Muddy Roots 2014

Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, TN is something I look forward to every year.  It is held at the June Bug Ranch over Labor Day weekend and everyone gathers in the field for a wonderful weekend of music and fun.

This year started out with a pre-party on Thursday night where Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band performed their last show.  I was fortunate to see The Broken Band play several times this year, but it was still sad to think that this was their final performance as a group.  I was a little disappointed that they were on such a small stage, but the music and the crowd were great and they had a great final show. 

Friday the music continued and I got to see James Hunnicutt perform a Misfits cover with Hillbilly Casino.  This is always one of my favorite things. 

I was also harassed by a giant grasshopper during the Hillbilly Casino set.  I thought someone threw something at me at first and then noticed the giant bug on me.  I swatted it off and it hopped right back up.  Later I watched it sit on the ground watching all the people go by until it slowly turned and hopped toward me a third time.  I went and stood closer to the stage after that!

Another highlight for me on Friday was seeing J.B. Beverly and Rory Kelly play.  They performed songs off of J.B.’s Stripped to the Root album and Rory did a few of his songs as well. 

MRMF2014 016

Saturday brought rain and mud and more good bands like, Dead Soldiers, A Man Called Stu, Hangdog Hearts, Reverend Beatman, and many, many more.  The Goddamn Gallows were supposed to play Saturday night, but because of rain got pushed to closing out the festival on Sunday night.

Because of all the rain, Saturday night sets went on until the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Lacy and I both crashed out and missed the last three or four bands of the night.  The Blasters are the last thing I remember hearing before I fell asleep Saturday night.

MRMF2014 085

Sunday Everymen played.  They are a fun band that always put on a great show!  They even gave out pool noodles to the crowed to have fun with.

Another favorite moment from Sunday was when James Hunnicutt, Rachel Kate, and Brook Blanche got on stage with Sean and Zander.

MRMF2014 128

The night ended with The Hooten Hallers and The Goddamn Gallows to close out the festival.  Two bands that I love very much and never get tired of seeing.  The Hooten Hallers had a whole new set with new members so it was kind of like seeing them for the first time all over again.

Monday morning we got up, got packed up, took one last shower, and said goodbye to the field until next year!

MRMF2014 149








My Five Favorite Moments from Muddy Roots Spring Weekender

The Muddy Roots Music Festival is my favorite part of the year.  This year I decided to attend the Spring Weekender in Nashville, IN and it was the best decision I have ever made.  It’s hard for me to put into words the love and joy that Muddy Roots brings to me, so I will just share my 5 favorite moments from the weekend.  Narrowing it down to five was difficult, but here we go:



Seeing James Hunnicutt kick off the weekend.

MRSW 010


Meeting lots of new forever friends.

MRSW 083


Attending the banquet dinner that Joseph Huber played.

MRSW 082



Discovering the music of The Whistle Pigs

MRSW 053


The absolute silence when Dr. Ralph Stanley sang O’Death.  You could have heard a pin drop in that crowd.

MRSW 097

I’ll be attending the main Muddy Roots Music Festival in August, but I already can’t wait for the next Spring Weekender!

Travel Journal – From California to Florida

Day 1 – Friant, CA to San Marcos, CA – I had an emotional start to the day.  I actually broke down and cried at one point.  I was in the backroom fixing my hair and noticed a binder with my aunts name on it.  It turned out to be a memorial binder for her filled with pictures and letters written about her.  That combined with the emotions of leaving home hit me hard.  I locked myself in the bathroom until I got it together.  I was fine after that for the rest of the day.  I had a few more twinges of sadness for leaving, but overall, I was happy to be venturing off into something new.

We didn’t even make it off the road my house is on before we came upon a bad accident.  We got around that and made a couple of quick stops in town and then were off.  We were almost sideswiped by someone checking his phone on the 99, and hit bad traffic near LA (of course), but other than that it was a pretty uneventful drive.  Granny told me about her mother and father and how she had to start working when she was 14 and the different jobs that she had.  It was interesting learning about family I didn’t know much about.  We made it to San Marco, CA to spend the night with family.  We went out to dinner and enjoyed our time with family.

Day 2 – San Marcos, CA to Tucson, AZ – I slept horribly last night. We were up early again to take Reagan (my 8 year old cousin) to school & then were of to Yuma to see more family.  When we dropped Reagan off at school, she asked granny, “will I ever see you again?” I didn’t hear it, but granny told me about it and it about made her cry.

We stopped in Yuma to visit my cousin and meet her new twin sons, Liam & Lane.  What cutie pies!!  It was great to meet the boys and visit with the rest of the family.  I wish we could have stayed longer, but we needed to cover more ground today than San Marcos to Yuma (it’s only a 3 hour drive between the two).  After our visit we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner (the first Cracker Barrel of the trip and unfortunately it wasn’t very good) and then headed out to Tucson.  We checked into a Super 8 and plan to sleep in tomorrow.  If we drive 8.25 hours a day from here on out, we will be in Florida by Saturday!

