Whitey Morgan & The 78’s – Sonic Ranch – 2015

whiteymorgansonic

I’ve had the pleasure of writing about Whitey Morgan since 2008 when he was just a wet behind the ears unsigned artist out of Flint, Michigan. Since then he has been picked up by Bloodshot Records who rereleased his debut album, Honky Tonks and Cheap Hotels, as well as it’s self-titled follow-up. Well, Bloodshot might be gone but Whitey has pumped out a new album on his own imprint and it is, unquestionably, the best material he has released to date (read: Bloodshot; you done fucked up).

Sonic Ranch is 40 minutes of pure late 70’s/early 80’s country bliss. The album opens with a Whitey original called “Me And The Whiskey” a honky tonking cautionary tale of failed love and finding comfort in booze. A song that, ultimately, sets the tone for the entire album. A tone any Whitey fan is familiar with but it’s nice to hear that little has changed right out of the gate. From there the album heads into some covers. Townes Van Zandt struck gold on the first song he ever wrote when he penned “Waiting Around To Die” and on the third track Whitey gives us his spin on it. The result is probably the best version of the song ever. He gives it a fitting vocal performance and a musical accompaniment that adds 4 shades of black to an already light bending dark song.

“Waiting Around To Die” is immediately followed by a cover of our man Scott H. Biram‘s “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue.” While the song was one of the most country sounding songs in Scott’s catalog Whitey turns it into an instant honky tonk classic while keeping that Biram edge on it.

One of the most fun songs on the album is a Whitey original called “Ain’t Gonna Take It No More,” A song about a man who is having a seriously bad night. You could say the song is a modern take on Skynyrd’s “Gimmie Three Steps” and I mean that in the best way possible.

I read an interview where Whitey was talking about how much his singing has improved over the years and how proud he was of the vocals on Sonic Ranch. In the interview he cited “Leavin’ Again” as his proudest moment on the album and “Leavin’ Again” is about as good as classic country gets. Big instrumentation. Slide guitars. That orchestra like vocal production. It’s all there in spades and leaves you wondering if this is a song from 1980 or 2015. While I agree with Whitey that “Leavin’ Again” is a great song I think his best performance is saved for the final track; a cover of Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got To Memphis.” A cover that falls nothing short of beautiful and might be the best song on the entire album.

Needless to say Sonic Ranch is Essential Listening and undoubtedly one of my Top 10 albums of the year.

Whitey Morgan & The 78’s Official Site, Whitey Morgan & The 78’s on Facebook, Buy Sonic Ranch

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 09.06.2014 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

We did the damn thing. If you wanna hear it, put your ears on the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for September 06, 2014 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Frank Turner – I Still Believe (England Keep My Bones)
02. Chuck Ragan – Vagabond (Till Midnight)
03. Cory Branan – Sour Mash (The No-Hit Wonder)
04. Tyler Childers and High Wall – Deadman’s Curve (Live At Red Barn Radio)
05. Justin Townes Earle – Wanna Be A Stranger (Single Mothers)
06. Chris Knight – Down the River (A Pretty Good Guy)
07. Joe Sundell – Mr. Z (The Hat Thief)
08. Joe Pug – Downbound Train (Deadman’s Town: A Tribute To Born In The USA)
09. Valerie June – Workin’ Woman Blues (Pushin’ Against A Stone)
10. Jason Isbell – Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings (Beck’s Song Reader)
11. The Decemberists – Rox In The Box (The King Is Dead)
12. Benjamin Booker – Wicked Waters (Benjamin Booker)
13. The Gaslight Anthem – Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Get Hurt)
14. Matt Woods – Ain’t No Living (With Love From Brushy Mountain)
15. The Takers – Friends in Bottles (Taker Easy)
16. Big Shoals – 12 Steps (Still Go On)
17. American Gun – Rock and Roll Won (Promised Youth)
18. Pine Hill Haints – Galaxy Buffalo (The Magik Sounds Of The Pine Hill Haints)
19. Dos Ringos – Long Time (Dos Ringos)
20. Lucero – I’ll Just Fall (Live From Atlanta)
21. The Wind + The Wave – Raising Hands Raising Hell Raise ‘Em High (From The Wreckage)
22. David Mayfield – Rain On My Parade (Strangers)
23. John Moreland – Blacklist (In The Throes)
24. Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound – This Damn Town (Self-Titled)
25. Snakehealers – Roadside (Cure All)
26. Shooter Jennings – Don’t Wait Up (I’m Playin’ Possum) (Don’t Wait Up For George)
27. Justin Payne – Gettin’ By (No Place Lower Than High)
28. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – I Ain’t Drunk (Whitey Morgan and the 78’s)
29. William Elliot Whitmore – Johnny Law (Animals In The Dark)

