Out Today: Whiskey Foxtrot’s ‘The Broken End’

Available everywhere you listen, NC’s own Whiskey Foxtrot released their very first single today!

Formed in 2017 when solo acts Seth Williams and Sam Foster joined forces to create Whiskey Foxtrot, the band has enjoyed a steady rise in recognition across the southeast and especially in their home state – North Carolina. Hailing from Winston-Salem, the duo added Brad Cardille (bass), Terry VunCannon (lap steel) and Steven Worley (drums) to perform as a full band.

Working at Uwharrie Mountain Sound with fellow musician and producer Corey Hunt, the band released their first of two upcoming singles, ‘The Broken End’ – available everywhere you listen to music today.

An upbeat backing helps mask the the pain of a broken relationship as the band draws on influences from southern rock group Blackberry Smoke and North Carolina’s own American Aquarium, among others. A high bar has been set with their first release but if it’s any indication of what’s to come – and it should be – then everyone should have some new music to add into their rotation with another single scheduled for release in just two more weeks (January 24).

A resounding, “I took it for what it was worth when you gave me your word, that you had love to give – all I got was hurt,” echos the sentiment throughout but listeners won’t be able to ignore the toe-tapping rhythm. Creating a unique mix, this first taste of what Whiskey Foxtrot has to offer has us excited for more.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

1/10 – Asheboro, NC (Sunset Theatre) – 7pm
1/12 – Winston-Salem, NC (Bull’s Tavern) – 9pm
1/18 – Greensboro, NC (Sawmill II) – 8pm
1/25 – Youngsville, NC (Wine and Beer 101) – 6pm
1/26 – Lewisville, NC (Westbend Winery and Brewery) – 2pm

2/1 – King, NC (Castle’s Deli) – 7pm
2/2 – Lewisville, NC (Westbend Winery and Brewery) – 2pm
2/6 – Roanoke, VA (Martin’s Downtown) – 9pm
2/8 – Winston-Salem, NC (Earl’s) – 10pm
2/22 – Micanopy, FL (The Depot and Speakeasy Room) – 7:30p
2/23 – Wimauma, FL (Southern Rock and BBQ Festival) – 11am

Find more at whiskeyfoxtrotmusic.com

Mile 0 Fest: What to Know Before You Go (Updated)

For both those that attended the inaugural Mile 0 Fest and everyone else who missed out but is 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 this year is going to be even better.

Passes for 2019 are nearly sold out completely but if 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 attendees.

DATES: January 29 – February 2, 2019

Last year the festival was a four day event that has been extended to include part of Tuesday evening (1/29) this year. A street party is planned with The Red Dirt Rangers, Dalton Domino and Shinyribs for 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, festival organizers have put together another stacked lineup across the board. 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 airport possibilities include Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, but will then 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 landscape 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 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 and Gold packages and passes are already SOLD OUT but a select few other four-day passes remain available. 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? Charging stations will be on site at the Amphitheater but a backup plan makes certain you won’t lose the ability to document all of the awesome shows and artists performing at other venues. 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 in another post soon. 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?

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.

RedDirtNC Songs of the Year, 2018

Following are the RedDirtNC selections for top songs of the year in 2018.

Almost every song on each of the previously named top albums of the year was great and warranted consideration for this list. For that reason, the top songs of the year have been divided into two different categories – a pick from each album of the year and nine other songs that made an impact over the past 12 months.

In order by release date, one song from each top album that stood out and nine more that impressed throughout the year.


Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, Mike and the Moonpies
Released February 2
From ‘Steak Night at the Prairie Rose’ available here


What It’s Like to Fly Alone (Hawk Song), Courtney Patton
Released February 16
From ‘What It’s Like to Fly Alone’ available here


Wild Heart Gypsy, Corey Hunt Band
Released March 6
From ‘North of Low Water’ available here


May Your Kindness Remain, Courtney Marie Andrews
Released March 23
From ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ available here


Space Cowboy, Kacey Musgraves
Released March 30
From ‘Golden Hour’ available here


New Ways to Fail, Sarah Shook
Released April 6
From ‘Years’ available here


Summer’s End, John Prine
Released April 13
From ‘Tree of Forgiveness’ available here


I Wanna Cry, Charley Crockett
Released April 20
From ‘Lonesome As A Shadow’ available here


Ain’t A Road Too Long, Brent Cobb
Released May 11
From ‘Providence Canyon’ available here


I Don’t Deserve You, Jason Boland and Sunny Sweeney
Released May 18
From ‘Hard Times Are Relative’ available here


Tough Folks, American Aquarium
Released June 1
From ‘Things Change’ available here


Big Last Name, Cody Jinks
Released July 27
From ‘Lifers’ available here


Goner, William Clark Green
Released August 10
From ‘Hebert Island’ available here


Fast Horses and Good Hideouts, Shooter Jennings
Released August 10
From ‘Shooter’ available here


Earthquake, The Black Lillies
Released September 28
From ‘Stranger To Me’ available here


She Don’t Love Me, Adam Hood and Brent Cobb
Released October 12
From ‘Somewhere In Between’ available here


Oklahoma Stars, Jamie Lin Wilson
Released October 26
From ‘Jumping Over Rocks’ available here


Got My Name Changed Back, Pistol Annies
Released November 2
From ‘Interstate Gospel’ available here

RedDirtNC Albums of the Year, 2018

Here are the RedDirtNC picks for album of the year in 2018.

Let’s begin by stating the obvious – 2018 was an epic year for the music industry. So many artists released new albums, some first expeditions and others more seasoned renditions but both found success throughout the calendar year.

It seems the end of every year brings about a number of different lists and while some outlets elect to rank their selections, others only offer 10 or so of their favorites. For us, we’ve decided to not rank these as each earned its own way into consideration and we’ll say it was extremely difficult but we’ve narrowed an entire year’s worth of releases down to nine full length albums.

In order by release date over the 2018 calendar year, here are the albums that made an impact in the scene, were spinning from the moment they arrived and kept us entertained throughout the year.


Image result for steak night at the prairie rose

Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, Mike and the Moonpies
Released February 2
Available here

Image result for courtney patton what its like to fly alone

What It’s Like to Fly Alone, Courtney Patton
Released February 16
Available here

Years, Sarah Shook
Released April 6
Available here

The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine
Released April 13
Available here

Providence Canyon, Brent Cobb
Released May 11
Available here

Things Change, American Aquarium
Released June 1
Available here

Image result for hebert island

Hebert Island, William Clark Green
Released August 10
Available here

Image result for shooter shooter jennings

Shooter, Shooter Jennings
Released August 10
Available here

Image result for jumping over rocks

Jumping Over Rocks, Jamie Lin Wilson
Released October 26
Available here

Live Review: The Black Lillies in Asheville, 11/30/2018

The Black Lillies landed at The Grey Eagle in Asheville last Friday night.

Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, equipped with new music from their latest album and returning to the site of its recording, The Black Lillies crossed the border and took to the stage at The Grey Eagle in Asheville before an energetic crowd. Behind a revamped lineup, who recently released their new album, Stranger to Me, with all of the contributions coming from each of the current members and producer Jamie Candiloro, the band entertained many long time fans and undoubtedly registered some new ones with their performance.

Ahead of The Black Lillies, Asheville’s own Alex Krug Combo performed a short set backed by her band. Short of the full six-piece combo, Krug and those who accompanied her seemed right at home on the local stage.

Cruz Contreras (lead vocals, guitar, keys) has done a wonderful job revamping the band and the new album reflects influences, in addition to full on contributions, from each of the other members. Sam Quinn (bass, vocals) takes the lead on a few songs and Contreras seemed to enjoy playing along when giving way to the barefoot bassist.

Opposite, Dustin Schaefer (electric guitar, vocals) commands the spotlight in his own right with talented solos and impressive riffs while drummer Bowman Townsend keeps everyone in line, tying everything together while keeping the rhythm.

