“Hard to Be an Outlaw (Who Ain’t Wanted Anymore) came from one of the wild conversations with my roughhouse, rounder, one and only, real brother. Far as I’m concerned, straight shooting, greatest entertainer, songwriter, kickass, lives life to the hilt, outlaw who ever lived – or will live - my best friend, Jackson Taylor.” - Billy Joe Shaver.
Jaime Wyatt’s newest release Felony Blues, whose title is a nod to records like David Allan Coe’s Penitentiary Blue, is largely an autobiographical collection of convict love stories, prison songs, and honky-tonk laments.
Wyatt is a striking figure with an old soul and a voice like a force of nature. Regardless of genre, the Los Angeles-based Wyatt is a dynamic performer, who sails naturally between vintage ‘60s and ‘70s country/rock ’n’ soul anthems and heartfelt country ballads of love and corruption. Country radio station 95.3 The Bear recently named her, alongside Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price, as “one of the country artists you may not have heard of, but need to hear.”
Robbie Fulks is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from NPR and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations, for folk album and American roots song (“Alabama At Night”).
Fulks was born in York, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a half-dozen small towns in southeast Pennsylvania, the North Carolina Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge area of Virginia. After 1980s stints playing with Greg Cahill’s Special Consensus Bluegrass Band and teaching at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, Robbie worked as a staff songwriter on Music Row in Nashville (1993-1998). His early solo work includes the influential early "alternative-country" records Country Love Songs (1996) and South Mouth (1997). His music from the last several years hews mainly to acoustic instrumentation; it returns him in part to his earlier bluegrass days, and extends the boundaries of that tradition with sparely orchestrated reflections on love, the slings of time, and the troubles of common people.
Radio: multiple appearances on WSM’s “Grand Ole Opry,” PRI’s “Whadd’ya Know” and “Prairie Home Companion," NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Mountain Stage,” and “World Cafe.” TV: PBS’s Austin City Limits; NBC’s Today, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Carson Daly, and 30 Rock. Artists who have covered his songs include Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Hiss Golden Messenger, Andrew Bird, Mollie O’Brien, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s. Festivals he’s played include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Calgary Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, Birmingham City Stages, IBMA, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield KS), Wakarusa (Lawrence KS), Americanafest (Nashville), Hideout Block Party, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, Rhode Island Rhythm and Roots, Whispering Beard, and Pickathon.
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ASHEVILLE, NC — Raw, soulful, and with plenty of swagger, Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival. The hearty base of Town Mountain’s music is the first and second generation of bluegrass spiced with country, old school rock ‘n’ roll, and boogie-woogie. It’s what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life both on stage and on record and reflects the group’s wide-ranging influences – from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon, and Merle.
Dallas Moore’s old-school country sound developed honestly, following over 20 years of sharing stages and studios with his honky-tonk heroes. Satellite radio support, paired with a willingness to perform over 300 shows a year, finds the seasoned veteran positioned to reach the Americana masses with his forthcoming album Mr. Honky Tonk.
Tastemakers have taken note already, with the Dallas Moore Band crowned the Ameripolitan Music Awards’ 2017 Outlaw Group of the Year. The award came after three prior nominations for the band No Depression credits with bringing “hangovers and excitement to outlaw country fans everywhere.”
Recent career strides caught the attention of producer/country-music heavyweight Dean Miller, son of Roger Miller and an accomplished songwriter himself, having penned tunes with George Jones, Hank Williams III, Jamey Johnson and more. Miller entered Baird Music Group’s Nashville studio with Moore and his band to record what was originally planned to be a five-song EP. “Out of all the things we’ve ever done, I think Dean captured what I do way better than anyone else we’ve ever worked with,” Moore says. “It was the best recording experience I ever had.”
The EP turned album after its barnstorming title track—a song Moore actually wrote 20 years prior—gained serious traction on Sirius XM satellite radio’s Outlaw Country channel. The album’s other tunes came more recently, all of them written in the past year and a half, making them clearer snapshots of how sharing stages (and rounds of shots) with his country-music idols has impacted his songwriting. “In the last several years, I’ve been real blessed to tour with a lot of my songwriting influences, and they’ve helped me improve my craft,” Moore says. “Guys like Dean Dillon, Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard have been so supportive. It’s really cool when your heroes become your friends, and that’s what happened in the past several years.”
