the solo department, with some mighty fine licks on the dobro and guitar.

The band consists of my friend Mr. Jake Keegan on dobro, his brother Mr. Josh Keegan on guitar and Mr. Cameron Keeling on the upright bass. They also played off the new album called Moovin Down The Road the song called “Gas Tank”.

New Album Tracklist:

1.Chili Dog
2.Not So Lonesome
3.Dear Lyla
4.Stacking Up Dimes
5. Way Down The River Bend
6.Gas Tank
7.Gone,And I Ain’t Coming Back
8.Long Hard Winter
9.Little Maggie
10.Yard Work

In come the Smoky White Devils a rock band from Nashville consisting of Mr. Richie Owens (also has the band Farm Bureau) with bassist John Reed and guitarist Mr. Nick Kane. Their drummer is Mr. Mike Ferguson and together they make up the side band that Mr. Richie does.

I’ll always remember the pleasant conversation he and I had at Muddy many years ago about Mr. Riley Puckett, and other prominent Country Music historical figures. I got to see them perform songs like “See You On the Other Side” and a few more.

I truly enjoy Mr. Richie’s signature slide guitar rock music, and he always brings a damn fine band along with him on the stage every time I get to see him.  One of their signature songs called “Goin Down South” was played today on their set. I could easily tell that this band was an early favorite for my Muddy friends each year.

Other songs they played included “She Thinks She Runs This Town” and another called “PaPa John”. So the next time you are around the 5 Spot in Nashville or any local area go check out this man and his bands, you’ll readily agree that he has good music.

I am extremely exited today to bring you the rest of these wonderful bands I am about to cover here. One of them is a GREAT band from Chapel Hill North Carolina called Sarah Shook And The Disarmers. She recently released an album on the Bloodshot Records label called Years, and I promise you that it WILL BE on our TOP 50 of 2018.

I haven’t ran into her since last year when W.B. Walker had her on his fourth anniversary show in West Virginia, and back then she had some lineup changes. But now her band is completely secure and sounds absolutely KILLER together with the lineup of  Miss Sarah Shook – songwriter, vocals, rhythm guitar Mr. Eric Peterson – Electric guitar Mr. Aaron Oliva – Upright bass and Mr. Phil Sullivan – Pedal Steel.

She started her set with a song off her new album Years called “Good As Gold” , and moved to her album Sidelong to play the song called “Heal Me”. The next song called “Parting Words” displays some truly fine steel guitar work from her band.

Even in the direct sunlight heat this band was absolutely ON POINT this weekend, standing in the heat playing. It was so hot all the bands had to stop to take water breaks. The next song called “Fuck Up” was from the album Sidelong including the song “Nothin Feels Right But Doin Wrong”.

“Lesson” was another song included tonight in her set, as well as “Keep The Home Fires Burning” from her first album. You know, she doesn’t really move around much onstage, but still has a really good ambiance up there. I was truly impressed with her for not even needing to move around to keep everyone’s attention.

Now “Dwight Yoakam” does indeed move around a LOT, and that’s a good song there, and she closed her set with the song called “New Way To Fail”. I wandered around a little bit to the third stage to catch this Ohio based band with my friends called The Tillers.

I HAD TO go stop and see my friends Mr. Chase Humphrey and his lovely wife Miss Lauren, whom own and operate the Music City Wienery. They have some of the BEST bratwursts I have ever eaten! Then I went on over to the merch booth to buy some shirts and stickers. I’m ALL ABOUT band stickers.

Mr. Michael Oberst on vocals and banjo, Mr. Joe Macheret on fiddle, and brothers Mr. Sean and Mr. Aaron Geil make up the Ohio based quartet The Tillers. Perhaps one of Roots Music’s finest original bands, I view the LIVE at the Southgate House in 2012 as one of the integral Roots albums of all time.

“Revolution Row” was a song from the new self titled album, along with the next song called the “Riverboat Dishwashing Song”. Now folks this band will indeed be on my next festival coverage series from last weekend as well, where they played another stellar set!

“Like A Hole In My Head” was next followed by “Dear Mother”, so we got a pretty good taste of the entire direction of their new album here today. It’s been a few years since their 2013 release  called Hand On The Plow, with some wonderful new songs!

One of the only covers on their new album is called ‘All You Fascists Bound To Loose” and their next song was one that featured Mr. J.D Wilkes from the Shack Shakers fame called “I Gotta Move”. The last two songs of their set was from the album Hand On The Plow, one of them was called “Road Never Ending” and they closed their set with a song called “500 Miles”.

Mr. Joshua Black Wilkins is one of the few that I can say so many great things about personally. He is one of the nicest folks in the business I have ever run into, and one of the most talented. I have been messing with my new camera all weekend, just infatuated with new attachments for it and the science of lenses and such.

He is A VERY talented photographer, and his work is featured on many television shows and magazines. I look up to him as an artist, and I admire his passion to get others off their ass to vote. Even though I wouldn’t agree with everything we discussed on politics I would have a LOT of respect for his passion.

Musically, he has recorded a TON of albums and songs for the MANY years he has been performing shows. The first song he played was called “Bury Me Not” from the album called Rogue. He brought his rough around the edges harmonica laced music to Muddy Roots once again, with serious grit.

The next song called “Western” was on his album called Fair Weather, and from one of his very early albums called 17th And Shelby I remember him playing the song called “Sucker Punch”. I did have to cut his set short for me to go back to my camper and take some more insulin for the evening.

I got to hear him play “I Tremble” and the song “I Heard You Whisper” was on the album Settling The Dust, that’s the vinyl of his that I own, and it needs to be played on a different speed. I thought that was quite unique. I also jotted down the song “Church On a Hill” from an album called The girlfriend Sessions.

Left Lane Cruiser is another Roots band that quickly fills up the Muddy tent wherever they play, the last time I ran across them was in Chicago at Moonrunners last year. This Fort Wayne Indiana high powered duo always puts on a damn fine show.

Mr. Freddy J and Pete Dio have been around since 2004, and were included in the first few Roots bands we had. Of course they played “Black Betty” and some Muddy Waters tunes, while rocking out to some hellacious guitar solos.

As they continued their alcohol fueled insanity of punishing their instruments they played a Jimbo Mathus song called “Mule Plow Line”. Mr Jmibo was a co founder of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and has been a Roots Music Legend .

They played “Claw Machine Wizard” the title track of their 2017 new album of the same name. I didn’t jot down as many notes on their set because I was very busy enjoying their music tonight, it was STILL HOT and STILL muggy outside. I had over 20 pages of notes to sort through for this job.

Mr. Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners is another name you will be hearing on my TOP 50 of 2018 in a few months. I recently spent some time with him at both festivals I covered, as well as his bassist John R. Miller.

This man and his entire band is nothing more than straight up pure Honky Tonk goodness, from the New Orleans area. However I first found out about him from my Kansas City friends out at the Westport Saloon area, and became an instant fan of his.

He opened with “Nashville Tennessee At 3AM” most of his set today was from his second album called That’s All There Is And There Ain’t No More. Now, he also played the title track in this set of the same name, toward the end of the set.

This man is not only my friend, but he is the REAL DEAL FOLKS I mean he works construction by day and Honky Tonks by night. He just gets up there and has a good time playing good music, and that’s basically the format of his situation folks, it doesn’t get any more honest.

‘Burgundy In The Rain” is one of my favorite songs he plays, and it is always included in his sets. His set is always laced with sweet toned steel guitar, and his band is always top notch.  ‘You Don’t Have To Tell Me Anymore” was another great song in this set today.

The heat carried on into the night and it was one of those change your clothes every couple hours weekends. I was pretty close to my camper, so I went back to change and get ready for the act I wanted to cover later tonight called Cutthroat Shamrock.

Cutthroat Shamrock is a Bluegrass styled Irish based punk rock outfit, that has also been around a long long time. They come from the Great Smokey Mountains of Tn and are pretty much Appalachian Punk Bluegrass…I just call them good music.

Included in their set was “Long Gravel Road” from the Blood Rust Whiskey album in 2009. Other songs they played were “Fly Away” from that album toward the end.  I’m not sure about any lineup changes from this band but I haven’t covered them for many years, so I couldn’t say.

They had a TON of energy here tonight, and I stayed for their entire set. I went back to the camper after this set because I was exhausted and drained from the heat.

From the 2013 EP called Dead Wind, they played the song “Sick Of The Times”, and from their album The Wake they played “Hell’s Shovel”. They displayed so much insanity here tonight it was really fun to see this band once again, as they steamrolled into “Cod Liver Oil” from the before mentioned EP.

They went on into the night with other songs, and other bands but I had to get up early Monday morning to go back to life, so I had to call this an evening. There were later bands both nights I didn’t get to cover, and other bands earlier I didn’t get to cover as well.

It’s NOT that I don’t care for them, It’s just hard to cover a multi stage festival by myself and I didn’t have my partner Mr. Joshua here this weekend with me. To visually witness EVERYTHING and write it all down isn’t easy, and to be honest I think I do a pretty good job…but I miss things. I missed all of Thursday’s shows, I missed Mr. James Hunnicutt among others I missed were The Calamity Cubes! and another late late act Those Poor Bastards.

As a whole, I was pretty impressed with this year’s Muddy Roots Music Festival and I saw a few small drawbacks. But overall I was truly glad that it has grown to another echelon, with so many new patrons. Everyone came together to have a truly blessed time despite the horrible heat.

Muddy Roots Music Festival is one that I will pretty much cover EVERY YEAR without fail, because it was pretty much one of the factors that grew my idea into becoming a reality. I don’t see my website going anywhere but UP and you can damn sure bet I’ll be around many other music scenes all over America AND overseas I want to THANK EVERYONE for taking the time out of their busy day to read what I have to write year after year.

May 122018



From day one they have initially been the source of the for the HOME of THE Bluegrass Hall Of Fame, so it’s about time that their name reflects that aspect of the institution. This museum also proudly hosts the annual ROMP Festival in Owensboro and does many great things for their community on a grand scale.

In 1991 this is what their core statement was “The International Bluegrass Music Museum is the world center for the presentation of the history, culture, and future of bluegrass music. We develop and maintain an environment in which people of all ages can discover the richness of bluegrass music through an exciting and educational experience.”

Fast forward to 2018 the museum will re launch calling itself ‘The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame And Museum”. On the weekend of October 18-20th 2018, the institution will do just that…re open with  a new name and attitude, same mission.

Executive Director Chris Joslin stated, “We have been the home of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame since day one, so it’s time our name reflects that. Much like the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we are the worldwide destination for our genre, bluegrass music.”

Joslin added, “It’s more than a name change. This new branding sets the stage for the October grand opening of our new facility.”

Feb 172018


By Joshua Wallace

Brandi Carlile returns with her first studio album since 2015’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter.  Her new album, By The Way, I Forgive You, features production work from both Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings and is sure to be a fan favorite release.  It goes away from the more poppy elements of some of her previous work to feature more country and Americana sounds.  It plays to her strengths as a songwriter and the music helps set the mood for every track perfectly.

The music is varied throughout the record.  From quieter more orchestral moments like “The Joke” to the faster folksy number “Hold Out Your Hand”, this album hits lots of high notes.  Shooter Jennings and Dave Cobb have created a soundscape here that is as varied as the stories featured on the songs.  The songs themselves are all hard hitting and impact and this is quite possibly Brandi Carlile’s heaviest and most emotionally intense record yet.

The album’s opening track is a rather catchy tune about a problem many people can relate to: that one song that comes on the radio that brings about a memory you didn’t want to return.  It also echoes the title of the album in the album as Brandi is forgiving of the person who ruined that favorite song for her.  Another favorite track of mine is the barn burner of the record titled “Hold Out Your Hand”.  It’s a faster acoustic romp with a catchy shouted chorus that is sure to be a concert favorite.

