Right next to where I live in Lick Skillet on the other side of the Red River, you have Adams Tennessee. Southern Gothic is a fall festival hosted by Muddy Roots that celebrates darker roots music. I brought the website to both of the Southern Gothic festivals, and this year I had some arthritis shots in my back, so I covered this a little bit differently than my normal depth.
I’m going to jump around with the pictures of the bands, and write about the bands here. We had some wonderful sets this weekend performed by a TON of good bands from quite a few genres. THAT IS the unique thing about Muddy Roots…variety. Mr. Jason brings forth so many different types of music all juxtaposed into one major area.
I’m also going to jump around the lineups here, and tell you about the bands as my notes tell me about this event. I have information on quite a few bands I have never covered on this website, and a few that I haven’t encountered in quite some time…so let’s talk about the music, shall we?
Fable Cry is self described as a theatrical scamp rock band from Nashville, TN. They draw inspiration both musically and poetically, from all things imaginative, mythical, and spooky. They were extremely different in every way to me, and from the very first song I was immediately a fan. They are currently on tour with The Legendary Shack Shakers, and slim Cessnea’s Auto Club.
OK They aren’t even Country, SO WHAT? You know I do deviate from time to time with many of the different types of bands I run across, if I like their music. They played a song called “Dead Or Alive (For Now), from their album called “We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are”.
Also from that album they played “Fancy Dancing”, and some new songs from an upcoming album they have in the works. Mr. Zach Ferrin – Vocals, Guitar fronts this band along with Miss Jo Cleary – Violin whom also sings. Joining this band is Mr. Scott Fernandez – Bass, Miss Melody Ryan – Keys, Flute, Vocals and Mr. Andrew Core – Drums.
This band from Oregon called The Builders And The Butchers were an exciting band to say the least.They have been around for quite some time now, and they have an eclectic assortment of albums under their belt. “Bringin Home The Rain” is from their 2007 self titled album, as well as their 2010 album called “Where The Roots All Grow”.
This band is a little folk type Bluegrass with doomy harmonies and String Band vibe all mashed into one band. You’re evil as the demons that haunt you, forgetting all it was that they taught you….yeah this band has some pretty poignant lyrics with foot stomping fever.
They played “Never Tell” from their 2017 ‘Spark” album which was a good song to hear live. They formed in 2005 and Mr. Ryan Sollee playes guitar and fronts the band. Mr. Justin Baier on drums, Mr. Willy Kunkle on bass guitar, Mr. Ray Rude on all kinds of stuff and finally Mr. Harvey Tumbleson make up this band.
SHE WORE BLACK DRESSES was in their set, about an evil woman who never cried or smiled in the morning and has a stone cold heart. Also probably my personal favorite song they play here, along with “All Turn To Fire”, which they have a VERY GOOD version of LIVE on their 2017 “LIVE From Doug Fir” album.
There were two days of bands I want to tell you about here, and some of them I have covered in the past. Some of them just don’t get to my area often enough, and also when you cover as many bands as I do, it’s hard to see that many shows.
I need to tell you about a Western Kentucky Legend in my area, and he is well known in the Owensboro area Bluegrass community. Mr. J.T.Oglesby is a fixture in my area, with deep ties to the history of Bluegrass in the Western Kentucky area.
Country Legend and Muhlenberg County native Mr. Merle Travis recorded the song “Nine Pound Hammer”, that he played today for us with note for note precision. You know, one thing I have always admired about Mr. J.T. is that he is extremely versatile in many styles of music, and he is quite the entertainer.
Also included in his set was a rousing version of the song “Saint James Infirmary” which I have heard many different bands play through the years from Bluegrass to Rockabilly. It stems from the 1920’s where Mr. Louis Armstrong played it among others.
“Minor Swing” and one of the songs I enjoy of his is called “Ghost Of Appalachia” . You need to check out his videos of Western Kentucky Thumbpicking and all of his forward roll videos to truly grasp the full platform of his work in music. Playing with him tonight was Mr. Matthias Bartley and Mr. Brandon Harper, whom have a band called Creep Diet.
Friends….THAT IS what music is all about and what Muddy Roots was founded on. Our buddy Mr. Robert Brown worked what little security we needed, and a bunch of friends traveled from far areas like Mr. Mark Simmons and many many more. This event is already being announced for 2020 and you can purchase tickets HERE.
