2019 Medicine Stone: 10 Best Things We Saw

Three different stages showcased a stacked lineup as Medicine Stone 2019 did not disappoint.

Year seven of Medicine Stone, originally created in collaboration with Jason Boland and the Turnpike Troubadours, was missing a key contributor at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma this past weekend. After announcing an “indefinite hiatus” in May, fears of an event cancellation surfaced but those behind-the-scenes took steps to ensure a continued, high-quality, weekend of music.

The legendary Robert Earl Keen was tabbed to fill a headlining position and although there was no set from the Troubadours, their presence was felt throughout the festival grounds. Appearances by members of the band, sitting in with others or leading their own projects were witnessed, in addition to covers by many who were there performing and Turnpike songs could often be heard between sets.

Following, in no particular order, are the 10 best things we experienced at this year’s Medicine Stone.

RC and the Ambers

Affectionately referred to as the godfather of Medicine Stone by Doc Fell during his set on Saturday, RC Edwards, bassist for the Turnpike Troubadours, and his project, RC and the Ambers, kicked off the main stage lineup Thursday night. Singing their own original songs, in addition to a few covers, locals got to witness the rise of some of their own as Edwards, Amber Watson and Jordan Cox took the stage alongside Kyle Nix, the Turnpike Troubadours fiddle player. Watson’s angelic voice paired with the gritty Edwards and a harmonic Cox, combine to create a unique and very well received sound.

Osage County

Rain greeted Osage County on the Gravel Bar stage Friday morning, but it didn’t slow anyone down. Fans piled into the area as Cox, who played with RC and the Ambers on day one, put his relatively new band on full display. Leading an entertaining and high-energy set, featuring hits ‘Like I Used To‘, ‘By and By‘, and ‘Wildfire‘ from their debut EP with a few new ones mixed in – it quickly became apparent this group is on a solid trajectory for success after forming just last summer.

Jacob Tovar

Jacob Tovar is the epitome of old-school country music with a resonant voice, honkytonk style and twist all his own. Just as the sun broke through on Friday afternoon, Tovar also began heating up. Joined by pedal steel phenomenon Roger Ray (who featured his talents throughout the weekend by sitting in with multiple artists), and musical genius John Fullbright on keys, his hour-long set spanned the full spectrum of pacing from slow, easy listening, to getting up for a dance and eventually a full-on party. Tovar left fans wanting more as he continues to grow his audience in Oklahoma and beyond.

Courtney Patton

Making her Medicine Stone debut, singer-songwriter Courtney Patton was flanked by fellow songstresses, Jamie Lin Wilson and Kaitlin Butts, all while being backed by Ray and his magical pedal steel guitar. While the harmonies and soulful steel were amazing, it was Patton’s voice and lyrics that carried her 90-minute set. Spectators were greeted with a wave of emotions as Patton dedicated a song to Kylie Rae Harris, a fellow musician who was recently killed in a car accident, just as a perfectly timed gust of wind removed Patton’s hat prior to the chorus. She also covered one of Harris’ songs before taking requests from the crowd, which included ‘Fourteen Years‘, a song about Patton’s own sister who tragically passed away while she was in college. One of the best sets all weekend, Patton made quite the impression on those in attendance.

Max and Heather Stalling

Down at the River Stage, just outside the main venue, Max Stalling was telling his own musical tales while sharing an enjoyable set of his own. Alongside his wife, Heather Stalling, the two share more than a musical connection as her fiddle playing and harmonies add flair to each and every song. Finishing his set with an enthusiastic version of ‘Bass Run‘, Stalling took the time to thank Medicine Stone – as he too was making a first appearance – in addition to everyone who works behind-the-scenes to orchestrate such a large scale event. Especially thankful for the sound engineers, who Stalling referred to as the, “first ones in and last ones out”, both Stalling’s undoubtedly gained many new fans with their performance.

Dixie Chicks Tribute

Fans began piling up in front of the River Stage well before showtime in anticipation of this very special set. Performed only once before, Heather Stalling, Butts, Patton and Wilson joined forces paying tribute to the 13-time Grammy Award-winning Dixie Chicks and their library of hits. After countless classics, this quartet – who were accompanied by a drum kit and upright bass, dialed up the Merle Haggard classic, ‘I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink‘ before paying tribute to the Turnpike Troubadours.