I love the psychedelic bend that the track “Fulton County Jane Doe” takes the album on.  The song has a very 70’s folk quality to it that echos Elton John.  “Sugartooth” is a track that takes on the opioid crisis and how someone can be a “slave to the sugartooth”.  There are more personal tracks on the album like one of the lead singles “The Mother” and album track “Most Of All”.  Both of these tracks reflect on Brandi’s family life and serve as some of the more intimate tracks on the record.

Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You is an emotional journey through loss and regret and pain and suffering.  It takes a look inward while at the same time examining some of today’s social issues in a way that is not as in your face as other artists can make it.  This is a very enjoyable album on many levels and will be sure to please fans of Brandi’s earlier more folksy records.  Shooter Jennings and Dave Cobb have come together to create a very layered soundscape around these songs and it’s a pleasure to listen to from start to finish.  Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You is available everywhere Friday, February 16th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Every Time I Hear That Song, Hold Out Your Hand, Sugartooth, Whatever You Do, Fulton County Jane Doe

Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You (2018)

  1. Every Time I Hear That Song

  2. The Joke

  3. Hold Out Your Hand

  4. The Mother

  5. Whatever You Do

  6. Fulton County Jane Doe

  7. Sugartooth

  8. Most Of All

  9. Harder To Forgive

  10. Party Of One

Feb 162018

By Joshua Wallace

You never know what you can expect from a new project by J.D. Wilkes.  While he has released a couple of old time banjo records under his own name, Fire Dream is the first true debut solo record from Mr. Wilkes.  It has a different sound than what you have come to expect from The Dirt Daubers or The Legendary Shack Shakers.  Fire Dream brings all of the southern Gothic elements of Americana to the forefront and mixes it in with a variety of sounds from fiddle driven hoe-downs to southern Gothic blues.

The opening title track sets the tone perfectly with a dreamlike soundscape that brings about images of devils dancing around a fire to the song.  The same dreamy effect can be heard in the first single from the album “Walk Between The Raindrops” with it’s haunting fiddle that plays throughout.  These’s tracks heavily feature the gothic overtones that are present throughout the album.

I love that J.D. Wilkes has chosen to re imagine two songs from his old projects here.  He has taken “Hoboes Are My Heroes” from The Legendary Shack Shakers and “Down In The Hidey Hole” from his album with The Dirt Daubers titled Wild Moon.  He has reworked these songs to fit the style of this new project and they work well.  This new version of “Hoboes Are My Heroes” might be my favorite version of the song.  It’s a slowed down Gothic blues romp that works for the track.

I love that J.D. Wilkes never seems to do the same thing twice.  Every band he has been in has had a different sound from The Dirt Daubers to the Shack Shakers to this solo record.  I always look forward to what J.D. Wilkes brings to the table on an album because he celebrates southern sounds, but works with them in ways that moves them forward.  Be sure to check this out if you’re a fan of anything J.D. Wilkes does or a fan of Americana music with a southern gothic flair.  Fire Dream is available everywhere on February 16th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Hoboes Are My Heroes, Fire Dream, Walk Between The Raindrops, Moon Bottle

J.D. Wilkes – Fire Dream (2018)

  1. Fire Dream

  2. Down In The Hidey Hole

  3. Moon Bottle

  4. Hoboes Are My Heroes

  5. Wild Bill Jones

  6. Walk Between The Raindrops

  7. Starlings, KY

  8. Bible, Candle and a Skull

  9. Rain and Snow

  10. That’s What They Say

Jan 172018

As I finish operation clean up from 2017, and begin to reflect on what all transpired, I have a couple stacks of albums I missed. I thought it might be a fun idea if I began a small series of articles that elaborate on some of these albums.  Some of them found their way in my email, and some were physically sent to me in the mail.

Brandon Luedtke : Morning Light
Impacting August 11th : Folk – Country – Americana
Hailing from Texas, Brandon Luedtke began writing songs when he was given his first guitar at age twelve. Since then, he has resided in Nebraska and NYC, later settling in Austin where over the last seven years, the singer-songwriter and musician has played in bands like Roosevelt’s Goody Bag, Honey Baby, and briefly with Shane Smith and the Saints on the fretless bass. More than ever, Luedtke has been honing his craft by writing and performing songs centered around his acoustic guitar and voice – carrying the torch of the Texas troubadour forward.

Earlier this year, Luedtke finished his debut LP, Morning Light, with producer, Eric Witthans in Austin’s Mockingbird Studios. The album showcases, Luedtke’s subtle feel for songwriting and musicians from the Austin music scene. Stylistically, Brandon is most easily categorized as a modern folk singer, but the songs on Morning Light will also fit perfectly into the Americana and Alt-Country world. The album features 9 Luedtke originals including the first two singles country tinged, steel driven “By The Light of The Moon” and folky “Can’t Get Away (From The Way of the World)”. Alongside those originals are reworkings of the traditional, “Cuckoo Song” and the gospel song “Soon One Morning”. Several of the songs have already debuted on websites across the country to great reviews. Following that are downloads and streams.

I recently listened to this album and really liked it, I can see him fitting in well with Americanafest lineups as well as a few more other festivals, since he came from the Texas area I was anticipating a more Red Dirt sound. This album was certainty a different twist than  what initially is described, with as much depth as a good Isbell album.

Some of the steel guitar work was pretty good and the songs all accompanied each other truly well, and when I am in the Americana mood this album will certainly be included into my rotation.


1. Can’t Get Away (From The Way of the World) (2:56)
2. The Cuckoo Bird (3:17)
3. Over The Interstate (2:44)
4. Black Mountain Echoes (3:56)
5. Let it Rise (3:21)
6. One of These Days (2:33)
7. New World (3:06)
8. Stay Gone (3:30)
9. Somethin’ Evil (4:13)
10. By The Light of the Moon (2:10)
11 Soon One Morning (2:21)

Matthew James And The Rust Belt Union: Impromptu Musical For The Skeptic

Now this next album I did indeed dwell very deeply on, I cannot even BEGIN to lump this band into ANY genre really? I mean the steel guitar is phenomenal but it’s THE TONE of it that really gripped my ears..What tuning is this? I plan to SOON reach out to steel picker Mr. Nathan Emerson when I bring back my steel pickers series in the future.

Mr. Matthew James – Acoustic Guitar / vocals, Mr. Wrex Hill – Drums, Mr.  Nathan M Emerson – Pedal Steel, Mr. Larry Kaster – Upright Bass, Mr. Nick Maurer & Brad Hanson – Electric Guitar and Mr. Matt Miller – Organ make up this eclectic band right here. This piece is from their press kit:

Dec 062017

Merlefest Announces Artist Additions to 2018 Lineup
Tickets on Sale Now

The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The newest additions to the lineup join over 75 artists that have already been announced, including Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson , Robert Earl Keen, The Devil makes Three, Balsam Rangeand the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, Mission Temple Fireworks Revival featuring Paul Thorn Band, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, and The Mccrary Sisters, a Midnight Jam hosted by Town Mountainand Jim Lauderdale, and many more.

WILKESBORO, N.C. (December 5, 2017) – Merlefest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions to the lineup for MerleFest 2018, which will be held April 26 – 29, 2018: Elephant Revival, Rhiannon Giddens, Rodney Crowell, and Shinyribs.

Elephant Revival – Elephant Revival is a unique collection of multi-instrumentalists blending elements of gypsy, Celtic, Americana, and folk. Brought together by a unified sense of purpose, Elephant Revival communicates the importance of harmony among all living things and uses music to unite us in ways that no other medium can. Elephant Revival is scheduled to play the Hillside Stage on Friday.

Rhiannon Giddens – Singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, playing banjo and fiddle. Giddens’ 2014 Grammy nominated solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, blends gospel, jazz, blues, and country, and showcases her dazzling vocal prowess. Giddens follow-up album Freedom Highway, largely comprised of original songs, was released to widespread critical acclaim in February. She performed at the Obama White House and duets with country star Eric Church on his powerful anti-racism hit “Kill a Word.” Last year she received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year and the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo and in 2017 won the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” award. In 2018, Giddens will be the guest curator for the Cambridge Folk Festival. Giddens also has a recurring role on the recently revived television drama Nashville . Rhiannon Giddens is scheduled to play Saturday on the Watson Stage.

Rodney Crowell – Rodney Crowell is a multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who has written or recorded 15 #1 songs on the Country music charts. He has also won six Americana Music Awards, including the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, and he is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait), to current country chart toppers (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban) to blues icons (Etta James), and rock and roll legends (Van Morrison, Bob Seger). Crowell’s latest album, Close Ties , was released in March 2017 on New West Records to critical acclaim. Rodney Crowell is scheduled to play the Cabin Stage on Friday.

Shinyribs – SHINYRIBS is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey that began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed, along with a sewing machine, a billy club and a box of comic books. Luckily he chose the guitar. Following his family’s oil boom and bust migratory path he landed in Shreveport, LA where he formed his first band. Picket Line Coyotes were a Husker Du meets Elvis Costello hybrid that lived and died between the “Arklatexabamassippi” borders much like their unfortunate animal namesake. That’s what took him to Austin where The Gourds were born from those Coyote ashes. That storied band of pumpkins came to an end after 18 years of good times and hard travelin’. From that point on Russell, has been riding high on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. Shinyribs is scheduled to play the Watson Stage on Thursday.

“For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the 4 day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2018 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers and we look forward to another successful festival in April.” The 2018 current lineup may be viewed at .

Tickets for next year’s festival may be purchased HERE or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased from November 14 to February 18, 2018; Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 19 to April 25. Tickets will be sold using Tier 3 pricing at the gate during the festival.


About Merlefest
MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.


About Window World
Window World, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned offices nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with a total of over 14 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR partner, and its window products have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal for 10 consecutive years. Additionally, through its charitable foundation Window World Cares , the Window World family provides funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which honored the foundation with its Organizational Support Award in 2017. Since its inception in 2008, Window World Cares has raised over $7 million for St. Jude. Window World Inc. also supports the Veterans Airlift Command, a non-profit organization that facilitates free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families. For more information, visit or call 1-800 NEXT WINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter .

For more information, visit Merlefest

MerleFest 2018 Announces New Additions to Lineup
Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now
WILKESBORO, N.C. (January 16, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 26 – 29, is proud to announce five additions to the 2018 lineup: The Mavericks, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Mandolin Orange, Alison Brown, and Brandy Clark.
The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest has already announced over 75 artists for 2018, including Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Elephant Revival, The Devil Makes Three, a Midnight Jam hosted by Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale, and many more. The rest of the distinguished lineup for MerleFest 2018 will roll out over the next few months.
The Mavericks – The genre-defying Mavericks are declaring their independence and stepping out on their own with Brand New Day, the first studio album released on Mono Mundo Recordings, the label they founded in 2016. Brand New Day is the follow-up to the widely praised albums Mono (2015) and In Time (2013). Flashing the same exhilarating, beyond-category style that has defined the Mavericks, the new album introduces a collection of taut, energetic, economical songs sure to be embraced by both original fans of their top-10 albums and hit singles of the ‘90s and a new generation of listeners who have joined the party since their triumphant 2012 reunion. It is the mature and timely work of an exciting and underestimated American band that has embraced its own destiny.
“This is the first studio record on our own label, and it is an important component in the band’s history,” Malo says, “but the real goal was just to make a great record.”
The new collection – co-produced like its immediate predecessors by the band’s golden-voiced singer Raul Malo and Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Warren Zevon, Melissa Etheridge), who is partnered with the band in the new Mono Mundo imprint – features the core members of the group since their reformation: Malo, drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez, and keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden, along with auxiliary members “the Fantastic Four” filling out the set’s brawny sound with their signature accordion and horns. The Mavericks will play the Watson Stage on Thursday night.
Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn – With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s second album Echo in the Valley is simultaneously familiar and wildly innovative. Echo in the Valley is the follow up to Béla and Abigail’s acclaimed, self-titled debut that earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. This time around, the mission was to take their double banjo combination of three finger and clawhammer styles “to the next level and find things to do together that we had not done before,” says Béla. “We’re expressing different emotions through past techniques and going to deeper places.” The results are fascinating, especially considering their strict rules for recording: all sounds must be created by the two of them, the only instruments used are banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele to an upright bass banjo), and they must be able to perform every recorded song live. Fleck and Washburn will play the Watson Stage on Friday night.
Mandolin Orange – Mandolin Orange’s music is “laced with bluegrass, country and folk…often wistful and contemplative without being somber, and always firmly grounded in the South” (WNYC). The Chapel Hill, N.C. duo has built a noteworthy catalog of recordings and performances since their founding in 2009. Their live shows are filled with vibrant chemistry, effortless instrumentation, and breezy, fluid harmonies that continue to win over local and far away fans. Recent performances include Red Rocks Amphitheater, Telluride Bluegrass, Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo and Pickathon, with 2018 performances in support of the Avett Brothers at PNC Arena and Josh Ritter at the Ryman Auditorium. Hailed by No Depression as “one of the most talented acts making music today,” Mandolin Orange’s most recent album “Blindfaller” debuted #3 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart, was featured on NPR’s Heavy Rotation and made Rolling Stone’s “40 Best Country Albums of 2016.”
“The musical tapestry of ‘Blindfaller’ is delicately woven with lush threads of acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin and pedal steel, all ever-present without ever overplaying. However, it’s the vocal interplay of Frantz and Marlin that is the band’s most distinctive calling card” (Rolling Stone). Lean in to the album and you’ll understand why. You’ll hear the way it magnifies the intimacy at the heart of the North Carolina duo’s music, as if they created their own musical language as they recorded it. Mandolin Orange will play the Watson Stage on Friday night.
Alison Brown – Alison Brown has taken an unlikely path in establishing herself as one of the most critically acclaimed banjoists in the world. A former investment banker (she has a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard and an MBA from UCLA), she toured with Alison Krauss and Union Station and Michelle Shocked before forming her own group, The Alison Brown Quartet. She has recorded 10 critically-acclaimed solo albums, received 4 Grammy nominations, a Grammy award and the Banjo Player of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Alison has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She was personally requested to play at the inauguration of Harvard’s first female president, Drew Faust, and was a recipient of Irish America Magazine’s “Stars of the South Award” for her efforts towards the “cultivation and preservation of Irish music.” In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious United States Artists fellowship for excellence in music. Alison and her band have performed at a long list of music festivals in the US and abroad including The Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, MerleFest, Rochester Jazz Festival, Celtic Connections (UK), Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Country Gold (Japan). Alison is also co-founder of the internationally recognized Compass Records Group, which has been called by Billboard Magazine “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” She currently serves on the board of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and on adjunct faculty of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Alison Brown will play the Hillside Stage on Saturday and the Watson Stage on Sunday.
Brandy Clark – The Nashville, Tennessee-based Clark received her first of an impressive six career GRAMMY nominations in 2013 in the Best Country Song category for co-writing the Miranda Lambert No. 1 hit “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Her talent as a storyteller has quickly propelled her into critical acclaim as one of Nashville’s best tunesmiths. Subsequently writing songs for Sheryl Crow, The Band Perry, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Currington, Darius Rucker, and Kacey Musgraves to name a few. In 2015, Brandy independently released her own debut album 12 Stories, which embraced by music lovers and critics alike and was subsequently nominated for two GRAMMYs including Best New Artist and Best Country Album. 12 Stories went on to be named “Best Album of 2013” by The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, NPR, The New York Post, and more. Brandy also won the 2014 CMA Song of the Year Award for “Follow Your Arrow,” which she co-wrote with Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves, and was also nominated for a CMA New Artist Of The Year that same year. 2016 brought the release of her sophomore album Big Day In A Small Town, which also garnered two GRAMMY nominations for Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance (“Love Can Go To Hell”) and once again topped critics’ “Best of” lists including NPR, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, among others thus cementing Clark as one of country music’s most talented artists, beloved by fans, critics, and fellow entertainers alike. Famed music critic and author, Ann Powers, calls Clark, “a storyteller of the highest caliber.” Brandy Clark will play at the Watson Stage on Friday.
WILKESBORO, N.C. (March 20, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is pleased to announce the return of the beloved Midnight Jam and the start of the Barn Dance. Following tradition, the well-known, fan favorite Midnight Jam will take place on Saturday night, prefaced by the Barn Dance. The legendary music festival is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans; this year’s festival is scheduled for April 26-29 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina at Wilkes Community College.
The Midnight Jam is one of MerleFest’s most cherished traditions. This very popular after-hours hootenanny gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history.
For MerleFest 2018, noted songwriter Jim Lauderdale and North Carolina’s own Town Mountain will host the Midnight Jam, presented by renowned music website BGS at the Walker Center, is set to start at 10:30 p.m. and will run well past midnight. The 2018 Midnight Jam will feature a very special Doc Watson Tribute; in addition to Lauderdale and Town Mountain, the Midnight Jam will host a wide array of talent, including performances by Buddy Miller, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, John Cowan, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange, Bryan Sutton, and many more. A separate ticket is required and available for purchase by four-day, three-day and Saturday ticket holders. Town Mountain will also host the Saturday Night Barn Dance, another Merlefest moment not to be missed; the lively and loud event starts at 7:45 p.m. on the Dance Stage.
“Many years ago, Tony Rice and a few others came up with the concept and started the Midnight Jam,” remembers Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “From there the Midnight Jam has become a highlight of the MerleFest weekend, bringing together unique configurations and surprising ensembles of musicians gathered at the festival. You never know who may walk out from behind the curtain to take the stage on Saturday night in the Walker Center.”
Jim Lauderdale is a multi-Grammy award winner and  “songwriter’s songwriter,” who has written/co-written many modern classics for iconic artists. As a solo artist, since 1986 up until now, he’s created a body of work spanning 29 albums of imaginative roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock, as well as helping pave the way for the current Americana movement. Jim has written songs and worked with some of the finest artists in traditional and modern music, including Robert Hunter, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Solomon Burke, Lee Ann Womack, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and Gary Allan among others. He also co-hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Buddy Miller, “The Buddy & Jim Show,” and is the co-host of Music City Roots, the weekly live and radio, podcast and PBS series. In 2016 the Americana Music Association honored Jim during the 15th Annual Americana Awards and Honors with the WagonMaster Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by George Strait.
Raw, soulful, and with plenty of swagger, Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival. The hearty base of Town Mountain’s music is the first and second generation of bluegrass spiced with country, old school rock ‘n’ roll, and boogie-woogie. It’s what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life both on stage and on record and reflects the group’s wide-ranging influences – from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon, and Merle.
The Bend Bulletin’s Brian McElhiney says Town Mountain, “has serious country and rock’n’ roll DNA.” Town Mountain features guitarist and vocalist Robert Greer, banjoist Jesse Langlais, mandolinist Phil Barker, fiddler Bobby Britt, and Zach Smith on bass. Town Mountain is working on their sixth studio album and was recently recording in Echo Mountain Studios with Producer Caleb Klauder. The forthcoming album will be full of new original material and released later in the year.
MerleFest’s lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival. MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that the late Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.”
MerleFest Announces 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Finalists
WILKESBORO, N.C. (April 3, 2018) – Today, the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contestannounces the 2018 finalists that will perform at MerleFest. The final round of the competition will take place Friday, April 27; first place winners will receive $600 cash and a Friday night performance slot on the Cabin Stage. Now in its 26th year, CASC is an extraordinary opportunity for songwriters to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. MerleFest, presented by Window World, spans from April 26-29 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, at Wilkes Community College.
The following twelve talented writers were selected from over 1021 entries and will compete Friday, April 27 on the Austin Stage:
Frank D. Ray (Hillsboro, Missouri) – “False Hearted Love”
James Woolsey (Petersburg, Indiana) – “Lights of Home”
Vickie Austin (Fall Branch, Tennessee) – “Can’t Hold On To Much”
Andy Owens (Boone, North Carolina) – “The Truth of Love”
Beth lee (Black Mountain, North Carolina) – “Sacred Song”
Bob Hight (Greensboro, North Carolina) – “Heaven Will Be Mine”
Amanda Fields, Tom Buller (Nashville, Tennessee) – “Whiskey Ain’t Got Nothing on You”
Cliff Westfall (Highland Park, New Jersey) – “More and More”
Marie Bradshaw (Centerville, Utah), Daniel Young, Kiki Jane Sieger (North Salt Lake, Utah) – “These Walls (May Never Come Down)”
Bryan Smith (Dayton, Virginia) – “Nothing Left”
Zander Melidis (Clawson, Michigan) – “Born Again”
Cliff Ritchey (Markleville, Indiana) – “Honey Baby”
This year’s competition will be judged by 2018 festival headliner and Grammy-award winning artistRodney Crowell; acclaimed vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange; and previous CASC winner Johnny Williams of the Jeanette Williams Band. All finalists will also get to take part in a songwriting mentoring session with Lauderdale, Marlin, and Williams.
The first round of the CASC takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, where applicants were narrowed down to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general, and gospel/inspirational. The first-round judges included Grammy-nominated bassist and Watson family collaborator T Michael Coleman; noted artist Ken Tizzard, bassist of The Watchmen; former CASC winner and critically-acclaimed songwriter Aaron Burdett; and 2018 MerleFest performer CJ Lewandowski of The Po’ Ramblin Boys.
Net proceeds from the contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded over $41,000 to deserving students. To learn more details about the contest, visit
The complete 2018 lineup may be viewed at and is now available on the MerleFest mobile app.
Tickets for the festival may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 19 to April 25. Tickets will be sold using Tier 3 pricing at the gate during the festival.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin, from Boone, North Carolina, worked as a sideman for Ricky Skaggs for three years, singing and playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. During that time, he was discovered by executives at Warner Bros. who offered him a recording contract. While releasing singles including “Blues Stay Away from Me,” “I Know There’s a Heart in There Somewhere” and “Out of Step,” Austin also developed his songwriting skills, as evidenced in “Same Ol’ Love,” recorded by Skaggs in 1991. On March 16, 1991, Austin’s life was cut tragically short when the private plane carrying him and six other members of Reba McEntire’s band, as well as her tour manager, crashed near San Diego. Pete Fisher, then of Warner Songs and former general manager of The Grand Ole Opry, and Kari Estrin, previous “Pickin’ for Merle” video associate producer, initiated the songwriting contest to honor Austin’s memory.
About MerleFest
MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.
About Window World
Window World, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned offices nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with a total of over 14 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR partner, and its window products have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal for 10 consecutive years. Additionally, through its charitable foundation Window World Cares, the Window World family provides funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which honored the foundation with its Organizational Support Award in 2017. Since its inception in 2008, Window World Cares has raised over $7 million for St. Jude. Window World Inc. also supports the Veterans Airlift Command, a non-profit organization that facilitates free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families. For more information, or call 1-800 NEXT WINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.
Oct 122017


Tickets are available for this event by clicking HERE .

Folks parts of Florida were severely damaged  by the hurricanes this year but The Suwannee Roots Festival will be going on this weekend, and this lineup is wonderful. I believe I have included all of the needed information below including FULL band links and I also researched hotels and area places to go.

