Browsing articles tagged with " Bob Wayne"
Jul
2

12 Reasons to Attend the Farmageddon Music Fest

July 2, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  10 Comments

Not everybody will be able to make the trek to The Farmageddon Music Festival going down on July 20th-22nd in West Yellowstone, Montana at Hebgen Lake. But if you’re sitting on the fence, hemming and hawing, sweating because you only have two days left before you have to ask off for that extra day of work, here’s 12 random reasons to pull the trigger.

Purchase Tickets to Farmageddon Fest

 

1. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

Of all the artists and bands I’ve seen live over the years counting any style of music, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club is right up there for putting on the best live performance possible. They don’t throw themselves around with tremendous energy or evoke epic guitar solos. Instead they rely on conjuring up the similar incantations to the old school snake oil salesmen and tent preachers did, preying on some inherent human frailty that allows you no other option than to submit to their spell. You may not know exactly what’s going on, but you will love every minute of it.

2. Hebgen Lake

This is where Farm Fest is happening? What more needs to be said?

***UPDATE*** It has been moved to 10 Denny Creek Road off of Targhee Pass HWY/HWY 20. GET FULL DETAILS

3. The Drive There

Yeah, Farmageddon Fest’s out-of-the-way location may be prohibitive for some folks, but it also one of the festival’s best assets. Whether you’re packing up the station wagon and heading out from Osh Kosh, or flying into Jackson Hole and renting a sub compact, and some point you will find yourself surrounded by some of the most beautiful country the United States boasts. It may be hard to get to, but it will be even harder to leave behind.

4. Performers

In the Farmageddon Fest lineup, you have some of the most dynamic performing bands in all the land. The aforementioned Slim Cessna’s Auto Club for starts, then add on top of that the fire-breathing Goddamn Gallows, The Calamity Cubes, Husky Burnette, Southern Culture on the Skids, and Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies just to name a few. These are bands that will melt your face off with their performances.

5. Songwriters

Tom VandenAvond, McDougall, James Hunnicutt, Stevie Tombstone, the legendary Soda Gardocki, and Graham Lindsey are just some of the high-caliber songwriters who will bring depth and soul to the Farmageddon stage. This is not just a one-trick festival, but one that will cater to a variety of musical moods and sensibilities.

 

6. Artists You May Not Get Another Opportunity To See

From the 2011 Saving Country Music Album of the Year winner Slackeye Slim to local boy Aran Buzzas, a lot of the bands playing Farmageddon Fest don’t have the means to tour full time or nationally so this is your chance. Farmageddon Fest helps you out by putting them all in one place.

7. The Bands You’ve Never Heard Before

I’ve never understood folks who look at a festival lineup and scruch their nose at it saying, “But I’ve never heard of a lot of these bands.” The discovery is half the fun. If a festival does their job right, their should be unfamiliar names. And if you do your job right, you walk away from the weekend with a few new favorite bands.

8. The Ugly Valley Boys

Just because their album Double Down is so damn good and I can’t get enough of it.

9. Collaborations

The bands scheduled to play is a known quantity. What isn’t is the random, improvised, and amazing collaborations that could break out at any moment, at any place, on stage, in the campground, in some bar back in town, you name it. “Oh my god I just saw Husky Burnette playing with Avery from the Goddamn Gallows on washboard and James Hunnicutt playing guitar, and then The Calamity Cubes were playing with Soda Gardocki and the Dead Tree String Band!” This is what your thumbs will be feverishly working to post to Facebook, and what is bound to happen when you put this many bands who are familiar with each other in one place.

10. Fellowship

Inevitably, whenever anyone attends a festival like this, they walk away boasting about the bands, the grounds, etc., but it is the fellowship, the camaraderie that is created when assembling such a collection of like-minded folks together for three days is what you walk away with valuing the most. The experiences can never be captured in photos or videos to the extent they will be in your heart.

11. Because if you don’t support independent festivals, they will go away.

12. The Lineup

Jun
6

Singing What You Live: Hard Language in Country Music

June 6, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  20 Comments

There’s never been a question in anyone’s mind if Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. But that lyric, and Johnny’s song “Folsom Prison Blues” have gone on to become an iconic piece of country music history. This language was nothing new in 1955. Murder ballads and gunslinger tales trace back to the very roots of country music and America’s Gothic, violent identity.

Stretching the boundaries of lyrical content was something at the very foundation of the early Outlaw movement in country music. As has been pointed out many times before about American culture, violence is perfectly acceptable, but sex can be taboo. Nobody batted an eyelash at “Folsom Prison Blues”, but when the original Outlaw Bobby Bare recorded Tompall Glaser’s “Streets of Baltimore” with it’s fairly docile and veiled reference to a man leaving his wife, it caused a controversy.

Kris Kristofferson pushed the limit for drug references with his song “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” Johnny Cash later cut the song himself, and despite the “stoned” lyric, the song went on to be the CMA’s Song of the Year in 1970. The boundaries are continuously being pushed in country, until now in many respects country has lost most of its family friendly identity.

In underground country, racy lyrics have been at the very foundation of the movement, though in no way are they required. Hank Williams III’s Straight to Hell album was the first to ever be released under the CMA with a Parental Advisory, but the salty content is many times misunderstood as being autobiographical, or condoning the behavior being sung about. Sometimes it is, but sometimes, just like with “Folsom Prison Blues” it is telling a story with the real language and themes people face in modern day life.

“There’s just a little misconception…” Hank3 told IBWIP on their 5th Anniversary episode. “All the Williams’ have had a rowdy crowd, whether its Hank Sr., Jr., or myself. Most of my songs have been, you know I’ve lived a lot of them. And once in a while I’ll kind of put myself in other people’s shoes. Like the song “#5″ was some friends of mine that have been hung up on some really hard stuff, you know with the heroin and stuff like that. I just put some hopeful songs out there. Once in a while I’ll put out a little bit of a fantasy out there like the dedicated song to GG (Allin). Those kind of songs I haven’t done anything like some of the topics that hit on that song. I can just project, or put myself in that mode for a little bit.”

“One of the reasons I sing about smoking and drinking and all that stuff so much is because I try to create a partyin’, good time atmosphere when people come to see me. I’m not trying to bring them down, I’m trying to lift them up so they can forget about all their problems and all the stuff that’s happening in the world. And for two or three hours, they can come out to a show and just have some fun. And I always try to tell folks to pace it out as much as possible.”

When reviewing Bob Wayne’s recent album, the topic came up in a heated debate Bob Wayne participated in personally. “…So you’re telling me DAC (David Allan Coe) killed a women in TN then broke out of jail… I think a lot of his songs a true man… But I think he is also a storyteller,” Bob replied to critics. Bob Wayne regularly sings about drinking and drugs while in real life remaining completely sober, just like many underground country artists with racy lyrics like Joe Buck Yourself and Lonesome Wyatt.

It is hard to fault country music fans who do not want to see foul language or hard themes in a genre so tied to traditional values. Just like any genre of music, this is the reason well-defined lines are important so people can steer clear of content they may find offensive. But it is also unfair to fault artists carrying on the same storytelling traditions Johnny Cash and Hank Williams did while modernizing the language no different than how it’s being modernized in the mainstream of country. It’s also unfair to say singing songs you haven’t lived somehow makes them invalid. Street cred, dues, skin’s on the wall, or however you want to phrase it will always be important in country music, but the should never be essential to telling a story.

Hard language presents a challenge to underground country and its aging demographic. Most underground country fans are now in their 30′s. When Hank3′s Straight to Hell came out they were in their 20′s, and could relate better to many of the racy themes. Now, like many of the artists themselves, the fans have grown up, taken real jobs, have kids and spouses, sobered up possibly, and sometimes the hard language songs can come across as immature or hard to relate to.

Barring something similar to the Middle East’s Islamic Revolution, the trend will always arch towards the breaking down of moral barriers to artistic content in culture. With this freedom comes a responsibility to make sure people are only presented with questionable content when they want to be. Instead of looking at other people’s tastes and judging them, maybe we should feel fortunate we live in a time when censorship is lax and people can enjoy the music they find appropriate and appealing without it being run through a filter of other people’s opinions, tastes, or views.

And let’s all hope that the country music themes of morality vs. sin, good vs. evil, sober vs. imbibing, and law vs. the outlaw remain eternal in country music until kingdom come, because this eternal struggle is what we all face every day, and the reason country music speaks to us like nothing else.

May
24

Album Review – Bob Wayne’s “Till The Wheels Fall Off”

May 24, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  98 Comments

Over the years I’ve been a big Bob Wayne proponent, and to some folks he’s been a very hard sell. I’ve always counseled to look beyond the persona to the songwriting. With his new album Till The Wheels Fall Off, Bob Wayne frankly makes that task much harder. At the same time, he’s put out his most enjoyable album yet.

Since the beginning, there’s been two sides to Bob Wayne: the introspective songwriter side, and the “Hellbilly” side. In between are his storytelling songs that tend to draw from both worlds. Despite the bandana and salty language, what Bob is doing is not much different than what Johnny Cash did. Johnny didn’t shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die, or take a shot of cocaine before shooting his wife. It was a persona created to tell a story. Bob has maybe modernized some of the language and themes, but country music songs on the sinful life are a staple of the genre.

What he has done as his career has progressed is tip the scales from the more introspective material to the more hellraising material, and this is where he’s left some listeners scratching their heads. With his first few albums, songs like “Blood To Dust,” “27 Years,” and “The Final Walk” made it easy for the music brain to understand Bob, and then enjoy the hellraising songs right along with the crowd who may see a song like “27 Years” as too artsy.

But with Till The Wheels Fall Off, there are very few of those guideposts. Bob’s first album Blood to Dust was weighted in favor of the deep songwriting material. This album is skewed to the “hellbilly” side, giving detractors heavy ammunition to pass off the whole Bob Wayne presentation as a bad bit.  Even some of the songs on Till The Wheels Fall Off that are presented to be deep, like the lead single “Get There When I Get There” is more ambiguous in nature than artistic. There’s little of that stone cold hard reality that tears at your heart like many of his previous offerings.

