Muddy Roots 2019

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Oct 052019
 

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.


Photo courtesy of Luther Center

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.


Photo Courtesy of Marla Gibson

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”.


Photo courtesy of Marla Gibson

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.


Photo courtesy of Luther Center

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.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Wallace

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.

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Wallace

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.


Photo courtesy of Marla Gibson

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.


Photo courtesy of Marla Gibson.

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.


Photo courtesy of Marla Gibson

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!


Photo Courtesy Of Marla Gibson.

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!

Grassmuncher
Heaven
What Was The High?
7 Devils
Down With The Ship
The Maker
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”.


Photo Courtesy Of  Miss Marla Gibson

“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.

Apr 122017
 

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 3 Year 2 Year 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.

Video Credit: Miss Alexis Faye

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.

Video credit: Miss Alexis Faye

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.

Mar 042017
 

This article is going to cover several subject on some happenings in the music world all of them related to the honor of Country Legend Merle Haggard, whom as you know we lost last year. You know my style folks if I have several things that I can juxtapose together into one article I’ll do just that. I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy reading about what I have for you here.

Photo courtesy of my friend Mr. Gene Thorne.

I’d like to open this article with some words for the death of Country Legend Don Markham, one of the last members of Merle Haggard’s band the Strangers. Don Markham played saxophone on all of Merle’s albums from his debut in 1965 called “The Strangers”  on Capitol Records, and through 1977 when he released “Ramblin Fever” on MCA.

Don Markham spent his final days in the same mobile home where he spent the last 50 years residing in, and died Feb 24rth in California of undisclosed reasons. Merle Haggard was publicly known to visit Don Markham on a regular basis.

He spent many years playing in the Bakersfield club the iconic Blackboard, and he joined the Strangers full time while touring with Johnny Paycheck.  He once quoted this to the Hall Of Fame during the Bakersfield exhibit opening:

“I was starting to move around and thinking about going to work in country music,” Markham said in an interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville in 2012, during the opening of an exhibit devoted to the Bakersfield Sound. “It seemed like in Bakersfield not a lot was going on with what I played in pop and jazz. The country people were so much nicer and appreciative of you playing for them than other kinds of music that I just fell in love with it.”

“Don has played on every recording I’ve made since 1974, every single release,” Haggard said at the Hall of Fame Bakersfield exhibit opening in 2012.  “I’ve had different guitar players, and different musicians change around, but he’s been on every one of them. … It just was a little different and I liked it that way. I think Don was glad I liked it that way.”

Don Markham was one of the many Legends that came up through the Bakersfield area, however he came up thorough R and B and pop with a sound all his own. He brought a fresh sound to the Strangers and for it’s time it was proof to the Nashville establishment that horns could be used in Bakersfield Sound, even though some considered Merle Haggard to be a part of the Outlaw Movement.

From my books and studies it seemed that Don was having serious issues with Johnny Paycheck’s band and brothers and was being the teased for being a horn player, and when the bus pulled to a roadside diner Don approached Merle Haggard and asked for a job. He was granted a job right there on the spot and when he was hired he immediately got on Merle’s bus and drove off with them. Merle Haggard saw the addition of Don as an opportunity to emulate some sounds and styles of his own hero Bob Wills.

Now I would like to change gears and bring about a separate show but it still glorifies the Hag, and this will be held at the iconic Southgate House in Newport Kentucky on April 6th.  HAGFEST: Josh Morningstar & The Pickups, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen, Joe’s Truck Stop, Billie Gant, The Harold Kennedy Trio, Chris Acker and the Growing Boys, Pat Hu & The Kentucky River Ramblers, Thorn County, Maria Carrelli
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP)
http://www.southgatehouse.com/event/1441303
DOORS: 7:00 PM / SHOW: 8:00 PM
$12.00 – $15.00
This event is 18 and over

Now I cannot make this show because two days later I have previously committed to other gatherings but I was informed of this event and I CERTAINLY endorse these bands and this event. I’ll link all the bands here:

Josh Morningstar And The Pick Ups
Billie Gant
Tod Day Wait’s Pigpen
Joe’s Truck Stop
The Harold Kennedy Trio
Chris Acker And The Growing Boys
Pat Hu And The Kentucky Rive Ramblers
Thorn County
Maria Carrelli

As many of you know Mr. Joshua Morningstar was my 2015 Artist Of The Year, and I recently covered Mr. Joe Macheret when he was playing with Mr. Scott from Buffalo Wabs And The Price Hill Hustle as Truckstop Waterfall.  You’ll all also be hearing from my website reporting on Mr. Billie Gant’s newest release with Nick Geise. This video is of Truckstop Waterfall from 2017.

Now once again I will change functions and still remain on the subject of Merle Haggard. This spring on April 6th at the Bridgestone in downtown Nashville many of Today’s more mainstream stars will gather to pay tribute to Merle Haggard by playing his songs and telling stories about him. Tickets for this event go on sale this coming Friday and I will update this article with a route to buy tickets.

Willie Nelson
Kenny Chesney
Miranda Lambert
John Mellencamp
Dierks Bentley
Loretta Lynn
Hank Williams Jr.
The Avertt Brothers
Alison Krauss
Ronnie Dunn
Warren Haynes
Jamey Johnson
Kacey Musgraves
Lynrd Skynrd
Lucinda Williams
Ben Haggard
John Anderson
Connie Smith
Bobby Bare

ABOUT THE SHOW

Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard, an all-star concert event taping at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee will take place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 in honor of what would have been Merle’s 80th birthday and the one-year anniversary of his passing.

This one-night-only concert event taping will bring together fans, friends, and music icons to honor the life and songs of music legend Merle Haggard. Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard will feature performances by Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Ronnie Dunn, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lucinda Williams, Ben Haggard, John Anderson, Connie Smith, and Bobby Bare. Additional performers to be announced in the coming weeks.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Merle Haggard racked up an astounding 38 number one country hits and every major award imaginable. Songs like “Mama Tried,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” and “The Fightin’ Side Of Me” continue to inspire new generations of artists and fans alike, and as we approach what would have been a major milestone, the time has come to celebrate his truly remarkable career. He was an iconoclast who refused to bend to country music convention and helped create the indelible Bakersfield sound. He gave voice to outlaws and outsiders in a way that few, if any, have ever equaled.

May 222014
 

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My good friends at Live True Vintage have turned ONE YEAR OLD! Congratulations Miss Tammy
WE LOVE YOU! She does so much for the East Nashville community and for bands and artists.
She sells their merchandise and takes NO profits. She is one of my favorite people ever
and next week tuesday May 27th she is having a ONE YEAR PARTY.

THATS RIGHT FOLKS next week Tuesday night they welcome my personal brother Joshua Morningstar.
Along with Baskery three sisters from Sweden!

THIS IS a show you will NOT WANT to miss.
Mr. Joshua just signed on with ALTCO Records.
I met him fall of last year At the Outlaws And Icons Festival in Altamont Tennessee.
And we pretty much instantly hit it off and became brothers.

I am telling you he puts on one hell of a show!
I owe him so much gratitude for including me in songs and his CD jacket.
He’s been so awesome and loving to me and we both got similar backgrounds
so we can relate to each other really well.