<![CDATA[My Site - News]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:51:08 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Scott Miller Returns with LADIES AUXILIARY November 3rd]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:03:44 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/scott-miller-returns-with-ladies-auxiliary-november-3rdPicture
Nashville, TN (Press Release) — Fiery roots-rock singer/songwriter Scott Miller will release Ladies Auxiliary, his first album in four years on November 3rd via F.A.Y. Recordings. Raised on a cattle farm in Virginia, and well versed in topics ranging from Greek mythology to modernist poetry, Miller’s smart songwriting has long been admired by his peers. A founding member of Knoxville-based band the V-Roys, Miller’s raucous style influenced the newer generation of Alt-Country revelry and what’s now known as Americana.

The album title Ladies Auxiliary recognizes that Miler’s backing band on this album is comprised solely of women, including Bryn Davies (bass), Rayna Gellert (fiddle/banjo), Jen Gunderman (keys) Deanie Richardson (fiddle), Megan Carchman (drums) and guitarist Anne McCue who also served as a producer on the album. Miller enlisted McCue as producer after being blown away by her playing in an early tracking session.  What transpired reflects the fact that as he has grown away from performing with a full rock band, Miller enjoys collaborating with smart, thoughtful and like-minded musicians who in this case just happened to be women.

The themes running through much of Ladies Auxiliary illustrate Miller’s observations and appreciation for the common man (and woman), the music and characters of his native Appalachia, and his talent for clever storytelling. In an album and live show highlight, “Lo Siento”, Miller takes on the travails of Spanishburg, West Virginia, a dying town recently rejuvenated by the arrival of wealthy retirees streaming down from Northern Virginia. Another character-driven narrative is the haunting “Someday / Sometime”, which deals with the suicide of a young mother leaving behind two 8-year old twin girls. In true Scott Miller fashion, the album also humors us with “Mother In Law” (one of the only two covers on the album) and the original “Jacki With An Eye” about an Augusta County fairground romp.

In 2011 Miller returned to his family land to take care of his aging parents, and to keep the farm alive. When he’s not farming, Miller will be touring this fall with members of the Ladies Auxiliary in support of the new album.

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<![CDATA[After All These Years, Janie Fricke Performs First Nashville Show August 18 at Nashville Palace]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:59:27 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/after-all-these-years-janie-fricke-performs-first-nashville-show-august-18-at-nashville-palacePictureCourtesy: Webster PR
Nashville, Tenn. (Press Release) – Award-winning country legend Janie Fricke has never performed a full concert in Music City, until now. The show-stopping CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year will deliver her chart-topping hits, including “It Ain’t Easy Being Easy,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby,” and many more August 18 at 7 p.m. at Nashville Palace (click here for tickets). She will be performing with Moe Bandyand his band all weekend as the pair make a stop at the world famous Grand Ole Opry the following night to perform their No.1 hit “It’s a Cheating Situation”.

“These past 40-plus years hold great memories for me in the recording industry in Nashville, including jingle/commercial solos, teaming up on No. 1 duets with many great singers and recording my own albums as a solo artist on Columbia Records, now known as Sony/BMG. It will be great to play my show in Music City, USA, and to sing at the Grand Ole Opry, all in 2 nights! Thank you, fans & friends!!" Fricke exclaimed.

The country music legend continues captivating audiences nationwide with her distinctive vocal style and stage presence. Along with touring, Fricke is also a successful designer and recently launched The Janie Fricke Collection, which includes handbags, home décor and women's accessories.

For more information on Janie Fricke, visit JanieFricke.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. VisitJanieFrickeCollection.com to purchase her home décor and designer items.
 
JANIE FRICKE ON TOUR:
Aug. 18 The Nashville Palace - Nashville, Tenn.
Aug. 19 Grand Ole Opry - Nashville, Tenn.
Aug. 27 Rollies - Sauk Rapids, Minn.
Sept. 14 The Palace Theatre - Corsicana, Texas
Sept. 15 Cailloux Theatre - Kerrville, Texas
Dec. 31 Welk Theater - Branson, Mo.

