Going into this show I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, But as soon as I got to the venue I knew it was going to be a super laid back psychedelic experience.
Walking around and outside the venue were fans and members of the critically acclaimed band. It was hard to distinguish the members from the fans due to the fact that everybody was congregating and socializing together. No hiding out in the bus or green room before the show or big stage entrances, just a group of guys who love to play music and connect with their fans. I think that says a lot about the band’s gratification and appreciation of their fans.
As for the show, it was a fusion of many different sounds, some more detectable than others but all melodically placed and purposeful. Each note the band played was specifically played to give Adam and Neal the freedom to go back and forth in a game-like manner to perfectly execute the ancient art of weaving. Their extended jams held the audiences captivity and instantly had the same effect as the pioneers that the band is so greatly influenced by. I think the band was just as surprised as I was on how the small North Carolina town of Lexington showed up to support and join the kaleidoscopic experience the band had in store for them.
At the end of the night Circles Around The Sun left the crowd with an open invitation to come back and play anytime.
Leaving from their show in Lexington at The Highrock Outfitters they will be heading to Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville, then back to the old north state to play in Asheville. To keep up to date with Circles Around The Sun follow them on Facebook, Instagram and check out their website
Todd Snider released his debut album titled Songs for the Daily Planet in 1994 and with it helped pioneer a subgenre of country music that functioned outside the conventional mainstream genre establishment. The album blended country and folk with rock-and-roll and the sound was so distinct and original, it landed Snider on the alternate radio airwaves. Ever since then, Snider has been a trailblazer in his respective field, he has released over a dozen albums, including two with the supergroup Hard Working Americans, and he continues to tour around the world performing his original blend of country and rock-and-roll for adoring audiences. Photographer Olivia Jewell Williams had the opportunity to talk with Snider over the phone from his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, where Snider lives with his dog, Cowboy Jim, about his trailblazing career, including his newest record Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol 3, and his life as a musician and wanderer.
The album, Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol 3, was released on March 15, 2019, and it is the first record Snider has released since 2016’s Eastside Bulldog. Snider described the new record as being the closest thing to his live show. For years Snider has mostly performed solo with just a guitar and a harmonica during his live performances, but would typically have a backing band come in the studio with him when he recorded an album, however that was not the case with this most recent release. The Cash Cabin Sessions is Snider at his most stripped down and his most vulnerable, which is something that he has always wanted to do. Snider’s lyrics on the record are at times funny, full of wit and even tenderness, and at other times haunting and melancholic. From the title of the album itself, Snider has already cracked his first joke (for there is no Vol 1 or 2), and that really sets the stage for the content of the album itself.
The album serves to be a personal one for Snider as it was inspired by a dream he had of one of his musical heroes, Johnny Cash. In the dream, Snider was standing in a room and Johnny Cash appeared to him. Cash told Snider that he was missing something in the corner of the room, and Snider went to investigate and ended up finding a song called “Just Like Overnight” that would find its place on the new album. It was also because of this dream that Snider decided to record at the Cash Cabin that was owned by Cash and operated as his studio in his later years. Snider described Cash as being the original troubadour and the musical and philosophical leader of Nashville. “His legacy and his authority still loom over the town,” Snider said of Cash.
Snider shed some light on what it’s like being a troubadour and sharing his personal and intimate life stories through song. He says that he doesn’t know an artist who got away with singing songs that didn’t actually happen to them. “People try because they would rather it not be personal, but it has to be. If you’re not being honest, then people just leave.” Snider cites Mark Twain as an early influence in how he has chosen to live his life as a troubadour and a wanderer. Twain was a huge fan of travel and it was prevalent in his works. “I liked to travel and I always liked Mark Twain. It seemed like a romantic life. I get to meet so many people. It really is a lucky way to live,” Snider said of his lifestyle. “If you want to be the kind of singer I am, you have got to be on the go. You have got to be looking for things.”
Snider is still very much on the go with tour dates throughout the spring and summer months, including two with John Prine on May 24 and 25 in Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin. Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol 3 is available wherever music is sold. Snider stands as a testament to the notion that you can be what you want to be and you can do what you want to do. He realized early on that this life was the only one for him, and he will continue to roam, write, and be a singer of songs for it is his passion; it is his meditation. He is an artist that is not in it for the money, but for the spiritual rewards that give back unto him.
Todd will also be traveling through the triad and playing in Winston-Salem on March 23rd at the Ramkat.
The Foo Fighters put on a high-spirited, full of life show at the Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 15. Currently, on tour promoting their newest album “Concrete and Gold” which was released on September 17th of this year, Greensboro was just their 2nd stop on the 23 show run for this fall. Opening up with their latest single “Run” off the new album, they instantly had the crowd up on their feet roaring and had them in the palm of their hand till the lights went down later on that night.