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
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You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 191: aired 09.06.2014

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 06.28.2014 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

Back up in the cut with all sorts of new shit this week. New Lucero. New Gaslight Anthem. New Old Crow Medicine Show. New Sturgill Simpson. Old Whitey Morgan and The 78’s. So what the fuck are you waiting on? Carve out two hours and drop your earholes on the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for June 28, 2014 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Steeldrivers – Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey (The Steeldrivers)
02. Lucero – Tears Don’t Matter Much (Live In Atlanta)
03. The Gaslight Anthem – Rollin’ & Tumblin’ (Get Hurt)
04. The Underhill Family Orchestra – The Great Wausau Bank Robbery (Stories Of Appalachia Proper)
05. Seth Walker – 2′ Left to the Ceiling (Seth Walker)
06. Kathleen Edwards – I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory (Asking For Flowers)
07. Arlo McKinely & The Lonesome Sound – Dark Side Of The Street (self-titled)
08. Nikki Lane – Wild One (All or Nothin’)
09. Big Shoals – 12 Steps (Still Go On)
10. Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band – Hard To Hear The Truth (Promises To Deliver)
11. First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Stay Gold)
12. Matt Woods – Lucero Song (With Love From Brushy Mountain)
13. Drive-By Truckers – Zip City (Southern Rock Opera)
14. Todd Farrell – Pawnshops (All My Heroes Live In Vans)
15. Chuck Ragan – Non-Typical (Till Midnight)
16. Old Crow Medicine Show – Doc’s Day (Remedy)
17. Kasey Anderson – I Was A Photograph (Blake’s Song) (Nowhere Nights)
18. Jason Isbell – Dress Blues (Live From Alabama)
19. Cale Caudle – Countdown (Paint Another Layer On My Heart)
20. Frank Turner – The Road (Last Minutes & Lost Evenings)
21. Lydia Loveless – Head (Somewhere Else)
22. Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Body Electric (Small Town Heroes)
23. Doc Feldman & the LD50 – Cold Tile Floor (Sundowning The Station)
24. Sturgill Simpson – The Promise (Metamodern Sounds In Country Music)
25. Ben Knight and The Welldiggers – Hammerdropper (The Divining Rod)
26. Whitey Morgan and the 78s – I Ain’t Drunk (self-titled)
27. Hellbound Glory – Streets of Aberdeen (LV)

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 182: aired 06.28.2014

[Playlist] Ninebullets Radio – 03.01.2014 – 88.5FM WMNF Tampa

Got into a little bit is a honky tonk/classic country vibe this week. People seemed to respond to it pretty well so I might make sure to mix more in in future shows. Sound good to you? Grab 2 hours and drop your earholes on the archive of the show.

Below is the playlist for March 01, 2014 [Artist – Song (Album)]

