NewsComments Off on Live Review – Tyler Childers with Liz Cooper and The Stampede in Atlanta, GA (Night 1)
By Joshua Wallace Photography By Joshua Wallace
Earlier this month, I got the chance to check out Tyler Childers on his Country Squire Run. This show was the first of two nights in Atlanta, GA on December 21st, 2019. He initially sold out this date during pre-sale and they added a second date on Sunday December 22nd. I was only able to get a ticket for Saturday night, but I know both nights were amazing sold out and packed shows. This is kind of crazy to me because the last time I saw Tyler Childers was on March 28, 2018 at a small venue in Florida that only held 300 people. This show was a huge upgrade from that at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA which holds around 2600 and was packed. The opener for this two night run in Atlanta was Liz Cooper and The Stampede and I will start with their set.
I honestly did not know what to expect with Liz Cooper and The Stampede. I had listened to some of their music on Spotify and they appeared to be a psychedelic folk rock trio. On this evening, they leaned more to psychedelic rock. From what I have been told, they played new material so we didn’t get any songs you would be familiar with such as “Mountain Man”. Most of the songs were heavier rock tunes that went into psychedelic jam territory. I did enjoy their groovy bass player and you don’t always find bass players with the skill this guy has. I somewhat enjoyed their set, though I don’t know if their choice of material matched the expectations of a crowd awaiting a country singer like Tyler Childers. I look forward to the chance to see them live again in the future.
Tyler Childers came out and got right into it with “Honky Tonk Flame” from his amazing 2017 album Purgatory. This lead to other tracks off that album like “Universal Sound” and “Born Again”. The first cover song of the night came in the form of a great tune called “Tulsa Turnaround”. This was a Kenny Rogers cover and I loved hearing Tyler Childers and The Food Stamps do it. Up next we got the title track off his newest album called “Country Squire”. This is one of my favorite tracks off the new record and I was glad to hear it live. In fact, this song started a run through the entire Country Squire record which was awesome to get live. A real highlight was the live version of “House Fire”. Tyler picked up an electric guitar for this song and kicked it off with a long instrumental called “Reuben’s Train”. From there he did an awesome version of “House Fire” that is actually much better than the recorded version and is a song you must hear live. I also know he doesn’t do “Matthew” as part of his sets every time and this felt special to get the entire album here.
“Matthew” also began the acoustic run for this show which included “Nose To The Grindstone”, a rare “Banded Clovis” and “Follow You To Virgie”. It was amazing hearing the sold out crowd singing along to older tracks like “Follow You To Virgie”. I would say the crowd was just as much a part of this show as the band was. Following this acoustic run, we got a second cover of the night with the awesome Bobby Charles song “Tennessee Blues”. This is a wonderful cover that not many in the crowd will be familiar with. I’m happy to see Tyler covering these obscure classic tunes.
After that cover, we got a run of 3 big songs from the Purgatory album. This included “Feathered Indians”, my favorite from the record “Whitehouse Road” and “I Swear (To God)”. Following that song there was a brief break before the encore. I say this is brief because while the lights went down, the band never left the stage. The crowd knew what was happening though and gave Tyler one of the loudest reactions of the night. He finished the evening with a Charlie Daniels cover that he often does called “Trudy”.
If you get a chance to see Tyler Childers, I highly recommend it. His stock is only rising and I fully believe his next headlining US tour will be in amphitheaters and arenas instead of large theaters. In fact, he’s already doing a run of opening dates next year with Sturgill Simpson and this tour is going through and has already sold out some of the nation’s biggest arenas. Tyler still has one show left in 2019 on New Years Eve in Pikeville, KY with Todd Snider and Darrell Scott opening. If you can’t get a ticket to that one, get a ticket to one of his shows opening for Sturgill Simpson. You can find all of his upcoming dates at his website. While you’re there, check out his new record titled Country Squire which features in many best of 2019 lists including my own. This was my final show for 2019 and my final show of this decade. Look for more live show and festival reviews in 2020.
NewsComments Off on The Tyler Childers Phenomenon Of 2019.
Mr. Tyler Childers. This name has become a brilliant beacon of light for good Country Music. I’ll be catching up with him at the fifth annual Kickin It On The Creek. He is a driving force in local music, an inspiration to all local musicians and bands alike, and a beacon of hope for REAL Country Music and independent music as a whole.
Now I’m going to be completely honest here, as I always am on this blog, we know each other. But I don’t go WAY BACK with him like others do, and we don’t visit each other on holidays, and if I led you to believe that I’d be lying through my teeth. My West Virginia friends like Mr. W.B.Walker and Mr. J.J.Waters both know him from YEARS BACK and when they speak of his past THEY SPEAK of the stories you need to listen to NOT MINE.
This young man absolutely dominated my Facebook, twitter and Instagram feeds throughout 2019 in many ways. He played his first time at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado ( Mr. Luther wrote a GREAT article for us there), and played again at the Opry. As we speak I am catching up with a PLETHORA of things from 2019, and I’m writing about his fabulous performance at Kickin It On The creek like I just mentioned.
Tyler Childers And The Food Stamps have indeed blazed a trail through independent and underground music in the last few years with only two major label albums, and just recently he announced an arena tour with powerhouse artist and producer Sturgill Simpson. More on that later in this article here.
He has a four day Ryman Auditorium run in early 2020 before going on that tour with Sturgill, and here are the dates for the powerhouse arena tour as mentioned above. I’m going to be completely honest, I really don’t think there are many fans of Mr. Strugill Simpson that aren’t fans of Mr. Tyler already. However these venues just keep growing, I see a great propensity in these artists to become more agile as they get accustomed to bigger crowds.
