Ever More Nest and Kelcy Mae: Finding Her Place

Kelcy Mae tours NC ahead of her new album, ‘The Place That You Call Home‘ due out October 12…

Shreveport, Louisiana native and New Orleans based singer-songwriter Kelcy Mae has been writing music and touring on a mission of self discovery for many years. Recording three albums (Half-Light, 2014 – Pennies in Hand, 2011 and The Times Compiled, 2007) along her journey, it never seemed she had quite found her place but that is changing.

Aided by producer Neilson Hubbard, Mae captured her vision for ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, creating Ever More Nest and compiling a record full of songs that blend Americana, folk, southern rock and story-telling depth with lessons in life, love, frustration, and inner soul searching.

Traveling with guitarist Dave DeCotiis, the duo has multiple stops across North Carolina this week where you can hear these songs and experience the smooth, bold, live performances of seeing Mae on stage.

Prior to her first stop, RedDirtNC caught up with the rising star to find out more about ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, her musical influences and Ever More Nest.

RDNC: Can you briefly share the backstory behind your career, how Ever More Nest began and what ultimately led to the upcoming album ‘The Place That You Call Home‘?

KM: I’ve been performing as Kelcy Mae for the last few years. I started pursuing music more seriously after finishing grad school (MFA in Poetry), when I was able to focus more on songwriting. I put out a couple records and toured a bit. After my last record (Half-Light), I felt like I really hadn’t quite found myself and my groove yet. I think of those last few years of touring and performing as a journey in self-discovery. By 2017 I had a number of songs I knew I wanted to record and a specific aesthetic I wanted for them. That led to the birth of Ever More Nest. Neilson Hubbard (Producer on ‘The Place That You Call Home‘) helped me manifest that vision on the record, and now I’ve got the band to back it up. Kelcy Mae didn’t feel like the right name and identity anymore, and it didn’t help its case that people misspell it nearly all the time. Ever More Nest helped free me creatively and allow me to explore the Americana aesthetic dear to my heart.

RDNC: What are your favorite songs off the new album and can you share any lyrical highlights, why?

KM: The album is so new that I’m still in love with these songs. I’m so excited for people to hear them and to play them live. Major Tom is definitely one of my favorites. The lesson of letting go has truly been life-changing for me over the last year. As discussed in the Atwood Magazine video premier, it’s a song that came to me quickly in a low moment right after the presidential election. Learning how to stay active and engaged with my world and how to know what I can and can’t control, what I can and can’t contribute, was really helpful to me in all aspects of my life. I feel so at home in that song, floating in space as it were, I know nothing but what I know, and this world done lost me a long time ago. I feel like Major Tom, out of control. And of course the song ends with the line, “I feel like Major Tom, letting go”.

Another current favorite is Broken Bones. The title for the album comes from this song, No one can break your heart quite like the place that you call home.Written after the major flood that happened last year in New Orleans, it’s a song about the frustrations of “home.” For me, of course, that’s New Orleans. My favorite lyrics are in the bridge, “Broken streets, broken homes, broken hearts that roam alone along broken streets, broken homes, broken hearts that beat through beating“. The next lines speak to the rhetoric we all get from our civic leaders who say they’re doing everything they can for us, for the betterment of society, community, whatever. “Tell me one more time how you’ve got me on your mind…one more time for the people at the end of the line“. “Home” can be so insanely frustrating, especially for those less fortunate—living with dysfunction, be it on a familial or city scale, is heartbreaking.

RDNC: What does the title, ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, reveal about the album’s overall theme and impact?

KM: I’ve always been interested in the idea of “place.” For me, the title isn’t strictly literal, though, like it more or less is within the song Broken Bones. “Home” can be a lot of things. So can “place.”I chose it for the album because I think the idea of place permeates the entire record. And looking at the record now, I can see that it’s a record about finding my place in the world. I feel like this is simplifying a more complex bigger picture, but that’s the easiest way to describe it, I guess.

RDNC: Who have been your musical influences and did any one in particular have an impact on this particular album?