The group performed some nice harmonies, highlighted in ‘Earthquake’, while also revisiting a few older favorites in ‘Ramblin’ Boy‘, ‘Two Hearts Down‘ and the pleasant surprise appearance of ‘Shepherd’s Song‘ on the set list.

An entertaining band that has been seasoned by experiences on the road both before joining forces and as a unit since coming together in 2016, it’s hard to believe the current members have only the one album to their collective names.

Here’s to many more.

First Listen: Pistol Hill’s ‘Brand New Bottle of Whiskey’

EXCLUSIVE: Hear North Carolina singer-songwriter Pistol Hill’s latest single here first.

In late April, rising artist Pistol Hill released the first of a few brand new singles, “Different You” and nearly a month later, “Worth a Damn,” the latter in collaboration with Justin Clyde Williams. The two songs were a predecessor to Hill’s first partial recording and now an extended release is set to debut as Part II on November 18. Prior to becoming available for everyone, the North Carolina native allowed RedDirtNC a first listen to his latest, “Brand New Bottle of Whiskey.”

Noticeable from the beginning are influences from some of his favorite artists, Merle Haggard and George Jones. A specific lyrical style is present in the song-writing as the music itself straddles a line between new and old, but his voice carries the song – as it should. A story tellers dream, the words point toward an appreciation for the literal whiskey in addition to a parallel of an actual relationship gone awry.

Hill exclaims, “If you only knew how happy I’ve been. I got a brand new bottle of whiskey, you should see the way it treats me.” His lyrics connect with the listener and it feels as if he’s telling the heartfelt tale for the first time as you hear the thoughtful explanation.

Gut wrenching, you can only hope for the best to all those involved as each word traps the listener into being concerned for the narrator but wondering what the bigger story holds. Often the case in real life, there are always going to be multiple sides to every broken relationship and depending on where you land, the interpretations will be different.

Such is the beauty with music and any other art form. The subject matter and impact are always open to a variety of different feelings and there is never a wrong answer but this one will have you raising a glass to those from the past with a wry smile. The good news – you can’t go wrong by adding Pistol Hill and “Brand New Bottle of Whiskey” into your regular playlist rotation.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

11/15 – Greenville, SC (Brewery 85) – 6pm
11/16 – Carrboro, NC (2nd Wind) – 10pm
11/17 – Charlotte, NC (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) – 7pm
11/23 – Shelby, NC (The Don Gibson Theatre) – 6pm*
11/24 – Raleigh, NC (Berkeley Cafe) – 8:30pm
11/28 – Folly Beach, SC (Surf Bar) – 10pm
11/29 – Shallotte, NC (The Soundhouse) – 8pm
11/30 – Wilmington, NC (Flytrap Brewing) – 8pm

12/1 – McClellanville, SC (The Bent Rod) – 6pm
12/4 – New Smyrna Beach, FL (Norwood’s Treehouse Bar) – 7pm
12/8 – Sunset Beach, FL (Ka’Tiki) – 1pm
12/9 – St. Augustine, FL (A1A Ale House) – 5pm
12/11 – Birmingham, AL (The Nick) – 8pm
12/15 – Oxford, MS (The Levee) – 8pm**
12/16 – Clarksdale, MS (Levon’s) – 3:30pm
12/20 – Simpsonville, SC (Sweet Sippin) – 7pm
12/21 – Spindale, NC (Barley’s) – 8pm
12/22 – Pendleton, SC (Hogtails) – 9pm
12/28 – Savannah, GA (Driftaway Cafe) – 6pm
12/29 – Charlotte, NC (Puckett’s Farm Equipment) – 7pm***

1/4 – Wilmington, NC (Goat and Compass) – 9pm
1/5 – Mebane, NC (Trackside Bottle Co.) – 7pm

*Supporting Edwin McCain
**Supporting Austin Lee
***Supporting Ward Davis

Find more at PistolHillMusic.com

Live Review: Reckless Kelly in Winston-Salem and Shelby

Reckless Kelly provided two entertaining nights across North Carolina last week.

