Folks this edition bring us to the great state of Minnesota where on May 26th-29th the Revival Music Festival will transpire. Where car camping is a new option, let’s delve into that in a moment here. This festival looks to be close to another that I feature so I spaced out their coverage to prevent confusion of brands. So folks THIS LINK bears some important information you need to read. The early bird special is a good deal, and this appears to be a reasonably priced festival. All of the rules are pretty much common scene that I post for EVERY festival! This is a rain or shine outdoor two stage festival located at Harmony Park Music Garden, and it has many amenities including:
Permanent shower building with filtered soft water
Large Rainbow playground
Filtered water bottle fill up station
Firewood and ice available for sale on site
Beer and liquor sales at Lucky’s Pub
Community fire ring area near Lucky’s Pub
Shaded wooded campsites
Stunning sunrises from “the point”
THURSDAY EARLY CAMPING: Gates Open 3pm on Thursday, May 25. – Must have a general admission and Friday pre-party ticket.
FRIDAY PRE-PARTY: Admission at 12pm on Friday, May 26.
GENERAL ADMISSION FESTIVAL TICKET: Admission 10am on Saturday, May 27.
HARMONY PARK CLOSES at 3pm on Monday, May 28.
ADMISSION: If you arrive early before admission time on any given day, you can come in and pay for the previous day’s ticket.
RE-ENTRY: After you have been admitted and have your wristband, you are welcome to leave and re-enter the event at any time.
Join us on Memorial weekend at the Legendary Harmony Park Music Garden for Revival Music Festival. REVIVAL is an intimate, diverse musical affair, with its primary focus on improvisational funky grooves, jam sessions, string pickers and epic storytellers of all types! It is our intention to create a peaceful playful energy that inspires individuals to share their magic. By limiting the size of these gatherings we allow the subtle spirits of “Home” to come out and dance with us. Its enough of a treat just to be “Home”… that we get to be in celebration with so much talent and kind family is indeed a blessing…
HERE is a complete list of local area hotels for those of you like me that do not camp and stay indoors for the event.
So last year I got up at 4AM and stood in line to get what would end up being my number ONE album of 2017 Billy Don Burns a Night In Room 8READ ABOUT IT HERE. Well this year I left at 8 AM and found what I wanted and still had fun, like every year my buddy Shooter Jennings and his label Black Country Rock or BCR released TWO albums you can only find in stores for today’s festivities.
The weather prohibited outdoors live music so there were sets inside the store and I’ll be bringing you the set from my good friend Dean Collier AKA Captain Deen and although it’s not Country, I am pretty sure many of you will indeed enjoy his local music in this unique style here. I had fun today and wore myself out pretty hardcore from running around record hunting.
I first went down to Mellow Matts in Bowling Green to buy my first round of new ones I was telling you about from Shooter Jennings and they are Shooter Jennings and Waymore’s Outlaws LIVE, and the Waylon Forever reissue. I also bought some used albums and other things. This is from BCR Facebook page:
Waylon Jennings – Waylon Forever – BCR042:
Waylon Forever consists of Waylon Jennings’ recordings that took place in the 1990s, and later rediscovered and reworked by his son, Shooter Jennings. Shooter joined forces with producer Dave Cobb, and reworked the songs to bring us Waylon Forever in 2008. Shooter used his backing band, the .357’s, to recreate these works and revision them into country/rock versions of some well-known and unheard tracks. Now, Black Country Rock will be releasing the production on a limited number of clear orange vinyl, and for a limited time for Record Store Day 2017.
Shooter Jennings & Waymore’s Outlaws Live – BCR043:
Black Country Rock is happy to announce the ONLY live recordings of one of the most sought after tours of its time. Shooter Jennings has paired up with Waylon Jennings’ original recording and touring band, Waymore’s Outlaws, on what has been an unforgettable round of live shows. This will be available for a limited time on clear vinyl for Record Store Day 2017.
I wanted to point out this LIVE album was recorded in one of my favorite venues the V Club in Huntington West Virginia and also the Grey Eagle in Asheville North Carolina. That gas station food across the street in that place called Sheetz was GREAT FOOD for a quick mart type place. And Mr. Don Duncan that runs the door and merch out there is a VERY nice man, that crew is VERY kind to my website when we go up there.
TRACK LISTING FOR LIVE ALBUM:
Are You Ready For The Country
Good Ol’ Boys
Don’t Wait Up (I’m Playing Possum)
Manifesto No. 1
The Song Is Still Slipping Away
Can You Come Over?
I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone
Gone To Carolina
4rth Of July/Good Time Charlie (for Jon)
TRACK LISTING FOR WAYLON FOREVER:
Jack Of Diamonds
I Ain’t Livin Long Like This
Are You Ready For The Country
Lonesome On’ry And Mean
I Found The Body
Then I took a quick detour to go to The Great Escape where I bought a bunch of used albums at great prices and ran into Miss Mary Sparr, and caught up with her. She manages my 2016 Artist Of The Year Colter Wall who is busy on the road with Cody Jinks and others.
I’ll be featuring his new self titled album VERY SOON and also I’ll be featuring his set at the Tumbleweed Festival in July in Kansas City.
Then I ventured back to Mellow Matts for some Heavy Metal with my friend Captain Deen from Bowling Green Kentucky. He’s doing a pretty unique type of metal with his bass guitar and I’ll feature some videos here and here was his setlist today:
She’s The Devil
Parasites And Pesticides
Me And The Raven
If Happy Was A Drug
Well folks I covered this festival last year and it was the first time I encountered them, but this is the fifth annual Charm City Bluegrass Festival in the Charm City of Baltimore where many of my music friends are from. You can buy tickets for this one day multiple stage outdoor festival on that link.
This article has videos and maps as well as the full schedule included within my website. Many of you know and are familiar with how I work things and my 175 festivals I cover yearly. I have covered many of the sets from these fine Bluegrass bands on other occasions and festivals all over America.
This website strives very hard to include all of your favorite local, Americana, Bluegrass, Red Dirt bands and more!
I have researched local area hotels HERE and since this only a one day festival there isn’t any camping information like I usually have for you folks.
If you’ll remember last year Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn earned my TOP 2 SPOT on my Top 50 albums of 2016, and this year on Friday August 18th she will release an all new album called “Wouldn’t It Be Great”. after a long lapse of time since her latest release of “Van Lear Rose” we didn’t have any new material at all. Now in a brief two year span we have TWO mega albums and a TON of concerts from one of the eldest and most active Country Music Legends.
At the age of 85 she has recorded an album comprised entirely of songs written and co-written by her and was recorded in Hendersonville Tennessee with producers Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash. She performed two sold out shows at the Ryman Auditorium and will return in August on the 25th and 26th.