ABOUT JANIE FRICKE:
Janie Fricke’s distinctive voice has captivated audiences around the world and dominated the country charts in the early 80’s with chart-topping hits. Fricke ascended to the No. 1 spot on the country charts an astounding 18 times with hits like “It Ain’t Easy Being Easy,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby,” “He’s a Heartache (Looking for a Place To Happen),” “Tell Me a Lie,” “Your Heart’s Not in It,” “Always Have, Always Will” and “Let’s Stop Talkin’ About It.” Fricke was the first female voice on the moon when she sang the wake-up and weather jingle for the crew on Apollo 12. She began her legendary career as an “A-list” jingle singer for the giants of the advertising business, as well as a “first-call” session harmony singer for the superstars of the recording industry. Fricke also sang backup vocals on Elvis Presley's final record after he passed away. Today, Fricke continues touring and recording as well as promoting The Janie Fricke Collection, a home décor and fashion accessories line. For more information visit JanieFricke.com and JanieFrickeCollection.com.
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<![CDATA[Rose Hotel Readies for Welcome Campers with Spotify Playlist]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:00:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/rose-hotel-readies-for-welcome-campers-with-spotify-playlist
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The music and event curators at The Wild Honey Pie are preparing to host their celebrated, 5th annual Welcome Campers experience this September 8th through the 10th. In anticipation of the event, one of Welcome Campers' performers, dreamy indie-rock chanteuse  Rose Hotel, gathered a playlist of personal favorites perfect for the weekend (or anytime). She writes,

​"This is a playlist of songs I love to listen to when I want some mellow background music to a night camping with friends. Imagine the crackling of the fire, the smell of roasted marshmallows, box wine, and great conversation. Mostly older folk stuff, with a little bit of new music sprinkled in between that fits the mood.


I had the opportunity to play Welcome Campers last year with a different band, and I am so thrilled to be coming back again this year. It's such a magical experience and I really have the best time and made some new friendships that have lasted since - so I'm stoked for round 2!" 
 
Held at Camp Lenox in Western Massachusetts, Welcome Campers is a one-of-a-kind experience, eschewing the large, modern music festival model for a weekend of spotlight performances amidst an array of outdoor activities reminiscent of summers past.  Welcome Campers stages each musical performance in its own unique space, and with no overlaps, offering a full experience for attendees. Sprinkle in some sunshine (hopefully), catered meals, kayaking, arts and crafts, tennis, nature hikes, campfires, volleyball, basketball, kickball and some more special surprises along the way and you have a weekend to write home to everyone about.

Weekend passes include free meals (plus access to food trucks), lodging, musical performances around camp and summer camp activities such as kayaking, arts and crafts, tennis, nature hikes, campfires, volleyball, basketball, kickball and more.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Soundcloud // Youtube

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<![CDATA[The Coffis Brothers Premiere "What's Wrong With Me"]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:30:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/the-coffis-brothers-premiere-whats-wrong-with-mePictureCourtesy of the Artist
Born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains, The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men are a rootsy rock n’ roll band influenced by the early musical surroundings of Petty, Young, and The Beatles.

Songwriters Jamie and Kellen Coffis’ - alongside Kyle Poppen (lead guitar), Aidan Collins (bass), and Henry Chadwick (drums) - blend those influences, as well as folk, blues, R&B and rock, with intensely personal lyrics and tender harmonies in ways that have garnered them accolades in the Golden State and beyond.

In anticipation of their upcoming third record, Roll With It, due later this year, the quintet offers a new track that is sure to widen their audience even further. Written by James Coffis "What's Wrong With Me" is a mournful (and relatable) piano ballad about the dissolution of a relationship that places Coffis' vocals - warm, hurt, and questioning - center stage...and tugging at your heart strings.


