Well it’s time to write about a festival that Isn’t really that far from me, however I haven’t got the chance to catch this one in person…yet. You see I cover 175 festivals yearly and I do go to 8 a year. Two or three of them I usually rotate to better acknowledge the music it features and the scene that usually involves itself with every different festival. I truly enjoy meeting folks from all walks of music and different states, this one being in my home state of Kentucky and only a few short hours from me.
I present to you the fourth annual Moonshiner’s Ball in Irvine Kentucky off of Hwy 75 south of Lexington, located in the Daniel Boone National Forest area and near Renfro Valley as well. The address is on the Jenkin’s Farm 4405 Red Lick Road Irvine Ky 40336. You can go HERE and get tickets.
About camping from their website:
Camping is included in the price of your ticket, assuming it is a full-weekend pass. Camping is not an option for those entering on day passes. You must have a full-weekend pass to camp. You will be allowed to park beside your camping space. There will be three distinct camping areas – one in front of the stage for those seeking maximum late-night debauchery, one directly behind the stage for a middle-path kind of experience and one in the very back of the field behind the stage reserved for families.
So now folks you know I shall research my usual format hotels in this area for those of you like me that do not camp. HERE is whole long list of area hotels and I found one that I will be using next year because 2018, I plan to bring the website there!
From the website concerning alcohol sales:
OK, so this is a silly question. Of course there will be alcohol. There will not be alcohol FOR SALE, however. Alcohol cannot and will not be sold at the festival venue. Estill County is dry outside the Irvine city limits. Therefore, it is critical that you bring with you whatever you want to drink. Having said that, it won’t be long before you run into smiling regulars offering you sips from the jar.
Folks this one is one of the many festivals I include in my LONG LIST of them because of one reason, it’s NOT corporate. If you’ll notice many of my festivals I endorse aren’t and they feature the ONLY kind of music this website looks for..original. So what’s the lineup…Let’s take a looksee.
Last night I went on down to Nashville for some exciting music at the Basement out there in East Nashville to see the show from Hayes Carll and backing band The Band Of Heathens. As always I have to thank the many people whom help me make these articles possible My friend Mr. Jason Buchanon who has shows coming up at The Basement you can read about HERE.
The Band Of Heathens released their new album “Duende” this year and it easily earned a spot on my TOP 50 I’m pretty sure I can say that already,as rapidly as I could tell you Hayes Carll earned a spot last year on mine. They began their fast paced set with a song called “DC9” and an outright jam off their new album called “Sugar Queen”.
These guys are simple and easy to understand from a lyrical standpoint and all you have to do is come ready to jam to some good old fashioned southern rock type Americana whatever you want to call it music. You can attempt to classify them into whatever genre you want, nobody can argue with the fact they tear venues apart and spit them back out.
“Carry Your Love” and “All I’m Asking” were next followed by the song I took video of called “Green Grass of California” which equally has a video of their own for. Basically a good song about reefer out there in California, not really my cup of tea but it’s a damn good song, this band has some truly wonderful harmonies. The whole band unleashes some perfect timing and all five members are in tune with one another and bring their own talents to the table here.
“Jackson Station” was next before they played a song made popular by Gillian Welch called “Ruby”, that everybody knows really well. My favorite album they have was called Top Hat Crown And The Clapmaster’s Son and it has a song called “Hurricane” that they played. It’s by far their most popular song among their audience, and garnishes the best response overall, “Last Minute Man” was also included in their set list.
They closed their wonderful set tonight with “Trouble Came Early” and believe you me if you happen to attend one of the many festivals they are playing or are nearby when they are playing a local venue, go catch their show because it TRULY is one NOT to be missed folks. Please tell them my website sent you there and make sure to buy some stuff from their merchandise booth, which is exactly what I did before Mr. Hayes Carll got up there.
I honestly didn’t recognize a small few of the songs that Hayes Carll played last night, but I got a pretty darn good list of the ones I did recognize. In 2002 he released his debut album on Compadre Records called “Flowers And Liquor” and came from the Austin Texas area. Later on in the set he told some stories that better acquainted us with his past jobs with the song “I Got A Gig”. Now I don’t usually skip around on the notes and set list BUT…
There exists a little place in Texas called “Bob’s Sports Bar” where he got started out and he said the name is a lie because it’s NOT a sports bar, but he played 4 and 5 hour sets of covers before he began forming his own songs and his Red Dirt style of music. Often times he is indeed placed within the genres of what’s been called “Texas Country” or “Red Dirt”, I have been delving into that scene for some time now. He told stories of Genies 1 and 2 and other small joints he started out in with 1.25 Bloody Marys for ladies nights, and a place with a neon wagon they rolled out into the street with a sign that said 4.99 fried chicken and Hayes Carll. This show was indeed a splendid tidbit of information for someone like me that enjoys studying just where these people came from.
