Country Music People August 2018 - Page 3

contents cmp August 2018 Features Girl GoinG Somewhere 12 Ashley McBryde BY KELLY GREGORY The Girl Going Nowhere singer is a girl going somewhere. She talks to Kelly Gregory. 16 Richard Lynch All round country. Raised on a farm, he builds barns by day. By night he keeps it traditional. Could he be any more country? W e’ve all heard the story thousands of times before about the girl who moved to Music City with dreams of becoming the next big country music star. Some of them make it. Most don’t. So I suppose it’s not all that hard to believe that Ashley McBryde did not have the overnight success that it may look like she had from over here in the UK. Eleven years ago Ashley McBryde moved from small-town Arkansas to Nashville where she plied her wares in dive bars, trucker bars, biker bars and honky tonks with hopes of until finally securing her major label deal with Warners in 2016. “I was usually four hours a night and it was usually just me and a guitar, even though my band and I have been playing together a really long time it wasn’t always cost effective to take them. So it was just me a lot of the time. Sometimes it was thrift bars where they didn’t even turn the TV down, you know,” laughs McBryde who wrote her first song aged 12. “And during a ball game for some reason they’ve got you up there playing music at the same time and so it was a bit of a competition. There were nights that you are the thing that’s happening and then there are nights that you’re just a jukebox behind the thing that’s happening in those bars. I really came to a good understanding with it and really got to where I loved it. I wouldn’t trade that for anything; it was a good education. “I think if I had done it with a goal in mind of having a record deal all the time, if that was the only thing I was shooting for, then I probably would have gotten a little discouraged, a little tired, or a little unfocused. But I just wanted to write songs and Ashley McBryde 12 cmp - AUGUST 2018 22 Brendan Malone From working the door at Robert’s Western World to saving the honky tonk one Tuesday night at a time with Honky Tonk Tuesdays and his band The Cowpokes. LYNCH By day he builds barns and by night Richard Lynch plays country music as traditional as it comes. He speaks to Duncan Warwick. The alt. country hero is a respected elder statesman, a master of his game, and back with one of the finest albums of the year for which he’s hooked up with Linda Gail Lewis.He was willing to talk to Duncan Warwick. W e all like a good moan and there’s nothing to get a country fan going like the state of country music. Maybe that’s why Richard Lynch’s record - Country Music Isn’t Country Anymore - from his latest long player Mending Fences did rather nicely for the Ohio-based singer. The title alone is enough to get some people going, but not only is Richard Lynch determined to keep his sound traditionally based he is country in every sense of the word. Brought up on a farm, he has a successful career building and designing barns behind him as well as having been a singer for 30 years. Not only that, but on his own ‘Keepin’ It Country’ Farm he holds country music events throughout the summer. “I’m about 30 miles north of Cincinatti, that’s where our farm is. We have a beautiful farm and we have a facility, I built a big barn back in 2015 and about four or five times a year we have a country music concert right here on our farm in our barn. We do that four or five times a summer. That’s really fun because we get to bring country music to the country.” On the day we speak Lynch had been out building a barn earlier in the day. Charming, polite, and as traditional in the way that he goes through life as he is musically, Lynch exclaims, “I’m real disgusted with the way mainstream radio has turned. I don’t begrudge anybody the music, but call it what it is, it’s certainly not country music today,” at the mention of cutting Country Music Isn’t Country Anymore and how he relates to it personally. “I’m very fortunate that that song came my way. Mister Nick Nichols out of Nashville wrote the songs. When we’re recording an album we’re either looking for music that kinda hits home with me. Of course, for me it’s got to be traditional country music. I like writing but I also have other writers on my album. so when I heard the song, Country Music Isn’t Country Anymore, it just summed it up. That’s basically how I see things. I t’s all about the money for the industry. The industry has taken a very lucrative genre of music that was ‘country music’ and they’ve kept the name and changed the format, the sound, the direction of what our music is. Everywhere I play, I play all over the country, I’m always told the same thing, people walk up to me and they thank me. Reviews 16 cmp - AUGUST 2018 AUGUST 2018 - cmp One LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, TN TUESDAY night at a time HONKY TONK AWAY FROM THE ROWDY BARS OF NASHVILLE’S LOWER BROADWAY, OVER IN EAST NASHVILLE, THERE’S A PLACE WHERE HONKY TONK IS ALIVE AND WELL EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT - AMERICAN LEGION POST 82. THE MAN BEHIND IT IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE RETRO OUTFIT THE COWPOKES, AND ONE OF THE KEY PEOPLE AT ROBERT’S WESTERN WORLD. TUESDAYS EVERY TUESDAY Charts 17 Page 16 30 Album Reviews 49 Live Review 4 News 8 Tour Guide 21 The David Allan Page 29 Corner Of Music Row 50 Nice to meet y’all... - Cliff Westfall 53 Americana Roundup 60 Nice to meet y’all.. - Wes Youssi 13 RICHARD 54 Robbie Fulks Regulars AUGUST 2018 - cmp Page 12 8PM Y NO COVER AMERICAN LEGION POST 82 3402 GALLATIN PIKE, NASHVILLE, TN. 52 cmp - AUGUST 2018 OU KNOW THE FEELING. YOU’RE IN NASHVILLE, the home of country music, you think you’ll take a stroll down Nashville’s tourist epicentre of Lower Broadway and check out some real honest-to- goodness country music. The trouble is, walking past the myriad of watering holes your ears are assaulted with pretty much everything other than country. Rock, blues, more rock, R&B, still more rock but even heavier, but no country. Even the famous Tootsies is a far cry from its glory years as a hang-out for Marty Robbins and Patsy Cline. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Who would’ve thought it could be so hard to find country music in Nashville for Christ’s sake? So you head towards the one place you can be sure of being reminded why you came to town in the first place - Robert’s Western World. Nestled in what has become the most desirable piece of real in town Robert’s hasn’t changed in years. You can hear the likes of Joshua Hedley, Sarah Gayle Meech, Dave Cox, and it was where BR5-49 solidified their sound. They also sell a decent burger. Robert’s also became a Mecca for classic honky tonk enthusiast Brendan Malone, who moved to Nashville from California and started working at Robert’s. “I started off by working the door about five AUGUST 2018 - cmp 53 Page 22 Wild! The Joker is  R O B B I E F U L K S A 20+ year recording career has seen the Chicgo-based singer songwriter go from alt. country hero to respected elder statesman and even gathered Grammy nominations along the way. Never one to be predictable, his latest release finds him teaming up with Jerry Lee’s l’il sister Linda Gail Lewis and sees the duo in Gospel, rock’n’roll, and even swing territory alongside some of the best hard country songs you’re likely to hear this year. By Duncan Warwick Photos: Andy Goodwin I f there was any real justice in the world, or at the very least in country music, Robbie Fulks’ name would spoken with reverence to his songwriting skills in the same sentence as Roger Miller. He can write a funny song that on the face of it might be lightweight as well as he can pen a country song to rip your heart out. Even though he was a staff writer for Songwriters Ink (think Joe Diffie and Tim McGraw) for five years in the 90s he never reached the dizzy heights his talents deserve. Gaining recognition among the cognoscenti with the release of his Bloodshot Records debut, Country Love Songs, in the mid-90s, he delivered a masterpiece. However, in a marketplace already starting to change in the post-Garth explosion Fulks was probably too country before he even really got going. By the time his follow-up, South Mouth, was released in 1997, the inclusion of his song Fuck This Town – a scathing jab at the machinations of Music Row – hinted that all might not be well with Fulks’ foray into the mainstream. However, with Country Love Songs and South Mouth Fulks had ensured a place in the heart of hardcore honky tonk fans for a long time to come. Fast forward twenty years and Robbie Fulks is considered one of the elder statesman of alt. country who has maintained his edge while remaining on the edge for all these years. As well as official releases for labels like Bloodshot, Geffen, and YepRoc, are many self-released, and often self-indulgent, releases which make for a vast and varied Fulks catalogue. Not all could be considered straight country, and sharing the disappointment of one such release not being country in print, some journalist or