HELLO MY FRIENDS and my non Flocker friends, my Tumbleweeders, my non Warden friends and all other sets that were represented here this weekend. WOW what a HUGE event to unwind from, and return to life. I didn’t drink a whole lot this weekend to be honest and I hydrated correctly.
So for those of you that faithfully follow my website and love the Tumbleweed side articles, this will commence my main articles for this festival. There were a few side articles that were interviews and they were with the smaller up and coming acts, as well as the Flockers creator Mr. William Higgins, you can read that one HERE
ALSO: Mickey Lamantia (ML 750)
Dustin James Clark
Now one thing you must bear in mind here, I cannot post videos from several of the acts involved here for legal issues. I CAN AND WILL chock it FULL of pictures and information on the music involved, and as many told me I worked my ass off this weekend. The way this festival was set up geographically I really didn’t have a long walk to my vendor tent, which was where I had the rental car parked and used Rebel K Child tent as my base of operations, as I often do at festivals. While she was setting up for Friday’s sales I walked around greeted people and got ready for what I could catch of the music from the Pre-party.
Together we have become a prominent festival combination for networking purposes and we team up on traveling costs making it possible for us both to expand and making it possible for ME to bring YOU the BEST festival coverage I can, if you weren’t there…by the time YOU read this I want you to feel like you were. THAT IS the purpose of my articles here, many other media outlets want you to engage in comments sections and drama subjects. Now folks that’s alright hell I do it myself even at times, but on my website here it’s more focused on information and appreciation of the music it featured.
We arrived late Thursday night, mainly because I had some personal medical issues that needed to be taken care of before I left town. Then right about the Hwy 24-57 split the enemy reared it’s ugly head…rain. Not small light rains but menacing rains, that were tearing apart the Kansas City area throughout the night on Wednesday.
This rain was heavy and plentiful and my good friend Mr. Derek “Weave” Weaver (whom I stayed with) reported to me that they had seven inches plus of rain, and in some areas it was beyond damaging. As with ANY job I stay in contact with the directors and keep my team available for help offers. I was informed that this event had a lingering possibility of cancellation. You need to remember this event was RIGHT ON the river, and sustained significant flooding damage. The vendor area couldn’t provide electricity or lodging for them, and the main stage area couldn’t house sound systems and electronics. His team worked on into the night and early morning to render the park able to accommodate guests.
The rumor mill already began churning before the front gate opened….social media BOOMED with rumors of it being cancelled…being postponed….re scheduled and so forth. Borda Productions came forward and released a official statement that confirmed the natural disaster problems, however they STRESSED that the company has NEVER cancelled an event. Tumbleweed went on a little later than planned…but it went on.
Before I begin the music I just wanted to say that I have never NEVER MET a more down to Earth and welcoming duo than Mr. Doug and Miss Piper, there aren’t too many that honestly become personal friends. People that you would invite into your home and just put the business aside and be friends with, those two certainly were those type. This event became a VERY valuable and tangible networking tool for ALL OF US. Much like ANY festival friendships and alliances were formed, old friends were rekindled and new music was discovered.
NOW THAT is the MOST integral and pertinent part of this article and this event. NEW fans were exposed to NON COMMERCIAL and INTERDEPENDENT MUSIC that EVERY website they invited there daily promotes. Like us or not we are busy promoting REAL MUSIC the likes of the “smaller acts” like the first artist I caught…barely…I was so busy setting up that I missed most of the late night stage on Thursday. The first day and night was indeed A pushy and tiresome cluster of setbacks for me. I’m NOT going to lie it wasn’t until Friday that I was on my A Game, and ready to do what I do BEST…report on the MUSIC. There was a flag issue that bred MUCH drama that I shall opt to NOT touch on, I don’t NEED any drama for ratings. THIS IS A MUSIC PAGE and you’ll read information about their set lists and their future plans, I think I did a wonderful job of weeding out the drama mill stirrers so YOU can get the FULL ambiance of Tumbleweed…the non commercial Outlaw Music juggernaut that this man and his team have created.
Thursday night transpired in a large tent called the Camping Stage and also dubbed the Late Night Stage. This was readily convenient for my crew as she could run her vendor tent and WATCH some of the music simultaneously, and also the toilet facilities were close by her. The vendors has ample power and amnesties and for what they paid for a spot it was totally a cost effective festival in my opinion, so ALL you vendor friends of mine please contact Miss Piper and reserve your 2018 spot…the vendor row needed growth. THAT comes in time, and with our word of mouth, if YOU liked a certain product TELL THEM to bring it back. Seriously Mr. Doug can NOT expand his idea without positive AND negative advice from the ones who REALLY make it happen….YOU.
One of the BEST things initially about this festival was the medical facilities and staff. With someone like ME I MUST have a way to keep insulin cold and a safe locker for medications. I NEED a CLEAN place to check my sugars and stay regular so I can work on this, I had that. I had comfort knowing I can have any possible bad situation handled for me or for my two other people that depend on me for safety. The security and medical staff were absolutely above and beyond what I was expecting and I commend them in every way possible.
The entire park was AWESOME in the amount of trees around to provide shade for us, I mean even with extreme heat (which wasn’t the case) one could have some relief. The vendor area was REALLY well shaded and also the main stage area had many nice spots I could set my chair up for work, it was not as campestral as I thought the grounds would be.