As the music from “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” ushered in the entrance of this man he began his set with “Love That We Need” and ” My Friends”. As the Band Of Heathens also backed him tonight, like they have for some time now he displayed some fine showmanship tonight. He possesses a mighty fine stage presence and exquisite leadership skills as he whips us into a frenzy with slow paced acoustic songs like “Sake Of A Song” and faster songs like “I Got A Gig”.
I thought his set list placement was really good tonight and the strategic array of up and down tempo complimented one another very well, with songs like “Things That You Don’t Know” and “Beaumont” preceded the slower ballads like “Jealous Moon” from his newest album that made my TOP 50 last year.
He amazed me and entertained me as he brought out Allison Moorer for some songs, she sings SOOOOOO pretty and she is absolutely gorgeous in every way, I LOVE HER and all her albums. She sang “Jesus And Elvis” with him as he told another story about a bar called “La La’s” where she had Christmas lights that never turn off. This is because she promised her son she would not turn them off until he returned from Vietnam and sadly never did come home, I tell you I didn’t know he had this many wonderful sad and happy stories. I’d like to personally thank him for sharing these stories with me as a fan, you truly blessed my Easter weekend by helping me forget my own troubles and including me in YOUR world. She sang “Love Don’t Let Me Down” with him as he went into the next portion of his set.
“Bible On The Dash” is a song he wrote with and it’s on the album “Cabin Fever” from 2012 go check that album out and buy it because it’s a classic. “KMAG Yo Yo’ was next followed by the song “Drunken Poet’s Dream” also cut by the Legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. That song never fails to get the crowd rowdy and singing along, heck even I was singing along with him last night.”It’s A Shame” was a good jam that also had the crowd singing along with. “Bad Liver And A Broken Heart” was close to the encore, his encore was three songs. One of those songs was “Wish I Hadn’t Stayed So Long” which is his timeless song of living in Nashville many can relate to. There is a timeless struggle of tension between Texas and Nashville scenes and lifestyles, I myself have a perfect balance of BOTH on my website here,as you can easily ascertain from reading it for a few days.
All in All I gave this show an A+ form all standpoints, the sound was ABSOLUTELY perfect even though there was a slight microphone mishap it was easily fixed. I applaud the entire crew for an enjoyable evening last night, and my first time covering a Hayes Carll show, I’m truly glad I finally got the opportunity to bring him to Garyhayescountry.com and I’ll be more than happy to usher in his return on this website ANYTIME.
After 20 Years Jerry Jeff Walker Returns To Nashville
Sunday May 21
Doors at 5:30 Show at 6:30-10:30
Seat Reservations $15 – $45 HERE! or www.opry.com
The evening kicks off with local “Honky Tonk Tuesdays” revivalists from the American Legion Post 82, East Nashville’s very own The Cowpokes!
Event: Grand Finale to the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender
Venue: Grand Ole Opry House
Date: Sunday May 21, 2017
Time: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Ticket site: www.opry.com
Looking to attend the rest of the festival? It is $135 for Thursday through Saturday which includes 90 bands, an indoor car show, a vintage market, western fashion show, pinup contest, and a vintage western slide show. You can come to the car show and vintage market for just $5 if you don’t have a festival ticket. We have a cool record convention Sunday from 9am to 6pm at the Nashville Palace which is included in your festival pass or just $5 to the public. ALLBANDS AT THENASHVILLEPALACEAREFREEADMISSION! 10 am to 2am.Day and weekend passes available at: http://www.nashvilleboogie.com/
This is what happens when locally owned Muddy Roots Records takes over the Grand Ole Opry House Mr. Jason brings rare and obscure Legends nobody within the realms of what the normies call “Country” even know exists anymore. Country Legend Bobby Bare has played the main Muddy Roots field twice now, but Country Legend Jerry Jeff Walker hasn’t played a full show in Nashville in over 25 years.