01. Lincoln Durham – How Does a Crow Fly (The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones)
02. Drive By Truckers – Outfit (Decoration Day)
03. Chris Knight – Nothing On Me (Little Victories)
04. The Weary Boys – Cruel Corrine (Good Times)
05. Eilen Jewell – Fist City (Butcher Holler: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn)
06. Loretta Lynn – You Ain’t Woman Enough (You Ain’t Woman Enough)
07. The Takers – Friends in Bottles (Taker Easy)
08. Whiskey Myers – Early Morning Shakes (Early Morning Shakes)
09. White Trash Blues Revival – Drives a Man to Drinking (Now Honey, Now Baby, Now Listen…)
10. Husky Burnette – Highway 41 (Tales From East End Blvd.)
11. Matt Woods – Deadman’s Blues
12. The Waifs – London Still (Up All Night)
13. John Moreland – God’s Medicine (In The Throes)
14. Waylon Jennings – Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand (I’ve Always Been Crazy)
15. Shooter Jennings – Outlaw You (The Other Life)
16. Gators In The Sawgrass – 99 Years (Gators In The Sawgrass)
17. Whitey Morgan And The 78’s – If It Ain’t Broke (Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels)
18. Sturgill Simpson – Living The Dream (Metasounds In Modern Country)
19. Andrew Combs – Worried Man (Worried Man)
20. The Devil’s Cut – Bridge Diving (No Salvation)
21. Todd Farrell – Pawnshops (All My Heroes Live In Vans)
22. Those Crosstown Rivals – Six Strings (Hell and Back)
23. The Fox Hunt – Change My Ways (Nowhere Bound)
24. The Wells – Gem of Egypt (single)
25. Chuck Ragan – Non Typical (Till Midnight)
26. Johnny Cash – Daddy Sang Bass
27. Tyler Childers and High Wall – Deadman’s Curve (Live At Red Barn Radio)
28. Scott H Biram – Slow & Easy (There Will Be Blood)
29. Two Cow Garage – Humble Narrator (Speaking In Cursive)
30. Soundgarden – Outshined (Badmotorfinger)

Bold = Request

Ninebullets Radio on Facebook
You can stream Ninebullets Radio here
You can download Ninebullets Radio here: Hour 1 / Hour 2
If you like Ninebullets Radio please drop a 5 spot in the Tip Jar.

P.S.: If you like this show, do me a favor and post about it on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. It’ll do a lot to help these bands reach new ears…and in the end, that’s what this is all about. It’ll also help bring the existence of the radio show to more people’s attention & the more people there are listening/paying attention to the show the more likely it is to stay on the air.

Episode 165: aired 03.01.2014

FREE MUSIC ALERT: SOUTHERN INDEPENDENT: VOL. 2

The whole “XXX Music” movement has gotten very little run here on ninebullets for a lot of reasons, one of the biggest being the name but I had a little bit of an epiphany while talking on ninebullets radio a few weeks back. To paraphrase I basically said that, “disagreements aside, the simple fact is that we’re on the same side and fighting the same war…” With that said:

Give Me My XXX is a grassroots movement intended to give “outer-edge” artists a common umbrella to call home and it tries to be a place for fans of a band to try and find other “like sounded” bands. They’ve also been releasing some compilations under the “Southern Independent” moniker and offering them up for free download on givememyxxx.com. Today, they released Vol. 2 which features a collection of bands that have already appeared here on ninebullets.net as well as a handful that are already on tap to be showing up here in the near future. So, of you’re into the idea of checking out some new music along with some familiar artists with no fiscal risk check out the Southern Independent Vol. 2 Compilation available for free download here.

Track Listing:

01. Powder Mill – Devil in New Orleans
02. Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre – Quittin’ Time
03. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Codeine
04. The Imperial Rooster – I Like The Way
05. Joey Allcorn – Whatever Kills Me First
06. Jonny Corndawg – Chevy Beretta
07. John Carter Cash – Santa Monica
08. Black Oak Arkansas – Sweet Delta Water
09. Honky Tonk Hustlas – Down and Out
10. Roger Alan Wade – Canteen Full of Dreams
11. Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – I Ain’t Drunk
12. North Mississippi Allstars – Hear The Hills
13. Jerry Mc Gill – Hootchie Kootchie Man

PLAYLIST: NINEBULLETS RADIO 03.03.11

Ninebullets Radio is a radio extension of the blog ninebullets.net that airs every Thursday night in Tampa, Florida on WMNF 88.5 FM at 10pm Eastern. The show is archived for one week after it’s original air date and is available for streaming here. Below is the playlist for March 03, 2011.

