A few months ago I bought my first flatscreen tv. I cancelled the cable subscription, upped the internet juice, and switched to Roku. I cannot recommend it enough. There are bazillions of free channels, and one that I pay a small monthly fee for: The Roots Channel which is the epicenter of music performances, documentaries, lessons, and culture. For pop music videos, there is a great channel called Vevo. I’m catching up on what people are into and it’s fantastic. I am Taylor Swift’s newest fan. Her videos are gorgeous; her music is fun. There are so many great videos with dancing in them, like the new Sia, and it makes me want more dance in our genre.
Director Todd Tue must have been thinking the same thing. His love of color and contrast and dance present this song as it feels, and it’s beautiful. Music, art, dancing, and children are a recipe for my nomination for Video of the Year 2015 (and it’s only January!).
The Outlaw Radio: The Compilation Vol. 1 (2009) hit like a sonic boom in this tiny genre of artists. The first riff you hear is Dad Horse Experience’s “Gates of Heaven”. It is song after song of the best of the best. Now, it’s a sold-out festival at Reggies in Chicago. I met Jashie P shortly after the comp release at Layla’s in Nashville at a Hank III show. I thought he was a celebrity with the online radio show, a band, and a mix tape that helped introduce us to a whole new world.
And the festival! It’s another family reunion with great music. It’s fan heaven, I love the feeling of star struck; watching Calamity Cubes walk by will always give me a shiver. The Godfather of the fest this year is Gary Lindsey. The fact that I was surrounded by people who also revere Gary Lindsey is just another cool part of this. If you’re a Tom Waits fan, ask him to tell you the story of how they met. It’s fantastic.
In tune with the weather, we saw a super storm of fantastic music in 2013. We’re going to be listening to these albums for years to come. I can’t bring myself to put these in order because they mean so many things; they’re not meant to be ranked.
Here are my crème de la crème of 2013:
Ok… there is one in another stratosphere: Possessed by Paul James. This entire album is a journey from the moment you hit play:
Hurricane (track 1) by Possessed by Paul James
My first listen of There Will be Nights When I’m Lonely, I put on the good headphones, turned up the volume, and closed my eyes. Seconds into Hurricane I was in 110%. That’s his power. He’s our Shaman.
Konrad Wert is a teacher/father/singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. His achievements include Teacher of the Year, an Independent Music Award for his songwriting, and devotion of fans all over. He is a music aficionado. It’s the sound, the rhythm, the texture. He’s aware of all that surrounds him and weaves it into the human condition.
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.
“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.
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…
Milk Products Media, who did such fantastic work with the Charlie Louvin documentary, Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage (which, by the power of KickStarter, I am a Producer of) brings to us new greatness. They created a short film to the song “We Welcome You Home” by Possessed by Paul James. It’s beautiful. The man is a Shaman, or some kind of spiritually gifted soul who heals us through his music. And this is the video: (watch it full screen)
Take care of the music, and the music will take care of you.
~ Jac Holzman, Founder of Elektra Records
And the momentum of greatness keeps keepin’ on! A gaggle of my favorite musicians, labels, podcasters, bloggers, and fans all gathered in Austin, TX this weekend to showcase our slice of amazing music that is happening today. Here’s the lineup
There’s also a charter: “The idea of XSXSW is to re-focus the event on music and people, to rekindle the spirit of the Austin music scene, as well as civic and Texas pride by using music to renew community, infrastructure, and people, instead of taxing them to their limits.”
Yeah, I said it, Ex South by South West. This is the alternative to alternative. It’s underground music at its best. If I had a teleporter, I’d so be at this! Just look at the lineup! Holy smoke! Thankfully, my pals over at Saving Muddy Hillgrass bring the awesome to me via radio and the internets. Here’s the lowdown via The Trigger Man:
Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, Muddy Roots Music, and savingcountrymusic.com, along with KVRX 91.7, The Real Deal KOOK 93.5, and Cracker Swamp Productions are excited to announce the complete lineup for XSXSW 5, or “Saving Muddy Hillgrass”, a two day event happening parallel with South by Southwest, the annual mid-March music festival in Austin, TX.