Often called The “Gypsy Songman” Jerry Jeff Walker almost claims total responsibility for creating Jimmy Buffet’s entire brand, as he drove Jimmy Buffet to Key West Florida while they co wrote “Railroad Lady”. Members of Jerry Jeff’s ilk include icons such as Guy Clark, Tompall Glaser, Jerry Foster, Billy Don Burns and Townes Van Zandt as the songwriters of the Outlaw Era of Country Music took form in the 1960’s.
He is most popular for writing the song “Mr. Bojangles” which was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their most famous album Uncle Teddy And His Dog Charlie. That vinyl album contains a very rare 15 page fold out poster collectors deem valuable and critics deem politically bad because it features old pictures not acceptable in today’s society. He recently performed with the NGDB for their 50th anniversary at the Ryman Auditorium for their groundbreaking album 50 Years Of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
That song was entirely truthful and albeit hard to imagine he actually did meet a white wandering minstrel in the 1960 that he befriended in jail in New Orleans, at one time he pointed out in a radio interview jails were segregated then and this vagabond was white. He also gained fame for writing “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother” for another Legend Ray Wylie Hubbard as well as songs for Guy Clark and Gary P Nunn.
Bobby Bare was quite possibly the first and most vastly overlooked member of the Outlaw Country Music movement with some boasting Waylon and Willie and have no clue to what contributions Bobby Bare actually gave this theme of self creative control over their own music. Bobby Bare often joked he BARED no resemblance to the Outlaw look but released album like “Drunk And Crazy” and made writers like Shel Silverstein famous by recording entire albums of his work.
Bobby enraged the industry at the time by recording a John Denver song in rebuke to their attempts to market John Denver as an answer to rapidly climbing album sales from Outlaw artists. He often invoked ire from venues for smoking on stages and encouraging crowd participation during his song “Song Of The South”. He also recorded a song by my friend Tom Ghent whom is also deemed a Legend called “Easy As Dreaming” included on the album Drinking From The Bottle.
Joshua Hedley is currently on tour now and I visited with him recently at his performance at the Nashville Palace and also appearing will be J.P.Harris who along with his band the Tough Choices are a sure bet for Honky Tonk fun and a often visits Muddy Roots events.
Deke Dickerson, Billy Harlan and Big Sandy are also staple members of Nashville Boogie appearances and I very much enjoy coming down there to see them play. I wrote some fine articles for Billy Harlan you can read HERE. I have included all three of their sets during my Nashville Boogie coverage in the past two years.
This afternoon Chris Stapleton released a brand new single called Broken Halos that will be on his forthcoming album called From A Room Volume 1, and this will be available May 5th. You CAN go over and pre order this album now, and you find his tour dates HERE.
Down below I have embedded the youtube official single and I am one of the first that has offered it for websites, there were seven total. I haven’t been able to turn it off…It’s THAT GOOD.
Now folks I’m NOT going to lie if you think you are going to just walk up to the ticket office the day of the show and get one…you won’t. THIS ticket is one of the hottest on the market right now. Chris Stapleton is blown up into a hot commodity right now, despite 80 percent of the mainstream that doesn’t know who the Steeldrivers are.
Recently a while back I had the pleasure of catching up with Mr. Joseph Huber during a house appearance at the Amulet Farm where he treated us to two new songs. I got to actually sit and talk with him as a friend and I appreciated that more than anything that we got to have a friendly conversation and learn from one another. Everything from where to find good chicken fried steak near Knoxville to festivals, I enjoy letting musicians pick my brain for festival help, while I pick theirs for venues and eating places. I mean WHERE do you think I learn all my good hotel spots in Baltimore and Jacksonville Florida…etc..It’s a work together kind of deal. I mean honestly I consider him a friend too, he’s a really nice guy with a friendly smile and a very smart demeanor.
One of those videos below are from a song called “You Showed Me” off his forth album coming out April 21st just in time for the Moonrunners Music Festival in Chicago. I’ll be there live with coverage from that one to bring you my first peek at him playing his new music there.
So initially what did I think about the album? Well I’ll say this at first glance it was exactly like he said, the songs were smaller in number but greater in length and a little bit more in depth than his last album “The Hanging Road”. This new album brings out his inner self rather than focusing on the outer smile and more bare naked jam songs we associate Huber with. Overall I am well pleased with this album and I would rate it pretty high on my TOP 50 list so far, I was taken aback at his courage to veer away from the typical Joseph Huber we know so well.