The track listing for Wouldn’t It Be Great is:
1. Wouldn’t It Be Great – (Loretta Lynn)
2. Ruby’s Stool – (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
3. I’m Dying for Someone to Live For – (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
4. Another Bridge to Burn – (Loretta Lynn, Lola Jean Dillon)
5. Ain’t No Time to Go – (Loretta Lynn, Patsy Lynn Russell)
6. God Makes No Mistakes – (Loretta Lynn)
7. These Ole Blues (Loretta Lynn, Patsy Lynn Russell)
8. My Angel Mother — (Loretta Lynn)
9. Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ – (Loretta Lynn, Peggy Sue Wells)
10. The Big Man – (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
11. Lulie Vars – (Traditional, arrangement by Loretta Lynn)
12. Darkest Day – (Loretta Lynn)
13. Coal Miner’s Daughter – (Loretta Lynn)
Well now, here I am bringing you a wonderful festival in Scranton Pennsylvania called the Susquehanna Breakdown and it happens on May 19th and 20th 2017. Like all of my 175 festivals this one is privately run and features original local REAL music from local bands, you know how it goes. I’ll research hotels and the info about the event. These six hotels are all about thirty miles or less from the event for those of you like me that cannot camp.
For those of you that are more hardcore than me and do camp,this festival does indeed require you to purchase a seperate camping ticket for either or both days. You will NOT be allowed to park by your campsite and you CAN have fires. The venue will open friday at 4pm for early campers, and ALL campground after 2AM quiet time will be strictly enforeced until 8AM.
NO PERSONAL ALCOHOL is permitted for this one folks, you can bring all else. NO GRILLS either folks. But hey guys camping isn’t much but 20 dollars more for the weekend so this is indeed a VERY inexpensive festival on my list ran by some truly fine folks.
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 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.
Folks it is indeed that time again where YOU can come out to the Nashville Palace to see the 6th Annual Sons And Daughters Of Country Legends, and you can order tickets HERE for this ongoing event. I must say I have the pleasure of being really good friends with many of the families of the Country Music Legends, many of the families are really good to my website and my cause.
One of them is Donnie Winters, I have a TON of vintage collectables and rare things of his father’s I have acquired through the years, like a T shirt from their merch booth I bought at their backyard jam over 17 years ago. Still in good shape and I wear it seldom because I want to preserve it. I have his obituaries and newspaper clippings from his father’s passing framed in my home, which is a Country Music museum chronologically arranged in time periods room to room. I once found his father’s records on Songbird and found TWO COPIES of each in good condition in Illinois and I presented Mr. Donnie with copies of them, as his were destroyed in a fire.
Miss Seidina Reed will finally get to see her father Jerry Reed inducted into the Country music Hall Of Fame later this year and she will also be a part of this fantastic show. I strongly urge you to attend if you are in the Nashville area and find the time to do so, you will not be disappointed in any way here and this will be the lineup for the show:
Left Lane Cruiser will be coming down from Fort Wayne Indiana and will join the Hooten Hallers in supporting new albums they both have coming out. Left Lane Crusier has entitled their new album Claw Machine Wizard and it will be released on Alive Natural Sound.
The door price for this show will be only 7 dollars and the price at the door will be 10 on the day of the show and is sponsored by Tennessee Brew Works and Goat Fest. Here is some information about the upcoming Goatfest:
Goat Fest is a heavy blues and roots experience held in the heart of the delta and the home of The Crossroads: Clarksdale, MS. Held June 2nd and 3rd at both the New Roxy Theatre and the Shack Up Inn, Goat Fest is not your typical blues fest. This is heavy blues. Hard blues. Garage blues. Punk blues. Fire and brimstone blues.
Online tickets for Goat Fest IV are only $40. Sorry, but tickets do not include lodging.
The lineup for Goat Fest IV is as follows:
Friday Night Shows at The Shack Up Inn (Doors, 8PM)
* Cedric Burnside Project
* Lightnin’ Malcolm
* Robert Kimbrough Sr’s Blues Connection
Saturday Early Shows at The New Roxy Theater (Doors, 2PM)
* Husky Burnette
Saturday Night Shows at The Shack Up Inn (Doors, 8PM)
* King Mud
* Mark “Porkchop” Holder & Mph
The Country Music Association created the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1961 to honor artists who have significantly impacted country music. Currently there are 130 members on the Hall of Fame roster, including icons such as Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. The official induction ceremony for the new members took place today April 5th 2017 .
The new members will be inducted into three different categories: Veterans Era Artist, Modern Era Artist and Songwriter. A Veterans Era and Modern Era artist are both inducted into the Hall of Fame each year, while the Songwriter category rotates with the Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980 and Non-Performer categories. The Class of 2017 will be the 57th group of country music artists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Formal induction ceremonies for Reed, Jackson, and Schlitz will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.
Alan Jackson is one that achieved my TOP album of 2015 READ THAT HERE with his latest album Angels And Alcohol. He is one of the few mainstream acts that I relentlessly cover on this website due to his elegant stage presence and his tireless pursuit of Traditional Country Music, his respect for the Legends of it, and his overall style of his music. The ordeal he endured during the awards show where he stood up for the injustice of the late George Jones showed his brazen love for the honor and dignity of it all, and the duet with another Legend George Strait the Larry Cordle penned “Murder On Music Row” equally proved his worthiness of this honor. Alan Jackson will be inducted into the Modern Era Artist.
Of his 16 studio albums he has amassed 66 Billboard titles and 35 number one hits. He has sold over 80 Million records worldwide total. I firmly believe he has pretty much been awarded every possible accomplishment Country Music can bestow upon an artist, and has worked hard to deserve this honor.
Jerry Reed, what can I say..I been waiting to hear this name for many many years now. Rumors swirled the industry all month of possible inductees and he was one of the staple possibilities. Many years of embellishing what I call “The Country Music Movies” of the 70’s and 80’s bringing us such comical characters as Cledus Snowman Snow on the iconic movies “Smokey And The Bandit”.
Out of his 49 studio albums 4 of his 59 single garnished number one hits however his signature songs like “Amos Moses” are timeless classic Country Music songs and are never overlooked by people like me. He is a two time CMA Award winner for instrumentalist of the year and a three time Grammy Award winner.
Jerry Reed was one of Country Music most celebrated guitarists and talented musicians, and are often coined as perhaps the fastest guitarist ever next to Larry Collins and Chet Atkins. All three had a humble respect for one another in their own right. Jerry Reed will be inducted into the Veterans Era Artist.
Don Schlitz is a hit songwriter known mostly for writing the Kenny Rogers hit “The Gambler” in 1978. Among others like “Forever And Ever Amen”, and “When You Say Nothing At All”. He has over 60 major cut songs but national artists and has amassed 3 CMA awards,2 grammys and 1 acm award for his work.
Mr. Don is a member of the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame and regularly plays songwriter nights all over Nashville, and is regarded to be a hero among songwriters.
You know folks I got to thinking I haven’t talked about an iconic Roots Music band that I am quite sure many of you are familiar with from Wisconsin The Ditchrunners. As many of you know I was actually raised in Wisconsin and I was also good friends with the late Owen Mays, who did some work with this band in the past.