"Don't try and act like you don't see it
Don't say those words if you don't mean it
I tried so hard to be there/You left me standing nowhere
What's wrong with me and you/Is this the best that we can do?"

​Coffis had this to say of the track which you can hear in its entirety HERE,

"I had a song of the same title that was a peppy kind of pop song with a bouncy piano part and some catchy chord changes. It was even a contender for our last album until we decided it was a bit unfocused and probably needed a little more work. I took another look at it in the lead up to the recording of "Roll With It," moved it up a few steps slowed down the tempo considerably and changed the main hook from "What's Wrong With Me" to "What's Wrong With Me and You." After that it was easy to come up with the rest of the chorus, I added a few lines about some things I was going through at the time and voila! I had a rather sad and brooding song of love lost and longing, with a big note in the chorus. Perfect!"

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<![CDATA[Lee Ann Womack Digs Down to Her Texas Roots on 'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' Out October 27]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:46:32 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/lee-ann-womack-digs-down-to-her-texas-roots-on-the-lonely-the-lonesome-the-gone-out-october-27Picture
(Press Release) Lee Ann Womack, one of the most distinctive and decorated vocalists in modern music, will make her debut for ATO Records on October 27 with the release of 'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,' an album that mixes the country, soul, gospel and blues of her native East Texas, into an audacious, sharp-edged work of art. Produced by Womack's husband and fellow Texan Frank Liddell (fresh off a 2017 ACM Album of the Year win for Miranda Lambert's 'The Weight of These Wings'), and featuring songs mostly co-written by Womack, 'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,' is her most personal album to date, marking the culmination of a journey that began with her 2005 CMA Album of the Year 'There's More Where That Came From' toward an authentic American music that celebrates her roots and adds to the canon.

Listen to new song "All The Trouble," co-written by Womack and her band mates Adam Wright and Waylon Payne via NPR Music here: http://n.pr/2uKTgdy

'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' features fourteen new songs, recorded with Womack's core band of top shelf musicians including bassist Glenn Worf, songwriters and guitarists Wright, Payne and Ethan Ballinger, and drummer Jerry Roe. The album was mostly recorded at the legendary SugarHill Studios in Houston, TX. Formerly known as Gold Star and open since 1941, SugarHill is one of the oldest continuously run studios in the country and home to seminal early recordings by many artists who had a formative influence on Womack, including George Jones, Willie Nelson and Lightnin' Hopkins. Among the album's three cover songs, Womack recorded a haunting version of George Jones' "Take the Devil Out of Me" standing on the same gold star linoleum floor where he cut the 1959 original.

"I wanted to get out of Nashville, and tap the deep music and vibe of East Texas," says Womack. "I wanted to make sure this record had a lot of soul in it, because real country music has soul. I wanted to remind people of that."

'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' follows Womack's acclaimed 2014 album 'The Way I'm Livin',' which SPIN deemed "the best of her career" to date. Highlights from that career include performances for presidents and other world leaders, duets partners ranging from George Strait to John Legend, a Grammy, five Academy of Country Music awards, and six Country Music Association awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and two Singles of the Year.

'The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone' Track List: 
1. All The Trouble
2. The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone
3. He Called Me Baby
4. Hollywood
5. End of the End of the World
6. Bottom of the Barrel
7. Shine On Rainy Day
8. Mama Lost Her Smile
9. Wicked
10. Long Black Veil
11. Someone Else's Heartache
12. Sunday
13. Talking Behind Your Back
14. Take The Devil Out Of Me