With the fans on their feet and crowding the stage, Butts belted the words to ‘Gin, Smoke and Lies‘ as enthusiastic fans sang along with her word-for-word while Wilson added harmonica before spiking it to the stage. Eventually, they returned to the task at hand with a Dixie Chicks finale as festival goers and fellow artists both looked on well aware they were witnessing a rare but beautiful experience.

Chris Blevins

Henryetta, Oklahoma native Chris Blevins is a rising star. Sharing his own personal songs about triumph and heartache, Blevins voice is a unique instrument in its own right. True performers are able to entertain acoustically or with a backing band and Blevins proved capable of the former with his Gravel Bar set. Granted only an hour on a jam packed lineup, Blevins shared his blended blues and folk styles before a haunting rendition of Jason Isbell’sCover Me Up‘.

Kaitlin Butts

If Carter Sampson, who was also part of the lineup – playing a wonderful set on Friday – is the ‘Queen of Oklahoma‘ then Kaitlin Butts is undoubtedly next in line to the throne. Popping up everywhere, Butts shared her talents and unique voice alongside multiple artists throughout the weekend. From singing with fiance’ and Flatland Cavalry front-man Cleto Cordero, Butts also joined Wade Bowen, American Aquarium, Courtney Patton and multiple others on top of her own Saturday afternoon set. One minute, Butts would be meandering through the crowd watching different performances only to be up on stage the next, enhancing someone else’s song. Her star is continually burning brighter and Medicine Stone 2019 served as a coming out party for this Oklahoma songstress.

Doc Fell and Company

Another artist making his Medicine Stone debut, Doc Fell and Co. drew one of the largest crowds to the Gravel Bar over the weekend. Sharing originals like ‘Peacemaker‘ and ‘Tears In Texas‘, Doc Fell and Co. also debuted some new material. ‘Boxes‘ especially has all the components to be another hit for the local Tahlequah general practicioner. Joined by Jordan Cox on accordian, who Fell described as the “swiss army knife of red dirt” and former Jason Boland and the Stragglers drummer, Brad Rice, the set delivered by Doc Fell and Co. capped with Amber Watson joining Fell on stage for his own version of ‘Beulah Land‘ – an upbeat take on the classic hymn with a personal twist.

William Clark Green

The lineup at Medicine Stone was stacked with legitimate talent and William Clark Green found himself sandwiched between North Carolina’s own American Aquarium and overall festival headliner, Jason Boland. A precarious position but Green answered the bell, dishing out arguably the most memorable main stage set of the entire festival. Before taking down Uncle Bekah in Beer Puppeteer and sitting below the Gravel Bar to enjoy Fullbright’s late-night set, Green was entertaining fans with his own rock-solid performance. Transitioning into an array of classics during a culminating performance of ‘She Likes the Beatles‘ and giving his bandmates an opportunity to shine in the spotlight, Green’s notable set was well worth the wait.

Overall, Medicine Stone proved capable of sustaining the absence from one of their pillars and should continue bringing people – who share a love for live, original music – from all across the country together well into the future.

‘Strings and Suds’ Releases Set Times Ahead of Upcoming Festival

Set times for ‘Strings and Suds Fest’ at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain on August 23-24.

Fans of live music and craft beer will have an opportunity to enjoy both when the inaugural Strings and Suds Fest takes place in just under two weeks, on August 23-24. Hoosierdevil and Pisgah Brewing Company have combined to present what is going to be a thoroughly entertaining weekend.

Mirrored after the now defunct Jam In the Trees with a few added perks, the new Strings and Suds Fest is set to offer the best in Americana music from many of the top musicians currently in the scene. A two-day event, whose name is derived from a one-time jamboree held in 2013, activities are scheduled to kick off inside the Pisgah Brewing taproom on Friday night before rotating between both the outdoor and indoor stages on Saturday.

