Believe it or not, you can draw a straight line between underground roots music, and Chris Stapleton becoming the most successful country music artist in the last two years in regards to awards and album sales. Let me explain how:
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers
The Muddy Roots Festival is gearing up for its 5th annual event in the rolling hills just outside of Cookeville, TN, about an hour or so from Nashville to the east for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, and boasts an impressive lineup of many country and bluegrass legends, including Del McCoury, Bobby Bare, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Peter Rowan, and an impressive under card of insurgent roots artists…
Bobby Bare, Del McCoury, Jason Galaz, Muddy Roots Festival, Muddy Roots lineup, Muddy Roots schedule, Peter Rowan, Possessed by Paul James, Ralph Stanley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ricky Skaggs, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Southern Culture on the Skids, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
Jon Hensley, an artist manager known for his work with Shooter Jennings and Wanda Jackson, has died. Recently Hensley was best known as the manager and right hand man of Waylon Jenning’s son Shooter Jennings. Along with managing the second-generation performer and regularly traveling with him on the road, Hensley helped to operate and launch Shooter’s record label BCR Media.
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf
In September of 2012, Blake Judd of JuddFilms brought a camera crew to the famous Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN to shoot a pilot episode for a television series that has never been aired. The idea was to take well-known established artists, worthy undiscovered musicians and songwriters, and stick them all in Johnny Cash’s legendary cabin with an open bar, and set the camera’s rolling.
Amanda Isbell Shires, Col, Hellbound Glory, Jason Isbell, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Joey Allcorn, John Anderson, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Judd Films, Kellie Pickler, Leon Virgil Bowers, Leroy Powell, Leroy Virgil, Rico, Scott Icenogle, Shooter Jennings, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Cash Cabin Studio, The Midnight Special
Ryan Adams was one of the unquestionable leaders of this punk-infused country music conquest, and that is why it was so disconcerting to read recently that apparently he not only does not like country music, but he apparently never has, never really cared about it even when he was playing it, and certainly doesn’t want anything to do with it now.
Trust me when I say if you go ambling through American college towns, you won’t find anything resembling a dearth of string bands with a bunch of young men and their banjos and fiddles stomping and shouting on stage. What you will find a dearth of are these bands that are actually worth listening to, at least outside of the context of a drunken college town barroom.
.357 String Band, Bill Monroe, Dinosaur Truckers, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Larry & His Flask, Review, Robert Ellis, Scott H. Biram, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Punch Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Whiskey Shivers
After his award-winning work with artists like Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, and so many more, when you see the name Dave Cobb associated with an artist, it’s probably worth paying a little bit closer attention. And such is the case when it comes to burgeoning country artist Lucette from Edmonton, Canada, who just released her first single and video.
Black Is The Color, Blake Judd, Bobby Reid, Dave Cobb, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, JD Wilkes, Lucette, Michael Johns, Otis Redding, Skeeter Davis, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Dirt Daubers
One of the hottest and most entertaining primordial string band outfits on the planet right now is the Austin-based Whiskey Shivers, and patient fans who’ve been waiting for a defining album from a band whose been tearing it up live for years are finally getting their wish. Produced by noteworthy Americana artist Robert Ellis, Whiskey Shivers will be releasing their self-titled LP September 23rd.
Of course country music must evolve, just as at times certain buildings must go if they have completely lost their functionality and the cost of preservation is not in accordance with the historic value. But there always has to be that measure, that attention and reverence paid to the past to where we don’t allow unchecked “evolution” to result in remorse of what was lost along the way.
So here it is in 2014, and though Horton Heat has already established himself as the King of Psychobilly and a god of the rockabilly world, there’s the sense that the music needed a new start. But if you venture too far away from the established sound, you solicit sideways looks from your core audience, similar to how if you keep on serving up the same sounds, the routine could become stale.
One of the great things about roots music is its Gothic legacy of cautionary tales, ghost stories, murder ballads, messages to the infirmed, and other such methods of macabre that allow country and roots artists to paint in dark colors when they so choose. This makes roots music one of the best realms to draw from when putting together your Halloween playlist.
.357 String Band, Black Jake & The Carnies, Creech Holler, Dad Horse Experience, Devil Makes Three, Filthy Still, Goddamn Gallows, Jay Munly, Jayke Orvis, Joe Buck Yourself, Joel Kaiser & The Devil's Own, Larry & His Flask, Lincoln Durham, Lindi Ortega, Lonesome Wyatt, Nick Cave, O' Death, Pine Box Boys, Pinebox Serenade, Rachel Brooke, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Reverend Glasseye, Rodentia, Serial Killer, Shakey Graves, Slackeye Slim, Slaughter Daughters, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sons of Perdition, Squidbillies, Strawfoot, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bloody Jug Band, The Dinosaur Truckers, The Haunted Windchines, The Perreze Farm, The Slow Poisoner, Those Poor bastards, Tom Waits, unknown hinson, Viva Le Vox, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys
Where 2011 felt like a high water mark year for live performances and an average year for recorded projects, 2012 feels vice versa. When I look back on 2011, it seemed like there were moments I experienced that I will never top the rest of my life. 2012 is the year that some albums and songs were released that may never be topped. Still there were a quite a few memorable performances worth noting.
.357 String Band, Anderson Family Bluegrass, Austin Lucas, Bob Wayne, Don Maddox, Glossary, Goddamn Gallows, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley, Joe Buck, Lake Street Dive, LC Ulmer, Lucky Tubb, Muddy Roots, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ralph Stanley, Restavrant, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Robert Belfour, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Calamity Cubes, Thee Oh Sees, XSXSW
I have been struggling to write this article for almost two years, but have been putting it off because there’s some hard things to say, and I didn’t want to “talk down” a movement that was already trying to deal with pretty alarming trends. But I think that especially now, zooming out and trying to be honest and critical in a constructive way is important, because there is positively no doubt that underground country is dying.
.357 String Band, Bob Wayne, Dale Watson, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Larry & His Flask, Leroy Virgil, Muddy Roots, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Reinstate Hank, Reverend Horton Heat, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Goddamn Gallows, Those Poor bastards, Underground country, unknown hinson
The first year of the Muddy Roots Festival was about breaking ground. The second was about breaking even. The third year will be about breaking the mold of everything a music festival can be. Muddy Roots isn’t just a festival my friends. No. It’s an act of solidarity. It is a force of the collective Will of real roots fans united from disparate backgrounds, coming together to say “We are here, and things can work differently.”
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.
Now that we’re all able to take a deep breath after the Justin Townes Earle breakdown in Indianapolis and his subsequent tour cancellation and rehab stint, there’s a few things that need to be said, first and foremost being that with all the allegations and points of justification out there, and with legal matters pending, it is the responsibility of ALL of us to assume that Justin Townes Earle is innocent until he is proven guilty.
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers are proof positive that even bands on the fringes of punk and psychobilly are more country than mainstream country these days. Frontman Col. JD Wilkes has the heart of Hasil Adkins, the body of Lux Interior, and more knowledge and wisdom of the ways of country music than all of the […]
Hank III’s latest record Rebel Within to be released May 25th is now available for preview through Amazon.com, where you can listen to ALL the songs, IN THEIR ENTIRETY! Just CLICK HERE, and navigate over to the player on the right. You’ll want to get over there and get your listen on ASAP, because the […]