Lee Ann Womack Upcoming Tour Dates:
Aug. 25 - Ford Center - Evansville, IN*
Aug. 26 - State Farm Center - Champaign, IL*
Aug. 27 - Plaza Theatre - Glasgow, KY
Sept. 8 - The Family Arena - St. Charles, MO*
Sept. 9 - U.S. Cellular Center - Cedar Rapids, IA
Sept. 10 - St. Croix Casino - Turtle Lake, WI
Sept. 14 - AmericanaFest - Nashville, TN
Sept. 22 - Charleston Civic Center - Charleston, WV*
Sept. 23 - Erie Insurance Center - Erie, PA*
Sept. 28 - Trans-Pecos Festival - Marfa, TX
Oct. 7 - Museum of Appalachia - Clinton, TN
Oct. 20 - Music In The Mill - Hickory, NC
Oct. 27 - Resch Center - Green Bay, WI
Oct. 28 - Target Center - Minneapolis, MN*
Oct. 29 - Bridge View Center - Ottumwa, IA
Nov. 3 - Lafayette Cajundome - Lafayette, LA*
Nov. 4 - Bell County Expo - Belton, TX*
Jan. 5 - The MusicFest at Steamboat - Steamboat, CO
Jan. 23 - Kent State Universtiy at Tuscarawas - New Philadelphia, PA
Feb. 4 - Cayamo Cruise - New Orleans, LA
Feb. 16 - Arizona Musicfest - Scottsdale, AZ
* denotes show w. Alan Jackson

Follow Lee Ann Womack here:
Official Website: leeannwomack.com
Facebook: facebook.com/leeannwomack
Twitter: twitter.com/leeannwomack
Instagram: instagram.com/leeannwomack
VEVO: vevo.com/artist/lee-ann-womack
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<![CDATA[Moonsville Collective Announce Third EP of 2017, 'Moonsville III;' Premiere New Song, "Divided"]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:30:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/moonsville-collective-announce-third-ep-of-2017-moonsville-iii-premiere-new-song-dividedSo-Cal's Moonsville Collective return with their third EP of 2017, Moonsville III, on September 8th.  Moonsville's Corey Adams says; “EP III is different than EP II in that we went for a warmer approach instrumentally. Overall it has a more laid back feel.” 

​With multi-instrumentalists and several songwriters in the band, the quintet keeps their Americana style variable, always open to showcase their diversity via experimentation and the blurring of genre lines. From the swinging “Peace of Mind,” to the steady wistfulness of “Hurricane Girl” to the lonesome ballad “New York or Memphis," the EP, says member Ryan Welch, "is lyrically rich and asks the listener to follow the songs into a space of nostalgia.”  


PictureCredit: Alina Welch
TDC is pleased to premiere the EP's closer, "Divided." A thoughtful folk ballad highlighted by a gentle mandolin, "Divided" finds Adams' warm yet weathered, and somewhat weary, vocals encouraging one to reflect on what divides us in order to be more united, both in our relations with others and within ourselves. Stream the track in its entirety above.

Exploring the common ground between heartfelt indie-folk ballads and stomping hootenanny showstoppers characteristic of Americana-grass,  Moonsville III is brimming with optimism and love for the simple side of life. For more information:

WEBSITE 
YOUTUBE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER

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<![CDATA[Song Premiere: The Herd of Main Street "Feels Like Work"]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:00:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/song-premiere-the-herd-of-main-street-feels-like-workCalled "Baltimore's modern-day version of The Band," The Herd of Main Street blends a soulful mix of Americana, classic country, and rock n’ roll on their original tunes. The quintet - comprised of Peter McKibben (vocals, guitar, harmonica, and piano), wife Gena McKibben (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel, piano, mandolin) Corey Zook (guitar), Kevin Alban (bass), and Lance Smith (drums) - have previously released three albums, and is gearing up for its latest, Heyday, on August 18th. In advance of the album's release, TDC is pleased to premiere one of the tracks, "Feels Like Work." 

PictureCourtesy of the Artist
Written by Peter Mckibben, "Feels Like Work" is a traditional country foot stomper (think Jones and Haggard) replete with relatable lyrics, emotive pedal steel, and a hefty dose of twang. McKibben's straightforward yet sensitive vocals make clear that he's reached the point when the bad times in a relationship seriously outweigh the good - and he's ready to move on.





