Jun 182017

If you remember back to last month I had a BUSY MONTH of May covering a whopping three festivals in one month. This band Hillbilly Casino pretty much plays every Muddy Roots Main Festival and also the Nashville Boogie. They announced recently, that on July 14th at the famous Exit In they are releasing their new studio album.

This year at the Boogie, they played a bunch of new songs from their upcoming album called “Red White And Bruised, and this album will be released independently by the band on July 14th. I recently talked with bassist Geoff Firebaugh about the track list, upon which he stated that “Jibber Jabber”, “Trainwreck” and “Dog On A Chain” were all on the LIVE album, but never recorded in studio version.

This will be the track list for the new album, I’m NOT sure about the particular order of songs on the album.

Knocking At Your Door
How Do You Think
Jibber Jabber
She’s Got Tricks
It’s Not Me
Toss Turn Roll
When She Kissed Me
Dog On A Chain
More Blue Than Green
Give It All Up

This following video is from the song “Trainwreck”:

This following video is from the song “How Do You Think” and I believe that to be the album cover there with Punchy on the ropes.

You might remember some years back when they filmed and recorded a LIVE ALBUM there and I missed that particular show. I cannot say whether or not I’ll be present here, but I will put it on my calendar.

I’m sure Mr. Nic Roulette,Mr. Ronnie Crutcher, Mr. Matt Armn and the Vanilla Gorilla Mr. Geoff will be the fearsome foursome for many years to come. EVERY TIME I went to see them, they have played a beyond exciting show with high energy.

This past spring at the Nashville Palace they invited Colonel Mr. Colonel J.D. Wilkes on stage for a harmonica battle with them, it got so out of hand the venue had absolutely NO control over what was transpiring. There was NO choice but to let it go on, and pandemonium ensued shortly after. It got so wild I couldn’t get close to get good video, but Mr. Wilkes and the Shack Shakers just got done with an absolutely stellar set across the street.

Jun 102017

This year the R.O.P.E. gathering moved from the Shriner’s Temple to the Nashville Palace, This for me is the ULTIMATE fan club party. Sadly I just don’t get to come visit as often as I’d like to however when I can, baby it’s on! You basically wander around and get pictures, and hear stories of days long past. This is the largest music business internal function of it’s kind and I feel that we as young people need to preserve and continue this function. This function is integral to the continuation and preservation of Country Music as a whole.

R.O.P.E. stands for the Reunion Of Professional Entertainers and was started  by a bunch of industry people to make an effort to have a purpose for everyone to gather an catch back up. The music industry isn’t exactly like most people think, and it isn’t a big huge party where they all hang out at each other’s houses and drink. Everybody is usually busy and touring and recording and also doing shows, so this is a chance to ease down and enjoy some brotherhood.

Bill Anderson is signing his book he wrote with Pete Cooper and it highlights his career that spans almost sixty years, to which he has written and published literally hundreds of classic Country Music songs. He has contributed to Country Music more than pretty much anybody alive I could name that is alive today.

Country Music is alive and well here at the Nashville Palace during Fan Fair with one hell of a gathering here today, with the likes of Leona Williams, Dallas Wayne, Jeannie Seely, Melissa Luman Phillips, Bobby Lewis, Dickey Lee,Tommy Cash… man I could go and on…..they are all here right now.

After the usual Whitt’s Barbecue meal they serve before the music begins and prayers provided by the President Billy Henson we had the music commence and were treated to a very touching rendition of “America The Beautiful” from one of the steel guitar’s finest players Mr.Ron Elliott. Mr. Ron played with Stonewall Jackson and many more, and he is truly one of the instrument’s finest Legends. I plan to contact him in the near future for an interview in my “Steel Guitarists Along The Road” series, where I interview different steel players and you can see them HERE.

Country Music artist Mr. Bobby Marquez  graced the stage today with his song “She’s Not From Texas, She’s From Heaven”. He played his song  that George Strait recorded for him several years back that is a beautiful waltz, and he delivers it with such sincerity that who couldn’t enjoy it.

Tonight’s R.O.P.E. band was Mr. Ron Elliott on steel, Mr. Charlie Vaughn on lead guitar,Mr. David Johnson on fiddle, Mr. Willie Rainsford on piano, Miss Dina Johnson on drums and Mr. Larry Barnes on bass.

