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

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.

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.

Robert Earl Keen set for multiple dates across NC

The legendary Robert Earl Keen has four upcoming dates throughout North Carolina.

Texas native and song-writing legend, Robert Earl Keen, is making multiple stops in North Carolina this week, beginning on Wednesday. Known for a classic mix of story-portrait songs and other rocking hits, Keen bounces between folk, country, rock and bluegrass – unable and unwilling to be limited by a specific genre or placed into a box.

Three decades removed from his debut album and after years of touring both across the United States and internationally, Keen remains hard at work – always crafting his next musical endeavor and entertaining fans with energetic live performances and the tales behind many of his greatest songs.

A member of the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, Keen has an extended portfolio of songs from which to choose, so no matter if you’re attending one or all of these upcoming shows – it’s a safe bet you will not leave disappointed.

4/10 – Wednesday at Lincoln Theatre (Raleigh) – TIX AVAILABLE HERE

4/11 – Thursday at Neighborhood Theatre (Charlotte) – TIX AVAILABLE HERE

4/12 – Friday at The Ramkat (Winston-Salem) – TIX AVAILABLE HERE

4/15 – Monday at The Orange Peel (Asheville) – TIX AVAILABLE HERE

Depot District Music Fest Returns April 13

Depot District Music Fest returns to Lexington this Saturday (April 13)!

PURCHASE YOUR ADVANCE TICKETS HERE

After tremendous success hosting the inaugural Depot District Music Fest in 2017, plans for a return last year were derailed by a fire in downtown Lexington. Following a resilient effort and construction of an impressive lineup featuring Delbert McClinton, Turnpike Troubadours, Sister Hazel and On the Border – the ultimate Eagles tribute band, a sophomore event is set to take place at Breeden Insurance Amphitheater this Saturday, April 13 as part of the district’s continued revitalization effort.

“Lexington is excited to host a talented lineup of performers for an enthusiastic crowd of music lovers at the Breeden Insurance Amphitheater,” said City Manager Terra Greene, who is eager to offer the Depot District Music Fest for a second time. “Being able to see high caliber entertainment perform up close and personal at such a warm outdoor venue is a treat for visitors and the entire community. We look forward to welcoming newcomers to Lexington for the Depot District Music Fest and beyond!”

Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating purposes as gates (333 S. Main Street) will open at noon. Multiple food truck vendors, in addition to beer and wine will be on site and available to purchase. The event does allow reentry, meaning dining options in the Uptown Lexington Historic District are also a possibility but no outside food or beverages are permitted, except for medical purposes.

Set times for the festival are as follows:

On the Border 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Sister Hazel 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Turnpike Troubadours 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Delbert McClinton 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Advance tickets are still available at $45 for adult general admission, increasing to $55 on Saturday with children 12 and under admitted with a paying adult – $10 (online advanced purchase) or $15 at the gate.

PURCHASE YOUR ADVANCE TICKETS HERE

Music Festivals + April = FestivApril Across NC

Multiple festivals highlight the upcoming April schedule across North Carolina.

As the calendar turns to April, spring is in full swing and the live music scene is heating up. After an incredible March, the slate of shows and artists available to see this month may be even more impressive. There are a number of different festivals taking place across the state so no matter where you live, make plans to attend one, two or more and help support some great causes and artists in the process.

Following is a brief preview of each (in chronological order) and links to their respective sites where even more information can be found.

Pickin’ For The Mission – Morganton – April 7
Tickets Available Here

A benefit show featuring BBQ and multiple artists performing throughout the afternoon, with all proceeds going to The Meeting Place to battle homelessness.

Featuring: Justin Clyde Williams, Tyler Hatley, Corey Hunt and Sam Tayloe

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Depot District Music Fest – Lexington – April 13
Tickets Available Here

A solid lineup and full day of entertainment to celebrate community, music and the revitalization of a district in the heart of North Carolina.

Featuring: On the Border, Sister Hazel, Turnpike Troubadours, Delbert McClinton

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MerleFest – Wilkesboro – April 25 thru 28
Tickets Available Here

Beginning as a small college fundraiser, this festival has grown into a world renowned event of music, moments and memories to celebrate “traditional plus” artists.