Austin based Reckless Kelly rolled into North Carolina for the second time this year with two stops scheduled in Winston-Salem and Shelby. Having previously visited the Tarheel State in June (Hickory and Raleigh) the return was met by many familiar faces as all of their shows serve to increase a consistent fan base, gaining new followers and peaking interest across the state.

The first stop this time around took place in Winston-Salem at The Ramkat, formerly Ziggy’s, and the changes to the venue have been impressive. A quality venue able to produce both a good listening room or full concert experience, the focus here is clearly on the music.

Lead singer Willy Braun appeared solo on stage as the set time approached after an entertaining performance from North Carolina’s own Time Sawyer, greeting the audience with a short introduction and rare acoustic performance. Covering the Bob Dylan classic, “The Times They Are a-Changin’” was a perfect start to an Election Day set highlighted by some appropriately placed songs with a patriotic feel.

Mixed between Reckless Kelly classics “Seven Nights in Eire”, “Nobody’s Girl” and “Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah” was “Pennsylvania Avenue” and a solo from lead guitarist David Abeyta of Slaid Cleaves“One Good Year”. Both added a unique twist to the evening before a rocking finale.

Two days later, the band took on an entirely different feel inside the Don Gibson Theatre, located in Shelby. A seated room, with ease Reckless Kelly constructed a set of songs that equally matched the location.

A nice combination of the favorites paired among others that fittingly intersected with the setting, it created an entirely different feel during most of the evening. The sign of an experienced group of musicians, the band seemed to build momentum as the night transpired and by repeating the same finale from Winston-Salem, a rousing rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Fortunate Son”, much of the audience was on their feet, filling the aisles in addition to an area in front of the stage in support.

Both top-notch, quality performances as North Carolina looks forward to the return of Reckless Kelly again soon.

Turnpike Troubadours Cancel Remaining Tour Dates

The Turnpike Troubadours have canceled upcoming tour dates until December.

Cancellations continue to haunt one of the biggest and best bands in this music scene as the Turnpike Troubadours announced another round of dates that have been nixed from their current touring schedule. For the second time in just a few months, the Turnpike Troubadours will again be taking a lengthy hiatus for undisclosed reasons after recently making a triumphant return at Medicine Stone, a festival they co-host with Jason Boland in late September, after the first such round of missed events.

Opening for Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town as part of the “Bandwagon Tour”, the Turnpike Troubadours first canceled their final scheduled appearances on August 23 and 24 stating emergency personal issues. These dates were followed by an official statement from the band following more cancellations citing “family and medical issues” as reasons behind their absence and the use of a few off weeks to “regroup and resolve everything.”

One month later the band performed on Saturday night at Medicine Stone after their show was postponed because of heavy rain Friday. For the first time in festival history, both the Turnpike Troubadours and Jason Boland played on the same night and for those in attendance it was an epic occurrence that provided hope the band had healed from any medical concerns and resolved any problems among the group.

Everything appeared to be back on track until a recent delayed cancellation took place in Bossier City, Louisiana on October 26. The band, after appearing set up and ready to perform, never took the stage as neither Stoney Larue, scheduled to appear first, or the Turnpike Troubadours played after the venue was opened to patrons.

The following night (October 27) in Corpus Christi, Texas was also carried out without the band although Randy Rogers and Flatland Cavalry did perform, with Steven James and the Jaded, who were a late addition to the set.

Now, more cancellations including a November 9 date in Charlotte, North Carolina and an even more significant unknown about what the future has in store for the Turnpike Troubadours. With everything up in the air, hopes are this group works through their ongoing issues and makes another significant, healthy, and much anticipated return soon.

American Aquarium: Two home dates this week

***UPDATE: Due to the NC State Fair being closed on Thursday, October 11, American Aquarium will play at The Pour House in Raleigh (free admission)***

American Aquarium is set to play the NC State Fair in Raleigh, where lead singer B.J. Barham calls home, and The Ramkat in Winston-Salem on Thursday and Friday – respectively. Barham has always been a proponent of the long leaf pine and his North Carolina roots. Originally flanked by a few North Carolinians in the band, the group has recently undergone a significant lineup shift but continues to press forward, gaining new fans and influencing others with their music on a consistent basis.