Mr. Derrick Maddox stopped by recently and gave me the lowdown on their overseas endeavors, and some plans for the fall of 2017. They recently signed on with Doomstar booking agency in The Netherlands… They have a huge European tour schedule for summer 2018. Upon returning back to Europe they are headlining their second European tour in summer of 2018 making for an all out powerhouse package deal, St. Christopher Webster and The Devils Cut will be making their debut overseas. . They recently picked up Bob Wayne’s former agent Rebecca Baker for all of their United States booking, she represents ZB Booking Agency. Their American tour will begin in their home state of Wisconsin June 3rd and will continue until July 1st at the Heavy Rebel Weekender then they will return home.
They also signed a record deal with Rusty Knuckles Records and you can expect a debut album release in the fall. Their record release tour will commence October 1st and go until November 6th. The Ditchrunners that will take you to their BIO page. They recently landed a track on Comedy Blockbuster Soundtrack called “60 yard line” coming to a theater near you.. This five piece band has been relentlessly laboring along the nations highways and Honky Tonks chasing that musical dream all bands salivate for. So I can assure you folks if you like this band like I do you’ll be looking for their growth both musically and globally as they are quickly becoming recognized as a vital and tangible touring band while maintaining a level of local band presence. Recently they were recognized in their area at the WAMI Awards, by winning Americana/ Bluegrass Band of the year in2016. They were also nominated for this year’s People’s Choice Band of the year at the 2017 WAMI awards.
For those of you that are not familiar with the WAMI organization, you can click on that link up there:
The Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to educate and recognize the achievements and accomplishments of individuals in the Wisconsin music industry. Since 1980, WAMI has worked to:
Improve communication and interaction among members
Present awards to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the Wisconsin music industry
Produce music industry/music business seminars and workshops
Accumulate information for use within a comprehensive Wisconsin music industry directory
Partner with other Wisconsin-based organizations with a shared mission
Encourage, promote and educate musicians
Hey I had an epiphany the other night while I was working on another project, WHY DON’T I make a weekly list of newly released albums of music that I love, and update it every couple nights.? Much like my list of weekly shows that I publish every week I shall now be posting every other night a good sized list of new albums I find from a TON of sources.
I’m not going to break it down into (what I will consider) my own genres, why should I? It’s just ALL damn good music no matter WHAT you call it, and I think you’ll agree that these are truly champion choices. I find out about SO MANY new bands and festivals every day by scouring the internet and subscribing to mailing lists and word of mouth.
My TOP 50 of ANY year is probably my most popular article of anything I ever publish that gets viewed by tens of thousands of people, my TOP 50 will indeed derive from this list here and I shall update this list several times a week. If YOU have some terrific suggestions for me you can hit me up on email@example.com
JonEmery Dodds-Hell Rooster
Billie Gant And Nick Geise-On And On
Richie Allbright-Poets,Prophets,Heroes And Friends
Old 97’s-Graveyard Whistling
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band- Front Porch Sessions
Split Lip Rayfield-On My Way
Ags Connolly-Nothin Unexpected
Dale Watson And Ray Benson-Dale And Ray
Band Of Heathens-Duende
Scott H Biram-The Bad Testament
Truckstop Honeymoon-Big Things And Little Things
Nikki Lane-Highway Queen
Infamous Stringdusters-Laws Of Gravity
Marty Stuart-Way Out West
Poor Man’s Whiskey-Rock Star On The Weekend
Southern Culture On The Skids-Electric Pinecones
Pert Near Sandstone-Discovery Of Honey
The Gibson Brothers-In The Ground
The Traveli’n McCourys-Let Her Go
Tift Merritt-Stitch Of The World
John Hord-The Home You Made For Me
James Scott Bullard And The Late Night Sweethearts-Box Of Letters
William Matheny-Strange Constellations
Black Irish Texas-To Hell With The King
Jamie Wyatt-Felony Blues
Otis Gibbs-Mount Renraw
Austin James-Full Throttle
A.J. Hobbs-Too Much Is Never Enough
Jeremy Steding- Odessa
Whitney Rose-South Texas Suite
Kris Kristofferson-The Austin Sessions
Lindi Ortega-Til The Goin Gets Gone
Drew Holcomb-New Year
Brad Good Band-One Red Light
Greg Wickham-If I Left This World
The Drugstore Gypsies-Self Titled
Great American Taxi-Dr.Feelgood’s Traveling Medicine Show
Allison Krauss-Windy City
Travis Linville-Up Ahead
Patty Reese-Let In The Sun
Valerie June-The Order Of Time
Richard Lynch-Mending Fences
Koe Wetzel-Noise Complaint
Rodney Crowell-Close Ties
Tanner Fenoglio-This Town
Jess Wade-Country Comforts
Chris Shiflett- West Coast Town
Lillie Mae-Forever And Then Some
Blackfoot Gypsies-To The Top
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers-Sidelong
Scott H Biram-Bad Testament
Brett Hendrix-Brett Hendrix
Todd Adelman And The Country Mile-Time Will Tell
The String Cheese Incident-Believe
Andrew Combs-Canyons Of My Mind
Tim O Brien-Where The River Meets The Road
Joseph Huber- The Suffering Stage
The Hooten Hallers-Hooten Hallers
Joey Feek-If Not For You
Jericho Woods-Better Now
Leslie Tom-Leslie Tom
Willie Nelson-God’s Problem Child
The Dead South-Illusion And Doubt
Colter Wall-Colter Wall
Delbert McClinton-Prick Of The Litter
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers-Sidelong
Justin Townes Earle-Kids In The Street
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.
3rd And Lindsley April 9th
Ryman Auditorium April 13th and 14th
Station Inn April 13th
David Allan Coe
Renfro Valley April 15th
The Family Wash April 19th
The Basement April 12th
The Back Corner April 17th
Exit Inn April 21st
Renfro Valley April 21st
Music City Winery April 21st
Renfro Valley April 22nd
The Royal Hounds
Dees liquor Lounge April 22nd
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
The Basement May 17th
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
Mercy Lounge June 24rth
Kentucky Bike Rally-Sturgis July 15th
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Ryman Auditorium July 20th
The Conroe Americana Music Festival is a grassroots premier festival featuring a mix of Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Folk, Texas Country, Roots Rock, Blues, and Americana music.
Established through the Conroe Downtown Area Association (501c4) the proceeds of the festival will be used to enhance the Historic Downtown Conroe area with improved signing and beautification projects.
The 3 Day Music Festival will feature 50 bands in 4-6 venues beginning Friday, May 5, 2017 at 6:00pm – midnight, noon-midnight Saturday, May 6, and Noon-6:00pm Sunday, May 7, 2017. We hope to increase the size of the festival each year as more music fans come to our home town–“Conroe”.
