Right now I have gotten my down to the last of my year end to do list for this website. That does not mean that my work is done in any way shape of form! There are still so many lists to make, upcoming shows and festival dates for 2024. I have new logos being made right now, and we are going to have merch available soon.
I took a plethora of pictures on this job here as my goof buddy Joshua scored us front row seats tonight! We were so close for this triple threat show that brought us the conclusion of the 26 year run of the Red Dirt legends Reckless Kelly. I have a lot of history to go over with you here about this band, and also this article will feature Jason Boland And The Stragglers and also Mike And The Moonpies.
The first band we had this evening was without an absolute doubt one of the best out now on the independent circuit, and that is none other than Mike And The Moonpies. I have been fortunate enough to have been to many of their shows in the past, both in small venues and outdoor festivals as well.
Not all that long ago, Joshua went to see them at a smaller Georgia venue and he was told by the band that they are in talks about headlining a Ryman date in 2024, so I will be excited to bring you coverage from that event in the coming months. This band plays like a well oiled machine up there, they play extremely tight and enjoy their time on stage.
From their latest album back in 2021, they opened with their homage to Johnny Paycheck with the song called “Paycheck To Paycheck”. Additionally there were two other songs off of this particular album they played, and those songs were “Hour On The Hour” and one of my favorites called “Rainy Day”.
In my opinion, they did a really good job of playing a few songs off of almost every album in their entire catalog tonight, and it was in a lot of the same format as their latest ( and I believe second) LIVE album Live From The Devil’s Backbone they recently released this summer. Like the second song they did on the list that was taken off the iconic Mockingbird album called “Smoke Em If You Got Em”.
I picked up on this band after their 2012 album called The Hard Way, which boasted no songs on tonight’s itinerary but I think the spirit of each album was represented quite well tonight down here at the Ryman. I think the album that turned a lot of fans on to this band was their 2018 album called Steak Night At The Parrie Rose, which they played on the third or fourth song here tonight.
Their sound does not change live, nor do many of the tempos live, and for that I like that about this band because you know what you’re going to be getting on the live set. “Wedding Band” was one they played. One of those fabulous real Country songs about drinking and cheating with a twist on words that lead into a truly amazing hook here.
‘Beaches Of Biloxi” sounds absolutely amazing live, and it is always such an honor to see these bands earn a Ryman spot, and how proud they are to be there on that hallowed stage where all of our heroes once played the Opry shows (which is returning in January more on that HERE). You know, I really just didn’t like the direction that Cheap Silver And Solid Gold took, but I do have it in my collection. They did play “Danger”, and went back two songs on the list to play “You Look Good In Neon”.
‘Hour On The Hour” was played along with “Cheap Silver”. I sure cannot wait until they play a longer set at the Ryman, where they can expand on their live set with more obscure songs I would hope. They had a pretty exciting conclusion to their show tonight, as they got off the stage pretty fast to keep the evening going.
The next up tonight was Jason Boland And The Stragglers, who began their career back in 1998 out in Harrah Oklahoma. Even though Texas and Oklahoma have their own distinctive variations of Red Dirt Country, Jason Boland has singlehandedly cemented his presence at the top of both food chains there.
They played a few new songs that will be released on an upcoming album, which was cool, but I was hoping to get to hear some of his story songs like “Hard Times Are Relative” and a few others. They did go back to 2013 to play “Dark And Dirty Mile” from the 2013 album of the same name.
They played “Somewhere Down In Texas” from their Pearl Snaps album along with the song that has the same name off that album, before going into the title track of the latest album called “Light Saw Me”. And lastly one of the last songs I did remember was “Telephone Romeo” from one of the older albums.
This was my tenth time seeing them live, and every time I get to see them, they get better and better. As if they don’t have enough albums to pull material from, right? As far as I can tell you, BOTH Boland and Reckless Kelly are Red Dirt legends, and I will support them any time. So that is why I am overly elated about telling all of you about this next band Reckless Kelly.
There is just so much history behind this band, and it means so much to me as an avid music history buff. I had a blessed time delving into the family history of these guys, as I studied their father, and his band. Red Dirt means a lot to me, because right around it’s culmination into more of a national thing, I was going through my divorce, and using music to heal.
The album that turned me on to this band was called Under The Table And Above The Sun, which included the songs “Vancouver” and another called “Nobody’s Girl” on tonight’s set. I pretty much feel the same way about Reckless Kelly in that they pulled songs off of all of their albums equally. They pulled a song called “Lonesome On My Own” from their American Jackpot album, and they played that before their iconic song “Wicked Twisted Road”.
2006 was a pivotal year for me, and I learned I still had a lot of growing up to do, and I had to start over from ground absolute zero. Like empty room and a mattress zero! Do YOU remember MySpace? Oh, what a wonderful time of discovering all of these bands.
‘Wild Western Windblown Band” was included here tonight, as they all took lead turns from their respected instruments before they broke into the song “Seven Nights In Eire”. Here is where the history played into the show tonight as they brought out their own father to join them on the ever popular staple of their live show. Their father Muzzie raised them to be a part of the music industry and to be band members since a very early age, and even appeared on the Johnny Carson Show!
Everyone came out tonight to wish Reckless Kelly a happy retirement as this was announced to be their official retirement from touring, however they did indeed announce they would be making more albums. I am additionally sure that they will reunite for some appearances during the Braun Brothers festival.
They received several standing ovations for their long time tenure in the genres of so many different kinds of music, and for everything they have given us throughout the years. I just do not think that any of the Braun brothers receive enough recognition for what they have shared with the world.