It’s time once again for my annual visit to the almighty ultimate independent music festival that brought forth all of the Roots Music bands, of course I’m talking about the TENTH ANNUAL Muddy Roots Music Festival. A LOT has changed at this festival in the ten years I have been going to it, and to be honest a LOT has changed with my website in the ten years I have been operating it as well.
In those years, I have been to over 31 states and traveled MANY miles covering this local music I bring to you. I have taken on another writer Mr. Joshua Wallace, and NOW I have ANOTHER writer I’m trying out for this job. We shall see if he does well, I’m already pretty excited about him coming aboard to help because I think the world of him as a person and as a friend.
Miss Delaney Chavez and her husband Mr. Milton REALLY stepped up and designed ALL of the logistics of this event beginning with double port a potties and better stage placement for the BEST sound EVER. Most of the stage times flowed along nicely, and EVERY time I saw her she was working VERY HARD to give us ALL an awesome time. She and her husband are VERY approachable, and will take care of ANYTHING the guests need.
We are going to chat about EVERYTHING from the weather to the vendors here, the bands and THE PEOPLE. That’s right folks YOU MAKE MUDDY what it is, if YOU bought a ticket and bought merchandise, and enjoyed the music on behalf of Mr. Jason and his ENTIRE CREW I thank you from deep in the heart.
I have a new writer this week from Ohio trying his hand in the Muddy Roots article game, his name is Mr. Luther Center. He wrote up some of the first sets I missed as Mr. Joshua Wallace and Miss Marla Gibson of Marla Gibson Imagery who was on board to help me with photography this weekend.
My good festival buddy Mr. Luther Center is a new face to my website, and he is a music nut like I am. He goes to a TON of music festivals, and I enjoy his input on my articles. He made some comments that he saw some whole sets that I kind of saw partially, and I thought WHY NOT INVITE him to participate? So here is what he had to say about a few things.
The sun is high, the temperature is a warm but manageable 80 degrees, and the trees surrounding the stage are swaying with the breeze and providing just enough shade to accommodate the growing crowd as the Muddy Roots Music festival has started!
Not many bands are better suited for Muddy Roots than are Black Tarpoon. The band (Vocals/Acoustical pickin’- Jesse James, Bass/Dirty vocals- Oatmeal Reed, Resonator- Billy Mo, Washboard- Tasha the Don, Drums- Daniel Rangel) from Corpus Christie, TX, have long been top practitioners of punk acoustic/electric Americana roots music.
The band settles in onstage early and are joking with the crowd as all present anxiously await the High Noon start for their set. Suddenly we hear, “We are Black Tarpoon. 1-2-1234” and they are off, as the band kicks immediately into high energy “Fixin’ To Play”. For the next 55 minutes we are treated to a blistering set featuring much of their first two records (2016s EP “Creature from the Black Tarpoon” and 2017s full length “A Macing Grace”) as well as tracks from their recent 1332 Records split 45 EP with Black Irish Texas titled “Blacked Out at Muddy Roots”.
I know their set included “Little Irish Bird”, “Ghost On The Highway” and one that features the young lady on washboard a lot called “Love Songs Ain’t Easy”. One of my favorite songs of theirs was one called “Black Widows Waltz”. None of my crew got to catch the entire set of any of the bands this weekend, as we roamed around to evenly catch as many sets as humanly possible here.
What a way to begin my Muddy Roots weekend! Their set was energetic, they were fun to watch, and their punk-roots style kept the crowd engaged and moving throughout the show. Highly recommended to see live if they show up in your town. Their music is available for sale on Bandcamp and from 1332 Records.
It’s approaching the hottest part of the day Friday as Sean K. Preston And The Loaded Pistols take the stage. Sean coolly appears, looking svelte in his matching black suit pants and vest with a bright red long sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He straps on that guitar, the Pistols lock in, and off they go with “Homeward Bound”.
“Last Call” was part of the set today as well as “The Decision” . He began with a really nice instrumental of his lead guitar talents before transitioning into “Ain’t A Dog”. Mr. Christopher “Sparky” Spiridigliozzi on drums and Mr. Cory McGrath on upright bass makes up the Loaded Pistols right now, and as they played songs like “Get Thee Behind Me” they displayed why they deserved to be a part of this lineup.
