I’m here at the second day of the festival and this begining portion is at the Opryland Hotel. There are two stages here, one is in the Ryman Exhiit Hall and one is in the Event Center. Ill be bouncing all over today as I attempt to tackle yet another day of music. I am trying my new toy which is a bluetooth keyboard paired up to my smartphone because I am prepared for any scenario while writing. Todays first band is Little Leslie And The Bloodshots which was a Rockabilly band from NYC and honestly as I’m writing this I’m watching another band so I can speak in past tense…they did a truly fine set.
They opened their set with a song called “24 Hours More” and one called “Nothing Without You”. Now it was announced that the trio is indeed recording a new album this summer in July, which I’ll be watching for so I can bring you folks more information on it. Three of the new songs they played today for us at the Boogie one was called “Bad Girl” and the other was called “You Don’t Fool Me”. Later on in the set they also played a new song called “Losing My Mind”.
Very energetic lead singer and bassist this band here has lots of really good photo opportunities from them tonight as you can obviously see. ” You Can’t Break My Soul” was really a good rocking song, very fast paced songs full of dancing. “Long Gone So Gone” was another decent song and the place was filling fast I couldn’t really get up near the stage to buy an album. There were a few more songs I caught before I had to move on to the next stage and they were “I Got A Man” and one of their last songs was “Happy When Your’e Gone”.
I then made my way next door to the Opryland Events Center where I finally ran into my buddy Ronnie Reels from Reelsound Productions who in my opinion is one of the finest sound guys in the business in every way, I highly suggest him for your favorite festival. My next band today comes all the way from England and is a four piece band called The Doel Brothers which also had a really good steel player.
Like I said earlier I was going to buy vinyl right? So I did indeed pick up their album and really admired their set here today, however I didn’t catch the whole thing in order to catch other bands. They opened with “Wild Woman” and another one off their album called “Something’s Cooking”. After playing one called “You Ain’t A Woman” they played a Tennessee Ernie Ford song called “Kissing Bug Boogie”. I’d like to stress that when I bought their record I also got the CD so that was a delight to get to listen to the album in the truck.
“Troubles” was a good song and another from the Sun Records Era called “Laughing And Joking” and another called “Hurting Honey” which I’m not sure if that was an original or not. But they let the band loose when I was packing up to leave for the next band as they played “Further To Go” and “Who Needs You”. The last one I remember seeing being done was “Side Step”. Truly enjoyable vintage western attire and styles from these bands here this weekend and all the different backgrounds and areas all made this festival even more enjoyable. This truly was a growing trend from last year and honestly I see NO signs of stopping now!
If you remember my series of articles from last years Nashville Boogie you will recall JP Cyr And The Radio Wranglers who earned a TOP 50 spot on my 2015 list last year, and didn’t fail to thrill me this year again. Why, because they opened their set with a Leon McCauliff song called “Never Lived In Tennessee”.
They then played a Jean Shepard song “Twice The Loving Half The Time” which showcased once again their young lady that plays the fiddle for them. They played an original called “No Trouble No More” which I remember from last year and another by Ernest Tubb called “Walking The Floor Over You”.
“I’ll Be All Smiles” followed up with “Southbound Train” were two more songs they featured here tonight at the Palace. They also played a T Texas Tyler song called “Gal Don’t Need A Man”, which like last night was truly an obscure cover song. I was really impressed by some of these rare covers and some of them I learned because I wasn’t aware of them! I’m pretty sure their last ones were called “Hard Life Blues” and they closed with “Invitation To The Blues” made popular by Ray Price. And as soon as they ended their set I quickly had to take the trolley back to Opryland for my next band who was a Legend!
Rockabilly Legend Billy Harlan was here tonight and He performed some classics and some new songs he recorded in legendary studio B for Muddy Roots Records recently. Mr. Billy holds great stature in the history of my area of Kentucky around the time of Hank Williams death in the early 1950’s.
He began his set with “I Wanna Bop” like all the previous times I have covered his set on this website, and followed that up with “School House Rock”. Along with his newest song called “I Ain’t Elvis” he treated us to some Everly Brothers hits as well, after he played “Be Bopping Annie” and another called “This Lonely Man”.
“Bye Bye Love” was an early Everly Brothers song written by Felice and Boudleax Bryant along with “Walk Right By” and “When Will I Be Loved”. Like I said he has great history with those that came from the Muhlenberg County area of Kentucky the likes of Merle Travis who wrote Sixteen Tons and also contributed a lot to Country Music. He closed his set with “My Fate Is In Your Hands” and played “I Wanna Bop” again.
Mr. Billy is a Legend not only as an artist and writer but as a Disc Jockey as well form an era I am highly interested in, the early 1950’s directly after the death of Hank Williams and the impact it had in every community. I guess what intrigues me the most is how hard it really did impact the music world that early with no technology. There was no social media..hell, there was barely video recording or film however Hank’s death garnished one of the largest historical gatherings in Alabama state history.