The lineup features Danny Burns (8:00pm-8:45pm), Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen (9:15pm-10:30pm) on Friday night ahead of Ashley Heath and her Heathens (11:00pm-12:15am) to get things started. Saturday shows kick off with East of Monroe (1:45pm-2:30pm) inside the taproom before Sarah Shook and the Disarmers (2:30pm-3:30pm) get things going outdoors. Fans can then bounce back and forth to catch Yarn (3:30pm-4:15pm), Sierra Hull (5:15pm-6:00pm), Jim Lauderdale (4:15pm-5:15pm), Junior Brown (6:00pm-7:00pm), Donna the Buffalo (7:30pm-8:45pm) and The Mavericks (9:15pm-10:45pm) before a late night jam indoors (11:00pm-Until…) concludes the event.

A limited number of two-day and VIP tickets are currently available with special incentives for the latter – artist meet and greets, brewery tours and tastings, etc. – and a guaranteed good time for everyone. Created around a family atmosphere, both days welcome all ages as patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the multiple artists scheduled to perform on Saturday.

Fans will also have multiple options for food as vendors will be on site offering various types of fare for those in attendance. A perfect setting, loaded lineup and excellent beer selection join together in order to form the perfect combination of ‘Strings and Suds’.

Get your tickets HERE.

Mike and the Moonpies Release Surprise New Album Ahead of NC Tour Dates

“Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold” serves as the next step on a stairway to greatness for Mike and the Moonpies.

For months Mike and the Moonpies have hinted at the possibility of a brand new album and a recent release of the single, ‘You Look Good in Neon‘ only added fuel to the fire. ‘Danger‘, a song penned straight to lead-singer Mike Harmeier’s young son has also been a part of the set list for a while but there was no word on when (or even if) the full record was coming.

Then came midnight on Friday, August 2, 2019.

The band first created a stir by blanking out their social media profiles earlier in the day and the group’s website also appeared offline. Then they reappeared, first as a full silver slate before turning to gold later in the evening. Finally, at midnight many fans knew what to expect but the album, and story behind its recording, were far better than anyone could have imagined.

Pushing the limits and proving to think outside-the-box, producer Adam Odor and David Percefull took the band to the historic Abbey Road Studios in London. Harmeier cut a cover of  ‘London Homesick Blues‘ from Gary P. Nunn and the entire record is backed by London Symphony Orchestra members.

The Moonpies haven’t swayed too far from center though, there’s still plenty of country guitar licks available from Catlin Rutherford and smooth pedal steel out of Zach Moulton. Kyle Ponder keeps everyone in line on the drums and bassist Omar Oyoque, a fan favorite at live shows, is noticeably solid making his Moonpies album debut, in addition to former traveling member John Carbone on keys. Guest appearances from Shooter Jennings, Nikki Lane and Season Ammons are also scattered throughout the track list.

An eight-song journey that seemingly arrived out of nowhere taking listeners through the witty lyrics of ‘Miss Fortune‘, an upbeat ‘Fast as Lightning‘ with an exceptional ending and the title track, ‘Cheap Silver‘ that precedes the aptly named “Solid Country Gold”.

Arguably the best live show around just got even better with the (hopeful) addition of these novel and soon to be classics. Harmeier continues to impress and you can witness it all for yourself next month across North Carolina.

UPCOMING NC TOUR DATES

09/05 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville – TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

09/06 – Puckett’s Farm Equipment – Charlotte – TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

09/07 – Hopscotch Music Festival – Raleigh – TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

Max and Heather Stalling set for two NC dates this week

Not one, but two opportunities to see Max and Heather Stalling this week!

Max and Heather Stalling are a singer-songwriter duo based out of Dallas, TX. Max handles rhythm guitar and lead vocals and Heather provides fiddle and harmony vocals. Their collaboration has been a long time in the making and they are excited to bring their show to new audiences.

Heather is an award-winning violinist and fiddle player who picked up her instrument at 3 years old and has never stopped playing it since. As a child she traveled with her parents across Texas and the surrounding states competing in fiddle contests. As a teenager she moved to Branson, MO to be a member of the “The Texas Gold Minors”. They performed 7 days a week for two straight years. Upon returning home she took side jobs playing for various touring acts to include Johnny Lee, Cory Morrow, Bob Schneider, Ed Burleson, Mark David Manders and The Old 97s. In 2005 she put together her own project, blactopGYPSY, released two full length studio albums and toured relentlessly until the lead singer (and her best friend) became gravely sick.