Preston incorporates power blues, country, and rockabilly into his music, and adds a sometimes sinister edge. It’s all on display as he heavily features extended tracks from his 2018 album “Forgive” on the Rusty Knuckles label, which happens to be one of my favorite records released last year. His band is tight and steady as Sean controls the stage with his confident voice and wicked guitar licks on songs like “The Twister” and “The Widower”.
While Gary Hayes was unpacking his camper behind the showers with Mr. Joshua Wallace he got to hear him play “Barnburner” and more of his set before ending the show with his signature song, “Satan”, the crowd has now reached fever pitch and, if you can believe it, Sean and the boys have ratcheted up the heat even more. I’ve seen Sean and the Pistols numerous times in recent years, and they never disappoint. The same was true here, and I’ll be sure to buy the next record and see them the next time they’re in my town.
The next set Mr. Luther got to see was Moonshine Wagon who hails from the Basque Country in Northern Spain. They brought their high energy show to Muddy Roots not once, but twice this year, playing the pre-party Thursday night at the Wood Stage, followed by a 1:30 set in the Big Tent on Friday. They describe their music as “Hellgrass” (as in “Hellgrass = Bluegrass + Heavy Metal”), and it’s a good description. They play their bluegrass fast, loud, and with an enthusiasm that is hard to match.
I had never seen Moonshine Wagon before, so I had no idea what I was in for. I enjoyed the Thursday evening set from the Camp Ohio area while visiting with friends, so I didn’t see them, but I did hear them, and man, I liked what I heard! I made a point to see their Friday set.
I walked into the Big Tent just as their Friday set began. Appropriately enough, they opened the show with the dirge-like strains of the title song from their new album “Straight From the Mud”. Midway through the song, it kicks in to the high energy punk metal bluegrass we’ll get to hear for the remainder of their set.
They play, sing, and perform expertly, and their energy throughout is infectious. The crowd is on their side and before long, it’s a party in the Big Tent! They went on to play the title track from their 2017 album “Porca Miseria”, followed by “Ghost” which opens with a great acoustic sound.
Goiatz Dutto, Joel Bruna, Lander Lourido and Victor Martin make up this trio that included songs like “Running And Hiding”, which was one of the more upbeat songs with the more Bluegrass sound. ‘Everybody Lies” starts out with some GOOD finger picking and fiddle style, and was great to dance to. “Days Go By” “You Yourself And You” , and “Ace Of Spades” wrapped up the set.
They leaned heavily on the new album, available at Roots Union, and they should, as it is excellent. With select songs from their two previous albums and a cover or two, Moonshine Wagon provided the perfect soundtrack for day one of Muddy Roots. I bought the album at their merch table and vowed to see them again as soon as I can.
Mr. Joshua Wallace got to see Mr. James Hunnicutt whom always does a stand up job at Muddy Roots, and is one of the most positive and humble people I have ever met. So here is what he had to say about that.
James Hunnicutt was on the tent stage on Friday at 3:30pm – 4:30pm. He had already started by the time I entered the tent and had a huge crowd with the tent about half to three quarters full. He was sitting down for this year’s set but he still had the same amazing vocals and raw energy that he always brings to his regular acoustic Muddy Roots set.
I heard him do crowd favorites like “My Pain” and “99 Lives”. He did his amazing version of “Long Black Veil / My Wayward Bride” which always turns into a sing-a-long with the Muddy Roots crowd and this year was no exception. He also did a selection of tracks from his first album which included the Muddy Roots anthem “Risk The Fall”.
The last song I caught from James was the always popular “Don’t Let Teardrops Fill Your Eyes”. It is always interesting to watch the Muddy Roots veterans who know the hand signs for this song and the new fans looking around wondering what is going on. James Hunnicutt always delivers a highlight set of Muddy Roots and this year was no different.
Miss Marla Gibson was kind enough to take my own camera and take a few of me with others like my big buddy Mr. Brooke Blanche from the Calamity Cubes, whom we will touch on later. Right now, we will flip over to my account of the mighty Hillbilly Casino.
2017’s “Red White And Bruised” album brought up their opening song called “Give It All Up For You”, followed by the song “No Toll Taken” as their leader Mr. Nic Roulette violently swings the mic around while flailing about like a crazed madman. This stage show is not for the weak or daft souls, and they truly light up the tent ( literally) with a mechanics light, and oversized stuffed animals that end up crowd surfing.