KM: My musical influences have varied over the years, but I’ve always loved that southern, Americana sound. Direct influences on this record include Emmylou Harris (Wrecking Ball) and probably Ryan Adams’ former band Whiskeytown. Lucinda Williams and Lucero as well. Caroline Spence has become a big influence–it was her record ‘Spades & Roses‘ that led to my working with producer Neilson Hubbard. Other favorites include Aimee Mann, Bon Iver, Bonnie Prince Billy, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Jose Gonzalez.

RDNC: How would you describe the sound of the album to any potential new fans?

KM: I imagine the artist influences I just named can give you a general idea of the sound of the record. It’s southern country and rock and roll with lyrics that hopefully make you do a double take. I think it’s something you can listen to on a lonely dirt road or on a bustling city street. It’s gritty, yet lush … We can’t wait to be back in North Carolina. Hope you all remain safe and dry–we’re rooting for you as Florence approaches.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
9/17 – The Town Pump (Black Mountain, NC) – 9:00pm
9/19 – The Dinghy (Isle of Palms, SC) – 7:00pm
9/20 – ISIS Music Hall (Asheville, NC) – 7:00pm
9/21 – The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC) – 7:00pm
9/22 – Mystery Brewing (Hillsborough, NC) – 8:30pm

Find more at www.kelcymae.com/shows

Jam in the Trees 2018 Preview

The two-day Americana themed festival in Black Mountain kicks off tonight…

Jam In The Trees is an annual music festival nestled in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, just outside of Asheville. While 2018 is only the third year since inception, the festival was nominated for IBMA’s prestigious Momentum Award. Jam In The Trees aims to offer the most inclusive experience for each fan, with VIP tickets available for intimate meet & greets with multiple artists. The festival also offers a complimentary shuttle service between the festival venue, Pisgah Brewing Company, and downtown Asheville, nearby hotels, and campgrounds, for safe and easy travel.

The annual music festival returns with a diverse lineup for the third year to Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The roster includes legendary artists The Travelin’ McCourys, Jerry Douglas, Shooter Jennings, Elizabeth Cook, Jane Kramer, Gangstagrass, The Stray Birds, Jim Lauderdale, The Steel Wheels, Fireside Collective, The Po’ Ramblin Boys, The Slocan Ramblers, and Andy Buckner. Following tradition, Jam in the Trees will host music on both an indoor and outdoor stage, and will strategically schedule artists so that there are no overlapping sets. In addition to award-winning Pisgah beer, food trucks will be present on-site, as well as unique vendors and local artisans.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 (All Indoor)

8:00p-8:30p Jane Kramer
9:00p-10:30p Gangstagrass
11:00p-12:00a Fireside Collective

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25

1:00p-1:45p The Po Ramblin Boys (Outdoor)
1:45p-2:30p Andy Buckner (Indoor)
2:30p-3:15p Slocan Ramblers (Outdoor)
3:15p-4:00p Lindi Ortega (Indoor)
4:00p-4:45p Jerry Douglass (Outdoor)
4:45p-5:30p Elizabeth Cook (Indoor)
5:30p-6:30p The Steel Wheels (Outdoor)
6:30p-7:15p Jim Lauderdale (Indoor)
7:30p-8:30p Shooter Jennings (Outdoor)
9:00p-10:30p The Travelin McCourys (Outdoor)
After Hours Jam – Jim Lauderdale & The Po Ramblin Boys with special guests! (Indoor)

Don’t miss this unique opportunity for western NC, tickets remain available for purchase here.

Preview the lineup and learn more about each artist here.

*Information provided by jaminthetrees.com

Mile 0 Fest: What to Know Before You Go

For both those that attended the inaugural Mile 0 Fest and everyone else who missed out but is looking at not making the same mistake again…

If you missed the inaugural Mile 0 Fest held in Key West, Florida last year but know anyone who attended, then you’ve likely seen the pictures and heard stories about what transpired – a well ran and flawlessly executed festival on a number of different levels. An epic musical lineup in paradise, paired with opportunities no other festival can duplicate and next year is going to be even better.

