The quality of talent was never the concern about FairWell Fest, and the weekend was one killer set after another. The concern was always about a big out-of-town promoter coming into local-oriented Central Oregon and taking over.
Shane Smith and the Saints
The appeal for independent country has become so robust, we now have megafestivals sprouting up all across the country to cater to the fans of this music. But the first, and still the biggest of these events is Under The Big Sky Festival.
Archertown, Bella White, CAAMP, Charley Crockett, Colby Acuff, Colter Wall, Cristina Vane, Drayton Farley, Elle King, Gabe Lee, Hank Williams Jr., Izaak Optaz, Jamie Wyman, Kat Hasty, LeAnn Rimes, Marcus King, Nikki Lane, Radio Ranch, Ryan Bingham, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Dead South, The Helnore Highwater Band, The Local Honeys, The Texas Gentlemen, Under The Big Sky Fest, Vincent Neil Emerson, Whiskey Myers, Yellowstone, Zach Bryan
If you’re heading to Whitefish, Montana or are already there, congratulations, you’re about to experience one of the greatest assemblages of talent in independent country and roots music that happens all year.
49 Winchester, Archertown, Charley Crockett, Christina Vane, Colby Acuff, Drayton Farley, Helnore Highwater Band, Hogslop String Band, Jamie Wyman, Kat Hasty, Molly Tuttle, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Local Honeys, The Red Clay Strays, Under The Big Sky Fest, Whiskey Myers
One of the reasons independent acts have been rising in popularity to rival and even surpass their mainstream counterparts in popularity is due in part to events like the Jackalope Jamboree.
Aaron McDonnell, Buffalo Kin, Charles Wood III, Corb Lund, Dirty Laundrery, Eli Howard, Eli Howard and the Greater Good, Hamley's, Jackalope Jamboree, Jade Jackson, Jeremy Ivey, Jesse Dayne and the Sagebrush Drifters, John Cannon, Joshua Fleming, June Clivas and the Ditty Boys, Kaitlin Butts, Kelsey Waldon, Mac Cornish, Mareil Buckley, Margo Cilker, Margo Price, Michelle Moonshine, Pendleton, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Raina Wallace, Rob Leines, Ryan Bingham, Shane Smith and the Saints, Summer Dean, Tannery Usrey, The Lowdown Drifters, The Texas Gentlemen, Vandoliers
Now Central Oregon will have their own country and roots festival, and it may have one of the best lineups of any independent country event all year. Called the FairWell Festival, they have just announced their inaugural lineup for their July 21-23 festival at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.
49 Winchester, Bella White, Charles Wesley Godwin, Charley Crockett, Drayton Farley, FairWell Festival, Jackalope Jamboree, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, Morgan Wade, Pickathon, Shane Smith and the Saints, Trampled by Turtles, Turnpike Troubadours, Wild Hare Festival, Willie Nelson, Yola, Zach Bryan
Over the last eleven years, one of the major events worth seeking out as a refuge from the madness is Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion held at his ranch just west of town … if you’re lucky enough to be able to get in. Held on the Thursday of SXSW every year (which puts it on March 16th in 2023).
Aaron Vance, Black Opry Revue, Doug Sahm, Drayton Farley, Jaime Wyatt, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Katie Pruitt, Leon Russell, Luck Reunion, Rattlesnake Milk, Shane Smith and the Saints, Shawn Sahm, Sierra Ferrell, Terry Allen, Willie Nelson, Willis Alan Ramsey
Aaron McCune can not only can handle the bass parts to iconic country songs from The Oak Ridge Boys and others, he can go even deeper, and this is bringing the important element of four-part harmonies with bass in country music to a new generation. He’s a member of Dailey & Vincent.