Featuring: The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Tyler Childers, Amos Lee, Wynonna Judd, Jim Lauderdale, The Black Lillies, Radney Foster, Donna the Buffalo, American Aquarium, Sean McConnell, Elizabeth Cook, The Casey Kristofferson Band and more!

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Tuck Fest – Charlotte – April 25 thru 28
Free Music Event

Celebrating outdoor lifestyles at the US National Whitewater Center, this festival features multiple event competitions in addition to music at one of the most unique venues in all of the state.

Featuring: Tyler Childers, Sarah Shook, Sean McConnell, The Marcus King Band, Liz Cooper, The Milk Carton Kids and more!

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Jimmy-June Music and Arts Festival – Asheboro – April 27
Free Music Event

Promoting the positive aspects of southern culture, this inaugural festival figures to be a wonderful day of family fun and entertainment.

Featuring: Caleb Caudle, Justin Wells, Abigail Dowd, Whiskey Foxtrot and more!

Sean McConnell in Carrboro and Charlotte

Sean McConnell has two dates in NC this week.

Proficient songwriter and talented musician Sean McConnell is making a brief run through North Carolina to kick off the weekend. Two dates, Thursday (3/7) and Friday (3/8) in Carrboro and Charlotte – respectively, allow for almost anyone in the state to make a show.

Randy Rogers, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Meatloaf, Christina Aguilera, Wade Bowen and many others have performed his songs as McConnell got his musical start at a young age. Growing up in Massachusetts as the son of two singers, a move to Georgia sparked an interest in his own endeavors. At 15 years old he put out his first album and since McConnell has produced a dozen more, including “Secondhand Smoke”, his latest release.

Only out since early February, the album has drawn acclaim from a variety of different outlets. No Depression (The Journal of Roots Music) offered the following commentary about McConnell’s latest masterpiece.

With a voice that’s quiet, yet powerful, McConnell creates a well-rounded album that tackles complex subject matter with intellect and empathy. Between his striking voice and ability to captivate one’s vision with his lyrics, McConnell creates an imaginative world while taking a deeper look at the one we live in.

Come witness his incredible song writing and talented playing first-hand, either at Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro) or The Evening Muse (Charlotte). Tickets and details available below.

March 7 – Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro), Doors 7pm – Click HERE for Tix

March 8 – The Evening Muse (Charlotte), Doors 7pm – Click HERE for Tix

*Caleb Elliott supporting both shows

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers set multiple NC dates

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have four upcoming shows across NC

Sarah Shook wasn’t born in North Carolina but after moving to the state at 19 years old, has spent the majority of her adult life here. The lead singer has been on a musical journey since beginning her first band back in 2010, Sarah Shook and the Devil.

After disbanding, Sarah Shook and the Dirty Hands formed but was relatively short lived in 2013, before the now surging, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers came into being late that same year.

The group put out their first record, “Sidelong”, in October of 2015 and after signing with Bloodshot Records, a re-release orchestrated in early 2017 put Shook and her band into the spotlight for new country and Americana artists to watch.

Over the past year, Shook has been touring all over the world in addition to releasing her sophomore album, “Years”. 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.

A continuation of the momentum Shook and her band have been building, “Years” served to solidify her position in the independent music scene, earning Album of the Year from Saving Country Music for being “the greatest, most important release in all of country music, mainstream or independent, traditional or contemporary, from an artist who is young or old, man or woman, or along any other particular gradient one can choose to assign, in all of 2018.”

Less than three 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 but well known now and all without ever changing her approach. Amid a slew of newly released tour dates, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have four upcoming shows across North Carolina.

NORTH CAROLINA UPCOMING TOUR DATES

March 7 – Asheville at The Grey Eagle (Tix Available Here)

April 4 – Greensboro at The Blind Tiger (Tix Available Here)
April 26 – Charlotte at Tuck Fest, US National Whitewater Center (Free Admission)
April 27 – Carrboro at Cat’s Cradle (Tix Available Here)