Does that leave Till The Wheels Fall Off vacuous or non-entertaining? Not at all. Not whatsoever. “Devil’s Son” may be the funnest song Bob Wayne has ever put out. And “Wives Of Three,” though on the surface a shallow and silly song, may be one of his best attempts at songwriting.

Let’s take “Wives of Three” as a case study. The first time I listened to this song, I hated it, saying to myself, “Come on Bob, you’re killing me out here!” Then I understood the genius behind it. This song is more David Allan Coe than David Allan Coe. It evokes a whole range of emotions, from creepiness and weirdness, to humor, to sincerity and true love. Most importantly to the success or failure of a songwriter, Bob is able to transport you to a scene where he’s standing in his childhood home with these three women, presenting them to his mother.

You can visualize the whole thing, his mother’s sense of shock and dismay, yet a creepy sense of pride, Bob’s sense of awkwardness and hope that this lifestyle will be accepted, and these three women that in a 3-minute song, Bob is able to present to where you can visualize them, their faces, their stories and motivations. It’s all bullshit that is totally believable and makes your mind explore the inner depths of morality, family, and love.

The words and persona are what everyone seems to focus on when it comes to Bob, but let none of that distract you from the fact that the instrumentation on this album is par excellence. Andy Gibson, Hank3′s steel guitar player and the engineer on all of Bob’s albums, along with an all-star cast of contributors put together an amazing album of music. From conjuring the spirit of Jerry Reed in “Ain’t No Diesel Trucks In Heaven” to the lonesome teardrop steel sounds in “Hunger In My Soul”, this album is a 10 out of 10 on how Bob’s vision was fleshed out.

Your feelings on Till The Wheels Fall Off are going to be based on taste even more so than on most albums. It is my job as a reviewer to divest personal taste for a more true judgement on the work. Do I personally like the strictly hellraising songs like “All Those One Night Stands” and “Spread My Ashes On The Highway”? No, no I really don’t. But I also recognize the appeal and the wit embedded in the songwriting, and won’t let them repeal my love for a song like “Hunger In My Soul”. But not all music is for everyone, and that’s okay. It is not fair to strictly base taste on calling something bad, and it is not fair to call someone’s tastes bad just because they are different from yours. Bob Wayne seems to drive home the importance of these points more than most.

Where I take some points away from Till The Wheels Fall Off is when measuring it against what I know Bob is capable of. He is capable of writing songs that can change people’s lives. If he changes someone’s life with this album, it may not be for the better. There are also issues with the continuity in his storyline. With some of his previous works, his sobriety is a theme, where in this album, it is the breaking of that sobriety. Is this true in Bob’s real life, or an extension of the persona? Either way it is okay, it’s the ambiguity in how you’re supposed to approach these songs that may be the issue.

Instead of just writing on the road, I think Bob needs to get in better touch with his inner dialogue through solitude, so the guideposts leading listeners to the realization of his songwriting prowess are more present.

But this is not a bad album. It is fun as hell. At times you are laughing out loud at some of the lines. Are we so uptight we can’t enjoy music for the visceral experience? Isn’t it fun to go on a vicarious exploration of the id through music and character? This is what Bob Wayne delivers in Till The Wheels Fall Off; an escape, a good time. Sure maybe we, maybe underground country has grown up from most of this behavior, but isn’t that the theme here, that Bob will never change, that he’s going Till The Wheels Fall Off? And there’s nothing wrong with siting back and watching his ride.

1 1/2 of 2 guns up.

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Purchase Till The Wheels Fall Off from Bob Wayne

Preview & Purchase Tracks on Amazon

 

May
19

Video Premier – Bob Wayne’s ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off’ EPK

May 19, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  14 Comments

On Tuesday (5-22-12) Bob Wayne will be releasing his brand new album through People Like You Records called Till The Wheels Fall Off, and Saving Country Music is excited to premier for you the EPK introduction video for the album.

It was shot at the house of Andy Gibson, Hank Williams III’s steel guitar and dobro player, and the man who recorded Till The Wheels Fall Off and all of Bob Wayne’s albums.

When I recorded my first album Blood to Dust, I had about 30 songs written to choose from.” Bob tells Saving Country Music. “The next two albums I recorded were a lot of older songs that I had in the bank. Then with the Century Media release of Outlaw Carnie we made kind of a “best of” album. I can tell you this, this album is EXACTLY where I’m at right now in life!”

Pre-order Till The Wheels Fall Off  directly from Bob Wayne at CM Distro. 

…or on Amazon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trzuI56RAzQ

May
1

Exclusive: Bob Wayne’s “Get There When I Get There”

May 1, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  12 Comments

The Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne‘s new album Till The Wheels Fall Off will be released May 22nd, and Saving Country Music is excited to offer you this exclusive preview of one of the album’s featured tracks, “Get There When I Get There.”

On the outside Bob Wayne presents the hellraising, hard charging part of his personality, but his fans over the years have come to discover that beyond the devil horns and songs about hard living is a very deep, very poetic songwriter as well. “Get There When I Get There” shows off this side of Bob Wayne, without completely hiding the Mr. Hyde side either.

“…with the release of Outlaw Carnie we made kind of a “best of” album.Bob told Saving Country Music. “I can tell you this, this album is EXACTLY where I’m at right now in life!”

Another track from Till The Wheels Fall Off, a duet with Hank Williams III called “All My Friends” has also been released. Look for a video from the album coming up soon!

Apr
3

The Origins & Epicenters of Underground “Muddy” Roots

April 3, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  57 Comments

From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how a throwback legend from Texas like Wayne “The Train” Hancock, a hillbilly punk freak from Tennessee like Joe Buck, a golden-throated singer from Michigan like Rachel Brooke, a crazy hellbilly songwriter from the Pacific Northwest like Bob Wayne, and a blues legend from Mississippi like T-Model Ford could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly.

This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world. Below is a list of the disparate origins of Muddy Roots music that came together from a mutual understanding and appreciation of the roots of American music, and the epicenters where this music originated from and/or is thriving today.

ORIGINS:

The revitalization of Lower Broadway in Nashville.

In the early 90′s, lower Broadway street in downtown Nashville comprised the last bastion of old buildings that symbolized what Music City used to be. Overrun with dirty bookstores and titty bars, and The Grand Ole Opry’s original home The Ryman shuttered, young cowpunk and neo-traditionalist musicians like BR549, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Hillbilly Casino, Greg Garing, and Joe Buck and Layla, commandeered lower Broadway and revitalized the strip into the tourist destination it is today. Emmylou Harris‘s legendary concert with the “Nash Ramblers” in 1994 also breathed new life into The Ryman, and later Hank Williams III would cut his teeth in lower Broadway venues like Layla’s Bluegrass Inn.

The fierce appreciation for country’s roots combined with an independent, punk mentality is what revitalized the most historic portion of downtown Nashville, and created the foundation for the blending of country, blues, and punk that Muddy Roots music would spring from.

Read more about lower Broadways revitalization: PART 1PART 2PART 3PART 4

 Outlaw Country

Not just Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, but Bobby Bare, Kris Kristofferson, and especially Tompall Glaser’s “Hillbilly Central” renegade studio in Nashville is the origin of the Outlaw spirit behind underground country roots, the “Do It Yourself” attitude to not allow labels to arrest creative control from the artists and to always respect the elders and traditions of the country genre while also allowing the music to innovate.

Punk

Underground country and Muddy Roots is very much a construct of the “post punk” music landscape. As punk music and scenes began to become stale or gentrify, punk artists and fans looking for the raw approach to music, and many times raised on traditional country and bluegrass, began to turn back to their own roots and put down their Flying V guitars for fiddles and banjos. This is where some of the fast, aggressive approach to roots music comes from, on both the country and the blues side, as well as the DIY spirit, and the grassroots approach to scene building and album production.

After Hank Williams III’s stint with the punk metal band Superjoint Ritual is when many punk and metal heads found themselves listening to country music again. In 2006, when Hank3 recorded his album Straight to Hell at home on a consumer-grade machine and put out an album with a Parental Advisory sticker on the front through one of Nashville’s major labels, many barriers were broke down and parameters set for how Muddy Roots music would evolve.

North Mississippi Hill Country Blues & Deep Blues

One of the reasons both country and blues music can work right beside each other in Muddy Roots is because in many cases they are both being infused with punk, just like artists Scott Biram and The Black Diamond Heavies do. Many times the infusion is with a very specific type of blues from the North Mississippi Hill Country, brought to the attention of the rest of the world by Fat Possum Records in the early 90′s, just about the same time lower Broadway in Nashville was being revitalized by young country punks.

One of the first events that put these like-minded blues and punk blues musicians all in one place, and included a few country-based artists as well was the Deep Blues Festival put on by Chris Johnson in Minnesota starting in the mid 2000′s. Deep Blues fest was where the relationship between blues, punk, and a deep appreciation for the roots of blues by young white musicians was codified.

Rockabilly

In a similar way to infusing both country and blues music with a punk edge and mentality, rockabilly artists in the early 90′s like The Reverend Horton Heat pioneered “pyschobilly”, a punk version of rockabilly. Just like their blues and country counterparts, they were neo-traditionalists, staunchly educated in and preservers of the roots of the music.

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EPICENTERS:

Part and parcel with the sonic diversity of underground country roots is the geographic diversity. Unlike many other past music movements that sprang up in specific geographical areas (or maybe in a few general areas, like East Coast vs. West Coast), Muddy Roots has epicenters all across the country as illustrated in the map below.

1. Tennessee (Nashville)

As explained above, Nashville has played the most vital role in the formation of underground country roots, from the Outlaw country music movement in the mid-70′s, to the revitalization of lower Broadway beginning in the mid-90′s, and today with the Muddy Roots Festival just an hour east in Cookeville, Nashville and Tennessee remain the major Muddy Roots epicenter, including the up-and-coming east Nashville, home to many venues supporting underground musicians, and the home of Hank Williams III, arguably the most important musician to the formation of a country music underground.

2. Austin, TX

As the”Live Music Capitol of the World” and a huge music town, Austin follows only Nashville in it’s importance to Muddy Roots music. Home to Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Scott Biram, Dale Watson, and many other underground roots musicians, as well as one of the epicenters of the original country music Outlaw movement and a lot of independent music infrastructure, Austin is a vital epicenter in underground roots.

