Apr 112018
 

Well Hell, here I am again in Huntington West Virginia at The V Club for another year of my buddy W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show and his five year anniversary show. We are gearing up for one hell of a lineup here tonight and pretty much like usual this will be a good sized article choked full of news and videos of some of the acts. All of this weekend’s photography will be taken and provided by Mr. Joshua Wallace, who does all my album reviews. We also have a brand new photo system upon which will give a better perspective of this weekend in pictures.

Miss Chelsea Nolan was up first tonight, and she is playing an acoustic set here. She brought an initial flair right off the bat here with many covers in her own style like “Listen To Your Heart” and the Janis Joplin song ‘Mercedes Benz”. I believe the next song was called ‘Rock Bottom”, I wasn’t sure of the title, but it was well written nonetheless.

She played a nice medley of covers toward the end of her set, with pieces of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and she went into songs like ‘I Saw The Light”. I could easily ascertain that she has a deep appreciation of Traditional Music from many different genres of history, much like the rest of us. I have a deep admiration for those that have reverence for those that paved the way for them.  The night continued on with more acoustic music with a fellow I am very familiar with up here, as he was part of the anniversary show many other years as well.

Patrick Stanley is one that I am extremely grateful to see year after year here, as one of The Horse Traders he always entertained us out here yearly. Tonight he played a solo set of a few songs, his first song being “It Ain’t Right To Be Lonely” . He has still maintained his own approach to his songs that I miss when I saw the Horse Traders, which brought a melding of styles together.

His next song was called “Conscription”, and that was followed by another called “I Can’t Abide”, and he closed his set with a Patty Loveless cover called “Cheap Whiskey” from the 2001 Mountain Soul album. It just feels so wonderful to reconnect with so many amazing people again tonight, and see new faces up here as well.

Mr. Ben Knight was amazing, and we got to talk some before the show started tonight, he will be playing in Lexington tomorrow night so he will only be here tonight. I had some phone video problems tonight, and I believe he was the first act I successfully captured fully however it was upright…still was good. The next song I will tell you about was called “Nicotine Gum”, which was a true story revolving around him building a house. Altogether there were some truly fine songs shared here tonight, and I related to many of them for sure!

I HAD to pick up his CD tonight, as it was less crowded Friday night I was able to leave my post to buy stuff. Saturday night I could barely get up to use the bathroom. luckily I bought an extra steak sandwich from Sheetz for later on in  the night on Saturday. I have my “go-to” places to eat all across America, and I utilized quite a few this weekend.

His first song was called “Robbers” followed by another truly great song called “Boats” as he displayed his style of writing tonight as very true to self. His next song was called “Iceman”, and he concluded that set with a song off his album called “Mistaken Identity”.

Mr. Tony Harrah And The Fly Over States was up next, I also had the opportunity to chat with him after his energetic set and found him to be a VERY nice person. I’ll tell you what I have met so many new faces up here it’s just always such a pleasant job to do here.

This man’s set began with “Good Man” and I also believe I did indeed get some footage of him as well. His next song was called “Hi Fi Lovers And Lo Fi Heroes”, followed by my favorite song he does called ‘Here I Am lord”. I myself have been at some low points in my life that required some knee bending prayer too.

‘Sweet Lucinda” was in this set here tonight that also included “Mississippi Wildfire” and concluded with a wonderful song called “Miller’s Farm”.

Mr.Darrin Hacquard brought a REALLY GREAT set here tonight that began with guns blazing with a song called “Huntington” that was basically declaring how awesome it was to return to this area. “Hurricane Season” was next from his album called Signs And Wonders, that’s a long song there. Most of these artists are on Spotify and I did create a playlist here in the promotional article.

“Mountains” was next in his set, which was an awesome song about a gal drunk on karaoke night with many hilarious (but often true) references to mountain life troubles.  That song was followed by “Never Again”, I enjoyed his onstage charisma he has. You can easily tell he just enjoys playing his music up there, and as he belts out songs like “A World Away” he finished his set up with a cover of ‘all My Rowdy Friends”.

I finally got to see the Laid Back Country Picker LIVE, and let me tell you he put on one hell of a show here tonight..in fact it was one of the top acts of the evening here. He opened with a cover of Waylon’s “Are You Ready For The Country’, and went into one his own songs called “I Live In The Now”.

