Nov 18, 2017
ORIGINALLY POSTED AUG 13, 2014
The latest nonsense from Farcer at 10:30 AM
Nov 17, 2017
|Photo by Al Steinz|
Here's a brand new song from honky-tonker Craig Gerdes. It's a rowdy, plain-spoken tale about struggling against the country machine on Music Row. A very outlaw point of view that fits in perfectly with other anti-Nashville anthems like Shooter Jennings' "Outlaw You" and Dale Watson's "Nashville Rash." RIYL: Dale Watson, Dallas Moore, Billy Joe Shaver.
Gerdes' forthcoming record, Smokin', Drinkin' & Gamblin' (out February 16) features pedal steel and production work from Jim Vest (Johnny Paycheck, Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe), as well as steel from Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings, Chris Stapleton). Gerdes has also recently collaborated with Jeff Tweel (Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers), and has shared bills with country legend Billy Joe Shaver.
Smokin' Drinkin' & Gamblin' is full of outlaw-country rug cutters and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts. Fueled by nostalgia, Gerdes' songwriting talent turns old habits into dependable crutches, nursing the phantom pain of distant love. The nine-track album is full old-school four-to-the-floor honky tonk that calls to mind country legends like George Strait, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson.
New single “Red Neck Sonsabitches” is a chicken pickin’, honky-tonkin’ country song detailing Gerdes’ experience as a working musician in Nashville before deciding to buck the system and go his own way, back into the rural landscape of central Illinois. Bright, twangy production and a brash, anti-Nashville attitude give this song a timeless outlaw country feel that recalls the genre legends of the 1970s.
More information about Craig below the song player!
CRAIG GERDES - SMOKIN' DRINKIN' & GAMBLIN'
Craig Gerdes is a singer whose voice is steadied by the legion of angels he believes watch over him. He tells stories at a Southern pace, with a soft voice and slow drawl. His new album Smokin', Drinkin', and Gamblin' is full of outlaw country rug cutters, and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts. Fueled by nostalgia, his songwriting talent turns old habits into dependable crutches, and nurses the phantom pain of missing lovers.
Though he hails from rural Illinois, his sound is four-to-the-floor, old-school honky tonk, reminiscent of greats like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. As great songwriters often do, he spent time as a writer in Nashville, where he had some success, and learned that his songs were too country for the cosmopolitan elite.
"Redneck Sonsabitches" eloquently details the story of his Nashville experience, one that put him in front of great outlaw songwriter Billie Joe Shaver. Shaver laughed with him about the difficult road honest songwriters sometimes face on Music Row, and asked him if he'd ever been to Texas. Another man of faith, Shaver ensured Gerdes they'd meet again, and three years later Gerdes opened a show for him outside La Grange. The song he penned about it is a swaggerin' chicken-pickin' electric two stepper. The band careens through a tempo change where he namechecks Shaver, who told him "Son, I know just how you feel," before he remembers what record companies remarked about his work—"You long haired redneck sonsabitches are not wanted here in Nashville, Tennessee."
Gerdes began playing country music at the age of 10 in the band of his father, who, as a child, would crowd around the radio with his family waiting for the wind to blow in just the right direction so they could pick up the faint signal from the Grand Ole Opry. The songs his father loved—by country icons like George Jones, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash—provided the foundation for Craig's work. By age 12, he was already a capable songwriter and musician. And by 16, he'd wandered from the narrow path. "In the same summer," he recalls, "I totaled my car, broke my best friend's neck, dropped out of high school, got arrested and got married."
A few years later, after a chance meeting with a Nashville band, Gerdes wound up living on Music Row. For a time, he literally slept on the floor of a studio where greats like George Jones and Jerry Reed had recorded, a place that's now a one bedroom apartment. "I was hoping to soak up some of that mojo," he jokes about harder times. While Gerdes was able to gain traction with a publishing company and even do some co-writing, his traditional songs just didn't fit in. After years of the seven-hour commute back and forth from his family in unincorporated Pattonsburg, Illinois. (pop. 348), every weekend, he decided to go his own way, leaving Nashville behind and returning full-time to rural life. During this point in his life, while Gerdes was on a hiatus from songwriting to concentrate on raising his kids, his 16-year-old cousin was killed in a car wreck. He was compelled to write again by an angel he believes is her.
Many of Gerdes' songs embody the life of the traveler. While listening to the radio on a trip, he heard the story of a man found cut up in a box and was inspired to write the murder ballad "Dead In A Box In Kentucky." There's a Spanish guitar solo during the bridge that dances into a climactic finish that concludes with a Hitchcockian fratricidal twist. Gerdes' voice is at its strongest on "Almost To Alabama," where he's joined by dobro, imagining the end of the road, and distant lovers. The title track, "Smokin' Drinkin' Gamblin'" is another song only a road-weary rambler could write. It's the apex of country music, where the rhythm section leads in a thudding backbeat, and steel guitar has room to wander all over the beat, while Gerdes moans about "ramblin' my young life away."
Gerdes sings a mean cheatin' song as well. His ribald song "Learned From The Best" and his cover of Johnny Paycheck’s "Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets" bookend the album, the latter a fitting choice—on the surface, Paycheck’s lyrics are about an illicit affair, but under the covers it's about class distinction; the sleek countrypolitan image the music industry creates, and the actual people they use to make the music they desire.
While Gerdes' songs about smokin', drinkin' and gamblin' aren't necessarily gospel fare he is for certain "spreading the gospel of country music." His experiences and his angels guard him from writing songs "with no heart or soul." Rarely has classic barroom country been so crossover capable. Give it a listen and you, too, will believe.
For the sixth consecutive year, MoonRunners Music Festival will make its return to Reggie’s in Chicago for a two day event being held May 4 and 5, 2018. Featuring two rooms and two stages, MoonRunners has become the not-to-miss event of the spring. This year’s event will be no different as MoonRunners Music Festival has officially announced one half of the 2018 lineup!
|Days N Daze|
Houston folk punk heroes, Days N Daze, will be making their MoonRunners fest debut. The band is arguably the most popular folk-punk band at the moment and their popularity just keeps getting bigger. Fresh off the release of their latest album, “Crustfall,” Days N Daze will bring a new shift to the MoonRunners Music Festival lineup.
Indianapolis’ Harley Poe will also be making their festival debut and will perform their only show of 2018 at MoonRunners Music Festival.
|Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band|
Rounding out the announced headliners are a reunited Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band and Canada’s The Dead South.
The undercard for the 2018 installment of MoonRunners sees a lot of new faces as well as some returning favorites. Artists such as Those Poor Bastards, The Urban Pioneers, James Hunnicutt, Barnyard Stompers, CW Ayon, Brittany Avery, Pearls Mahone, Izzy and the Catostrophics, Molly Gene One Whoaman Band, Won’t Stay Dead, Curio, and Lonewolf OMB will all be making repeat performances, while fresh new comers Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Darci Carlson, Dead Eye Zack, Saint Christopher Webster, Terri Lynn and the Darling Daughters, Swamp Rats, and Cash O’Riley round out the first wave of announced acts.
MoonRunners promises 20 more acts to be announced including additional headliners. This announcement will come around Christmas time.
Tickets will be $80 when all the acts have been announced, but can be purchased for only $65 until then!
Submitted by Josh Nutting (aka Jahshie P)