I have been trying very hard lately to bring the Texas Music Scene into my website by featuring many of the Red Dirt Texas festivals featuring many of the top Red Dirt Acts, when they stop in the Nashville area I always try to attend and support the show.
American Aquarium member BJ Barham has announced his Great 48 Tour which includes 51 shows in 56 days covering all 48 continental states, a feat not many artists can possibly boast. His debut solo release Rockingham made my honorable mentions list for 2016 and is a truly good addition to your collection.
It means some very personal thing to him as a person and deal with tragedies he dealt with and wrote the entire record in a short period of time. The out pour of concern from American Aquarium fans for them under the terrorist attacks paved the way for him to write this album.
I’m going to go ahead and print this from his own website:
B.J. Barham was a long way from home when the tragedy happened.
On November 13, 2015, the singer-songwriter—raised in a small North Carolina town called Reidsville—was in the middle of his fourth European tour with American Aquarium, the rising alt-country act he’d led for nearly a decade. They were in Belgium, less than two hours from Paris, when bad news began to arrive: a series of terrorist attacks, including one in a rock club, had left more than 100 dead. Family members, friends, and the fans American Aquarium had amassed from so many years on the road immediately reached out, making sure the band had been far away.
“The onslaught of text messages, voicemails and everything that came in the next day sparked something in me,” Barham remembers. “In the next two days, the entire record was written.”
The record he’s talking about is Rockingham, Barham’s remarkable and intensely personal solo debut. Not long after the wave of well wishes had passed, Barham found himself piecing together composites of people he’d known since childhood, of those folks and places who had impacted his life in fundamental ways. He sang into his cell phone and scribbled in notebooks, stealing away for quiet moments in order to put the melodies and characters floating through his mind into song.
The shock of the moment and the distance from home seemed to give Barham a crucial perspective on the moments and circumstances that had helped shape him. Wolves, American Aquarium’s much-lauded 2015 breakthrough, had contained Barham’s most honest, vulnerable statements to date. But these songs took the next step, allowing Barham to share stories about those around him. In “O’Lover,” he portrays a hard-working farmer forced to make some desperate decisions to support the ones he loves. In “Reidsville,” named for the place he’d called his home until relocating to North Carolina’s capital, he immortalized beautiful, sweet, doomed souls, stuck in love in the sort of small towns that are disintegrating all across America. You needn’t have been to Reidsville to recognize these elegantly written, expertly realized protagonists.
“This is the first record I’ve ever made that’s not autobiographical—it’s fictional narrative in a very real place,” Barham says. “These songs are human condition stories set in my hometown, Reidsville.”
Barham made these songs his new priority. Not long after he returned stateside, he asked Bradley Cook, the musician and mentor who had co-produced Wolves, to hear them. By afternoon’s end, they had hatched the plan to make Rockingham. Two months later, on January 31, Barham returned from another American Aquarium tour.
On Monday, he and the band he’d built to record Rockingham—himself, Cook, Cook’s brother and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, drummer Kyle Keegan, American Aquarium standbys Ryan Johnson and Whit Wright—met for the first time. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they rehearsed. And on Thursday and Friday, they cut all eight songs at Durham’s Overdub Lane. They mixed the results over the weekend, between the sold-out hometown shows and various festivities of American Aquarium’s annual pilgrimage, Roadtrip to Raleigh. Cialis The whirlwind kept the songs simple and the recordings human, reflecting a reality much bigger and less perfect than the vacuum of a recording studio.
These tunes, after all, didn’t need much tampering. Rockingham puts its scenes and scenarios front and center, the beautiful grain and twang of Barham’s voice bringing it all to life. He limns lifelong romance and instantaneous tragedy during the paradoxically heartbreaking, heart-mending “Unfortunate Kind” and details the disappointments and dreams of the blue-collar laborer with “American Tobacco Company.” With its acoustic guitars and pealing organs, ragged vocals and rugged characters, Rockingham is a stunning, personal portrait of small-town America, easily identifiable and familiar.
For the album’s sole autobiographical moment, Barham, now happily married and sober, penned a letter of sound advice and Southern attitude to his daughter-to-be, “Madeline.” It’s too personal to fall under a roots-rock purview, too singular to be swallowed by a larger situation. Like all of Rockingham, it’s not the sound of Barham stepping away from American Aquarium but instead stepping confidently into the thoughts, stories, and feelings of his own thirty years.
“This is just an outlet for a songwriter. It’s me being able to do something different. This is like people who love their jobs, picking up hobbies,” says Barham, “This is an exercise for myself.”
I’m NOT going to lie to you folks,Casey James Prestwood And The Burning Angels much like a few others has secured a HIGH SPOT on my TOP 50 for 2017 already and it’s not even April yet (it WILL BE when I publish this) but right now it’s still March. I go bonkers over REAL Honky Tonk Country Music that makes me want to turn up bottles of beer, and if I smoked again I would burn a pack to it. This album pretty much makes you crave a dirty hardwood floor and ashtray laden tables of spilled, stale booze. To me these sort of albums aren’t “retro” or “throwback” they ARE the type of album that simply SHOULD be billed as Country.
When I talked to Mr. Casey recently he dropped some names to me that proudly display the care and attention to precise detail the likes of Heart Of Texas recording artist Amber Digby on background vocals. This album was produced by himself and his pedal steel wizard John Macy, and was recorded in five different studios. One in Denver Colorado where he is widely known, Macy Sounds Studio, two in Texas, One in Guthrie Oklahoma and finally Cinderella Studios in Nashville.
He came from Virginia and was raised in the south thus the Country Music flows deep within his blood,and at the end of this album one can easily ascertain the tone and twang are embedded deep into him and his band of Burning Angels. They established a huge following in the Denver area touring heavily and gigging all over many scenes and markets, making a name for themselves. He is a household name within my local scene here in Nashville appearing often around town with the likes of Joshua Hedley and Chris Scruggs, J.P.Harris and Margo Price.
The steel players on this album includel:Lloyd Green, Tommy Detamore, John Macy. This album has Guitar contributions from :Eugene Moles, Wayne Moss, and Bill Kirchen. Fiddle was done by :Byron Berlin and as previously stated the harmony:Amber Digby. Mr. Kevin Finn is on the drums and Mr. Jeff Martin plays bass for this band.
The album opens with a journey into the darker side of life with songs like “Blue, Lonely And Wasted” that contains steel guitar licks emanating a sorrowful and somber tone complete with classic sad Honky Tonk lyrics. It’s basically you complete hardcore tear jerk package and if you have a broken heart stay away from this album, it should come with a warning label. “Iv’e Been Ready” is another classic break up song that spoke to me even though I haven’t been in a relationship for many many years, this pretty much sums up WHY I haven’t been. It’s a typical picking up the pieces tune about seeing your EX with another current love, that speaks to pretty much anybody. This is pretty much a gender neutral album as far as targeting because ANYBODY can relate to the subject matter here, I think ALL OF US have fallen victim to the tail end of that situation.