He guest stared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and he did a wonderful job on there, and it brought his music to whole new echelon of listeners. All together that has been transpiring all over for him and his music from all of the different avenues of exposure of his music. Actually, he was on several different talk shows this year, but the one that I got to see was this one here.
I met these folks at this year’s Kickin It On the Creek, and promised to include them on some of my work. This is their mission from their website:
Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for people under the age of fifty in the United States. The Appalachian region has been dramatically impacted by the opioid and heroin epidemic. West Virginia in particular, the only state entirely within the Appalachian region, gained national and international notoriety after 26 people overdosed near a housing development in Huntington on August 15, 2016. West Virginia has the highest rate of fatal overdose in the nation. Tragically, rates of death due to overdose have exponentially increased across the country from 2015 to 2016. In 2016, 52 out of 100,000 West Virginia residents fell victim to an accidental overdose. Preliminary data for 2017 shows no improvement according to public health officials despite efforts to make life-saving drugs like Naloxone or Narcan more easily accessible.
The causes for this epidemic are complex. Many sources point to the economic decline and continuing loss of decent jobs through ongoing deindustrialization that has particularly impacted the region. Multiple legal settlements from drug companies to states and local units of government verify that pharmaceutical opioid marketing and prescribing practices set the stage for
opioid and, later, heroin addiction. Topic experts like Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland, point to the decline of community by decreased funding of public services. Indeed, addiction thrives in isolation. However, recovery communities are forming. Many of the same people who have been revived with Naloxone are helping others find recovery. The scourge of the epidemic remains, but there is reason to hope that people and communities can overcome this problem. At present, addiction-related charities receive around $25 million in private funds annually, in contrast to $390 billion given to all charities based on Facing Addiction and Giving USA 2016 data. This is approximately 0.00006 percent of all charitable funds raised.
In closing here folks, I’m quite adamant on the fact that we will only see this young man and his band rise to the top of the food chain here. He is achieving his dream’s through hard work and dedication to his craft, his attention to his style and his knack for kicking you in the nuts with his lyrics and his harsh realist attitude.
I think he will be appearing in many festival lineups in 2020, and many more road shows with his crazy hilljack band The Food Stamps….SEE YOU IN THE CROWD!
NewsComments Off on The Grand Ole Opry is FINALLY Listening To Us!
The time is coming folks when the Opry FINALLY “Gets It”. I knew this was going to culminate one day! I’m not sure if it’s the new manager that is a TRUE lover of real music or that they are looking for a more diverse crowd? This article here has been culminating in my brain for the last year now, because our music…our beloved “underground” music is FINALLY taking shape up top with mainstream music.
I’m not really sure if the Opry “watches” what the Ryman does, but if Mr. Cody Jinks, Mr. Tyler Childers and Miss Margo Price are any indicators, then I’d say YES THEY DO. Because all of those three have recently SOLD OUT THE RYMAN, and some of them in record time.
You have had several Country Legends like Vince Gill and Reba McEntire previously state that they wished the bro country shit would come ti a close and that the rap country would follow out the door. Well, it pretty much has and many of the prominent figures of the 1990’s have resurfaced and are making quality NEW music, but the problem is that people over 50 that enjoyed it in the 90’s aren’t buying it.
Let me tell you WHO IS. This new demographic of 20-40 year old music fans that grew up listening to the Outlaw Era music FROM the 50 and up people who won’t spend money on music. Pop Country is specifically targeted to women ages 14-25 and soccer moms up to 35 ( there ARE some exceptions to those that like the music that isn’t Pop Country), but now many of those females are coming over to the other side of the Country fence.
Now, mind you that the Opry WILL ALWAYS pander to ALL GENRES of Country and by all means that is GREAT. Because you get a 4 hour show for a GREAT PRICE, and you get a little bit of everything for everyone. But these younger people that are digging up the real Country are becoming very erudite about it. Whether it be word of mouth on social media, or rabbit hole time on Youtube or Spotify, they ARE finding it.
The Opry is picking up on this, and cashing in on it all by offering us all we want. And I’m hoping that very soon they start functioning as the Grand institution they once were. In the past, as far as members go they made some pretty mundane choices, and many of those fools won’t honor what it means to BE A MEMBER.
But then as of January of 2019, things began to change and now I’m seeing a positive, new echelon of shows and invitations of guests. Is this a result of the new manager? In my opinion I’d say YES IT IS. I think being a woman she is making better choices of some of the artists out there busting their backsides to gain the attention in the mainstream world…and it’s becoming easier every day.
From Cody Jinks Instagram account.
On August 28th Underground Country Music sensation Mr. Cody Jinks made his Opry debut with 3 songs, to where after the first song he paused and said “I’m not going to lie to y’all, I’m pretty scared right now”. He played three songs, and right now along with Whiskey Myers and Mr. Chris Knight they are PISSING ALL OVER CORPORATE NASHVILLE ( hell some of them are based out of New York and California). It’s TRUE that these “DIY” artists are doing it THEIR WAY and mainstream radio is losing, and so are the artists that mainstream radio pushes down our throat on a daily basis. Radio used to be a very viable way of gathering an audience, but it’s not anymore and I couldn’t be happier.
One of the most prominent artists in this formula that has set many standards as an independent female artist is my friend Miss Sunny Sweeney. Her music is just a soulful and beautiful as she is, and she embellishes Country Music with her songs in a fashion only she ever could.