I physically watched as many bands as I could this weekend, but to be honest I could barely keep myself upright or get eased outside. It was ( and still is ) very hard for me to combat this issue. However I took so many pictures and I wanted to include them all along with the bands I didn’t get to see as best as I could.
This year I had some very bad medical issues, and I had to lean heavily on all of you friends for moral support. That is the reason that this piece is so late, if you are an avid reader of my website you know what my plight was. For the last three months, I have battled an addiction to pills..and so far I have WON!
These beloved bands need me, and I had to fight a battle to overcome this problem because I was getting to the point where I was not beneficial to the music world without sobriety. ALL OF THESE BANDS need our support and our love, and I needed to change some things in order to do that. I’m truly sorry to everyone involved about the late article for this event, I cannot do anything but apologize and move forward in my newly changed life.
Ahhh my old friend The Reverend Red, you need to check out his duo album with Mr. Duane Mark, it is one of my personal favorites in my collection. He has a NEW ALBUM out NOW called “Lakewood Dreamers” and he played a few songs from it tonight, he is just a good guy to get to get to know. He and I have really cool conversations about things at festivals.
“Water” is a really good song he played tonight, and to be honest it’s one of the best songs on his album. I think it showcased his vocals really well. From his 2015 “Goode hill Road” album, he played “I Did It For Denver” and another called “Knock Three Times”.
“Wayfaring Stranger” he played that was a cover, along with “Western Slope”. Pictured below is our buddy Mr. Duane Mark, whom also has a new album out and my other buddy Mr. W.T. Newton. You know not many people even cover the old ( what we call Roots music ) anymore. I really think that is ludicrous and stupid because it’s great!
He played a couple more songs for us before the other bands all got to play their sets all day today. Like my buddies over at S.S.Web from the good old Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.It’s been TOO LONG since I got to see Mr. Henry and Mr. Chris Bissell, and Mr. David Schuster play some of those older classic songs like “Sharpen Up The Meat Cleaver” from their “Revenge…” album.
Also they played ” 2 Devils” one of MY favorites, I got a devil in each ear telling me what to do, why can’t I break myself of you? Just their classic songs were played here tonight in their full force punk infused string band form. i did get to catch Mr. J.T. Oglesby jamming out in front of the stage during their set.
“Bring Me Home” was included in tonight’s set along with others like the title track to their 2018 album called “This Cold Soul”. They played “GAMBLING”, which always gets a lot of rousing reaction from the audience, as well as “Most Anything”…or as I like to call it “Bottle Of Whiskey”.
“Dead Man’s Bar” is from their 2011 “North” album when this music was at it’s period that I became to LOVE these bands. “Knockin’ At My Door” was one of their newer songs they played tonight, along with “Hang It Up”. They played a bunch more songs that I didn’t write down.
O’Death was there this weekend, and I got to catch them playing “Wrong Time” from the “Out Of Hands We Go” album. Mr. Greg Jamie – vocals, guitar, Mr. Gabe Darling – vocals, ukulele, banjo, Mr. David Rogers-Berry – drums, Mr. Bob Pycior – violin and Mr. Newman – bass make up this New York based band.
The campground itself is very spacious and right along the Red River with plenty of camping area and fishing, canoeing and other activities. This is the second year for this event, the first year was quite a bit colder than last year.
Murder By Death was one of the bands I didn’t catch the entire set this weekend, however they did indeed play some songs off the new album called “The Other Shore” from Bloodshot Records.
Mr .Adam Turla – Vocals, Guitars, Miss Sarah Balliet – Cello, Keys, Mr. Dagan Thogerson -Drums, Percussion, Mr. Tyler Morse – Bass, and finally Mr. David Fountain – Piano, Percussion, Mandolin, Banjo, and Backup vox all make up this Bloomington Illinois band.
Freight Train Rabbit Killer was another band I missed, and they are from Kansas City. The band Freight Train Rabbit Killer is made up of Kris Bruders (Freight Train) and Mark Smeltzer (Rabbit Killer). They often describe themselves as Roots or heavy doom blues, and from my past shows where I HAVE seen them…they are intense!
Blood On The Harp from Atlanta came out to play songs from their two albums “Ghosts volume 1 and 2”. This band was one of the more classic examples of Southern Gothic than anyone. Mr. Miguel Olascuaga, Mr. Russell Blair, Miss Keena Graham, Mr. Chris Johnson, Mr. Christopher Salmon, and finally Mr. Nick Skillman brought a type of music to me that contained so many influences it completely flummoxed me.