“Sons Of The Wandering” although it’s a fast paced song with a good beat it is actually a song of economic sorrow from a young man in a city like Milwaukee that struggles financially. It’s also almost seven minutes long which is uncanny for him to have songs that long, however as he proved with “Wanchese And Manteo” he can write a viable song despite it’s length. Much more stripped down and simple, but it ends with confidence and you have to really listen to it’s meaning and interpret it to your own mind. He’s opened up WAY more on this album than EVER and you should take advantage of it because he may not always be this personal with us. Silver spoons and a million gelded rooms point their finger at a million hanging on a string was a powerful and political line that made me applaud his sharing with me his views.
The album opens with “Playground- Battlefield” which initially was a beginning classic Huber style song but the lyrics were already different on this one, I was a clean slate ready to follow this new direction he was about to take me on. My old neighborhood is a bad area now in the same city he is from…Milwaukee. So I could relate to his song here even if I missed the meaning entirely. See I identify with him truly well because I was THERE and my hometown is a battlefield.
“The Suffering Stage” is a song that compels the listener to become more apathetic toward everyday life and all the world around us. Humanity is always busy living their own lives to stop and become concerned with others, basically stop and take a moment to check on your neighbor tonight. Stop and call someone and tell them you love them before it’s too late. Open the door for a stranger or help the hungry tonight.
“You Showed Me” was what I personally was waiting for which was steel guitar laden song of lament of a love gone, fueled with a haunting melody. This song showcased his vocal in the Joseph Huber fashion I’m used to but at the same time it completely complemented the other seven songs on this album. It was a twist because you think You Showed Me could be construed as sarcastic or it could be construed as Wow You Showed Me…I’m sure we have all said that about an Ex. This was clearly my favorite song on the album and one of the more cleverly written ones in my opinion.
2.Sons Of The Wandering
4.The Suffering Stage
6.You Showed Me
7.Sea Of Night
8.Souls Without Maps
Folks I am constantly checking on local venues in Tennessee And Kentucky to bring you the BEST possible list of bands and artists to see. This does NOT include my festival articles you must go to them and check on who’s playing where for that. Have a show YOU want to report to me? You can email.
I get emails from literally hundreds of sources to compile this list for you and every day I devote usually up to an hour checking all the venues around and bands. I also patrol social media as best as I can to find shows in the Tn/Ky area for you.
The Ryman Auditorium May 3rd
Merle Travis Music Center May 5th 2017
3RD And Lindsley May 6th
3Rd And Lindsley May 7th
The Carson Center May 11th
3Rd And Lindsley May 12th
Charlie Daniels Band
Beaver Dam Ampitherater Ky May 14th
The Old 97’s
Marathon Music Works May 18th
Renfro Valley May 20th
Sean K Preston
Layla’s Inn June 2nd
Ryman Auditorium June 6th
The Cannery Nashville Tn June 7th
Ray Wylie Hubbard
3rd And Lindsley June 18th
Yellow Creek Park Owensboro Ky June 21st
3Rd And Lindsley June 22nd
Kentucky Bike Rally-Sturgis July 15th
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Ryman Auditorium July 20th
Skypac June 28th
July 29th Kentucky Opry
August 12th Kentucky Opry
Old Salt Union
Friday After Five Owensboro Ky August 18th
Hello everyone, we are all here in Huntington West Virginia at The V club for the fourth annual anniversary party of W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio show where I came down to help him celebrate his accomplishments once again. This man’s podcast that he broadcasts from his little backyard bar in Dingess ,West Virginia has grown into a household name here, as well as nation wide. I attended his third one last year and you can read that HERE , I hope we pack the house again tonight.
Four years ago he was starting out poor and not knowing how to do things like he does today, this man put forth TONS of effort to better his style and his presentation. He now knows how to market his brand and his use of language and catchy phrases are what earned him MY personal nickname “The Paul Harvey Of Podcasts”. If you ever have the distinct honor to be a guest in his bar you’ll quickly see like I did once he trusts you you ARE family, and there is more love in his heart than my words can type on here. He and his wife Miss Fallon are BOTH damn fine people that distance doesn’t hold back true friendship..I’d be the first sumbitch in my truck on my way if they needed our help and it was an honor to witness this madness he has created with the help of so many others and a belief in a dream. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your religion and your personal love, this man has a deep love for God like me. I believe if YOU do ALL THINGS to HIS glory you WILL achieve your dreams and you WILL die a blessed man, W.B.Walker does that. I pray often and while I have friends that are Jews and Atheists I practice my faith and you’ll see me have a beer with an Atheist any day, the world needs more brotherhood and MUSIC is where it CAN happen.
