Monday, September 30, 2013

End Of The Season Party And Fundraiser For Mike Halloran

If you follow our site or have seen a few of projects of ours involving metal etching, there is one dude to thank. TWT Mike Halloran is that dude and is lucky to be alive after a horrific motorcycle wreck while he was on the Run For Your Life this past summer. If you are the eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and lower New York area, get out for a cool event and help support a great dude. Thanks to Lowside Magazine for helping to put on the event.

Get out and support TWT Mike after his horrific motorcycle wreck

The Clockwork Perfection Of An Automaton By Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Mechanical devices never fail to intrigue our imagination. When these devices are created using trompe l'oeil, the viewer can become engaged in a vastly different way. Not only are you as the viewer witnessing a device that operates for a specific function, but several of the characteristics that define it's visage are also part of the design.

Automaton's are a pre-cursor to the modern computer as they were designed to be highly programmable and they also function in the visual realm. Have a look below at a few of the amazing automaton's that were created by talented engineers whose curiosity and artistic flair merged together for timeless entertainment.

View a few more posts about Automaton's:

Demon Automaton from Milan

Tipu's Tiger crafted in India

Singing Bird Pistols

More on Pierre Jacquet-Droz from Wikipedia

(1721–1790) was a Swiss-born watchmaker of the late eighteenth century. He lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.

Constructed between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis (1752-1791), and Jean-Frédéric Leschot (1746-1824) were The Writer (made of 6000 pieces), The Musician (2500 pieces), and The Draughtsman (2000 pieces).

His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, China, India, and Japan.

Some consider these devices to be the oldest examples of the computer. The Writer has an input device to set tabs that form a programmable memory, 40 cams that represents the read-only program, and a quill pen for output. The work of Pierre Jaquet-Droz predates that of Charles Babbage by decades. The Jaquet-Droz automata

The automata of Jaquet-Droz are also considered to be some of the finest examples of human mechanical problem solving. Three particularly complex and still functional dolls, now known as the Jaquet-Droz automata, are housed at the art and history museum in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

He once constructed a clock which was capable of the following surprising movements: There were seen on it a negro, a dog, and a shepherd; when the clock struck, the shepherd played six tunes on his flute, and the dog approached and fawned upon him. This clock was exhibited to the King of Spain, who was delighted with it. "The gentleness of my dog," said Droz, "is his least merit; if your Majesty touch one of the apples, which you see in the shepherd's basket, you will admire the fidelity of this animal." The King took an apple, and the dog flew at his hand, and barked so loud, that the King's dog, which was in the room, began also to bark; at this the Courtiers, not doubting that it was an affair of witchcraft, hastily left the room, crossing themselves as they went out. The minister of Marine was the only one that ventured to stay. The king having desired him to ask the negro what o'clock it was, the minister obeyed, but he obtained no reply. Droz then observed, that the negro had not yet learned Spanish. 

Pierre Jaquet-Droz
Back of automaton by Pierre Jaquet-Droz showing the complex cam system
Back of automaton by Pierre Jaquet-Droz
Complex detail photo of movable type used in automaton by Pierre Jacquet-Droz

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rusty Knuckles Leather Motorcycle Tool Bags

Over on our Etsy page we sell through quite a few of our leather motorcycle bags. Each one takes about 3 hours to make and if ya ever have one with a defect or needs a new rivet, send it on back and I can fix it up easily. After learning how to stitch these by hand, from watching youtube videos, I can truly appreciate the way my grandfather crafted his rope nets for the oyster dredges to be used on his Skipjack on the Chesapeake Bay .

These tool bags are made out of 8 oz. tanned leather and are ready for mile upon mile of abuse. I use 11" zip ties for attachment because I loathe rattles and usually buckles tend to chatter after a while. It is also good to add a good leather wax treatment every couple of months to keep the leather supple and this will help to maintain the bag for a long time to come.

10.5" wide x 6.25" tall x 3.75" deep from front to back

Check out our Etsy page for a plethora of custom items

clean look at one of our Motorcycle Tool Bags shipping out to Costa Mesa, CA
Details from the side view
Underside where the straps pull the top flap over
Rear view where I put rivets in the back to allow for a criss cross pattern with zip ties for extra strength and easy placement.
Side design is uniform and round to avoid moisture seepage into bag on trips.
The devil is in the details. Hammered rivets will hold the weight and look great doing so.
So damn proud of my roots in Wenona, MD

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stevie Tombstone Writes Songs That Stick Over Time, From The Greenville Journal

Stevie Tombstone writes songs that will last the test of time
Go to original article on the Greenwood Journal

"When singer/guitarist Stevie Tombstone set out to Greenwood, Miss., in the early ’90s with blues singer Johnny Shines and Georgia Satellites guitarist Rick Richards, they had a noble and seemingly simple goal in mind: Place a memorial gravestone at the final resting place of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson.