Next, Mr. Bobby played the song “Complicated Woman” that was written by The “Georgia Quacker” Mr. Gerald Smith and Mr. Buddy Owens. He closed his portion of the show with an acoustic song called “The Cowboy Way”. What a treat it truly was to finally get the chance to cover his music tonight on my website.

I want to take a brief moment to stop and THANK Mr. Keith Bilbrey for always emceeing these events and for his participation in my youth. If you are reading this, you and many others pretty much raised me Sir, and I’m truly thankful for that. Country Music is ALL I know and ALL I’m good at and I’m proud of that, YOU and ALL of these Legends were a HUGE PART of my childhood and my teens. Also Miss Leslie Ann Elliott for her role in R.O.P.E. and what she does for this function, she always lets me order a ticket and pay when I get there. As you know I was on the road in K.C. doing work for Moe Bandy and Dale Watson at Westport Roots Festival.

Folks I have covered the lovely Miss Mandy Barnett many times on this website but tonight it was VERY special to get to cover her at this type of event. She opened with a Hank Thompson classic entitled “Six Pack To Go”, from 1960. She followed that with two classic Patsy Cline songs, which as you know she often portrays Miss Patsy Cline in plays all over the nation. “He’s Got You, and I Fall To Pieces” were two Hank Cochran songs she did, followed by a song by the great Mosey Lister called “Where No One Stands Alone.

Country Legend Mr. Tim Atwood the piano genius made one of my Top 50 Albums of 2015 in years past with his album “Buy This Piano A Drink”. He is indeed a veteran of the Grand Ole Opry of many years of house band service before he wrongfully let go. “Don’t The Girls Get Prettier At Closing Time” was his opener along with his piano medley including ” Behind Closed Doors’ Blueberry Hill and Last Date”.

He played one really funny one called “Retired” and one called “Mom” before he went into the ever popular classic “Amazing Grace” and he closed with his song “I’ll Stand Up”.

Country Legend Miss Jody Miller has been silent for many years however today she finally gets credit on this website and it was truly a pleasure to cover her classic songs like “Down To The River” and her answer song to Roger Millers “King Of The Road” and that song is called “Queen Of The House”.

Her crown jewel song in my opinion was “Long Black Limousine” and another answer song to George Strait’s “All My Exes Live In Texas” and that song was called “From Your Exes Down In Texas”.

Finally we had Mr. Rex Allen Jr. Son of Singing Cowboy Legend Rex Allen, pretty much the last of the Singing Cowboys of the silver screen era. Honestly this part of history fascinates me and I study it often. “It’s Over” was one of his first songs along with “Looking For Lonely Street”.

He told us memories of his filming over one hundred episodes of the Statler brother’s television show, and how he had to write his own father a check as well as Roy Rogers to join him in recording the song called “The Last Of The Silver Screen Cowboys”. He closed his set with the ever popular hymn “When The roll Is Called Up Yonder”.

I always have a wonderful time at this function and I always enjoy spending time with the people involved with this scene as well as all of the ones I am involved with. I plan to continue covering the music they embrace here and we need MORE young people to become involved with these fine Legends.

Mar 312017

Austin Tripp
Travis Egnor

Country Music has THREE staple pillars of it’s foundation or it’s backbone if you will. Those are in this order the songwriter, the producer, and the steel guitar in my opinion it takes those three to make a classic Country Music album. My point being Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” and “Wanted The Outlaws” as two prime examples that had all three. Shooter will tell you rapidly “Wanted The Outlaws” was the first platinum selling Country Music album EVER and defied the sough it was initially given by Nashville in the 1970’s.

This edition of my series Steel Guitarists Along The Road brings us to the right arm of Whitey Morgan Mr. Brett Robinson. To the right of Whitey night after night sits a slender and talented individual that helps bring such an Outlaw Country sound to the band the 78’s as a whole. Whitey Morgan just absolutely burns up the roads playing a whopping amount of shows across America, and trust me for the door fee you pay you get ONE HELL OF A SHOW!