"I can't burn the candle at both ends
I can'mt even say that we'll stay friends
Loving you shouldn't have to hurt
Loving you just feels like work"


McKibben relays the story behind the song, "While reading dates and names in a local graveyard, I was thinking about all the work that goes into a relationship. Whether it's a relationship that holds strong and follows us to the grave, or one that collapses, each lifetime holds those crucial acts of labor."

For more information visit their official website
Find them on Facebook

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<![CDATA[Peter Case 'On the Way Downtown: Recorded Live on FolkScene' Coming Oct. 27 from Omnivore]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:40:01 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/peter-case-on-the-way-downtown-recorded-live-on-folkscene-coming-oct-27-from-omnivorePicture
Features live sessions from the late Roz & Howard Larman’s legendary folk radio program.

Founding member of the Nerves and the Plimsouls to tour this fall.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Press Release) — Peter Case has always been a pioneer. Genre-tripping through punk withthe Nerves (“Hangin’ on the Telephone”), new wave/power pop with the Plimsouls (“A Million Miles Away”) and Americana with his Grammy®-nominated, self-titled solo debut. It is a career that is still going strong over 40 years later on the strength of his exceptional songwriting.

On the Way Downtown: Recorded Live on FolkScenedue out October 27, 2017 on Omnivore Recordings, is a snapshot from nearly 20 years ago when Case sat still long enough for the airwaves to catch up to him.

This new album captures material from two live radio performances on the highly influential KPFK-FM Los Angeles syndicated radio program in 1998 and 2000. The first half features material from his then, newly released Full Service, No Waiting — an album New York magazine called “stunning.”The Full Service No Waiting set is a live full band performance featuring some of Peter’s great musical friends. 

The latter half contains material from 2000’s Flying Saucer Blues, as well as songs from his earlier releases. Plus, some choice covers appear as well. Both intimate acoustic sets have remained unheard since their original broadcasts. The 2000 set features Peter with violinist extrodinaire David Perales.

In the liner notes, written by Case himself: “It felt like such an honor to play Howard and Roz Larman’s FolkScene. All the great people were on it, a Who’s Who of folk music. I’d loved the program for years. I listened in every week. Roz spun the coolest records, Howard deftly handled the interviews, and a key member of the team was Peter Cutler, their sound engineer. He tuned in great sound for each session. Live six-piece band with an hour soundcheck? No problem for Cutler.”

“I'm so happy these sessions are available now for all of us to hear. Thanks Allen Larman and thanks Omnivore. Now if I just knew why that photo of downtown L.A.  from the early ’50s is on the back cover everything would be fine!”

While he continues to receive accolades for his recorded work (including 2015’s HWY 62), there is a very good reason he continues to pack venues when he plays live. On the Way Downtown: Recorded Live on FolkScene gives the listener a chance to experience his incredible gift of songwriting and performance.

