Most folks are familiar with the adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ but I was surprised to learn that not everyone was aware of what Mayflowers bring. I’ll let you ponder that for a moment while I tell you about the High on the Hog KCBS Cook-off held for the 26th year in Winchester.
The KCBS sanctioned event drew 64 teams from across the country. As the first sanctioning body for bbq, KCBS was organized in 1986 and from those modest beginnings has grown to boast over 14,000 members. As an official non-profit organization the Kansas City Barbeque Society has developed a set of rules for judging that provides the most respected form of judging in the world of bbq. KCBS provides representatives for each contest plus access two certified bbq judges who have been trained on the fine art of judging world class bbq. After all that, the judging is done using a ‘blind judging process’. (And, no, you don’t have to have trouble seeing in order to be a judge.) Without knowledge of who cooked what, judges are able to select the best ‘que’ based on the three criteria in the KCBS rule book. Being judged on taste, appearance and texture, competitions at each event for chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket keep everyone cooking! The Winchester event also included an additional category for sausage and one for desert. And as anyone ever able to attend one of these cook-offs will attest, there are great aromas coming from most all the teams.
With over $13,000 in cash & prizes available you might think this would be the main motivation for these teams to win and, while having a cash prize will make a difference, to a lot of these teams the real prize is their combined scores and striving to achieve that coveted prize - the 180 pin.
With KCBS scoring, 180 is the most points available for any particular category. The Kansas City Barbeque Society has added another prize to the mix this year with a 700 point pin! This means that a team must have an average score at least 175 in each of the four categories to qualify for a 700 pin. Two teams earned their 700 pins!
Here’s a link to the KCBS web site listing how all the teams placed. The big winners of the bbq cook-off for the weekend were:
Grand Champion: BAYOU BOOGIE BBQ with an overall combined score of 704.5712!
Reserve Champion: SMOKE ME SILLY finishing with a combined total of 700.0000!
For all you folks still pondering the ‘Mayflower’ question – understand that the word is NOT misspelled.
The real winners for the weekend were the good folks of Winchester / Franklin county and surrounding areas. Any time you have the opportunity to attend any event in Winchester you can expect to find a well-run event where folks are having a good time. Our friends in Winchester have that knack for bringing together awesome events.
You can consider this your personal invitation to attend Winchester’s 9th Annual International Dogwood Festival. This free to the public festival will feature a kids zone, arts & crafts and food vendors along with awesome entertainment. (There's a rumor floating around that they have even found a real live mermaid! Word is she'll be swimming in the kids zone.) They’ll block off the town square and you know it’ll be rockin’ when the Atlanta Rhythm Section takes the main stage on Saturday night! Four on the Floor will have things cranked up as they open the Saturday evening shows. This and all festivals in Winchester continues to impress us with their ‘Get ‘er Done’ attitude!
If you missed this year’s High on the Hog KCBS BBQ Cook-off go find a calendar for 2014 and mark it down for the 3rd weekend in April. You’ll spend the remainder of the year talking with your friends about what a great time everyone had, just like all those folks that attended this years’ cook-off. Check out their web site and you’ll find a listing of all the events associated with High on the Hog. You’ll also notice how this event is put together by the Kiwanis Club of Winchester. When the Kiwanis Club is involved you know the children of the area are the real winners! Money raised by the High on the Hog Festival & BBQ Cook-off is used to provide $4,000 in scholarships for Franklin County students as well as helping with programs such as Click It or Ticket. When an area family is unable to afford car seats for their children (and have you ever priced these things? Wow!) they are provided with one. That’s what we call making a difference in someone’s life.
If you fancy yourself a pretty good horseshoe pitcher, or want to become one, find you a horse willing to go barefoot and start practicing. The High on the Hog Festival includes horseshoe pitchin’, a 5k run, a motorcycle poker run, beauty pageant and all sorts of fun stuff.
Not a bad way to start the festival season! A very good way actually, one we recommend highly. And I was serious about events in Winchester. They really put a shine on things.
I know some are sitting on the edge of their seat anxiously waiting to find out the answer –
April showers bring May flowers and you know what Mayflowers bring?
Pilgrims of course.
'til next time – get together with folks you care about and go make some great memories.
There’s no better place than the 3 States of Tennessee!
Special 20 & Valentine's Day Suggestions
St. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, less than a month away. It seems that this is a day that can bring so much pressure to be a couple or to find the right place to share special times together if you are a couple.
Here are some options that are just fun.
In the past I have gone to one event and covered several different bands. Well, this time I covered one band at several different places. The Acoustic Band 'Special 20' gave me permission to follow them to three of the places they played on their Tennessee Tour. If you are not familiar with Special 20, the group consist of two Cousins: Jason Evans and Wesley Wilfong. Jason and Wesley started playing music when they were very young, about 7 or 8 years old. They classify themselves as a country band or have been called 'outlaw country' but in a set they play a little bit of everything. County, Blues, Classic rock, and of course, their original music such as "Gypsy Breeze" written by Jason. With talent for different ways of making music, they don't just play guitar, there is a mix of harmonica, mandolin and egg. Special 20 is based in Missouri they came down here to do their first video filmed in Lynchburg, TN, a little place better known as the home of Jack Daniels. They did about 7 shows on their 'Tennessee Tour', but I only covered three. Three very different venues, it didn't seem to matter the venue - Jason and Wesley not only played to the crowd but interacted with the fans. They always create excitement in any arena they play. You don't know if Wes will pick you to dance with on stage or if he will jump off the stage and dance with you while playing the harmonica.