He was gracious enough to take some time with me after a show with Dallas Moore at the Nashville Palace on his off time. He and I and his wife had a wonderful conversation at the Music City Bar And Grill, Mr. Dallas also stayed until he had to hit the road to the next gig.

My last edition brought me to talking about Mr. Brett and his involvement in landing Mr. Austin Tripp the current spot of being steel player for Cody Jinks and you can read more on that story HERE. This man just absolutely embraces the history of Country Music while embellishing the current local scene with his own history as well, and one day I am going to write a book on the things I witnessed and learned from people like him.

Local music as a whole contains such a plethora of well rounded steel guitarists and pickers waiting for you to discover them if you are willing to wade through the broken beer bottles and travel the worn out back alleys of America to find them. You have to look in the places most normal people wouldn’t, and you have to listen. You have to brave the heat and cold and discomfort of the fields and farms that spew forth these festivals, mostly you have to study and watch for them.

This video here I took has a really nice solo of his playing the Nashville Palace show I’m also going to post one of him with Whitey Morgan below it, I STRONGLY URGE you to go support Whitey Morgan And The 78’s BUY SOME MUSIC from the band! You can get their newest album Sonic Ranch on colored vinyl LP and trust me it’s AWESOME! Mr. Brett played on Sonic Ranch, The Acoustic album, and LIVE from Flint Michigan all of which are absolute MUST HAVES in any collection.

How did you start playing steel guitar?

I grew up in Moundville, Alabama listening to country music. I started playing music professionally in Columbus, Ohio after attending the University of Alabama. I was playing rhythm guitar in a country band there. We played mostly Waylon, Merle and Paycheck type stuff. It wasn’t long before I realized that what I loved about the music was something our band lacked: a steel guitar. I got one on consignment there at a shop and immediately started gigging and learning as much as I could.

Who inspired you the most?

Definitely Ralph Mooney. Of course his playing from the beginning is historic, but really what got me started was Waylon’s live stuff.

How did you begin playing with Whitey Morgan And The 78’s?

About six or seven months after I started playing steel guitar, Whitey scooped me up in Ohio. My band there opened for him a couple times and I would sit in. The second time the writing was on the wall. Our drummer turned to our guitar player and said “I guess we are losing Brett.”

Where did the 78’s get their name?

That year was one of the last great years for that outlaw sound.

What differentiates you from other players?

Mr. Brett
My sloppiness haha. I learned in a vacuum kinda. Pretty much everything I know I’ve learned since Whitey hired me, so it was a lot of learning missing guitar harmonies from the records. Kind of backwards.

What makes up your sound?

Mr. Brett
Sho-bud and Show Pro guitars and Fender amps. Mooney, Chalker, Lloyd Green and Big Jim Murphy.

Can you give me any news on the album?

Mr. Brett
We’ve got a single all worked up that we are playing on the live shows, probably get that recorded and released asap. Whitey has been doing some great writing and we should start the new record in May.

What are the future plans for the band as a whole?

Mr. Brett
I think the plan is and has always been to do our own thing til we are ancient and can’t physically do it anymore. It’s what I love about Whitey, he’s a man of principles and stubborn in the best way possible. He’s got a vision and is uncompromising and unapologetic about accomplishing that with his boys. Even if it kills us haha.

Mar 032017

Folks I took a half a day off from work today to shoot down to the Nashville Palace, to see Dallas Moore play Nashville tonight for their Mardi Gras party. Tonight his band has none other than Mr. Brett Robinson from the 78s joining him, he is currently playing for Whitey Morgan. I was told they will doing some more work together on upcoming projects as he is off the road later this year. Not to steer away from Mr Dallas but Whitey is recording a new album and touring in 2107 and I sat for a spell and talked with him in order to include him in my Steel Guitarists Along The road series, that addition is being worked on NOW.

The anticipation filled the air tonight and the ambiance is placid as it always is right before a Dallas Moore show, but that ease of clam becomes abruptly halted as this man and his band of rabble rouses take command of that stage. Mr. Dallas stands stalwart and sings with authority on the matters of whiskey, honky tonking and all things Outlaw Country.