Track Listing:
1. Spell of Wheels

2. On the Way Downtown
3. Let Me Fall

4. Green Blanket (Part 1)
5. Honey Child

6. Crooked Mile

7. Still Playin’
8. See Through Eyes
9. Until the Next Time
10. Something Happens
11. Pay Day

12. Blue Distance
13. Walking Home Late
14. Icewater

15. Beyond the Blues

16. Coulda Shoulda Woulda
17. Paradise Etc.

18. Leaving Home

Tour dates:
Thurs., Sept. 14 SAN DIEGO, CA Grassroots Oasis
Fri., Sept 15 HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA Don the Beachcomber
Sat., Sept 16 SANTA BARBARA, CA Lobero Theater
Thurs., Oct 12 HARRISBURG, PA Note Bistro & Wine
Fri., Oct 13 BALTIMORE, MD Club 603
Sat., Oct 14 NEW YORK, NY Rockwood Music Hall
Sun., Oct 15 BOSTON, MA Atwood’s Tavern
Tues., Oct 17 FALL RIVER, MA Narrows Center for the Arts
Thurs., Oct 19 COLUMBUS, OH Natalie’s
Fri., Oct 20 LIVONIA, MI Trinity House Theatre
Sat., Oct 21 CHICAGO, IL FitzGerald’s
Sun., Oct 22 MADISON, WI Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
Tues., Oct 24 CEDAR RAPIDS, IA CSPS Hall
Thurs., Oct 26 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Lee’s Liquor Lounge
Fri., Oct 27 CHAMPAIGN, IL Sandwich Life
Sat., Oct 28 ANN ARBOR, MI Johnny’s Speakeasy
Sun., Oct 29 BUFFALO, NY 9th Ward at Babeville
Thurs., Nov 9 LITTLE ROCK, AR White Water Tavern
Fri., Nov 10 TULSA, OK Woody Guthrie Center
Sat., Nov 11 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Blue Door
Tues., Nov 14 HOUSTON, TX Mucky Duck
Thurs., Nov 16 FORT WORTH, TX Fort Worth Live
Fri., Nov 17 AUSTIN, TX Cactus Cafe

HEAR NOW: Blurt premiered a track from On The Way Downtownhttp://bit.ly/2hXdrmF 
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<![CDATA[Miranda Lambert's "Vice" Reaches Platinum]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:37:40 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/miranda-lamberts-vice-reaches-platinumPictureCredit: Daniela Federici
Nashville, TN (Press Release) -- Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville GRAMMY Award-winner Miranda Lambert’s critically acclaimed and award winning song “Vice” is now certified PLATINUM by the RIAA.
 
The newly PLATINUM song, “Vice,” that received GRAMMY and ACM nods for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song as well as SINGLE OF THE YEAR, SONG OF THE YEAR (artist and songwriter), and VIDEO OF THE YEAR respectively was co-written by Lambert along with fellow GRAMMY Award-winning songwriters Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.

Just a little over a year removed from it hitting the Country Radio airwaves “Vice” now stands tall with PLATINUM status in addition to appearing on the album The Weight of These Wings also touting PLATINUM.
 
The song “that points Lambert in a new direction” [Rolling Stone] was the first taste of music from the singer/songwriter’s sixth studio album The Weight of These Wings, that Lambert’s overwhelming fan base received when it hit the Country Radio airwaves in July 2016.
 
The PLATINUM album released on November 18, arriving at No.1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart with 122k albums sold and No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 all genre Chart with 133k total consumption.
 
The Weight Of These Wings features 24 songs and was produced by Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, and Eric Masse.
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<![CDATA[Craig Gerdes Announces New LP, SMOKIN' DRINKIN' & GAMBLIN']]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:32:53 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/news/craig-gerdes-announces-new-lp-smokin-drinkin-gamblinPicture
Stream Gerdes' "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets" HERE

August 14, 2017
 (Press Release) - 
Outlaw Country revivalist Craig Gerdes has just announced his forthcoming LP Smokin' Drinkin' & Gamblin. The news comes on the heels of a premiere at The Boot for his new cover of Johnny Paycheck's "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets." The article also includes an exclusive interview with Jim Vest, Paycheck's original pedal-steel player who plays on Gerdes' version of the song. Smokin Drinkin' & Gamblin' is slated for a Jan. 26 release.

Singer/songwriter Craig Gerdes “rolled into Nashville, on four bald tires, in his beat up, old four-door Plymouth. "With a stack of songs he’d written, and some old school country pickin, he was gonna be a country music star,” says the opening line of his autobiographical song “Redneck Sons a Bitches.” The song tells the summarized tale of his discontented journey from Nashville rejection to recording his debut album Smokin’ Drinkin’ & Gamblin’ on the Indiana-based Sol Records label.