Special 20 started their Tennessee Tour in the small town of Tullahoma, TN. Home of a local favorite called Daddy Billy's. Daddy Billy's is a small, brick venue with a small stage and area for dancing. While they don't serve mixed drinks, they only serve wine and beer, they do serve a variety of sandwiches, snacks foods and are now serving a daily lunch specials. When you enter Daddy Billy's you have a feeling of hometown, nostalgic atmosphere. It can get a bit crowded with a good band playing but during the summer it just spills over to the sidewalk out front.
The next place I saw Special 20 (Wes and Jas) was at The Barrel House in Lynchburg. If you have never been to Lynchburg, TN, the square is always a bustle of energy. It has become not just a family destination but a motorcycle destination. A trip to Lynchburg, TN, promises beautiful scenery, unique products on the square, with lots of food and fun. The Barrel House is about a half block off the square. The food is amazingly good with friendly service you would expect in a small town. If the weather is good the band plays out side on the stage. On the day Special 20 played, even though the stage is a ½ block off the square, people migrated down to see who was playing and where. The combination of good food and the amazing music of Special 20 made the whole experience of The Barrel House enjoyable by young and old alike. Lynchburg Tennessee is a great day trip. Especially for new couples and families who just want to do something a little different this Valentine's Day. Even though Special 20 had to go back to their home state of Missouri, The Barrel house is still Lynchburg, serving good food with the same southern hospitality that folks have come to expect in the south.
The last place Special 20 played was The Red Rooster in Nashville, TN. Everyone believes that the only good clubs are down town on broad. Not so true. There are great clubs all over Nashville. The Red Rooster is a national chain so there is some consistency in the food and the theme of the place. It has small tables and a bar on one side and on the other side the tables are set up pub style for dancing and fun. This is a place that can only appeal to the young or young at heart. With live music during the first part of the evening, then a D.J. on the second part of the evening, "The Red Rooster" appeals to all types of people. On the night we were there we meet a young lady of 81 out celebrating and dancing and enjoying life. Her logic is if you are not enjoying your life, you are just not living. That is the secret to living a long life.
The Red Rooster is geared toward the collage group. Going into this venue I was a bit curious about how Special 20 would be received. Collage towns have their own uniqueness, in dress, language and music. They stood on they own and won over new fans. The Red Rooster offers mixed drinks and a menu of a variety of foods from appetizers and main dishes. They also have catering options for groups. Located on Demonbreun St in Nashville there is always a flurry of cabs awaiting to drive party goers around. I believe in having a driver when I am out for fun. For those of you who are looking for fun as a group or couple this is on my list of places to go.
I had fun at all three different venues. I especially want to thank Wesley and Jason of Special 20 for allowing me to tag along. Look for their new release "Gypsy Breeze" and their new video to be out soon. I hope to go back to all three places again in the future. For those of you looking for a Valentines fun here is just a couple of option that you might not have thought of.
David Garrett Demonstrates His Handcrafted Native American Style Flute
Sometimes I do a story locally of someone and he or she has a counterpart in another country. This is true with David Garrett. My story is about David Garrett, Native American Style musician and craftsman, not David Garrett the German born Violinist.
I met David Garrett and his cousin and business partner Jerry Garrett at The Upper Cumberland Country Music Festival. I am always drawn to flutes, especially wooden flutes. I love the almost primal sound they have and David was all too happy to give me a demonstration. While talking to him I learned that the flute is maybe the second oldest instrument in the world. He believes the oldest to be the drum. David is a native of Cookeville, TN. growing up on his family’s land in what was then the country. David and Jerry grew up together but took different paths until recently. Coming from a musical background, his uncle, Harold Jones played with such greats as Curly Seckler, Willis Spear, & ‘The Nashville Grass , it is no surprise that David made his living as a drummer and spent a lot of time on the road. Although his Mother (a Native American/Chickasaw descent) had a great love for bluegrass, David developed a great love for the more traditional Native American Style music. His love for the wood flute increased when his father, Herbert Garrett, battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When David played the flute for him it gave him a peace in body, mind and spirit. A peace that the chemo had taken away. A good wood flute can produce a clear and calming sound that can soothe the soul and relax the mind. This is why you hear Native American Style Flutes in the new age forms of meditation.
After the loss of his father, David’s friend Kelly Long convinced him to make his own flutes. Kelly was instrumental in motivating David to make the flutes he loves to play and share.
David makes each flute by hand, first picking the perfect cedar plank from #1 kiln dried cedar. He said, “You can make a flute with knots, but they will eventually crack losing their quality of sound. Then it is no longer an instrument to be played but a decoration to be hung on the wall so I prefer to use the best wood. #1 grade cedar that has been kiln dried will make these flutes retain their quality and sound the longest.” Then he decides the length based on whether he is making a small pocket flute or another length up to a tall walking flute. He is the only one I know that makes the walking flutes which are about 4 ft in length. After he determines the length, he carves out the center cavern so the sound can resonate. The last step, and the most important, is placement of the holes. David’s flutes are tuned to accompany a guitar or other instruments. Carvings are hand burned giving each flute a unique design.
