The Muddy Roots Music Festival kicks off with a pre-party on Thursday, Aug. 29, at the June Bug Boogie Ranch in Cookeville, Tenn. It rocks and rolls through Sunday, Sept. 1, and offers an array of acts, but just a few of interest include Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Charlie Overbey, Mike & the Moonpies, and Jaime Wyatt. We suggest you get your tickets now! In the meantime, DittyTV Senior Editor Tim W. Jackson caught up with festival founder and organizer Jason Galaz to get the scoop on Muddy Roots.
It’s grown in to a monster! Hahaha, I’m joking, but it really has become its own ever-evolving thing. We started out just wanting to get bands we liked all together. But those bands were in-between genres. They didn’t always fit in one given scene. Many of them blended genres. What I didn’t realize was that would become the theme for everything we do. I’ve learned a lot about hosting festivals. Mostly that it’s the quickest way to throw away money and ruin your innocence.
Muddy Roots has always been about music and people. We don’t give a damn about scenes and genre rules. It’s not natural to trap in to one genre and act like your body doesn’t want that groove from another. Plus they all come form the same place. I mean, from the soul, but you could also say geographically. The blues, country, bluegrass, Appalachian, or whatever, it’s all American folk music. And from that came rock ‘n’ roll. It was the literal blending of hillbilly-country music and the blues. That means the joining together the expression of different races, peoples, experiences of those living in our country to form a new music. And from there came newer forms of rock like punk and metal. It’s an obvious progression for me. Plus, some of us grew up on one type of music and now want to hear different stuff.
To name a few we have Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Mike & the Moonpies, Ben Jarrell, Possessed By Paul James, The Skatalites, Jaime Wyatt, Amigo The Devil, Charlie Overbey, James Hunnicutt, Nancarrow, the Urban Pioneers, and Sean K Preston. But there are a bunch more.
We don’t book how you’re supposed to book. Big festivals look at your value in the market, your social media following, all sorts of crap. That’s smart financially and is important, but I’m too stupid for that. I want whoever is going to steal your soul. I need an entire field full of music that makes you feel whatever it is you need to feel. If you want to play Muddy Roots you need more than music, you need spirit. We generally fill up a year in advance and then add certain bands as time moves along.
All my events are music-centric. We have 21 festivals, events, shows, and train rides planned over the next 9 months. Unless you mean, what sort of non-music attractions I have at my events. Those range from a pop-up pool party, burlesque, indie films, car shows, fundraising, recycling campaigns, metal yoga, comedy, craft beer share, slip-n-slides, western fashion show, dance lessons, all sorts of thangs.
That’s the clean version of that rule. It encompasses all things you might do wrong. Specific rules include don’t bring things you shouldn’t, like weapons. Don’t keep people awake. Don’t touch things that aren’t yours. Pay your way in or meet the sheriff. Stuff like that. It’s almost a rule of anarchy in the field but that probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. We rent the ranch from bikers so their rules are the foundation. All they ask is nobody do anything too stupid, don’t break shit, and they prefer we don’t call the cops unless we have to. We learned that people actually act better when you don’t try to come at them with some crappy authority. You can come when you want once the gates are open, park where you want, camp with your car, bring your own beer, cook food, anything so long as you aren’t infringing on the rights of others to enjoy themselves. We’re all adults here, mostly.
No emotional support animals are allowed. Only fully licensed and trained service dogs. DO not show up with some fake ass internet license for a dog that barks at people and shits everywhere unless you plan on riding it back to town.
That came from me. We’re real tired of people abusing our kindness about service animals. Those rights are reserved to people that legally need service dogs. It’s not for some idiot kid that doesn’t even treat his dog right. That’s why we ban both.
Those few times I got to enjoy the bands live instead of watching Muddy Roots on YouTube.