Day three of five is in the books. Before I dig in, I will again sing the praises of the Graceland Guest House. It’s a delightful place to stay, and I spent several hours yesterday at the Graceland complex. The $45-million, 200,000 Elvis complex addition that opened March of 2017 is a great place for anyone who loves music or history. I posted a video on the Facebook site of Elvis singing bluegrass. Of special interest to country fans is the Marty Stuart Collection exhibit about the country roots of rock and roll. The Sam Phillips exhibit covers the Sun Records years, so the fans of Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis and so on will want to check that out. The last song that Elvis sang for friends at his house the day he died was “Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain,” first made famous by Roy Acuff, and later Willie Nelson.
I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the international rockabilly acts, but I enjoy listening to most kinds of music. Al Dual is from Spain, and on El Toro Records, which represents a number of European acts. Bloodshot Bill is a wild, one man show from Canada. I don’t know what to compare him to. Levi Dexter from England played with the Don Diego Trio from Sicily, and Levi mentioned that he will play the Nashville Boogie this summer with the Gretsch Brothers from Japan. The Go Getters from Sweden have been playing rockabilly for three decades or so.
Eddie Clendening played piano in the lobby before the event, including a couple of Johnny Cash numbers. Bailey Dee had to call in sick, so Lawrence Peters stepped in on short notice, and has a honky-tonk sound. Hillbilly Casino is sort of rockabilly with a punk edge. Bonnie Montgomery played some songs off her new album, releasing this Friday. She has a big voice, and a honky-tonk sound with fiddle and steel. Dale Watson joined her for a duet that’s on the album. Jesse Dayton sang a song off his next record, too, but we don’t have a time frame on that. Be sure to check him out, too. Whitey Morgan closed the night, and although he has new music on the way, he stuck with more familiar songs for this set.
Finally, I’ll give a shout out to the many other acts who were in the audience. You definitely get the impression that this thing is sort of a community. I talked to outlaw nominees Barnyard Stompers, whom I’ve seen in Texas, and they’ve been at the events every day.