“She’s Got Tricks” and “How Do You Think” were both taken from the new album as well. Now from a seasoned fan like me, I’m not sure they will ever be able to beat my favorites “Big Dan” or “Tennessee Stomp” which the later of the two was the closing song. Hillbilly Casino is ( I believe ) the only band that has played all 10 years of muddy Roots, I’m pretty sure that is correct.
After you see these two pictures here, I’m quite sure you will agree that having her on board this time was a GREAT choice. I met her in Mississippi at another festival and when we talked I could tell that she “gets it”. I arranged for her to come with us, and she had a wonderful time here.
“PBR” was included in the set, as well as “The Hole” and “One Cup Beyond” from the iconic album “Three Step Windup”. Mr. Ronnie got out the other guitar and started into the solo intro for “Violets In May”, which resonated through the entire tent with furious fever.
They closed with “Troubles” and “Jibber Jabber” and as usual and like I stated earlier their last song was indeed “Tennessee Stomp”. As always they left the entire festival stunned, and just going nuts. They are by far one of the many Muddy Roots favorites on the list.
Another Muddy Roots powerhouse duo is the mighty Left Lane Cruiser whom just recently released a new album called “Shake And Bake” on Alive Records!. I’m in the works of making them an article for the album feature, maybe I’ll come back and embed it here.
They went old school on one of their songs from the 2006 album “Gettin Down On It” called “Riverwalk”. This band is one of the older roots bands that I found out about on the mighty MySpace. I began discovering these bands in 2007 and 2008 myself, and they were one of them. I’ll be honest I have so much on festivals on my desk, I think I may have lost some of my notes.
Mr. Joe Evans and Mr. Pete Dio come from Fort Wayne Indiana, and blend Mississippi blues and rock and many other forms of roots music to formulate their own sound, and volume! There were a few bands I got to only check out one or two songs from before moving along, they were one of them.
I meandered down to the wooden stage to see Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. This is a Denver Colorado outfit that I have featured many times on here, and they have played Muddy roots many times. Munly Munly, Mr. Slim Cessna, Mr. David Edwards, Mr. Jeffery Paul, Lord Dwight Pentacost, Miss Rebecca Vera, Mr. Ian O’Dougherty, and Andrew Warne make up the current lineup.
“This Is How We Do Things In The Country” has the whole crowd dancing and going nuts into the night air. I went up into the media tower to take some pictures of the crowd as well as side stage. They also played “Children Of The Lord”, among others.
This year they played the wood stage and had a little more room to spread out, and it helped to see the stage show a little better. They played a rousing rendition of “Do You Know The Enemy”, that included one of Lord Pentacost’s trademark double neck guitars which I caught on camera here, before I called it a day. The first night is always the roughest for me, as I work third shift and travel here in the morning right after work.
I woke up for day 2 ready to go, and even though I got enough sleep I was still pretty sore. I ventured out onto vendor row to see some of the food and shopping choices this year, sadly I didn’t get the chance to visit the waterfall but I may go out there on my own to bring you a better story that way. I did get to write a really nice article a few weeks ago, and you can read it HERE.
I wandered down my familiar favorite vendor row, the one that I have loved and cherished for ten years. The gravel road where I have made many friends, and we remember ones we have lost to death. A gravel road where I have seen children born and gotten to watch them grow up. You see folks, Muddy Roots really is a family in many aspects.
Many of these people are so close to me as personal Friends, like Mr. Ralph Miller who heads up one of the biggest original roots music’s labels called Rusty Knuckles. That label has recorded some of the most iconic albums in all of roots music history. If I ever wrote a book on the history of roots music the role of Rusty Knuckles would be the most prominent of all of them.
Also pictured above is my good friend Miss Sarah Brown who operates the traveling store of original hand made goods called Stoned Beautiful Jewelry. This young lady travels all over the country and sells her wares to every music audience out there, and you need to check her out.
There were plenty of great food vendors like our friends G’zs BBQ from East Nashville. There were plenty of choices for every person’s lifestyle, however I’m not sure about vegan. I’m not as trained to look for vegan choices, and I need to look for more vendors that can cater to gluten free folks.
One of the first acts of the second day was none other than Country Rock artist Mr.Jason Charles Miller. He is also the front man for the industrial rock band called Godhead, and I knew very little about him until now. His resume was indeed quite impressive from a Country and Metal lover’s standpoint, as he has opened for big names on both genres. Some of the pop country I wasn’t really impressed with, but to have worked with some of those names just shows me his versatility.