As all of you know my website promotes and attends up to 175 festivals yearly, this one is nothing short of stellar, so please if you are out in that area support this event.

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn     

The Wood Brothers
Mother’s Finest
Peter Rowan
Donna The Buffalo
Steep Canyon Rangers
Chatham County Line
Rev Jeff Mosier Band
Jim Lauderdale
Verlon thompson
Shawn Camp
River Whyless
Willie Sugarcapps
Joe Craven And The Sometimers
Seth Walker
The Revelers
The Lee Boys
Amanda Anne Platt And The Honeycutters
Nation Of Two
The Grass Is Dead
Rumpke Mountain Boys
Richie And Rosie 
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine
The Pine Box Dwellers

Dread Clampitt    

Katie Skene    

Belle and The Band    


The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn    


Sloppy Joe

The Walker Family Band    

The Dunehoppers    

Jeff Bradley

Habanero Honeys  

Suwannee Spirit Kids

Tania & Magic Moon Traveling CircusSRR-Schedule-2017-ThursdaySRR-Schedule-2017-Friday



All Suwannee Roots Revival weekend tickets include primitive camping. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is over 700 acres of spacious and shaded camping areas. Primitive camping is on a first come, first served system. There is plenty of room for your car at your campsite.

RV Hook Ups & Upgraded Sites

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park offers hundreds of RV upgrades with power and water hook-ups plus dozens of cabins for rent at the festival. All RV upgrades and cabin rentals are the park’s business, not the music festival’s. Please call the park office for information, rates and reservations. 386 364-1683 You are welcome to bring your RV for free if you won’t need the water and electric upgrades.

Local Hotel Options


Holiday Inn Express
386-362-2600, located at 6694 US 129 N in Live Oak, Florida. This lodge includes a swimming pool, fitness center and continental breakfast. In the room there is a coffee pot, hair dryer, cable TV, iron and ironing board; suites include microwave, refrigerators, smoking & non smoking rooms, queen and king beds, data ports, and a Jacuzzi.


Quality Inn
386-362-6000, located at 6819 US Hwy 129 in Live Oak, Florida. This lodge includes a swimming pool and continental breakfast. In the rooms there are a coffee pot, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, cable TV, microwave, refrigerator, and many more amenities.


Econo Lodge
386-362-7459, located at 6811 N Us Hwy 129 in Live Oak, Florida. This lodge includes a heated swimming pool and a continental breakfast. Other amenities include coffee pot, cable TV, double beds, and laundry facilities.

Also as I research this event,I’ll be adding MORE hotel options and places to enjoy your stay.


Driving Directions & Travel Info

Located just north of Live Oak, Fla, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is a one-of-a-kind music park and premier campground nestled on the shady banks of the historic, tea-colored Suwannee River in North Florida. The Spirit of the Suwannee is proud to host a variety of events throughout the year. In addition to these events, the park offers live music during the week in the Music Hall and a natural amphitheater for outdoor music festivals.

The grounds include 700+ acres for camping, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, jogging, observation at the world’s largest bat house, Way Down Upon the Suwannee River Trail Ride and New Year’s Eve Party, putt putt golf and pro-quality disc golf, a honey bee observation exhibit, beautiful rental cabins (and custom built cabins for sale), RV parking with full hookups, electric and water sites, shower and bath houses, full service restaurant, golf cart rentals, the Arts and Crafts Village, Country Store and much, much more. Or, you can just hang your hammock between two trees, put your feet up and relax as you listen to the quiet sounds of nature all around you

Need more information?

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is conveniently located near Live Oak, Florida, between Interstates 75 and 10.

Festival Entrance GPS Address

9379 County Road 132, Live Oak, Fl 32060

From I-10

Take exit 283 and go north on US 129 4.5 miles.

From I-75

Take exit 451 and proceed south 4.5 miles. Keep an eye out for our sign!

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground is centrally located to over 500 Florida Tourist Attractions within 2 ½ hours driving time.

General Festival Rules

  • The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is open 365 days a year. Guests may arrive early to set up camp for additional camping fees. Please note that at high traffic times you may experience a delay in processing your entry. Come early!
  • During music festivals at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground, dogs and other pets create problems. Accordingly, the Park rules prohibit pets. Next time you plan to visit Spirit of the Suwannee for a music festival, or special event, please DO NOT BRING YOUR PET! You will either be refused entry to the Park, or will be required to leave without a refund if you and your pet are found. If you have a legal service dog, you are welcome to bring it so long as it wears a tag showing that it has a recent, active, anti-rabies vaccination. You must also check your service dog in when you arrive at the Park so it can be properly credentialed.
  • No illegal substances or activities will be permitted. Please note that Marajuana usage is illegal in the state of Florida and Suwannee County, unlike some other parts of the country.
  • Re-entry is allowed for Weekend Ticket Buyers as long as you do NOT remove your wristband. We are NOT responsible for lost of missing wristbands. If you lose it, you will pay an additional fee to replace it.
  • NO SPINNING FIRE/POI! (Sorry we just don’t have the safety program implemented yet)
  • NO NITROUS! (If security finds a tank, you will not be granted entry.)
  • NO GLASS! (Please bring all beverages in cans or plastic)
  • NO FIGHTING! (If you are involved in a fight both parties will be asked to leave)
  • A  variety of micro brewed beer will be available for purchase! (Photo ID will be required to consume alcohol).
  • Lost or stolen tickets cannot be replaced.. Keep them safe! We will scan them.
  • Ages 18 and under must be accompanied by a legal guardian
  • All persons, vehicles, and possessions will be searched upon entry.
  • Due to Florida regulations no outside alcohol will be permitted within the concert area.

Campground Rules

  • There will be on-site security at all times as well as first aid stations open 24/7.
  • All camping attendees are subject to search upon entry.
  • Feel free to bring your own food and beverages into onsite camping.
  • Campers are expected to behave in a manner that is courteous to other campers.
  • All general car & tent campers are permitted to visit each others camp sites.

What is the closest airport to the venue?

Jacksonville, FL #JAX

Can I sell my crafts around the site? Can I sell my delicious homemade burritos?

For health and quality reasons, unauthorized food vendors pose a risk to festival goers. Unauthorized food vendors are not permitted and will be shut down to alleviate that risk. Each year Suwannee Roots Revival is committed to selecting quality craft and merchandise vendors. The unauthorized sale of merchandise in the camping area is not permitted, and Suwannee Roots Revival is committing to ensuring a successful event for all authorized vendors.

What is the policy on cooking devices?

PLEASE follow these instructions if you are planning on using a grill. You can use gas/propane fuel sources or charcoal, but scavenging for wood on site will NOT be permitted. No more than 10 pounds of charcoal per grill per car will be allowed. The fire must be entirely contained and off the ground. Air quality is a concern. Please keep the fires as small as possible and extinguish them as soon as you are finished. When you are done cooking with charcoal, put it out with water before going into the show or going to sleep or leaving your camp, rather than letting it burn out over time. In any case, DO NOT DUMP COALS ON THE GROUND (ever) or in the trash until they are entirely cool. After the coals are COMPLETELY DEAD, dispose of them properly as garbage.

What kind of camping is provided? Can we camp with our friends?

Amazing camping!   Primitive Camping comes with your ticket.  Primitive includes Tent or Car camping.  Yes, you may camp with your friends!

What is provided at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Campgrounds?

There will be bathrooms and hand wash stations. A general store will be selling sundries (personal hygiene products, batteries, film, disposable cameras, ice, water, etc…) Vendors will be selling a variety of reasonably priced foods, beverages and snacks. ATM Machines WILL be available in multiple locations on the site.

What emergency services will be available on site? What should I do if I need emergency assistance (medical, police, towing, locksmith, etc.)?

There will be emergency medical personnel and Security personnel onsite around the clock. If you need EMERGENCY medical or police attention, find a staff person with a radio, go to an information tent, medical tent, or tell one of the security personnel. Make sure your lights and radio are turned off when you park so you don’t drain your battery! Try not to lose your car keys or lock them in your car, we recommend bringing an extra set of keys to be safe. Also, please help us keep the parking areas clear of discarded bottles and other hazards – the tires you save could be your own!

What else should I know?

Pace yourself! Eat enough, drink enough water (it’s really important to stay hydrated), and get enough sleep so that you can enjoy the second day as much as the first. Also, if you can bring patience and a sense of humor, it will be a great gift to yourself as well as those around you, and it will help you to get the most out of your experience. Be a good neighbor – get to know your neighbors, watch their stuff and they will return the favor.

Venue Rules & FAQ’s


Your job is to enjoy the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. Our job is to help you, and everyone else, enjoy the Park. If we succeed, then we will have the most outstanding music-oriented campground on Earth; a place that we can enjoy for many generations to come. These regulations are a special contract between the Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, its employees and guests, and control the duties and responsibilities of all Park visitors. §513.117. Fla. Stat. Because of the tremendous popularity of music festivals, special rules apply during those special events; special rules are indicated in BOLD TYPE. If you violate any of these rules, you may be ejected from the Park without a refund.

ADMISSION TO SPIRIT OF THE SUWANNEE MUSIC PARK. Almost everyone is welcome at the Park. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, physical disability or creed. All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We retain the right to refuse services to any person who displays intoxication, profanity, lewdness, brawling, whose conduct disturbs the peace or comfort of others, who damages property, who engages in illegal or disorderly conduct, whose conduct is a nuisance, or who violates any of these rules. All visitors must check in with the Park Office or Gate Attendant upon first arrival, and must pay any required admission fee (additional fees apply for overnight stay, activities, services and events). You may be required to display a vehicle pass or sticker on your vehicle at all times while on the premises. If you require a special accommodation for your visit due to a disability, please advise the Park Office or Gate Attendant when you enter the Park.

Guests during special events must present a ticket, along with a valid photo-identification, for entry into the Park, and will be issued a wristband that must be worn for the duration of the event. Take care with your wristband; if you take it off or lose it you will be required to buy a new ticket. NO EXCEPTIONS! Additional camping fees may apply depending upon your arrival and departure dates, and where you camp.

GETTING AROUND AND PARKING. “River Road” is the Park’s main street. It is one of the few paved roads in the Park and runs from the entrance off Highway 129 to the parking area for the white sandy beach on the Suwannee River. In addition to a few internal roads, the Park contains miles and miles of beautiful hiking paths and horse trails. A map of the Park is available in the Park Office, and is posted nearby. Typically, festival brochures include a map of Park features and venues.

The two most important travel rules are:

*ALWAYS yield to pedestrians – they have the right of way!

*Secondly, slow down and stay alert! The maximum speed for any vehicle (golf cart, bicycle, horse or other means) is ten (10) miles per hour. If children or crowds are present, slow down or stop to avoid them as needed.

There are designated areas for parking cars, trucks, golf carts and RV’s; do not park outside of designated areas or your vehicle will be towed at your expense and inconvenience. Please do not park any vehicle, including a golf cart, on someone else’s space. When in doubt, please don’t risk it. Do not park in a designated handicap accessible space unless you have the proper license plate or other State-issued insignia; your vehicle will be towed at your expense.

Be aware that Driving Under the Influence or “DUI” is not tolerated in the Park. You may be arrested by law enforcement officials and taken to jail if you are observed to be DUI in the Park, regardless of the vehicle, golf cart, bicycle, or automobile you may be driving.

All motor vehicles must be properly licensed and insured and all motor vehicle operators must be over 16, properly licensed and insured. You must display a Park-issued vehicle pass at all times. We will refuse entry to motor vehicles that are loud, stinky, or that have safety issues in our sole discretion. All-terrain vehicles (ATV’s), off-road utility vehicles (ORV’s), recreational utility vehicles (RUV’s), dirt or motocross bikes, go-carts, and dune buggies are not allowed in the park.