It’s a different kind of show here that incorporates comedy with Traditional Country Music that lightens up your soul and helps you forget the problems of the outside world. He IS a TRUE entertainer in EVERY SENSE of the word, he just provides you with a good time and makes you smile, and laugh.

“Laid Back Country Picker” was his next song off his album, and then he got his telephone out and performed his “Party Line” routine. He is hilarious and involves the audience, with his comedy routine. He played “Jim Frank” and went into “Kathy With An 8 Ball” before going into a few other songs and ending his set.

John R Miller And The Engine Lights was one I did some research on before coming up tonight, and his first song was called “Holy Dirt”.  His set also included the song “Back And Forth” , and another song that Mr. Tyler Childers plays that he wrote when Mr. John was in the Prison Book Club called “Coming Down”.

His new album called “Service Engine” was a great album, and I enjoy listening to it very much. His bio boasts that he has performed in clubs in 50 states of America, and many shows overseas. He brought a nice blend of Blues/Folk and Americana to us tonight.

Jeremy Pinnell was up next, however this one was acoustic for him. He played one hell of a great set list for us tonight, and we enjoyed every minute of it. His album have always gathered attention on my website here, and Mr. Joshua was equally excited to see him.

You know he has this song called “Feels This Right” which mentions my good friend Bobby Mackey, and the fact he is from the Kentucky/Ohio  area. When he has a full band he is so full of twang it’s unreal! He played a wonderful version of a classic song called “The Image Of Me” which was recorded in 1967 by Mr. Conway Twitty and the writer Mr. Wayne Kemp.

The opening track of his album “Ties Of Blood And Affection” was the song called “Ballad Of 1892”, and that was followed by “The Way We See Heaven”. Now he released that album last year and I believe it hit Mr. Joshua’s TOP 50 Of 2017.

He played a wonderful rendition of Merle Haggard’s ‘Today I Started Loving You Again”. Another great song he played was called “Ain’t Nothing Wrong” I remember hearing him play that on a stream at the Westport Saloon one night. “Take The Wheel” was once again off the new album that is one of his more well written tunes, and on the album it has enough twang to satisfy the most hungry of palates for REAL Country Music.

He played a nice cover of “Ramblin Man” and “Freeborn Man”, but one of his last originals was the song called “the Way Country Sounds” which is my favorite song he does right now. I enthusiastically look for growth from this young man, and I firmly see him as the part of Country Music’s future.

Mr. Nicholas Jamerson was here to finish off the entire show, formerly of Sunday’s Best. He also played an acoustic set for us tonight, and began his set with “Goodbye God”. The audience truly loved his presence onstage, and he responded with a special authority.

I FINALLY got to hear him perform “Long Way To Wheelwright” tonight and he delivered it in prime fashion followed by a heartfelt rendition of Keith Whitley’s ‘Miami My Amy” . Another original song he performed tonight was called “Brother Rabbit” from his album.

He treated us to a wonderful and lengthy set here tonight with songs like “I’m Gonna Love You” and others like the song called “Cold Black Heart”. Pretty good sized crowd here tonight, however Saturday drew an even larger audience.

We stayed in Ohio at the Comfort Inn South Point Ohio, Giovannis Pizza delivered us a WONDERFUL deep dish pizza for a reasonable price. VERY NICE service and we enjoyed the food, thanks guys.

So tonight we are all slowly gathering once again at the V Club for another night of music fun, as for the first time ever Ol W.B. has booked two nights worth of shows for his anniversary show. We got people already piling into the venue for this one,as pre sales were better tonight.

And begin tonight we shall with The Winetree which is from Kentucky, and they got their name from an old misspelled winter sweater. Mr.Ryan Harvey  and Mr. Isaiah Muller make up this duo I’m about to include here tonight, and as they begin their set with “It Reminds Me Of You”.

Their set continued on with a song called “Tracks Of Coal” , and followed that with a song that W.B. requested from them called ‘There Is A Time”. That song is pretty much public domain, it was famously featured on the Andy Griffith show by the Darlings (AKA The Dillards).

Their set continued with a Willie Nelson themed song called “Red Headed Stranger (never meant so much to me) which displayed some amazing harmonies from them tonight, this was off to a great start tonight. They concluded their set with a song called “Kentucky Nights”.

Mr. Coby Langham will be up next here tonight with one of his songs I got to research from him called “Heroin Girl”. I especially related to this song personally well on many levels. This right here is downright good old fashioned Honky Tonk music.