Max followed a slightly different path into the music business. He has a master’s degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University and left a day job as a research scientist for snack food giant Frito Lay to pursue a full-time career as a songwriter. He has 6 studio albums and two live projects including a full-length DVD. He is a staple in the Texas/Red Dirt scene as well as having chart-topping history in the Americana radio format. He has a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame and is a former member of the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of NARAS. In addition to solo and duo shows, Max travels with a five-piece band and does 150+ shows annually. Of recent, Heather has been playing with Max’s band after her band’s lead singer fell ill.

Max and Heather were married in 2007 and are now finally finding that the timing is right for them to do a project together.
While they perform the occasional song they have written together as well as a handful of cover songs, the bulk of the show is songs that Max has written in his 20+ year career as a performing singer-songwriter. First-time listeners can expect a fun and witty show balanced between solid original songs, amazing fiddle playing and fun banter.

Thursday – July 18 at The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC) – 7:00pm Doors*
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

Friday – July 19 at The Grey Eagle (Asheville, NC) – 7:00pm Doors**
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

In support – *Rob Baird, **Stephen Simmons

Mile 0 Fest releases impressive 2020 line-up

The third installment of Mile 0 Fest may be their most impressive to date.

Three years ago a brand new festival, Mile 0 Fest, popped up on the red dirt and Americana scene down in Key West, Florida. A logistical hurdle to secure acts and patrons at the southernmost point of America, the first lineup was too impressive to ignore. Since, the folks at Oh Wook! Productions and those working with their organization, including the city of Key West, have arguably created the best festival in the country and a 2020 initial lineup stacked with talent proves it once again.

BACK FOR YEAR THREE: Wade Bowen, Jack Ingram, Cody Canada and the Departed, Shinyribs, Mike and the Moonpies, Jamie Lin Wilson, Bruce Robison, Walt Wilkins, Jason Eady, Courtney Patton, Kaitlin Butts, Tina Wilkins, Carter Sampson, Red Dirt Rangers

RETURNING FROM YEAR ONE: Jason Boland, William Clark Green

RETURNING FROM LAST YEAR: Randy Rogers Band, American Aquarium, Reckless Kelly, Shane Smith and the Saints, Flatland Cavalry, The Band of Heathens, Kevin Fowler, Micky and the Motorcars, John Fullbright, Adam Hood

MAKING THEIR INITIAL APPEARANCE: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Robert Earl Keen, Whiskey Myers, Lucero, Hayes Carll, The Steel Woods, Cory Morrow, Will Hoge, Brent Cobb, Charley Crockett, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Senora May, John Baumann, Kelly Willis

If you’ve been, then you know – If not, book now – check our reviews from 2018, 2019, some tips for concert goers and thank us later.

Justin Clyde Williams’ “Preamble”: A Statement EP

Hear the “Preamble” from Justin Clyde Williams – AVAILABLE NOW.

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Thanks to social studies and history classes almost everyone is familiar with the word preamble – but typically only because it comes before, “to the Constitution.” However, a more in depth review reveals its true meaning – “a preliminary or preparatory statement, an introduction.” As Justin Clyde Williams releases his debut EP, it seems an appropriate and fitting title.

Four songs in length, “Preamble” begins with three originals before a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Pancho and Lefty’, taken to No. 1 by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. Putting his talent on full display and coupled with its three predecessors, listeners get just what the title suggests – an introduction to how Williams views the world of music and the world an introduction to Williams.

‘Signin’ On That Line’ begins with an upbeat tempo and although attacking divorce – a serious subject, it hits home for those who may be on their way out of a legal union but destined for a brighter future. A clever characterization, Williams admits, “I’ve packed my bags, ’cause this roads at a crossing / I’m signing on that line, I should’ve been walking.”

In somewhat of a contrast, ‘Damn Me for Doing You Wrong’ follows by putting all self reflective feelings of a broken relationship on full display. The fiddle mixes well as Williams pines through each verse and chorus carrying listeners on a classic tale of hurt and blame. Halfway through it’s apparent that country music remains alive and well – not just by sound alone, but in the depth and transparency of his lyrics.

