It has become evident over the past few months that Muddy Roots is the answer that many artists and fans have been waiting a long time for. The answer to what? To what to call a varied mish mash of music, how to define and put four corners around a mutable movement, and how to support it, give it structure and direction, and shine a spotlight on a collection of roots musicians that has gone unrecognized by the greater consciousness for far too long.
Nerds like me can peck at keyboards all day and play fantasy football with theoretical solutions, but at some point you need boots on the ground, tents in the air, and someone with the dedication and resources to implement ideas. That is exactly what Muddy Roots has done through the strength and success of their marquee Muddy Roots Festival.
“We chose Belgium because it is central to Europe.” Muddy Roots founder Jason Galaz explains. “The venue is close to the French border, not far from the English-French tunnel, and 45 minutes from the Brussels airport. Many Muddy Roots bands already tour there and have a good time. It is a small American style steakhouse on 3 acres of land. They host rodeos and American car shows and have been very helpful in helping us plant our Muddy Roots seeds. They should be ready for harvest June 9th-10th.”
To many touring Muddy Roots bands, Europe has been a vital market to keeping the show on the road. As unintuitive as it many seem, many independent country and roots bands, if not the majority, find more support in Europe than they do in the States. That is why a stronger influence in Europe positively effects all fans and artists regardless of location. Dozens of Europeans showed up at the 2nd Annual Muddy Roots Festival in Cookeville, TN this September, proving the demand is there.
“The inspiration for doing a festival over there came from the fans,” according to Galaz. “We had just as many people come to Muddy Roots from other countries as from Nashville. Seems like they deserve a party in their own back yard. You could say I got a “calling” from the Good Lord to spread the Muddy Roots Gospel to every living creature.”
And though the festival will mostly feature American bands, it will also give an opportunity for some of the roots bands based in Europe to be showcased. And of course all of this is possible because of the success of the American Muddy Roots Festival a few months ago, which doubled in the amount of bands and attendees from its inaugural year.
We were able to pay our bills without borrowing money so that was good enough for me to be happy! Hell even if I lost money it would have been a success to me.” says Galaz. “I wouldn’t mind earning a living at it but it’s not really about that.
More details on Muddy Roots Europe coming soon.