Muddy Roots 2021.

This year, especially at Muddy Roots was a first for me on many different levels. I’m still really into the music like I was before, but this year I brought my own daughter and introduced her to this wonderful place…..THIS YEAR meant a lot to me as a music fan, and a dad as well.

Ever since the very first Muddy Roots in 2010, I would always talk about that festival ( as well as others ) with my daughter, and always send pictures of each festival all over the United States. I did get to take her to Chicago for Moonrunners a few years back, and in 2019, I moved her here to help her get on a right path in life.

I brought her to Muddy Roots this past year, and even though I had my usual crew with me, I didn’t work as ardently as I normally do. I did however catch a LOT of the festival, and in my usual fashion, I am going to share it all with you in an article.

I want everyone and every band to know that I am back on the commander chair, and I am better than ever on the music front. I did the usual amount of research and had the usual pages of notes on this article, that I usually do, but what differs here was that I spent more time with each band. See, usually I float all over the festival to catch many more bands than I did here.

Many times my daughter and I kept chairs under the same stationary tent for the entire night, because that tent had a complete lineup of bands we wanted to see. It just meant so much to me as a parent, to pass this event on to another generation of fans, that I am adamant will cherish and support long after I am gone in life.

The larger tent stage this year was named after one of our Muddy Roots friends that are no longer around to enjoy the festival on Earth, and that was Mr. Chris Buckley. There is no doubt in my mind he is watching over us all, as we enjoy the music.

One of my favorite memories of him was the time that Call Me Bronco was playing, and they stopped the show to find someone’s glasses. I have so many stories of so many of the folks that I met and became cherished friends with at this festival here, that I could fill up a book bigger than one of those old yellow pages. So, this sucker is going to be choked full of photos from one of my freelance photographers Miss Marla Gibson.

I brought her into the Muddy Roots fold in 2019, because I knew that she was going to be a great fit for the vast array of various music styles, that encompass the Muddy Roots ideology. She has been out doing an amazing job on her own as a photographer, and I thought that with my getting her foot in the door, that she could embellish Muddy with her knowledge of her craft.

I’ll be completely honest, this year the weather made it one of the best weekends I have ever experienced yet. In the many years of festivals I have taken part in here, I went through INTENSE rain and INTENSE heat as well as other various factors, and this year the weather was PERFECT!

I know that on a normal basis, when I do these articles for music festivals, I like to include the hotel I stayed at, but I’ll be honest. I stayed at so many wonderful hotels in the area in my time, it’s difficult to make JUST ONE the top choice!  We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Cookeville this year, and the staff was VERY nice to us, and the rooms were amazing!

The first act that I got to take Meghan to this year, was a good friend of mine who is always tearing up the road, and his name is Pat Reedy And The Longtime Goners. folks, I been around the block with him a few times and went to many functions for him in various states. He has a true and genuine love for that foot stomping Honky Tonk Country Music that quickly draws me in as a fan, and I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy him so much.

The first song he played was called “I Won’t Be Lonely” , and followed that by introducing his band, which  consisted of Mr. Leo Grassam on steel, Mr. Justin Hamilton on bass, Mr. Gabe Coleman on guitars and finally Mr. Ryan Elwell on drums. This is a good breakup song, however it pretty much proclaims that there will be an easy replacement gal in the picture…on a temporary basis.

The second song he did was from the first album called “Highway Bound”, and is one of my personal favorites he has called “Burgundy In The Rain”. Named after the street in New Orleans where he lived for awhile, not pronounced like the color.

They did a rousing version of the 1966 Charlie Walker classic called “Little Ol Wine Drinker Me”, which was later cut by Mr. Dean Martin. It is a song about a man on skid row as he drinks away his life’s troubles. One of the reasons I love this song so much is that it was one of the earlier ones produced by one of my favorite producers, Mr. Jimmy Bowen.

“Big Wheels” was from his first album, which talks about the big wheels on the bus that roll slowly across the nation, which he indeed does just that. When he is not touring, he is in town doing construction work and he is a very hardworking young man in his own right.

“Lucky I’m alive” and “Fare The Well” are both from his most recent album, filled with plenty of warm steel guitar twang that is sure to please your heart. The last song he played was called “Running Out of Reasons”.

