On New Year’s Eve Day, Leroy kicked off the Northeast tour here in NYC. Rico, his lap steel player since the early days, was not on this jaunt so I got to jump in the rental car and see what it’s like to be on the road for four shows. He’s known by many names and projects—Hellbound Glory, The eXcavators, Leon Virgil Bowers, and Leroy Virgil. I’ve created a Smart Playlist in iTunes to encompass all his work. Having listened to little else since Thanksgiving, I was ready to kick off 2016 with the chance to see things from his side of the stage.
The first year we all went to Muddy Roots (2011) will always hold the torch. Every year is different and this year might be my favorite.
I’m running through the highlights in my mind and the list is never-ending…
Another stellar Muddy Roots experience to recover from. Though I missed many who could not make it, the joy and magic is still there. Things could not have happened better. I spent the experience with close friends whom I’ve known for decades and ones I only see here. The serendipitous events of the weekend made it another amazing ride.
A mere week after the magic of Muddy Roots 2013 (I’m still processing), Hellbound Glory full band plays one of my favorite venues, The Bell House (also home to my Secret Science Club) and he sang my favorite song, Showing Off Sure is Fun, that he was creating last time they played here. From him snapping his fingers in my kitchen, to a full band with a stadium riff sent me sailing. I wish I could have experienced it large scale. Seeing it at Muddy Roots is a close second.
Lone Wolf OMB is a force of nature that is somehow captured and communicated through music. Last year, Don Maddox watched his set at Muddy Roots and told him he’s got the best timing he’s ever heard. It’s true. What he does can’t be done. And on top of that the guy has riffs that just send you spinning. I’ve had this on repeat for weeks and I heartily recommend it.
Above is an album cover youtube I made of the song “The Masked Marvel” which is my current favorite. “Mama’s Boy” holds steady as the sweetest and “Baby, Don’t Hold Back” is another gem.
You can find Mine Us 13 here
“With a Possessed by Paul James song, the soul is where the song begins; soul is where it is built from.” – Saving Country Music
Recently, Possessed by Paul James unveiled his new website. The photo was taken at Muddy Roots 2011 during a set so powerful, the winds came and shook the entire tent.
And there’s an EPK. Nothing is cooler than an electronic press kit. He talks of community as we’re all over this. We’re the filmmakers, the audience, the interviewer, the trucker hat, and the t-shirt.
I can’t think of a better way to introduce someone who doesn’t know about Molly Gene other than this video. It was filmed by my friend, Nick Lindsay, and he has captured the hurricane that is her performance. Muddy Roots friends of ours are in the photo collage. I love it.
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…
This is the most innovative video I’ve seen all year. And it’s my favorite song off their new album, Between the Ditches
I enjoy the sharper edges of life; from the stark sculpture art of David Smith to the persona that is Bob Wayne. This cd is not perfect and neither is he. There a few well done acts out there and I like what he has crafted. He gets such inspiration from the life his mother has led and the stories she must have. What he learned from Hank III is play and work at working with the best.
I’m glad I watched the promo video for “Till the Wheels Fall Off” where Bob explains where the title song comes from. Every time I hear the song, I’ll have the context to it which just adds another layer of coolness.