3. The North Mississippi Hill Country

It’s not just any old blues that builds the nexus between blues and country into that unique underground roots concoction, it is a specific type of blues from the north Mississippi Hill Country. Fat Possum championed the sound of artists like RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, T Model Ford, and many others beginning in the early and mid 90′s. That sound has since been picked up and combined with punk by artists like Scott Biram, The Ten Foot Polecats, Restavrant, and The Black Keys to form what is more commonly referred to today as “Deep Blues”.

4. Michigan – (Detroit, Flint)

On the surface maybe one of the most unlikely epicenters for country and roots music is also possibly one of the most vibrant. The home base for artists like Whitey Morgan & The 78′s, Rachel Brooke, The Goddamn Gallows (Lansing), as well as a vibrant local scene with bands like Some Velvet Evening, Michigan has grown just about as many underground roots acts as anywhere else. To grow good roots bands you need support, and events like the legendary “Honky Tonk Tuesdays” at Club Bart in Ferndale created the community and collaboration that have allowed Michigan roots music to thrive.

5. The Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin)

The Upper Midwest is the proving ground for many early and influential Muddy Roots bands, including the Gothic country stalwarts Those Poor Bastards from Madison, WI, the premier punk/bluegrass .357 String Band from Milwaukee, and Trampled by Turtles from Duluth, MN. When you throw in Michigan as an Upper Midwest state as well, the region becomes one of the strongest in the country for roots music.

Minnesota was also the scene of the crime for the original Deep Blues Festivals, and is the home of Chris Johnson, the founder of Deep Blues, and the owner of Bayport BBQ, a blues-based venue near St. Paul. Along with Weber’s Deck in French Lake, MN, they make Minnesota an Upper Midwest roots haven.

6. Arizona (Phoenix)

It only seems appropriate that one of the places where Waylon Jennings began his legacy from would years later become an underground country epicenter. The original home of Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, and a must-stop for touring bands going to or coming from The West Coast, Phoenix feels like home for many, and is home to artists like Ray Lawrence Jr. , Junction 10, and “Valley Fever” every Sunday night at the Yucca Tap Room. Hillgrass Bluebilly events are where many underground roots artists would meet for the first time, sparking collaborations on albums and tours that created a coagulating effect in an otherwise spread-out movement.

7. The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is like a factory for underground roots talent. Bob Wayne, Larry & His Flask, McDougall, James Hunnicutt, Hillstomp, and Brent Amaker are all from there, and the list goes on and on. And then when you start digging deeper, many artists who are now based out of other places originated from there, like some of the original members of BR549. Both Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson did time in the Pacific Northwest early in their careers. And we can’t forget the punk world’s Eddie Spaghetti and the Supersuckers started doing country side-projects in the late 90′s and collaborated with Steve Earle.

Bluegrass is big in the area, and there seems to be a kindred spirit between the rainy west and the deep South because of the rural life and landscape, and because many of the original settlers of the Northwest were originally from the South. With a population that tends to support the arts and music, and many specific neighborhoods and venues and festivals like Pickathon that cater to the roots scene, the Pacific Northwest is one of underground roots’ biggest power players.

8. Montana

Montana may look like a lowly outpost on the map, but it played a vital roll in the formation of underground roots in the mid to late oughts, specifically with a promotion company called Section 08 Productions putting together the “Murder in the Mountains” tours. By bringing together artists from all around the upper part of the country like Rachel Brooke, JB Beverley, .357 String Band, Bob Wayne, Slackeye Slim and others, they were one of the first to take the theoretical underground roots scene, and give it some substance. Section 08 Productions has since morphed into Farmageddon Records, and is still based in Montana.

 9 – California

California has always been the force in country music just behind Nashville and Texas, and that counts for underground country and roots as well. Where California played a key role in the formation of underground country was the interjection of punk influences and the transition of punk fans. Mike Ness of Social Distortion, Jon Doe and Exene Cervenka from the band X doing country side projects in the 80′s and 90′s is what led to the punk/country nexus. The Devil Makes Three from Northern California were one of the very first bands to bring a punk attitude to string music, The Pine Box Boys from San Francisco were one of the pioneers of Gothic bluegrass, and Los Duggans from LA were an important Deep Blues band.

10. North Carolina

Boasting some great music towns and big time roots music labels like Rusty Knuckles, Ramseur Records, and Yep Rock, North Carolina can make the case for itself as having the best music music scene and the most infrastructure right behind the big boys of Nashville and Austin. It also doesn’t hurt that one of the most successful roots acts in recent history, The Avett Bros., call North Carolina home.

11. Chicago, IL (Bloodshot Records)

Chicago will always be a big important part of underground roots as the home of Bloodshot Records. Bloodshot was one of the first labels to put their money where there mouth was in 1994, being “drawn to the good stuff nestled in the dark, nebulous cracks where punk, country, soul, pop, bluegrass, blues and rock mix and mingle and mutate.” As home to artists as important and wide ranging as Justin Townes Earle, Scott Biram, and Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Bloodshot Records’ impact and influence will always make Chicago a roots epicenter.

12. Central Florida

The scene in Central Florida is young, but burgeoning. Being the home of artists like the legendary Ben Prestage, Lone Wolf OMB, The Everymen, and many more, Florida is primed to become one of the underground country and roots hot spots.

13. Lawrence, Kansas

As a college town with a music school, Lawrence, KS is one of the best mid-sized music towns out there. Lawrence brings the support for live music, and not just for the usual college-town indie rock fare. It is home to bands like the long-running Split Lip Rayfield, and the high energy Calamity Cubes, and some of the coolest music venues you can find, like the Jackpot Music Hall, 8th St. Tap Room, and The Bottleneck.

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Other important epicenters: Little Rock, Arkansas, and specifically the legendary Whitewater Tavern. Bloomington, Indiana, a big music and roots town, and home to Austin Lucas, Davy Jay Sparrow, and many more. And Denver, CO, home to Slim Cessna’s Auto Club amongst many others.

Mar
22

Bob Wayne’s “Till The Wheels Fall Off” & Duet w/ Hank3

March 22, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  49 Comments

Country music madman, the Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne has just announced he has a new album coming out May 22nd, 2012 (April 9th in Europa) from Century Media called Till The Wheels Fall Off, and that the album will feature a duet with none other than Hank Williams III called “All My Friends” that will be released MONDAY (3-26-12). ***UPDATE – Song has been released and can be PURCHASED HERE.

“When I recorded my first album Blood to Dust, I had about 30 songs written to choose from.” Bob explains. “The next two albums I recorded were a lot of older songs that I had in the bank. Then with the Century Media release of Outlaw Carnie we made kind of a “best of” album. I can tell you this, this album is EXACTLY where I’m at right now in life!”

Bob Wayne began his country career after years in metal bands when touring with Hank3 as a guitar tech. Wayne and his song “Working Man” appeared on Hank3′s 2008 album Damn Right, Rebel Proud as a duet. His new album, just like all of his albums, was recorded by Hank3′s steel guitar player Andy Gibson, and Hank3 had a little input as well.

“I had just gotten home from 312 shows in 17 different countries with no break. The day I got home Andy and I started breaking everything out and getting it going. My ears were completely burned out from touring so hard and I had gone over to his (Hank3′s) house to play him some tracks and he gave it a listen. It was pretty funny because I thought we were almost done mixing, and he looked over at me and goes, ‘Wheres the acoustic guitar?’ Then I started really listening and he was right!”

Though Andy Gibson has always recorded Bob Wayne’s albums, Bob explains that the process has evolved dramatically over time.

“Back then we were recording on an 8 track machine. The next two records were also done in this fashion. As Andy helped with several more Hank 3 albums and a Goddamn Gallows album and several .357 String Band records, his studio became more and more advanced, better mics, more recording knowledge, better gear all around, etc. Also through the years I was touring constantly on these songs and I became more confident in my singing. I think that’s pretty obvious in the performance differences from my early recordings to now.” 

“The funny thing is when I hear people talk about really liking the old cd’s and now that Century Media signed us were all overproduced or whatever, that’s really funny to me because they have nothing to do with the recording except give us money (laughing), it is still just me and Andy in here grinding it out. The biggest difference in the way we recorded back then and the way we record now is we track the drums and bass and acoustic guitar and vocals live. Before we didn’t have enough equipment to do that so we had to record everything one at a time. I really like recording the foundation of the record live as it is more true to what we actually sound like.”

Along with Hank3 and Andy Gibson, Wayne also had help on the album from Donnie Herron (BR549, Bob Dylan) on the title track that was written at the 2011 Muddy Roots Festival.

“It was at Muddy Roots hanging outside my camper one night. Brook from The Calamity Cubes happened to be walking by and Jean “La Diabla” from Holland was there as well. We ended up writing the song together right there in the campgrounds! A few fans even stopped by and listened! “Spread My Ashes On The Highway” is probably my favorite song on there. It actually kind of got me chocked up while writing it. The lyrics about all my friends quitting their jobs and hitting the road to travel and have fun kind of got to me. I actually wrote most of that driving by myself down some highway in Holland after playing the last show of a 312 day run.”

Jan
3

What 21 Artists Are Planning To Do In 2012

January 3, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  17 Comments

I think at this point it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that in 2012 we’re all going to die of death. You know, that whole Mayan thing. But I thought just to be on the safe side, just in case we all don’t die, we’ll probably want to listen to some music, so wouldn’t it be cool to know what some of your favorite artists have planned for 2012. So I asked them to tell us in their own words.

Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory is…

…working on a new project we’re just gonna call ‘merica. Gonna come out in chapters or volumes, haven’t decided. Songs about real ‘merica. Shitload of new songs. Also shit load of touring. Nationwide February and March.

Possessed by Paul James is…

…balancing two aging dogs, two little sons, 500 Elementary aged children, 4 chickens in coop & 1 debilitated claw toe while releasing a 10″ LP and new full length album. We also hope to be coming to your town whether in France, Tennessee or Canada. RAR RAR 2012!

Roger Alan Wade is…

…recording a new album, “The Last Request of Elijah Rose” – it’s a prequel to “Deguello Motel”. -I’ve got the songs written and just been playing them at home and sneaking a few in on shows getting ‘em broke in for the studio. This one feels good. And hittin’ the road a little more this coming year.