Gerdes took to the stage at a very young age, following in the footsteps of his father and fronting his dad’s band, working his way through high school, performing in the honky tonks of Central Illinois. Marrying his high-school sweetheart, Janel, they began raising a family together very young. Gerdes worked hard to take care of his family and continued to play, never letting go of the dream of being successful in the music business.

As his kids had grown, around 2006 Gerdes made his fateful journey to Music City and began showcasing and working his way up and down Music Row. He landed a writer position at VMG Nashville, working for the legendary Jim Vest, and began the process of demoing songs hoping to get the cut that would establish his career. Gerdes did have several cuts of his songs over the years and commuted to and from his home in Illinois back to Nashville. But the entire time his true passion was to be an artist himself, not just a Nashville writer. In 2012 Gerdes began the process of working up a couple of tunes for commercial release and pitched it around town with the help of Vest... 3 singles were recorded but the response on music row was that Gerdes’ old-school classic-country stylings had no place in modern-day Nashville.

"Redneck Sons a Bitches" continues, “As I roamed from place to place, getting those doors slammed in my face, I was looking for that elusive record deal ... Where the hell did I go wrong writing all those old school country songs? Billy Jo Shaver said son I know just how you feel.”

It's a sentiment that was seconded by Shaver at a show they played together when he heard Gerdes’ story. As the song concludes, Gerdes finds his moment of clarity and determining inspiration when an unnamed Nashville label executive tells him, “You long-haired redneck sonsabitches aren’t wanted here in Nashville, TN ... that kind of country don’t play in Nashville, TN,” which seems ironic now, given the legions of Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Cody Jinks fans these days.

Gerdes was determined and released the songs on his own. He began touring regionally, upward of 250 shows a year, performing in clubs and at festivals from Illinois to Texas, Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Louisiana and all points in between, both with his band and solo as part of the Last Honky Tonk Music Series, including sets at Florabama, Luckenbach and the Frank Brown Songwriter festival. His travels led him to meet Brian DeBruler (CEO of Sol Records, home of outlaw-country artist Dallas Moore, Pure Grain and others), who produced the record in Indiana along with Jim Vest, Gerdes’ original Nashville mentor, who also plays pedal steel on the album along with another Nashville legend, Robby Turner. Larry Franklin also graces the record on fiddle.

Smokin’ Drinkin’ & Gamblin is collection of 7 original songs written by Gerdes, plus a hand hewn cover of the 1977 classic “Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets” featuring Jim Vest on pedal steel (who played on the original cut with Johnny Paycheck 40 years ago), and a powerful rendition of Dallas Moore’s “You Saved me From Me,” a song about an angel that has a personal significance to Gerdes that you can hear in his rendition. Gerdes' uniquely identifiable voice is genuine and honest, his stories pull you into each song, painting pictures in your mind. “Each and every song has significant meaning to me, whether it was written by me or someone else," he says. "Whether I was writing about my own life experiences or someone else's, real life is in this record—drinkin’, cheatin’, lovin’, leavin’, killin’, pride, rejection, hearts full of love, and broken hearts with no love.”

This record sets the stage for Gerdes and an ever-broadening national fanbase in the U.S. and overseas. Despite the music industry's slow and reluctant embrace of what some call “genuine” or “real” country music, the audience continues to grow feverishly where truly and uniquely gifted songwriters of vision find a resonance with a broad audience that has a passionately renewed interest in, and appreciation of, the art of music and the song. One needs to look no further than the sales figures of Chris Stapleton’s recent releases, which had little mainstream radio support. This is a renaissance period in country music, and artists like Craig Gerdes, Dallas Moore, Cody Jinks and others are releasing their own records, their own songs, the way they hear them, independently or on indie labels like Sol Records (which has been producing and distributing independent artists since 1991). These artists continue blazing a trail all their own—it is truly the Rise of the Independents!
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