One of the few things I had to complain about was not really Mr. Jason’s fault, see the stage company dropped off the wrong stage, and it was too late for him to remedy the problem! So the fact that the stage in the Buckley Tent was so low to the ground and smaller was an issue that happened at the last minute.

One of the times where shows were happening on tight time schedules were here, as Meghan was learning where to go and when, I kind of started to go off on my own to work a little while leaving the chairs on the Buckley tent corner. This year, I got to be a parent AND a fan, this year was filled with many milestones for her! Right below is a video from a band called Tijuana Bible.

Some of the bands in the beginning were changed up, and I missed a few of them on the wood stage, which was once again run by Mr. Mark Simmons again. I swear, the man never sleeps on the wood stage! All of the videos on this article are property of Mr. Scott Mithun over at Hellbilly And Outlaw Radio.

Above photo property of Marla Gibson.

So, now let’s finally get to one of the artists that I have been featuring a little this year, and I fully plan to begin to feature him more, now that I have fully returned to the website. Just a few years ago, the local music scene was hammered with a new member of the Williams family.

That family has so many members that are involved in music, and each one of them does their OWN thing and has their OWN style. You won’t see me trying to compare any two members of the bloodline, nor will you read about me doing that on here. I myself don’t really care for the music that Sam Williams does, however to try and tell him he doesn’t compare to his father ( who is Hank Williams Jr.) is ludicrous. I’m not a member of their family, and as a TRUE FAN of each of them, I’ll NEVER do that.

Enter into the picture Mr. Coleman Williams son of Shelton Hank Williams III, and he is simply using the moniker of IV And The Strange Band. He blends his own type of  Country and juxtaposes it with doom metal and various other genres all rolled into one form of art.

Every show I have gone to of his, he holds the crowd in his hands, and is in complete and utter control of each of them! He is a phenomenal artist in his own right, and he is growing, grooming, and developing a style that I hope is here to stay.

There is nobody that is going to make me give up on this man’s music, nor am I ever going to place  him into ANY “box” or comparison, despite my admiration for his family members. With songs like “Son Of Sin” I am just elated for the upcoming album form him.

Get back and on again
I’m just another old son of sin
That’s been passed like a bottle to praise my kin
Ain’t a matter of where you been
Cause I’m just another old son of sin

The above chorus is an excerpt from his single he released on 4-20-2021. His band consists of Mr. David Talley-Guitars, Mr. Daniel Mason, Mr. Jason Dietz-Bass, Miss Laura Beth Jewell-Fiddle and finally Mr. Taylor Powell-Drums.

Above photo property of Marla Gibson

I believe that it is incredibly difficult to go through life in his shoes, from a musical standpoint because of his lineage. Why? Why does so many people feel the insatiable need to compare him to his father, or grandfather? One of the main focuses of my website is to dispel this common theory by showcasing their individual talents. The song “Son Of Sin” touches on that very subject for me, while stressing that he is indeed the Son Of Sin.

“Malice” and “Inbred” were first. “Malice” is one of his more Country songs that showcase his vocals the  best out of them, however one of the most intriguing and well written songs he has is called “inbred’. This song is about an old, old Kentucky folklore about the Fugate family, which was a family that bore children with a blue skin condition known scientifically as Methemoglobinemia.

There were so few families back then in such a small area that a lot of inbreeding was occurring, and this story goes far more in depth than I can type here. You can research this further HERE. “Stand Your Ground” was next, as well as “Train”, and “Haunt You”. I’ll be delving into many other of these songs of his in future articles I have coming up from his show at Springwater Supper Club.  He closed with “Deep Down” and “Filth”.

Photo property of Marla Gibson.

This next act I only caught a portion of, so once again this video below has been generously contributed by Mr. Scott Mithun who hosts the Hellbilly And Outlaw Radio Show out of Minnesota. I believe I tagged him many times on here. This next act was Memphis local legend Mr. Jack Oblivian. This first video is the song “Running From The Law”.

Those videos are going to be followed by some random pictures of my beloved Muddy Roots Family. Right now I want to apologize in public for taking so long to do this job here, it took a long time to get my shit together and begin my sobriety. I had to check into a rehab for a pretty nasty pill addiction, and when I emerged I was a new man! I was then busy making amends with my daughter, who never gave up on me!