Once David started making his flutes he began to heal from the loss of his father. Once he began to heal and start selling flutes, doors began to open. He has traveled and played with some of the best Native American Style Musicians. Playing with three time Grammy winner Bill Miller. Currently David has two cd’s for sale. “Reflections” and “On Eagles Wings”. David and his flutes were featured July 27, 2008 in the Herald-Citizen in Cookeville. Since 2008 he has continued to sell his flutes at Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN. He still maintains he can show anyone how to play the flute.
Sometimes life brings us to a place where we can join with others and work together. Jerry has returned to the area of his childhood and teamed up with David. Together they are working to help others enjoy the calm found in flute music. David and Jerry believe flutes should be affordable. They both know the power of music, and are dedicated to sharing the healing power of this simple instrument. Together they are making flutes, educating the public about the Native American Style Wood Flute and The Native Americans who play them. Their future goal is to harvest some of the trees on David’s childhood home to make flutes. Staying true to their heritage they use every piece of the wood. The pieces that do have knots make perfect flute stands. The shavings for the sound channel are perfect for pet care.
Being ‘hand crafted’, every flute is just a little different. Being handcrafted with excellent quality of sound, the workmanship makes it possible to display them as works of art. And a big plus for all flute fans – they are affordable. They are also looking into hand crafting cedar chests and trinket boxes. They do have a variety of flutes for sale. For information look for Rainsongcreations on Facebook to see their flutes and other items.
I want to thank David and Jerry for letting me step back into a simpler time. David admits he loses time when he is making flutes, playing or teaching. He has no internet, cable t.v. or other distractions, just flutes. It is a very peaceful life style. Jerry on the other hand has the great task of joining David’s low tech world to the demands of high tech economy.
The First Annual Upper Cumberland Country Music Festival
Cookeville - I arrived in Cookeville on Friday afternoon and checked in to the Baymont Inn and Suites on Jefferson St. The official sponsor Hotel of The First Annual Upper Cumberland Country Music Festival (UCCMF). The UCCMF has provided me a comfortable room for the long weekend. The staff was efficient, attentive and made you feel comfortable. The rooms are simple and clean. All one needs when they are working. (Although I don’t expect to see it much). And there is plenty of hot water!
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a great event can go unnoticed by the local community. This is what happened this past weekend in Cookeville, TN at the First Annual Upper Cumberland Country Music Festival. This event had it all. Great food, great vendors, and a great kid zone. Just not a great crowd due to the football games and bad weather. Some fall days are clear and crisp, while others are over cast with gray clouds and have a cold wind blowing that you can’t escape. This was an over cast and wing blowing day.
I think I had more fun than anyone. I heard some great music all weekend long, although I had to leave a little early on Sunday. I think I got to hear most of the bands at least one time. There were so many good bands there I cannot cover every band in the story so I am going to put a list up and their contact information. In the case of Humps and the Blackouts - they are not your traditional anything; they have a Bluegrass base with humor and adult content. They are their own unique brand of entertainment and can be seen playing everywhere from the Nashville streets to small towns around TN.
Fridays lineup included on the main stage Campbell Station, Michael Short, Jr. and Chris Cline. Both Michael and Chris made their debut on reality shows. Michael Short, Jr. appeared on Sweet Home Alabama and Chris Cline on Can You Duet.
Michael Short, Jr's “Stirrin’ Things Up” is out now. He is from Pennsylvania but when you hear him you could only believe he was born and raised here. The blend of country rock and traditional country give his c.d. the full flavor of county music.
If you are not familiar with him. He is a former member of Confederate Railroad. Cody McCarver left Confederate Railroad in 1999. Since then he has made three #1 Videos on CMT Pure Country - Red Flag, White Trash with Money and I’m America featuring Charlie Daniels and was named Music Rows Independent artist of the year for 3 consecutive years. Cody McCarver is home grown here in Tennessee. Coming from Dunlap, TN. outside of Chattanooga, he is what we call 'Street smart and whiskey wise.' Cody has 4 singles that made the top 20's, but I don’t think he is more proud of any of them as Through Gods Eyes. Through Gods Eyes led to him becoming a National spokesperson for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters *. His father is the real life example of how a great man can do one bad thing, changing not only his life but the lives of his children.
Then came I’m America. This video reached number #1 and led to 30 shows for our American Troops, helping Operation Troop Aid and the Wounded Warrior programs. His next single, White Trash With Money, also went #1 Video on CMT Pure.