Day 3 – Tucson, AZ to Fort Stockton, TX – Today has been mostly all driving, not too much excitement.  We did stop at a roadside attraction to see The Thing in Arizona.  It is a gas station, gift shop, and museum.  It is only a dollar to go in the museum and see The Thing.  There is three buildings filled with antiques and artwork and the mysterious Thing.  I’m not going to tell you what it is.  I’ve waited all these years to find out for myself what it is, and I am going to make everyone else do the same.  It’s worth the buck.


Granny discovered James Hunnicutt’s music today and fell in love.  It was awesome to listen to her sing along with the songs and giggle with delight when one of his Christmas songs came on.  Looks like I will be ordering her some CD’s soon. UPDATE – I let James know how much Granny loved his music and James, being the stand up guy he is, said he wanted to send her a care package.  What a sweet gesture.  If you haven’t listened to James Hunnicutt sing, please go to his website and check him out at

We are at a Super 8 again tonight (a MUCH nicer one than last night), in a small little Texas town.  I still need to map out the rest of our trip, but we hope to be in Florida by Saturday and are going to stop and see my Great Uncle for a few days before taking Granny to Clearwater.

Day 4 – Fort Stockton, TX to Brookshire, TX – We were up early to have breakfast at the hotel and need to drive 464 miles a day to reach our destination of Ocala, FL by Saturday.  We put in our 464 miles today and ended up in Brookshire.  Our plans to stop in Ocala have changed and we will be going straight to Clearwater now.  I’ve been tired all day today so we made it an early night and had dinner and checked into a hotel by 7:30pm.  I’m excited because I can read my book and hit the fitness center too.  I need it after being in the car for the bast 4 days!

Day 5 – Brookshire, TX to Moss Point, MS – I think I am going crazy.  It’s been a looooooong day.  My grandmother is starting to drive me batty.  We have the same conversation over and over again and it is filled with so much negativity I think my head will explode.  Eh, what are you going to do?  Family, can’t live with them, can’t toss them out of the car on the I-10!  Tomorrow we are making it a short day and only driving 4 hours and then will be in Clearwater, FL on Sunday by noonish.  I can’t wait!  We covered a lot of ground today, unfortunately  some of it was  at 5mph, but we got thru it all.   We started in Texas, went thru Louisiana and ended in Mississippi.  I love this part of the country!

Day 6 – Moss Point, MS to Monticello, FL – Today was a short driving day.  We went thru Alabama (which I absolutely loved) and are part way into Florida.  We stopped at the Florida Welcome center and took some pictures and stopped again to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s.  We are now in the hotel eating Subway sandwiches and I have made a new friend with the desk clerk, who happens to be from East LA.

Day 7 – Monticello FL to Pinellas Park, FL – We made it!  Granny is now all settled with my Aunt and  I am off to stay in Crystal Beach with my Uncle for a few days and then I’ll be headed down to Naples!

March2014 054

I will be posting more Florida adventures soon!  My uncle will be taking the boat back from Crystal Beach to Naples and that will take him 2 days.  I will be in my van and it will only take me 4 hours, so I have to stretch that 4 hours into 2 days or be stuck in Naples with nowhere to go.  I’m excited to spend some time camping along the Florida coast!

5 Favorite Things about Muddy Roots

There are a million things that I love about Muddy Roots Music Festival, but we will stick to the very basics today for this post.  Muddy Roots is an amazing music festival that is held on Junebug Ranch in Cookeville, Tennessee every year on Labor Day weekend.  It is a weekend filled with music, fun, mud, and the best people in the world.


The Artists

Muddy Roots 008I love all the artists that play at Muddy Roots.  Every single one of them have so much talent and produce amazing music.  Every year at Muddy Roots I find a new band to fall in  love with.


The Love

Muddy Roots 137There is so much love at Muddy Roots, especially when James Hunnicutt is involved.


The Location

296769_4451939902319_2103653587_nHow beautiful is this??  I love this field and everything in it!


The Audience Participation

Muddy Roots 045You can stop by any stage, with any musician playing at Muddy Roots and you will see people singing, dancing, and getting involved with the music.  It is a beautiful thing.  The picture above is of the crowd listening to The Dad Horse Experience.  If you have never heard of him, check out his Facebook page and this video.  I missed his set the first time I was at Muddy Roots, but I was lucky enough to catch him at a show after.  I made sure I was under the tent when he played this year at Muddy Roots!  He is one I look forward to hearing every year now.


The Music (duh, that is what Muddy Roots is all about!)

I don’t have a good picture to post here to show music at Muddy Roots, so here is a video of J.B. Beverly performing at Muddy Roots 2012.

Be sure to com back next Wednesday for more favorites from our travels and head on over to Moxie Wife to see more 5 Favorites.