Another of his songs I related to was called “The Farm” because I also grew up on a farm. It sounded like they were singing about my own father. Then they played a high pitched twang trucking song called “Years On The Road”, This young man has LOTS of energy. That I believe is honestly what we need at the beginning here in West Virginia, and as he sang a song for his gal called “As The crow Flies” I was further amazed by his creative writing style.

He played a song called “5 x 7” which boasts a 40 dollar bet that he couldn’t make O’l W.B. cry, but this song about his late wife whom died of an addiction did indeed make him cry. It was a very strong and poignant tear jerking ballad of sorrow.

Mr. Will Stewart was next tonight, not long ago you’ll remember Mr. Joshua Wallace reviewed his new album called County Seat. You can read about all that right HERE. Since today is actually his album release day, I will go purchase this album on vinyl even though we were sent a digital copy. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC PEOPLE!

His next song was called “County Seat” which of course was the title track of the album, along with the song called “Heaven Knows Why” also off that album. Although he has been living around Nashville, he recently returned to Alabama to live where he grew up.

I related well with the song County Seat about the same old mundane everyday type life, I use this website to break up my boredom of same old same old. I would highly suggest you buy this album here!

The Local Honeys are a duo that have been featured many times on this website, as they have been a part of this anniversary show for a few years now. They opened their set with  and then followed that up with one of my favorites called “Cigarette Trees” that you’ll find on their album.

O’l W.B. suggested that they played an all Gospel set tonight, and with their gorgeous harmonies and lightning fast banjo playing they played “He’s With The First Church Of God”.  They told us that their good friend Mr. Don Rogers wrote that song, and they followed that song with a Kentucky fiddle tune.

As they closed with “Freight Train Blues” Miss Linda displayed her AWESOME vocal range, paired with their once again AWESOME vocal abilities this was truly a special set! The Local Honeys display comfort and poise up on stage together, and play like a well oiled machine!

Mr. Blake Berglund and I had the chance to speak before the show here, as he will also be playing Tumbleweed, which my man Mr. Joshua Wallace will be covering for me as I go elsewhere. He began his set tonight with a song called “Pretty Good Guy”, and with Miss Belle Plaine he took us through other songs.

He’s another Canadian artist and that song “Pretty Good Guy” was off a concept album he released about himself as he struggled with personal issues and demons. His latest album called “Realms” gathered much attention from the media that covers independent music.

“Crooked Old Earth” was really well written song about the state of today’s day and age of the “normal” world. Absolutely amazing guitar skills were displayed here tonight by Mr. Blake and his band. Miss Belle Plaine then took over the stage and played “Is It A Crying Shame If My Tears Don’t Fall”.

Mr. Ian Noe is another one I have been wanting to catch live here lately this year, I CAN TELL YOU that I am NOT moving from my spot here because I want to dwell on the entire remaining lineup. He has been garnering a plethora of attention here lately, and I wanted to write about him.

He played a song called “That Kind Of Life” that was very well written, and accompanied with his powerful voice it made for a VERY fun set to watch. Right now he is playing “I’d Rather Be Over You” and he followed that with a song called “P.O.W. Blues”.

His blend of Americana and other genres were unique and special, and it separates him from others because of his huge vocal ability which stresses his lyrics. You can pick him out of a crowd of other artists just by his voice alone, much like Tyler Childers or Colter Wall. “Doesn’t Do Me In’ was included on his set tonight,which was a good song as well.

One of my favorite songs he does was called “The Last Stampede” and after that he played his own version of the song “Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”, he just changed the lyrics around some. He finally ended up his set with a song called “Irene” as his last song here tonight. “The Last Stampede” is a truly well written song from the opening line..I was born in the mornin’ just sounds cool, and a well play on words.

Mr. Justin Wells is amazing as usual here tonight, and he opened up the set with a new song, He also played the song called “Going Down Grinnin”, from his album “dawn In The Distance”. “The Highway Less Taken” was a great song about the life of a traveling musician, now trust me folks. I been following folks like Mr. Justin for five years now, and it’s NOT a big party like everyone thinks. If you think they only work four hours a day on stage…you are a fool. What these folks do takes HOURS of work, and I can easily why they get discouraged.