Kenneth Mahan and Joey Bailey may not resemble Bo and Luke Duke but they are keeping the Dukes legacy alive with what they call Hazzard Life. Together along with their wives Gloria Mahan and Karen Bailey they are bringing a glimpse of the Dukes of Hazzard to a new generation. The Dukes of Hazzard T.V. show appeared in 1979 starring Tom Wopat as Luke Duke and John Schneider as Bo Duke. There have been few shows on T.V. where the car was one of the stars. The first was Route 66 in the 60’s - the star car was a Chevrolet Corvette sports car. None have been so famous though as The General Lee, a customized, 1969 Dodge Charger stock car. When The Dukes Of Hazzard came on, with the General Lee sounding Dixie thru the horn, instantly you knew The General Lee would be jumping over a ravine and racing over dirt roads. Always just a little bit faster than Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, played by James Best. . . . Read More
As if being a singer song writer isn't enough Cody McCarver is also actor, with such credits as Kill Bill 1-2,Thelma and Louse. Cole Younger & The Black Train is on sale now- a motion picture starring Michael Madsen and Cody McCarver!
If you have not seen Cody McCarver in concert put him on your list. He will give you the same great show if there are 20 or 20 thousand.
Thank you so much Cody for taking the time to talk.
Friday Night on The acoustic Stage -
The Acoustic Stage had three people playing Friday.
A group called Sound Check, and Luke Phillips performed and Alicia Gillespie too.
I have in my notes that I liked Sound Check. I liked the music and the attitude but nowhere in my notes can I find contact info. I just know they are from Ky.
Luke Philips and Alice Gillespie did a combination of original and cover tunes.
This ended my Friday’s experience.
The special attractions for the weekend “ Hazzard Life.” More coming up on them.
*The Amachi Program
Having a mom or dad in prison can make growing up more difficult. Children with an incarcerated parent often need additional support and guidance. The Big Brothers / Big Sisters Amachi program helps broaden their perspectives on what they can achieve in life.
Cowboys, Cannons, Crafts and Bluegrass
I attended the 12th Annual Ole Timey Craft & Bluegrass Festival. The ole time crafts include Bee Keeping, Quilting, Old tractors, Wood Shaking, Chair caning & Basket making, Lye soap making, Crackling Making, Sorghum Making and then there were the crafters and special events.
Paint Rock Valley Lodge & Resort (prvlodge.com), is nestled down in the hills in N.E. Alabama. The truth is, I had reservations about this festival. It seemed from the map to be way off the beaten path. This however is the perfect place to have an Ole Time Festival. The lodge has a section of permanent structures that are the perfect backdrop for the Ole Time Artisans and Crafters. Paint Rock has three stages all equally good, (although the cannon was an issue to one of the stages). I enjoyed walking around and seeing the Billy Kirby shows on how to cane a chair. Billy is a retired black smith that now shows his skills as a chair canner and his son-in-law, Thomas Roberson, shows how to shank a shingle. This is an amazing talent that is still used today for preservation of historic buildings, porch roofs, barn roofs and sometimes just to add a little uniqueness to an interior. I also met the bee keepers and other vendors, who show off the ability to make lye or goat milk soaps, & crackling making. Yes I did eat some crackling which is just fried pork fat. The food vendors included a huge pot of chicken stew and on the other side homemade fried pies. Both were amazing.
The special events consisted of a few different things, Civil War re-enactors, Buck dancing work shops - Thomas Maupin/Jay Bland, Shape Note workshop - Rhody Jane Meadows, and my favorite the gun fight - performed by The River Chase Posse.
The civil war re-enactors, The Whites Battery . Without taking a political view The Whites Battery showed a living History of the Civil War. This included a flag demonstration & artillery demonstration. They went into some detail about what the men and women on both sides may have experienced. The Whites Battery will be at Tims Ford State park on October 13th.
One of my favorite adlib performers will always be The River Chase Posse group. With names like Big Jim, Jimmy Ringo, Wishbone, Buck Buckeye, Kansas, Miss Jenny, Sassy, & Lacy, you know this is going to be a good group to watch. Especially since they stay in character the whole time they are at the festival. The first thing they do is give a short speech on gun safety and what to do if you find a gun. They make it very clear that a gun< even a play gun< can hurt you. I will always love the High Noon show down. They always do a small skit that sometimes works better than others. The humor is always there and the show always good.
I didn’t participate directly in the Buck dancing or the shape note workshops. I did get a few pics and it looked like everyone involved were having a great time. There was Bluegrass on the three stages and they rotated around. The music was most enjoyable at any stage. Bluegrass is best live and better when small groups come together to practice. I couldn’t pick a favorite band, so I have listed the groups at the bottom of this article along with any web sites they may have.
I did find my favorite crafter. Gourdman. Scarecrows made of a gourd that is also a bird house. I love these guys and if I had a shop I would use them. I think they are so unique! They were featured in Bird & Bloom Magazine.
Next year try to put Pant Rock Lodge & Resort and Bluegrass Festival on you plans for the third weekend in September.
On The Rock - Monteagle Mountain - Memorial Weekend, 2012 -This is a 21 and over rally which has about 5 to 6 thousand motorcycles, trikes, and mini bikes attend the three days of music, games, camping and fun.
For those of you who have never been to a bike rally, it is one big party. The Music, food, and booze seem to be in endless supply. This is the only event I cover that you CANNOT take your children to. This is the place where parents and grandparents go to laugh, play, sing and dance and no one really cares. THOR is a three day event on Memorial weekend - consisting of music, bike games, venders, bike show, and beer, more beer, and maybe, if you are good, you can find some of TN’s finest shine. Personally I think they should just let Budweiser bring a big semi of bud for sell, and beside that set up a can recycling bin for the wounded warriors. This is just my opinion!