Now, we finally get to one of my favorite milestones of the weekend for me as a fan and a father….my daughter’s very first metal show! She had no idea of the world she was about to be exposed to, and has never seen a mosh pit.

As the sun was setting upon the first day of the festival, we all made our way back to the wood stage for one of the greatest metal bands that not many have heard of, and that is Black Tusk. They are a sludge metal band from Savannah Georgia, and they have been around since 2006, however this was my first time seeing them live.

I don’t really care about the flack I will catch for featuring a metal band on here, and I don’t do it often but for Muddy….it’s on! I did not take information on the set list, however I did take TONS of pictures and I’ll share those.

Photo property of Marla Gibson.

Photo property of Marla Gibson.

I wanted to take a moment to give a lot of credit to the official emcee of the entire event here Mr. Sean Wheeler. He and I had an opportunity to talk at one of the sober community meetings, and we share a common bond of sobriety. We talked about how we can co exist in this world of drinking and partying, while remaining sober.

Many genres of music herald the praises and at the same time lament the demise of a life soaked in whiskey and dope. We talked about some of our past with one another, one of the “rules” of working the twelve steps is to NOT romanticize your past highs on your drug of choice. But on the contrary, I think it’s healthy to involve that in the music. It can speak to you, and it can prevent you from forgetting where you came from.

This brings us back to the Buckley Tent for a true Legend, the one and only Mr. Scott H Biram! He has been one of my biggest influences into the local music world, and is now one of my daughter’s favorites too! I want to personally thank him for being so kind to her, and spending time with her and me too!

I have another article coming from his show with IV And The Strange Band in Nashville here to be posted soon. But for now, let’s talk about my second time seeing him at Muddy Roots.I’m hoping for good things for him, now that Bloodshot has announced their hiatus, which I will talk about in another article as well.

This video is of him performing “Time Flies” from the 2009 album called Something’s Wrong. Like I said, I will be touching on his set in another article coming directly after posting this one. You can rest assured that I will pay more attention to the dirty old one man band in that next article, along with my deep appreciation for his many years of music, and influence.

Directly after this we had yet another historic thing happen here, that I recently wrote about HERE. That is the almost all original lineup of the Legendary Shack Shakers! The four members that were on stage tonight ( as were last week) were guitarists Mr. Nathan Brown, and Mr. Brian Berryman, upright bassist Mr. Todd Anderson and of course Mr. J.D. Wilkes.

It sure was a historical treat to finally hear songs like “Back To Paducah” and others from the first 1998 album called Hunkerdown. “Hunkerdown” was one of the songs they played tonight from their extensive list of albums. They have been busy this year, touring in support of their new album called Cockaddodleduex.

This band is widely known for their energetic stage shows and Mr. J.D.Wilkes is always a welcomed addition to any festival lineup for his onstage antics and his knowledge of music history. My team was busy scurrying around taking many pictures of them, as they steamrolled through songs like “Tickle Your Innards”.

Photo is property of Marla Gibson.

Once again, this year I was filled with joy to finally get to show my daughter this paragon of Country, Roots and Rockabilly music, hell, he represents more genres than just those! I could easily write a lengthy article about how much this band means to me, just like I could write about Biram.

My good friends over at Viva Le Vox closed out the evening on Friday night, and they played songs from their new album called Where Class Meets Economy. I really think a lot of their bassist Mr. Scarecrow Jenkins, he takes time out to photograph all of the other bands, and supports them all.

He is another fellow member of the sober community with me, and the reason I like their music is because I cannot lump them into ANY genre or classify them as ANYTHING but music that I like. I draw a lot of strength from all of these bands like Viva, Mr. Scarecrow, Mr. Johnny Tugboat and Mr. Tony Bones. You’ll see me have them on the same playlist as Slayer, and Tracy Lawrence and 2Pac…it’s how I am. Here is a good portion of their set beginning with the title song “Where Class Meets Economy”.

Photo property of Marla Gibson.

The band Earthride is a doom metal band from Maryland, they started off day 2. I did get to watch some of their set before going over to check out my list of bands I wanted to cover for the day.