From his 2011 album called “Uncountry” he began with a song called “The River”, and went into a song called “No Bridge Left Unburned”. His songs were all pretty heavy and even though they did have a country influence they were pretty much good old fashioned rock and roll.
Cmon folks this is Muddy Roots you know damn well were going to have the entire spectrum of music at our fingertips! This man fit in really really well with Muddy Roots, in EVERY way and I enjoyed his songs. His album called “In The Wasteland” boasted a REALLY cool song called “Old Scarecrow” who sits in the sun and his work is never done…good line. “Trunk Full Of Bibles” was another good song included in his set today, along with other songs like “In The Wasteland”, and “You Get What You Pay For”.
He closed his set with his own version of the Hank Williams classic song “I Saw the Light”, and I got to sing along with him as I wandered off to the wood stage to listen to my Colorado area friends called the Tejon Street Corner Thieves.
They started with their song called “No Good” from their 2016 album called “Every Last Drop”, and with the help of one of the members of the Bridge City Sinners (whom I’ll touch on next) they tore up the wood stage today. Now, they just released a live album out called Live At Western Jubilee which as many of these songs on it. “All We Need” is a whiskey drinking song, and pretty much self explanatory.
Mr. Connor O’Neal – Banjo, Percussion, Lead and Backing Vocals, Mr. Shawn D’Amario – Washboard, Guitar, Lead and Backing Vocals, Mr. Spencer Mode – Washboard and Mr. Michael Flecha – Bass make up this band that glorifies the Westport Saloon on songs like “Goers”. Every community has an anthem and it has pillars of the scene, and the Westport Saloon is indeed an integral part of the Roots music scene.
The same can be said about Four Roses Bourbon, as they have been a longtime sponsor of this community and its wonderful bands and fans. I myself have been a Muddy Roots family member for over Ten years now. “Home” was next, a song about a man that thinks he is going be killed unless he spends the rest of his life on the road.
“Whiskey Shivers” and “.44″ were next, .44 being about a drunkard with a loaded .44. It’s a very poignant and dark song filled with their signature gravely harmonies that Roots music is noted for. It’s about poor choices and failure so how can it be a bad song? There has been a time in everyone’s life they have felt unworthy of the love of the Lord.
‘No Water” was next followed by a cover of “Minnie The Moocher”, and at that time I went up front to the merchandise area to shop and eat. The next band I had in mind to see was an amazing one I have never covered before called The Bridge City Sinners.
Part of the fun of festivals is running into so many friends on the roads from stage to stage as everyone goes and sees their favorite band all day and night. This afternoon I for one found a new favorite band in the Bridge City Sinners, who come from Portland Oregon and was formed in 2016.
They have a new album called “Here’s To The Devil” out now on Flail Records and from that album they opened with “Through And Through” which was full of suicidal innuendos and selling your soul to the devil, you know all that happy stuff. This band is choked full of wonderful scenes like holy water burning your fingertips.
This band was originally slated to play the Southern Gothic festival in October, but couldn’t play. I was disappointed, because songs like “Kreacher” are inventive and fitting for Halloween fun. Miss Libby Lux has her signature growl and evil laugh on songs like “Laugh While You Can”, where they display an absolute macabre sense of hilarity to the stage. It’s evil and it’s fun, it’s raw and edgy but at the same time it’s professional and contains complex music from the likes of Mr. Lightnin’ Luke Bespiel on fiddle whom also assisted the Tejon Street Corner Thieves.
The band also has Mr. Jesse Payne on acoustic guitar, Mr. Michael Flecha on the resonator AKA King Strang. Mr. Scott Michaud who owns Flail Records played upright bass today for them. Also they had Mr. Clyde McGee on the banjo for their set.
I was beyond impressed with the amount of people that this band drew here today. On the third day of any festival and this early in the day, to draw a crowd this size is indeed an impressive feat.
“Song Of The Siren” I cannot see how she performs that night after night without loosing her voice. It truly digs deep out of her chest to sing that song, and while it is well written for a Roots song it has that accompanying Gothic theme to it. “Pussy Cat” was pulled from their self titled 2016 album as was the song “St. John’s Infirmary” which gets covered by many. “Ashes” was next which had all the fine fiddling I needed to satisfy my palate and make me jump in joy.