Johnny Lawhorn And The Pentagram String Band I didn’t get any pictures of them, but I do remember their songs like “Blood So Warm”, and “Cadillac Jesus” from the album called “Busker’s Boneyard”. Mr. Johnny Lawhorn – banjo/guitar/vocals, Miss Hannah Bernardini – mandolin/vocals, Mr. Dustin Johnson – upright bass/backup vocals and Miss Nicole Bax – washboard/backup vocals make up this band here.
Also from Kansas City, they emanate that Roots type music like “Old Face” and “Dorris”. They finished their set with “Gasoline Road” and others.
The stage is really nice and the seating area fits quite a bit of people, and has plenty of standing area in the front which is usually what the Muddy Roots crowd does at most of the events. I also invited my friend Angela to come with this year, as she lives close by.
These are her 3 boys Mr. Tyler her oldest, her middle son Mr. Dylan and her youngest son Mr. Riley. they are my little buddies and I like very much to play with them. The other day we had fun playing football outside when it was a little warmer out.
This band from Nashville Tennessee called Coffin Hunter was one I REALLY ENJOYED here, playing songs from the album “Red State Blue State Interstate 8” like the opening song intro called “The Great Chase”, which then went into the “ATF” (Alcohol Tobacco And Firearms).
They played some traditional Bluegrass songs like “Pig In A Pen” and also played some of the story songs like “Chronicle Of The Coffin Hunter” played throughout the album here. “Binge Of The Barfly” , and their last song was called “Target At The Market”.
Other bands I missed this weekend were my friends over at Saddle Of Southern Darkness, but I have indeed wrote a few great reviews on many festival articles. Their new album from 2019 called “The Feral Few”, was amazing on vinyl.
Mr. Trent Williams- Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Mr. Chase Williams- Vocals, Dobro, Guitar, Mr. Mark Rossi- Upright Bass, and finally Mr. Robert Van Natta – Percussion make up this Denver based doom Roots band. They display a very deep passion for many different genres of music, and a very menacing stage presence but they are good guys.
Songs like “Killbilly” and “Death Of The Saddle” will defiantly bring you up to a whole new echelon of Doomy Punkgrass type stuff. I never really got the chance to review their new album, because of my personal problems, and although it’s really not a valid excuse I hope they will forgive this old man!
I suppose to be honest I am using the website to work my twelve steps of AA, and mending fences with so many in written form. I know for a fact there will be MANY MORE future shows with these boys, and if you aren’t familiar with this band…you need to be!
Mr. Shawn Patrick Sweeney, Mr. Patrick Mcgillicuddy and also Mr. Dane “The Assassin” Talley make up the Kansas City band called Ghosts Of Grandad’s Past. This next piece is from their website:
Hailing from Kansas City, Ghosts of Grandads Past have spun their own tale on songs and stories of depression & murder, love & hate, Satan & sadness to come up with their own style on southern gothic tales while throwing in elements of folk, punk rock, goth rock and classic country.
“Down By The River” was an EP they released last year, and it was amazing, I’m really sorry I missed some of these sets this weekend, bur the first day I arrived kind of late from my doctor appointment. Mr. Lance Whalen was there as well and I didn’t get to catch him.
Viva Le Vox are my buddies in so many ways, out of North Carolina, and it’s always so good to be around them. Mr. Scarecrow Jenkins, Mr. Tony Bones, and the elusive Mr. Johnny Tugboat make up this intense trio of Roots badness.
Their 2009 album “Desperation Alley” is an iconic roots music album from that period of time that I was being introduced to bands like Those Poor Bastards, .357 String Band, Filthy Still and others. I really, really enjoy their stage shows with all the dark lights and his self harnessed mic rig.
These three guys really do proliferate their genre with videos and support of other bands that play the lineups with them. They don’t JUST SHOW UP AND PLAY, they continually and ardently support the other bands almost more than themselves.
In a nutshell everybody I wasn’t totally in my element this weekend on a mental level, and right now I’m on the cusp of beginning a new adventure of life in my own sobriety. Do I still plan to work shows in bars and around the things that ailed me? OF COURSE , and I will not judge or condemn drinkers or anything that anybody else does.
But from now on, wherever you find the AA meetings, and my beautiful friends that attend them while enjoying all types of music…you’ll find the new and improved Gary Hayes.