Golf carts are a popular and convenient way to get around. Rentals are available at the Country Store. If you wish to bring your own, a trail fee must be paid upon arrival at the Park. We allow gas/electric factory models that do not exceed 14HP: E-Z Go (295 and 350 cc); Club (290 and 350 cc); and Yamaha (357 cc). Also, golf carts can’t exceed 8 inches maximum lift, a 23 x 11 x 12 maximum tire size and meet factory muffler specifications. You must check in your golf cart upon arrival at the Park, present proof of registration and insurance, have your golf cart inspected, fill out a form, pay a trail use fee, and obtain a sticker to be displayed while at the Park. Golf cart drivers must be licensed and over age 16. The driver and passengers must be seated at all times during operation. Be aware that headlights and taillights must be used from before dusk till after dawn. Golf carts must stay on designated roads and trails and be parked at your campsite by Midnight. During special events golf carts should be parked at your campsite no later than one-hour after the concert ends for the night. Trail fees during special events are non-refundable.

Bicycles are available for rent from the Country Store. All bicycles operated from between dusk and dawn must burn front and taillights. Children under the age of 16 must wear a helmet as required by Section 316.2065, Fla. Stat. If you ride a bicycle on designated trails, please respect the environment and be kind to pedestrians, persons on horseback, animals, and other cyclists.

Horses are usually welcome in the Park’s horse camping area and on marked horse trail areas, except during some special events. Horse owners must check in and present proof of a negative Coggins test, along with other required health certifications. Horses are not allowed on roadways, camping areas, or anywhere outside of the horse camping area and marked horse trails. No riding at night. A horse that kicks must be identified by a RED ribbon tied on its tail. No “tie outs” are allowed. See office for details. Horses are not allowed in the Park during special events.

During some special events, free shuttle service may be provided and we assume no risk for your use of such shuttles.

ENJOYING THE PARK’S NATURAL SETTING. We strive to keep the Park a clean, safe place for kids of all ages to enjoy! Please respect the environment, and do not harm plants or animals. Please do not litter. Place cigarette butts in ashtrays. No fireworks of any kind are allowed. Guns, Tasers, and all weapons are strictly prohibited on Park property, and that includes weapons carried in motor vehicles. Properly authorized law enforcement and security personnel may carry weapons as authorized by law, when on duty. Please respect fellow campers by not passing through their campsites. Picnic tables are provided by the Park at some spaces; please keep them clean and free of clutter when not in active use.

The Park maintains a quiet time of 11 P.M. During some festivals, jam sessions and drum circles may last until the wee hours with due consideration of those camping nearby.If weather and other prevailing conditions are acceptable to the Park, properly contained campfires are permitted in enclosed fire rings or in small dirt fire pits.

No bonfires or large fire pits allowed. Do not collect, or cut, trees or shrubs. Do not burn treated wood, plastic, garbage or trash. Fires must be supervised at all times and carefully put out before leaving unattended. Do not use gasoline, kerosene or other accelerants to start fires. Firewood and fire starters are available at the Country Store.

All of the airspace above the Park is restricted and no person is authorized to operate any type of aircraft, drone, radio-controlled airplane or helicopter, kite, Chinese lantern, luminary, sky lantern, fire balloon, Kongming lantern, hot air balloon, or other flying object, except that Frisbees, footballs, and other similar toys may be used when they do not present a danger or nuisance to other guests.

Please use alcohol and medication responsibly and lawfully. Underage drinking and use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited.

During musical performances, please be advised that you may be exposed to loud sounds, and please take whatever action you deem necessary to protect your hearing. The use of high-quality ear protection is strongly recommended for infants and small children.

The posting or distribution of literature; or the sale, distribution or solicitation of any product or service is only allowed with advance written approval of Park management. Sale or distribution of products or services by vendors during special events is only allowed by approved written contract.

Urgent messages may be available in the Park Office. In case of emergency, call 911 immediately. Report any problem by stopping by the Park Office or by calling the office at (386) 364-1683. If you are injured while in the Park, you must promptly report such injury to the office in person or by phone.

If you lose something, please check at the Park Office. If your personal property has identification with your address and contact information, we will try to contact you to have you claim it. Any such property unclaimed after 90 days will become property of the Park.

Ticket holders are subject to, without limitation, the following terms and conditions:
• No refund will be given on lost or stolen tickets or wristbands of unused tickets. NO EXCEPTIONS!
• No food or beverages may be brought into the festival area; however, please check the Festival brochure to see whether or not you may bring in a new, unopened plastic bottle of water or an empty water container. NO GLASS CONTAINERS are allowed in the festival area.
• No weapons, laser devices, drones, model airplanes, fireworks, luminaries, or any other items determined dangerous by Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee, Inc. may be brought into the Park, or in a motor vehicle operated in the Park.
• Management will be allowed into all venue areas.
• All artists and times of performances are subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice.
• Tickets that are lost, stolen, counterfeit or obtained from sources other than Park or any of its ticket outlets will not be honored.
• It is unlawful to obtain/attempt to obtain admission by fraud. Any such admissions/attempted admissions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law.
• Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee, Inc. reserves the right to refuse admission and/or revoke any ticketed admission without refund.
• No unauthorized video or audio recording allowed in venue areas during special events.
• Management reserves the right to at its sole discretion to refuse admission to or to eject any person from the premises whose conduct is deemed to be disorderly, vulgar or abusive, and/or who fails to comply with park policies and procedures. Failure to comply will terminate any rights of ticketholder and will be removed from premises.
• Ticketholder agrees to comply with all State, local and Park rules that prohibit and limit alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, weapons, controlled substances, recording devices, cameras, or containers being brought into the Park or venue area.
• The Park reserves the right to search all persons and vehicles entering the property.
• All tickets are non-refundable and do not bear any cash value.
• Cancellation of the event by Act of God, strikes, riots, or any other act/order of any public authority beyond the control of Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee, Inc. does not obligate Management to ticket refunds or substitute performance(s).
• Cornett’s Spirit of the Suwannee, Inc. and/or any of its management, officers, directors is not held liable for any personal loss, injury, death, property damage, or any other harm suffered by participants, vendors, lessors, spectators at any special event.
• By entering the Park patrons consent to the use of their likeness for media coverage, marketing, and advertising of the Park or of the event, without compensation or a signed release.
• Tickets and wristbands are nontransferable; tickets and/or wristbands must be worn by the same person for the entire festival.

Sep 252017

So a very wet second day of Muddy Roots was well underway, and this time all I had to do was walk on down from the ticket office. This year it sure was nice not to have to drive anywhere for the entire time. Although I really didn’t drink all that much I still didn’t drive much.

We will start this article for Day 2 with Taillight Rebellion which was a two piece band with a very cool sound. We didn’t use the Wooden stage until Saturday so they rescheduled the entire day. I truly did my best to cover all of the bands here but I missed quite a few and I’ll try to do my best to get all this covered.

They opened their set with an intro called Auld Triangle before playing music with their second song called “Keep Your Head Held High” and that’s off the album “Six Strings And Gasoline”. Now off their other album called “Broken” they played two called “You Stole It All From Us” and another called “Withdrawls”.

They had good timing between them and you could easily ascertain they were having an enjoyable time up there today and this was a truly nice band to begin the day with. “Into The shadows” was next followed by the song called ‘This City”.

‘Bottled Crime” was from their new album and the song “Outlaw Waltz” was from their first album, so they had a smaller amount of albums to play from than many of the other bands here this weekend, but overall they played a very nice set. They closed with “Six Strings And Gasoline”.

Vocals/Acoustical Pickin’- Jesse James, Bass/Dirty Vocals- Oatmeal Reed, Resonator/Back up vocals- Billy Mo,
Washboard- Tashia The Don, Drums- Chris Johnson make up this next band called Black Tarpoon, which sings hillbilly horror and punk.

They hail from Texas and even though I didn’t get much of their set list as I was wandering around trying to keep my electronics and papers dry I did sit and enjoy them some. They have an album available on their website so why don’t you go over and support them? Let’s watch a video of them courtesy of Bluedevil Dixie.

My buddy Mr. Lou Shields didn’t get the chance to play “Coffee Song” for me but that’s OK because he did play a damn fine set here this weekend. His usual stalwart way he sits and plays his one man band getup is always enjoyable…especially in the field. Let’s watch MY video of him playing this weekend.

He played the song called “Rustic Road” off of his GREAT album called Bad Axe Country, and another called “Cabin In The Woods”. See folks Mr. Lou is a gifted artist too not just a musician, in fact he drew the cover for the first Urban Pioneers album called “Addicted To the Road”.

He does lots of art exhibits and music shows all over the United States and is a truly talented person in his own right. One show with him and you’ll see why we love him at Muddy Roots. The last song I got to hear him play was called “Back Country” before I moseyed on to see other bands.

Billy Lupton- Mandolin & Vocals, Nick Lupton- Guitar, Eric Miron- Bass,  Jessica Alvillar- Violin, Gilbert Montoya- Banjo & Vocals and David Archey- Harmonica & Vocals make up this band called Wicklow Atwater from Southern California. This was another band I really didn’t get to see the entire set, however I did get to see them play “Skid Row”.

Property of Miss Lisa Wells

They included the song “Inside You” into their set along with “I Wanna Be Your Man”. They have one album that I found as a band however they are all multi instrumentalists themselves in their own rights. They fit quite well into Roots music and also Americana as well.

EVERYBODY forgot about the rain here during this set, perhaps one of the most energetic and vivacious sets of the weekend…and honestly many of them occurred on this very second day. This is the band Dirtfoot from Louisiana and they didn’t come to play games….because…they had a pig on stilts throwing full beers around. Now I ask you…does that happen at Bonaroo?

Matt Hazelton, J Bratlie, Wayne Anderson, Cory Knippers, Spencer Teekel and John Hoffman make up this band which I’ll be completely honest they were so amazing and fun I forgot to list down the songs! This was a pleasant escape here folks and I had FUN.

-Ted Drozdowski, band leadin’, slide guitar, vocals, rabble rousin’ trouble makin’ ..And his accomplices Sean Szwick and Pete Pulkrabek make up this band called The Scissormen another Muddy Roots original band from the 2010 lineup…and dogs, lots of dogs.

Another very energetic band here today that even walked around and played songs into the audience, as they belted us with blues and rock music here. With an opening song called “John The Revelator” that had an a cappella opener then went into a drum roll and the song. They played another good song called “Jumper On The Line”, and went into “Do Wrong Man”.

I got to see them play “Can’t Be Satisfied” before they played a funkier song called “Josh Gibson” while showing off some truly fine guitar solos and another crowd induced guitar romp around the tent. Also included in their set was “Tupelo” and another song called “Black Lung Fever”. So I wanted to stop and add this piece from their website because it awoken my enthusiasm to delve into Mr. Ted further…

For Ted, American roots music is a vital bridge between generations, cultures and the past and the future. And he uses that bridge to not only connect deeply with his fans in concerts, but in the slide guitar and music history workshops he conducts.

Often Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen are about surprises. Not only in the imagination and scope the trio brings to its recordings and performances, but even in the way Ted and the group approach creating music. Check out Ted playing the one-string diddley bow, for example, and consider where he recorded the next Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen album: in a tent in the woods down a dirt road high on a mountaintop behind Nashville’s historic Loveless Café.

“The River” was next off their set and another called “New Catfish Blues” and they closed with the Led Zeppelin song “When The Levee Breaks”. I saw many different types of influence in this band here, and absolute talent in every member of this ensemble.

