There is a network of people all over the country who help support underground music: the fans, the bands, the couches, the kitchens, the promoters, the bloggers, the internet radio DJs, and everyone on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. There is a family in Pennsylvania who opens their home, and fills the venue. BJ and Coley Christy are the creative force behind Silent Storm Design, and the overlords of Silent Storm Radio where different DJs spin their perspective of good music. Their micro-fest last summer, Christy Fest, was a highlight. They host many a musician, and have broadcast live house concerts from their living room. So when they booked the bar in town to host Jayke Orvis and His Broken Band, people came in from hundreds of miles away to be a part of it. (more…)

Again, I have receipts, notes, stickers, phone photos and videos, and somehow they tell the Muddy Roots story. The stink from my luggage of mud, sweat, and moonshine was enough to keep airport security from thoroughly searching my bag after they found my stash of Gatorade in the side pocket.

This year was about extremes. There were extremely high points and extremely low points. For instance, I, and everyone else, still have not recovered from Possessed by Paul James’s cancellation. I can only shudder to think what must have happened to keep him from us. I send him my best wishes and good luck. That said, DAMN! Eeeeveryone was looking forward to his set. And my personal loss on not seeing Black Eyed Vermillion on stage 3, or anywhere on the grounds. I’ve had a fan crush on Gary Lindsey since he bled and screamed for me back in the AssJack days. Plus, I want to hear his version of the Tom Waits interview.

There were many high points as well. There were sets that melted my face off. James Leg. Scissormen. Dad Horse Experience. Husky Burnette. Lone Wolf. They all KILLED it. But the man who gave me my Muddy Roots religious experience was Dr. Ralph Stanley. Holy moly. Not a dry eye under that tent. I’ll get to all this in a few…

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What an amazing year for my underground favorites! Hank 3 became free, Muddy Roots was the festival of all festivals, the podcasting world became my CNN, and record labels turned out greatness like it’s their job.

As for hip-hop, I don’t have anything that gives off fireworks. ‘Lil Kim’s single “Black Friday” was an awesome dis war against Nicki Minaj but then face-planted with the ill planned release of her mixtape. The uber spectacle of Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” just didn’t do it for me (though I kinda love the fun factor of the Otis video). There’s a new mixtape out by Lupe Fiasco called “Friend of the People” that’s been floating around. The final product is supposedly cancelled and what I’ve heard is very political and just what I’ve missed about hip-hop, but I’ll wait until the release to review it because I’m unsure if my copy’s legit.

A L B U M S :
Bob Wayne: Outlaw Carnie – As much as I think Bob Wayne walks on songwriting water, this cd is just too clean and polished for me. I’m too loyal to the previous releases of most of the songs. That said, I’m on the edge of my seat for his next release which will have the song I saw him write at Muddy Roots!
Caitlin Rose: Own Side Now – Thanks to Triggerman’s review, I bought this cd and it’s always somewhere in my rotation. The songs are well done and I look forward to listening to her future projects. (see video below)
Caleb Klauder’s Foghorn Trio: Sud De La Louisiane – I went to a house party where they played and was instantly captivated by their talent. I got a bit on YouTube and recommend this to anyone whose interested in the country French sounds of the Louisiana bayou. (see video below)
The Goddamn Gallows: Seven Devils – How I love this band! They are so talented and just about nothing beats their live shows. They reminds us why we love punk and what punk should be. (more…)

(photo: to the left is Lone Wolf, one man band and master craftsman <not only is he perfect, he’s Italian too!> and to his right is BluesBeaten Redshaw who you need to know about)

I have no idea how I’m going to capture the magic of what just happened to me over the past week. I’ve taken notes, saved receipts, downloaded photos from Facebook, and am working on a YouTube playlist.

We arrived at Muddy Roots Friday night and I saw Baby Genius in the sign-in line. We looked like kids at Christmas. Everybody was so stoked to be there. We camped across the dirt road from the people I’ve been conversing with online via blogs and podcasts. The whole night was surreal like you’re walking through a dream state but it’s really happening. We met up and the conversation was so easy and effortless. There was also this great kismet level of timing that I encountered repeatedly with Aran Buzzas. My first star-struck moment was when Pier came and got us to see JB Beverley play Rolling Stones covers while he sat on the trunk of a car. It was surreal. You know that voice like you know your own skin. After that experience, I vowed to wander. So I walked past our tent, up a small hill (the one Miller faceplanted onto) and first thing I found was Bob Wayne’s trailer with him and some friends sitting outside writing a song. And I’m watching the creativity process from Mr. Bob Wayne himself. It was awe inspiring. He’s cool as hell. He remembered me and my friend from the Brooklyn show in July and my heart just about lept out in celebrity joy. Walking around became an adventure. Everybody was there. It was like a family reunion for the family you wish you had. Rachel Brooke was just beaming with fiancé happiness. (more…)

The best part about this year was it felt like the musical floodgates opened and all this really great stuff came pouring out.

BEST ALBUM: Outlaw Radio: Compilation Vol. 1 To me, it’s controversial to put a compilation on an all encompassing award. (My review here) But this cd still in my stereo and I like it so much, I bought a few more and sent them out to friends. It gave me gifts of new songs by artists I already know are awesome and introduced me to bands that I had no idea were awesome. Thank you Jashie P. for putting this out there. My favorite album as a whole is Jayke Orvis: It’s All Been Said. Jayke is one of the best our movement has to offer and he brings all his friends with him. (more…)