He began his one year podcast birthday in his living room with four guests and even back then I was covering his action, until I finally got enough gumption to come up and see for my own self what the deal was..and I have been a member of his family ever since. Year 3Year 2Year 1. There’s a little recap of his past four shows for you to enjoy the GREAT MUSIC he has been featuring.
MANY people help him do what he does and some of them aren’t the musicians he features. Tonight the wonderful Melissa Stilwell Photography doing some awesome social media work and pictures, and my buddy Mr. Josh Green for helping everything run smoothly and managing the stage area. Miss Melissa is rapidly becoming a prominent force on the local music scene with her coverage of Appalachian area artists, doing work for Colter Wall, Tyler Childers and many more from this “scene” (if you want to call it that)…I just call it damn fine music, I call ALL of them regions the same thing DAMN fine music.
I already got a private show in the green room upstairs as Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns played some songs for us all. That video of him down below is from his playing upstairs along with Mr. Josh Morningstar who was also up there with me, I just wandered up to see who was there and was greeting everyone.You know this music business isn’t what you think, we don’t all hang out at each others houses every weekend. Sometimes it can be months or even a year before I see someone again, because like the Highwaymen said “The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends”.
I stayed at the Days Inn at Ashland Kentucky, it was off Hwy 64 and State Route 180 on exit 190. And I’ll let you in on a little tidbit of info, if you are planning on attending the Jewel City Jamboree this hotel is ideal. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Huntington and one exit from the airport ALL for under 100 bucks a night! THIS WILL NOW be MY go to hotel for this area from now on.
Right now the first act up is Tim Lancaster who is outstanding in his own right as an Americana folk style singer. His unique style and grace up there onstage was impeccable and a terrific way to begin tonight’s festivities.
He opened his set with a Jimmie Rodgers song called “Mule Skinner Blues AKA Blue Yodel Number 8”, and then off of his album “My Times With You” he played some songs called “Something Like Trout” and “Let Me,Let You”. He represents this area’s musicians extremely well, by spinning tales of lore from days long ago and songs like “Sugar Pie”. This young man was an absolute honor to shake hands with and get to know as a friend, he IS one of the real deals of his genre.
This video that I took here was from his song “Medicine Man” which was also an original off his album and he followed that by playing one called “Dear Lord” and closed his set with “Can You Hear The Sound?” Which he performed with two sets of mule jawbones. This Florida native is indeed inventing his own style and even his own appearance and will soon carve a niche in the local music scene. I’m sure that by the end of this article you too will appreciate this man’s music, I look forward to being more involved into his music in any way I can.
He has an honest and real demeanor and his presentation of his music was extraordinary on every level, and he is an absolute pleasure to watch perform. Truly already O’l W.B. has outdone himself in choosing talent for this show. He never fails to amaze me with what he chooses, and this honestly is becoming one of my favorite trips to make. Usually the weather is gorgeous the Daniel Boone National Forest is in spring mode and the Lord blesses me with a good trip up.
Now everyone this is my FIRST TIME to use my new laptop on a job AND my I pad together linked so I’m trying to bring you better quality videos and I’m learning how to use it better so please bear with me I didn’t get every band on here on video. The battery is not lasting long and I had other complications as the night went on…give me time to mater my craft with every job I do.
Some of the videos crashed and the laptop I thought was DONE updating busted out with one at the venue, to my dismay. I literally bought this laptop the day before the show, and I’m still learning Windows 10.
The Local Honeys hail from various parts of Kentucky and their harmonies are absolutely wonderful. I would have not have found them if not for W.B.Walker and his radio show, we exchange music quite often. They began with “Cigarette Trees” a truly fine song of pretest and coal miner’s despair. As I have said many times about this region the main source of income is truly and sadly a dying form of energy…coal. It gets very touchy and political in many ways and once you visit you can identify with them how imperative it is we save this natural resource’s use for energy.