The band is made up of Mr. Dave Sherman, Mr. Eric Little, Mr. Josh Hart and Mr. Kyle Van Steinburg, and we enjoyed their set before heading over to the Buckley tent to see this next band that has been creating quite a buzz across the U.S.

The Bobby Lees are a band from the New York area, comprised of Miss Sam Quartin , Miss Kendall Wind, Mr. Macky Bowman and finally Mr. Nick Casa. And, might I say that this band was absolutely AMAZING LIVE!

Photo property of Marla Gibson

This is a classic garage type punk rock band with songs like “Drive” that took me back to my own youth in the late 80’s. We drove around and partied in abandoned car lots, and drank beer. This band is absolutely insane in every sense of the word, from their crushing guitar riffs to the way Miss Sam punishes her vocal cords with her rousing vocals.

This band plays like a well oiled machine, and I am completely amazed they haven’t become noticed by many more yet. They played one called ‘Be My Enemy” which if I am not mistaken is a cover song from the Waterboys.

Despite all of the mischief going on around you at ANY festival, there is family orientated people too. THIS kind of sharing the music makes me overly joyful inside, and I enjoy supporting the young people as they become exposed to ANY type of music.

THIS….this is the future of Muddy Roots right here. If we truly want it to continue to happen each year, we need to make sure we raise a future generation of patrons that spend money to keep it going.  This year was very special for many of us that are having fun watching each other’s kids growing up.

And once again, we have another familiar name on the bill the ultimate outlaw, none other than Mr. Bob Wayne, whom I featured not long ago on my Heart In Hands pet rescue article. He came in full force tonight with his signature train whistle and his whiskey fueled Honky Tonk demeanor.

I have always called him the nicest bad guy you’ll ever meet!  With his rumbustious ill feelings for the law, and a bitter hatred for authority, Mr. Bob Wayne sings songs that glorify cocaine and whores, yet at the same time warns not to get on the “Dope Train”.  A song he wrote with Country Music legend Mr. Red Simpson.

A song that he opened with was “Till The Wheels Fall Off”, which became his well known anthem of debauchery and ill mannered living. Along with the ever popular “Everything’s Legal In Alabama”, he barreled through a metric ton of Outlaw Country songs.

He played the song he wrote for our friend Mr. Bandana, who many of us met at Muddy Roots. He was a huge advocate and active supporter of Roots Music, and was always sitting side stage to fellows like Mr. Bob Wayne, and others. Finally, the other song I recalled was “Sam Tucker”.

Also speaking of the wood stage was the manager of said stage, whom I swear NEVER sleeps that weekend, Mr. Mark Simmons. He is always very nice to kids and to the media, and enforces the rules with tact. It’s always a pleasure to mention him on here, and I see him as an integral part of the team.

In fact, without Miss Delaney and Mr. Milton Chavez and ALL of his team, I KNOW that Mr. Jason could not do this as efficiently as he does. So many food and craft vendors help make it fun to go shopping on the vendor row, like Stoned Beautiful Jewelry.

Another friend of mine is a Muddy Roots legend, and he doesn’t even need a band to perform a spectacular set for this festival. My friends, this is the one and only Mr. James Hunnicutt! EVERY TIME he is on the band list at ANY festival, I make sure I see his set.  I met him way back in the MySpace era, and we physically met at Porter Wagoner’s funeral visitation in Nashville. Not an ideal setting to finally meet, but we shared a common love for Country Music.

One of my favorite songs he does in his set is always the song called “99 Lives”, and I still have one of the old 99 Lives t shirts I like to wear. He has such a smooth and unique way of hitting his high notes on his songs like “My Pain”. And I think that is one of the many reasons why he is so popular at this festival.

However, one of his most well written songs is the song called “Dying Healer’s Waltz”, and every time he plays Muddy Roots he fills up the tent with pretty much everyone! He comes early and is always involved in spreading his positive energy to everyone here. He was defiantly one of the artists I wanted to expose my daughter to, and now she too is a fan.

Now we get to another band I have always liked a TON, and that is the almighty Black Tarpoon. Here we have ol Mr. Joey Reed AKA Oatmeal, and his crew of heathens that performed one hell of a good show here this weekend…Don’t worry..we are going to mention them all here, with TONS of pictures!

Bottom 2 photos are property of Marla Gibson.