The overall length of this twelve song album had me in a positive grasp for some time, and toe tapping songs like “Jailbird” with hit’s beat and steel twang up in the front helped me enjoy this album even more. This album HAS steel solos and guitar twang solos that elevate the songs even further as Mr. Casey takes you on a rocket ride through his poignant world of darkness. The song “Bury The Bottle” spoke to me as an individual that has been an addict of drugs and this fall I have 21 years clean! I just loved the tone of the crying steel, the lyrics were well written and the production of the overall project showcased his smokey vocals truly well. Bury The Bottle was just a song of hopelessness and despair from a man broken and controlled by the bottle.
“Green Grass Rockies” was a song about beginning a hard journey and I loved the line “Sometimes broken reocrds play good songs” it means pretty much a person with a broken past can bring forward stellar songs. His journey from Oklahoma to Texas is on the forefront of your mind on this song, “Beer Tear Saturday Night” was another song of lament for being born too late that REALLY SPOKE TO ME, I have often by told by my adopted parents my biological parents had me too late. I belonged in the 1950’s watching Ernest Tubb perform because i always beg society PLEASE “Don’t Let It Die”. All of the songs on this album are pretty much cut and dry and easy to understand but at the same time they are complex in their own twisted way if that makes any sense…this album is “Not A Copy” of any album you will ever encounter and I’m VERY adamant that it will secure spots on MANY TOP lists of 2017, if it does not I would seriously question whether or not they have Styrofoam brains?
Even though this album was already on my radar for quite some time before I got a text from an old friend Mr. Adam Barnes who manages both her and Shooter Jennings (who both do a LOT for my website), and they send me everything they possibly can to promote and feature for YOU my dear friends and readers.
Well, I honestly had never heard of her before this album and I had no idea where she came from…I mean her social media pages say Gig Harbor Washington but I mean WHERE she came from, I CAN tell you where she’s going, and by the end of this article you will concur with me about the answer..she’s going UP the charts and becoming a mainstay presence in Americana Music.
This young lady related with me in many ways and I was astounded by her past upon my research of her. After learning about her past she related with me even further, most of you that have been longtime readers of mine know about me. I’m an addict from long long ago, in fact I am twenty one years clean this fall. This young lady served eight months in a county jail for robbing her drug dealer, and eight more in a treatment center. Her past is absolutely astounding and this album makes it evident in many ways, this isn’t just some cliche sounding seven song quickly made deal. I am one of the VERY fortunate former addicts that never had to spend any time in the “Stone Hotel”. This woman is only Thirty One and trumps my age of Forty Six in having lived a tougher life than me in some aspects.
This project is six original songs and closes with Merle Haggard’s 1980 song “Misery And Gin” that Snuff Garrett wrote for the Clint Eastwood movie Bronco Billy. The Hag did a lot of movie work with Eastwood, as did Snuff Garrett and many others from what I call “The Country Music Movies” of the 1970’s and 80’s. You can easily ascertain that she relates with the Hag among others who equally served time for criminal activities and pushed forth in a psoitive manner within the ranks of music.
“Stone Hotel” is what gravitates you toward her poignant past as she declares she’s a thief from way back. Even though some may boast that they spent more time incarcerated, she truly learned lessons from her past and it has influenced her in her writing and her style as well.
“Giving Back The Best Of Me” Had a melody reminiscent of a John Moreland type song, with a sad ambiance to it, followed by “Wasco” which also dealt with prison in her own description. This album put me to mind of another gal she has been compared to Margo Price, from both of their styles of writing to their bold unashamed ways of propelling steel guitar to the fore front. If you delve into her music past this album you will fall even more into her grasp, and I’m sure like me you will inadvertently become a instant fan.
The Tillers for a tour And the Hackensaw Boys are two bands that you hear mentioned on this website MANY TIMES in the last few years. I thought their last album Charismo which was named after their famous self made drum kit was probably the band’s finest album to date, their live show at Muddy Roots last year was one of my TOP 3 acts of the entire festival. The Tillers equally astounded us there, and I think Willy Dear is one of the finest songs ever penned.
We’re excited to announce that we’re joining forces with our friends The Tillers for a tour in April! We’ll make our way through the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, USA. Check out the full schedule below: Tickets & more tour dates: http://hackensawboys.com/shows
Country Music has THREE staple pillars of it’s foundation or it’s backbone if you will. Those are in this order the songwriter, the producer, and the steel guitar in my opinion it takes those three to make a classic Country Music album. My point being Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” and “Wanted The Outlaws” as two prime examples that had all three. Shooter will tell you rapidly “Wanted The Outlaws” was the first platinum selling Country Music album EVER and defied the sough it was initially given by Nashville in the 1970’s.
This edition of my series Steel Guitarists Along The Road brings us to the right arm of Whitey Morgan Mr. Brett Robinson. To the right of Whitey night after night sits a slender and talented individual that helps bring such an Outlaw Country sound to the band the 78’s as a whole. Whitey Morgan just absolutely burns up the roads playing a whopping amount of shows across America, and trust me for the door fee you pay you get ONE HELL OF A SHOW!
He was gracious enough to take some time with me after a show with Dallas Moore at the Nashville Palace on his off time. He and I and his wife had a wonderful conversation at the Music City Bar And Grill, Mr. Dallas also stayed until he had to hit the road to the next gig.
My last edition brought me to talking about Mr. Brett and his involvement in landing Mr. Austin Tripp the current spot of being steel player for Cody Jinks and you can read more on that story HERE. This man just absolutely embraces the history of Country Music while embellishing the current local scene with his own history as well, and one day I am going to write a book on the things I witnessed and learned from people like him.
Local music as a whole contains such a plethora of well rounded steel guitarists and pickers waiting for you to discover them if you are willing to wade through the broken beer bottles and travel the worn out back alleys of America to find them. You have to look in the places most normal people wouldn’t, and you have to listen. You have to brave the heat and cold and discomfort of the fields and farms that spew forth these festivals, mostly you have to study and watch for them.
This video here I took has a really nice solo of his playing the Nashville Palace show I’m also going to post one of him with Whitey Morgan below it, I STRONGLY URGE you to go support Whitey Morgan And The 78’s BUY SOME MUSIC from the band! You can get their newest album Sonic Ranch on colored vinyl LP and trust me it’s AWESOME! Mr. Brett played on Sonic Ranch, The Acoustic album, and LIVE from Flint Michigan all of which are absolute MUST HAVES in any collection.
How did you start playing steel guitar?
I grew up in Moundville, Alabama listening to country music. I started playing music professionally in Columbus, Ohio after attending the University of Alabama. I was playing rhythm guitar in a country band there. We played mostly Waylon, Merle and Paycheck type stuff. It wasn’t long before I realized that what I loved about the music was something our band lacked: a steel guitar. I got one on consignment there at a shop and immediately started gigging and learning as much as I could.
