I did a little playlist shuffle on January 1st to get a prediction of how 2012 is gonna be. A musical version of Tarot cards, if you will.

1. Athenaeum – Flat Tire

2. Bare, Jr. – You Blew Me Off

3. Cross Canadian Ragweed – Burn Like the Sun

(Hmmm, seems like its going to be a rough start in the romance area)

4. REM – Every Day is Yours to Win

5. Big Star – You Get What You Deserve

(Well, there are a couple of rays of hope…although Big Star could go either way. I think I’ll take the positive interpretation.)

6. The Byrds – Glory, Glory
(Maybe I should take this as a sign I need to be going to church. The world is going to end, after all)

7. Drive-By Truckers – Why Henry Drinks
(A warning against even thinking about getting back with ex? Don’t worry…ain’t happening)

8. Hellbound Glory – In the Gutter Again
(Another warning against getting back with the ex, ’cause in the gutter is where I’ll end up)

9. The Smithereens – House We Used to Live In
(All right, I get it. STAY AWAY FROM THE EX! Point made. Can we please move on.)

10. The Flaming Lips – She Don’t Use Jelly
(Much like the song, I don’t know what this is supposed to mean)
(AIV Note: Me neither but it sounds uncomfortable. Like sex in the back of a Volkswagen)

11. Justin Townes Earle – Halfway to Jackson
(Great. More woman trouble.)

12. Material Issue – This Letter
(I’m gonna get all creepy/stalkery on someone? I’m embarrassed to say, it would be history repeating itself.)

13. Georgia Satellites – Six Years Gone
(Are we back on the ex again? Although, it was more like sixTEEN years gone. I guess I have to take what the music spirits have to work with.)

14. Paul Thorn – Tequila is Good for the Heart
(Why, yes…yes it is! Especially with all the woman trouble I’m gonna have.)

15. Drivin’ & Cryin’ – Preapproved, Predenied
(I guess I better not expect any pay raises. A nice warning for an election year.)

Overall, I guess same as last year. Romance is gonna be shaky, stay away from the ex, and don’t even think about getting rich. Could be worse, I guess.


I came up in the Red Dirt music scene listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, Robert Earl Keen and the rest of the classics. So it was heartbreaking for me when Cross Canadian Ragweed announced their breakup. I complete understood the reasons behind it and have a lot of respect for a man walking away from his dream to raise his special needs child. I appreciate the fact that the band agreed, way back in the olden days, that they would never be any less than the members that founded it. All of that didn’t make it any less of a tragedy to see the boys from Oklahoma take their leave. The blow was softened by Cody Canada’s announcement of a new project. Over the last few months I became very excited about the impending release of This Is Indian Land. The story behind the album is that Cody made a promise, at the height of Ragweed’s career, to do an album of covers of Red Dirt music that influenced him so much. He has fulfilled that promise and so in a pretty decent manner.

You may noticed that there was some hesitation in the above paragraph, if you didn’t there was, and that’s because I am disappointed in this album. Let me make this perfectly clear I am not disappointed because its not a Ragweed album. I had not illusions that The Departed would be Ragweed reborn and wouldn’t have wanted it to. I am disappointed because this album borders on greatness but never quite gets there. I know that I will catch nine kinds of hell saying that because Red Dirt fans can be vicious but its my honest opinion. This is a good album. It is an album you should own. It as an album that you should listen to more than a few times. But it is only a good album. Every time it feels like it’s about cross over in to amazingness it falls just short. I waited over a month from getting my hands on this album in the hope that it would grow on me and it never did. I never did find the magic that I wanted to find. Maybe it is my own fault for building it up in my mind before ever hearing it. I can’t honestly put my finger on the reason. Now don’t go getting me wrong. I am by no means panning This Is Indian Land as there are some really good tracks on here. The folks behind it are amazingly talented and you can tell that the first time you cue this one up. I just can’t, personally, seem to find the magic in this one that would make me weak in the knees when it gets played.

Cody Canada & The Departed – Ballad Of Rosalie
Cody Canada & The Departed – Kickin’ Back In Amsterdam
Cody Canada & The Departed – Hold On Christian

Cody Canada & The Departed’s Official Site, Cody Canada & The Departed on Facebook, Buy This Is Indian Land



While a lot of folks bill this kid as being in the same genre as folks like Stoney LaRue, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Max Stalling, et al. it is my opinion that he’s not. Now mind you, I hadn’t heard a lot of his stuff before Junky Star but what I had heard I wouldn’t have classified as Red Dirt which is probably why I hadn’t actually checked out more of his stuff. I got this album from a friend of mine and it sat un-listened to and gathering dust until a few weeks ago when I was digging through my stack of stuff to check out when I have time. I dropped it on my mp3 player and didn’t pay much attention to be honest. I didn’t pay much attention until I started hearing these tracks I had never heard before coming up in my random playlist that were good enough I had to look and see who it was. After realizing I had made a mistake not checking out Ryan much earlier I listened to the album all the way through and was happily surprised. As I eluded to before quite a few people throw Ryan Bingham in to the Texas Country heap with all the others but I think he is much more than that. Now you all know I love my Red Dirt Music but this kid transcends any genre you could try and pigeonhole him in to.