Aaron McCune, BlackHawk, Dailey & Vincent, Duane Allen, Gold City Quartet, Harold Reid, Joe Bonsall, Josh Turner, Key Western Fest, Merle Haggard, Pam Tillis, Paul Overstreet, Richard Sterban, Sawyer Brown, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Trace Adkins, William Lee Golden, Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd
Mile 0 Fest has established itself as one of the premier destination events in all of country and roots music, especially if you’re into the Texas/Red Dirt side of things. Now after six years, Mile 0 Fest has its own traditions, it’s own nucleus of loyal patrons and regular performers, and a heap of fond memories.
Adam Hood, Alden Hedges, American Aquarium, Band of Heathens, Ben Danaher, Bobby Texas, Bri Bagwell, Bryon White, Caleb Melo, Chase Satterwhite, Chris Canterbury, Cody Canada, Corb Lund, Courtney Patton, Dalton Domino, Dierks Canada, Drew Harakal, Drew Kennedy, Ed Jurdi, Elysha, Heather Stalling, Ian Munsick, Jack Ingram, Jacob Stelly, Jade Marie Patek, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, Jeremy Plato, Jesse Daniel, Jodi Lyford, John Fullbright, John Goolsby, Jordan Nix, Josh Grider, Kaitlin Butts, Keio Stroud, Kevin Fowler, Kristi Grider, Kyle Carter, Kylie Frey, Lauren Morrow, Lucas Jagneaux and The Roadshow, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, Morgan Wade, Muscadine Bloodline, Parker Ryan, Pat Green, Roger Creager, Shane Boeker, Shane Smith and the Saints, Shelby Stone, Slade Coulter, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, The Damn Quails, The Randy Rogers Band, The Red Clay Strays, Then Dirty Roses, Topo Chico Cowboys, Wade Bowen
This is 2022, and artists like Tyler Childers, Billy Strings, Zach Bryan, and the Turnpike Troubadours are exploding in popularity. Add on top of that then pent up demand due to the pandemic, and we’re living in an era when you’re favorite independent artists are arena stars.
Billy Strings, Charley Crockett, Garth Brooks, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, Ticketmaster, Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, Whiskey Myers, Zach Bryan
Now in its 5th season, few need to be told just how important the soundtrack is to the blockbuster series ‘Yellowstone’, and few need to be told just how important getting a song on the soundtrack is to the artists and bands that are featured. ‘Yellowstone’ has quite literally made careers.
The band is most certainly due for a new album, and anyone who’s seen them live will confidently attest they’re one of the most spirited live bands to see at the moment as they’ve been steadily climbing the ladder of recognition toward top headliner status. But all of this might be in store for a massive jolt sooner than later.
There are now two consecutive country music festivals planned for Key West, Florida for the Winter of 2023: The 6th Annual Mile 0 Fest featuring Red Dirt, Texas, and Americana, and the 90s-centric Key Western Festival, happening the very next week.
Adam Hood, Clint Black, Cody Jinks, Courtney Patton, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Eady, Jesse Daniel, John Fullbright, Kaitlin Butts, Key Western Fest, Mark Chesnutt, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, Pam Tillis, Randy Rogers Band, Sammy Kershaw, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sunny Sweeney, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Red Clay Strays, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
The accolades and opportunities for 49 Winchester continue to pour in, as they’re quickly becoming one of the biggest emerging bands in independent country here in 2022. Riding off the momentum of their recent album Fortune Favors The Bold, the band has just released a slew of new tour dates.
Two bands from Texas who help represent just how diverse and omnivorous the music from Texas can be have just given us the first taste of new music in what will hopefully be two rousing projects to help get us through 2022: The Vandoliers, and Shane Smith & the Saints.
If you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to catch the Turnpike Troubadours on their reunion tour and got locked out of the first round of shows due to the crazy run on tickets, the opportunities to see them live just got a lot more lucrative.