But like many noble efforts, things didn’t quite go as planned; their pilgrimage suddenly included members of the press lying in wait.

“We didn’t realize it had become a media event,” Tombstone says of their arrival at the grave site.

Richards and Tombstone decided to hang back while Shines, a contemporary of Johnson’s, placed the marker, because they felt Shines deserved the attention more than they did. Little did they know that their absence, after it was reported they would be at the ceremony, would cause a firestorm of criticism in the blues press.

But it’s just that kind of shaggy-dog story that inspires great songwriting. 

“Robert got the tombstone, we got the bad press, but now I’ve got a song,” Tombstone says of “Greenwood,” the title track of his latest album. “The whole idea was that Robert shouldn’t have gone back there, because that’s where he died, and I didn’t have any urge to go back there either.”

Tombstone’s music is stripped down and mostly acoustic, relying heavily on evocative lyrics and Tombstone’s wry, soulful delivery to carry across his modest-yet-memorable melodies. Tombstone has also spent some time in Nashville working as a songwriter for other artists, so perhaps it makes sense that our conversation centered mostly on the songwriting process.

Obviously, “Greenwood” is based on a real-life experience, but is your other songwriting autobiographical?

I’ve done that more and more over the last 15 years. I still like writing traditional-type songs, maybe some cautionary tales that are fictional, but I would say I’ve become a lot more autobiographical on the last couple of albums.

The new album is fairly stripped down in terms of production. Do you prefer a bare-bones approach?

I’ve gotten in over my head, production-wise, more than once [laughs]. And I love doing huge mixes, don’t get me wrong. But I think the stripping down is something that’s just come with age. I tend to want to serve the song. And I want other people to want to record it and play it, and maybe add stuff to it, so I like to paint the picture, but I like to leave the door open to interpretation, too. I think that’s important, especially in roots music, because that’s how it started: People handing songs off to each other and songs getting passed around.

You’ve shared stages with everyone from Leon Russell to the Ramones. What is it about your music that makes you such a versatile act?

I think it’s dumb luck, partially [laughs]. But it might also be that the songs are simple. I went through a phase when I first started where I think I was trying to work on my chops as a songwriter, and I’d incorporate these lengthy bridges and intros, tricky this and witty that, but the older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity, and the songs that seem to stick over time are the simple melodies.

Is songwriting a difficult process for you?

The hardest thing for me is to find inspiration. And I think that my best songs are ones that just came to me. I was the editor, not the writer, as far as I was concerned. And that’s the weird thing, is trying to figure out how to plug into that. It’s not something you can just turn on and off."

Stevie Tombstone feature write up in the Greenville Journal

It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right

It takes two to make a thing go right and it takes one bad ass ride to make it out of sight. That song lyric and edit on our end must ring a bell. It serves as a pleasant reminder about social media and communication coming together from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Every now and then while following our traffic reports, we can view where our imagery and links are being shared. Many times it is just a vast amount of click throughs with folks perusing content and media, but sometimes our imagery is grouped amongst a larger collective and tends to feel vastly different. 

I was following some of our traffic from Flickr and found Josh of Wrench Works' bike being featured on a blog page called Fishnet and High Heels. Look at the photo below and you will see one clean ol' Shovelhead with some vintage visible gas pumps, but when placed next to some gorgeous ladies a whole visage emerges. Beauty is everywhere...

Wrench Works' Josh Siler's sexy shovelhead
Super high heels and fishnets
Classic hot rod and a gorgeous woman
Tennessee whiskey and a beautiful lady
Circle track racing and one wild ride
A slice of heaven
Check out

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Husky Burnette, Featured Artist On Itunes Blues For 5 Straight Weeks

Staying power is something you hear about in fights, endurance races and for folks that have longevity in their careers. Husky Burnette is proving with his new album that dedication to your craft shows on a much larger scale, when a company such as Itunes continues to rally behind his new album, Tales From East End Blvd.