Junky Star is honestly hard for me to describe. It’s got a lot of folk feel to it but it has a drawl in the music itself that identifies it as decidedly Texas without having a steel guitar and twang to every track. This one feels like it has been flayed and laid open for all to see. The songwriting is deep and and attacks the stories within the songs from a perspective most folks would consider. “Hallelujah” takes the love song and lets you see it from the perspective a newly lover wanting to come back to the love of his life and refusing to accept death while “All Choked Up Again” is a ballad of patricide and a lover loving unconditionally. I keep feeling like there’s a hint of Dylan somewhere in the lyrics along with a generous portion of Townes Van Zandt but I also feel like that doesn’t really give Ryan enough credit. It’s all well and good to see some of the influences but I have to stress that Ryan’s work is his own and he’s not just a couple of, albeit amazing, songwriters that may have influenced him. The depth runs through every song on this album as does the gravel in his voice. Like so many of my favorite albums this one makes me want to drink whiskey but this one makes me want to do it alone in the dark where I can confront myself just a little bit.

Calling Ryan a country singer doesn’t cover it; as far as I am concerned this boy is a straight up troubadour and while the music itself might not be your thing if you don’t bother listening to this one you are missing out on some of the best songwriting out there these days. I personally like the stripped down feel that this album has compared to a lot of my favorite music these days. It’s a refreshing break even if a little paradoxical as it is also darker, musically, than most of the stuff that grabs my attention these days. After tossing it aside, letting it stay on random for weeks and finally giving it the listen it deserved I have no choice but qualify Junky Star as Essential Listening!

Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses – All Choked Up Again
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses – Hallelujah
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses – Lay My Head On The Rail

Ryan Bignham & The Dead Horses’ official website
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses on
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses on Facebook


Cross Canadian Ragweed

On October 24, 2010 Cross Canadian Ragweed played their final show. They rocked a sell out crowd at Joe’s in Chicago to close out a tour during which they announced that the band would be taking a hiatus. I was pretty damn disappointed because after all my love for these boys and all the shows I go to I never got to see them play live. Something always seemed to come up. Aside from my disappointment this final shows signals the end of an era. Cross Canadian Ragweed have been the unofficial poster boys for the Texas Country scene and the a large part of the reason that the music from that scene is pretty much now known as Red Dirt Music. In a genre with folks like Jason Boland, Robert Earl Keen and Billy Joe Shaver these upstarts rose up through the ranks and took the mantle! For better than a decade they have been making amazing music and I can honestly say that every single one of their albums qualifies as Essential Listening.

It is with a heavy heart that I pen this little piece to say goodbye to one of my favorite bands of all time. Their reasons for breaking up the band are posted all over the web so I won’t bother re-posting them or opining on their validity. These kids have been a heavy part of my whiskey drinking playlist since I first heard Carney Man in 1999 and I own everything they’ve released since. This is one of those bands that if I had ever got to see them I would have frankly been in awe and lost all ability to do an interview or anything. I love this band and the fact that they are breaking up, even if it turns out to be temporary, if heartbreaking. But instead of carrying on I’ll just post you a little link of a bootleg of their final show and give you a couple of tracks to listen to while you download.

I also just realized I never did an Intro/Primer for these boys. I guess that’ll be next on my plate…

(This didn’t have a cover when I grabbed it so I hacked this one together in a couple of minutes)

TIme To Move On

01 – Introduction
02 – Mexican Sky
03 – Cold Hearted Woman
04 – Deal
05 – Dimebag
06 – Sick and Tired (with Lee Ann Womack)
07 – To Find My Love
08 – Lonely Girl
09 – Constantly
10 – Hammer Down
11 – Soul Agent
12 – Anywhere But Here
13 – In Oklahoma (With Stoney LaRue)
14 – Drum Solo
15 – Number
16 – Daddy’s At Home
17 – On a Cloud
18 – Travelin’ Kind (Stoney LaRue)
19 – Blind Man (Stoney LaRue)
20 – Broken
21 – Blue Bonnets
22 – Dead Man
23 – Brooklyn Kid
24 – Don’t Need You
25 – Time to Move on
26 – Boys From Oklahoma
27 – Changes (Seth James)
28 – Late Last Night
29 – Carney Man
30 – Rockin’ In The Free World

Cross Canadian Ragweed – Time To Move On: The Final Show



To continue on with the transportation theme (two out of the last three top 5’s have been about transportation) this weeks theme is car songs. These can be any songs about cars and there are a lot of songs about cars out there to choose from. I didn’t go deep this week and just picked the first five that popped in to my head. It shouldn’t be a hard little list to make for anyone. Anyway here’s my list:

ALL – Hot Rod Lincoln | This is just a bad ass cover!
Cross Canadian Ragweed – Highway 377 | I have a soft spot for songs about Jesus and the Devil and this one includes cars?!? Awesome!
Chris Knight – My Old Cars | For so many reasons this reminds me of my best friend An-G.
Drive By Truckers – Daddy’s Cup | While my daddy wasn’t a race car driver there’s so many things that “I won’t stop until Daddy’s name is on that cup” even as old as I am!
Two Cow Garage – Camaro | What this song brings to mind depends on the day but right now it reminds me of picking up a girl who wasn’t allowed to see me, yes in a Camaro, and taking her to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and making it in the backseat on the way there. It was a friend’s Camaro…

I really wanted to drop in Stroker Ace but honestly it would have come in around number 9 or 10 so it gets left out of my list. I’ve showed you mine now let’s see yours!

AUTOPSY IV ANSWERS: I’m gonna be honest. I resisted the temptation and curated my list without googling “songs about cars” so I probably missed some seriously obvious shit. That said, here is the list I came up with:

White Zombie – Black Sunshine: I wanted this to be Nitrous Burning Funny Cars by The Dead Milkmen but I opted against listing the same artist twice. Still, an awesome song with some great samples.

The Dead Milkmen – Bitchin’ Camaro: One of the first songs that came to mind. Bitchin’ Camaro Bitchin’ Camaro I Ran Over My Neighbor!

Mat D – Ford Marriage: I friggin’ love this song.

The Bean Pickers Union – Independence Day: This song is as much about cruising a small town as it is about a car but it’s included here for it’s mention of a 327 Small Block engine…the very engine that will be in the Camaro I own one day.

Sir Mix-A-Lot – Testarossa: First song I thought of and quite simply the beginning and the end when it comes to the subject of car songs.


I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this on ninebullets, but even if we haven’t I doubt if it would come as a surprise that I download music. I buy a lot of music but I also download my fair share. A lot of it comes from random PR emails but there is plenty that comes from me firing up my favorite P2P app or Bittorrent client and castnetting band names, maybe because they sound interesting or for whatever reason I might decide to pull down a band I’ve never heard of.

I don’t say this to shock anyone. Hell, I think the real shock these days would be someone who doesn’t download any music. I say this ‘cause I’m not really sure how Left Foot Sally’s album ended up in my music directory, but I suspect it might have been from less than legal means.

Regardless of how the album got to my ears, I’m glad it did. The first time I pressed play on it I was (based on the band name) expecting a rockabilly act with a girl singer. What I got was sweet Southern rock guitars and a singer that kind of reminds me of a deeper-voiced version of the singer from Cross Canadian Ragweed, which is funny ‘cause in the research for this post I learned that they’re both from Oklahoma (I don’t know, all Oklahomans sound alike to me). Lady Luck is the band’s first effort and the 10 tracks occasionally offer a glimpse to the newness of the band, but as a whole I can feel comfortable saying that Lady Luck serves as a fantastic opening salvo for these guys.

Check ‘em out.

Left Foot Sally – Second Wind
Left Foot Sally – Lady Luck

Left Foot Sally on myspace, Buy Lady Luck


Wade Bowen is one of my favorite Texas/Red Dirt boys and he has finally dropped a Live at Billy Bob’s Texas album on us as a CD/DVD combo. If you know anything about the scene you know that everyone has to do one of these at some point and that they are always good. You can look through the careers of Jason Boland, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and just about any other Texas artist and you’ll find one of these discs in their releases. It’s not limited to Texas boys either with the likes of David Allen Coe, Merle Haggard and other legends having a Live at Billy Bobs Texas release to their name. Wade joins the club with the one and it’s everything one would expect from both him and Billy Bob’s without a disappointing moment on either disc.

This album and the atmosphere it conveys is the reason I got into the Texas/Red Dirt Scene. Originally a member of West 84 which, in 1991, re-aligned with Wade as the front man and started releasing albums as Wade Bowen & West 84 and eventually as just Wade Bowen he has over a decade playing music and recording albums and still leaves it all on stage. This is something you can really feel on this album. It isn’t like being there but it’s as close as you can get with your headphones on. There just isn’t a bad track on this one and the quality of the live performance puts it close to the top of the stack as far as live albums so far this year. If you have never heard Wade Bowen before this album is as good as any to start with but I’d wager if you started with you wouldn’t be stopping with it. It’s rare for me to think a live album is Essential Listening but just about any Live At Billy Bob’s Texas is good enough to make the list and this one is no exception.

Wade Bowen – Please Come to Boston
Wade Bowen – Daddy and the Devil
Wade Bowen – Ghost in this Town

Wade Bowen official website
Wade Bowen on Myspace
Wade Bowen’s artist page on