McDougall is…

…going to put out a new album, spend thousands of miles on the road, and meet the girl of his dreams (not necessarily in that order).

Ray Wylie Hubbard is…

Even as a child Ray Wylie Hubbard sensed the need for a hymnal for grifters. In 2012, he will release an album entitled “The Grifter’s Hymnal” consisting of 11 new original songs and a ringo starr cover; therefore fulfilling a life long quest and hopefully defying the Mayan calender.

Bob Wayne is…

…rollin till the wheels fall off …..(insert train whistle)!!! Yeeeehaaw!!!

Rachel Brooke is…

…heading back into the studio to release an analog full length record. And touring more. Also heading to the west coast where the 2012 earthquake will probably kill me.

Sturgill Simpson of Sunday Valley is…

…planning to win…period.

Ruby Jane is…

…going to remember the importance of loved ones and of being there for them no matter the circumstances. That is the most important thing I leaned from 2011.

Whitey Morgan & The 78′s are…

…gonna play over 200 shows, just like we always do. See you at the honky tonk.

Adam Lee & the Dead Horse Sound Company are…

…already hard at work on a new release. We’re also hitting the road once the snow thaws. IN,IL,OK,AR,LA, and TX are up first. We’ll see ya this Spring!

Jayke Orvis is…

…hittin’ the studio, hittin’ Europe, and hittin’ Baby Genius in the penis.

Austin Lucas is…

…working on a follow up to “A New Home in the Old World”,  tentatively with Tennessee legends Glossary as my backup band. I’ll also be heading into the studio with my family this summer for our first ever, official “Lucas Family Band” album. Heading out on the road in a few weeks.

James Hunnicutt is…

…going to kill the world with kindness in 2012 in a rootsy, metal sorta’ way ;)

JB Beverley of the Wayward Drifters is…

…2012 is going to be a big one for me. I have the new Wayward Drifters record, my solo project, the Little White Pills, and Ghostdance. No rest for the weary nor the wicked!

Peewee Moore is…

…releasing his 2nd full length all original album in the Spring to be followed by a 100 + American City Support Tour.

The Ten Foot Polecats are…

…releasing their 2nd album in spring/early summer and will be touring the west coast, southwest, and southeast in early August and a possible movie appearance may occur if all goes well.

Slackeye Slim is…

… planning on doing a bunch of writing, and trying to get a band together in time for a summer tour of the US.

Lonesome Wyatt of Those Poor Bastards is…

…praying for the destruction of mankind and releasing many more hit songs.

Lone Wolf is…

…gonna be working on a new album which should be ready by February, touring the whole southeast with four other acts on a tour named “The Dukes of Juke Tour”, and also will be playing austin in march. His schedule is getting busier by the day…thats right folks, keep yer eyes and ears peeled cause the one man banjo speed demon may be coming to a town near you!!!!!!!!!

Derek Dunn is…

…putting out “Poisonous Serpents”, and touring around the U.S. and Europe.

Olds Sleeper is…

…releasing an album on Sunday, January 1, 2012 in preparation for the intended self-pocolypse of said year. “New Years Poem” will be free.

Willy Tea Taylor is…

…going to throw a perfect 9 innings during the wiffle ball game of his life.

Dec
31

Initial Lineup for 2012 Muddy Roots Festival Europe

December 31, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  13 Comments

2012 will go down as the year that the roots music revolution went transcontinental, as the Muddy Roots Festival heads over to the Old World to storm the beaches of Europe with a ridiculous lineup of talent. Though the festival is happening in Europe, it will mostly feature American acts, similar to the lineup of the original American Muddy Roots Festival going down in Cookeville, TN August 31st-September 2nd, but a few European acts will be featured as well.

“The inspiration for doing a festival over there came from the fans,” according to Muddy Roots promoter Jason 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.”

The invasion will go down June 9th and 10th, at the Cowboy Up Steakhouse Saloon in Waardamme, Belgium. Please note this is the initial lineup. More bands will likely be added later, and other bands currently on the list could change.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Dec
19

Album Review – Ray Lawrence Jr. “Raw & Unplugged”

December 19, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  18 Comments

Before we get started here, let me just address the folks that will say the only reason I’m doing a review for this album is because Hank Williams III included some of Ray Lawrence Jr.’s songs on his latest Ghost To A Ghost/Guttertown release. Well of course that’s the only reason I’m doing this review, and it’s the only reason I know Ray Lawrence Jr. exists, and it’s the only reason this album exists.

And I’ll even take it step further and say even though I liked the songs entitled “Ray Lawrence Jr.” on Hank3′s album as maybe a bootleg or something you nab off of YouTube, I didn’t think they were worthy of including on a serious release. Frankly, these days I’m apt to look at many Hank3 decisions with cocked head, like a cocker spaniel looks at you when you loudly pass gas. But what the Ray Lawrence/Hank3 tracks did was got us to pay attention to this artist, and after listening to Raw & Unplugged, it is hard to say anything except that Hank3 once again deserves credit for playing pusher for another relatively unknown artist who wholeheartedly deserves the recognition.

As the title of this album implies, this is Arizona-based singer/songwriter Ray Lawrence Jr. with just him and his guitar. The album was quickly put together after Hank3 released Ghost To A Ghost, to meet the demand Hank3′s exposure created. It is in this context you must judge and listen to this album. Some albums are recorded raw and unplugged as a purposeful approach to create a desired aesthetic. This one is done more out of time and necessity.

However you want to look at the approach, this is some of the best true country songwriting I have heard all year. I am floored folks. I’ll be honest with you, knowing the context of this album going in, I didn’t think it had much chance to charm my little music heart, but that is exactly what it did. Ray’s songs are just so true, honest, well-written, and authentic, it makes his adeptness at song craft absolutely undeniable. And screw the fact that there’s no accompanying instruments here, who needs them. The strength of song is enough to make this album accessible despite it’s sparseness.

Ray is an example of how songs about truck driving and divorce will never get old in country music, as long as they’re being sung by someone who sings from personal experience, and with heart. Songs like “Check’s In The Mail” and “Just Kick My Ass To Texas” work in that timeless country manner of conveying simple wisdom through wit. “There’s Another Cheatin’ Heart” was my favorite track from the album, from the way Ray uses the simple countryism “off somewhere” to draw you in with it’s authenticity. And songs like “My Hurtin’ Will Be Done” show that Ray isn’t just about engaging lyrics, but also has a great ear at structuring the music around the mood he wishes to convey.

Ray’s guitar playing is great for the solo acoustic context; not just cord strumming, but not over noodling either. Good walks up and down, and the rhythm and cords are always present. And his voice is one of those aged, authentic instruments of song that so many a young man can try and duplicate, but aside from William Elliot Whitmore, can never match. In places the edges of the notes are frayed just so from the years of drink and smoky bars, but there is still a strength to it, and a desert twang that Ray wields with confidence. There is a little David Allan Coe to his vocal delivery.

From Homeless To Hank3: The Story of Ray Lawrence Jr.

I don’t mean to keep going back to the context of Ray’s Hank3 connection, but something I can’t drive home enough is how country this album is. This isn’t some Hellbilly kick or punk meets country as some may assume from seeing Hank3′s name, this is an album you could play for your grandmother, and you know what, she might like it. No hard language, just simple, universal country themes and stories that touch your heart from their authenticity.

Is this album like a “best of” from a songwriter whose been going at it for decades, and put all his top notch material together making a follow up an inevitable letdown? Will Ray exploit this opportunity Hank3 has given him as artists like Lucky Tubb, Bob Wayne, and Those Poor Bastards did before? Time will tell, but what I am hear to tell you right now is Raw & Unplugged is top notch. And as a pure country singer/songwriter album, I highly recommend it.

Two guns up!

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Preview Tracks and Purchase Ray Lawrence Jr. Raw & Unplugged

Purchase from CD Baby

Dec
8

Saving Country Music’s Essential Albums for 2011

December 8, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  46 Comments

So here it is, the list of albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2011 listening. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. There are a few more good and important albums in 2011 that have yet to be reviewed, and there is a list of some of them at the bottom. Aside from the first few albums mentioned, which should be considered close runners up to the SCM Album of the Year (which includes albums not on this list), the albums are in no special order.

And as always, your feedback is encouraged. What are your essential albums? What did we miss? What was released in 2011 that deserves a review? Please leave your feedback below.

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Rachel BrookeDown In The Barnyard

Every year, there is going to be one album that gets screwed out of being a nominee for Album of the Year. Even if I double the amount of nominees, still the line is drawn somewhere, and that next album on the list is the odd one out. Last year it was Jayke Orvis’s It’s All Been Said. This year it is this amazing offering from Rachel Brooke. Call it 2011′s “Most Essential” album.

You can tell Rachel has studied many modes of classic country, not just some. I hear Charlie Louvin, not just Hank Williams. I hear The Carter Family, not just Johnny Cash. And the themes are not just from the 1950′s, but the 1850′s as well. There’s no big branches for you to grab on to and say, “Hell yeah, this is the kind of country I like!” but the originality embellishes the album to such a more magnanimous degree. (read full review)

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The Boomswagglers- Bootleg Beginnings

Another album I wouldn’t argue with you over if you wanted to call it the best of the year. One of the most authentic albums of 2011 for sure.

The music is wildly entertaining and deceptively deep. If you’re going to be a Boomswagglers song, someone’s got to die, and likely a woman. Some may find this silly, monotonous, or even offensive, but you have to listen beyond the lyrics, and unlock the carnal wisdom that is hidden in these songs. They were Boomswagglers, and that low form of living is ever present in every note on this album.(Read full review)

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Lone WolfLone Wolf OMB

Probably the album with the most original approach in all of 2011; something nobody else has done before. And at the same time, it is the most viscerally engaging. Excellent album you’d be foolish to overlook.

The first time I turned this album on, I was out of my chair, stomping my foot on the floor, banging my head, making a complete ass out of myself for the entertainment of the four walls of the Saving Country Music headquarters. It made a music virgin out of me again. (read full review)

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Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day TroubadoursDel Gaucho

One of the best of the year, and one of the best from Lucky Tubb. In Del Gaucho, you really feel like he has found his voice and sound.