They have a new album just released this year called Probable Caws, and I have it on my album feature radar ( with thousands more, Jesus, I’m behind). Anyways, they played “The Dogs” , which is about a drug addict that was attacked by wild dogs and is on the Creature From The Black Tarpoon album, as well as the new one.

On this new album they added instruments and produced it in a different fashion. This whole album maintained their Roots Music sound, while at the same time showed growth as a band.  “Somebody’s Watching Me” was another song they played here tonight.

The rest of the band consists of Mr. Jesse James, Miss Tashia The Don, Mr. Billy Mo, Mr. Chi Chi Picante on the drums and Mr. Scooby Davidson on the fiddle. It’s always so much fun to watch them perform at Muddy, and I am hoping that they do some touring to support the new album here.

You can defiantly look forward to more features on this band here on my website, which was created to make a home for ALL of these local bands I love. See, that’s the difference here. I’m not JUST featuring national acts or local acts getting Ryman shows, I feature everyone I like.

This brings me to two bands my daughter LOVED at this festival and they were Left Lane Cruiser and the Goddamn Gallows.

Left Lane Cruiser is a two piece band from Fort Wayne, Indiana and it consists of Joe Evans IV and Pete Dio.  We stood there and both enjoyed their cover of “Black Betty”, I recall her saying “IT SOUNDS LIKE I’M IN A TORNADO, DAD”!

Above 2 photos property of Marla Gibson.

The Goddamn Gallows are a traveling bunch of scalawags that I enjoy going to see play every chance I get, and they always put on a fantastic show. You cannot place them in any musical genre, although some call it Gutterpunk, some call it Roots Music etc….. I just call it good ass music.

Mr. Mikey Classic, Mr. Fishgutzzz, Mr. Jayke Orvis and Mr. Uriah AKA Baby Genius make up this band. Additionally they now have Mr. Joe Perez on banjo again, who left a few years back for personal reasons.

Mr. Sean Wheeler said he had a nap, and stayed up late for the Goddamn Gallows! I’ll admit the long days and nights are difficult, however this year it wasn’t so HOT all day. That heat just drains me running around from stage to stage all day, and the calm weather made it so much easier!

First up was the sing “Blackened Soul” from the 2018 album The Maker, which was their latest album. Now, they do have a new single out now called Call Of The Void. I highly suggest you check that out!

“MUDDY ROOTS……WE’RE BACK BITCHES!” Mr. Jayke yelled as they rolled into the song “City Of Hell-A” from my favorite album Ghost Of The Rails. I loved that time period around 2009 and 2010 when so many of these Roots albums came around, and I learned about these bands.

I could care less that I run a Country website, I could listen to these guys all G Damn night. I get e mails from my other Christian friends on how can I like this? Listen, if you got to judge another man for a name, you aren’t a true Christian man! That may or may not be YOUR thing, and that’s fine, but HERE they will always have a home, and you will always be able to read about what they’re up to….which is usually debauchery…but nonetheless I’m a fan for life!

Mr. Jayke played “Dreadful Sinner” and one other one I cannot recall what it was? He always features one or two from his Broken Band albums, I highly suggest you check those out. Those were more of the classic albums that came out in the 2010 time frame.  The song was also on the Trial album.

The Maker album boasted the song “Ol Dusty Trail” along with “Y’all Motherfuckers Need Jesus”. They also played “The Maker” from that same album. after they played, that concluded Saturday for us, we went back to the hotel room to die. Because this job is always rough on these bones, and I usually sleep for 16 hours when I’m done!

This man here….I cannot say enough kind things about him. I just cannot. The only regret I have is that I do not cross paths with him enough, and I need to change that with ALL of you. Rest Assured I am now back into this, and can travel again.

They done went and scheduled Mr. Brook Blanche and also Miss Rachel Brooke at the same time but luckily, they were right across from one another. I did get the most I could from both sets, and wrote down what I could.

When he sang “Empty Bottle” this weekend, I heard more passion in his vocals than ever. He has changed a little in the years, and not for the negative either. Empty Bottle is one of the Top 20 songs I have ever heard. Period. I mean to say that overall of all genres it is one of my Top 20 favorites.