Passes and packages (Platinum-SOLD OUT, Gold, Pirate and Beach Bum) for 2019 are on sale beginning next Monday, July 16 and whether you remain on the fence about attending this year or are already booked, we offer the following advice based on attendance from last year and changes that have already been announced or are being offered for this year’s experience.

DATES: January 29 – February 2, 2019

Last year the festival was a four day event that has been extended to include part of Tuesday (1/29) this year. An additional half-day of action so attendees need to make certain their travel plans include arriving early enough to help kick-off the festivities in Key West.

LINEUP:

Already receiving rave reviews, another stacked lineup across the board is only going to grow as the event draws closer. Expect multiple other artists to be added, including FOUR MORE THIS WEEK before tickets go on sale! Last year the event covered six stages with 50-plus artists and 71 shows – this year Mile 0 Fest will host 10-plus stages, 60-70 artists and over 100 shows!

TRANSPORTATION: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (even boats!)

Key West is best reached by air but flights in and out of the small island are limited and often expensive. Other possibilities include Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, but will require either renting a vehicle or taking the bus on a near four-hour trip through the keys down US Hwy. 1. The good news is there is plenty to see and do along the way but the narrow road often allows for only two-way traffic and can be backed up at times. The Key West Express can make reaching the festival even more fun from Ft. Myers if you prefer to view the keys from out on the water.

Once in Key West, all Mile 0 Fest package holders will have access to a trolley with select stops near Duval Street (main street in KW), the Amphitheater and other related stages and accommodations. Some parking is available for golf carts and cars at the Amphitheater stage but one of the best ways to get around Key West is on foot. If you prefer, there are plenty of golf cart and scooter rental places available, in addition to bicycles, which can be extremely beneficial as parking is limited everywhere – remember, it’s a small island.

UBER and Taxis also service Key West, plus public transportation which can be beneficial if staying closer to the airport.

WHERE TO STAY: Mile 0 Fest Has You Covered

Platinum packages and passes are already SOLD OUT due to the ability of those who attended last year to commit early but the remaining available options provide the best in terms of accommodations. Your individual booking representative can help to ensure you receive the best possible room(s) in addition to adding extra days onto either end of your trip (recommended).

If not utilizing the packages available, anywhere on or near Duval St. can provide a location in close proximity to both the Amphitheater Stage and many of the other venues associated with Mile 0 Fest. Also, don’t forget non-traditional bookings which can be provided via VRBO or Airbnb – some of these even allow for individuals or groups to stay on boats which owners rent throughout the year.

WHAT TO PACK: Relax, it’s Key West

Sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a portable phone charger – what more do you need? There are opportunities for swimming at any of the few Key West beaches (Smathers Beach, Fort Taylor State Park, or Southernmost Beach Resort) but unless you’re planning to soak up the sun or take an excursion requiring swimwear – it’s basically optional. A light jacket or long sleeve shirt is recommended because once the sun goes down it can get a little chilly on the island. The charger will be put to good use after all the photos and videos of both Key West, in general, and the musical performances held both day and night.

If you forget anything, there are plenty of stores on the island – big name, local and in between to meet any need.

WHERE TO EAT: Decisions, decisions, decisions…

This is too broad a topic with so many delicious places to choose from which will be given its due diligence closer to festival time. However, there will be food trucks and vendors on-site at the Amphitheater Stage (all were delicious and well priced last year) plus many of the other venues provide food which is also great!

MOST IMPORTANT: Still not convinced?

If you are thinking at all about attending, decide before passes go on sale because they will go quickly and single-day passes are not yet (and may not be) an option this year. The only way to guarantee your spot is to purchase it once they become available on Monday (7/16).

Everyone is on vacation, artists and patrons alike which provides for a unique atmosphere at every show you attend. You may have an opportunity to purchase a drink for your favorite musician or even spend the day with them snorkeling and parasailing while completing one of the many optional FURY provided excursions.

Mile 0 Fest also provides multiple opportunities for individuals to assist with various charities throughout the event. A Fishing Derby, Artist Painting and Guitar Auctions are all options where patrons can take part and help contribute to the Red Dirt Relief Fund, Michelle Halpern Foundation and Bahama Village Music Program, which a few of the artists themselves assist while visiting the island.

