Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to celebrate 53rd Birthday

tootsies3One of the world’s most legendary honky-tonks is the Nashville’s Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on lower braodway. Unoffocially knwon as the Ryman Adtroirum green room due to it’s proximity just across the alley from the Mother Chrurch, and the strict no alcohol policy enforced by same, Toosties’s has played host to legends writing, singing and living some of country music’s greatest songs. It’s where Willie Nelson kissed Faron Young on the mouth after the Young presented Willie with his very first writer’s royalty check for $20,000 for “Hello Walls.” The place has history as is illustrated by the walls layered with classic head shots of country music royalty. So may the bar had to install plexiglass to keep people from fooling with them.

Toosties’s will celebrate its 53rd Birthday on November 21st with a Broadway street-party hosted by Great American Country (GAC) personality Storme Warren. The annual event will be the kick-off event celebrating and honoring Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones’ final Nashville concert, which takes place the following evening Friday, November 22nd at the Bridgestone Arena. As part of the celebration, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is extending their annual “Birthday Bash” to a two-day event with entertainment on the outdoor Broadway stage taking place on both Thursday and Friday nights.

“The Tootsie’s Birthday Bash has become an annual event that everyone looks forward to,” says Tootsie’s proprietor Steve Smith. “We kicked it off at the Ryman with Kris Kristofferson, Terri Clark, Mel Tillis, and Jamey Johnson a few years back.

Entertainment will be announced in the coming months.

News Round Up: Country for Our Country Supports the Troops

  • The Country for Our Country benefit concert will occur  in Tyler, Texas this Saturday night (10/24). The event will celebrate the troops and benefit wounded soldiers by providing them with counseling and support during a difficult transitional period in their lives. The benefit will feature performances by Joe Nichols, Heidi Newfield, Derek Sholl, and Kacey Musgraves and The Big D & Bubba Show will emcee the event.
  • Check out Ryan Bingham’s new video for his song Country Roads.
  • Paste magazine’s Andy Whitman gives his view of the landscape of country (really Americana) music of the aughts (’00.)
  • Find Lighten’ (the opposum) over at and get entered to win prizes like: Cracker Barrel Gift Cards, Autographed CD’s, and concert tickets.

News Round Up:The Flatlanders and Dave Alvin Hit The Rails

  • The Los Angeles Times features a cool story on the Roots on Rails travel program organized by the Vermont-based Flying Under Radar travel service. This feature focuses on a train ride through the Southwest presenting Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock (AKA The Flatlanders) and Dave Alvin. Guests pay to travel with the artists and intimate performance occur in the dining car. It’s like a house concert on tracks. Other Roots on Rails trips have featured Tom Russell, Terry Allen, Stan Ridgway, Jill Sobule, the Handsome Family and many others.
  • Tom Russell will be performing on the David Letterman Show this Thursday October 1st. Russell is currently supporting his excellent new release Blood and Candle Smoke.
  • sits down for a Q&A with Merle Haggard.  The Hag discusses his recent lung cancer surgery, how he chooses set lists from his vast catalog, and makes his case for being the “great arbitrator.”
  • If you buy Robert Earl Keen’s new Lost Highway Records debut The Rose Hotel at select stores you will also receive a free Lost Highway’s limited, T for Texas, T from Tennessee music sampler. This freebie will include music from Lyle Lovett, Ryan Bingham, Black Joe Lewis, Hayes Carll & more.
  • We all know Courtney Love is nuts. Now she’s going nuts on Ryan Adams claiming that he stole $858,000 of daughter Frances Bean Cobain’s money to fund his 2003 album Rock n Roll. I would be pissed too if I had bankrolled that piece of crap.

No Guns in Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

  • The debut single from Jamey Johnson’s forthcoming album is entitled “My Way will be available as a free download at on August 3rd. On August 11, the digital e-single will be available for download at iTunes.
  • If you read this blog regularly then you know I’m a fan of 94-7 Badlands FM serving Americana and Red Dirt Music to the  Corpus Christi and coastal area of Texas (and streaming online!), but I have to say I am partial to Gina Gonzalez on Mid Days from 10am to 3pm. The girl plays some nice tunes!
  • Legendary Nashville Lower Broadway honky-tonk, and unofficial Ryman Auditorium green room, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge has laid down the law on packing heat in the bar. Tennessee has taken the genius move to allow firearms in bars so Tootsies had to take steps to keep the heeled from gaining entrance.  Frisking patrons and scanning with metal-detecting wands will now be part of entering the establishment. (