Mark Harrison or more commonly known as ‘BuddyRo’ (in which his drummer Chip ‘Memphis’ Click dubbed him) has been hanging around the Greensboro music scene since the early 80s. Born in Thomasville in ‘56 but now calls Greensboro his home Mark, is a well-known and respected guitarist and vocalist in the triad. Growing up in an environment that welcomed music with his dad being a manager of the radio station WTNC ever since he could remember, Mark was sure to do something involving music whether it be a radio broadcaster (which he tried his hand in at a young age and quickly deemed himself not radio broadcaster material for he didn’t think he had quite the voice for it) or a musician. The radio station is where he said helped formed most of his music taste. WTNC was not exactly a top 40s radio station Mark stated, they played hillbilly music before it was given the name ‘Country’ with a few hits of the day woven in there. Mark remembers bringing home demos of Van Morrison and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and listening to them.
Always having music present in his childhood he was not playing anything or singing until he was out of highschool. When he got into highschool he said he wasn’t hanging around with the best of crowds, being a musician was the last thing on his mind. It wasn’t until after he graduated he even considered being one. With all his party friends going off to college and getting a “higher education” as he put it he didn’t have much to do except get a job and even then he didn’t know what to do with his spare time. So he decided he was going to start messing around with the guitar given his history with music and it just being something he was interested in for years. So he went and bought himself a Yamaha F-G 125 that he still has years later now, with a hole in it, though it doesn’t sound quite as good as Willie’s “Trigger” it does have the same sentimental value. Playing along with records is where he honed his playing skills like many did back in the ‘70s. Some of the guys he delved into when learning how to play were musicians like Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, and Waylon Jennings. Focusing more on the country and outlaw side of music he didn’t start playing the more rocking stuff till a few years later when he got his first electric guitar. He named off a few of his favorite guitar slingers he looked up to when he was younger and they were the greats like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Duane Allman.
He eventually formed his first band which was called ‘South Road’ but it didn’t last too long, with them only playing 3 or 4 gigs. Mark then went on to a band out of Charlotte called ‘Magpie’ he described as a “folk-rock hippie bunch” but he didn’t stick with them for too long either. It wasn’t until after Mark moved to Greensboro in late ‘82 then in ‘85 he finally put together his own band and what is today known as ‘The Mighty Fairlanes’ but then was just ‘The Fairlanes’. Although the lineup has changed throughout their 30+ year span with a few female singers singing with them here and there the first solid lineup consisted of Mark on guitar, Chris Carroll on bass/vocals, Kevin Wilson on keys, and Gary Collins on drums along with a few others throughout the years. It wasn’t until about this time Mark started getting into the blues. Not that he was over the whole rock thing by any means, he just started discovering the music his favorite bands grew up on. He started listening to the famous bluesmen who inspired almost every band in the 60s/70s like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and started getting into to Texas swing, like Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, which he said had a huge influence on him. Then started to realize that all his friends in bands were just doing covers of Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top, which he was doing the same thing but he didn’t get into music for this. He did it for himself, he didn’t want to do covers of other people’s songs, that is when he decided to start writing his own music though he didn’t get serious about until about 5 years ago. Then The Fairlanes eventually settled into a three-piece in ‘92 that was made up of Mark on guitar, Chip ‘Memphis’ Click on drums/vocals, and Ken Graham on bass. This was the lineup that lasted for 24 years until Ken had some health issues that prevented him to perform on a regular schedule. The Fairlanes eventually found Glenn Bickel a keyboard player and a Philadelphia native that moved to the triad, then along with Colby Jack on Bass and Mark Vernon who occasionally comes to play bass, that is what now forms the current lineup of The Mighty Fairlanes.
The current lineup of The Mighty fairlanes have been playing around the triad for the past year while working on their studio album over the summer set to release on October 7th. The album entitled ‘The Longer I Live’ will be the Mighty Fairlanes 2nd studio album among many other live recordings. All 12 songs on the record ‘The Longer I Live’ were written by Mark and when asked what to expect with the new album he said “Don’t expect a blues record from me man”. There’s a couple of swing tunes and rock songs tinged with some blues, Mark and the band were struggling to put it in a genre of any kind stating that “It might just be in a genre of its own”. They’re not too concerned with what genre to put this record in though, they’re just happy to be making a record with music and people that they love to play with. Mark is playing all guitar and singing on the record, Chip ‘Memphis’ Click is on drums/vocals, Glenn Bickel on keys, and Colby Jack along with Chris Carroll who was part of the original band played on 3 songs during the summer before his passing in August.
Mark ‘BuddyRo’ Harrison has been around the Greensboro music scene for years and over the course of 35 of them has developed a name for himself playing the music he loves. If you would like to catch him and The Mighty Faitalnes next show follow them on facebook here. If you would like to get a CD The Mighty Fairlanes CD release party will be on October 7th at the Sawmill 2 in Greensboro, NC from 8pm-12Am, The Mighty Fairlanes will be playing throughout the night original songs off the record and much more.