NOBODY deserves to be an Opry member more than her right now, having over 50 appearances under her belt, she has identified as one of the “Grand ladies of the Opry” like Miss Jan Howard and Jeannie Seeley are now. I mean don’t you all agree that ladies like her and Miss Kelsey Waldon would be sufficient additions of a new group of younger ladies that would carry on that tradition left behind by Miss Jean Shepherd BUT STILL allow and even proliferate those still alive like Miss Jan Howard?
I want EVERY ONE OF YOU To contact the Opry in any way you can and tell them that we MUST make Miss Sunny Sweeney a member! And you can damn sure bet I’ll be there in attendance to cover that news when it does happen!
A few years back Miss Kelsey Waldon made her debut on the Opry and I recently had the opportunity to catch her set at Kickin It on The Creek in Irvine Kentucky, which I’m still writing about now. She recently released a new album on Mr. John Prine’s label Oh Boy Records, and will grace many a TOP 50 lists of 2019.
In my opinion she would equally be a good candidate for future performances on the Opry, along with the Pistol Annies, and SO MANY other younger female artists that are out right now, and outperforming the males in my opinion. I recently started writing my Americanafest articles and BY ALL MEANS I enjoyed the gals more than the guys there, I don’t know maybe it’s just what I LIKE more, and I’m not meaning this in a physical manner, their songs just speak to me MORE as a person.
Mr. Tyler Childers has played the Opry twice now, since his rise to fame in the underground music realm but it has gotten so large and amassed so much notoriety, one simply cannot argue with his success. The sales and attendance of the Opry when this man takes the stage means that he deserves to play on a regular basis.
I’m not trying to say that all of these artists deserve to walk in the door and become members in ANY fashion people. In now way do I sit here and write this and boast that they should be inducted without a plethora of performances under their belt on the stage…I’m just saying that the Opry has the right idea.
Joe Diffie, Clint Black, John Anderson, Terri Clark, man there are SO MANY great artists out there that play the Opry frequently, and are a hell of a lot better choices than the crap emanating from the FM radio speakers now. There have been a few recent good choices for good members with such names as miss Crystal Gayle and Mr. Luke Combs.
I’ll be completely honest here folks, I don’t like the music that Mr. Luke Combs does at all. It just doesn’t speak to me in any fashion, but I’ll be honest it’s probably some of the best mainstream music out there. In a nutshell, this man’s music could easily lead others to more underground music.
NewsComments Off on Album Feature – Tyler Childers – Country Squire
By Joshua Wallace
Tyler Childers is back with the much anticipated follow-up to his Hickman Hollar Records debut release titled Purgatory. This time around, Country Squire features 9 tracks that have all been road tested. Fans of Tyler Childers live should be very familiar with these songs. Some of these tracks can even be traced back to live shows from before Purgatory was released. That is one thing I love about seeing Tyler Childers live, he doesn’t stick to songs on a record. Whether you prefer the live version or the album version is a debate for the ages, I’m here to tell you what to expect with this record.
Country Squire picks up right where Purgatory left off. If you liked that record, you’re almost guaranteed to like Country Squire. The opening track “Country Squire” quickly puts any worries you had about this record to rest. It’s pure grade A solid gold country. I love the honky tonk piano that eventually settles into the mix here. One track that was highly anticipated on this record is “Bus Route”. It’s a fan favorite live and it does not disappoint here. I love the story about young love told on this song and the obstacles it often finds.
Another highlight is “Creeker”. You can feel the Sturgill influence in this one as it takes a psychedelic bend in the instrumental. This track is about a country boy trapped in a city and how he longs to get back to the country. A fun track on the record is “Ever Lovin’ Hand”. It’s about the ways a man might relieve himself spending long nights on the road. It’s a song about masturbation, but it’s more tasteful than anything Wheeler Walker Jr. did. Finally, on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, “All Your’n” was released as one of the albums singles. This song was a fan favorite live leading up to the release. The full album version does not disappoint. It’s a sweet love song and Tyler’s songwriting is strong on this one.
There isn’t really a bad track on this album. Sure, the early release track “House Fire” can get a bit repetitive, but it’s still a fun listen and in the context of the entire record, it’s a good one. If you are a fan of real, raw country music and liked either Sturgill Simpson’s more country records or were already a fan of 2017’s Purgatory, this record is for you. Keep an eye on Gary Hayes Country, we will likely have some live coverage of Tyler during this run supporting Country Squire. The album is available everywhere as of August 2nd, 2018.
Favorite Tracks : Country Squire, Bus Route, Creeker, Ever Lovin’ Hand, All Your’n
Well it’s time to write about a festival that Isn’t really that far from me, however I haven’t got the chance to catch this one in person…yet. You see I cover 175 festivals yearly and I do go to 8 a year. Two or three of them I usually rotate to better acknowledge the music it features and the scene that usually involves itself with every different festival. I truly enjoy meeting folks from all walks of music and different states, this one being in my home state of Kentucky and only a few short hours from me.
I present to you the fourth annual Moonshiner’s Ball in Irvine Kentucky off of Hwy 75 south of Lexington, located in the Daniel Boone National Forest area and near Renfro Valley as well. The address is on the Jenkin’s Farm 4405 Red Lick Road Irvine Ky 40336. You can go HERE and get tickets.
About camping from their website:
Camping is included in the price of your ticket, assuming it is a full-weekend pass. Camping is not an option for those entering on day passes. You must have a full-weekend pass to camp. You will be allowed to park beside your camping space. There will be three distinct camping areas – one in front of the stage for those seeking maximum late-night debauchery, one directly behind the stage for a middle-path kind of experience and one in the very back of the field behind the stage reserved for families.