Plant and Krauss Back In The Studio

  • Country Standard Time and Rolling Stone posts that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are back in the studio with T Bone Burnett working on the follow-up to their platinum-selling, five Grammy winning album Raising Sand.
  • Iron & Wine (aka Sam Beam) is readying Around the Well (due May 19 from Sub Pop) a compilation 23 rare and previously unreleased tracks. The double-disc set will be supported by a short May tour. For this tour, the group is asking fans to help shape the set lists through voting on Live recordings will be available shortly after each gig at Meanwhile, Iron & Wine is hard at work on its next studio album, due in early 2010. (Billboard)
  • The Americana Music Association announces more artists have been added to the line-up for its “Live at The Bluebird Cafe” concert series.  On February 19, beautifully rich voice of Stephanie Chapman will join Jim Lauderdale.  The Sam Bush Band will take the stage on February 26. Nanci Griffith will perform in-the-round on March 5 with critically acclaimed artists Mary Gauthier and Elizabeth Cook. Award-winning, multi-talented songwriter Darrell Scott will headline on March 12. Foster & Lloyd close the series on March 26.

Texas Invades New York!!! Dale Watson and Wayne “The Train” Hancock

New York City Twangers, head over the the always excellent Rodeo Bar (try the mole!) on Saturday, February 9th for the Texas troubadour himself, Dale Watson.

Dale will then be dropping in the equally delicious Hill Country Barbecue on Sunday, February 10th.

Sorry ya’ll, Dale canceled his shows with no follow up plans as of right now.

And on March, 13 at the Rodeo Bar the great honky-tonk hero Wayne “The Train” Hancock will be sharing the bill with great J.B. Beverly & the Wayward Drifters.

Both show will be great and better yet, both are FREE!!!

Whistlin’ Dixies Texas Tavern – New York City

If you ever find yourself on Manhattan’s West Side in need of a libation  and sustinince you could do worse than to head to Hell’s Kitchen and pay a visit to Whistlin’ Dixies Texas Tavern (724 11th at 51st). The motif is Texas enough and features dancing cowgirls in bikinis on Sunday nights.

Sean (cool) and Jen (spunky) are fine barkeeps sure to keep you socially lubricated. Once they start stocking Shiner the
place will be damn near perfect.

Try the jalenoe poppers and BBQ chicken sandwich with waffle fries. Yum!

Austin’s Mean Eyed Cat needs your help

Thanks to the 9513 for putting this on my radar. Inspired by the Johnny Cash song of the same name, Austin’s one-of-a-kind Mean Eyed Cat bar is facing possible closure.

The property that the bar occupies is zoned as a retail space and thus is required to earn 51 percent of its revenue from food sales – The space has no kitchen so that’spretty much out of the question.

Owner Chris Marsh has taken the issue to the city council to ask that the property be rezoned. The council is set to vote on June 21.

Go to the Mean Eyed Cat and spend your hard-earned cash.

Go here to support the rezoning.

CMT on Gruene Hall

In its continuing quest not to completely suck CMT has a nice write up on Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas. Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall, was opened by Pat Molak in1974 and then featured a young unknown named George Strait and his Ace in the Hole band who played one or two shows a month there starting in 1975.

“I have many great memories of playing at Gruene Hall,” Strait says. “It was definitely one of the highlights of my early career. Pat Molak, who owns it and I still consider a friend, let us play there one Sunday afternoon for, I think, 50 cents at the door. He had never heard us and wanted to check us out before he let us do a weekend night. This led to many great nights at one of Texas’ greatest dancehalls.”

Red Rock West Saloon – New York City

I’ve discovered that no matter how shitty your work week might have been that a hit girl in chaps dancing and blowing whisky-fueled fire on a bar will make it better. And if that bar just happen to be the Red Rock West Saloon in New York City (457 W 17th St – Cross Street: Between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue). Found in a run down area that appears to be more Wild West than urban gentrification is a seedy roadhouse that will make you forget your in the big city (until you walk out the front door and see the velvet rope line at the chi-chi club next door, that is.)

The music runs from Springsteen to AC/DC to The Charlie Daniels Band and the ladies seem to have a routine planned for every selection (don’t waste you money on the juke box.) The ladies also serve up cold drinks pronto and always remember your poison and your name. Businessmen and bikers coexist in this beautiful hoedown debauchery as though they were kinfolk.