Mr, Justin is one of the many here tonight that are fresh off the Hagfest over at the Southgate House, and he came down here to sing songs for us like “The Dogs” and “No Rain” which is always another sure bet for enjoying this man’s music here tonight, followed by another great song called “Little Darlins”.

“Can’t Break my Heart” was up next tonight, and as the evening was winding down to the last two bands of the evening he played his damn fine version of “So Far Away” by Dire Straits, that is also on his album. O’l W.B. acknowledged a gentleman that drove out here from Texas to be here with us.

Mr. Arlo McKinley is another act that I have had the pleasure of seeing on this show before in the past. In fact he has had Mr. Arlo on this show three past times before.  “Don’t Need To Know” was one of the first songs he played tonight.

He played a song called “Time In Bars” next, obviously this man is a well sought after artist out in this area because this place is packed pretty tight here tonight. I have had a blast out here tonight with all these bands as they all brought us terrific sets!

They just finished their new record and it will have 14 songs on it.  I think Mr. Arlo has some of the best writing ability of many of the other acts, with songs like “Gone For Good”. So I’ll be keeping an eye on them, and I shall feature that aforementioned album. Some of the new songs he played had a lot of old rock and roll influences to them, and one was called “I Get Lonely, But I’m Never Alone”.

He played the song called “iv’e Got Her” and another called “Just Like The Rest” were also included in his set tonight. “Waiting For Wild Horses” was another epic song that he sings, with huge crowd interaction here. As his set began to reach a climatic pinnacle he closed his set with “Getting Older”.

Mr. Luke Bell is another great man that was involved in my Ameripolitan Awards escapades this year in Memphis Tennessee. His album has also graced my TOP 50 OF 2017 recently, however I still haven’t had the opportunity to witness him live yet.

He opened with a Hoyt Axton song called “Greenback Dollar” and one of his own songs off his new album called ‘Where You Been”.  They covered a terrific version of Merle Haggard’s song “Swinging Doors”, various old timey fiddle tunes and brought the most unique form of nostalgia in the entire weekend.

His style of yodeling and western swing tunes were unrivaled all weekend here, and as he played “Sometimes” from his current album the entire crowd went crazy! His set produced some vivid history as his fiddle player told stories of his Grandfather, and played many old tunes for us tonight.

As he bellowed out his epic song “Loretta” Mr. Luke Bell proved once again his fierce passion for history and the preservation of REAL Country Music with songs like “Bullfighter” and many more.

They ended the weekend with a bunch of group songs that brought up the remaining artists and O’l W.B himself. I tell you what if you haven’t witnessed this movement he is creating you MUST become a part of it. I’m VERY PROUD to call him a friend of many years, I am blessed to be one of the ones that got to see him begin from a couch.

I been with him the entire time watching him do this..he built an empire himself. He featured many GREAT bands that have went on to become NATIONAL phenomenons so far, and I figure he will push many more forward before this is over folks….Aaaaoowww

” W.B. WALKER IS THE PAUL HARVEY OF PODCASTS”

GARY HAYES

Feb 242018
 

Well for those of you that don’t know the story behind our friendship I’ll re tell it to the best of my abilities here. One night I was just piddling on the computer learning this host I use to host my website. I knew VERY LITTLE about HOW to go about expanding my knowledge onto print here, or how to proliferate my website. I knew NOTHING about marketing or reading analytic charts, but I was just beginning this website here.

This guy named Mr. Brandon Walker messaged me on Facebook about a Hank Williams Jr. album, he was referred to me by Mr. Chris Miller who does the Blue Ribbon Radio podcast. He began telling me about this idea he had, and who he was going to feature…I started giving him more fuel with bands. Some of them he liked and some he said he wouldn’t walk across his front yard to listen to. I thought man this guy is passionate about what he likes, but doesn’t publicly bash what he doesn’t. He leaned more towards Americana and Appalachian artists I knew VERY LITTLE about.

He started telling me about this kid named Tyler Childers, and I mean this was just a little goofy looking kid that wore bow ties, and to be honest you wouldn’t suspect a voice that powerful could emanate from this kid. He started telling  about this podcast he was doing, and I returned the ideas with this website. We started collaborating with each other more, and supported each other from the start by putting each other on our website sidebars.

He had a one year anniversary podcast on his couch in his living room, and I wrote about it on this website. And every year in consecutive I wrote features for him, and at the bottom there I’ll put links in so you can read how much I HAVE GROWN as a writer, along with how much HE HAS GROWN into what I call “The Paul Harvey Of Podcasters”.