The lineup for this year’s rally was lacking a couple of the long time favorites but brought in some new talent. The head liners included Jimmy Van Zant, Brain Howe former Bad Company member, and Confederate Railroad. Other performers included Jeremy Stone, Bush Hawg , Moccasin Creek, Lea Seawright, Fifth Street Saints, and we cannot forget Chris Janson.
One of the highlights of this rally is the Veterans Ride sponsored in part by the town of Monteagle. Ms. Mayor Marilyn (Nixon) www.facebook.com/marilyncampbellnixon works hard all year to make this a better event every year. For those of you who think Sewanee Mountain is a backward hick place remember, they have one of the most prestigist Universities in the South. 1Sewanee: The University of the South. So Mayor Marilyn of Monteagle has the extraordinarily tough job of bringing two perceived worlds together. I can tell you the plans are already in the works for next year’s ride to honor the Vets who have so bravely served this country.
It felt like it was two hundred degrees out so I didn’t watch many of the games. I did see the human chain and the barrel race. This year I did things just a bit different teaming up with Randy Snyder owner of 2Southland's Full Throttle Magazine. He did the interviews with Jimmy Van Zant and Brain Howe and I covered the stage. So pick up a copy of Southland's Full Throttle Magazine or look on line. (Just on a side note Randy Snyder is the only one I have met that has ever ridden a motorcycle from Alaska to Key West.)
Thunder on the Rock is known for its variety of music and this year was no exception. From Rock, Rap-Hip Hop, country, and Southern Rock all the musical bases were covered.
I don’t know If Stoneline was the first band to take the stage but it is the first one I am going to talk about. Stone line who had been to the 04 rally www. myspace.com/stoneline took the stage twice. They have a couple of demos and are about to have a cd and video out in the fall of this year. This is a band that can play any genre of music but is best at rock. Most band in the south have “SOUTHERN ROCK ROOTS.” This is a band with "LET’S JUST ROCK OUT ROOTS." Whatever your needs are as far as a performance - they can bring it. Members include founding artist: Scott Towers - vocals,guitar; Henry Beier - percussion; David Vanderhoof - lead guitar, vocals; James McNulty-bass guitar. If you cannot go see Roger Waters bring the Wall to Nashville go see this bands version. They will be playing Hippie Hill, TN www.hippiehilltn.com the First Monday after Bonnaroo. This is a band I want to go see again.
The next band to perform was Jeremy Stone and the Grove Holler band. They played two sets of every type of music. The problem I have with them is I cannot find more information on them but I do have a video they did from THE ROCK on YouTube. They came they played they disappeared!
I have covered Bush Hawg in the past and now they are on their Radio Tour and promoting their cd and their single “More than Corn.” This band is always full of surprises and with Southern Rock roots, they don’t hold back when it comes to performing. Members include Russ Caldwell - guitar, Shaun Ames - guitar / banjo, Alex Wilshire - guitar, Ben Helton - bass and vocals, Jim Phipps - drummer, Craig Hand - vocals. I have never seen anyone rock a banjo before Bush Hawg! They also let Moccasin Creek come on stage with them at the Rock. Moccasin Creek is one crazy combo with Jeff McCool (“Brahma Bull”) vocals and Charlie Bonnet III and his guitar. At first you don’t know what’s coming. Charlie has roots in heavy metal. They are a southern rap, hip hop, heavy metal group. They don’t slow down, hesitate or apologize for who they are. They spent time with the fans and brought a new energy to the stage. Here is Bush Hawg and Moccasin Creek doin' their thang at THOR!Bush Hawg will be preforming at the 3CMA in Nashville, TN on June 7th. (Come see Bush Hawg at the Carl Black Wrangler Booth on Broadway from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm. They'll be signing autographs and meeting fans for a full hour before their show at the BIC Soliel Bella Beach stage at 2:30 pm.)
Fifth Street Saints are a rock, rock alternative band formed in May of 2010. Members Eddie Self, Chad Webb, Shane Hoosier and Jeremy Arangio were the winners of last year’s battle of the bands at THOR. After winning THOR last year they focused on putting together a compilation of song that would show their energy on and off stage. Their EP is titled "Reasons to Run." Working together with Travis Wyrick and Lakeside Studios ”Reasons to Run” should soon to be available in physical and digital form through Amazon, iTunes and of course their own web site. This is a band that understand Marketing. Maybe in the future instead of Knoxville being known for college sports, or Dollywood you will know it as the Home of Fifth Street Saints!
Lea Seawright is a another new comer in relative way. Coming from Fort Payne, AL. she has teamed up with former drummer from the group Alabama - Mark Herndon, joining forces with Lea in the fall of 2009. Lea’s debut album is “Country Girl 101” keeping to the southern rock roots. Look for Lea and Mark on tour in your area.