So many other artists and bands, to take this same selection of covers and originals and record them, it would just come across as cheesball retro country with it’s anachronistic language and outmoded style. But Lucky Tubb has a swagger that makes him immune to such concerns. To him, this isn’t playing country like it used to be done, this is playing country like it is supposed to be done. (Read full review)

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Husky BurnetteFacedown in the Dirt

The best album of 2011 from the Deep Blues side of things in my opinion.

This is music to get you moving. I can’t listen to this album at home. I’ll get flying around and break things. I can only listen while driving, with a foot pumping on the gas pedal to the groove. If somebody was listening to this album and wasn’t at least bobbing their head or tapping their foot, the next thing I’d do is put a mirror in front if their mouth. (read full review)

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Nick 13Nick 13

This solo country project from psychobilly’s Tiger Army is certainly essential, and one of those albums that was not on your radar at the beginning of the year, but you’re still listening to at the end of it, especially the essential songs of “101,” “Gambler’s Life,” and an updated version of “In The Orchard”.

With Nick 13′s first self-titled release, he hasn’t just stuck his foot in the door of country music, he’s kicked the door down. This is a good one folks! The California native’s brand of country is hard, with a lot of Western influences mixed in to the instrumentation and lyrics, contrasted with his soft and delicate, but deliberate voice. (read full review)

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Ugly Valley BoysDouble Down

Another surprise album out of left field that has become one of the year’s best.

So many bands try to imbibe their music with a vintage feel and Western space by using copious amounts of chorus or reverb. Guitar player, singer, and songwriter Ryan Eastlyn takes the road less traveled with the use of moaning, melodic chorus lines that are so excellent, they vault this band from a relative unknown to one responsible for one of the better albums put out so far in 2011. (read full review)

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Cody Canada & The DepartedThis Is Indian Land

I was surprised to find out a few months after reviewing this album that not many Cross Canadian Ragweed fans, or critics for that matter have much use for this album. I have to respectfully disagree. Quit wanting what you’re used to expecting from Cody Canada, and start listening to what he is offering. There is a little fat here, but This Is Indian Land also has some of the best songs put out all year.

This is one of the funnest, freshest, well-written, well-produced albums to come out this year. There’s good songs, good performances, and it’s bold. While still sounding relevant and un-obscure, Cody and The Departed were able to stay out of the well-worn grooves that run like tired veins through so much of mainstream music. (read full review)

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The Dirt DaubersWake Up, Sinners!

Along with Larry & His Flask’s All That We Know, I’m afraid these are the two albums being grossly overlooked this year.

I love this album. You may look at the track listing and ask yourself why we need yet another version of “Wayfaring Stranger”. The answer is because the great Col. JD Wilkes has never done one before. A perfect mix of classics and originals, don’t just pigeon hole this project as just another rag tag bluegrass bit, there a lot of hot jazz, rockabilly and blues mixed in with the old time string band approach. (Read full review)

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Larry & His FlaskAll That We Know

Larry & His Flask from the ultra hippie nouveau town of Bend, OR have been making the rounds on the live circuit for years now, leaving legions of disciples and gallons of sweat behind at every stop. Putting out as much energy as any band has in the history of ever, and a lineup that necessitates shoving multiple tables together at every restaurant the tour van stops at, LAHF’s live show is impressionable to say the least.

Along with all the other elements, LAHF build their music using dark cords and unusual, unintuitive changes and progressions that give them a unique sound beyond any traditional string or punk music. (Read full review)

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Willy Tea Taylor- 4 Strings

If you’re a tragic, tragic audiophile like myself, then you understand just what a blessing it is when out of the blue you discover an artist that really speaks to you, and it opens a brand new vein of music for you to enjoy for years to come. This is the experience most people come away with when hearing Willy Tea Taylor for the first time.

Like so many albums that take the stripped down approach, there is just less to criticize, allowing the pureness of the music to flow. I cannot give you one reason not to like Willy Tea Taylor or 4 Strings, only reasons you’d be a fool for not loving it. (Read full review)

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Slim Cessna’s Auto ClubUnentitled

When this album came out early in the year, it was the frontrunner for Album of the Year. At the end of the year, it still holds up. Slim Cessna is not for everyone, and his take on pop music may make this album even more obscure, but it is nonetheless genius and engaging.

At first I didn’t know what to make of this album. In places, this is the most accessible, most non-dark music they have ever done. There are many bands that if they had put out an album like this, grumbles of “going mainstream” or “selling out” would be heard. But The Auto Club is so weird, so fey to begin with, being more normal actually makes them even more weird than they were before, adding to the mystique and mythos behind the band. (read full review)

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Hank3Guttertown

Still can’t get into Ghost To A Ghost, the first album of this double album set, but the second album is solid from beginning to end.

The first record in the 4 record salvo from Hank3 Ghost to a Ghost felt very much like business as usual in the post-Straight to Hell era. But Guttertown is where Hank3 gets it right by doing the same thing he did in the early and mid oughts, following his heart, defying any expectations for sound and genre, and letting his creative passion flow. Simply put, this is the best album Hank3′s put out since his 2006 opus. (Read full review)

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Jason Boland & The StragglersRancho Alto

One of the standouts in both Red Dirt and real country for 2011.

The heavy thematic focus on Texas and Oklahoma in Red Dirt music is what has made the movement strong throughout that region. It’s also what keeps it from progressing beyond. I’ve always believed that good songwriting allows you to look past proper names, and delve into the meaning of what a songwriter is attempting to convey. Jason Boland does this in Rancho Alto. (Read full review)

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Scott H. BiramBad Ingredients

When it comes to one man bands, Scott H. Biram is the franchise. He is the top of the heap, the one that inspired so many others. He’s tussled with semi trucks and spilled his guts out on the highway just like he’s spilled his guts out on countless stages all across the Western world until he earned that glorious ‘H’ in the middle of his name.

Biram may deliver his best album yet, and possibly one of the best albums in this calendar year, buoyed by one of the year’s best songs in the aforementioned “Victory Song”. With Bad Ingredients, Scott H. Biram simply delivers. (read full review)

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Tom WaitsBad As Me

One of the most pressing questions I’ve seen about his music in the context of his new album Bad As Me is if it should be considered “roots” or “Americana.” 7 years ago, when Waits put out his last real original album, I would have probably said no, but loaded with qualifiers. Today my answer would be “absolutely.”

What can I say, it’s Tom Waits, and he’s better than everyone else. It’s pretty much unfair and bullshit, but that’s just the way it is. All other artists, back to the drawing board with you. There has never been another artist worthy of the title of “transcendent” than Tom Waits. (Read full review)

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Olds Sleeper – I Will Follow You To Jail

Olds has a few other albums out in 2011 including Plainspoken which SCM has yet to review, but I Will Follow You To Jail may be the best primer to get you in touch with this genuine and prolific songwriter.

Unless you frequent a few small music circles in the underground world, you may have never heard of the artist Olds Sleeper, but that doesn’t diminish the argument one can make for him being one of the best songwriters of our generation. Of course, saying anyone is the “best” of anything is always disputable, but numbers are not, and by the numbers, Olds is indisputably one of the most prolific songwriters out there. (Read full review)

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Gillian WelchThe Harrow & The Harvest

I firmly believe that one of the problems with modern music is that there’s too much of it. So to see Gillian Welch wait 7 years to put out an album, is refreshing, and wise. But time and patience don’t guarantee a good album. What does is excellent songwriting, and that is exactly what Gillian delivers in The Harrow & The Harvest.

This album is one of those that needs multiple listens before you can fully appreciate it, but once it sticks to your bones, not listening to it enough will not be an issue, because you might need a pry bar to get it out of your player. (Read full review)

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Little Lisa DixieLittle Lisa Dixie

One of the few that made the Essential List that was not rated “Two guns up,” but belongs here from the strength of the songs.

With her first self-titled album, Little Lisa Dixie is helping make the case that in independent/underground country, 2011 might be the year of the woman. With surprisingly good, classic songwriting, excellent use of texture, and solid instrumentation, she has made the album that her fans have waited years for be one that is well worth the wait. (read full review)

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Bob WayneOutlaw Carnie

The first thing you need to appreciate about Outlaw Carnie is that it is country. Forget that it’s on a metal label, and that Hank III’s name is being put out there for context. There’s no fusing of metal and country here. There’s no sludgy BC Rich or Flying V guitars, no screamo, cookie monster lyrics. There’s banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, brushes on snare, if there’s any drums at all.

I would assert that Outlaw Carnie is better than good. It is great, and worthy of affording Bob Wayne the much wider audience that his music deserves. (Read full review)

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Jimbo MathusConfederate Buddha

There’s no pretentiousness in Confederate Buddha, no premeditated attempt to appeal to demographics. Just like Gram once explained to Emmylou about country music, the beauty of Jimbo’s songwriting is in the simplicity.

Confederate Buddha is yet another exercise in what Jimbo Mathus does best: Delving auspiciously into various styles of classic American music, while blurring the lines between them and injecting his deep-rooted Mississippi blood. It continues and perpetuates the music mythos of Mathus as a genuine student and steward of American roots music, and a Mississippi and National treasure. (Read full review)

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Sunday ValleyTo The Wind And On To Heaven

First and foremost Sunday Valley is a live band, and that is how they approached this recording. The guitar is unapologetically loud and heavy–kind of the Stevie Ray approach of simply not worrying about what people say, just continue to do it until that is what you’re known for. This is about the loudest and heaviest you will hear guitar that still has the identifiable country “twang.”

Sunday Valley is definitely worth your consideration and raising a blip on your radar, because mark my words, I have a feeling that this will not be the last time you will hear about this band, from me or others. (Read full review)

Other albums yet to be reviewed:

The Goddamn Gallows7 Devils

Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy SpooksHeartsick

The Damn QuailsDown The Hatch

Other albums many folks recommend & received positive SCM reviews:

Dale Watson – The Sun Sessions

Lydia LovelessIndestructible Machine

William Elliot WhitmoreField Songs

Eilen JewellQueen of the Minor Key

Nov
21

.357 String Band is Breaking Up

November 21, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  50 Comments

Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s .357 String Band, one of the stalwarts and one of the first full-time bands in the underground country movement, has decided to call it quits. Their high-octane “streetgrass” approach to traditional bluegrass music made them one of the top-tier live and recorded acts in all of underground country, and afforded them a big following in Europe as well. Their album Fire & Hail was the Saving Country Music Album of the Year in 2008, and the band is where underground country All-Star Jayke Orvis got his start.