‘Wounds’ keeps pace with more deep sentiments of hardened hearts and tough times. “This wound I have, time won’t heal / What I tried to hide has been revealed / I’m the wound that time won’t heal.” Guilt, sorrow and remorse linked to bruises, scrapes and cuts – all of which time normally serves to fix except for the self deprecating personal issues that have never been made to sound so good.

The ‘Pancho and Lefty’ finale completes a solid debut EP and fits well not only to display Williams’ versatility but also his deeper storytelling aspects intertwined within a similar lyrical style. A combination of the bandit wearing his feelings on his sleeve “for all the honest world to feel” and Lefty, who used to “sing the blues all night long” – Williams’ own enigmatic persona begins to surface. Leaving his own impression on the tale results in a perfect complement for what was a daring proposition – electing to include a timeless classic pieced together by some of the best ever over all musical genres.

Every artist takes a true leap of faith by putting their music out into the world for consumption and by these standards Williams is no different. Even before his songs reached the public airwaves, they served as a fulfilled accomplishment and impacted many throughout the southeast – one goal every artist strives to achieve. “Preamble” sets the stage for Justin Clyde Williams’ raw, natural sound that doesn’t need the polish of heavy production while creating anticipation for what is next.

These four songs serve as an appetizer but when the time comes, imagine what the full meal will entail.

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Listen on APPLE MUSIC

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

5/4 – Stateline Music Fest – Shelby, NC – 1:30pm
5/5 – Red’s Watering Hole – Gaffney, SC – 4:00pm

5/6 – Shooters Lounge – Hickory, NC – 8:00pm*
5/7 – Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC – 8:00pm*
5/8 – Shooters Lounge – Hickory, NC – 9:00pm
5/9 – The Vine – Granite Falls, NC – 8:00pm
5/10 – Steady Eddy’s – Matthews, NC – 7:00pm
5/11 – Home in Carolina Music Fest – Boiling Springs, SC – 5:00pm
5/12 – Sasha’s on the Lake – Catawba, NC – 3:00pm

5/16 – Daddy Joes – Gaffney, SC – 7:00pm
5/17 – Shooters Lounge – Hickory, NC – 10:00pm
5/18 – Steady Eddy’s – Matthews, NC – 8:00pm
5/19 – Bear Creek Marina – Nebo, NC – 2:00pm

5/22 – Shooters Lounge – Hickory, NC – 9:00pm
5/23 – Plum Hollow Fest – Campobello, SC – 8:15pm
5/24 – Eighth and Rail – Opelika, AL – 9:00pm

*Supporting Billy Don Burns

See more at JustinClydeWilliams.com

‘Strings and Suds’ are coming to Pisgah Brewing Company

A new festival with a revived name is set for Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain this August.

Fans of live music and craft beer will have an opportunity to enjoy both when the inaugural Strings and Suds Fest takes place August 23-24 this year. As the festival approaches, RedDirtNC caught up with Steve Johnson, a consultant for Hoosierdevil, to discuss the lineup and a few details about the event.

Mirrored after the now defunct Jam In the Trees with a few added perks, the new Strings and Suds Fest is set to offer the best in Americana music from many of the top musicians currently in the scene. A two-day event, whose name is derived from a one-time jamboree held in 2013, activities are scheduled to kick off inside the Pisgah Brewing taproom on Friday night before rotating between both the outdoor and indoor stages on Saturday.

Three bands, including Asheville’s own Ashley Heath and her Heathens are scheduled to play first. Joined by Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen plus Danny Burns – these groups appear poised to set the bar for an excellent musical weekend. On Saturday, The Mavericks headline a stacked lineup featuring Jim Lauderdale, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Junior Brown, Donna the Buffalo, Sierra Hull, Yarn and East of Monroe.

A limited number of two-day and VIP tickets are currently available with special incentives for the latter – artist meet and greets, brewery tours and tastings, etc. – and a guaranteed good time for all. Created around a family atmosphere, both days welcome all ages as patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the multiple artists scheduled to perform on Saturday.