Music takes place from 10:00am until near 2:00am daily, meaning those extra days you tack onto your trip will be useful if you’re not an early riser who can explore the island before shows begin as there is plenty to see and do. From Ernest Hemingway, Shel Silverstein, Maritime Museums, Truman Little White House, Southernmost Point to Jimmy Buffett – Key West offers so much to keep you entertained and Mile 0 Fest added a four-plus day event to spotlight Red Dirt and Americana music on top of it – a match literally made in paradise.

It’s a vacation, trip, festival, etc. unlike any other but it’s also important to remember that it’s the people of Key West and those in attendance, working and responsible for putting on the event, who make it special. A boutique festival with another incredibly talented lineup ensures all of the music heard throughout the week will be spectacular, so have fun, meet new people, take care of your bar tenders and enjoy one of the best times you’ll have all year – guaranteed.

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, June 1-3

Local talent, rising stars and an east Texas band highlight the first weekend of June…

Last week was highlighted by two different festivals taking place across North Carolina and this week ends with one. Showcasing local talent from the region and our state in particular, the Tobacco Road Music Acoustic Jam is set for Sunday afternoon at Puckett’s Farm Equipment in Charlotte.

Prior, there are plenty of other opportunities to get out and enjoy a live show from rising talent and established groups in all corners of the state. Also, don’t forget that tickets to Medicine Stone 2018 went on sale Friday morning and will go fast. If interested in attending, visit their website for lodging options ranging from tent camping to hotel stays, all with access to the shows. They’ve compiled an amazing lineup worth making the trip from North Carolina out to the home or red dirt music in Oklahoma. We hope to see you there, if not before.

Get out and enjoy a show!

FRIDAY – JUNE 1, 2018

Whiskey Myers – Cone Denim, Greensboro

There may be no better word for Whiskey Myers than authentic. This music is in their blood, and it flows as naturally from them as a spring feeding a mountain creek … They make music they’re proud of that celebrates where they come from and makes people feel good. As far as they’re concerned, that’s all the success anyone could ever ask for.

Justin Townes Earle – The Grey Eagle, Asheville

Creating a nostalgic feeling with the return to his signature sound, JTE takes listeners on a journey through some of his most personal stories yet on what can only be described as an authentic country record.

Lilly Hiatt – The Grey Eagle, Asheville

Trinity Lane is full of gifts and full of guts – an album that is a healing process and a road map forward, filled with Hiatt’s wildly expressive approach to songwriting and stark, honest lyrics. To get there, she finally had to put her faith into something she couldn’t see. But to hear that journey, all you have to do is listen.

Grover Windham – Catawba Coffee, Mount Holly

Local talent with original songs and clever songwriting.

Jonathan Parker – Ole Dallas Brewery, Dallas

Independent and traditional country music. Rising local artist within the genre featuring original songs and a few classic covers from some of your favorite outlaws.

Corey Hunt Band – The Lazy Pirate, Carolina Beach

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

SATURDAY – JUNE 2, 2018

Whiskey Myers – Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh

Pistol Hill – Da Bayou, Wilson

Independent and traditional country music. Emerging local artist within the genre featuring both original songs and covers from some of your favorite individuals and bands.

Justin Clyde Williams – Da Bayou, Wilson

Independent and traditional country music.

Dirty Grass Soul – Riverview Raw Bar, Charlotte

Whether it is the hint of bluegrass, outlaw country, or rock & roll you hear in each song, their sound is uniquely Dirty Grass Soul. From Dedmon’s down home/working class lyrics to the blazing instrumental breaks, Dirty Grass Soul is sure to offer a little something for everyone.

SUNDAY – JUNE 3, 2018

Tyler Childers – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro

Purgatory, co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, is a chiaroscuro painting with darkness framing light in high relief. There’s catharsis and redemption. Sin and temptation. Murder and deceit. Demons and angels. Moonshine and cocaine. So much moonshine and cocaine. All played out on the large, colorful canvas of Eastern Kentucky.