He joins the roster for the 2017 Muddy Roots main festival in Cookeville Tennessee for the first time ever, and let me tell you I am daggumed excited about seeing him in the field this year. He is one of the hardest working bands on the planet playing a remarkable 320 shows a year, with a baby on the way still maintaining a name for himself in the public eye. Despite his outward rough demeanor on the inside when you get to know him as a friend you’ll find he is one the kindest and gentle individuals one could ever encounter.  He is well oiled in his craft of both writing and playing with many genres of influence under his hat, he can belt out Motorhead and Beethoven all on a whim in the same instrumental.

He comes from a line of music with his cousin being the equally talented Pee Wee Moore And The Awful Dreadful Snakes, and his Godfather being Country Legend Jody Payne. His son Waylon Payne of equal accolades within the realms of Country Music having contributed greatly to the recent Miranda Lambert album, which in my opinion was a SMASH.

They opened the show with “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band wrote in 1973 by Toy Caldwell and it was on their debut album I grew up with. “Whiskey River” by Johnny Bush and made more popular by Willie Nelson on the 1973 album Shotgun Willie.

I recently got new laptop and I am trying to work all of the kinks out of it like running my website from mobile locations…I did not fare so well tonight. Fear not folks because I can cover the show with pen and paper after all it IS Mr. Dallas. I now have all four of my computer inter linked and ready for field battle during the 2017 festival season.

After playing “Freeborn Man” by the Outlaws off the Lady In Waiting album, he got into all of his originals like “Twisting Through Texas” and “Bottle And A Bible”, man we truly were given a treat tonight with Mr Brett on steel guitar. My favorite song he plays was next “Slinging Gravel” from the Dark Horse Rider album, and after that he played “Beats All I Ever Seen”…but the Cowboys no longer have Romo.

Speaking of Twisting Through Texas Mr. Dallas is the recipient of the 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Outlaw Male Artist and like I previously stated it’s all well deserved. He and his band are well known all over the United states. As always in honor of our fallen friend Wayne Mills he played “The Last Honky Tonk” and followed that up with George Straits “Cowboy Rides Away” which was Mr. Sonny Thockmorton’s 1985 hit for King George. “Long Haired Country Boy” by Charlie Daniels was next from his smash album Fire On The Mountain.

As always I have included a video, this is their version of “Waylon’s Lonesome Onry And Mean” that I firmly believe Mr. Steve Young would approve of, and he played his newest song “Shoot Out The Lights”, along with “Drink To The Good Times”. Right now he is playing “Up On That Mountain”, which I believe he wrote about Altamont the first place I ever met Mr. Dallas. The many stories and memories I have about that bitter cold weekend have embedded a special place in my heart and I cannot replace attending that event.

He played a long drawn out instrumental version of the “Nightlife Ain’t No Good Life” and  barrelled into one called “This Old Cowboy”, then played a few more originals like “Crazy Again”. He plated his Outlaw Country anthem entitled “Blessed Be The Bad Ones” off one of his after albums of the same name. He played his own version of the Allman Brothers “Whipping Post” and closed the show with with his amazing versatile guitar chops.

You know behind every successful artist are those that labor behind the scenes, and his wife Miss Jenna  Moore does a remarkable job keeping Mr. Dallas afloat. His band AKA “The Snatch Wranglers” are also NO exception when it comes to working. Lucky Chuckie, Mr. Mike Owens, Mr. Tony and Mr. Rocky Parnell are four of the finest musicians to ever grace the stages of the local clubs and venues. Each one of them are incredible players in their own right and deserve to be commended for what they do.

In closing I firmly believe that this is not even close to the pinnacle of the career of Dallas Moore. There exists a whole world of opportunities for this man and his band of renegades to beat the shit out of. So many venues and podcasts that are in dire need of the Dallas Moore sound and I think that Ohio holds a gigantic scene of fine underground music, Dallas Moore being a pillar of it all.

Jan 222017

Last night I had a very unfortunate thing happen at the Nashville Palace, for the FIRST TIME EVER I was misinformed (of my own fault) of the start time at 5. I got there at 7 when they were signing autographs and the show was packing up, and needless to say I felt like a total boob. In my defense I have been incredibly busy on many different factions of Country and Americana music all across this nation. I know literally thousands of managers and bands, I’m familiar with more songs than I could write down, and I’ve spent time in more green rooms than in my own living room.