So now folks you know I shall research my usual format hotels in this area for those of you like me that do not camp. HERE is whole long list of area hotels and I found one that I will be using next year because 2018, I plan to bring the website there!
From the website concerning alcohol sales:
OK, so this is a silly question. Of course there will be alcohol. There will not be alcohol FOR SALE, however. Alcohol cannot and will not be sold at the festival venue. Estill County is dry outside the Irvine city limits. Therefore, it is critical that you bring with you whatever you want to drink. Having said that, it won’t be long before you run into smiling regulars offering you sips from the jar.
Folks this one is one of the many festivals I include in my LONG LIST of them because of one reason, it’s NOT corporate. If you’ll notice many of my festivals I endorse aren’t and they feature the ONLY kind of music this website looks for..original. So what’s the lineup…Let’s take a looksee.
Hello everyone, we are all here in Huntington West Virginia at The V club for the fourth annual anniversary party of W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio show where I came down to help him celebrate his accomplishments once again. This man’s podcast that he broadcasts from his little backyard bar in Dingess ,West Virginia has grown into a household name here, as well as nation wide. I attended his third one last year and you can read that HERE , I hope we pack the house again tonight.
Four years ago he was starting out poor and not knowing how to do things like he does today, this man put forth TONS of effort to better his style and his presentation. He now knows how to market his brand and his use of language and catchy phrases are what earned him MY personal nickname “The Paul Harvey Of Podcasts”. If you ever have the distinct honor to be a guest in his bar you’ll quickly see like I did once he trusts you you ARE family, and there is more love in his heart than my words can type on here. He and his wife Miss Fallon are BOTH damn fine people that distance doesn’t hold back true friendship..I’d be the first sumbitch in my truck on my way if they needed our help and it was an honor to witness this madness he has created with the help of so many others and a belief in a dream. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your religion and your personal love, this man has a deep love for God like me. I believe if YOU do ALL THINGS to HIS glory you WILL achieve your dreams and you WILL die a blessed man, W.B.Walker does that. I pray often and while I have friends that are Jews and Atheists I practice my faith and you’ll see me have a beer with an Atheist any day, the world needs more brotherhood and MUSIC is where it CAN happen.
He began his one year podcast birthday in his living room with four guests and even back then I was covering his action, until I finally got enough gumption to come up and see for my own self what the deal was..and I have been a member of his family ever since. Year 3Year 2Year 1. There’s a little recap of his past four shows for you to enjoy the GREAT MUSIC he has been featuring.
MANY people help him do what he does and some of them aren’t the musicians he features. Tonight the wonderful Melissa Stilwell Photography doing some awesome social media work and pictures, and my buddy Mr. Josh Green for helping everything run smoothly and managing the stage area. Miss Melissa is rapidly becoming a prominent force on the local music scene with her coverage of Appalachian area artists, doing work for Colter Wall, Tyler Childers and many more from this “scene” (if you want to call it that)…I just call it damn fine music, I call ALL of them regions the same thing DAMN fine music.
I already got a private show in the green room upstairs as Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns played some songs for us all. That video of him down below is from his playing upstairs along with Mr. Josh Morningstar who was also up there with me, I just wandered up to see who was there and was greeting everyone.You know this music business isn’t what you think, we don’t all hang out at each others houses every weekend. Sometimes it can be months or even a year before I see someone again, because like the Highwaymen said “The Road Goes On Forever And The Party Never Ends”.
I stayed at the Days Inn at Ashland Kentucky, it was off Hwy 64 and State Route 180 on exit 190. And I’ll let you in on a little tidbit of info, if you are planning on attending the Jewel City Jamboree this hotel is ideal. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Huntington and one exit from the airport ALL for under 100 bucks a night! THIS WILL NOW be MY go to hotel for this area from now on.
Right now the first act up is Tim Lancaster who is outstanding in his own right as an Americana folk style singer. His unique style and grace up there onstage was impeccable and a terrific way to begin tonight’s festivities.
He opened his set with a Jimmie Rodgers song called “Mule Skinner Blues AKA Blue Yodel Number 8”, and then off of his album “My Times With You” he played some songs called “Something Like Trout” and “Let Me,Let You”. He represents this area’s musicians extremely well, by spinning tales of lore from days long ago and songs like “Sugar Pie”. This young man was an absolute honor to shake hands with and get to know as a friend, he IS one of the real deals of his genre.
This video that I took here was from his song “Medicine Man” which was also an original off his album and he followed that by playing one called “Dear Lord” and closed his set with “Can You Hear The Sound?” Which he performed with two sets of mule jawbones. This Florida native is indeed inventing his own style and even his own appearance and will soon carve a niche in the local music scene. I’m sure that by the end of this article you too will appreciate this man’s music, I look forward to being more involved into his music in any way I can.
He has an honest and real demeanor and his presentation of his music was extraordinary on every level, and he is an absolute pleasure to watch perform. Truly already O’l W.B. has outdone himself in choosing talent for this show. He never fails to amaze me with what he chooses, and this honestly is becoming one of my favorite trips to make. Usually the weather is gorgeous the Daniel Boone National Forest is in spring mode and the Lord blesses me with a good trip up.
Now everyone this is my FIRST TIME to use my new laptop on a job AND my I pad together linked so I’m trying to bring you better quality videos and I’m learning how to use it better so please bear with me I didn’t get every band on here on video. The battery is not lasting long and I had other complications as the night went on…give me time to mater my craft with every job I do.