The album Miss Rachel released last year was absolute FIRE and I’m glad it made as many TOP lists as it did, because it surely deserved it. MY GOD those first few notes of “It Ain’t Over” makes my soul melt. Her voice is so solid and solidifies her as the QUEEN of the Underground, and it makes me upset she isn’t embraced by major media outlets.

“Run Of The Mill” was next, and actually as I write this she is in Nashville tonight. I wished I could go so badly, but I cannot. “Ghost Of You” was on this one as well as the title track of her new album called “The Loneliness In Me”.

Nashville needs to listen CLOSE to her on that song, it needs to embrace her loneliness and meet the “Ghost Of You”, that comes back only when she drinks. She also played “Killer’s Dream”, which is another of those first albums I found out about. That one was 2012 and I knew about Bitter Harvest as well.

She also played “It Won’t Be Long”. We started gathering up all of our merch we got, and loading up car stuff as we were winding down the weekend here, BUT there is still a LOT to tell you about, so keep reading folks!

I wanted to THANK Mr. Sean for giving his time to introduce so many bands and artists here this weekend. For taking the time to chat with me and contributing to the sober meetings for us this weekend.

So, let’s get around to the last few bands here this weekend that I got to see, mind you, I did float around to see a lot of the other bands as a fan. Like I previously said, I enjoyed it more as a fan this year, but I will ALWAYS BE one of the official Muddy Roots websites for ALL THINGS Muddy, including the Nashville Boogie.

This gentleman here is Joe Buck Yourself, and he is very prevalent in many of the Roots Music festivals I go to. He is one of the more popular OMBs ( One Man Bands), and he plays a dual  kick drums made from guitar cases along with his guitar.

He played “Planet Seethe” off the Piss and Vinegar album from 2010. Another song he did was “Devil Is On The Way”, along with “Evil Motherfucker From Tennessee” off the same album there.

The Pine Hill Haints are from Alabama, and they released a MIGHTY FINE new album this year called The Song Companion Of A lone Star Cowboy. they currently consist of Mr. Jamie Barrier, Miss Katie “Kat” Barrier, Mr. Stevie LaBlanc, Mr. Brian “Zero” Borden and Mr. Justin Ward.

They played “Back Against The Wall” from last year’s 13 album, and they also played “They Tried To Kill My Momma’s Son” from the Evening Star album. The thing about the Pine Hill Haints is they have so many albums to play material from.

Video is property of Hellbilly And Outlaw Radio.

As I previously wrote about Dylan Walshe at the Hearts In Hands animal benefit show this year, this man also puts on a VERY GOOD show. He tells stories in between songs and tells aulde (pronounced old) tales of Irish lore like my personal favorite “Raggle Taggle Gyspy”.

He hits those high notes with no instruments and the words burn into your soul on many of his songs, and “Straight To Hell, Boy” involves the audience whether you are drunk and camping or sober and leaving, it’s easy enough to sing along to.

I have never met a nicer and more gracious performer than he is, I’d say along with Shooter Jennings and Brent Cobb, he is one of the kindest in the business. Another song he does that I enjoy is called “At Sea”.

In closing, my dear friends I wanted you all to know how much I appreciate all of you, and how nice it is to see y’all each year. I am hoping some of you read this, that have never been before, and this article helps you choose to go one day. It is my onus to bring as many new faces as I can to Muddy Roots.

The Muddy Roots Gospel, yes….yes that’s what Mr. Jason calls it alright. As I always say to ALL the different music communities I write about, the best way to support the continuity of the music, the festivals and the venues is presence and money.

Lastly folks, next year how about we DON’T THROW wadded up clothes in the port a shitters, so we don’t clog up the septic trucks? All we did was create FURTHER BILLS for Mr. Jason, who in turn will have to make that money back…wonder how?  Well, I’d be safe to bet the prices of tickets may have to rise to cover the costs of it!

We are very lucky and fortunate to have such a secure place to bring our own food and drinks, ( within reason ) we are free to do whatever we want, why do we need to jeopardize this wonderful thing we have? I cover MANY festivals people, and I promise you there are only 3 others that have 3.00 beers and reasonable food prices!

I cannot close with scolding anyone but I have always wrote the negative things the FESTIVAL DOES I did not like…this time it was the patrons that did a negative thing and it needs to not happen next year, I hope with all my heart it does.