They barreled into “Hares On The Mountain”, this time they had a trio as a third gal named Megan Gergory joining them, and she was from Alabama. Miss Montana Hobbs and Miss Linda Jean Stokley complete this lineup of lovely ladies with harmonies as smooth as the honey in their name.
This venue began filling up so fast, I couldn’t get up close to the stage again like last time. As they played a song called “Train” they vividly displayed their mountain music talents as they wove a tapestry of East Kentucky music to us here in West Virginia with a song called “Bonesky Folk” and a popular Bluegrass tune “How Mountain Girls Can Love”. My favorite version of that song is off Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder’s album “Ancient Tones”.
Their set also included “Tight Wad” and one called “I Can Tell” as they once again came forward with their wonderful harmonies. In my opinion ALL of these acts tonight absolutely killed it and it was difficult to decide who was the best, but they were one of the top ones tonight. Their last song was called “Huntington” as left the stage in tears upon commanding it tonight up there, they get a LOT of attention from O’l W.B. and I can see why.
You might remember The Horse Traders as their steel guitarist Mr. Travis Egnor Recently kicked off my Steel Guitarists Series with a wonderful interview on the phone this past winter. And there’s also news on their new album release in that article as well. Their first song was called “She Calls Me” and they followed that by another great song called “Ain’t No Ash will Burn”.
You know one thing I always notice about this band is how well they play together, like clockwork. Each one of them knows exactly what the other is doing and where they are within the song. One of the finest and most well groomed bands that is always featured every year here, and always a downright pleasure to write about. They brought up Sam Williams to sing his sister Holly’s song ‘Woman Like This”.
Patrick Stanley,Taylor Jones and Mr. Brandon Mooney complete this foursome of rocking Country boys and whatever else you wish to call them, Daggum I just call them some REAL music. They are seasoned veterans of this particular show having been on the three shows that were LIVE ,from this particular venue. Like I said the very first one was from his own home before any of this bloomed into the juggernaut it is today.
“Cheap Wine” was next followed by “Drinki’n” which displayed some powerful vocal from. As they traded leads with Mr. Travis on the steel guitar they closed their set with “Watch Your Speed” and “Foot Of Rain”. One hell of a damn fine display of talent here tonight by a truly fine band I am blessed to call friends!
The youngest son of Country Music Legend Hank Williams Jr. stopped in to see us all tonight and we enjoyed a nice set of his original material and some of his father’s hits as well. Samuel Williams began with his own song called “Darkwater” and as he is still developing his own style and trying out different ventures, we got a little taste of his influences.
As one would easily distinguish about any member of the Williams family he was heavily influenced by his father and sister Holly, and performed two of her songs tonight “Death Train”. Along with his Grandfather Hank Williams Sr, who he brought alive tonight with his rendition of “Kaw Liga” and the ever popular “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”.
“Let You Go” was next followed by “Rambli’n Man” and two more of his father’s songs that had the crowd singing along which was 1979’s OD’D In Denver off the Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound album and “Dinosaur” from the 1980 album Habits Old And New.
Josh Morningstar is one of the finest people I ever met in my music tenure here on Earth, and perhaps one of the few from my Altamont history that have evolved into the amazing man that he is today. Under the direction of great management and maintaining his own creative input he has accomplished more in a short period than anyone I know.
This man lives in Maryland but he IS one of the toughest road warriors I have ever met and is on the go so hard that he tires me out just watching him. This guy is in Detroit one night and the next he could be in Atlanta for all we know, he spreads out faster than shingles. He is constantly grooming his sound and experimenting with different appearances, while always succeeding to amaze his crowd…know WHY?
Because his is OUT THERE and burning up the roads and constantly on social media promoting his brand. He is always studying the market and much like me he notices detail and utilizes EVERYTHING toward his music and his business.
He played many new songs tonight from his upcoming album and one of them was “Whole Lot Of Crazy To Live Up To” followed by “Went Back To Selling Drugs To Pay The Bills” both of which are original songs. He now travels with a seasoned band of talented road warriors called the Pickups, which just days ago played the Hagfest show at the Southgate House. They are Bobby Miller on lead guitar, Michelle Lucas on bass, Greg Johnson on steel, and Taylor Hernley on drums.