Some of the videos crashed and the laptop I thought was DONE updating busted out with one at the venue, to my dismay. I literally bought this laptop the day before the show, and I’m still learning Windows 10.
The Local Honeys hail from various parts of Kentucky and their harmonies are absolutely wonderful. I would have not have found them if not for W.B.Walker and his radio show, we exchange music quite often. They began with “Cigarette Trees” a truly fine song of pretest and coal miner’s despair. As I have said many times about this region the main source of income is truly and sadly a dying form of energy…coal. It gets very touchy and political in many ways and once you visit you can identify with them how imperative it is we save this natural resource’s use for energy.
They barreled into “Hares On The Mountain”, this time they had a trio as a third gal named Megan Gergory joining them, and she was from Alabama. Miss Montana Hobbs and Miss Linda Jean Stokley complete this lineup of lovely ladies with harmonies as smooth as the honey in their name.
This venue began filling up so fast, I couldn’t get up close to the stage again like last time. As they played a song called “Train” they vividly displayed their mountain music talents as they wove a tapestry of East Kentucky music to us here in West Virginia with a song called “Bonesky Folk” and a popular Bluegrass tune “How Mountain Girls Can Love”. My favorite version of that song is off Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder’s album “Ancient Tones”.
Their set also included “Tight Wad” and one called “I Can Tell” as they once again came forward with their wonderful harmonies. In my opinion ALL of these acts tonight absolutely killed it and it was difficult to decide who was the best, but they were one of the top ones tonight. Their last song was called “Huntington” as left the stage in tears upon commanding it tonight up there, they get a LOT of attention from O’l W.B. and I can see why.
You might remember The Horse Traders as their steel guitarist Mr. Travis Egnor Recently kicked off my Steel Guitarists Series with a wonderful interview on the phone this past winter. And there’s also news on their new album release in that article as well. Their first song was called “She Calls Me” and they followed that by another great song called “Ain’t No Ash will Burn”.
You know one thing I always notice about this band is how well they play together, like clockwork. Each one of them knows exactly what the other is doing and where they are within the song. One of the finest and most well groomed bands that is always featured every year here, and always a downright pleasure to write about. They brought up Sam Williams to sing his sister Holly’s song ‘Woman Like This”.
Patrick Stanley,Taylor Jones and Mr. Brandon Mooney complete this foursome of rocking Country boys and whatever else you wish to call them, Daggum I just call them some REAL music. They are seasoned veterans of this particular show having been on the three shows that were LIVE ,from this particular venue. Like I said the very first one was from his own home before any of this bloomed into the juggernaut it is today.
“Cheap Wine” was next followed by “Drinki’n” which displayed some powerful vocal from. As they traded leads with Mr. Travis on the steel guitar they closed their set with “Watch Your Speed” and “Foot Of Rain”. One hell of a damn fine display of talent here tonight by a truly fine band I am blessed to call friends!
The youngest son of Country Music Legend Hank Williams Jr. stopped in to see us all tonight and we enjoyed a nice set of his original material and some of his father’s hits as well. Samuel Williams began with his own song called “Darkwater” and as he is still developing his own style and trying out different ventures, we got a little taste of his influences.
As one would easily distinguish about any member of the Williams family he was heavily influenced by his father and sister Holly, and performed two of her songs tonight “Death Train”. Along with his Grandfather Hank Williams Sr, who he brought alive tonight with his rendition of “Kaw Liga” and the ever popular “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”.
“Let You Go” was next followed by “Rambli’n Man” and two more of his father’s songs that had the crowd singing along which was 1979’s OD’D In Denver off the Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound album and “Dinosaur” from the 1980 album Habits Old And New.
Josh Morningstar is one of the finest people I ever met in my music tenure here on Earth, and perhaps one of the few from my Altamont history that have evolved into the amazing man that he is today. Under the direction of great management and maintaining his own creative input he has accomplished more in a short period than anyone I know.
This man lives in Maryland but he IS one of the toughest road warriors I have ever met and is on the go so hard that he tires me out just watching him. This guy is in Detroit one night and the next he could be in Atlanta for all we know, he spreads out faster than shingles. He is constantly grooming his sound and experimenting with different appearances, while always succeeding to amaze his crowd…know WHY?
Because his is OUT THERE and burning up the roads and constantly on social media promoting his brand. He is always studying the market and much like me he notices detail and utilizes EVERYTHING toward his music and his business.
He played many new songs tonight from his upcoming album and one of them was “Whole Lot Of Crazy To Live Up To” followed by “Went Back To Selling Drugs To Pay The Bills” both of which are original songs. He now travels with a seasoned band of talented road warriors called the Pickups, which just days ago played the Hagfest show at the Southgate House. They are Bobby Miller on lead guitar, Michelle Lucas on bass, Greg Johnson on steel, and Taylor Hernley on drums.
He covered Billy Joe Shaver’s “ride me Down Easy that David Allan Coe wrote and also Waylon J ennings recorded it on his Honky Tonk Heroes album of all Billy Joe Shaver tunes. “All That I Been Living For Is Gone” was next another original followed by “The Legend Of Miss Bobbie Jo” and “Cocaine”.
This man ALWAYS ends his set with “I Saw The Light” where he carries a LONG note and usually has the crowd whipped up into an absolute frenzy, but not before playing “Brand New Angel” and one of my favorites “Crying Eyes Of Blue”. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this man has nowhere to go BUT UP and he WILL go DOWN in history as a Legend, you mark my damn words on that…it’s a promise.
