Concert Review: Billy Joe Shaver Delivers a Blowout Performance in Winters

billy joe shaver live

At 73, Billy Joe Shaver is some combination of Pentecostal showman and hard-country poet, a foot-stomping, gesticulating good ol' boy who'll devastate you with a knowing turn of phrase as surely as he'll get you dancing in the aisles to the bawdy, unsubtle "That's What She Said Last Night." His secret, Shaver will tell you, is that he writes great songs. That much is hard to argue. "You Asked Me To," "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," "Honky Tonk Heroes," and "Live Forever" are country classics and … [Read more...]

Country Music Festivals in California

california state seal

This will be of limited interest to our readers outside of California, but I wanted to compile all the festival information I wish I had been able to find in one place. Maybe it'll be useful to someone. One state. Four multi-day country music festivals. Too much? If the festivals are sufficiently different from one another and the state is 850 miles from top to bottom, maybe not. The festival you hear the most about is Goldenvoice's Stagecoach Festival, country cousin to Coachella, held in … [Read more...]

Golf and Guitars 2011: A Chilly Acoustic Triumph

Pop Country Soul Faces

Everything is better acoustic. Although that statement is as susceptible to exception as any other generalization, it held mostly true at Tuesday night's Golf and Guitars charity concert at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento, California. Preceded by a full day of golfing with -- or, for those on a tighter budget, watching people golf with -- celebrities in the rain, the mostly-acoustic concert started at 6pm and ran until almost 11. In that time, no fewer than fifteen Nashville acts … [Read more...]

The Country Throwdown Tour Concludes in Mountain View, CA (Photo Review)

IMG_6486w (Small) (Custom)

I spent Sunday at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA - where, as I discovered, you can't have both a cheeseburger and a bottle of water for $10 - for what happened to be the very last day of the first annual Country Throwdown Tour. Billed as the first traveling multi-stage country music festival, the tour is sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink and brought to you by Kevin Lyman, the same guy who does the Vans Warped Tour. The upside to the corporate tie-ins is that Lyman is able to bring … [Read more...]

Highlights of Golf and Guitars 2010

golf young moore

I spent Tuesday afternoon at the Golf & Guitars charity event at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento. It was a generous lineup for the cost of a $25 ticket, with three or four acoustic songs apiece by Jack Ingram, Mark Wills, Chris Young, Josh Gracin, Justin Moore, Chuck Wicks, Chely Wright, Emily West, Radney Foster, BOMSHEL, Bryan White, One Flew South, John Berry, Love and Theft, The Band Perry, and Brian Sizensky. Here are some of the highlights from the cheap seats: My uncanny … [Read more...]

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2009 Recap

Marshall Crenshaw (behind the fence)

This past weekend marked the ninth annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco, with about 80 roots-oriented acts appearing on six different stages over the course of three days. The festival is notable for its size (at an estimated 750,000 attendees this year, it dwarfs most other festivals), the caliber of talent it attracts, and its price tag: free to all who show up, thanks to the generosity of one man who foots the bill, billionaire investment banker and banjo-picking roots … [Read more...]

Concert Review: Aaron Watson in Sacramento on June 6, 2009


Let's start with this: Line-dancing is the scourge of humanity. So imagine my horror when I arrived at Rockin' Rodeo at The Stoney Inn to discover that it was... a line-dancing venue. The choreographed boot-scooting and heel-slapping commenced shortly after I arrived. Line-dancing is a bit entertaining for the first song or two, if only for the novelty of seeing the '80s and '90s brought back to life in all their embarrassing splendor. But its novelty fades quickly. And on this Saturday … [Read more...]

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