“Virgin Sacrifice” was next followed by “Run From The Sun”, and the last song I caught by them was called “Witches Wrath”. And as the partying continued my crew and I parted ways into the musical abyss to capture so many different aspects of the festival, some of these photos may not be Country bands..but this website appreciates ALL KINDS of REAL MUSIC!
Miss Marla took thousands of terrific photos and shared many of them on social media in groups and on pages. Many of the artists and bands were enjoying them and using them. Once again if you would like to hire her or purchase some of her photos her page is right HERE.
The next band I got to see was the Texas based Mike And The Moonpies whom also released a new album right on the time of the festival date here. There were so many great bands that released new music on this weekend it was uncanny. I am going to let Mr. Joshua Wallace write about them, but all of us were there for this one!
I’m going to focus some time on this band and then I’m going to share some photos for you that Miss Marla took, and ones I took of Punk Metal Legends The Dead Kennedys, and others like Hank Von Hell, and a BUNCH of others that played on the Saturday portion of this event.
Mike Harmeier was a local songwriter who, in 2007 recruited drummer Kyle Ponder, guitarist Catlin Rutherford, bassist Omar Oyoque, and steel guitarist Zachary Moulton to form a powerhouse band in Austin Texas called Mike And The Moonpies. This band also helped usher in the Red Dirt movement, and I hope that muddy Roots joins in that movement. See that’s what’s unique about Mr. Jason, he enjoys ALL KINDS of stuff and books what he enjoys. On one stage you may have GZA and another you may have this band.
Once again I wanted to thank Marla Gibson Imageryfor her contributions to my weekend of work on Muddy Roots, with these pictures of The Dead Kennedys and The Koffin Kats and Hank Von Hell. To be honest, I have always been more of a Country and Roots website that has strayed many times into different forms of music you cannot make a genre out of.
And that is honestly what Muddy Roots is all about. Mixing so many different kinds of music fans into one big field enjoying each other’s company. For the select few that actually ‘get it” and get what Muddy is all about we enjoy some beautiful company and life long friends. Hugs and smiles all around make Muddy Roots my HOME festival.
Mr. Charlie Overbey played the wood stage at the same time as Mike And The Moonpies, and we got to see him play “Slip Away”. I myself didn’t get to see him play much more than two songs today, because I was bouncing around so much this weekend.
This young man’s music has been impressing me, and I have been keeping an eye on him and the Broken Arrows, which is his band. He was born and raised in California, which actually has a rich history of West Coast Country Music that this young man carries into his present day stage act.
He has a similar past to many of us my age, to where we grew up with Country Music and it remained deep within our veins only to remain docile, but not until our Punk Rock or Metal years have been quenched that it shall surface. However, when that day does indeed emerge it triumphs any and all other passions in our souls.
Mr. Justin Boot ran a very nice open mic stage for the weekend outside of stage one, and it featured a wide array of talent from the festival patrons. The water park area was also in the same area, where kids played and cooled off all weekend while listening to the music.
The side stage tent called the Sweet Time Tent featured some good bands like this one called Sash The Bash. They had a hard rocking set with intense kick you in the balls songs like “Rock And Roll Orgy”. Which was just a hardcore party good old fashioned time. I mean let’s do it on the floor, let’s do it on the table…that gets a guys attention, HA.
Tonight she was just signing, but some of her videos she has a bitching double neck guitar, and her band is top notch up your ass metal. Now I thought that the song “Bang Your Head” would be the Quiet Riot cover, however it was not, it was their own version of their own song.
Miss Sasha Valleley is the leader of this band of crazies that also consists of Miss Amy Epperley on the bass guitar, Mr. Cullen Curtis and also Mr. Ben Dairedow.
“I Don’t Like You” was their debut single and one of the only ones you’ll see on Spottily. That’s not really a bad thing to be honest, I enjoy YouTube and buying their music from the merch table. This stage was ran by good friend Mr. Chad, who always does a top notch job of managing his stage. He is always a nice friend to me and came to see my set Sunday ( which I may touch on a little). Mr. Chad is a VERY good friend that supports what I do vehemently.
“Hipster Douchebag” is another strong in your face song. This band is very strong lyrically and is an integral part of the presence of women in local music. “Mornin After” , and “Wild Man Child” were both also included in tonight’s set. I thought perhaps the song “Hotwired” was going to be a metal version of a Del McCourry cover song, but again NOPE. This young lady has her OWN style and songs, and fit in VERY WELL with the Muddy Roots way of doing things. I LOVED this set here!