Tyler Childers is the only one of the bunch that has been around for all four shows from W.B.Walker. He is from the Appalachian region that W.B.Walker and all of the Honky Tonk Heroes identify themselves with with pride. His unique style of vocal delivery sets him leagues above many others on his level of this profession. He sometimes travels with his band called the Foodstamps but tnoight he is solo.
He is releasing a new album in September for sure and I’m quite adamant on it’s outcome…awesome. This man represents the hard working blue collar coal miners of the region, and despite his youth he sings with experience of hard living and hard times. He had this club packed today and hundreds of people crying out his own lyrics because he has amassed an impressive following in this region.
He began with “Rock Salt And Nails” an old Utah Phillips song, and quickly went into “Nose To The Grindstone,mind Off The Pills”. One of the many songs the entire place goes ape shit nuts over singing along to, with lyrics that every hard working American can relate to.
“Clovis” was next along with another one they all sing to “Follow You To Virgie” and “Bottle And Bibles”. I say this all to often this man has a special gift for distinguishing his voice out from other people, you can pick it out easily. You can SEE the hurt in his eyes and the blood flow from cuts in his beat up hands. He is sixty years old trapped in a thirty year old’s body.
“Honky Tonk Flame” was one of his new ones along with “Feathered Indian” and “Adam” but the other one that absolutely SLAYS this venue was “White Bridge Road”. The ambiance of that song alone is as poignant and dark as the lyrics themselves, I mean what better to spend a weekend night drunk and singing along with songs about self destruction and despair? THAT MY FRIENDS IS Country Music, from one of the most honest regions of the great nation. All too often they get swept under the rug and this man pulls it up off the floor and snaps the rug dust in your face.
There really isn’t much I can say about Country Music Legend Billy Don Burns that I haven’t already said as I named him my 2106 Number one album of the year that was produced by Shooter Jennings. I mean for Gods’s sakes this man wrote songs for Connie Smith,Harlan Howard and Willie Nelson, the list goes on and on. And even at 68 I don’t see him stopping as he released a stellar new album from Rusty Knuckles label called “Graveyard In Montgomery”.
“Talk About Crazy” was the first song on his VERY LONG set list tonight as he took us on a trip through a slight taste of his entire catalog of albums tonight. “Outlaws At The Cross” was recorded on two of his albums previously and he followed that with a song about Billy The Kid called “Dead Or Alive”.
I truly wish I could have been older and around in his heyday when my favorite period of Country Music history was unfolding, that transition of the 50s and 60s into the Outlaw movement. It seems Mr. Billy was a product of both, and I study those changes with uncanny vigor. How it would have been to ACTUALLY SEE a short haired Willie Nelson sing Hello Walls and an elder Ernest Tubb on stage singing Rainbow At Midnight and my favorite Filipino Baby in the 1960s. He was 21 when I was born, and writing songs for Connie Smith while my mom was changing my diapers, but nonetheless much like Ol W.B. Walker, Billy Don Burns is probably one of the last living pieces of my infatuation during my youth with records. We CANNOT and MUST NOT loose him because NOBODY could fill that void, him and Whispering Bill Anderson and Jerry Foster and the many of his likeness brought Country Music to it’s splendor.
My personal favorite song was one about addiction called “Dark Side Of The Spoon” which laments the shameful side of addiction. He flips over to a more upbeat song about “Running Drugs Out Of Mexico” while Dark Side Of The Spoon is more slower and poignant. It truly hits home for many of us that have previously faced the struggle of personal addiction in some form.
“Rock On” and “Hank Williams Lonesome And Keith Whitley Blue” were next tonight as he and Josh Morningstar tore the place apart. Mr. Billy did an absolutely astounding job of bringing us toward the close of the show. I appreciate him for the history of this genre that he represents and to me…for me personally he represents the tradition of the older days because he was there. When the magic filled the air man, he was there. We just don’t have many storybook people left anymore that actually remember Bob Luman, and as he sat with me I showed him my profile. Pictures of me with Lynn Owsley who brought him on the Opry in the days of old to play with Ernest tubb, things like that are what makes him so special to us.
He played “Freight Train” and the title song from his new album “Graveyard In Montgomery” before closing with the ever popular “Desperate Men”. You know I’ll tell you what folks this man has more stories and tales than anyone I know because he was there, and he lived every moment of it all. He is one of the last of his ilk and he knows it but at the same time he’s not afraid to be just that, and he wears it well. He appreciates all of our love and our respect of him and what he represents…timeless classic Country Music that will never die. I know it’s inevitable that God will call us ALL home one day but the music he leaves behind will no doubt always be a prominent piece of Outlaw Country Music.
Arlo McKinely And The Lonesome Sound was an Ohio based band I have also never covered before today. Tyler Lockard, Brian Pumphry, Zac Roe, Sylvia Mitchell, and Sarah Davis make up the band The Lonesome Sound. They label themselves folk rock/soul but Like I always say I don’t care about genres or label I just promote GOOD music so promote them I shall!
They played an eleven song set tonight beginning with “Don’t Need To Know” and “All Night Long” both of which I was told they have performed on the Red Barn Sessions up there in Ohio. I am very familiar with that organization and was sent some CDs from there by my Ohio friends. There exists a VERY powerful scene up there with people like the Tillers and Dallas Moore and I could go on and on.
“Time In Bars” was next as they displayed a very soulful sound that I thought their band name aptly described quite well here. “All That I Could Do” was next followed by “Just Like The Rest”, I thought their vocal deliveries and solos set them apart from any of the styles of music tonight. We were treated to various styles of music however most of it was from the same region in one way or another.