One of my many music friends to come from Maryland is Mr. Jimmy Swope and his brand of Roots/Americana music. I featured him during my coverage of this year’s Moonrunners in Chicago, and many other times as well. This fall we were supposed to both attend Crooked Smile In Indiana but alas it has been cancelled, so I have pretty much not planned any other major events in 2017.

I got to see him play his song “Tip Jar” and another called ‘This Old Town”. At this time I was going back and forth between stages pretty hard..and I got hungry so I decided to stop to eat after I was done watching Mr. Jimmy play the song called “Highway Mind”.

Video of The Rock Bottom String Band by Miss Delane Chavez.

I did not get a chance to catch any of the sets from the Rock Bottom String Band or the band after them Blackgrass Gospel but I did get to pick back up and see Moonshine Wagon which was another great band.

“My Liver Is Trying To Survive” was the popular notion here as everybody was enjoying themselves like usual, heck even I drank a few on Saturday night, and to be honest it was my first time really seriously imbibing. I had fun doing so with all my friends there.

“Moonshine In Your Life” was next from the “Folk You” album of 2015 and I went off to the other stages for other bands, as the rain finally began to subside to a mist. But it was still really damp and made the bones scream.

Video property of Miss Lisa Wells

Mr. Noah Tyson was another one I just simply did not get the chance to check out as much but let’s watch a video here about him. He’s from Illinois and from what I could hear of him, he was good.

James Hunnicutt made his first Muddy Roots appearance in 2011 and has been a Muddy Roots favorite ever since then. He garners a large crowd every year there and is always a sure bet for fun and wonderful music.

He usually always begins with different songs but the first one I took note of was of course “My Pain” which always has entire tents singing along here. He also played “Never Meant” along with some other new songs that we enjoyed.
As soon as he played “Don’t Let Teardrops Fill Your Eyes” a TON of the regulars all lined up to sing with him.

Rachel Kate I missed as well as RT N the 44’s so that I could see my buddy Sean K Preston And The Loaded Pistols who come from Charm City U.S.A. He and I first met in 2014 at Crooked Smile Festival and we instantly became friends, I was around him in Kansas City for Westport Roots Festival this year as well.

Let’s watch this video of him.

This is him singing his new song called “Barnburner” which he sent to me early this year. He’s been working on many new songs for us and until he records a new album his live shows will have to tide you over. Much like a few other sets I basically just let loose and enjoyed this set. HERE is a good sized chunk of his high octane set!

This was EASILY one of the biggest sets of the weekend by far, I enjoyed the entire set and folks for me to stay and forget to write the set list down is unheard of. This man is a sure bet for a BARNBURNER SHOW every time he is on stage.

Mr. J.P.Harris And The Tough Choices are another surefire bet for REALLY GOOD Honky Tonk Country Music. He killed it at the Opry house during the Nashville Boogie this past spring for sure! His album “Home Is Where The Hurt Is’ is a classic album to me.

He played “California Turnaround” first and then he played “Badly Bent”. His set always has full effect with perfect twang solos and plenty of steel guitar beauty. And as long as he continues to play songs like “Two For The road”, I shall always continue to enjoy his set.

“Oklahoma’s A Long Ways Away” was toward the middle of his set, as I was going back and forth tents to see him and Sean K Preston at the same time. He eventually closed his set with “Gear Jamming Daddy”, I was still going over to film Sean K Preston as well, and still getting ready for them to squeeze Slim Cessnas Auto Club on stage 3. Like I had already explained, they moved all the bands slated for stage 1 to stages 2 and 3.

Slim Cessnas Auto Club is slowly becoming a Muddy Roots powerhouse most years the festival happens as well. This band is quite eclectic and different, nobody sounds like them or vice versa, and they are very weird in their own way..but their fans “GET IT”..I do. I’m proud to be a SCAC fan.

This is yet ANOTHER crazy band here and the night’s only going to get wilder folks, just wait until I finish day 2. They started with “32 Months Gone Dry” and my personal favorite “This Is How We Do It In The Country”. NOW FOLKS I could already see them preparing Stage 2 for the Harmed Brothers, but seventy five percent of the entire attendance was right here folks…here.

They continued on with “Jackson’s Hole” and the last song I heard of theirs was “Fierce Cow” before I went onto get some videos of a few sets I didn’t get total notes for here..They are currently on tour overseas until November and every time I have witnessed them in concert they have exceeded my expectations…that was until Th Legendary Shack Shakers took the stage tonight….

Three bands towards the end of day 2 here I didn’t get the opportunity to see were called A Pony Named Olga, Pinata Protest who brought some Tex Mex Cow Punk into the mix, and The Harmed Brothers whom have multiple albums out. I have actually been listening to them quite frequently now, and I love their music…it just wasn’t possible for me to cover all of this at once.

I suppose with three stages going it was a tad bit easier to set up chairs at all three stages and float from one to another, but what happened was they squeezed all the stage one acts into the tents due to the weather here today. I do NOT BLAME Muddy Roots or Mr. Ronnie Reels from Reelsound Productions for concern of his equipment care. I think Mr. Chris handled this situation BEYOND effectively and ran his ASS OFF this weekend so WE could enjoy this event.

I did get to see some of the set that Also brought some Punk and Roots music here tonight from Oklahoma. According to their website they are brothers, and have a new album coming out later this year. They cover their own version of Dr.Ralph Stanley’s timeless classic “O Death”.

Their set included songs off of their album Wildfire, “Liberty” was the first one followed by “Woodsfolk” and another song called “Ruined”. Their Facebook describes them as Hardcordian  Wonder Hard Punk Rock, each of these bands had their own unique sound and there was certainly something for everyone here this weekend.

“Row” was a song about being lost in an ocean and all you had left to do was ROW. It was a song of positive advice, because whatever your bad situation is in life the only thing left to do is keep trying and row. NEVER stop trying to succeed in life folks.

“Rapture” was next followed by “Bomb Caravan”. The title song of the album called “Wildfire” was next along with “As Close As It Gets” closed out the set here tonight.

Stump Tail Dolly is always a DAMN SURE bet to bring Metal and Country blended together into one bomb of awesomeness. See some of the most EPIC SETS of the weekend were still to come. I defiantly got my second wind here with songs like “I’ve Endured” and “Cumberland Gap”.

Band Members
Ryan Clackner, Lucy Cochran, Jamie Garry, Brian Weinberg are the prominent four that have been playing in this band that began around 2014. Stump Tail Dolly was slowly formed during the Red Simpson set at Muddy Roots in 2013. The ideas were being tossed around and we didn’t hear anything official until late 2014.

When we finally did we received an ass whipping in the form of the small EP album and a rigorous tour schedule, defiantly a hard working duo there. They recently released a full length album you can read about the new album here.

That link up above will take you to the album review and the new video for “Bogaloo”. This basically was a forty minute set full of complete chaos and mayhem, with ripping solos and instrumentals. All four of these musicians are seasoned and championed in their respected areas.

The Legendary Shack Shakers pretty much obliterated any previous set I ever witnessed them play tonight at Muddy Roots. They played a terrific set at the Nashville Boogie and tore up all their surroundings.

This video doesn’t do the antics of Mr. J.D.Wilkes justice, I think by far he is one of the greatest front men in this business and he completely annihilates all law and order on stage. There’s no telling WHAT he’s to pull up hanging upside down on a light fixture and continuing to perform.

The first songs I noticed while they barrelled through their set list were from the Agridustrial album, and they were “Sugar Baby”, “Hobos Are My Heroes” and one of my favorites, the old “Dump Road Yodel”.

They had the crowd whipped into an absolute wild fever with a song they don’t play live as much called “Gipsy Valentine” and another favorite of mine “No Such Thing” from the Pandelerium album. With Mr. J.D.Wilkes you get him hanging upside down like this and swinging around as we encourage his destruction of everything around him.

I cannot forget the Nashville Palace induced harmonica battle he had with Mr. Ronnie Crutcher from Hillbilly Casino during the Nashville Boogie where they both went ape shit and blew us all away again. Their previous concerts have always left me speechless with songs like “Born In The Bluegrass”, and their last song was “Bullfrog Blues”.

The Urban Pioneers hit us up with some NEW songs at Moonrunners AND Muddy in 2017. “Run Rabbit Run” is on the Blue Plate Special CD they have out now..kind of a live album, and will be on their new album. I spoke to Mr. Jared at the Westport Roots Festival and he gave me a couple of tentative names for the new album.

Their set included classics like “Ain’t Gonna Work” and ’75 Southbound Blues”, and one of my favorite songs that attracted me to their band was called ‘Apparition In The Fog”. Their first album which included cover art by Mr. Lou Shields was an instant Roots success, and in my opinion is a classic album.

Mr. Martin up there pounding that upright bass for them for a while now, I always enjoy catching up with him in conversations all over the country. I enjoy seeing all the musicians and getting to know them as people, and I enjoy seeing YOU…yes YOU the one reading THIS. YOU make this work, not me not the bands…without the reader, or the fans…this and ALL scenes cease to exist.

“Till I Get Thrown Out” was next on the set list as well as “Please Give me A Highway”. I think this time they pretty much did a wonderful job of picking a wide array of songs from all three albums tonight. From the new album Feast Or Famine they played “Never Had A Waffle At Waffle House” to the first album with “Lost My Weed Waltz”.

“High On The Mountain” was another song on the list, followed by “Liz’s Reel” and the last song I noticed was “Walk This World” before going over to the other stage to see this next last band Shawn James And The Shapeshifters.

Shawn James And The Shapeshifters is a five piece band that plays blues and country and all sorts of other kinds of music rolled into one. I understand that there was severe sound and light problems due to the storms and I missed a lot of the last two sets of the night.

Video Property Of Miss Lisa Wells

Aug 042017

HI Folks

Well once again I am working my butt off for Tumbleweed, ushering in Muddy Roots and also working for the Texas Country Music Awards. As you may know I can NO LONGER do this alone, so I have enlisted the assistance of my friend Mr. Joshua Wallace to help me when he finds jobs he knows he can conquer.

I firmly think you will concur that he knocked it out of the park on this review of Mr. Tyler Childers HAPPY PURGATORY DAY EVERYONE.

Here is a video from a recently covered Tyler Childers show in Nashville you can read more about that one HERE

Whether you’ve been waiting for years to hear a fully produced Tyler Childers album or you just discovered him leading up to this release, Purgatory does not disappoint.  This record was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson and it was recorded live at David Ferguson’s Butcher Shoppe over 2 days.  They have released a record that I feel will be a strong contender for album of the year 2017.

There is a lot of diversity at work in the sound on this album.  These songs pull from outlaw country, honky tonk and even bluegrass and folk.  The star among these varied arrangements is Tyler’s voice and songwriting, both of which are front and center on this album.  Clever lines like “Well my buckle makes impressions on the inside of her thigh, there are little feathered indians where we tussled through the night” from “Feathered Indians” are peppered throughout the lyrics.  The imagery present in his songwriting often reminds me of Jason Isbell, but with more accessibility.

Some of my favorites include “Whitehouse Road”, “Purgatory” and “Honky Tonk Flame”.  “Whitehouse Road” reminds me of a modern day “Copperhead Road” but in a good way that makes something new while bringing about memories of the old song.  The title track puts the album in full on bluegrass mode and it’s a fun romp that brings about a welcome change of pace to the album.  Finally, “Honky Tonk Flame” brings about that honky tonk vibe and you can hear Sturgill’s influence on this track.

There is truly not a bad track on this album and I’m sure everyone will have their own favorites.  While you have heard many of these songs before, either live or on his previous releases like the Live on Red Barn Radio I & II EPs or the Bottles & Bibles LP from 2011 , this record is his best release to date.  I hope this album finds Tyler Childers the bigger audiences his sound deserves.  The sky’s the limit from here and I’m excited to see what is next.