Who inspired you the most?
Definitely Ralph Mooney. Of course his playing from the beginning is historic, but really what got me started was Waylon’s live stuff.
How did you begin playing with Whitey Morgan And The 78’s?
About six or seven months after I started playing steel guitar, Whitey scooped me up in Ohio. My band there opened for him a couple times and I would sit in. The second time the writing was on the wall. Our drummer turned to our guitar player and said “I guess we are losing Brett.”
Where did the 78’s get their name?
That year was one of the last great years for that outlaw sound.
What differentiates you from other players?
My sloppiness haha. I learned in a vacuum kinda. Pretty much everything I know I’ve learned since Whitey hired me, so it was a lot of learning missing guitar harmonies from the records. Kind of backwards.
What makes up your sound?
Sho-bud and Show Pro guitars and Fender amps. Mooney, Chalker, Lloyd Green and Big Jim Murphy.
Can you give me any news on the album?
We’ve got a single all worked up that we are playing on the live shows, probably get that recorded and released asap. Whitey has been doing some great writing and we should start the new record in May.
What are the future plans for the band as a whole?
I think the plan is and has always been to do our own thing til we are ancient and can’t physically do it anymore. It’s what I love about Whitey, he’s a man of principles and stubborn in the best way possible. He’s got a vision and is uncompromising and unapologetic about accomplishing that with his boys. Even if it kills us haha.
It’s that time again to bring you my article on the Muddy Roots Nashville Boogie and bring it I shall, as I always do every year. This event and the Muddy Roots main event in Cookeville are ones that I have never missed a single year of and I have reported LIVE from them for the entire three and a half years my website has been functioning.
On May 18-21st Nashville will once again fall victim to an all out assault on crappy music when Mr. Jason and his crew of REAL MUSIC crusaders usher in the real deal to the Opryland area. Over 80 performances on 5 stages, over 4 days at 3 venues. Located at the Grand Ole Opry House, Opryland Hotel, & Nashville Palace. Includes a large indoor car show, western fashion show, huge vintage vendor market, pinup contest, a record convention, and a vintage slide show.
It’s becoming so large you cannot possibly soak in the entire event all at once, the only complaints I had were solved last year with the addition of the shuttle bus that transports you form the hotel to the Palace on the hour. I have to carry a computer bag around and it took it’s tole on my legs. Also the first year the side stages had problems with some of us just ordering water or small drinks, that has also been taken care of. I DO STRONGLY implore you eat at participating venues and spend money, but you can only eat so much, so often. PLEASE remember to TIP I DID understand the waitstaff’s side of the deal here, I tired to solve it as politely as I could.
So now, mind you there are TWO PLACES to go for tickets on the entire deal here for a ticket single day or wristband for the weekend click HERE and for tickets to the Opry House finale on Sunday the link is down below at the bottom. I usually post a map of the area in my festival articles and there is a complete list of local hotels down below here is a nice map of the Opryland area for those of you thinking of coming and are unsure of our area here.
Don’t miss the grand finale performance with Jerry Jeff Walker, Bobby Bare, Deke Dickerson, JP Harris, Joshua Hedley, Billy Harlan & Big Sandy at the Grand Ole Opry House. Separate tickets on sale for Friday March 31, 2017 at www.opry.com
For the first time in over twenty years Country Music Legend Jerry Jeff Walker will perform an entire set here at the Opry House along with bobby Bare and others that are linked above in this article.
Jerry Jeff Walker Returns to Nashville
Texas country music legend to headline the
closing “barndance” celebration of
the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender Festival
Nashville, Tenn. — Texas country music legend Jerry Jeff Walker makes his return to Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House on May, 21 2017, three decades after leaving the Music City scene and over two decades since performing his last full show in the Nashville. Walker, who began his career in the late 1960s with the beloved song “Mr. Bojangles,” will headline the closing show of the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender. Also appearing on the bill is Country Music Hall Fame inductee Bobby Bare, hard country troubadours J.P. Harris, Joshua Hedley, and special guests Deke Dickerson, Billy Harlan, Big Sandy, and East Nashville honky tonk heroes, the Cowpokes.
Hosted by Muddy Roots Music Events, the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender is a four-day celebration of classic country, rockabilly and rock’n’roll music, art and culture. Over 10,000 music fans are expected to attend the third annual Nashville Boogie at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, May 18-21, 2017. There are 90 acts on 5 stages over 4 days at 3 venues.
Muddy Roots’ president and “Mudfather” Jason Galaz says the line-up is a reflection of the Muddy Roots music philosophy — honoring the tangled roots of American music while still looking toward the future.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to push the Muddy Roots agenda on the most prestigious country music stage in the world,” Galaz says. “I had to use that chance wisely. We’ll spend the first half of the show with a house band put together by country-rock historian and bandleader Deke Dickerson. A handful of singers performing longer sets at the Nashville Boogie will join Deke on stage to create a modern take on the classic barn dance format, as in the glory days of the Grand Ole Opry and Town Hall Party. Then we’ll finish out the evening with full sets from country music legends Jerry Jeff Walker and Bobby Bare.”
Tickets for the Opry House show go on sale March 31, 2017 and are available at opry.com. Tickets and information for the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender are available at muddyrootsrecords.com
I have so many different series going on within my website that sometimes It’s hard to keep them all well groomed and current, but I do. This endeavor turned out to be a major undertaking in both a positive and negative way for me but I took the negative a turned it into a learning experience to which I could still capitalize on as a man. Attempting to pin some of these hard working steel guitarists down has been a challenge, people THINK the music business is one big party, or a wild drunk fest full of drugs and women…and it’s not. ANYTHING can be turned into that I suppose but most people don’t STOP and understand the time and effort placed into pulling off a profitable show.
I have been wanting to do this project for some time now and I either didn’t have the time or the resources to pull it off in the fashion it deserves to be done in, I don’t do ANYTHING half assed or in hokey fashions. I comb my information but sometimes I make horrible face palm to the forehead mistakes and I retreat with my tail between my legs…but I come back out swinging and more aggressive than I was when I made that mistake. I know THE PEOPLE that once graced the stages of Country Music behind the steel guitar, Pete Drake, Hal Rugg, Ralph Mooney,Little Roy Wiggins and the Legends of the instrument. BUT when it came to tuning and how it works I once knew nothing about it, and I thought well HOW can I write about Country Music in Nashville and NOT KNOW?
Country Music has THREE staple pillars of it’s foundation or it’s backbone if you will. Those are in this order the songwriter, the producer, and the steel guitar in my opinion it takes those three to make a classic Country Music album. My point being Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” and “Wanted The Outlaws” as two prime examples that had all three. Shooter will tell you rapidly “Wanted The Outlaws” was the first platinum selling Country Music album EVER and defied the scorn it was initially given by Nashville in the 1970’s.