“Where You Want Me” and “Wishing” were two of the songs I was familiar with from my research of this band in my preparation work for this event. As with ANY of these bands you can ALWAYS catch O’l W.B. Walker playing this music for you on his podcast.
They played “Dancing Days” before going into some Hank Williams Sr songs tonight as well as taking us into “Wishing On Wild Horses” and finally closing with “Dark Side Of The Street”. Absolutely a knock out stellar set tonight as we got ready for the main event tonight.
Sarah Shook And The Disarmers from North Carolina have an album coming out on April 28th from Bloodshot Records called SIDELONG, now I owe her an apology because of my misspelling of that on my TOP 50 OF 2015. She released the album independently and I was turned onto them by a mutual friend. Honestly back then I was just beginning to form my style and I wasn’t as educated on the computer as I am now, and my articles were not as informative or beneficial back then as they are now. Time makes you better and knowledge makes you stronger.
Eric Peterson – Electric guitar,John Howie Jr. – Drums, Aaron Oliva – Upright bass and Phil Sullivan – Pedal Steel make up the rocking Country Honky Tonk sound of the Disarmers. Bloodshot is releasing singles off of this album at a slow pace right now as they just released “The Nail” they played that one later in the set.
Sadly I missed a few of the songs due to packing up equipment and such but I managed to enjoy “The Road Leads To You” followed by “Nothing Feels Right But Doing Wrong”. “Heal Me” and “Fuck Up” were next followed by my favorite drinking song she does called “The Bottle Never Let Me Down”.
One of the first times I got to see her videos were from the Blue Plate Special series if you have never saw that series I strongly urge you to go check that out, and I thought of that series as she played the title track called “Sidelong”. They truly did a super fine job tonight up there and I had to do some digging but found out that “Home Fires Burning” and “Dwight Yoakam” were next followed by the closing songs.
As I previously stated “The Nail” is her newest single to be released off the Bloodshot release of this album and the last song was “Misery Without Company”. I don’t compare her to any of the female artists in ANY genre although she is typically classified as Americana I believe she stands out on her own. Her vocals are easily distinguished as her own and she’s not trying to sound like anybody but herself, and she’s not trying to impress anybody…she doesn’t need to.
She’s very proactive in her personal beliefs and her family life while balancing a road band and for THAT I completely commend her on, it’s NOT easy for a single man like me let alone having children. Balancing a mainstay in her son’s life and how proud she is of him makes her a person you can look up to in this industry…you don’t find these qualities in the music bushiness as often as you should.
Last Sunday night my friend and I went on down to Nashville to have a little night out of fun, we had a wonderful supper at Jack’s Barbecue over on Trinity Lane for some wonderful vittles. As always It’s one of my go-to places for smoked turkey and trust me It’ll make you salivate and make your stomach happy with delight. The one on Trinity Lane is my usually my starter before a Titans game or Bridgestone Arena show.
We briefly stopped downtown at Robert’s for a quick beer and saw the Tennessee Walkers play a number or two and I’ll spoil a future article..I got permission from Local Legend Chris Scruggs for an upcoming steel guitarist edition, now in case you missed my first one with Travis Egnor from the Horse Traders you can read that HERE. OK and also folks I will be including Miss Kelsey’s steel player Brett Resnick in a future edition.
So we made our way down to 8th Ave to the The Basement Nashville which is directly below Grimey’s Records not far from Douglass Corner Lounge and Zanies Comedy Club. I tell you WHAT for a Sunday night we had a REALLY GOOD crowd down there, all three of these bands are developing their own following in their own rights. I have covered these first two MANY TIMES in the past in different forms and places, and the first band I’d like to cover and share is the combo of Mr. Joe Macheret and Mr. Scott Risner called Truckstop Waterfall which is basically folk music with mandolin and fiddle and guitar.
Regardless of their other ventures this duo is quite entertaining to watch play live. They have been currently on a several week tour with Tyler Childers and got to take some time off to do some fishing. In my opinion (and you can put this in your mailbox) Mr. Tyler is the next big thing to come out of the local circuit..the next Cody Jinks if you will. He IS destined for bigger and better venues..not that the Basement lacks ANY prestige, no no no but this young man is headed for places like 3rd and Lindsley and eventually the Ryman just give him a small amount of more time.
Now let’s talk about Truckstop Waterfall’s set, they opened with a song called “Camptown Races” and began to showcase their down home harmonies like “Lonesome Midnight Blues”. Mr. Joe tells Gary Hayes Country that the song “used To Be” was an old Bill Monroe song that he heard as a child. HEY Speaking of Bill Monroe I’ll be releasing an article about the 5 CD set coming out form Rhythm Bomb Records soon, watch for that.
“The Moon Sang” was the next song which was one of Mr. Joe’s songs form his own catalogue. The next song was called many things in the past “Dig A Hole” or “Darling Corey” or “Dig A Hole In The Meadow”, It’s an old Bluegrass tune and it’s not documented for sure who wrote it, or I haven’t been able to research it to a pinpoint extent yet.
Perhaps the best song in their entire set was the song called “The L And M Don’t Stop Here Anymore” which fit into tonight’s ambiance quite well, you see Mr. Tyler represents a long lost group of people in East Kentucky and West Virginia that have only one means of living (legally)…mining coal. They rolled on with a song called “Gypsy Moth” and displayed many song filled with talented instrumentals and solos, as Mr. Joe changes from guitar to his fiddle they compliment each other quite well in every way.