another, alright, it was me, made me think that he might not be so keen to talk to yours truly. And if you too had witnessed the way he blanked me in an Austin bar you might think that too. Despite that, I have remained in awe of his talent since day one. Now, with 54 cmp - AUGUST 2018 AUGUST 2018 - cmp 55 Page 54 64 Americana & UK Country Charts 65 Billboard Country Charts Nice to meet y’all... I f the brief bio of Portland Oregon honky tonker Wes Youssi doesn’t immediately make you warm to him then you either have no sense of humour, or irony, or both. In it he claims to have “bused tables in Indiana, punched someone in the face, been laid-off, married, made children, lived in Detroit, ate a cockroach, shot down a tree, and unknowingly purchased a former cop car. His dream is to get back to the old woods; before they get cut down.” And all that in 38 years. His music is twang-laden honky tonk from a part of the USA that seems to be gaining a reputation for exactly that just lately. “I think Oregon has a history with Twang & Country that goes a ways back, and may only now be getting recognition,” reckons Youssi. “I came across two guys many years ago that started my journey in the Northwest country: Texas Jim Lewis (1950s artist) and Buzz Martin (1960s artist). I know there are many more, but being the type of person that fixates on a few albums/artists, I locked in on these two fellas. This was their ‘stomping ground’ and they wrote and reflected the Northwest experience with gumption. It made me conscientious about the value of regional sound. “As for what I heard on the street, having moved to Oregon in ’95, there was already twang coming from the bars. Some of my earliest experiences were going to the White Eagle on country songwriter nights and listening to solo artists performing. Local artists like Caleb Klauder had been involved in folk rock regionally and began doing bluegrass and country music and I gravitated to the venues where that music was performed. Unbeknownst to me during that time, bands like The Rockin Razorbacks were doing rockabilly and country songs as well. Later on, I discovered more of the local history, learning that Willie Nelson passed though here, and that Loretta Lynn resided in Washington and got started singing throughout Washington and Oregon. I recently read that one of the gentlemen that was instrumental in getting WSM going was from Pendleton Oregon. Anyway…a lot of history Courtesy of Billboard Inc. out this way, but not so much vocal recognition it seems. Much of it is buried in books, or still being written down. I am still learning all the time.” Somehow Wes Youssi’s rather wonderful album Down Low managed to get past us earlier this year but fans of honky tonk, a touch of Hank, and the occasional ‘stroll’ will find much to their liking amongst the dozen tracks. Youssi describes the album as, “classic American honky- tonk country music. “The emphasis is on the story within the song, and the instruments whine and growl at the appropriate times to support the various emotions. In the spirit of honly-tonk, the bar room is a type of church where all stories (good and bad) can be shared and at the end of the evening, you leave feeling a bit better about things. It has always been my intention to honour those that have come before by learning from their song writing craft and melody, but when it comes to writing my songs, speaking with my own voice and experiences. I want to be alive right now as a story-teller, but create songs in a timeless American tradition. I don’t feel constrained by the genre, I feel empowered by its structure, and where necessary, will deviate when the emotional content of the song requires it.” “One of my favourite stories was this cowboy coming up to me after a set break and saying (more like exclaiming), “Man this is GOOD OLE ROACH STOMPING, SHIT KICKIN, COUNTRY FUCKIN MUSIC”. I love that description, and I don’t think he could have said it better. So wherever that kinda music exists is where I’ll be enjoying other’s company. Today’s music is so many things. I suppose I reside in the bones, conjuring up a devil of a good time. “Sometimes I feel like the current state of country music is kinda like a dog show… fashionable in-bred dogs, selling a lot of canned dog food, but they’re really not so good for the health and genetics of any dog long term. Country music, and really any type of music or art needs to be saved from the pitfalls of hype and style which often undermine the message of authentic artistry.” WES  YOUSSI 60 cmp - AUGUST 2018 AUGUST 2018 - cmp 61 Page 60