Purgatory Track List:

  1. I Swear (to God)

  2. Feathered Indians

  3. Tattoos

  4. Born Again

  5. Whitehouse Road

  6. Banded Clovis

  7. Purgatory

  8. Universal Sound

  9. Honky Tonk Flame

  10. Lady May


Jul 052017


I been hard at work for Tumbleweed Festival lately, as I have been on vacation from my “normal” job. I have talked with many people and artists. My friend and partner Miss Kristie who runs the vendor company Rebel K Child does what I call “The Back End” of the festival. That’s the area YOU are in as fans and BY GOD IT’S THE IMPORTANT AREA, you see I’m in the “Front End” of the festival backstage making sure the set list is correct, and the band is hydrated correctly. Without the support of the fans there would BE NO local music, I don’t care WHAT genre you play.

It’s MY JOB to be a sober, positive representative of the brand I am working for to bring YOU the BEST coverage of the event from a media standpoint. It’s MY JOB to KNOW every song EVERY artist played and what they said on stage, it’s MY JOB to bring you news and upcoming events that YOUR favorite people are doing.

You know many old tales abound about how all the Outlaw stars hung out at each others  houses partying all night, and it may have happened periodically. But this business is push push push, and if you hang around me long enough you’ll see I don’t screw around. I’m VERY PROMPT and timely, if you are scheduled to call me at 4 or I’m scheduled to call you at 4 you better bet your butt I’ll call.

We don’t always have time to STOP and chat, and that was the case with Miss Sunny Sweeney last week, I DID get to talk with her a little bit and I did get to ask her some things about this event. When I asked her what she planned to bring to the table to Tumbleweed she had just one reply…”Country Music”. Who’s to argue with her, I mean hell she has been hard at work for several years develpoing her own style.

She’s often placed alongside Red Dirt artists which Tumbleweed will be bringing into the mix with Outlaw Country artists out there in Kansas City. But to be honest she’s been around longer than many of the Red Dirt artists, as her first album “Heart Breaker’s Hall Of Fame” was released in 2006 before she signed on with Big Machine. It was re released in 2007 as her debut album and back then many of the primary Red Dirt artists weren’t in the spotlight yet, aside from a few I could name and that’s NOT saying anything negative because I love Red Dirt Country.

She doesn’t consider herself Red Dirt or Texas Country, once again I asked her  what she classified her music as and she quickly replied “Country”. I did get to ask her what writing with Mr. Bob DiPiero was like (he was the co-writer on the song “From A Table Away” on her second album). And she replied that “it was really fun to have that experience, and he was a truly nice guy”.

She broke barriers with her third album “Provoked” which took a totally different direction for her as a songwriter and featured some different vocals. Additionally I enjoyed her third album more because I love the song “You Don’t Know Your Husband” which was co wrote by Pistol Annie member Angaleena Preseley.

I dissected “Provoked”  as an album more heartfelt and personal, however she carried it even further into that personal realm with her new album from Thirty Tigers called “Trophy”. That album is already on everybody’s TOP list already for 2017 I’m quite sure.

When I asked her what she wanted to reflect toward her fans when she made Trophy she had this to say “Well I always try to write songs that let everybody know where I am in my life. And I would presume it would be safe to say that I wanted people to know where I was in my life, and I wanted to reflect those feeling through the songs I’m singing about”.

We chatted for a short period of time about all kinds of things, and I wanted to feature her and let people that didn’t really know her or her music become familiar with it. Unlike  many of the other artists on this bill Miss Sunny and I have never met in person, I have been around her but always in passing. So I think basically she and I had more of a personal conversation and that’s OK too, because one thing I have ALWAYS RESPECTED about Miss Sunny is the fact she is an AVID Opry performer. On August 25th she will play her 50th Opry appearance, and to be honest when you watch her play there you can FEEL the love she has for that institution.

The Opry is special and it is `hallowed wood, and if it wasn’t they wouldn’t have taken the wood from the Ryman in 1974 and placed it into the new stage. Sadly Country Legend George Morgan was the last person to play the Opry at the Ryman AND the FIRST to play the Opry on the new stage before passing away July 7th 1975.

I told her that I would include this in my article for DARN SURE that I have been heavily pushing for her to be inducted into the Grand Old Opry membership, I firmly believe that as often as she performs on that stage and the passion she possesses for the proliferation of Country Music history, she deserves to be inducted as a member in the near future. It is a life goal of mine to make certain my daughter can have the ability to call her a Country Music legend.


May 292017

My first day of this excursion began late Thursday night when my buddy Mr. Jared McPherson came out to spend the night and traveled with us out there to the Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City Missouri. I believe this year to have been a landmark year for this festival, both on attendance and music. From a music standpoint last year was an epic occurrence with many Legends and happenings, but 2017 knocked last year out of the ballpark. It literally beat anything it’s ever done in the past in every sense of the word.

ALL of the stages held their own relevance to the meaning of the festival,and the arrangement was so well coordinated that everything went pretty well from what I could ascertain. My stage went smooth as silk and there were no problems at all. EVERY ACT had a steel guitar and sounded grand in every sense of the word, BUT you will read about that later folks. Right now you will read about my journey there and how this weekend began.

I work closely with a LOT of people in this business and share good and bad knowledge, contacts information and so much more. I team up with many people to share trip costs and venue promotions, and Rebel K Child jewelry is one I work with many times. I’ll be working with her several times in 2017, Westport was one of them, I’m quite positive that she’ll continue to feature her products there.

We rented an SUV from Enterprise in Glasgow Kentucky, now to be honest if you remember I had a truly negative experience with them on my Chicago trip. But I learned it’s really WHERE you go within the brand, because we were treated like royalty there.Corporate was not involved so I’m sure we were probably treated better because of this fact, because once corporate is involved it turns into a fiasco.

We had a truly blessed trip out there in every sense of the word, it was early and grueling after working most of the night on other ventures, and day 1 was actually a 35 hour marathon of hardcore music and excitement for all four of us. I had a stellar crew of co-workers that drove long hours under extremely tiresome conditions, that stepped up to help me get this job done. Rebel K Child both helped me out so much and I couldn’t have done it without Miss Kristie and Mr. Mike.

I also had another assistant this weekend helping me in any way I needed it, and I’d like to thank Miss Sara Leann Schulte for all of her help all weekend. I usually can maintain control alone but with not having an option to stray far from my own stage, I simply couldn’t do everything I needed without a helping hand. Also I needed photos of myself on stage introducing all of the acts, additionally I had her shoot the video for the FIRST EVER LIVE episode of my “Steel Guitarists Along The Road” series with Mr. KC Steeler as my guest. I run an extremely demanding operation for festivals, when you hire me to cover it, you won’t get second rate National Enquirer subject matter like other “Country Music” blogs. I need someone who will stay awake and do what I need to help me as I concentrate on the set list and song content, and Miss Sara did just that for me.

This isn’t party time for me, and it certainly isn’t fun and games. We have an obligation to those that purchased tickets to see a top notch show, and I have an obligation to those that hire me to provide the BEST coverage I can provide them. With that being said when I need vehicle keys or photos and videos RIGHT THEN, it’s a fact, and she came through for me in a timely manner.

Miss Kaylee Reeder and her absolutely wonderful staff at the Westport Saloon that all pitch in and help this establishment shine. This area is well known for being a Roots Music venue and well known for great food, as well as so many wonderful sponsors that help it carry the torch for the music scene out there in Kansas City. I could just go on and on about the wonderful staff there, and every one of them are always glad to see us there.

So let’s talk about our hotel shall we? We stayed at Crossland Studios In Kansas City and we arrived there in the afternoon after driving all late night and early morning. The area was convenient and appealing but check in is 3:00 PROMPTLY and when I say PROMPTLY I mean do NOT TRY to get room at 2:58….you go at 3 EXACTLY. The rooms are REALLY nice though complete with regular sized fridge and oven, apparently they are designed to be extended stay rooms. For the price I felt pretty satisfied with my choice to book this hotel, I’m doing some more research in this area here for this festival and several more in Kansas City so in future articles I’ll have other options for hotels in this aspect of the venture.

We settled in and got some dinner while preparing to come down to the Westport district for the pre party Friday evening. Even with the pre-party we were treated to the best possible music that Mr. Jody could fiendishly plan, he probably sits up in that office and rubs his hands with malicious delight as he books these main acts. The VERY FIRST night we were treated to one of the most important occurrences to happen in Roots Music in years. If you recall a while ago I ran the story about the last show of the Broken Band as all the members went different ways. Well Friday night we were treated to history in it’s true form.

Greeting old friends and becoming reacquainted with old friends and meeting new people as well as Jo Jo the dog, who sat next to me at my table with his owner Mr. Jay Lev. Networking is what always makes me so excited to venture out here. All the different bars going on at once , It’s a whole district of music going on at once. The Westport district is indeed the epicenter of the Kansas City Roots Music Scene and in just a little bit I’m going to touch on a LIVE album that A.J. Gaither recorded there at the Westport Saloon. I sat and had a nice conversation with my good friend Mr. A.J. about WHY he chose the Westport and what he’s up to now, also I got some insight about his plans for the future. See folks many times when we are just having a friendly conversation It’s actually information being obtained to write about your music, so be sure to tell me everything you would like mentioned.

The very first band I watched were The Culprits as they brought their own blend of Honky Tonk music to the saloon tonight. They are from the Kansas area, and they represented the local scene here very well. I absolutely enjoyed their set tonight as did the rest of my company, the saloon was rapidly becoming packed with people I knew and people I had yet to meet. This weekend remedied that however, and trust me I left with a refreshed palate of newly acquainted website readers and personal friends.

The Culprits were already in full swing when I arrived there and they played “Little Ramona” by BR5-49, which I believe was one of their won originals. See,BR5-49 had an uncanny ability to take rare cover songs and play them convincingly original. Part of the reason was they were so obscure unless you were a music guru, it was believed to be an original song. They did their set really well with the help of our friend KC Steeler, who I’ll be surprising you with later on a little side project I had going…..SSShhhhh don’t tell Mr. Travis I did this he don’t know about this one yet! I brought my “Steel Guitarists Along The Road Series” with me to do some LIVE work, this time it won’t be just in print. I took some time out to get one on one with Mr. Colm and you will get to not only read about him but SEE him on MANY videos from this weekend.

“Sugar Daddy” was next mixed with some great solos and instrumentals all throughout the songs, I highly suggest checking out this band further along with all the other bands I feature on here. They played a long version of a song called “Let’s Get Liquored Up” that involved the participation from the audience. Now mind you this early that was easily obtained, at midnight well that might have been harder…because they got liquored up quite well. It’s Westport Roots Festival and it’s party time, and party we did well into the A.M. In fact I could say like their last song called “Tear It Up” we did indeed tear it up in every sense of the word. GREAT band here to kick things off tonight and I was preparing to work here folks, I got all this covered.

The Ghosts Of Grandad’s Past are another local Kansas City fixture that does some covers of Those Poor Bastards really well.  They began with “Death Came To My Door” and followed that with a song called “Want To Lay Here And Die” about having door people at their funeral to prevent some people from seeing their dead bodies. They played called 99-105 about getting pulled over while driving drunk and high, so apparently they enjoy the fast lifestyle and playing dive bars for the next tank of gas.

“Sun Goes Down, Dark As Night” was next before they closed with a cover of the ever popular classic song “Rye Whiskey”.  They play dark and haunting songs of the other side of life, like the song “Down By The River”.  This three piece band was a great beginning to the festival here tonight, they played songs about whiskey and drugs, all of those wonderful things that local bands sing about!