He covered Billy Joe Shaver’s “ride me Down Easy that David Allan Coe wrote and also Waylon J ennings recorded it on his Honky Tonk Heroes album of all Billy Joe Shaver tunes. “All That I Been Living For Is Gone” was next another original followed by “The Legend Of Miss Bobbie Jo” and “Cocaine”.
This man ALWAYS ends his set with “I Saw The Light” where he carries a LONG note and usually has the crowd whipped up into an absolute frenzy, but not before playing “Brand New Angel” and one of my favorites “Crying Eyes Of Blue”. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this man has nowhere to go BUT UP and he WILL go DOWN in history as a Legend, you mark my damn words on that…it’s a promise.
Tyler Childers is the only one of the bunch that has been around for all four shows from W.B.Walker. He is from the Appalachian region that W.B.Walker and all of the Honky Tonk Heroes identify themselves with with pride. His unique style of vocal delivery sets him leagues above many others on his level of this profession. He sometimes travels with his band called the Foodstamps but tnoight he is solo.
He is releasing a new album in September for sure and I’m quite adamant on it’s outcome…awesome. This man represents the hard working blue collar coal miners of the region, and despite his youth he sings with experience of hard living and hard times. He had this club packed today and hundreds of people crying out his own lyrics because he has amassed an impressive following in this region.
He began with “Rock Salt And Nails” an old Utah Phillips song, and quickly went into “Nose To The Grindstone,mind Off The Pills”. One of the many songs the entire place goes ape shit nuts over singing along to, with lyrics that every hard working American can relate to.
“Clovis” was next along with another one they all sing to “Follow You To Virgie” and “Bottle And Bibles”. I say this all to often this man has a special gift for distinguishing his voice out from other people, you can pick it out easily. You can SEE the hurt in his eyes and the blood flow from cuts in his beat up hands. He is sixty years old trapped in a thirty year old’s body.
“Honky Tonk Flame” was one of his new ones along with “Feathered Indian” and “Adam” but the other one that absolutely SLAYS this venue was “White Bridge Road”. The ambiance of that song alone is as poignant and dark as the lyrics themselves, I mean what better to spend a weekend night drunk and singing along with songs about self destruction and despair? THAT MY FRIENDS IS Country Music, from one of the most honest regions of the great nation. All too often they get swept under the rug and this man pulls it up off the floor and snaps the rug dust in your face.
There really isn’t much I can say about Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns that I haven’t already said as I named him my 2106 Number one album of the year that was produced by Shooter Jennings. I mean for Gods’s sakes this man wrote songs for Connie Smith,Harlan Howard and Willie Nelson, the list goes on and on. And even at 68 I don’t see him stopping as he released a stellar new album from Rusty Knuckles label called “Graveyard In Montgomery”.
“Talk About Crazy” was the first song on his VERY LONG set list tonight as he took us on a trip through a slight taste of his entire catalog of albums tonight. “Outlaws At The Cross” was recorded on two of his albums previously and he followed that with a song about Billy The Kid called “Dead Or Alive”.
I truly wish I could have been older and around in his heyday when my favorite period of Country Music history was unfolding, that transition of the 50s and 60s into the Outlaw movement. It seems Mr. Billy was a product of both, and I study those changes with uncanny vigor. How it would have been to ACTUALLY SEE a short haired Willie Nelson sing Hello Walls and an elder Ernest Tubb on stage singing Rainbow At Midnight and my favorite Filipino Baby in the 1960s. He was 21 when I was born, and writing songs for Connie Smith while my mom was changing my diapers, but nonetheless much like Ol W.B. Walker, Billy Don Burns is probably one of the last living pieces of my infatuation during my youth with records. We CANNOT and MUST NOT loose him because NOBODY could fill that void, him and Whispering Bill Anderson and Jerry Foster and the many of his likeness brought Country Music to it’s splendor.
My personal favorite song was one about addiction called “Dark Side Of The Spoon” which laments the shameful side of addiction. He flips over to a more upbeat song about “Running Drugs Out Of Mexico” while Dark Side Of The Spoon is more slower and poignant. It truly hits home for many of us that have previously faced the struggle of personal addiction in some form.