Mr. Chad Martindale one of our yearly stage managers who dedicate their time to make sure we have a good time for ourselves. I think right now is ANOTHER TIME I need to take a few moments out to thank all of the fine folks that do so much for Mr. Jason, like my buddygirl Miss Cole that sells merch and takes tickets every year, Miss Delane Chavez and her husband Mr. Milton. Mr. Chris Cahill and Mr. Robert brown who does all kinds of jobs there.
Photos courtesy of Miss Marla Gibson.
Mr. Luther is going to be writing about this band The Goddamn Gallows whom have played many Muddy Roots festivals. First off, I have to admit that Goddamn Gallows is one of my favorite bands in the world. They are the definition and embodiment of the term “Muddy Roots”. The fact that they’ve played EVERY Muddy Roots Musical Festival should tell you everything you need to know about this band.
That said, their 2019 show at MR is one of the best sets I’ve ever seen them play. Mikey Classic (guitar, banjo), Jayke Orvis (banjo, mandolin), Fishgutzzz (Stand up bass), and Baby Genius (drums), rocked the Truck Stage for 75 minutes, until a stage tech reminded them they were 15 minutes over. They commanded the large stage with their hybrid brand of punk psychobilly hoedown roots metal (say that 3 times fast), or as I like to describe it, bluegrass you can slam dance to, keeping the crowd fully engaged the entire time.
Performing songs from throughout their discography, they were in top form as each member, expert musicians and colorful characters, took the spotlight at some point of the show. The appearance of Urban Pioneers Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern onstage for a few songs gave us a 3/4 Jayke Orvis Broken Band reunion. There were also guest appearances from Gary Lindsay (Black Vermillion) Jack Gibson (Exodus), and Tommy Koffin (Koffin Kats).
Overall, an outstanding set by one of the best bands out there touring and recording today. If they come to your town, go see them!
What Was The High?
Down With The Ship
City of Fools
Pass the Bottle (w/Gary Lindsey)
Raise The Moon (w/Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern)
Dreadful Sinner (w/Liz Sloan and Jared McGovern)
When No One’s Around (w/Liz Sloan)
Ol’ Dusty Trail (w/ Liz Sloan)
Waiting Around To Die (w/ Liz Sloan and Jack Gibson)
In League With Satan (w/ Liz Sloan and Jack Gibson)
Howlin’ Wind (w/ Liz Sloan and Tommy Koffin)
Metal Legends Municipal Waste closed out Saturday night with one hell of a set on the wood stage, that I watched from the media tower. Folks I’ll be honest I’m too damn old and wore out for stomping around in mosh pits, but I still enjoy my Heavy metal.
I don’t really mind including these photos in my articles in any way, and I still have a ton of stuff to tell you about as we move into Sunday’s shows. I played my own small set Sunday morning, and got to work with the sound guys on the big tent stage. This was Mr. Chris O Brien from Stage Rite Sound in Nashville.
Sunday ended up being an early departure for me as I had to get my photographer back to the airport very early in the morning so we left shortly before the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band performed. However I did indeed catch some of their set this weekend.
One of the first people I got to see was Mr. Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen on the wood stage, while I took part of the gospel hour in the tent before my own set. Yes folks you heard that correct I did indeed play a full half hour set, but my time was pushed back for scheduling discrepancies. I played a bunch of old timey classic three chord country music.
There was a plethora of good music VERY early today here, as also Mr.Josh Morningstar was on the wood stage and my good friends the Urban Pioneers were also on the big main stage after I played. I will be bringing you coverage of all of these sets from today, as well as some other things I wanted to touch on about Muddy Roots in general.
Mr. Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen plays that good old fashioned country Music that warms the heart and soul, and he possesses a powerfully smooth voice and a equally smooth guitar tone. He plays his own signature compositions and also plays obscure covers that the public doesn’t always pick on as being covers. That’s what I like to do when I play as well. I call it the “BR5-49 Formula” because in the early 90s they were doing it down on Broadway.
Mr. Josh Morningstar, man what can i say about him that hasn’t already been said? This young man is out burning up the highways and byways playing his shows for everyone. he has had a very good songwriting career, having many songs penned for Mr. Cody Jinks and others.