Tobacco Road Music Acoustic Jam – Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte

3:00pm – Corey Hunt, Michael Cansler, Chip Perry, Justin Clyde Williams, Jordan Middleton

4:00pm – Nicholas Jamerson, Kevin Dedmon, Tyler Hatley, Wes Smith, Grayson Jenkins

5:00pm – Pistol Hill, Todd Allmon, Carolina Keller, Jonathan Parker


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows! Don’t forget, keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Medicine Stone 2018: Experience It For Yourself

Medicine Stone 2018 passes go on sale to the general public Friday (June 1) but you could win a pair before then…

The sixth annual Medicine Stone event takes place this September 20-22 at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Hailing from the original home state of red dirt music, Medicine Stone has quickly developed into the premier music festival highlighting top artists and bands year in and year out, on the banks of the Illinois River.

Created by two of the top acts in red dirt music – Jason Boland and The Stragglers alongside The Turnpike Troubadours, this event speaks to the heart of red dirt fans and provides an opportunity unlike any other music festival in the world.

Multiple accommodations exist for patrons from tent camping to hotel stays and anything in between. There are sites available with RV hookups, some which include power and even party houses for you and 14 of your closest friends.

The 2018 lineup is slammed with talent including each of two founders and all of the following:

Randy Rogers Band, The Toadies, Wade Bowen, Koe Wetzel, Red Shahan, Cody Canada and the Departed, Charley Crockett, Jamie Lin Wilson, Shooter Jennings, Flatland Cavalry, Dirty River Boys, John Fullbright, Read Southall, Reckless Kelly, Mike McClure Band, Kaitlin Butts, Red Dirt Rangers, The Vandoliers, Micky and the Motorcars, Bo Phillips, Thomas Trapp, RC and the Ambers, Brandon Aguilar, Randy Crouch, Austin Meade, Dave Kay, BC and the Big Rig, in addition to The Dirty Mugs.

View the official website of Medicine Stone here for full details regarding lineup, tickets and answers to many frequently asked questions.

WIN A PAIR of “Roughin’ It” passes (details below)

We are extremely excited to announce that not only are we traveling out to the home of red dirt music but you can too! We’re giving away – not one, not two but THREE pairs of “Roughin’ It” passes for the event – two before tickets go on sale to the general public.

Enter by following both RedDirtNC and MedicineStoneOK on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Instagram – LIKE and Comment who you are most excited about seeing in concert
Facebook – LIKE, Comment and tag friends for multiple entries
Twitter – RT w/ Comment

Two winners will be announced on Thursday, May 31 – best of luck!

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, May 25-27

Two different festivals highlight Memorial Day weekend across North Carolina…

The Outlaw Music Festival makes its way across North Carolina this weekend along with Gears and Guitars (May 25-28) in Winston-Salem. Both are jam packed with solid lineups and should provide plenty of entertainment for everyone who attends.

If your preference this Memorial Day weekend is for a more intimate setting, there’s opportunity for that as well. A variety of other shows are taking place as the unofficial start to summer begins!

Get out and enjoy a show!

FRIDAY – MAY 25, 2018

Outlaw Music Festival – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Raleigh

4:00pm – Gates Open
5:45pm – Delta Rae
6:35pm – Alison Krauss
8:05pm – Sturgill Simpson
9:45pm – Willie Nelson

Shane Smith and the Saints – Motorco Music Hall, Durham

From their home base in Austin through performances across the country (17 states) and abroad (Ireland), these five gentlemen have not just stuck stubbornly to their musical and lyrical convictions. They’ve defied audience expectations by delivering incendiary shows, each one ignited by the band’s ability to unleash, feed from and feed back the energy of the crowd — in spite of the fact that they don’t fit easily into any musical category.

Corey Hunt Band – Motorco Music Hall, Durham

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Jamie McLean Band – The Blue Note Grill, Durham

Jamie McLean is a triple threat. His blue eyed southern soul vocals ooze raw emotion and his top line songwriting chops tie everything together.  With hundreds of original compositions to his name McLean creates a musical gumbo that incorporates New Orleans soul, Delta blues, middle America roots and New York City swagger.