Aaron Lewis, Chris Colston, Darci Carlson, Ella, Flatland Cavalry, Gordys Hwy 30 Music Fest, Granger Smith, Jackalope Jamboree, Jesse Daniel, Koe Wetzel, Kolby Cooper, Lainey Wilson, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Mitchell Tenpenny, Morgan Wade, Pecos and the Rooftops, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rob Leines, Sam Hunt, Sam Riggs, Shane Smith and the Saints, Tim McGraw, Turnpike Troubadours, Under The Big Sky Festival, Willie Nelson, Windy City Smokeout, Zach Bryan
Live music in 2021 saw its return after the worst moments of the pandemic, but only in fits and starts, with multiple postponements and cancellations wrecking many plans, yet a few important moments still going off in the windows when they could.
Billy Strings, Blackberry Smoke, Born & Raised Festival, Cedric Burnside, Cody Jinks, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Dwight Yoakam, Hogslop String Band, Jade Bird, James McMurtry, Jamie Lin Wilson, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, MIke and the Moonpies, Mike Harmeier, Mile 0 Fest, Old Settler's Fest, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Steve Poltz, Tyler Childers, Under The Big Sky Fest, Zach Bryan
Listen ladies and gentlemen, it’s not just a hypothetical that when a song gets featured on Paramount’s Yellowstone series it’s a big deal. What’s going on at the moment is a musical phenomenon helping to support independent country music.
If you need an illustration to help put into perspective how the shifting dynamics in entertainment are causing a tectonic-level reorganization of media, and how this is all weighing upon already deepening trends in country music, this might be one of the best.
It could have been a disaster, or it could have not happened at all. When Mile 0 Fest rescheduled their 2021 festival from late January to late April, a lot of dominoes had to fall their way for them to pull it off. It was a risk. But they pulled it off with flying colors.
American Aquarium, Blackberry Smoke, Cody Canada, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Hayes Carll, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland, Kyle Nix, Lucinda Williams, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, RC and the Ambers, RC Edwards, Reckless Kelly, Roger Ray, Shane Smith and the Saints, The Steel Woods, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Whight Lighters
The Texas, Red Dirt, and Americana-oriented Mile 0 Fest in Key West, Florida will be moving forward in 2021, and they have just announced the festival’s preliminary lineup. Usually occurring in late January/early February, they have moved the date later in the year due to COVID-19 concerns.
Blackberry Smoke, Bruce Robison, Jaime Wyatt, Kyle Nix, Lucinda Williams, MIke and the Moonpies, Mile 0 Fest, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, RC Edwards, Reckless Kelly, Ryan Engleman, Shane Smith and the Saints, Shovels & Rope, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
Texas-based Southern rock band Whiskey Myers is set to launch their own personally-curated festival and annual gathering for their fans called the Firewater Festival, and they have just announced the inaugural lineup. The event has been cleared by state and local officials to move forward.
Neal McCoy’s tour bus “Old Glory” is the latest to go up in flames in an early morning fire. Luckily, McCoy and all his crew were able to vacate the vehicle before the blaze overtook it, and much of their gear stowed in a separate trailer was also spared. But it is the latest close call involving touring musicians, and fires.
2019 was a stacked year for top live performances. This was supposed to be a list of the top 10 live performances, but due to such a crowded field, things boiled over. And yes, there are three #1 acts. All should be considered equals at the very top level of live performance. They were all so great, it seemed unfair to put one over the other.
Amanda Shires, Billy Strings, Bri Bagwell, Cedric Burnside, Charles Wesley Godwin, Courtney Marie Andrews, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Logan Ledger, Lukas Nelson, MIke and the Moonpies, Raul Malo, Shane Smith and the Saints, Sierra Ferrell, Tami Neilson, The Brother Brothers, The Mavericks, The Tender Things, Tyler Childers, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yola
Thursday, November 21st couldn’t have gone any worse for the Austin-based Texas music band Shane Smith and the Saints. But as word trickled out to the public of what had happened, and the harrowing pictures got passed around the internet, Shane Smith and the Saints let it be known that the show would still go on, and go on it did.