Chris Janson is my last single performer to talk about. He is a singer and songwriter originally from Missouri. This young man is all country. This guitar playing, truck driving man hit Nashville when he was 18 and hasn’t slowed down since. His first jig was at Tootsies Orchard Lounge so with a start like that there is no looking back. Chris sings about what he knows and guess what? The audience knows it too! Not everyone can come on stage with just a guitar and harmonica and hold an audience but this kid can and he did. Go by and see him at the CMA. “Chris Janson to play the BIC stage Sat June 9th 3:00.” You can catch Chris playing a Harmonica solo on the Song “BEER” on the new Lee Brice album. Chris is going in the studio June 27th with Keith Stegal to Record his new album!!!!
Brain Howe - former Bad company member is a hoot. I blamed the fact he was English but he came to the states in 1983, so really, that isn’t it. He is just funny. You just don’t know what he will say or do on stage. The music from Bad Company is timeless and legionary; their sound swept the country in what seemed a matter of months. You know the voice and my generation can tell you where they were the first time they heard “Feel Like Maken’ Love” and other classics as "Can't Get Enough," "Bad Company," "Holy Water," "Ready For Love," and many other Bad Co. hits. This is one of those shows where the audience not only sings every song along with the performer but because the music is so widely known you feel like you are a part of the whole experience. Brian wrote and sold something like 19 million records, highlighted by such radio and video hits as "Holy Water”, "If You Needed Somebody," "No Smoke Without A Fire," and "How About That," while with Bad Company - not to mention a few of the group's previous hits as recorded on the "live" CD. Thirteen years after the release of his debut solo album “Tangled in Blue” (later renamed “Touch” in Europe), Brian is back and ready to unleash his awesome new solo album entitled “Circus Bar”. The album includes two stunning – remakes of the Bad Company hits “How ‘Bout That” and “Holy Water”.
Confederate Rail Road - Current members include - Danny Shirley, the lead singer and vocalist, Mark Dufresne on drums, Wayne Secrest on bass, Rusty Hendrix on lead guitar and Cody McCarver on keyboards and vocals and Bobby Randell steel guitar, fiddle, vocals, & guitar. Confederate Railroad sang on Sunday night and they are one of my favorite bands to cover and one of my Dads favorite bands to listen to. This is a band that appeals to all generations. While the kids are rockin’ to songs like “Trashy Women” those of my dad’s age are singing “Jesus and Mama” and “Queen of Memphis.” Both songs reached the top of the charts. Confederate Railroad takes a traditional country sound and kicks it up a notch. A little rough and a little rowdy they are releasing their first LIVE album since the early 90’s. Back to the Barrrom (LIVE) with a new title song “B.B. Gun” the album also contains several of classic hits.
At the end of each show, the band stays around until every fan who wants an autograph, or to pose with the group for a picture or just say "hello" is taken care of. As shown in the pictures I took they will sign almost anything.
Jimmy Van Zant is the cousin to Ronnie Van Zant of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd leader Ronnie Van Zant, who died with five others in a 1977 plane crash. Current Skynyrd vocalist Johnny Van Zant and .38 Special band leader Donnie Van Zant. Lynyrd Skynyrd changed music in the south. They may be best known for the anthem of the south “Sweet Home Alabama”. Jimmy watched his cousins’ soar to success with Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special and believes now is his chance to keep the Van Zant music and traditions alive. Of course Jimmy Van Zant sang the most popular of the Lynyrd Skynyrd series, including my favorite “Simple Man.” The hope and dream every mother wants for their sons. I am not going to fall into the trap of comparing Jimmy and Ronnie Van Zant. Jimmy Van Zant is bringing the Lynyrd Skynyrd music to a whole new generation of fans. In late 2011, Jimmie signed a promotional partnership with MoonPie. As a writer and performer, Jimmy has recorded three albums. “Southern Comfort” included the single “Ronnie’s Song.” A second album “My Name is Jimmie,” which included the hits “Ray Ray’s Juke Joint” and “Redneck Revolution.” The third album, “Cut from the Same Cloth,” and now “Feels Like Freedom”, set for release on 7/03/12. Here is your chance to win Van Zant tickets.
Wanna win tickets to see Jimmie Van Zant?
Enter a picture on Jimmy's Facebook page (here's a link),containing something Jimmie and MoonPie related, if your picture is the most popular, you win!
1Sewanee has over 12,000 alumni from all 50 states and 40 countries and has produced 26 Rhodes Scholars—a number that puts Sewanee in the top four nationally among American liberal arts colleges—as well as 26 NCAA Postgraduate Fellows, 36 Watson Fellowships, and dozens of Fulbright Scholars. The School of Theology's alumni include countless bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church.
2 Southland's Full Throttle Magazine for Motorcycle Enthusiasts is a free monthly publication dedicated to the people that ride, the events they attend, the charities they support and the world in which they live. Here's their web sites www.gafullthrottle.com & www.southlandsft.com
3CMA- CMA Music Festival 2012 : Country Music Concerts, Artist - CMT http://www.cmt.com/cma-music-festival
The CMA Music Festival is the largest country music party in the world for country's biggest fans. Read about fan fair events, concerts, autograph and photo.