“Banjo Pickin Bacco Spittin Gal” was a song Mr. Joe wrote about an supposed ex girlfriend of one of his friends, and after he wrote the song the friend didn’t even remember her any longer. Gotta love them gals with a mouth full of dip from the Country, this song reminded me of the BR5-49 song “Hum Dinger”..which wasn’t their original song I do believe. “Columbus Stockade Blues” was next and that was followed up with a song that was placed in a movie called “Eat My Dust”. Now the song was an instrumental and the movie was Ron Howard’s and it was used during a car chase scene, I think you can Youtube the song and study it to place it in the movie.
I been saying for years now that I agree with W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show on Tyler Childers he’s an upcoming powerhouse juggernaut.I mean he is developing a heavy following in every city he visits brick by brick and day by day, and tonight was proof of that as this show garnsihed an impressive turnout for a Sunday night in my opinion.
The place was packed and the whole crowd sang along as he poured his entired soul into the old Utah Phillips song “Rock Salt And Nails” which was also made popular by Steve Young. I remmeber the very first one year anniversary show of W.B.Walker where they broadcast it from his living room couch, and I was turned onto Tyler’s music. My My My how time has grown us ALL. I was just a little blog and now much to Mr Tyler’s argument I have graduated into a Hobby Blog.
So “Honky Tonk Flame” was next along with “Boiler Room” as this set was choked full of some songs I haven’t heard live yet, I’m glad I indulged in this show. I’m sure I speak for my friend we had a wonderful time down there last weekend. Another song that blossoms forth a plethora of singer is the song “Nose To The Grindstone”. That song is becoming a working man’s anthem to be honest, as a Rheumatoid Arthritus patient I can see this song. I’m beat from years of hard work and body abuse, and I keep my nose to it as well.
“I Swear To God” was a good song and he followed that one with a song called “Purgatory” and accompanied that song with a short story about dating a Catholic girl. His wife now Miss Senora is also a very talented young lady and when I first heard of her she was Senora Mae Lainhart and now it’s Childers. They are both very talented and good hearted people I can’t get enough of. Another powerfull song he sings called “Charleston Girl” was included in this set as well, that song is one of his more popular ones as well, I highly suggest you go pick up Live At The Red Barn Sessions albums.
“Lady May” was next and he followed that with a funny story about his new camper he bought from an honest Christian man and it may have been called “Country Squire”. Both he and Miss Senora are busy enjoying this new aquisition to his touring life, and buddy I don’t know shit about campers either but as many festivals as I cover I need one badly. He began to close his set with “Help Me Make It Through The Night” and “Time Of The Preacher” Reprise from Willie Nelsons concept album “Red Headed Stranger”.
His epic set was closed with “Follow You To Virgie” and a song that had the WHOLE PLACE singing along called “White House Road”. His songs are just so simple and easy to relate to however complex and poignant in their own manner as well. He defiantly isn’t singing about hipsters drinking lattes.
Miss Kelsey Waldon is one of my TOP 50 OF 2016 and anybody that wants to argue can TRY but you’ll not emerge victorious in any fashion. She IS a rising force within Americana Music or Red Dirt or whatever YOU want to label her I just call it GOOD STUFF, no fluffy lyrics or flashy anything just good pure Country Honky Tonk music. Unfortunately I have yet to feature her until NOW.
This above video is from one of the BEST songs of 2016 I knew of called ‘False King”, I mean the line “You can’t put a crown on the head of a clown and hope he turns out to be a king” is a stroke of genius in my opinion. From the first time I heard her thumping bass and steel infused music way back in late 2014 I was hooked on this woman.
“Dirty Old Town” was (as a lot of this set was) off her 2016 album of aforementioned accolade, and as I studied her style I noticed she has a pretty good stage presence and looked quite content within the confines of a venue such as this. That observation wasn’t always the forte of the younger ladies of Country Music but now in today’s local market the women are leading the pack for the lesser known music. It shall not remain lesser known if I have anything to do with it.
“You Can Have It” was next followed by “One Time Again” all of these songs were filled with ripping guitar solos as well as plenty of pedal steel and a fast paced whipping beat. This venue has in the past housed Legends of all types and in my opinion it’s an epicenter for the local bands and record junkies like me with Grimey’s up top. “Don’t Hurt” was next followed by a song she co-wrote with Country Music Legend Vern Gosdin called “There Must Be A Someone”.
“High In Heels” was one of the songs off her 2014 offering “Goldmine”, although I enjoy her new album more this album was also a highly suggested acquisition to your collection if you are asking my directions. “Not My First Time” was next in her set along with “Traveling Down This Lonesome Road” now I want to touch on something here. That particular song showcases her vocal range really well as she hit high notes with little troubles, I especially watch for the LIVE act compared to the RECORDED act. She does WELL LIVE and you usually see that more in local music than the bigger acts but the woman NAILS it..now in the future I shall look for vocal consistency.
I also want to flip back for a moment to “False King” and something bands often lack, TIMING. That song has a brief pause toward the end and the band pulled it off nicely. I was waiting for that to either shine or shit, it shined quite nicely there. “Heartbreak” was next followed by “All By Myself”, and ended with a much wanted encore of Waylon’s “Are You Ready For The Country”.
All in all this show was worth way more than the tickets were priced at but I can see why Sunday prices are sketchy for attendance reasons. I would have paid 15 easily for just either of these acts by themselves…but the lower price left more room to buy STUFF, and we ALL need STUFF right? RIGHT. Buy STUFF from YOUR favorite local bands folks.