Gaining notoriety around North Carolina behind a tireless touring schedule featuring hole in the wall bars and restaurants from Blowing Rock to Statesville, the capital city of Raleigh and even a few homecoming shows pre-Thanksgiving in Reidsville, the band never failed to entertain. No matter the audience size or familiarity, Barham was going to connect with his fans and it’s this persistence that expanded their base, leading to tours across America and internationally with sell outs in tow.

From humble beginnings the band now regularly receives invitations to festivals, including The Music Fest, Medicine Stone and an appearance at Mile 0 Fest next year, in addition to traveling across the pond for another upcoming European tour later this month. Despite their rigorous schedule American Aquarium has also cranked out numerous albums which transcend time and appeal to the current state of Barham and his feelings.

Burn, Flicker, Die was originally intended to be the final album from the group but instead propelled them to even greater heights. Well received by both fans and critics, the album did just the opposite and allowed Barham and his band to continue touring and making a living but it came at a cost. A few years later the entire lineup would announce a shift in focus after their third “Roadtrip to Raleigh” with year four completed under Barham and an entirely new lineup behind him.

The band released another album, Wolves and their next, which was released earlier this year is arguably the best yet. Things Change encompasses the influences surrounding Barham and his band, in addition to the personal aspects of his own life. Since Wolves, Barham has gotten sober, married and welcomed his first child, a daughter, into the world.

Barham is learning to manage both touring and being a father, while also maintaining a strong commitment to his music. The show dates may not come as frequently, but American Aquarium has been and will continue to be on the road plenty, as their impact on the current music scene has been made and people from around the country are continually taking notice.

American Aquarium is destined for great things behind Barham and their latest break will only leave fans wanting more. “Things Change” in every aspect of life, but the ability to adapt and forge a way has been a staple of Barham and his music. Telling personal tales that anyone can relate to and striking a chord among his followers, although changes are in store, the foundation remains.

Catch American Aquarium at one of two upcoming North Carolina dates this week behind a new album, lineup and reinvigorated lead singer.

Upcoming NC Dates:
Thursday, Oct. 11 – The Pour House – Raleigh (free show)
Friday, Oct. 12 – The Ramkat – Winston-Salem – Get tickets HERE

Live Review: Shinyribs in Asheville – 10/03/2018

Entertaining from the start, Shinyribs brought a midweek pick me up to Asheville’s River Arts District…

From a flamboyant introduction through the encore, those in attendance at Asheville’s The Grey Eagle on Wednesday evening were treated to a musical journey unlike any other. The seven-piece ensemble of Shinyribs crowded onto the stage ahead of Kevin Russell entering and greeting fans with his free spirit, interpretative dance moves and entertaining collection of songs – both original and covers.

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The one … the only … @shinyribs! #RedDirtNC

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Russell, flanked by The Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and Shiny Soul Sisters, combine with drummer Keith Langford, Winfield Cheek on keys, and bassist Jeff Brown to create one of the most unique and intoxicating sounds imaginable. A self described mix of “country-soul” and “swamp-funk”, the music of Shinyribs stands alone but is enhanced by the theatrics of Russell on stage.

Armed with one of the best band recognition routines ever, Russell introduces the audience to every member of Shinyribs through their favorite root vegetable ahead of the song, Sweet Potato. It’s an amusing yet satisfying mix of admiration and appreciation fitting seamlessly into their set.

Moving in sync with the Shiny Soul Sisters, working out “his calculations” during Who Built the Moon and even crawling around the perimeter of the stage at one point, Russell turned an ordinary Wednesday night into a full on party for a near capacity crowd.

One of the most unique shows you can experience, Shinyribs never fails to entertain, connecting with their audience in a free spirited, dance like no one is watching affair, from start to finish.