“Rock On” and “Hank Williams Lonesome And Keith Whitley Blue” were next tonight as he and Josh Morningstar tore the place apart. Mr. Billy did an absolutely astounding job of bringing us toward the close of the show. I appreciate him for the history of this genre that he represents and to me…for me personally he represents the tradition of the older days because he was there. When the magic filled the air man, he was there. We just don’t have many storybook people left anymore that actually remember Bob Luman, and as he sat with me I showed him my profile. Pictures of me with Lynn Owsley who brought him on the Opry in the days of old to play with Ernest tubb, things like that are what makes him so special to us.
He played “Freight Train” and the title song from his new album “Graveyard In Montgomery” before closing with the ever popular “Desperate Men”. You know I’ll tell you what folks this man has more stories and tales than anyone I know because he was there, and he lived every moment of it all. He is one of the last of his ilk and he knows it but at the same time he’s not afraid to be just that, and he wears it well. He appreciates all of our love and our respect of him and what he represents…timeless classic Country Music that will never die. I know it’s inevitable that God will call us ALL home one day but the music he leaves behind will no doubt always be a prominent piece of Outlaw Country Music.
Arlo McKinely And The Lonesome Sound was an Ohio based band I have also never covered before today. Tyler Lockard, Brian Pumphry, Zac Roe, Sylvia Mitchell, and Sarah Davis make up the band The Lonesome Sound. They label themselves folk rock/soul but Like I always say I don’t care about genres or label I just promote GOOD music so promote them I shall!
They played an eleven song set tonight beginning with “Don’t Need To Know” and “All Night Long” both of which I was told they have performed on the Red Barn Sessions up there in Ohio. I am very familiar with that organization and was sent some CDs from there by my Ohio friends. There exists a VERY powerful scene up there with people like the Tillers and Dallas Moore and I could go on and on.
“Time In Bars” was next as they displayed a very soulful sound that I thought their band name aptly described quite well here. “All That I Could Do” was next followed by “Just Like The Rest”, I thought their vocal deliveries and solos set them apart from any of the styles of music tonight. We were treated to various styles of music however most of it was from the same region in one way or another.
“Where You Want Me” and “Wishing” were two of the songs I was familiar with from my research of this band in my preparation work for this event. As with ANY of these bands you can ALWAYS catch O’l W.B. Walker playing this music for you on his podcast.
They played “Dancing Days” before going into some Hank Williams Sr songs tonight as well as taking us into “Wishing On Wild Horses” and finally closing with “Dark Side Of The Street”. Absolutely a knock out stellar set tonight as we got ready for the main event tonight.
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers from North Carolina have an album coming out on April 28th from Bloodshot Records called SIDELONG, now I owe her an apology because of my misspelling of that on my TOP 50 OF 2015. She released the album independently and I was turned onto them by a mutual friend. Honestly back then I was just beginning to form my style and I wasn’t as educated on the computer as I am now, and my articles were not as informative or beneficial back then as they are now. Time makes you better and knowledge makes you stronger.
Eric Peterson – Electric guitar,John Howie Jr. – Drums, Aaron Oliva – Upright bass and Phil Sullivan – Pedal Steel make up the rocking Country Honky Tonk sound of the Disarmers. Bloodshot is releasing singles off of this album at a slow pace right now as they just released “The Nail” they played that one later in the set.
Sadly I missed a few of the songs due to packing up equipment and such but I managed to enjoy “The Road Leads To You” followed by “Nothing Feels Right But Doing Wrong”. “Heal Me” and “Fuck Up” were next followed by my favorite drinking song she does called “The Bottle Never Let Me Down”.
One of the first times I got to see her videos were from the Blue Plate Special series if you have never saw that series I strongly urge you to go check that out, and I thought of that series as she played the title track called “Sidelong”. They truly did a super fine job tonight up there and I had to do some digging but found out that “Home Fires Burning” and “Dwight Yoakam” were next followed by the closing songs.
As I previously stated “The Nail” is her newest single to be released off the Bloodshot release of this album and the last song was “Misery Without Company”. I don’t compare her to any of the female artists in ANY genre although she is typically classified as Americana I believe she stands out on her own. Her vocals are easily distinguished as her own and she’s not trying to sound like anybody but herself, and she’s not trying to impress anybody…she doesn’t need to.
She’s very proactive in her personal beliefs and her family life while balancing a road band and for THAT I completely commend her on, it’s NOT easy for a single man like me let alone having children. Balancing a mainstay in her son’s life and how proud she is of him makes her a person you can look up to in this industry…you don’t find these qualities in the music bushiness as often as you should.