His year one show featured Tyler Childers and a few others like his wife Miss Senora Mae. It was very basic and young, but it was the start of something BIG..it was the birth of  THIS event here. You can click on any of those past four years and read about what transpired there.

Year 3 Year 2 Year 1Year 4

 

Inline image 1

Now the venue is the same as every year this event will transpire at the V Club in Huntington West Virginia and here is this year’s lineup in separate links, now folks THIS YEAR it is a two day event. This is the first ever of it’s kind, so let’s enjoy this one. here are the band links:

Friday night:

Nicholas Jamerson
Jeremy Pinnell
John R. Miller And The Engine Lights
Laid Back Country Picker
Darrin Hacquard
Tony Harrah And The Fly Over States
Ben Knight
Patrick Stanley
Chelsea Nolan

Saturday Night:

Luke Bell
Ian Noe
Justin Wells
Blake Berglund
Arlo Mckinley And The Lonesome Sound
The local Honeys
Will Stewart
Coby Langham
The Wine Tree

I remember the first time I went up to Cosmic Charlie’s in Lexington to see Mr. Justin Wells and the Fifth On The floor guys play their last ever show, and I got to see Mr. Tyler Childers play. HERE is the 2015 article you can read about it there.  I look forward to have more past stories and relations with some of the upcoming artists that Mr. W.B. Walker features. AND HEY episode 188 is a gigantic preview of the artists included and you can listen to that HERE.

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.

Jan 102017
 

Well HELLO EVERYONE.
WELCOME to my NEWEST series and creation I called it Steel Guitarists Along The road. I gave it this moniker because within this series I shall be visiting with MANY steel guitarists along the road of ALL realms of music. You know I’m going to go out on a limb here and be honest, I know PEOPLE and I know TONES, but I don’t know much about the actual instrument myself. Alas, I don’t pretend to know all about something I don’t and I am learning SO MUCH every day I compose articles. Hell I been laboring nights and days behind this keyboard for so long that I’m developing different styles and methods of allocating my time for everything.

You know one thing I learned from observing this music business for so many years and watching literally thousands of bands play…it’s a business. It’s a HARD tireless and sometimes scary business, it can be lucrative and tangible or it can be non profitable all in the shift of word of mouth. Good or bad your reputation and word of mouth can make you or break you out there, no matter how hard you network and use social media.

Another thing I learned from festivals and venues is the fact you MUST know how to carry a briefcase and conduct your business as a band and a BRAND. You ever notice how the simple R is the difference between BAND and BRAND, quaint isn’t it? Purposely done…I think not, nonetheless it is quite a thing to ponder. All within that scope of BAND and BRAND is how you market your product to ME the guy with the money in my hand. What are YOU going to do to make ME spend MY money on YOUR music? It’s all about HEART and SOUL, and how you express yourself to me, we all like different avenues of music and you aren’t going to please everyone all the time.

One portion of this whole musical journey I have taken is watching that person sitting behind that thing some bands have, called the steel guitar. It’s been one of the staples of Country Music since the 1927 birth of the Opry and the emergence of Hank Williams, heck even before him it’s existed. And today all around the Honky Tonks of the present day and age that I inhabit in order to bring you these articles, there lies a long list of people that bring the music to light.

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.

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 installment of my series bring me to visit with a man that has been a friend for some time now his name is Travis Egnor and I found him through W.B.Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show. His band is called The Horse Traders and they romp around the East Tennessee and West Virginia area. You can see their video here and this is my wonderful visit I had with him transcribed into print in this article.

Cover photo of Mr. Travis courtesy of Melissa Stilwell Photography

GHC
Why don’t you tell me how you got started in music, and who influenced you the most?

Mr. Travis
Ok those are huge questions. Well the way I got started, I’m actually the only person in my family that’s musical at all and nobody else had any interest in it.My parents had this old console record player and they ended up with all of my uncle on my dad’s side records and there was everything in there from disco to early Alice Cooper, to Stevie Wonder and the Oak Ridge Boys and everyone just listened to what they liked. Again, they weren’t musicians so the music was always there. Ever since I was really, really young I was brought up with music on those records and I can’t really say that one particular artist really brought me up. I remember liking the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band a whole lot and that’s one band that I really look up to.