Moore’s stage show—already seen in years past by fans of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd—has improved with every opportunity to open for an iconic country or Southern-rock artist. “If you’re playing in the slot before Dean Dillon,” Moore says, “You’d better not suck.”
Another crew of country luminaries performed on the album, including harmonica legend Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Chris Stapleton), famed Nashville session bassist Michael Rhodes and pedal-steel master Steve Hinson. “We walked in to the studio and saw all of these incredible players lined up,” Moore says. “I thought they were there to play with someone else!”
Even with such ample backing, the main attraction on Mr. Honky Tonk is still Moore and his deft skill as a songwriter and lyricist. Like so many of his inspirations, he’s an ace at spinning relatable stories. On “Killing Me Nice and Slow,” he weaves an impactful tale of lost love (“It’s a long way down when you’re higher than a Georgia pine on love and whiskey the night before / Then you hear the slamming of the door”). From there, Moore puts his spin on time-tested country tropes such as celebrating place (“Texahio,” a nod to splitting time between Texas and his native Cincinnati) and balancing Saturday-night hellraising with Sunday-morning God praising (“Shoot Out the Lights”).
Moore’s mother—a bluegrass and gospel performer herself—bought her son his first guitar when he was 16 years old. Before that, sports had been his first priority. “My big claim to fame back in those days—one year I beat out Ken Griffey Jr. for the most home runs in the league,” Moore says. “But then I got a guitar the next year, and I quit—I walked away as a winner!”
A few years later, Moore enrolled at Northern Kentucky University to study jazz and classical guitar. But he found his true calling in a less high-brow environment around the same time, performing on the local bar scene in a country house band. Multi-night stints playing classic covers set a precedent for the Dallas Moore Band’s sound and unrelenting tour schedule. And Moore’s gruff vocals have made him an ideal singer of songs about hard luck and harder living as far back as his 1991 debut LP, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.
Once Mr. Honky Tonk arrives in February, expect Moore to play nonstop in support of his new album. He played a whopping 327 shows in 2017, and that was without an album to promote. Who knows, he might just play solo or with his band every single night in 2018.
For the past twenty years, Chuck Mead has been at the forefront of what has come to be known as Americana Music. Raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck has been a professional musician since the age of 13 playing in his parents country band and then leading several roots rock outfits in the midwest most notably the Homestead Grays. He landed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway in 1993 where he co-founded the famed ‘90s Alternative Country quintet BR5-49. The band’s seven albums, three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act of 1997 built an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide. Chuck has also co-produced popular tribute albums to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured at Vanderbilt University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville’s top song publishers. In 2008, he was the Musical Director/Supervisor for the Broadway/West End musical Million Dollar Quartet (which broke the record in Chicago for longest running musical) and acted in the same capacity for the CMT television show Sun Records producing all the re-recordings of classic rock n roll, country, and blues. He has released three solo works starting in 2009 with his acclaimed solo debut album, Journeyman’s Wager on the Grassy Knoll Records label, and continues tour clubs, concert halls and international Rock, Country and Rockabilly festivals with his band The Grassy Knoll Boys.
Chuck’s acclaimed 2012 release, Back At The Quonset Hut (Ramseur Records), was recorded at Nashville’s legendary Quonset Hut Studio where Patsy Cline, George Jones, Merle Haggard Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and more cut some of country music’s greatest tracks. Produced by original BR549 producer Mike Janas and with the participation of students from Belmont University’s College of Entertainment and Music Business, the album of classic covers features surviving members of Music Row’s original ‘A Team’ studio musicians Bob Moore, Harold Bradley, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, and Buddy Spicher as well as guest appearances by Old Crow Medicine Show, Elizabeth Cook, Jamie Johnson and Bobby Bare.
2014 ushered in Free State Serenade, on Nashville-based Plowboy Records. Produced by long-time ally and friend Joe Pisapia (kd Lang, Ben Folds Five) and featuring BR5-49’s Don Herron, and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Critter Fuqua, Free State Serenade is Chuck Mead’s love letter to his home state of Kansas.
Chuck is currently working up new material for a 2018 record release and still oversees two Million Dollar Quartet productions and is developing some new theatrical stage shows.
The Spell Sisters & Duke's Indy team up to present Spells & Spurs
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