  1. Todd Snider – Is This Thing Working?
  2. Otis Gibbs – The People’s Day
  3. Chet O’Keefe – Take Me To The Liquor Store
  4. Whitey Morgan & The ’78’s – I Ain’t Drunk
  5. Lucero – Drink Till We’re Gone
  6. Shooter Jennings – Hair of the Dog
  7. Austin Lucas – Darkness Out Of Me
  8. Grayson Capps – Ol’ Slac
  9. Have Gun Will Travel – Sons & Daughters of the Guilded Age
  10. Hellbound Glory – Why Take The Pain
  11. Left Lane Cruiser – Pig Farm
  12. James Leg – Drowning In Fire
  13. Builders and the Butchers – All Away
  14. Strawfoot – Cursed Neck
  15. Old Crow Medicine Show – Tell It To Me

TOP 5: BANDS MOST LIKELY TO…


My Twitter and Facebook feeds were all a flutter Monday morning about The Grammys. The Black Keys won 3 Grammys and Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers performed on the show! Not to mention Mumford & Sons being up for Best New Artist. For a day at least, everyone was openly wondering who the next band from whatever our little niche of music is was gonna be.

So that’s this week’s Top 5. Give me your opinion on the 5 artists or bands that have the best shot at moving from this little scene we live and play in up to the bright lights of the Grammys.

Here are mine:

Gaslight Anthem: They’re one of those “love em or hate em” bands but the simple fact is that they have the polish, the hooks and the looks.

The Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound

Lucero: They’re almost the anti-Gaslight but what they lack in polish they make up for in substance. These guys have the songs, have put in the work and if the ever growing crowds have proven anything, they have mass appeal too.

Lucero – What Are You Willing To Lose

Glossary: These guys are almost an amalgam of Lucero and Gaslight. Every time I play their new album for someone, I end up burning a copy for them (sorry Glossies, but it’s the truth). If the country still had any real DJ’s outside of community radio these guys would be getting tons of airplay right now.

Glossary – Save Your Money For The Weekend

Whitey Morgan and The 78’s: If country music radio had any balls or if country music radio listeners actually cared about music these dudes would be huge already. The nashville country music scene and fan is dying for something worthwhile and these guys supply it without asking those pop country ears to try to hard.

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – Bad News

Old Crow Medicine Show: Watching Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers actually perform on the Grammy stage while Bob Dylan tried to sing through some snot goober he had lodged mid-throat makes Old Crow the most obvious in this list.

Old Crow Medicine Show – My Good Gal

So. There you go. What are your 5?
Also, anyone else notice how much the singer of Mumford & Sons looked like Tim Tebow in the Grammy performance?

NINEBULLETS.NET NOVEMBER 2010 PODCAST: WE’RE BACK EDITION:


Oh yeah! Sorry for the 2 month furlow. I missed a month for the ninebullets.net 4th Anniversary Party (which was way awesome!) and I missed a month based on total I dunno. Honestly, I’d planned to do an October podcast but the month just kind of got away from me. Not that any of that shit matters now. It’s November, turkey day is around the corner and the podcast is back so let’s talk about it….

The November show features a really drunk me (can you tell where I turned off the drunk recording of this show and came back sober?) and new music from 9B staples Kasey Anderson, Whitey Morgan & The 78’s, The Steeldrivers, Joseph Huber (.357 String Band), John Mellencamp and Drag The River. It also features some music from some new found 9B faves like The Cur Dogs, Truckstop Darlin’ and Doc Dailey.

All in all, I think this is a great collection of music for your Thanksgiving travels. Listen, love, order a Jack and Coke from your stewardess and let’s do this! Also, really, you have no idea how far a comment, an email or any sort of acknowledgment that people are actually listening/enjoying these things goes….so please, if you like the 9B podcast, let me know but only after you’ve tweeted and posted on Facebook about it.

Enjoy and I’ll holler at y’all in December (i promise, I’ve already pulled out Robert Earle Keene’s, “Merry Christmas From The Family“).