Local music as a whole contains such a plethora of well rounded steel guitarists and pickers waiting for you to discover them if you are willing to wade through the broken beer bottles and travel the worn out back alleys of America you will find them. You have to look in the places most normal people wouldn’t, and you have to listen. You have to brave the heat and cold and discomfort of the fields and farms that spew forth these festivals, mostly you have to study and watch for them.
I cover over 9,000 songwriters,bands and artists on here from six different genres and many of them involve steel guitarists in some fashion or another. I know TONS of them but YOU might not so I thought WHY NOT start interviewing THEM and bringing THEM to the forefront so we can better appreciate the artists they play for? I don’t ask many questions about their “boss” unless it’s a mutual band, BUT many of them are readily willing to divulge information about the man (or woman) up in the front that employs them. In fact I am enjoying these last few years where the WOMEN have been releasing the stronger albums like Sunny Sweeney and Margo Price.
This installment of my series brings me to the telephone with the current steel guitarist for Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies and his name is Mr. Austin Tripp he called from south Carolina last night and graciously donated some time with Gary Hayes Country and I thank him SO MUCH for this opportunity to bring you folks this article!
How did you get started playing the steel guitar?
Well, it’s really a long story short but I used to play the fiddle and I began playing it at eleven or twelve. They used to have country music shows out at a little antique shop close to where I lived, and they had a fiddle player there that I befriended around the end of 2004. We went out there to the store, they had a steel player and a fiddle player and banjo there was a bunch of people. I was interested in watching the fiddle player and it was mostly Bluegrass but every once in awhile that steel player would start up and I was like man that sound. The sound of it is what attracted me to it and I got to watching him play a little lick, and I didn’t know nothing about it. I didn’t know what the instrument was called I didn’t know anything.
I finally got the courage to approach him and ask him what it was and he said it’s a pedal steel guitar, I said well I got to learn how to play one. He said well, I’m not a really good teacher but I can show you a few things. The problem was I didn’t have one and I didn’t know where to even find one and it was hard for him to show me on his and have to sit down and play it. So in the summer of 2004 and 2005 I worked all summer for a friend of mine and bailed hay to save up money to buy my first steel.
I couldn’t make it do what I wanted, I couldn’t make it do the crying and all that stuff but he lead me along, and I got to where I wanted and after a month and a half of getting one, I got started playing with him. He also plays the guitar and he would play it and let me play steel behind him, and the rest is history. I love the sound of it and I love the challenge that it put up, I’m one of those types that loves a challenge. I kind of got bored with the fiddle to be honest, and I was looking for a challenge and I found it in the pedal steel guitar.
How long did you play before you played for Cody Jinks, and how did you start with Mr. Cody?
I started playing professionally since 2009 and I was still in high school. I got offered to go on the road with a band called Broken road, we played with many acts. We played all over Georgia, parts of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. We opened for Jake Owen, Colt ford and few others, and I would get to know their steel players and know the bands. Fortunately right after I graduated high school I got the call to go out on the road with Easton Corbin, I didn’t know much about the road, I was green. I didn’t know anything about life on the road I was just getting exposed to it. Thankfully one thing lead to another and after doing shows with Easton I did shows Jake Owen and up to about 2010 I started doing shows with Blake Shelton and that lead me to my big gig and that was with Luke Bryan. And I was with Luke for a year and a half.
I took some time off from playing to care for my grandmother who passed away in 2013 from breast cancer. I took some time off to care for her and started working a manufacturing job for about three years. When my grandmother passed on I got the itch and I was ready to get back out on the road, and play music full time. One night I messaged Brett Robinson who plays for Whitey Morgan, and asked him questions about his guitar. He had got a brand new one and I was just asking him about it, we got to become friends both on Facebook and talking on the phone.
One day I got the courage and I asked him man, who plays for Cody Jinks? And he said well right now nobody, they are going through some lineup changes and nobody was playing for him. Brett was playing for him but it was wearing him down because he was setting up playing with the 78’s doing sound check and playing shows with both bands. I said ask him if he needs a steel player and about six months later in August of 2016 on my birthday I was on my way to work. Brett called me and sang Happy Birthday to me and he said I got you a present and I said what’s that? He said in two weeks you are going to start with Cody Jinks if you want, I said HELL YES so two weeks later I loaded up my steel and headed for Texas and that’s how I started playing with him, and I been with him ever since.
Without giving away secrets what makes up your sound, and what do you different from other people?
My biggest thing is I don’t follow the mainstream steel players, and I’m not taking anything away form them by no means and I learned a lot from them guys like Paul Franklin and Mike Johnson, those guys. But my biggest thing is what Cowboy Eddie Long told me years ago, he said when you play the steel play the way YOU want to play it and play what you hear and that will set you aside from everybody else. I can hear a song and put my own twist on it because I didn’t want to be like everyone else, and I have a unique sound and a style of playing.
The best way to describe it is when Cowboy Eddie did the first two Jamey Johnson records they just set up in the studio and put a microphone up and just played, they didn’t go back and redo anything. That’s what mad me really pull away from mainstream steel guitarists. My tone is really in my guitar, I’m endorsed by BMI and I have been for a year now. We designed this guitar around MY OWN specifications and I feel VERY comfortable behind my guitar. It’s a mix of Eddie Long’s tuning and my own personal tuning and we put custom pickups in it, and it’s MY weapon. It goes back to every steel player since the 1950’s they say it’s in the hands.
What’s your plans for the future, I see you are hitting the road again soon?
We have a lot of stuff going on, this year I believe is going to be the year for Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies. There’s a lot of stuff that is happening right now, you know Cody’s been in it for ten plus years and It’s only March, well we did two tours this year. This last tour we did Conan O Brian and Music City Roots show in Nashville and that wasn’t mainstream TV that’s local in Nashville but Cody said that’s the first time he’s ever done anything like before and of course Conan that was new for all of us.
This year we have shows opening up for Jamey Johnson and we have a few festivals, but we are going into the studio I think sometime in the fall and release a new album. We have already been to the studio a good bit recording a few songs here and there, we did that cover of the Pink Floyd song Wish You Was here, and that actually surprised us all because we had no idea it was even going to be released. We kind of done it as a last minute deal and I think it made it up to number four on the Texas charts and on the national ones I think it made it up to number twenty eight. I couldn’t believe it blew up because there’s not many people who could take a classic rock song and turn it in to a country song and make a hit out of it.
Well you know Whitey Morgan did that with a Springsteen song. I started incorporating more Red Dirt into my website and even though that crowd isn’t embracing Nashville they do really well out here and I’m enjoying it.
Well the Texas music comes back to me and you know people listen to what the radio gives them to listen to and sadly enough they don’t play anything from any of the Texas guys and it’s sad because that to me is music that’s the way I feel. When I get on my motorcycle and take a ride some of the Texas songs like Jason Isbell and Wade Bowen are what get me into my feelings and that’s the kind of stuff that I listen to. It should be played on mainstream radio but they wont because it doesn’t sell to teenagers today I guess unfortunately.