SATURDAY – MAY 26, 2018

Outlaw Music Festival – PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte

3:30pm – Gates Open
4:10pm – Mitchell Lee
5:00pm – Wild Feathers
6:30pm – Old Crow Medicine Show
8:00pm – Sturgill Simpson
9:40pm – Willie Nelson

Chris Stalcup – 185 King St., Brevard

In a just world, Stalcup’s name should be included amongst the new breed of artists including Isbell, Simpson and Stapleton who are marrying tradition and truth. ~ Eric Risch / Pop Matters

SUNDAY – MAY 27, 2018

Gears and Guitars – Bailey Park, Winston-Salem

5:00pm – Gates Open
Charley Crockett
Amanda Shires
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

See the full four-day festival lineup here.


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows! Don’t forget, keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, May 10-13

North Carolina is packed with live music opportunities this weekend…

Supporting music largely originating from Oklahoma and Texas means sometimes having to wait for artists to visit the east coast. Checking their schedules we are often jealous of the many dates with TX or OK beside them but understand it’s there where they make a living.

It seems on any given night somewhere in either state you can find great live music to support and thanks to some talented local North Carolina musicians making similar music, this Thursday through the weekend, our state will be provided the same opportunity.

There’s FIVE different shows to choose from just tonight, so let’s get started.

THURSDAY – MAY 10, 2018

Corey Hunt Band – The TApp Room, Boone
Tyler Hatley – The TApp Room, Boone

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Blackberry Smoke – The Ritz, Raleigh

Blackberry Smoke has never been a band that stands still. Whether pursuing the dream by logging hundreds of thousands of miles on America’s highways and abroad or relentlessly exploring the many facets of its most unique art form, the Atlanta quintet is always on the move. The songs on Blackberry Smoke’s sixth album, Like an Arrow show just how far this authentic American rock band has come as the accomplished group of musicians tackles a diverse set of new ideas, sounds and territories, long after most bands with half the success might have settled into a well-worn groove.

Blue Water Highway – The Grey Eagle, Asheville

Blue Water Highway runs just outside of Freeport up towards Galveston along the Texas Gulf Coast. This is the part of the world where the cultures of Texas and Louisiana collide in a unique melting pot steeped in the traditions of the people of both states.

Jonathan Parker – Kelly’s Bar, Benson

Independent and traditional country music. Rising local artist within the genre featuring original songs and a few classic covers from some of your favorite outlaws.

Radney Foster – The Barn, Winston-Salem

For You To See The Stars is Foster at his classic storytelling best, both as a seasoned singer/songwriter and a soulful writer of prose. Although both components stand alone as separate pieces of art– they are meant to be enjoyed together for a reason. When coupled, the book and CD give fans a deeper insight into the subconscious of Foster’s storytelling.

FRIDAY – MAY 11, 2018

Brandi Carlile – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington
Brandy Clark – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington

Clark is part of a new vanguard in country music — one that tips a hat to tradition, while not eschewing its evolution. “I see what’s happening right now and I feel this groundswell of people who love… I would say ‘country’ music, but I’ll take it a step further and say ‘real’ music.

Corey Hunt Band – Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte
Todd Allmon – Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – Highland Brewing, Asheville

Since forming 10 years ago, the buzz surrounding Lukas Nelson & POTR has been quietly intensifying. Lukas’ profile continued to rise when he contributed three songs and heavenly vocals to his dad Willie Nelson’s 2012 album, Heroes, their voices blending with potent DNA.

Tyler Hatley – Strawberry Fest, Shelby

Independent and original country music influenced by the sounds of George Jones, William Clark Green and American Aquarium.

SATURDAY – MAY 12, 2018

Aaron Watson – Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte

Throughout his 17-year career that spans a dozen albums and more than 2,500 shows throughout the U.S. and Europe, 39-year-old Watson has stubbornly and sincerely identified with the everyman––even as he’s proven to be the exception to the rule.

Brandi Carlile – Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh
Brandy Clark – Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh

A second opportunity this weekend.

Corey Hunt Band – The Exchange, Asheboro
Todd Allmon – The Exchange, Asheboro

Another opportunity this weekend.