WINCHESTER'S 8TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL DOGWOOD FESTIVAL
I have covered Winchester's International Dogwood Festival all but one year, ever year they try not only to share the history of Franklin County and the Dogwood but they bring in other cultures. Japanese, German etc.. This year it was Latin American and of course it fell on Cinco de Mayo(1). This years Dogwood Festival had more vendors than ever. Ranging from home crafted jewelry, to chainsaw carving, and members of the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers showing off their skills. There were Children's clothes, homemade soaps, and wooden toys. Not in the mood for fair food? Arezzos, San Miguel's Coffee Company, and John T's Barbeque all offered special menus for the day. We went to John T's and it was spicy fires for me and sweet potato fries and Brisket sandwich for Doc.
In an effort to keep the kids Zone a free place for all children the Winchester Downtown Program Corporation is selling Dogwood Blooms and will continue to sell the blooms all year. This is a three day festival that you can bring your youngest child to you oldest relative! Pack a sandwich and sunscreen and spend the day. There are rides, clowns and magic.
Winchester's International Dogwood Festival offers a variety of music and entertainment. I didn't get to see all the acts. The Wana-Beatles played on Friday night and when I have seen them in the past they were funny, familiar and made me reminisce on the day I first saw the real Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Saturday (Cinco de Mayo) I saw the Latino Dancers. If you have not seen a traditional Latino Dance you are missing the fun and romance of the culture. There is more to Mexico besides the food!
The entertainment for Saturday ranged from traditional bluegrass, alternative, modern country to pop.
If you want to take a step back in time and see traditional musicians you need to see the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys they are as traditional as it gets. Coming from Pewee Valley, Kentucky, Mason Dixon put together a band that wears authentic dress and plays authentic southern bluegrass music. If your idea of the south is sitting on the front porch in a pair of overalls holding a mason jars of cool refreshing goodness. This is the band for you.
The festivals own queen Genevieve Allen traded in her crown for a cowboy hat and performed several country music favorites with her band. Graduating earlier in the day Magna Cun Laude from Motlow Collage proves there is much more to her than the stereotypical good looks of a beauty queen. Can't wait to see what Genevieve does next!
Filling in the gaps was a young performer name Marynn. I know we will be seeing her in the future. At 15 she can pull off Adel without problem having amazing clarity and control for such a young age. This level headed 15 year old has the talent to go far but choses to concentrate on the school.
I had two surprises on bands. A traditional country music Band, Mike Oldhan and the Tone Rangers and. Total 1 Band who plays everything else. A little Latino, reggae, blues , pop, rock.. I didn't get to talk to Mike Oldham but I did get to talk to his with band mates Ronnie Lutrick on bass, Doug Jernigan on steel, and Shaun Baker on drums. Doug "digndoug" Jernigan is an award-winning pedal steel guitar musician. He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1994. Johnny Hiland was recently featured in Guitar Magazine. Shaun Baker on drums holds a record still standing in the Genius World book of Records for fastest feet in 2003. Check them out on line or every Monday night from 4-8 p.m. at Layla's Bluegrass Inn on Lower Broadway in Nashville.
The Total 1 Band just blew me away. When I cover a festival and a band begins to play and they draw an audience to them I follow the flow. Members of Total 1 consist of ...GUITAR PLAYER (DOUG GROSS) MALE LEAD SINGER (SCOTT REVEY) FEMALE LEAD SINGER (RACHEL RODRIGUEZ) KEYBOARD PLAYER (TIM HAMILTON) DRUMMER (MIKE WATTS) BASS PLAYER /BAND LEADER J.C. TEASLEY. There are bands that play music and then there are bands that are what I call performance bands. This is what I call a performance band. They play the music for the audience they have. Feeling the audience out and play to that audience, while being very engaging with the audience. No matter the age this band can get people to their feet to dance, sing, laugh and clap. This is my first time to hear this band and I can't wait to see what is next.
Steel Magnolia stepped in to do Winchester's International Dogwood Festival when the headliner canceled. Meghan Linsey formed Steel Magnolia, with Joshua Scott Jones. Together they won Can You Duet in season two and released their single "Keep on Lovin' You". They are fun and flirty and filled the square with the same fun and flirty atmosphere. Working hard in the studio while touring they are hoping to release a new album this year. I am going to set my ego aside as a photographer and use one of their you tube videos.
Click the video to enjoy awesome music and fun video. 'Bullet Proof'
Next years Winchester International Dogwood Festival promises to be fun full of music, food and crafts.
1 Cinco de Mayo or the 'Fifth of May', commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War
THE CIRCLE E GUEST RANCH - WOW!
Keith Springs Mountain - While it is true that, ‘Home is where the heart is’, it’s also true that heaven on this earth is where you find it.
Who knew that only 15 minutes from Winchester was another little slice of heaven!
The Circle E Guest Ranch caters mainly to horse loving folks but can easily accommodate anyone, even those of us that like to ride the steel versions. Located on Hwy. 16 on top of Keith Springs Mountain, Ray Evens has built a ranch from the ground up, just as they did it in the old west. I’ll be talking more about this great place later. Right now I want to tell you about Ray’s latest addition to the Circle E.
All you folks old enough will remember the Starwood Amphitheater once located just south of Nashville. Back in the day there were a lot of great concerts there. The stage and hillside worked together to allow everyone to enjoy a good view of the artists and show.
While the amphitheater at Starwood was a little bigger that the Circle E Amphitheater the concept still provides for the same great time. There’s ample parking, a full restaurant on the grounds and a nice concrete area in front of the stage for awesome VIP seating.