Now I’m getting three to five thousand hits a day and I can’t get over that five thousand mark but people like what I feature.
It’s getting out there and honestly I have been a fan of Cody’s before I even worked with him, just because he has pushed the music out there and he’s trying to get above that Red Dirt scene and sort of branch out and get above and beyond and rise up but he’s staying true to where he came from. That’s what I love about working for him, we do everything our way but our way is the people’s way and that’s what I love about him. They come from all over to the shows and a lot of times we see the same crowd which is awesome, the last show we did in Denver Colorado and there were people there from Tennessee and Arkansas and I had a friend fly in from Georgia to see us. They want that rawness, they don’t want the orchestrated concert that you pay seventy five to a hundred dollars to see and you’re sitting in the nosebleed section. They want to see the rawness of the real deal I guess you could say.
Your Flockers are a very strong following let me tell you,I have had a lot of dealings with them. Let me tell you I’m involved in many scenes being the type of media that I am. I’m in with Bluegrass people and the Muddy Roots people and Americana folks, and they are a pretty dedicated bunch.
They are very dedicated and you know I started right at the end of August and I was number fifteen hundred or sixteen hundred. At that time Cody did not have anything to do with the Flocker group, they started themselves and asked him if they could start a fan group. Cody said go ahead you can run it and do whatever you want to, so it did. Now they are up to twelve or thirteen thousand members and they’re dedicated. They come to every show there’s a least a row of them at every show and it’s awesome I love them, they’re a fun group of people.
At every show there’s always one or two that keep us entertained and they take pictures for us and things like that. They help us like on April the sixth there’s a show in Nashville to honor Merle Haggard, they had posted that they were looking for talent. Man, the Flockers got on there and started blowing it up by posting get Cody Jinks, get Cody Jinks and they had to shut the page down. They were trying so hard to get us on the show.
As a steel guitarist who influenced you the most?
I would probably have to say Cowboy Eddie Long, I don’t know him too good and I have only met him a couple of times but he showed me many things on the steel guitar and I have known him for about a year now. I would have to say the style and the way I play it would have to be Cowboy Eddie. But alongside him would have to be Ralph Mooney, I been listening to Waylon for as long as I can remember. I loved the song Rainy Day Woman and I remember hearing Ralph start it off with that steel, when I first started playing the steel I was venturing more towards Ralph Mooney his tone and his style. He said in an interview one time his style was simple but effective and you know he was with Waylon until the day that he died.
Yes, and he was the first steel guitarist to ever be put in the front line, Ralph Mooney was. Now I notice you sit to Mr. Cody’s left is that the reason you do that?
You know really Cody loves the steel and I watched videos of his past steel players and I wanted also to sit right beside him, and I asked him where do you want me to sit? He said man I need you on the front line so people can hear your leads. That’s another reason I love him he doesn’t care about just him, I don’t care about exposure for me but I love it when people come up and ask hey what is that you’re playing. Cause I’m right up front and everyone sees me and they cannot miss me.
They ask questions and that’s what I love, we were playing a show at the Wescott Theater in Syracuse New York and there was young man that I have pictures of on my Facebook of he was right up front all night. I was watching him study me all night he was probably about ten or eleven and he was just amazed by what I was doing. After the show I was walking out to the bus, and his dad stopped me and just like I asked that guy, he said man what is that you’re playing? I said It’s a pedal steel guitar he said my son was amazed by it and I brought him on the stage and he sat behind it,I let him play it and he said it was so cool.
He was inspired and I’m pretty sure his parents were out a lot of money in those next few days but that’s what I like. I like to be on the front line to inspire as many people I possibly can. I don’t want to say it’s dying but on mainstream country radio, it’s gone. The Texas guys are pulling it out but man I don’t want to see it die.
That’s why I wanted to start this series because there are so many of you in I want to say underground music per say, and there a lot of bands that have steel guitarists but nobody knows about them.
Yeah, probably in the past ten years it’s just dropped out so much and I know everybody rags on Luke Bryan and those guys but you know I worked with him and Luke has a steel player right now but it’s just not headlining like it was back in the day. The one that is promoting it the most right now is Easton Corbin with Jamie Lennon.
I agree with you and I think Jon Pardi is doing it really well too.
Jon’s good his steel player is a good friend of mine Andy Ellison.
Yes,I’m going to get him on this series soon.
And there are several young steel players that I’m friends with on Facebook I haven’t had the opportunity to meet them yet but there is a young kid I think he’s thirteen named Jacob King he’s playing a lot of the Midwest steel guitar shows. They’re great steel players not like when I first started I didn’t even have Youtube to learn by so they got a little advantage on me, I love to see young people playing the steel. I’m still young but I love the younger people sitting down and getting involved with it. And it’s addictive once it starts I want to see them on the Grand Ole Opry.
I’d like to see you on it too, my main goal when I started this website is I want people like Whitey Morgan and Cody Jinks and my daughter who is twenty, I want her to able to say they are Legends when she’s forty. That’s what I want.
Somebody asked me the other day there was some thing that was comparing Cody and Whitey to Waylon and Willie and all that. It comes down to Waylon and Willie and Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard they didn’t get to where they were by following someone else, and that’s what we are doing. We’re doing our own thing and it takes time. Time and exposure is the key and eventually I think everybody is going to get turned on to our music. For Whitey Morgan he’s been at it for a while now and this will be a big year. For all of those guys this year will be the year a lot of people wake up and say hey these guys got something going on.
Another thing with Whitey and Cody and people like Ward Davis, our fans are their fans and vice versa and a lot of time they will go to both shows in one night or two. There’s a circle fans if Whitey’s close they’ll go to his show and if we’re close they’ll go to our show and that’s a great thing. It’s not just we only like this guy or we only like that guy let’s not go to it.
Well every scene is like that, I was going to go see The Reverend Horton Heat and the G damn Gallows but I covered them many times and I decided on Wade Bowen. I am trying to incorporate more of the Texas music into this and even if I have to take off work I’ll do it to get to see people like Sunny Sweeney. She needs to be an Opry member, hell she plays more than some of the members.
Yes, I cannot wait for that day. Brett and I were fortunate enough about three weeks ago to get to see her there. The night before she had her Trophy release at the Basement East. There were several people there Larry Gaitlin and Crystal Gayle and several others were there. When she started it was just Aw Goodness. It made me feel like back in the sixties it was Country Music and that’s what it comes down to. She’s Country Music.
I think with the new management being a woman she might speak to her musically from a different standpoint than a man and I think she has a really good chance. She will speak to her from a whole different level.
I believe so she’s doing a lot of things right. This CD I listened to it before it came out and there’s several songs on there that will go places. When she released that song from a table away it went up the charts and that’s the first song I ever heard her do, and I believe it’s going to be her year as well.