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.
The Bluegrass Inn
Well apparently Jake Owen isn’t just a man of talk, he’s a man of action, and one country artist from Arizona is set to be the beneficiary of Owen’s good nature, and desire to see more substance in the format. Tony Martinez is a well-seasoned traditional country artist and touring sideman for multiple projects, and by a strange twist of fate, will be playing on Jake Owen’s Days of Gold arena tour.
Arizona, Dana Armstrong, Days Of Gold Tour, Eli Young Band, Hank Williams III, Hank3, Jake Owen, Jerry Reed, JP Harris & The Tough Choices, Junction 10, Ray Lawrence Jr., Robert Perez, The Bluegrass Inn, The Cadillac Three, Tony Martinez, Valley Fever, Waylon Jennings
Like JD Wiles of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers said in part 2 of this series, the revitalization of lower Broadway started in the mid 90’s, but it was in the late 90’s when it really became “special.” Part of the reason for that was undoubtedly the presence of hillbilly royalty, from the bloodline of the man who helped build those buildings.
As lower Broadway became a hoping place in the mid 90’s drawing talent from all around the country, competition for choice time slots at the best bars became fierce, and if you didn’t keep the patrons entertained, there was no money in the tip jar. With so much talent and so few bars and dollars to go around, competition became hyper. In this environment, talent and originality were pushed to their limits and it created some of the most dynamic frontmen in any genre of music at any time.
Exit In, Hatch Show Print, Hillbilly Casino, Jason and the Scorchers, JD Wilkes, Jello Biafra, Joe Buck, lower broadway, Nashville, Robert Plant, Robert's Western World, The Bluegrass Inn, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Ryman Auditorium
When I went to see Joe Buck a couple of weeks ago in Denton, TX, he was billed as “Hank III’s Bass Player.” Yeah, I know; people need a context to understand why a name on a calendar is something to pay attention to, but Joe Buck is so much more. To people who know his music, there is no peer to the amount of energy and passion he brings, and his songwriting reveals great wisdom once you get past the rawness of the presentation.
Pound for pound, possibly the most underrated personality in music is the frontman and founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, one Colonel JD Wilkes. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Jello Biafra of Alternative Tentacles and The Dead Kennedays who called JD Wilkes, “the last great Rock and Roll frontman.” Robert Plant is also […]