Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Sleep till Steamboat

Finally i am going to attend the 25th annual Steamboat Musicfest in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. January 4th to the 10th, the line up is amazing and the fans are too!

Featuring...Robert Earl Keen, Randy Rogers Band, Band of Heathens, Reckless Kelly, Charlie Robison, Kevin Welch, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Lee Ann Womack*, Jamie Wilson, Todd Snider, Jason Eady and The Wayward Apostles, Billy Joe Shaver, Jack Ingram, Chris Knight, Walt Wilkins, Midnight River Choir, Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights, Kevin Fowler, Modern Day Drifters, Hayes Carll, Ben Smith, Jason Boland and The Stragglers, Josh Abbott, Cory Morrow, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Trishas, Wade Bowen, The Doug Moreland Show, Stoney LaRue, Tina Wilkins, Roger Creager, Lucas Hubbard, Sean McConnell, Johnny and The Footlights+
...and NEW ARTISTS, George Devore, Kyle Park, Lee Brice, Seth James, Bobby Duncan, Granger Smith, Bart Crow, Bruce Robison, Brandon Rhyder, Sons of Bill, Great American Taxi, Dustin Welch, Brandon Jenkins, and Rich O'Toole...............

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cross Canadian Ragweed @ The Intersection

One of the best live acts around came back to Grand Rapids Michigan to an appreciative crowd of loyal fans who were treated to a fantastic show clocking in at over two hours. Now i have to admit that sometimes i can be a bit of a name dropper and maybe i am still coming off the high of it all still, but i am taking this opportunity to do it again. So sometimes what i do gets shown some appreciation and this time i got a taste of the rock star treatment, at least that's what it felt like to me anyway.
I was backstage to shoot a few photos of the band with my friend who wanted a photo of of the them with his Cross Canadian Ragweed logo guitar that he purchased off the bands web site which i brought down to Oklahoma back in June to the Country Fever music festival to have autographed as a wedding present from his wife. After getting a couple shots for him i was left in the dressing room with the guys who were about to rock the stage again since the last time they were in Grand Rapids back in June of 2008. Cody closed the door and asked if i would like to join them in prayer as they do before every show, which of course i accepted and Cody proceeded to recite a sincere honest prayer for family, safe travels and another great show. The guys have been having a great run recently with their show last week at Joe's bar in Chicago and for a few weeks before that drawing good crowds in a tough economy. Cody Canada and the band continued to rock out some older material that doesn't always get played very often like "Suicide Blues" and another favorite of mine "Lighthouse Keeper" and they surprised us all with the personal song "The Years" from the album "Mission California" as well as some great choices in covers like Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family" and "It Ain't Easy Being Me" from Chris Knight and "Crazy Eddie's Last Hurrah" by Reckless Kelly. Many songs from their latest release "Happiness and all the Other Things" were included too like "Overtable" leading through the Overture and into "Pretty Lady" and i was happy to hear them perform "Bluebonnets" which is a heartfelt song inspired by Cody's son Dierks.After the show we invited the guys out to my friend's brothers bar where we had a private room reserved for us and a few friends of the band. Cody and Jeremy decided to join us and i got to talk with both of them for about an hour before they had to leave for bus call and the next show in New York. I confirmed what i heard earlier this summer about the band releasing another album that will fulfill their contract with Universal South and will be comprised of covers of fellow musicians from Oklahoma like Bob Childers, Tom Skinner, Mike McClure and the Medicine Show's Scott Evans who wrote "Soul Agent" the first song to be sung by bass player Jeremy Plato. So far they will be going into the studio to work on that next March. Cody also included a new song in his acoustic set that was written about their family's dog that unfortunately passed on last summer and even though he thought that maybe the second verse was "a little cheesy" as a dog owner i really thought it was a great song. I got to meet Vinny the Shark and he also joined us upstairs, you may have heard the band mention him before saying "He does really exist" and you can read what he writes about on the Wormy Dog Saloon's website by clicking on the "Shark Tank" link. Click here for more photos.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ha Ha Tonka @ The Intersection

Springfield Missouri's own Ha Ha Tonka has been on the road opening a few shows for Cross Canadian Ragweed and The Intersection in Grand Rapids Michigan was one of the stops. November 29Th the band played about a forty minute set. Formerly called Amsterband they changed their name to Ha Ha Tonka which is a state park near the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. They are signed to Bloodshot records and have a sound that has influences of Indie rock with a percentage of Americana thrown in and their album "Buckle in the Bible Belt" gained them notice from a few prominent media outlets such as Paste and Spin magazines and it was named as one of the best albums of 2007 by Pop Matters magazine.
Having toured in the past with bands like the old 97's and the Meat Puppets, they were also part of the 2008 Lollapalooza line up. Ha Ha Tonka is on the road with Ragweed through December 11Th. This year saw the release of their second album "Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South" which has garnered them further acclaim citing them as a potent mix of Country and Indie rock with comparisons to the Kings of Leon. Check out Ha Ha Tonka's You Tube channel.