Featuring three days of live performances, local organizers didn’t take their chances booking expensive mainstream names with dodgy talent and tired acts. Instead the festival is doing what many regional festivals all around the country are doing, which is drawing their entertainment from the riches of the Texas and Red Dirt.
MIke and the Moonpies
Texas and Red Dirt music isn’t just for folks in Texas and Oklahoma. The title of the music may imply that it’s a regional thing, but the appeal is international, and the talent is world-class. No matter where you are, Texas/Red Dirt is a much more healthy alternative to the mainstream.
Brass Tacks, Bri Bagwell, Cody Johnson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Kaitlin Butts, Micky and the Motorcars, MIke and the Moonpies, Scooter Brown Band, The Dirty River Boys, The Lowdown Drifters, The Piedmont Boys, Tylor and the Train Robbers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Wild Hare Country Fest
Memphis, Tennessee was overrun this weekend with throwback hillbillies, Outlaw roughnecks, and Rockabilly Daddy-O’s/Susie Q’s as part of Dale Watson’s 6th Annual Ameripolitan shindig and awards show. The event culminated in the 6th Annual Ameripolitan Awards.
It will never be the easiest festival to get to for anyone. It’s certainly not the cheapest when it comes to ticket prices, accommodations, or incidentals. But what’s for certain after the second year of Mile 0 Fest in Key West, Florida, is that this is Texas and Red Dirt’s premier musical event each year.
Adam Hood, Adam Kurtz, American Aquarium, Bonnie Bishop, Carter Sampson, Charlie Robison, Cody Canada, Corb Lund, Courtney Patton, Garrett Bryan, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, John Fullbright, Ken Pomeroy, Kevin Fowler, Kylie Ray Harris, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, The Band of Heathens, The Mavericks, Trampled by Turtles, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Wade Bowen
The Turnpike Troubadours are not done yet. This was the news coming out of Mile 0 Fest last weekend in Key West, Florida, where the Oklahoma-based Red Dirt country band was scheduled to play, but cancelled the appearance last minute along with multiple other shows.
Legend will be told for years henceforth about the time that Mike and the Moonpies joined with Jamie Lin Wilson for a select group of shows in Texas called the January Jamboree. Nobody expected this: a rare Texas tornado in January that left the crowds raving about how these shows were some for the history books.
Saving Country Music’s home festival, and the place where Sturgill Simpson was discovered, a.k.a. the Pickathon Festival just outside of Portland, OR has just announced their initial 2019 lineup, and it includes a lot of worthy names from the country and roots world and beyond who will assemble at the Pendarvis Farm.
Naming the best live performances of a given year is not the same exercise as naming the best songs, albums, or artists, because it is specifically dependent on the experiences of the individual making the list. But it’s still an important exercise.
Billy Strings, Brandi Carlile, Charley Crockett, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, I'm With Her, Jaime Wyatt, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jesse Daniel, Joshua Hedley, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, MIke and the Moonpies, Molly Tuttle, Randall King, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
In the humble estimation of Saving Country Music, 2018 has been the second bumper crop year in a row for excellent, top shelf efforts in country music. To reflect that, the number of nominees for Saving Country Music’s vaunted Album of the Year recognition has been pushed to its capacity of 10 once again.
American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke, Caitlyn Smith, Cody Jinks, Colter Wall, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dillon Carmichael, El Coyote, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Lori McKenna, MIke and the Moonpies, Pistol Annies, Randall King, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Tom Buller, Whitey Morgan and the 78's
As albums for cover-to-cover listening, most movie soundtracks can be quite tedious, even if the music is good, and even if the movie holds a favorable grade. But some soundtracks are so good, you can enjoy them without having even seen the movie.
As we move past the musical halfway pole for 2018, it’s time once again to look back in the rear-view mirror and see what has wowed us the most so far. Along with some excellent albums that will go on to be considered for some of the best all year, the spring of 2018 has also revealed itself as one of the busiest release periods for in years.
Benefiting The Young Texans Against Cancer, the 10th Annual Lone Star Jam held forth at the rodeo grounds in Austin, TX over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th and 27th. Saving Country Music braved the heat to take in the festivities and snap a few photos.