Fans will have multiple options for food as vendors will be on site offering various types of fare for those in attendance. A perfect setting, loaded lineup and excellent beer selection join together in order to form a perfect combination of ‘Strings and Suds’.

Get your tickets HERE.

MerleFest 2019: Three Best from Thursday and Friday

Highlights from the first two days of MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

The 2019 installment of MerleFest greeted music lovers with passing rain showers and high winds during the first two days before near perfect conditions rolled in over the weekend. Despite the less than stellar weather, fans packed the festival’s multiple stages and braved the changing elements to hear a stacked lineup of artists.

Fortunately, neither day was a complete wash out and the breaks often offered a pristine setting for listening in the mountains. There were numerous items to report on including the wide array of food options, vendors, artist access via an autograph tent, sound quality in an outdoor setting and the logistics of putting everything together but after thirty-plus events it’s apparent those responsible for MerleFest have a vast majority of the details figured out.

Following are the three best things witnessed over the festival’s first two days.

American Aquarium

Lead singer B.J. Barham expressed his gratitude from the MerleFest Dance Stage moments after kicking off his first of two performances. The North Carolina native and band that was founded in Raleigh, made their debut and immediate impression all within a relatively short time frame.

Following their first 45-minute set, a festival representative commented that it was apparent the crowd on hand wanted them back one year from now. The energy behind each song of the initial show, including a few off their latest album, “Things Change”, made midday on a Friday feel like an epic Saturday night.

Moments later, the band was completing sound check on the always popular Hillside Stage for an encore. Many of those in attendance followed the band to catch a second show, interrupted momentarily by one of the passing showers but a majority of the crowd hung on to hear Barham’s stories and songs. A long time coming, the rising trajectory and momentum for this group continues as their case for a future Watson Stage performance was made.

Tyler Childers

Kentucky singer-song writer Tyler Childers also made his MerleFest debut by headlining the Watson Stage on Friday night. From the moment he opened with ‘Whitehouse Road’ until his set was over, the entire audience was focused on his talents. Appearing poised and confident, Childers impressed with his song style and tales.

Truly a crowd appreciative of the musical aspects, it was one of the best sets witnessed over the course of two days. From the patrons seated up front to those across the valley on blankets and in camping chairs, experiencing one of the best currently in music grow his fan base was fun to watch.

Family

Founded in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, the family experience at MerleFest is unmatched. The influences of Doc Watson and others extend to this day from the traditional-plus approach of musical styling to the commitment of giving back and full fledged community support.

Not only was the presence of family a familiar feature, as it is each and every year, but it extended to the stage as well. While there were many different families performing over the course of the festival, two in particular shined on Thursday night.

Junior Brown and his wife Tanya Rae Brown were on the Watson Stage ahead of Wynonna Judd and her band the Big Noise, featuring Cactus Moser – Judd’s husband. Both pairs discussed dealing with medical issues and returning from struggles to continue doing what they love. The family roots of MerleFest run deep and they were on full display as each of the final two groups on the Watson Stage Thursday evening helped kick off an amazing weekend of music across the campus of Wilkes Community College.

First Listen: ‘Big Top Town’ by Whiskey Foxtrot

EXCLUSIVE: Listen to ‘Big Top Town’ by Whiskey Foxtrot today.

Whiskey Foxtrot, comprised of Seth Williams – Vocals/Guitar, Sam Foster – Vocals/Guitar, Brad Cardille – Bass/Vocals, Terry VunCannon – Lap Steel and Steven Worley – Drums/Percussion has been methodically releasing songs throughout 2019 as work on their debut album continues. A recent Indiegogo Support campaign for the record wrapped with the band achieving over their anticipated goal, in part due to the small taste fans have received over the past few months. Their first two singles, The Broken End’ and Turn Off the Headlights, were released in January before San Isidro last month. Each provides a glimpse into the group’s sound, featuring a talented lineup that many have witnessed first-hand at shows across the southeast over the past couple years. Whiskey Foxtrot now has a fourth single, ‘Big Top Town‘ and RedDirtNC caught up with the band for a first listen before it’s available everywhere tomorrow – April 20 (Saturday).