He opened with a song about quitting, and it was called something like “The Only Thing I Ever Quit Was Quitting”. It was one of his newer songs I had never heard before myself, and he also played his title song called ‘The Plea’. Many of his old albums are out of print and have become obscure, and I revel in that obscurity as a collector.
“Damn These Birds” is his anthem for the addicted and the struggling person to get clean. It is about the dealers that push their crap on people, and how they manipulate junkies into needing their stuff. He went into a fun and lengthy version of Roger Miller’s “Dang Me”, which features his passion for Country Music history. It’s always a treat to get to stop and talk to him about Legends that have passed on.
“Must Be The Whiskey” is the first song he had recorded by Mr. Cody Jinks for the Lifers album, and he always plays this on his set. He played a bunch more good cover songs until he got to my personal favorite song called “Jerry Lee”. This song is about Rock And Roll Legend Jerry Lee Lewis who is one of the most overlooked outlaws of any genre of music…period.
Black Irish Texas is a way cool band that played in the big tent stage. They opened with “Join The British Army” among other songs. They are a combination of so many types of music that it’s very hard to label songs like “To hell With The King” into a folder.
Mr. James Fitzsimmons, Mr. Mark Maughmer II, Miss Shannon McMillan , Mr. Michael Franklin, Mr. James Sheeran, Mr. Chad Fitzsimmons, Mr. Bil Zarate, and Mr. Brian Blackwood make up this Austin Texas outfit here.
I got to catch up with my good friend Mr. John Howie Jr in the Sweet Time tent, now mind you I am catching many sets at one time. This was right before I hired Mr. Luther to help , so now I have more eyes and ears on the field.
He graced my TOP 50 of 2018 with a masterpiece of an album called “Not Tonight”, and blasted us with his first song off that album called “Wish My Heart”. This song is a lonely lament of not knowing what to do, and wishing your heart would know what to do. Now he pulled some songs from his 2011 album called Leavin’ Yesterday. One was called “Handful Of Heartaches” and some of them were from the Two Dollar Pistols like “Getting Gone”…from way back in 2002 and 2003.
See folks, years ago when I started listening to underground music and Texas music I discovered a plethora of bands like his band, which he lead and people like Miss Tift Meritt and labels like Yep Rock Records. This man is in my opinion a local music Legend, and I’ll stand on the damn rooftops and shout it out.
From his new album he played “Never Could Say Yes” and another one called “When I’m Not There With You”. Back in 2008 I discovered a BUNCH of GREAT Texas music like Red Meat and Eleven Hundred Springs…and THIS MAN TOO. So many of the songs he played today like “I’m Not There With You” I just stood back and enjoyed.
“So Doggone Lonesome” was another song in his set along with “Breakin Up With Me”, and others. I was rapidly moving around from place to place trying hard to retain everything before we had to leave for the weekend to return to life. His band is all from the Chapel Hill North Carolina area, and consisted of Mr. Mark Murphy on drums, Mr. Nathan Golub on pedal steel, Mr. Tim Shearer on guitar and Mr. Mark Connor on the bass.
My good friends, also from Texas and Tennessee ( and everywhere else) called The Urban Pioneers is as always Miss Liz Sloan, Mr. Jared McGovern and Mr. Scott on the upright bass. Honestly they have self released some truly solid records in the last few years, only one being on a label which was Muddy roots Records.
Their sixth album was the 2019 release called “Come Out Swingin”, and I didn’t get to hear their entire set or any of the songs that were on this album here. I did indeed get to hear a bunch from their first album called “Addicted To the Road”.
This husband and wife duo are one of the many original people from the first Muddy Roots Festival here, back then they were both playing for Mr. Bob Wayne and The Outlaw Carnies. I remember admiring their musical abilities all those years ago, before they joined Mr. Jayke Orvis And The Broken Band to record two more albums.
The Broken Band disbanded soon afterwards, leaving them to release the 2014 iconic Roots music album that I mentioned just before called “Addicted To The Road”. The songs that I did get to hear from them were selected from this album. They aptly opened their set with “Muddy Roots”.
“Autumn Time” is one I really like to hear myself, and in fact I truly wish the damn weather would act like it was autumn time here. It’s October and it’s 100 damn degrees out! “High On A Mountain” is from their 2016 album called “Feast Or Famine”.