October 14th, 2011, Ray and his ranch hands put his new outdoor amphitheater to use by bringing to the Circle E Guest Ranch, Mustang Sally! While having Mustang Sally to a horse ranch might make you think something different, Mustang Sally is an awesome group of musicians and entertainers that had the place jumping before the night was through.
These ladies never fail to entertain the crowd. In fact, if you don’t have a good time at a Mustang Sally concert, it’s your fault!
Having played with a virtual list of Who’s Who’s, here’s the ‘Who’ in Mustang Sally:
Tobi Lee from North Vernon, IN., is the awesome lead singer with voice and stage presence that are unmatched.
Brenda Zitzman from New Ulm, MN., is the rhythm guitar player with vocal harmonies and wit that will keep you singing along and smiling throughout the show!
Rachel Solomon hails from Austin, TX., and provides background harmonies while keeping things jumpin’ with her keyboard skills and alto sax playing that adds that extra touch.
Sarah Wilfong is a Chicago, IL. native that adds a smokin’ hot fiddle to the mix. Bringing a Celtic mix to the stage provides another piece to the Mustang Sally puzzle.
Lisa Romeo comes from Omaha, NE. and is the one with the vision of Mustang Sally and the one to bring all these talented musicians together. As an accomplished drummer, Lisa keeps the beat of Mustang Sally driving and has been known to step out infront of the drums for some wicked guitar licks!
Whether playing in front of a bunch of rowdy bikers or, as was the case on the 14th, performing to a crowd of all ages, Toby Lee brings to the stage great showmanship. There was just enough innuendo to have the youngsters scratching their heads and mom and dad rolling on the floor laughing. Billed as a country and rhythm and blues band, Mustang Sally will cover most of the musical bases! You can be certain of singing along with these great musicians and at the very least your toes will be tapping while a lot of folks take to the dance floor to make their Mustang Sally experience one of shared memories.
The main reason for going to any concert though is the music. And Mustang Sally makes you glad you were there! Made up of very accomplished musicians capable of getting all the notes in the right places to songs we’ve all known for years. Interspersed through their set are classics from Bob Seger, the movie Footloose, along with great original music. They ended their set with the Bohemian Rhapsody!
They show a lot of range of music and great showmanship and stage presence. This is one group to watch. Visit YouTube and search on Mustang Sally. (Have you guys ever heard Free Bird played with a little fiddle thrown in?) After sampling their music you’ll want to go to their web site and find out where they’ll be playing next.
We look forward to seeing them and recommend them to everyone looking to have a good time. When it comes to Mustang Sally we all “Drop The ‘L’ Bomb”!
For those of you that love to ride horses this is the place to be. You’ll find the Circle E just about 15 minutes out of Winchester on Hwy. 16. Once there you’ll be able to enjoy over 120 miles of trails that will take you into some of the most beautiful areas in the Cumberland Mountains. Tennessee is famous for its four seasons and the trails of the Circle E Guest Ranch will allow you to enjoy each of them as they have been for thousands of years. You’ll encounter beautiful waterfalls, creeks, caves and lots of wildlife. All trails are clearly marked and maps are available at the office so losing your way is not a worry.
Many will schedule trips to the Smokies during the fall of the year to gaze in wonder at the many colors to be found in the mountain trees. The Cumberland Mountains dress in the same colors each fall. The Circle E is a great place to visit that will allow you to view an awesome display of color and majesty. With views of the mountains and valley below offering a glimpse of the grandeur we love from nature.
And when the ride is over the Circle E Guest Ranch has over 200 campsites available with water and electric hook-ups. There are 27 that have water, electric and sewer hook-ups! There are over 400 stalls with shavings to provide your horse’s the accommodations you want them to have! If you’re not the type that enjoys camping they have 4, fully furnished log cabins. Weekends Ray and his hands open the onsite restaurant that seats 200 – 250 folks and can double as a conference hall. The Circle E Guest Ranch is the perfect place for birthday and family celebrations.
*NEW* Spring Kick-Off Ride - April 5th - 8th, 2012 You can call the office for additional information @ 931-962-1790.
Stop by one weekend and you’ll understand why we say The Circle E Guest Ranch is a little slice of heaven here on this earth!
IN TENNESSEE, THE STAGE IS SET FOR YOU!
STATEWIDE - From the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is waiting for you to discover the best of America’s riveting history, exciting outdoors, great musical styles, friendly people and mouthwatering foods! Take a back road or stroll city sidewalks; it’s all here, so come to Tennessee where you’ll be center stage on your next vacation!
Tennessee has endless blockbuster entertainment from Beale Street blues and Elvis’s rock ’n’ roll in Memphis to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and Music Row’s country, gospel, and pop music to the bluegrass of Appalachia. There’s world-famous events including BBQ cook off’s at Memphis in May, Gaylord Opryland, and Jack Daniel Distillery. Tennessee offers eclectic festivals like South Pittsburg’s Cornbread Festival, Bell Buckle’s Moon Pie Festival and Jonesborough’s International Storytelling Festival. And for Tennessee’s fine arts, there are world-class galleries like the Frist in Nashville, the Hunter in Chattanooga and Knoxville’s Museum of Art.