Bands understand my friends understand it’s NOT EASY to do this gig here and even I miss the bulls eye on some shots, BUT FOLKS HAVE I GOT THE GOODS FOR YOU. So today we are going to touch on many things from the 70th Anniversary of that good old Midnite Jamboree hosted this week by Ronnie McDowell along with his guest Richard Lynch. As always Miss Jennifer Herron did a wonderful job as the announcer behind the podium that does the commercials where they play albums available at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop downtown. In fact not too long ago I wrote an article on Country Legend Jeannie Seely who shall be hosting it on March 4rth. Additionally they played a new boxed set of Jimmie Rodgers that just has been released, and E.T. was responsible for the lot of his recordings being made available to the public.

Of course Ronnie McDowell opened with his classic hit “Older Women”, and went in depth to explain all of his hits as he performed them. I really learned a wealth of information from this hour and a half of music, additionally I was truly entertained by his charismatic stage presence. He followed that up with his follow up song called “Watching Girls Go By” which garnished over 1 million radio plays.

He introduced his band as Billy Joe Royal’s piano player, the Legend himself Doyle Grisham on steel who is a Coral Reefer Bane member and recorded such classic hits as “Margaritaville”, as well as Mr. James Ducher who also plays for Jimmy Buffet. His son Ronnie McDowell on the drums (who was introduced as being from his house) and “Eddie” on bass, Eddie played for Roy Drusky, Jack Greene and Stonewall Jackson.

“Bringing It To You Personally” was next before he embarked upon another one of his stories about someone he is a BIG fan of, Elvis Presley. In 1954 shortly after Hank Williams died Elvis debuted on the Opry and was approached by Ernest Tubb, who was told it’s OK to be different. He was invited to play the Midnite Jamboree on Broadway, so they walked through Tootsie’s bar into the Record Shop where he performed the Jamboree. Guitarist Scotty Moore said every year that predeceased this event Ernest Tubb sent Elvis a Christmas Card until Elvis passed away.

In 1984 the song “Ruin My Bad Reputation” was at number 1 and that was his next offering as he went into a story about approaching Ernest Tubb’s bus as a young man. He elaborated to E.T. that he did a little of him in his show in a song where he did him and, Cash, Marty Robbins and Hank. He went on to ask if E.T. minded to which he replied “Hell No son, I wish you’d do my entire show”. Another reason I enjoy Mr. Ronnie and all of the many stories he touches on much like Billy Don Burns and people of their Ilk.

At that juncture he brought out Richard lynch to perform their new song that they just cut called “Love Tattoo” which derived from a poem a friend of his wrote in a hospital room. Mr. Richard turned it into a song and I’ll be including the video in this article prior to editing. I’m also going to embed this video of his future work with Bluegrass Legend Rhonda Vincent that his management brought to my attention.

So now then my friends going back to Mr. Ronnie’s command of this stage tonight he performed his 1979 hit “Wandering Eyes” with precise dignity and grace. He just absolutely OWNS the audiance during his shows and caters to US as individuals. He becomes connected with you as a fan, singing in the aisles and as he 1984 “Tied Up Baby” that went to number 2.

In 1985 he rleased a song called “Make Love To You In A New York Minute And Take My Texas Time”. As he went into telling us about his 8 years of opening shows for Conway Twitty with his THEN band the Kentucky Headhunters he performed “It’s Only Make Believe” which was written by Jack Nance. He recorded it with a portion of Conway Twitty doing parts of the song included in his own.

“If Only I Could Paint The Way I Feel” was a song that gave him the opportunity to tell us about his painitngs like the famous one he painted of George Jones getting his DUI on the lawnmower. He included his story of how George called him on Christmas day to bring it over to him and the spent the holiday together, and George stared at it for 30 minutes. Also this set included his 1984 hit “Bringing It To You Personally” before he went into a beautiful closing song written by Mickey Newberry “I Wish I Was In Dixie”.

All in all this show was truly a blessed time at an iconic venue for a wonderful cause tonight. I need to focus more on some of these future performances like the Riders In The Sky and MORE hosts in the future here. This area remains vibrant with Honky Tonk music and boasts many great places to have a few beers and some good food. I don’t care what anybody says about this area I remain positive about it and enjoy going over that way!