According to the announcement from the band’s Facebook page, the decision was made when songwriter and banjo/fiddle player Joe Huber, who released a solo album last year Bury Me Where I Fall, decided to leave the band.

Dear Fans, Friends and Family – It breaks my heart to have to make this announcement, but November 25th and November 26th will be The .357 String Band’s final two shows. Joe has decided that the aesthetic of The .357 String Band no longer represents him; he will be returning to school to study woodworking, and pursue his own musical interests part time. The other 3 of us could not agree on a way to continue The .357 String Band without him.

Keep an eye out for solo projects/tours/etc, and we may occasionally make an announcement or two on here. Thank you all so much for the support over the years, it has meant the world to me. I hope to see you all at one or both of the shows next weekend, so we can celebrate 7 years of Streetgrass, whatever the hell that means…..

Word is guitarist, songwriter, and front man Derek Dunn has a solo album in the works, and is planning a tour to Florida and back this Winter. Stay tuned to Saving Country Music for any further developments.

The band went through some high profile drama in June of 2009, when they let go mandolin player Jayke Orvis. Jayke went on to make the first record on the Farmageddon Records label It’s All Been Said, and join the band The Goddamn Gallows. He was replaced by Billy Cook. The .357 String Band has also toured as the backup band to Bob Wayne.

It truly breaks my heart to read this news. The .357 String Band was one of the elite acts of underground country, one of the best bands to see live, and possibly the best ambassadors and examples to the rest of the world of the type of quality in songwriting and musicianship that the independent country boasts. Their music, influence, importance are truly irreplaceable.

Mar
17

Bob Wayne On American “Outlaw Carnie” Tour

March 17, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  19 Comments

The Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne can go toe to toe with just about anybody when it comes to dedication to the road and touring. When his recent album Outlaw Carnie came out through Century Media on January 25th, he was touring in Europe, and has been over there since. Well now he’s back, and with little rest he will be hitting the road on an American tour in support of the new record, and in the latter half of April, in support of the legendary Wayne “The Train” Hancock as well.

You can find the dates below the tour poster with links to add them to a Google calendar if you have one, and remember these dates and ALL concert dates from Saving Country Music’s core bands can be found on the SCM Calendar as well.

03/25/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Montgomery, Alabama 1st Annual Lost Highway Tattoo Music Expo
04/01/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in San Antonio, TX Bonds 007 Rock Bar
Time: 8:00pm.
04/02/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Ft.Worth, Texas The Wild Rooste
Time: 8:00pm.
04/07/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Las Vegas, NV Dive Bar
Time: 8:00pm.
04/10/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Fresno CA Audie’s Olympic
Time: 12:00pm.
04/11/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Ridgecrest, CA Mickey’s Pub and Grill
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: Free!.
04/12/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Columbia, CA Donny D’s Waterwheel
Time: 12:00pm.
04/15/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Portland, OR The Ponderosa Lounge
Time: 12:00pm.
04/16/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Seattle, WA Slim’s Last Chance Saloon
Time: 8:00pm. Box office: 2067893599. Address: 5213 Ballard Avenue Northwest. Venue phone: 2067893599.
04/17/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Kennewick, WA Jacksons Early Pig Roast! PARTY!
Time: 8:00pm.
04/19/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Salt Lake City, UT The Garage
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: Free!.
04/20/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Mt. Pleasant , UT Triangle Bar
Time: 8:00pm.
04/21/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Gunnison, CO Last Chance Saloon
Time: 9:00pm. Age restrictions: No Minors. With Wayne Hancock!
04/22/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Grand Junction, CO TBA
Time: 12:00pm. With Wayne Hancock
04/23/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in 4335 West 44th Avenue Denver, CO 80212 The Oriental Theater
Time: 12:00pm. with Wayne Hancock
04/24/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Fort Collins, CO Bar SS
Time: 8:00pm. w/ Wayne Hancock
04/27/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Sioux Falls, SD Boonie Bar
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $10.
04/28/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Minneapolis, MN Lee’s Liquor Lounge
Time: 12:00pm. Address: 101 Glenwood Ave. N. With Wayne Hancock
04/29/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Rochester MN TBA
Time: 12:00pm. with Wayne Hancock
04/30/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brew Co
Time: 12:00pm.
05/01/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Pekin, IL Bottoms Up
Time: 12:00pm. Address: 431 1/2 Court St. Venue phone: (309) 642-6488.
05/02/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Evansville, IN Gloria’s Corral Club
Time: 8:00pm.
05/04/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in St.Louis, Mo Gramaphone w/ Wayne Hancock
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: $10/$12. Advance tickets on sale at www.thegramophonelive.com
05/05/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Carbondale, IL Hangar 9
Time: 12:00pm. with Wayne Hancock
05/06/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Springfield, MO Lindberg’s
Time: 8:00pm. w/ Wayne Hancock
05/07/11 Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies in Tulsa, OK Marquee
Time: 12:00pm. Address: 222 N. Main. with Wayne Hancock
Mar
15

Hank III Colored Vinyl For Record Store Day

March 15, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  55 Comments

The small promotional idea that has now become an international event every Spring called Record Store Day is picking up steam for it’s 2011 edition. Observed on April 16th this year, far from just a good excuse to locate and patronize your local record store, it has also become a good excuse for many bands around the world to promote themselves with limited edition vinyl pressings, and “split” projects with different bands to help introduce different artists to different fans.

Country has been the very last of the major genres to embrace the revitalization of vinyl, with one exception: Hank Williams III, who has been releasing his records on vinyl for years, and has his full catalog available in the format. In conjunction with Record Store Day this year, 700 limited-edition colored vinyl copies of his albums Risin’ Outlaw, Lovesick Broke & Driftin’, Straight to Hell, Damn Right Rebel Proud, & Rebel Within will be made available.

In theory they will only be available through local record stores, but I have said this before about Hank III vinyl and then turned out to be wrong. Some stores will probably stock them on shelves, some you might be able to pre-order the editions through.

However, just like the controversial Hank III release Hillbilly Joker, these albums are not being done with the blessing of Hank III, but are being released by Curb Records to continue making money off an artist that is no longer on their label, and by selling music many fans already have. This puts Hank III in a moralistic jam. If they buy these sought after albums, they are supporting their local record store, but at the same time they are supporting Curb Records, and going against the wishes for the man whose name is on the front.

“Don’t but it, but get it some other way and burn the hell out of it and give it to everyone.”

…is how Hank III has asked his fans to handle Hillbilly Joker

Other country projects on vinyl as part of Record Store Day:

Justin Townes Earle – Move Over Mama 7″

Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive 7″

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Class Mythology EP 2 x 7″

William Elliot Whitmore – POS 7″

See Up-To-Date Release List

Other Recent Vinyl Projects:

Bob Wayne / Exodus Split EP

Black Eyed Vermillion / Goddamn Gallows “Swappin’ Spit” Vinyl

Feb
22

Upcoming Tours For Hellbound Glory, Lucky Tubb

February 22, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  33 Comments

Well the country is finally starting to thaw from the double arctic blast of a few weeks back, some to get another blast all over again, others to see green buds peek out from under the brown, birds fluttering on thawing branches, young ladies basking their pallid skin in the inviting warmth, and for me, the non-stop lovemaking of an infestuous pair of raccoons living in the crawl space under my house. Yes Spring is beginning to sprung, in some places at least, and as highways are reopened and paroles lifted, the great mass of musicians get ready once again to hit the open road.

Of greatest importance to Saving Country Music, this includes the 2010 Album of the Year winner Hellbound Glory, and fast-rising neo-traditionalist Lucky Tubb & his Modern Day Troubadours. Full tours have just been announced from Road Bound Booking (see dates below), as well as additional dates for Wayne “The Train” Hancock & Bob Wayne. (See full Road Bound Booking calendar).

You can find all of these dates as well on the Saving Country Music Calendar, which has been very adequately saved from the depths of neglect by Gillian The Benevolent Calender Goddess. Right now the Google calendar system is the best thing for keeping people informed and from missing concert dates. You can use them to view dates, or if you want to be more involved, you can set up your own Google calendar to add dates with a click. We will continue to try to do everything we can to keep you informed about concerts here in this post-MySpace Apocalypse environment!

More dates could be added to either tour.

Hellbound Glory Tour

Date City Venue
03/10/11 Hellbound Glory in Salt Lake City, UT The Garage
03/17/11 Hellbound Glory in Ft. Worth, Texas The Wild Rooster
03/18/11 Hellbound Glory in Austin, TX SXSW
03/19/11 Hellbound Glory in Austin, TX SXSW
03/25/11 Hellbound Glory in St.Pete FL Dave’s Aqua Lounge
03/26/11 Hellbound Glory in Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Monterey Club
03/29/11 Hellbound Glory in Fayetteville, NC The Black Cat Lounge
03/31/11 Hellbound Glory in Cookeville, TN JD’s Sandwich Shop
04/01/11 Hellbound Glory in Lexington, KY Green Lantern
04/02/11 Hellbound Glory in Fort Wayne, IN The Brass Rail
04/06/11 Hellbound Glory in Lawrence, KS Jake’s Place (formerly the Gaslight)
04/07/11 Hellbound Glory in Hill City, KS Cowboy Junction
04/15/11 Hellbound Glory in Portland, OR The Ponderosa Lounge

Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours

03/17/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Tulsa, OK Marquee
03/18/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Springfield, MO Lindberg’s
03/19/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Carbondale, IL Hangar 9
03/20/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Evansville, IN Lanhucks Bar
03/22/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Fort Wayne, IN The Brass Rail
03/23/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Chicago, IL Martyrs
03/24/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Grand Rapids, MI Billy’s
03/25/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Kalamazoo, MI -TBA Kalamazoo, MI -TBA
03/26/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Circleville, OH Tootles Pumpkin Inn
03/29/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
03/30/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Buffalo, NY Sportsman Tavern
04/01/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Kingston, NY The Basement
04/02/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Portland ME Portland ME – TBA
04/03/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in New York, NY Rodeo Bar
04/06/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in DC Hill Country
04/07/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Fayetteville, NC The Black Cat Lounge
04/08/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Huntington, WV V Club
04/09/11 Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours in Lexington, KY Green Lantern
Feb
19

Wayne Hancock on SCM LIVE / Ruby Jane on ACL

February 19, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Podcasting/Radio  //  20 Comments

TONIGHT, Saturday (2-19) on Austin City Limits, PBS will be re-running the episode from 2009 of “Willie & The Wheel”, the mashup of Willie Nelson, and the legendary Western Swing band Asleep At The Wheel. At that time, my tip top, rising artist to watch right now Ruby Jane, was a member of “Willie & The Wheel” and performs and is showcased throughout the episode. Only 14-years-old at the time, she not only holds her own on a stage filled with legends like Willie Nelson, Ray Benson, Mickey Raphael, at times she steals the show! You can only imagine where her talent is now, two years later!