The last song they played that I got to hear was called “Please Give Me A Highway”, then I also got to catch some of the band called Gallows Bound. They played the song called “Broken Glass”, which opens with dark and poignant banjo picking. They are six childhood friends from Virginia that were involved in the local punk scene, and used to privately jam Bluegrass and other kinds of music. Miss Jordan has an absolutely BEAUTIFUL voice, and she is an energetic stage presence, in fact this whole band does!
Miss Jordan Joyes on vocals, guitar, Mr. Jesse Markle on vocals, guitar, Mr.Justin Carver – banjo, Mr. Aaron Blow on bass and finally Mr. Rob Shultz back on the drums make up the band. Their stage presence and demeanor is defiantly one that fits with our Muddy roots frame of mind.
They are a very talented outfit that I have had the opportunity to cover a few times. As soon as she sings take your finger off the trigger, the whole tent goes nuts. They have that punkgrass style mixed with rolling drums and fast picking banjo and mandolins.
“Empty Flask Empty Heart” was another great song here along with “Appalachian Witch” which was later on in the set today. “Black Widow Woman” was another great slow starting song that turns out to be a toe tapping rowdy song about running around the hills. She’s gonna kill you folks, this is pure mountain punk folk music folks.
“Guardian” and “Dogs A Howlin” were part of their set tonight as well as the song they closed with called “Del Fuego”, which is about a working man who is ready to party. This song is a complete jam with lines like when we get to where we’re going we’re going down.
Honestly, right now I am writing three different festival articles and this gal….this gal is involved in two of them. I got to hear some NEW SONGS from her at Americanafest during the fourth annual backyard bash for her label Bloodshot Records. Her band is a well oiled machine, and I get excited about every time I get to cover their set at festivals in ANY type of environment. Do I really need to introduce Miss Sarah Shook And The Disarmers?
She had Mr. Eric Peterson on electric guitar leads still and also Mr. Phil Sullivan on that pedal steel, and this time she had a different bass player, and drummer. The 2017 ( and older) album Sidelong boasted her opening song called ‘Heal Me’, as well as her third song called “Fuck Up”.
“Parting Words” is a hurtful song about breaking up and using condolences to say goodbye. Many of her songs are taken from the darker side of life and love, she is a modern day female version of Hank Williams in many ways. And that’s not a bad thing one bit, I’ll say this about the gals in 2019…they have outdone the guys in my opinion on music. I’m enjoying them at festivals much more than male artists, with this gal at the forefront.
“Road That Leads To You” was next from Sidelong as well as “Nothin Feels Right But Doing Wrong”. I LOVE this thumping beat song filled those pedal steel twangs that push the song along. One more upper in my hand, one more make it a double…one more…every addict can relate to one more.
I really REALLY enjoy studying Mr. Phil here and I like to zero in on him and just watch what he does. I hope I don’t get in his way or crowd his space on stage ever. “Lesson”, was next also “Good As Gold” was in this set. She included the title track “Sidelong” as well as what I think were some new ones.
“Over You” was another good one I love, as well as “Damned If I Do Damned If I Don’t”. I don’t wanna try this again I’m over you…once again this is just a give up song. Sometimes you just cannot keep retrying to have a good romance if it’s “not there” anymore.
“The Bottle Never Let’s Me Down” and another good one that turned me onto her is “Dwight Yoakam”. She closed her set with “New Ways To Fall” from the second album. I wandered off to catch other sets like The Calamity Cubes!
This was the initial band ever booked by Mr. Jason to play the inaugural Muddy Roots, and they started around 2007. They are Mr. Brooke Blanche, Mr. Joey Henry and Mr. Kody Oh. They were joined by many other musicians today that have played Muddy Roots in so many other years like Miss Liz Sloan. I got to hear them play “Delia Rose” before I went onto other things for the day.
I did get to hear The Revered Peyton’s Big Damn Band play “Clap Your Hands”. We did have to leave early on Sunday for rest and getting back to daily order for us. I still had a wonderful time out at the Junebug Ranch and once again my thanks to Mr. Herbert And Miss Amber Lee Clark for hosting us.
All of the wonderful food at Scooters bar and the gorgeous property that this festival is held on is someones property and I want ALL OF YOU to PLEASE remember to respect that. Leave the wildlife alone and respect the bathrooms and the firewood.
MUDDY FAMILY FOREVER.