Each release has been unique and this one is no different, immediately drawing listener’s attention as a carny hustling cotton candy bookends the studio version of a song filled with lyrical imagery. The diversity of sound Whiskey Foxtrot continues to display is impressive – especially for a band who is currently compiling their first ever album as ‘Big Top Town‘ leans in more of The Allman Brothers Band direction with two prominent guitar solos and a southern rock feel.

Williams’ tale seemingly focuses on the small town dynamic that so many people can relate to regardless of where you live. Adjusting and learning to accept and love life where you are, regardless of the circus going on around you. “This place has it’s ups and downs, well hell now don’t we all … can’t change where I am, make the best of what will be – truth be told, this place, well it’s the place for me.” Another great sounding piece as well, recorded at Earthtones Recording and mastered by Alien Beans Studio/Kings X.

The momentum continues to build for Whiskey Foxtrot, who will soon enter the studio again to complete recording of the debut album that according to Foster, “is going to be an excellent demonstration of what exactly we’re capable of as a unit, and reflective of the time we’ve spent woodshedding songs together, as well as sharpening our playing skills as a whole.”

No official release date has been set but with the previews provided it’s apparent a masterful body of work is about to be unleashed into the world. Until then, keep spinning these four tunes, go see a live show and wait – patiently of course.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

4/19 – Mebane, NC (Whiskey Sowers) – 10pm
4/20 – Love Valley, NC (Shelby’s Place) – 9pm
4/21 – Lewisville, NC (Westbend Winery/Brewery) – 2pm
4/26 – Kernersville, NC (Gypsy Road Brewing) – 7:00pm
4/27 – Asheboro, NC (Jimmy-June Fest) – 5:45pm

5/3 – Winston-Salem, NC (The Ramkat) – 7pm
5/4 – Gibsonville, NC (Grove Winery) – 7pm
5/10 – Kernersville, NC (Breathe Cocktail Lounge) – 9pm
5/11 – Mt. Airy, NC (Happy Hours) – 9:30pm
5/17 – Asheboro, NC (Out and About Cruise In) – 6pm

Find more at WhiskeyFoxTrotMusic.com

MerleFest 2019: April 25-28 Preview

One week from today, MerleFest begins in the mountains of North Carolina…

From humble beginnings, much like the festival founders, MerleFest has grown into one of the world’s largest musical events. The now four day show occurs on the campus of Wilkes Community College (WCC) in northwest North Carolina with over 100 artists performing on 14 stages, entertaining over 75,000 spectators annually.

The first show occurred in 1988 when WCC horticulture instructor Frederick Townes IV, nicknamed “B”, orchestrated a one-night performance from Doc Watson to serve as a fundraiser for the development of a sensory garden for the blind. Watson agreed, asking that the garden be named in honor of his late son, Merle.

Merle Watson was best known for his musical performances alongside his farther as the two released 12 albums over 21 years before his untimely death from a tractor accident on the family farm. The grounds at WCC became known as the Eddy Merle Watson Garden for the Senses and the event evolved into its current state over the past 31 years.

Brining together traditional bluegrass plus those who flirt with a similar sound in some respect, many world renowned performers have graced one of the many stages at MerleFest during their careers. Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, John Prine, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson and Old Crow Medicine Show are just a handful of the names whose music has been heard here before.

Each year brings in even more talent and with a stellar lineup, the 2019 festival is no different. The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Amos Lee, Wynonna and the Big Noise, Tyler Childers, Radney Foster, The Black Lillies, Sean McConnell, Elizabeth Cook and American Aquarium are just some of the acts who will put their musical talents on display next weekend.

Music begins on Thursday afternoon at 3:00pm and continues through the weekend until the festival concludes on Sunday at 6:00pm, following the return of The Avett Brothers to the Watson Stage.

The full lineup and stage performances can be found here or by visiting MerleFest.org. Tickets are also available, including two reserved seating options for a four-day pass and general admission as a multi or single day ticket. Rivers Edge camping (RV Camping is FULL) is also an option for those planning to attend the entire event.

Get your tickets now to be a part of a wonderful weekend of music in the mountains.