TRACKLISTING:

  1. Intro [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.02.40]
  3. Kasey Anderson – The Wrong Light [00.04.28]
  4. Arliss Nancy – Paul Revere [00.08.56]
  5. Beastie Boys – Paul Revere [00.12.00]
  6. The Cur Dogs – Kro-Bride [00.15.44]
  7. Truckstop Darling – Bluegrass State [00.19.47]
  8. Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil – Sunday School [00.24.47]
  9. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.28.01]
  10. Whitey Morgan & the 78’s – Bad News [00.29.16]
  11. The Steeldrivers – The Price [00.34.16]
  12. Joseph Huber – Downtime [00.38.20]
  13. Joshua Black Wilkins – Backseat of Her Car [00.42.00]
  14. John Mellencamp – County Fair [00.45.10]
  15. Grayson Capps – Mermaid [00.48.48]
  16. Will Quinlan & The Diviners – The Thieving Life [00.52.44]
  17. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.57.22]
  18. Drag The River – Here’s To The Losers [00.58.26]

LEYLA FENCES – LIARS, CHEATS & FOOLS

Liars, Cheats, and Fools

It ain’t often you’ll find me writing about female country singers. The fact is most of the modern crop are out of Nashville and are little more than pop with a steel guitar or fiddle and them actually being called country, in any fashion, is an affront to the whole of true country music. None of the mini-skirt-with-a-cowboy-hat-pop-singing divas can hold a fucking candle to Patsy, Dolly or Linda! Hell they are not even worthy of tuning the guitars of those lovely ladies. However once in a while a girl comes along that gets what country is about this time it’s Leyla Fences and to top it off she’s Red Dirt to the core.

I almost didn’t listen to this album due to my feelings expressed in the above mini-rant but I did and I glad of it. Not a single song on Liars, Cheats & Fools sounds like it could be a “crossover hit”. Instead of trying to sound like anything that you might hear on the radio today Leyla Fences has given us an album that opens with a steel guitar filled honky tonk song that while written from a woman’s perspective could have the roles reversed and not sound out of place on a Merle Haggard album from back in the day and certainly one worthy of putting her right beside Dolly Parton or Linda Rondstadt on a compilation. (I meant that Merle thing as a compliment by the way.) She flaunts her Texas accent and writes lyrics that put her firmly with Whitey Morgan in the Oh-My-Fucking-God-I-Can’t-Believe-Anyone-Is-Still-Making-Real-Honky-Tonk-These-Days category. It was released on my birthday this year and I promise you it’s the real deal. If you like music that makes you want to find a sawdust covered floor, a bottle of whiskey and pretty girl or cowboy to swing around for a few songs then this one is for you. It’s Essential Listening as far as I am concerned. In fact I would kill to see Leyla on tour opening for Whitey Morgan and the ’78s. I would so be sleeping in my truck that night…

Leyla Fences – This Close
Leyla Fences – Gettin’ Over Him
Leyla Fences – The Fool

Leyla Fences’ official website
Leyla Fences on Twitter
Leyla Fences on Facebook

WHITEY MORGAN AND THE 78’S – WHITEY MORGAN AND THE 78’S


With little more than the first song I heard from these guys the band moved straight onto my “watch closely” list. When Bloodshot announced they were signing the band I literally did a fist pump here at my computer. As good of news as it was for the band, I viewed it as equally good news for all those bands I write about still sitting out there w/o label representation. I know Bloodshot ain’t the “biggest” label but within our little scene they are certainly one of the most well respected and, for me, Whitey getting signed by them was a victory for the little guys.

Whitey Morgan and gang come from Flint, Michigan, a region of the country that has felt the effect of the global economy and overseas job loss as great (possibly greater) as any region in the country. The Flint people know despair, poverty and struggle. Despair, poverty and struggle are the ice in the whiskey tumbler that is country music, so it stands to reason that the country music coming from Flint would more represent the outlaws of the 70′s and 80′s than the manufactured faux country of….say….Eric Church? Give Whitey Morgan and the 78’s a chance if you love playing Haggard’s “Swinging Doors” on your local watering hole’s jukebox as much as I do. You may just find that these barely-known kids coming out of Michigan have made your favorite album of the year. They’re stumbling their drunk asses onto my Essential Listening list.

Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – Bad News
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – Hardscratch Pride
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – I Ain’t Drunk

Whitey Morgan and The 78’s Official Site, Whitey Morgan and The 78’s on myspace, Buy Whitey Morgan and The 78’s