High Energy, Boot Stompin’ Bands Take the Stage in Springfield!
Amarugia Ridge Runners
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
The Reverend Horton Heat
Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
Once we open the Rally gates on Thursday, the party is ON! So, get in, get settled, check out the huge number of seminars and vendors—and don’t forget to stop at Rally Central and the MOA Gear Store. Then find your old friends, start making new ones and get ready for three nights of electrifying entertainment!
On Thursday night, we’ll feature the band Strawbilly, sure to provide a Honky-Tonkin’, Cowpunkin’ psychobilly rip-roarin’ All American good time! Strawbilly is a five-piece band from Kansas City that has one boot planted firmly in its traditional roots and one boot kicking its way through modern pop country; Strawbilly is leaving other lesser bands in its wake.
Friday night starts off with an MOA Rally favorite! If you attended the 2017 Rally in Salt Lake City, you might have caught Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys. They gave us such a rocking good time out in Utah, we asked them to travel all the way to Springfield to party with us again.
Over the last three decades, Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys have kept up a constant cycle of traveling back and forth across the lower 48, then hopping across the pond to Europe and beyond. They bring with them a brand of American music that has earned them an induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, several national television appearances, guest spots on The Grand Ole Opry, and a slew of adoring fans.
“I truly love being out on the road, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to sing my songs all over the world,” said Sandy. “But when I'm away from the U.S. for too long, it's like I need a recharge, like I need a solid dose of everything Americana. Give me a Chuck Berry song while rolling down the interstate or a truck stop conversation with a waitress who once danced with Lefty Frizzell, and I'm good for another three thousand miles.”
Friday's headliner is The Reverend Horton Heat. Seeing Reverend Horton Heat live is a transformative experience. Flames come off the guitars. Heat singes your skin. There’s nothing like the primal tribal rock and roll transfiguration of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Jim Heath becomes a slicked-back 1950ʹs rock & roll shaman channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through Buddy Holly, while Jimbo incinerates the stand-up bass. Then there are the Heatettes, those foxy rockabilly chicks dressed in poodle-skirts and cowboy boots slamming the night away.
Listening to the Reverend Horton Heat is tantamount to injecting pure musical nitrous into the hot-rod engine of your heart. No band on this or any other, planet rocks harder, drives faster or lives truer than the Reverend Horton Heat. These itinerant preachers actually practice what they preach. They live their lives by the Gospel of Rock and Roll.
From the high-octane, spaghetti western Wall of Sound in “Big Sky,” to the dark driving frenetic paranoia of “400 Bucks” to the brain-melting Western Psychedelic Garage purity of “Psychobilly,” Saturday night features openers Popskull Rebels and a big bang closing by Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys.
"PopSkull" was a slang word in the Civil War for cheap whiskey, and the band taking that moniker for their name are influenced by old-school country and Rockabilly, with a little punk thrown in for good measure!
After landing on Nashville's Lower Broadway in the 1990s, Chuck Mead co-founded the famed Alternative Country quintet BR549. The band's seven albums, three Grammy nominations and CMA Award for Best Overseas Touring Act built an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide.
With the band on hiatus, in 2006, Mead took on the role of Music Director for Million Dollar Quartet, a show that became a Broadway smash and has enjoyed extremely successful runs in Seattle, London, Chicago and an upcoming residency at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. By 2009, Mead’s work as a solo artist was at the forefront of his career and culminated with the release of critically acclaimed solo debut, Journeyman's Wager.
Back at the Quonset Hut was recorded at Nashville's legendary Quonset Hut Studio where Patsy Cline, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and others cut some of Country music's greatest tracks. Released in 2012, the album of classic covers features surviving members of Music Row's original “A Team” studio musicians as well as guest appearances by Old Crow Medicine Show, Elizabeth Cook, Jamie Johnson and Bobby Bare. The project has continued to garner critical acclaim from Country, Americana and Alt-Country media who regard his performance as a delightful homage to early Country music. Also by Chuck Meade, Free State Serenade, his debut for Plowboy Records, currently sits near the top of the Americana Radio Chart.
Chuck Mead has performed with his Grassy Knoll Boys around the nation and across the world. Recently sharing the stage with Old Crow Medicine Show, The Avett Brothers and the legendary Loretta Lynn, among others, he continues to be a favored performer among an eclectic variety of venue, festival and entertainment buyers. The Saturday night show features an upbeat set for anyone who loves that special blend of traditional Country, rhythmic Western Swing and high energy Rockabilly.