So the first act I got to see part of was Mr. Dustin James Clark and his all natural brand of Honky Tonk Country music, as he opened up the entire festival. I interviewed him earlier on and got a truly good perspective on what he was going to bring to the table here this weekend.
As I stated earlier the larger acts have mostly asked me NOT to publish videos of their performances and I shall comply with them accordingly. HOWEVER the up and coming guys and gals have been VERY adamant about allowing it. Many of them are my personal friends and he is NO exception, and I look forward to watching what he can accomplish with a future full band. I think with proper steel behind him he would sound amazing, his EP is available on the website.
I recently contacted him via text and he provided me with a set list. He opened his set with “Land Of The Free” which was song about ignorance, and how we sometimes take our freedom for granted. “If we don’t pull our heads out of our asses, we may not live in the land of the free”.
“Common Man’ was next (not the John Conlee song of the same name), but it basically talks about just being a plain and simple American. That’s pretty much what we were celebrating this weekend..freedom to be able to assemble like this. “She’s Everywhere I Go” was next followed by ‘Angel in the Hands Of A Devil”.
The Steve Young written song “Lonesome Onry And Mean” made popular by Waylon was next and later on into the weekend the one thorn in my side was this: too many covers! One or Two per set was alright and actually many of the artists here (like Miss Sunny Sweeney) pull off covers from their albums…that’s expected.
“Broken Heart Billy” was next along with ‘Working Man’s Blues” and “Good Hearted Woman” but perhaps his crowning achievement on songs is the up tempo “Fast Cars Honky Tonk Bars And Long Legged Women”. This song was off his EP he had for sale, and I strongly suggest you go pick that up NOW.
You aren’t going to be disappointed in any way shape or form with this young man and his music. One thing you’ll notice about his original tunes…they are all well over three minutes long. One can approach that in two ways, he isn’t good enough of a songwriter to deliver a message quick enough OR he takes a little more time to paint a better picture in getting his point across. YOU decide for yourself on that folks, but I myself say it’s the latter of the two. He takes pride in what he sings and writes and he sticks out like a rooster wearing socks.
The Boomswagglers were a trio from Texas that has actually been around since the early Myspace era in 2007. They are considered a Roots Music original band by many, and I missed most of their set as well.
I’ll admit I’m not entirely familiar with this band and they weren’t as audience related as the other acts this weekend. All of them had merch available and greeted the crowd guests for pictures and talking, I didn’t see that in their instance, however I wasn’t present for the entire set either. I’ll have to catch up with this band further on down the road at Americana Fest.
I did get to finally get settled in and got to witness the band that WON the competition to perform that camping stage called Greg Payne And The Piedmont Boys and they are from Greenville South Carolina.
Greg Payne – Vocals, Guitar
Matt Parks – Fiddle, Vocals
Chíef Spires – Bass, Vocals
Stuart McConnell – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Tony Pilot – Drums
I couldn’t say enough good things about Mr. Matt Parks their fiddle player, who played ONE HELL OF AN “Orange Blossom Special” written in 1938 by Ervin T Rouse and is widely regarded as the “Fiddle Players National Anthem”. Probably one of the most adamantly revered fiddle tunes in the history of music as a whole. He did the song justice and was flawless on many notes save for a few small ones that an untrained ear would easily miss. He is a DAMN FINE musician and overall this band had a HUGE stage presence tonight.
The one complaint I had overall about the festival with MOST of the bands as I previously stated was the selection of (or should I say OVER selection of) cover songs. I ENJOY them but I came here to hear their own original music, I do understand you have to entertain the people that WANT the cover songs. But I was hoping for more indulging into their own albums and partaking in well written original songs like “Rice And Beans” , I mean THAT SONG is just an absolute JAM!
However contradicting myself I thought their rendition of “Tulsa Time” was over the top terrific and the tempo was PERFECT. This band plays like a well oiled machine and is vocally intact, not many lagging vocals or off timed relations between the bass man and the kick drum especially on “Rice And Beans” where you can easily detect off time beats.
They opened their set with “Long Time Gone” and The “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” before going into their original songs like “Free Spirit” and “White Line Mercy”, which was a REALLY WELL WRITTEN SONG about being with a woman who loves cocaine. It’s an easily relate able song for many men in that situation, with a great up tempo beat, and I could easily ascertain the audience reaction to this song…which I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing?
“Alone Again” was followed by the song “35” which has a ton of twang. I relate to this song truly well above all of his songs. Being a 21 year CLEAN heroin addict I am 46 now and I’m amazed I’m alive. This a well written masterpiece of personal lament, and regret, the line about a pill and guitar pick in my pocket was what wins me over on this song.
“He Ain’t Got No Hot Water” was another up tempo party song they play, that displays GREAT vocal harmonies and fiddle. This song had the crowd dancing quicker than a cat will lick it’s ass, and it also displayed some common bass thump that I always identify with good old fashioned Honky Tonk music.
The covers that they DID DO were truly great to be honest, as they did “When I’m Stoned” by Jason Boland and The Stragglers, and also they did “Cast No Stones” which we would hear later by Cody Jinks And The Tone Deaf Hippies. “Long Way From The Bottom” and “Traveling Outlaw Band” closed out the set, and the evening tonight. I’m just glad it was an early one because at this juncture I’ve been up for 31 hours and I was ready for a few hours of sleep.