You don’t want to miss this episode, if not for Ruby Jane, than for Willie and Ray Benson, but if you do, you can watch the archive of the entire episode.

And then THIS SUNDAY, 2-20-2011, none other than Wayne “The Train” Hancock will be on Saving Country Music’s live streaming channel, aka SCM LIVE, for a streaming video concert, with his full touring band at 6 PM Central! That’s right folks!

This is a special edition of Jashie P’s Outlaw Radio, and it will be coming LIVE from Chicago. Hancock is in the midst of an upper Midwest swing (check dates below) and is stopping by for a performance and interview.

So after your done watching Dale Earnhart Jr. get his ass kicked at the Daytona 500, get a big bowl of popcorn, the refreshment of your choice, duct tape the kids to the bed post and get your ass over here for a FREE Wayne Hancock concert from Jashie P’s living room to yours!

Go To SCM LIVE!

Wayne Hancock tour dates:

2/23
Midway Tavern
Mishawaka IN
2/24
The Brass Rail
Ft. Wayne IN
2/25
Billy’s
Grand Rapids MI
2/26
Fitzgerald’s
Berwyn IL
2/27
Oneida Bingo Casino
Green Bay WI
3/1
Oneida Bingo Casino
Green Bay WI
3/2
High Noon Saloon
Madison WI
3/4
Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland OH
3/5
Tootle’s
Circleville OH
3/6
Foobar
Nashville TN
Jan
30

Album Review – Bob Wayne’s “Outlaw Carnie”

January 30, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  68 Comments

The first thing you need to appreciate about Outlaw Carnie is that it is country. Forget that it’s on a metal label, and that Hank III’s name is being put out there for context. There’s no fusing of metal and country here. There’s no sludgy BC Rich or Flying V guitars, no screamo, cookie monster lyrics. There’s banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, brushes on snare, if there’s any drums at all. A third of these songs don’t have any electrified instruments whatsoever. This isn’t today’s country, this isn’t even your daddy’s country. This is your grand daddy’s country, and if it’s close to Hank III, it’s the Hank III circa 2000-2005, not 2008-present.

The lyrics are where one might say there is a “metal” or “punk” approach, but this is just on some of the songs, and even then, these songs don’t stray too far from what you might hear from Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, or David Allan Coe. The album cracks open with a solitary banjo from Daniel Mason (Hank III), and the second song opens with the fiddle of Billy Contreras, leaving no doubt this is a country project. There is no lip service paid to metal fans or anybody else to assuage you that country can rock. On Outlaw Carnie, Bob puts his country songs out there with a bold “take it or leave it” attitude.

I don’t envy Bob and producer/engineer Andy Gibson (Hank III steel player, too many other accolades to list) for taking on the task of trying to one-up songs that many core Bob Wayne fans have come accustomed to the original versions of. Only a handful of the tracks are totally new to the world. And honestly, the talk of, “Ah, we cut those old versions quickly in the back of the motorhome and sold them in Ziploc bags” made me bristle. I happen to like those home spun recordings, and home spun recordings in general. One could even make the case that the underground country movement was created from the interface of artists and technology that allowed them to record DIY. The heart of the song is what I’m after. I guess a good recording is better than a bad recording, but make sure you mine the heart of the song above all. The rest is aesthetics.

Without question, the new versions of the songs are much more full, much cleaner and polished, fleshed out and thought out. If you listen to the new version and then the old one right after, you get a similar effect of looking through a dirty windshield vs. a clean one. But this is dangerous territory. It’s not unusual for me to use the term “polished” as a negative thing, but I have to say, overall, the new versions are better. Much better. And what is remarkable is it’s the same artist, same engineer, and some of the same players of the older versions. I think this is what gave Bob Wayne an advantage. Put him in an antiseptic studio with a bunch of strangers and we may of watched these songs die before our very eyes. Put him in Andy Gibson’s house with Andy Gibson calling the shots, and they thrived. Andy knows these songs. He recorded them the first time, he’s played them live out on the road. He knows where they need to be, and the proof is in the finished product.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bob Wayne may be the best pure songwriter of our generation. But you have to listen. I know that sounds obvious, but the key to appreciating Bob’s music is taking the time to listen to it. There’s two versions of Bob Wayne: the rowdy version, and the introspective version. If you just take a whiff of his music, you’ll probably end up in the “meh” camp who just heard one of his rowdy songs and thought he was hokey. I’ll put the songwriting of “Blood to Dust” and “Reptile” up against any. “Estacata” is a track easy to overlook, but illustrates that Bob is not only good, but versatile and multi-dimensional as a songwriter. Where most of his songs deal in stark language with a bellicose approach, “Estacata” proves he can work in subtleties and deep soul as well. Even a song like “Road Bound” might be mistaken as simply a rowdy ego trip, but lyrics like “All my friends are family, my family is my life,” prove Bob can work in depth no matter the context.

Bob is a storyteller. Whether the story is totally true, like in “Blood to Dust,” or fictitious like in “Work of the Devil,” he has a confident knack of being able to create characters, make you care about them, and then have them do all manner of crazy things, and usually in less than five minutes. Don’t let the “meth snorting, running from the cops” lyrics or the aviator sunglasses and bandanna cloud your judgment. What is going on here is on the Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson level of songwriting. Yes, Bob has many more skins to hang on the wall to keep that company, but in his short sample, this is the caliber of the quality.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve always been more for the deep Bob Wayne songs than the devilish ones, and on the whole, the middle child of his three independent releases 13 Truckin’ Songs was my least favorite. But man, this version of “Mack” made me understand what he was getting at with this song, and may have even risen my estimation of all his rowdy songs by proxy. “Everything’s Legal in Alabama” is a silly song, but clever and engaging nonetheless. And how cool is it that Wayne “The Train” Hancock lent his name to this song and this project, and that it was co-written by Derek Dunn of the .357 String Band, once again highlighting the influence of that band that once backed Bob on a full tour.

The Bob Wayne naysayers are really going to hate me for this one, but I think Bob understands good and evil and the relationship between them from a heightened level, in many ways like Johnny Cash did, who Bob gives some credit to for helping save his life. The Cash-esque song “Reptile” is probably the easiest example of this, but God is not referenced in this album just to be damned, but is given credit, for saving his life, or having a master plan, or allowing him to move on from previous sins. A song like “Driven by Demons” marks the antithesis maybe, but that is where Bob resides, somewhere in the struggle between good and evil. He’s a felon and a drug addict, a former drug addict that is. He’s sober now, but willing to sack anything with a heartbeat. Good and evil wrestle for his soul, and the souls of the characters he creates, and this is what makes the Bob Wayne musical perspective so original, insightful, and entertaining.

One thing that drove me a little crazy was it felt like Bob was over-singing at times. Maybe this is a symptom of my brain bending to the worn, comfortable grooves of the older song versions, or maybe a symptom of Bob trying to outperform the old and occasionally over-emphasizing, but if this is the case, this may be the singular place where old vs. new came into play. I’ve never been much for compilation or tribute albums because the first version of a song that I hear is usually to one I like best; it fits like a broken-in pair of boots and the offshoots usually just feel weird. But I was surprised how quickly I latched onto these new versions and wonder now if I could go back. This also speaks to all the great players Bob assembled to flesh these songs out.

From a behind-the-scenes standpoint, this is a very important album. As former and current metal kids flock to these type of hard country bands that are filling the vacuum that Nashville’s pop approach has left in the heart of America for authentic country music, and meanwhile the music industry is going through uncharted contraction and reorganization, how this album is received according to many different parameters might spell how labels and artists proceed for years to come. I’ve seen the comments of metalheads whining that this project found its way on to their beloved Century Media. In some respects I can’t blame them–we fight for purity around here too. But the key to Bob Wayne is you must listen, I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s not metal; no need to be a master of the obvious. The question is, is it good?

I would assert that Outlaw Carnie is better than good. It is great, and worthy of affording Bob Wayne the much wider audience that his music deserves.

Two guns up!

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Purchase Outlaw Carnie CD For Only $8.00

Preview Tracks & Purchase Outlaw Carnie from Amazon

Also, to fully understand Bob Wayne, you have to let yourself succumb to his sense of humor.

Jan
24

Interview w/ Darren of Farmageddon Records

January 24, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  16 Comments

Sometime in 2006, out of the blue I got a friend request on MySpace from a site called “Montana Section 08 Productions.” I had no idea who these folks were, but I was a fan of the robust underground scene that was forming in country music, spearheaded by Hank III, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, and Dale Watson.

As anti-Nashville and neo-traditionalist music was finding support in a grassroots audience on MySpace, many new bands and artists were beginning to jump on this bandwagon, many of which used to be involved in punk and heavy metal bands. I had heard of some of these new bands before, others I had their CD’s or had seen them live. But when I went onto this Section 08 MySpace site, that is when it dawned on me, that there was massive movement of music brewing that had not been there a few years before. On that site were many of the core bands we talk about here every day, all in one place, with videos and links. This was the first and only place you could go and see all these bands assembled and well-represented.

That MySpace site completely changed my perspective on the music, and is what inspired me to start my own MySpace site to give these bands proper media coverage, which eventually morphed into Saving Country Music. And I remember thinking then, if we could get this small, but super-aggressive and resourceful local promoter from Montana to do his thing on a national level, how powerful that could be. With Farmageddon Records, Darren Dorlarque has done that exact thing.