The Kansas City Bear Fighters absolutely rocked the rooftops tonight, I mean they literally brought down the house. They have a terrific marketing idea on their merch and have an even better marketing idea on their music, it’s different and fresh. It’s unlike anything you have ever witnessed before and you just cannot classify them with anyone really.

They opened with “Spring Break 3035” and went into a song called “Take My Legs Away”, they introduced that one to be about mermaids. Then they went into a song about “Female Parts” called “Smitten with Her Kitten”, and a pretty good one called “Large Marge”.

Many instrumentals adorned their set throughout the entire thing and it was filled with songs like “Ain’t life Strange” and the “Panda Bear Song”. Also there was a song about “The Devil” included as they showed off their different styles of playing and their influences of various directions. “Hello Oblivion” and “Safari” closed out their portion of the festivities tonight, as well as the song “Ancient Ones”. As I learn more about this band you can be sure to catch it here on this website.

Mr.Lorin Walker Madsen is by far some of the finest West Coast Honky Tonk I have ever witnessed. I LOVE that Honky Tonk out there like my buddy Jon Emery whom you’ll be hearing about again soon in my album features articles, all the way up to my friends the Ponderosa Aces.  Now this young man is one I have been communicating with for long periods of time and haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, well that’s the pertinent thing about have that chance.

He brought us songs like “Behind The Wheel” and “Lonely Highway” ,tried and true songs of lonesome heartbreak and despair. But also on the other side of life’s curtain lies a proud working man with ragged hands within songs like “My Collar Ain’t White”.

He played songs like “Robbed” and “Travelin Man” before his musicians anthem “Slave Of The Road”. Man I’ll tell you what I have been following these folks around to various parts of America, in the years past. I couldn’t do this job and ALL the extra stuff involved with it like loading/unloading and social media. It’s a tough tough life, and it’s NOT for everyone.

“Ain’t Getting Caught” was next and he closed his set with “Another Last Call”. Truly a damn fine display of original songs here tonight by a truly gifted Honky Tonk hell raiser here at the Westport.

A.J.Gaither is one of the OMB or One Man Bands here at Roots Music Festivals, I got to stop and talk with him about why he chose the Westport Saloon to make his LIVE album. Honestly as soon as I finally got to see him perform some of his great songs there like “Biscuits And Gravy” the answer was evident.

He played a few other songs like “Long Way To Go”, and always gets a good response at the Westport Saloon no matter when he plays. Often times musicians have their own “home bar” or venue they usually do very well at, this is Mr. A.J’s place indeed. “Don’t Want To Go To Heaven” was part of his set, as he praised us for showing up so early and getting this party started already.

Mr. correct NONE OF THIS would be possible without Mr. Travis Fields and what he does with the saloon, and he can also tell you the story of why there are four roses in four roses bourbon and the “Bad Decisions” that sometimes comes along with drinking.

Jayke Orvis reunited his classic lineup of The Broken Band tonight, including original member Mr. Joe Perez, who took a leave from music for personal reasons. We miss him but you know what, it’s awesome to see them make those choices too. I didn’t start my website FULL TIME until my own child was 18, and I had fewer responsibilities in order to do this.

The place went WILD as they opened with “Clinch Mountain Back step” and went into “Bound To Ride”. I tell you WHAT none of the four members lost any of their timing or speed in these few years of not playing these songs, and it was kind of like they just picked up after a week!

Liz Sloan’s stage presence is probably one of the finest in all of local music,and her talent is absolutely impeccable. Their level of professionalism in a sometimes unprofessional realm is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the business side of things. I cannot think of four people I admire more than these four right here, I share a relevant past with Mr. Jayke and it’s quite possible we played in the same area and didn’t know it as children.

Mr. James is quite possibly one of the smartest people you will ever encounter, and will hold a conversation with you about anything from trees and birds to 80’s Heavy Metal. He TRULY enjoys seeing you and TRULY enjoys music fans, if you are there to appreciate the music this man will accept anybody. I met him at Porter Wagoner’s funeral for goodness sake, and it was like we knew each other for years.

“Pick Up The Steam” was another they played I believe that’s a Weary Boys tune, followed by “Streets Wont Be The Same”. “Gone Forever More” was next as they didn’t say much to us, they just kept barrelling out those songs we love like ‘Empty Bottles”.

He DID say if you aren’t a Hank Williams fan he cannot be friends with you, as they did a GREAT version of “Kaw Liga” like they always did do. “Crooked Smile” “Shady Grove” and others filled their set list like “Feelings Like This” and MY personal favorite “Thunderbolts And Lightning”.

They had the whole place roaring to the song “Dreadful Sinner” before doing the instrumental and “Murder Of Crows” which was their logo, followed by “Shot Down” and “Raise The Moon”. One of their most popular trademarks was taking metal and transforming it into the Bluegrass sound as they did with “Battery” off one of the greatest metal abums of ALL time..Master Of Puppets.

Mar 112017

I’m going to provide links to all the bands on my lineup on this article and it’s NOT going to be easy! The lineup on this one is a BIG BIG deal folks, this festival is not small time or little in any way.

Merlefest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College.
I thought at first it had something to do with Merle Haggard but no it was named and founded in memory of Doc Watson’s son who died in 1985. Doc Watson who died on May 29th 2012 often played the festival and provided much to the growth of the festival.

It is held on the campus of the Wilkes Community College in Wilksboro North Carolina and all these bands will play on 13 different stages…I’d have to hire a ton of help to cover this festival I’m going to up front and honest about this festival there is NO smoking or drinking allowed. So if you are coming down there intending to party hard…don’t. Cause this festival is for music lovers that choose not to imbibe in that. You can click on the main link up there for maps and directions to the festival. Here is the lineup to this behemoth festival and TRUST ME if you are just like me and like to enjoy the music in public in a sober fashion this is a GREAT festival and you can purchase tickets HERE.

CAMPING: is again offering fully setup campsites, at any of the wonderful campgrounds in the Merlefest area. We have been offering this fine service since 1999 and have had patrons from most states and many foreign countries as well. Our patrons arrive to their site to a high-quality tent, decked out with carpet, cots, lanterns, water jugs, gazebo and camp kitchen amenities if preferred.
Please check out the website, Dancin Dave’s for all details and of course you can ask any questions you have from there.
Oh…and Doc himself gave me his blessing when I started the business back in 1998…I actually came up with the concept on my drive home to Wisconsin from Merlefest that year. The next weekend I had the supreme pleasure of dining with Doc and Jack before their show in Madison that night…it was an experience I will always treasure!

Festival_Map_2017 that link right there will open a PDF file of the entire festival grounds and some of the nature trails there are to romp around on!

The Avett Brothers
Zac Brown Band
Bela Fleck
Marty Stuart
Del McCoury Band
Leftover Salmon
Sam Bush Band
The Earls Of Leicester
Jerry Douglass
Peter Rowan
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Kruger Brothers
Natalie MacMaster
Jorma Kaukonen
Tift Merritt
Sarah Jarosz
John Driskell Hopkins
Mandolin Orange
The Steel wheels
Chatam County Line
Sierra Hull
I Draw Slow
Jim Lauderdale
Mountain Heart
Bryan Sutton Band
Mitch Greenhill
Donna The Buffalo
The Waybacks
John Doyle
Jim Avett
David Holt
Pete And Joan Werrick
T Michael Coleman
Roy Book Binder
Andy May
Chris Jones And The Night Drivers
Claire Lynch
Front Country
Wayne Henderson
The Contanders
Happy Traum
The Stray Birds
Darin And Brooke Aldridge
Jack Lawrence
Jeff Little Trio
Carol Rifkin
10 String Symphony
Midnight Plowboys
Locust Honey
Bluegrass Expierience
Pat Donahue
Steve James
The Local Boys
Tony Williamson
Ed Snodderly
String Madness
Mark Bumgarner
Megan Nash
Ken Tizzard
Pat McInnery
Todd Albright
Joe Smothers
Charles Welch
Bob Hill
Andy Buckner
Bill Mathis
Mark Brinkman
The Gravy Boys
Steve And Ruth Smith
The Green Grass Cloggers
Eric Ellis
Scott Freeman
The BattleAxe Band
Ted White
Lydia Luce
The hook And Bullet
Dear Brother
Alberti Flea Circus
Counterclockwise String Band
Spice Creek Ramblers
Surry Line
Swift Creek
Uncle Joe And The Shady Rest

Jan 142017

I do not really watch a lot of non music related television, I do indulge in the NFL but I sometimes out it on mute whilst I write or research for future articles. I haven’t watched CMT in quite some time for certain, I’m not really into videos or reality shows or crossroads weirdness. I do watch RFD TV and the likes of old Hee Haw and All of those older Country Music variety shows like Ronnie Prophet and such.

I have been diligently eyeballing this ongoing project offering from them for some time now however, and on Feb 23rd this show is set to debut. Honestly I am pondering exactly what to anticipate from them concerning this particular subject, will it be candied up and made to look politically correct or will it be historically accurate?

I mean let’s face it people this whole birth of Rock And Roll transpired during America’s most volatile time which was the Civil Rights Movement. Memphis in the 1950’s was a pinnacle of segregation and division as was the entire south. Music in itself was also on a pendulum of change as of course 1953 said farewell to Hank Williams and Outlaw Country and the Nashville Sound weren’t devised quite yet. In 1950 legendary producer Sam Phillips was concocting this thing called Rockabilly, which basically was Hillbilly and Rock And Roll juxtaposed together. He wasn’t the only one doing experiments with music however he was the most commercially successful with the outcome of his impromptu session that resulted purely by chance.

Initially this show was going to called “Million Dollar Quartet” and I’m not really sure why it was renamed “Sun Records” perhaps so they can expand on Sun Records as a whole and not just limit this series to one particular event? We shall soon see I think, as this show begins to unfold and it could go a whole variety of different directions to be honest. I have studied the Million Dollar Quartet for many years and I have read so many books on this subject from many different points of view.

The Million Dollar Quartet was an impromptu jam session that included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash,Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins and it happened on December 4rth 1956. The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 and soon after more tracks were discovered and released as the Complete Million Dollar Sessions in 1990 worldwide. There were so many legalities involved that the recordings were almost completely silenced altogether and simply archived.

The whole incident happened by pure coincidence as Carl Perkins who already had success with “Blue Suede Shoes” came into the studio that day and his brothers to record some new material. At that juncture Jerry Lee Lewis was an unknown Legend and was the latest acquisition on the label’s roster. He was still in his experimental stages where his real talent was not yet flourished or fed. Sometime that afternoon a young Elvis Presley arrived to just simply hang out with his current girlfriend to observe and schmooze with whomever he could find, as the place was a regular flophouse for it’s own roster. In fact the studio was complete with sleeping quarters and cooking areas for it’s artists to employ when required, as many of them were often vagabonds and broke.

According to many autobiographies about Johnny Cash including his own biography he was already there to witness the actual Carl Perkins recording, as he was one of Carl’s biggest fans and also “Cowboy” Jack Clement was engineering that day. Jerry Lee Lewis was the upcoming piano guru during this time but Elvis was the most nationally known star right then having been acquired by Sam for a large sum of undisclosed funds. In all four of their own rights they went on to blaze their own paths in their respective genres of music and even each others genres as well. Sun Records met it’s Sam Phillips directed demise in 1969 as Shelby Singleton acquired the label and was rumored to have been a recluse within the building and indulging in over 10,000 hours of tape to himself.

This show will be an eight part series and the cast includes Chad Michael Murray as Sun Records founder Sam Phillips; Billy Gardell as Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s manager; Drake Milligan as Presley; Kevin Fonteyne as Cash; Christian Lees as Lewis; Jonah Lees as Jimmy Swaggart; Trevor Donovan as Eddy Arnold, and Kerry Holliday as Ike Turner.