Jonathan Parker – The Junction, Benson

One more chance to see Jonathan Parker and his band.

SUNDAY – MAY 13, 2018

Brandi Carlile – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville
Brandy Clark – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville

A third stop for both artists in North Carolina!


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows but don’t forget to keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, April 27-29

MerleFest highlights the weekend in Wilkesboro but live music is happening throughout all of North Carolina…

The 31st annual MerleFest kicked off on Thursday night behind a spectacular lineup of artists, especially those from Texas. Shinyribs, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Earl Keen all graced the Watson stage in front of a crowd that wouldn’t be discouraged by a little rainfall.

Fortunately, the forecast for the remainder of the festival looks amazing as there are many other wonderful artists to see and hear all weekend long. If you can’t make it to Wilkesboro, then be on the lookout for another one of these events happening across the state this weekend!

FRIDAY – APRIL 27, 2018

MerleFest – See the full schedule and lineup of events for Day Two here.

Jamey Johnson – MerleFest
Rodney Crowell – MerleFest
Brandy Clark – MerleFest
Mandolin Orange – MerleFest

John Moreland – The Ramkat, Winston-Salem

“In churches learning how to hate yourself/Ain’t grace a wretched old thing” he sings, the song called “Ain’t We Gold.” Big Bad Luv is unmistakably a rock ‘n’ roll record. If, that is, one understands the term to include Ray Wylie Hubbard, John Hiatt, and Lucero. Or The Band, maybe. Insistent songs, coming from a voice as elegant as unfinished barn wood, songs which insist upon their words being heard.

Corey Hunt Band – Old Dallas Brewery, Dallas

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Todd Snider – Salvage Station, Asheville

Described as “one of the sharpest, funniest storytellers in rock” by Rolling Stone and “an exceptional songwriter” by NPR’s Fresh Air, Snider uses his narrative chops to keep the world of ‘Eastside Bulldog’ poignant, acerbic and hilarious.

Jonathan Parker – City Tap, Pittsboro

Independent and traditional country music. Rising local artist within the genre featuring original songs and a few classic covers from some of your favorite outlaws.

SATURDAY – APRIL 26, 2018

MerleFest – See the full schedule and lineup of events for Day Three here.

Moo and Brew Fest in Charlotte.
Charley Crockett – Moo and Brew Fest
Shovels and Rope – Moo and Brew Fest

Caitlyn Smith – Evening Muse, Charlotte

From small-town Minnesota to the stages of Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits festival, Caitlyn Smith is now living a dream she’s had from a very young age—and with the release of the mature, masterful Starfire, there’s no telling what happens from here.

The Black Lillies – Reeves Theatre, Elkin

With a new configuration, new songs and the same dedication to touring, the Lillies continue to sink their roots deep into the Americana landscape.

Corey Smith – The Orange Peel, Asheville

Now, however, Corey is focused squarely on the future. As the new album title suggests, he’s ready to make a determined grab at country’s brass ring while the gettin’ is good. And with Keith Stegall and Sugar Hill Records behind him, the gettin’ has never been better.

Todd Snider – Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte

A second opportunity this weekend!

SUNDAY – APRIL 29, 2018

MerleFest – See the full schedule and lineup of events for Day Four here.

Shovels and Rope – The Blind Tiger, Greensboro

Mandolin Orange – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows! Don’t forget, keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Sarah Shook on ‘Years’, the Album and Title Track

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers latest album Years continues to build momentum…

Two weeks ago Sarah Shook released her second album, Years with a hometown show at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, just outside of Chapel Hill. The event was held to celebrate the album release and kick off a multi-state tour that recently turned international with dates added in Sweden and Norway to start the summer.

The album has been widely accepted as Shook has been praised for her hard work and ability to speak her mind through engaging lyrics (and in the real world) without hesitation. Never in fear of potential repercussions, Shook stays true to herself and continues to move forward. It is this resiliency that has catapulted Shook and her band into the spotlight.

Two years ago Rolling Stone named Shook as one of ten artists that fans needed to know. Offering the following comments in an attempt to describe her and the band.