Bri Bagwell, Cleto Cordero, Dalton Domino, Drugstore Gypsies, Flatland Cavalry, Gary Allan, Jaime Wyatt, Kody West, Laura Jane, Lone Star Jam, MIke and the Moonpies, Parker McCollum, Randall King, Randy Rogers, Read Southall, Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue, The Randy Rogers Band, Troy Cartwright, William Clark Green
Perhaps Mike and the Moonpies are the greatest true country band out there right now. They at least deserve to be in that discussion. But what is hard to argue is that Mike and the Moonpies are the band out there right now where the attention their music deserves is woefully out-of-whack with how many people know about them.
Man has it been a frenetic last few weeks with the amount of marquee album announcements we’ve had for 2018’s most anticipated records, along with some excellent songs unveiled ahead of the releases. There’s also been the actual release of a couple of stellar albums that may go on to be crowned some of the best in all of 2018.
Mike and the Moonpies’ “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose” has the Sizzle Country Music’s Salivating For
It’s the local flavor, the authenticity, the dedication to themselves, their fans, the music, and the true-to-life dues paid by Mike and the Moonpies that make them darn near the perfect embodiment of the Austin, TX dance hall and dive bar band so many want to emulate, but so few want to put in the sweat or make the sacrifices to actually become.
Cody Jinks will release a new record in 2018. It will be named Lifers and it will be delivered in “no later than June.” And we also know it will be Cody Jinks, because that is who he is, and what he does. The other thing Cody Jinks has is a plan, and a fan base.
Man do we have a few doozies to add to the Saving Country Music Top 25 Current Playlist, amplifying an already jam packed lineup that’s hard to know what to let go of just to add the best of what’s new. But somehow, someway, space must be made for a few stellar new song releases.
When you come across someone making traditional country music for a living, you know they’re not focused on fame and treasure. If anything they must be a glutton for punishment. But when you have a passion that can’t be quenched by compromise, it’s better to scrape by doing what you love than succeeding at what you hate.
If you’re looking for an authentic Austin, TX honky tonk band as opposed to . . . I don’t know . . . some rich Californians looking to exploit the mystique and romanticism of such a thing, then the first place to start looking might be Mike and the Moonpies.
Call it cautious or guarded optimism, but after the abomination that was the 2016 Houston Rodeo musical lineup led by folks such as Luke Bryan, Pitbull, and Florida Georgia Line, and where only one artist with Texas ties and only one female performer were booked (and both were Miranda Lambert), they couldn’t go any lower, that’s for sure.
Aaron Watson, Bri Bagwell, Cameran Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Conno, Curtis Grimes, Darrin Morris Band, Flatland Cavalry, Hoss Mayfield, Houston Rodeo, Jason James, John Baumann, Josh Ward, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, No Dry County, Randy Brown, Texas Renegade, The Strayhearts, Wade Andrew Smith, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top
Now that we are well into May, many people are wondering where the announcement for Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic is. The country music institution, started in 1972 with the Dripping Springs Reunion (not officially held on the 4th) has been going strong ever since, despite skipping a couple of years here and there.
For every officially-sanctioned event, there’s two more that squeeze in where they can and try to keep the original spirit of SXSW alive, including the now 8th Annual Brooklyn Country Cantina, which boasts a stacked 2016 lineup including Sam Outlaw, Daniel Romano, Possessed by Paul James, The Quebe Sisters, Mike and the Moonpies, and many more.
Along with the frequency of incidents involving bands being burglarized, it’s been the brazenness of the thieves, and the high-profile nature of the incidents that has put Houston in people’s crosshairs for not being hospitable to touring musicians.
On Monday, the official lineup for the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was “announced” by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Perhaps the aeronautical histrionics were a bid to distract everyone back on Earth from the fact that this year’s lineup is the most mundane, most mainstream-centric and generic pop tart Kellogg’s cereal assemblage of plastic talent ever accrued on this beautiful blue planet.
Abbi Walker, Billy Currington, Bri Bagwell, Cole Swindell, Cooper Wade, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rodeo, Jamie Richards, Jason James, JB and the Moonshine Band, Josh Ward, Justin van Sant, Little Big Town, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Sam Riggs, The Band Perry, Trent Willmon, Wade Bowen, Zane Williams