I wanted a guitar at five years old and I really wanted one badly I had a couple of plastic one for kids I think the company was Symphony and my first real guitar was a Silver Tone and I bought it in Huntington West Virginia at a place called Mac And Dave’s and I think they are still open but just getting ready to close. I just really wanted one and I cannot say one hundred percent that it took off immediately at five years old, and I had some lessons and those fell off as I drew interest in other things. I picked it back up at seven and I think from the time that I was about twelve it’s been a constant in my life.

GHC
So what started you on the steel guitar?

Mr. Travis
You know,I guess just wanting to hear that in my music. And when I played in Nashville there were all kinds of people playing them in the bands that was in but here in West Virginia when I moved back, there’s not a lot of steel guitarists around. I think there’s only me and James Barker who plays with Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps that are the really the only steel players around here, so I just learned how to pick one out.

I don’t play pedal steel I play straight steel and a buddy of mine Chris Scruggs got me into it, and this is a bold bold statement but I’ll make it anyway I would venture that he is one of the top three if not the best straight steel players in Nashville. Because there’s just not a lot of people doing it anymore and he has really mastered the instrument I mean he’s wonderful. He really got me into straight steel so yeah I just picked up the instrument and I ran across a man selling a six string console steel which is basically a lap steel with legs for a hundred bucks and began using it immediately as I created the Horse Traders. From there I just kept going and going.

GHC
When did the Horse Traders come about?

Mr. Travis
There have been a few different versions of the band but we have been together for about two and half years now and it was something that me and Jeremy Roberts we all know him as “Wood” and has been the drummer for the entire time until New Years Eve as he went on to do solo projects. He and I stared the Horse Traders as a continuation of the other bands that had members that lived here and in Nebraska, and that was fine for touring because we got together here or there it was fine. But when we began to work on new material it just got too complicated so we started up the Horse Traders with our good friend Frank Miller who has been in the band for two years until now.

GHC
Your new EP that’s out now, where are you going to go with that, and will you tour?

Mr. Travis
“I Don’t Mind” we have been playing around with that for about a year now and so we are getting ready to release a split ten inch record with a good friend of ours named Reverend Justin Hylton and we are releasing it in April and then in June we will go back and do a full length. So it will indeed be a full year for us because we will have mostly new material on the full length album. We will play with that for a little while and see where we go with that.

GHC
Without giving away any dirty secrets what makes you unique in your sound?
What differentiates you from other players?

Mr. Travis
As a steel player the player I have is a mid-1950’s Gibson Conselette and it has dual 8 string necks and I keep one in c6 tune and the other one I play around with a lot so I keep it in open G tuning. And I do a lot of behind the bar bending so I’ll be holding a chord with the bar but with my fingers behind the bar I’ll bend it so it sounds just like pedal steel. I’m able to bend those strings so well, but I cannot D tune the strings or hit any knee levers. But I do a lot of behind the bar bends so as a straight steel player that would be one thing that differentiates me from other straight steel players is my ability to do that. I’m not a super great player I can get around on it but I’m still learning so anything that comes from me is from a learning background and you never know what’s going to come out of it I think.

GHC
Now, you do other instruments for the Horse Traders as well right?

Mr. Travis
Yes of course I do in some of the songs I play electric guitar and I play baritone guitar. I play bass if needed of course Mooney is a very good bass player and I can play drums if we are recording and it’s needed. Mandolin, Dobro I can handle all of that.

GHC
You guys are a well oiled machine every time I have seen you play and you work well together.

Mr. Travis
It comes from being really good friends and we hang out together all the time.

GHC
Yeah you guys are more of a laid back atmosphere I cannot say that it lacks any professionalism because it doesn’t it’s very precise it’s just you guys aren’t as tense as some bands up there you know?

Mr. Travis
I’m glad to hear you say that and I don’t know what causes that other than our comfort with each other and the fact that we are having fun being with one another.

GHC
You mentioned Chris Scruggs I plan to contact him once I get my method more mastered and I plan to get Andy Gibson and others. I started with you because I feel your band deserved more exposure and do you have any future plans here in 2017?

Mr. Travis
Yes there will be a video coming out in the early spring and we are booking for festivals, we just got a new drummer so we are settling him into the lineup and we going to go from there.

Find Nashville Ghost Tour at ScaryNashville.com