Her sound is a sneering fusion of punk-rock autonomy and say-it-like-it-is country from the classic era, paired with a timeless vocal warble and tons of attitude. Honest to a fault and as foul-mouthed as a drunken sailor, she’s a nonconforming spitfire who’s proud of not fitting in with mainstream country music. Nor does Shook hold back when writing about whiskey and hard living, screwing up and failed romance (with guys and girls) — whether in her songs or her combative social-media posts.

Needed to know then and well known now, without changing her approach although Years is a more polished album with a purpose. Recently, we caught up with Shook to discuss the album release and how things have changed since her first record, Sidelong.

RDNC: How exciting is it to host your album release show here in North Carolina with back-to-back dates in Carrboro and Charlotte?

SS: We are so pumped for a huge home show for the release of Years! We haven’t played locally since New Year’s Eve and it’s gonna rip. (It did)

RDNC: You’ve previously mentioned that Years is about finding a way. As your second album is about to debut, how has finding your own way changed since Sidelong?

SS: I’ve grown a lot as a person and as an artist since we released Sidelong. I’m single for the first time in about 11 years and spending a lot of solid alone time, getting myself together and preparing to tour like crazy for the rest of the year.

RDNC: Obviously, each of the 10 tracks on the new record have a special meaning but is there one, in particular, that outweighs the others for you personally?

SS: Years is one of the crucial tracks, it’s about acknowledging a need for change and reconnecting with yourself after years of pouring yourself into a black hole of a relationship.

Just this week the new record popped up on Billboard charts, reaching number 10 in the ‘Heatseekers’ category for top-selling albums by new or developing acts. Only officially two weeks old, the future is looking bright for Shook, the Disarmers and Years.

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, April 20-22

From Black Mountain to Greenville, there’s plenty of opportunities for great live music this weekend…

Regardless of your preferred method for enjoying live music, this weekend has you covered. From enjoying a good meal and drink with friends, a more typical venue or even a festival, there’s something for everyone across the state here in mid-April (that can’t seem to shake January).

Barley’s Taproom has some of the best pizza in the western part of the state and the “Fiddlesticks” are a must. Both the Visulite Theatre and Buccaneer Music Hall are more traditional venues and you’ve got two great options to see John Moreland.

Tuck Fest is happening at the US National Whitewater Center with all sorts of events occurring over the weekend, including live musical performances – of which Moreland is performing a set on Friday night. Saturday, you can catch him at Pisgah Brewing up in Black Mountain – another wonderful music venue with great craft beer.

FRIDAY – APRIL 20, 2018

Pistol Hill – Barley’s Taproom, Spindale

Independent and traditional country music. Emerging local artists within the genre featuring both original songs and covers from some of your favorite individuals and bands.

Old 97’s – Visulite Theatre, Charlotte

“There aren’t more than a handful of bands in history who can claim to have an intact, unchanged line-up as they approach twenty-five years together. There is, of course, no real blueprint or rulebook for sustaining the kind of chemistry that Miller, Bethea, Hammond, and Peeples enjoy. ‘I think our longevity can be attributed primarily to our friendship and ability to overcome those moments when egos want to overtake and obliterate everything in their path,’ says Miller … ‘We’re just very lucky to be able to do this for a living. It’s insane and beautiful and we never, ever take it for granted.”

John Moreland – Tuck Fest, Charlotte

“In churches learning how to hate yourself/Ain’t grace a wretched old thing” he sings, the song called “Ain’t We Gold.” Big Bad Luv is unmistakably a rock ‘n’ roll record. If, that is, one understands the term to include Ray Wylie Hubbard, John Hiatt, and Lucero. Or The Band, maybe. Insistent songs, coming from a voice as elegant as unfinished barn wood, songs which insist upon their words being heard.

SATURDAY – APRIL 21, 2018

Corey Hunt Band – The Buccaneer Music Hall, Greenville

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

John Moreland – Pisgah Brewing, Black Mountain

A second opportunity this weekend!

SUNDAY – APRIL 22, 2018

No shows currently listed.


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows! Don’t forget, keep spreading the love, one song at a time…