I sat down with him before the James Hunnicutt, Jayke Orvis, Goddamn Gallows show (all Farmageddon artists) at Beerland in Austin on Jan. 20th to talk about how a local promoter from Montana became a record label owner and many other things. The 20-minute interview can be heard below, and I have transcribed the big points below as well.

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Triggerman: First off I need to thank you because you turned me on to so much good music. It was sometime early in the MySpace days. It was my personal MySpace page, and you friend requested me, and you turned me on to tons of music. I mean Rachel Brooke, Bloodshot Bill, .357 String Band, Bob Wayne. Not to say I probably wouldn’t have heard of these dudes eventually. But you were the first outlet where I saw all this shit in one place. One guy was saying “Look at this, these people are fighting the same fight.” It was all united. And at the time you were just a local promoter in Montana.

Darren: Bozeman, Montana. I had booked Wayne Hancock in 2006, been listening to a lot of the underground stuff for years. We brought Wayne to Montana, and that was the catalyst to getting involved and bringing more stuff to Montana, because we didn’t want to have to drive to Seattle. We wanted to bring more of the stuff to where we were at, and it just kind of spiraled out of control. The scene itself is unbelievable. At the time nobody was really paying attention to it. I definitely enjoyed what people were doing and we just wanted to bring it to Montana, and it just turned into all kinds of craziness since.

Triggerman: It started off as Montana Section 8 Productions. You did these historic “Murder of the Mountains” tours and you would bring in all these people from around the country to tour these backwater Montana towns.

Darren: It was a hobby at the time. It turned from booking a show every once in a while so we could get drunk and see these bands to to “Wow, these guys are actually really fucking good.” We just had a lot of fun with it, and I had no idea we were having any impact outside of Montana really. The artists started touring more. Everybody was really doing the right thing with music. Obviously Hank III is very responsible for making this scene what it is, because he was the guy that kicked the doors open for everybody.

Triggerman: A lot of these bands, maybe that was their first exposure out of their local scenes was your Murder in the Mountains, or maybe your MySpace, you kind of took it to a national level by just doing something online. To me, not only did it teach me about these bands, but it taught me about the impact you can have online. This is 2006. Before then there wasn’t a lot of interconnection with bands and their fans.

Darren: I think those bands speak for themselves when they play in front of people. I don’t think they knew what they were doing back then as far as the impact they were having on people. They just brought this great energy level to a bar show. They were doing it for the right reasons. I don’t think any of them knew what the hell they were doing. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I probably still don’t.

Triggerman: I remember when I first became a fan of Section 08 Productions, I thought if this guy could do what he’s doing, but do it on a national level. What the hell could happen?

Darren: It’s all Jayke Orvis’s fault. It actually started with Johnny Lawless from JB Beverley & The Wayward Drifters. I been a good friend of Johnny’s since he first started coming out to Montana. I think we were just joking about it one night, “We should start a stupid record label.” More or less we were trying to get Jayke in the studio to make an album. The way that record went down was all friends getting together to make a really good record happen. The label pretty music started at that recording session.

Triggerman: Right now, record labels are going to hell. Nobody is starting record labels, record labels are folding left and right.

Darren: The reason I think it is allowed to exist is because there is a big enough fan base. There’s going to be a lot of big things happening for the label in the near future. A lot of stuff we’ve been proposed, amazing ideas I would have never thought would come our way, that I think are really about to make this label explode. It’s great because honestly I’m tired of these guys starving for what they’re doing because they’re better than all these assholes playing these big arenas.

Triggerman: Have you heard at all about this XXX genre business?

Darren: I heard a little something about it last week, but I’ve been so busy with stuff going on with Farmageddon I haven’t been able to pay attention to stuff going on around me as I’d like to. I mean that’s really cool that he’s receptive enough and a big enough name where if he can also take this under his wing and do the right thing that cool, more power to him, that’s awesome.

Triggerman: Any new projects coming up? newrootsorder.com is your website where where you have all your merchandise and all your currents projects.

Darren: The Goddamn Gallow and Gary Lindsay Black Eyed Vermillion just did a split, it’s getting pressed as we speak, an EP that we’ve been working on for 7 months. The Goddamn Gallows are about to go in the studio again in February with Andy Gibson (Hank III steel player). James Hunnicutt has a new album out right now called 99 Lives. Highlonesome is going into the studio in March to make a new album. We’re about to put out the Slackeye Slim / Pereze Farm split. Owen Mays is working on his new album at Rebel Roots studio and it will be available this Spring. We’ve talked to Rachel Brooke about doing a project. Those are all the main projects right now.

Triggerman: Who is your favorite non-Farmageddon artist or band?

Darren: I’m really digging The Calamity Cubes right now. Actually we’ve been talking to those guys about doing something. I love Those Poor Bastards. There’s a lot of little bands out there doing really cool shit. I’m finding out about stuff every day. Keep your eyes peeled, there’s a lot of great music out there.

Jan
21

Charlie Louvin, Bob Wayne, Lucky, More to Muddy Roots

January 21, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  46 Comments

The Muddy Roots Festival happening this September 3rd & 4th in Cookeville, TN has just announced a new slew of names to their lineup, and they might be just as impressive as the initial list. Marquee names for me were the country music throwback and hillbilly royalty blood of Lucky Tubb and his Modern Day Troubadours and the Outlaw Carnie Bob Wayne (who you can now stream his latest record from in its entirety for a Facebook request).

But the one name that makes me awe struck, and humbled, and proud to see on this list, is Country Music Hall of Famer, Charlie Louvin. It made me appreciate the gravity of everything going on here, whether it is Muddy Roots, or the various discussions that transpire on Saving Country Music. What we are fighting for is the preservation of the old while forging the new,  and having him on board just adds a layer of legitimacy and importance to the whole thing. I’m getting shivers right now thinking of a Hall of Famer and a Grand Ole Opry legend walking out on that Muddy Roots stage to a standing ovation of a generation that makes it an imperative to remember the contributions of a man like Charlie.

The rest of the additions can be seen below, but I also want to alert everyone that the biggest headliner of Muddy Roots 2011 has yet to be announced, and will not be announced for quite some time. And all I can say boys and girls, is that if you have any ability to be there in September, it will be worth your time. When I heard who it was, I had to take out a spatula to scrape my jaw off the floor. If you’re worried that this lineup is a little too this, or a little too that for your taste and wish there was another big name to help seal the deal, this will be it, trust me.

Purchase tickets for Muddy Roots

New Names Added to Muddy Roots:

  • Charlie Louvin – JUST ADDED DESPITE HEALTH!
  • Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadors
  • Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies
  • Whiskey Folk Ramblers
  • James Hunnicutt
  • Viva Le Vox
  • Hellfire Revival
  • Slim Chance and the Can’t Hardly Playboys
  • Derek Hoke
  • Joshua Black Wilkins
  • Cashman
  • Black Jake and the Carnies
  • Ronnie Hymes
  • The Dirt Scab Band
  • The Spinderellas -Hula Hoop act
  • Thomas Maupin (Champion buck dancer) and Daniel Rothwell
  • Burlesque Le Moustache
  • Hans Condor
  • The Krank Daddies
  • Sasquatch & The Sick-A-Billies

And there is also talk of having a screening of the movie The Folksinger as well!

Rest of the Lineup:

  • Wayne Hancock
  • Possessed By Paul James
  • Hellbound Glory
  • Goddamn Gallows
  • Left Lane Cruiser
  • Calamity Cubes
  • O’Death
  • Cutthroat Shamrock
  • McDougall
  • Soda
  • Ten Foot Pole Cats
  • Porter Hall Tennessee
  • Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band
  • Rachel Brooke
  • The Perreze Farm
  • JB Beverley & The Wayward Drifters
  • Owen Mays
  • Scissormen
  • Rev Deadeye
  • Mark Porkchop Holder
  • Slackeye Slim
  • Highlonesome
  • Last False Hope
  • Cletus Got Shot
  • Hillbilly Casino
  • Hellbillies
  • Smokestack
  • Foothill Fury
Jan
19

Wayne Hancock & Bob Wayne on Tour / New EPK

January 19, 2011 - By Trigger  //  News  //  34 Comments

A month or so ago when I attended a JB Beverley show here in Austin, it occurred to me how much Wayne “The Train” Hancock has emerged as a leader and true elder of the music in the last year. That night he made his way on stage with The Wayward Drifters, and later collaborated with them on a song back at his house. Earlier in 2010, he cut two duets with the up and coming Lucky Tubb for his release Hillbilly Fever. And now on the upcoming Bob Wayne release from Century Media, “The Train” has lent his name once again to an emerging star.

Outlaw Carnie features a collaboration from the two Wayne’s called “Everything’s Legal in Alabama,” and you can see Bob talking about this track, and all the others on the JUST released EPK!

Bob Wayne and Wayne “The Train” are going to be heading out on tour together, check below for confirmed dates, but more dates will be added soon. It will start in April in Colorado and end in Tulsa on May 7th. Bob has another tour starting in March, and both Bob Wayne and “The Train” have some other dates just added, so make sure you go to Road Bound Booking to keep up to date on these and the other artists in their stable, which now includes JB Beverley and Hellbound Glory!

  • April 21 – Last Chance Saloon – Gunnison, CO
  • April 23 – Oriental Theater – Denver, CO
  • April 28 – Lee’s Liquor Lounge – Minneapolis, MN
  • April 29 – Eagles Lodge – Rochester, MN
  • April 30 – Rock Island Brewing Co. – Rock Island, IA (Bob Wayne only -but w/ Whitey Morgan & The 78′s!)
  • April 30 – Maquoketa, IA – Vintage Torque Fest Jackson County Fairground (Hancock w/ Whitey Morgan)
  • May 5 – Hangar 9 – Carbondale, IL
  • May 7 – The Marquee – Tulsa, OK

Bob Wayne, Wayne Hacock, Outlaw Carnies, Wayne's Band, Gina Gallina, Dog Bite Harris circa ???

Bob Wayne, Wayne Hancock, & Zach Shedd (Hank III bass player) recording "Everything's Legal in Alabama"

Del Maguey
Old Soul Radio Show
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Elam McKnight

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