Get your copy on CD

Download the album from Itunes

Husky Burnette, Featured Artist On Itunes Blues For 5 Straight Weeks

Monday, September 23, 2013

Billy Don Burns Audio Interview

Interview with Billy Don Burns from a show in South Carolina, by Jason Mater Robinson of Outlaw Magazine.

Friday, September 20, 2013

J.B. Beverley Is Poised To Release New Album, With Awesome Custom Knife Giveaway

J.B. Beverley is poised to release Stripped To The Root with a custom knife give away
Folks, it's been a long time in the making and definitely well worth the wait. J.B. Beverley's brand new collection of songs that were recorded over the period of a couple of years, is now ready to be unleashed. The album will be available world wide through our vast distribution network on November 12th hitting six continents.

Yes, it was said that in quite a few media outlets the album was going to be released on September 24th, but we opted to push it back one month. J.B. wanted to make a few extra edits and add a secret bonus track to fully complete the collection of songs that make up "Stripped To The Root." Once you hear this menagerie of songs, you will start to understand why just a bit more time was needed to corral all the pieces together.

Huge thanks to Kitty Barks for knocking out the new cover art illustration over a weekend. It is some fantastic line work in the graphite she put on archival paper. After we got that scanned in and ready to roll, I cranked out all the lettering and got the album layed out in photoshop and added some washed out color and more line work.

With the added time frame, we could also up the ante on an awesome giveaway prize, that is truly fitting to the album. I proposed the idea to JB about making some custom railroad spike knives for the time that he spent hopping trains. Needless to say, the thumbs up was given. Now it was my task to do what I had had never done before. Building a forge from scratch took some research and a month of chasing down Craigslist leads to find an old anvil within our budget. Finding the right tools for blacksmithing set us down a new road of wrenching out ideas and now we can fully appreciate the many thousands of years that iron ore and heat have been shaping the world we live in.

Putting all the elements together is one thing, but making it work and being able to get tooled steel up to a melting temperature was a great lesson in patience. Breaking new ground with a DIY budget and letting our ideas blaze our trail is the kind of fun we enjoy. There will be quite a bit more video posted on the process of these knives coming together, but for now check out the screen shots.

November 12th will be a great day as the album will be shipping out for all pre-orders and hitting digital media outlets. We will also be giving away the custom knife in a drawing on that day and here is how it works. For anyone that purchases the brand new album from J.B. Beverley - Stripped To The Root, your name and order number will then be placed into a jar for the chance to win the custom knife. The only way to win the knife is to pre-purchase the cd from Rusty Knuckles Music. Sorry, we know that early versions of this album were to come out on another label, but that does not qualify, as we had nothing to do with the previous project.

Pre-order  your copy of Stripped To The Root on cd, shipping November 12th

Album packaging for J.B. Beverley's - Stripped To The Root
Album packaging for J.B. Beverley's - Stripped To The Root
Full album art for the poster that will be part of the pre-sale

Check out some of the process photos of the railroad spike knives coming together:

Custom railroad spike knife and sheath for a giveaway with purchase of "Stripped To The Root"
Checking the temperature of the forge, yep we are there
Railroad spikes lined up and ready for the oven
Luckily we had some some prison colony labor for the forge with the Aussie Posse
A hot forge required some cold refreshing beer
Sean thoroughly enjoyed being in harms way
Pounding out the hot steel into custom knives
Pulling a railroad spike out of the forge, created from cinder blocks bought from Lowes with scrap steel
Knives are cooled off and ready for first round of shaping
Putting together custom leather sheath for the knife giveaway
Several of the knives are prepped and ready to roll, just need final sharpening

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Run What Ya Brung 3 Updates

Updates as of September 19, 2013:

Getting emails and calls from quite a few folks on the run. I added a map below as a link to Google maps which will be updated and also is wide open to the public for folks to add in other elements. Meadows of Dan, VA is where the Willville Bike Camp is and there is also another campground directly next store. The motorcycle camp is very limited other than just camping so if that doesn't suit ya, within the area and over towards Galax and Hillsville there are hotels. 

Right in Meadows of Dan there is a small restaurant, two country stores that have gas and beer, so basic provisions are close by. But then again, it's all remote so maybe do some planning ahead for Friday night, October 11th.

As far as riding on Saturday October 12th goes, we have quite a few options of damn great roads all over the south western Virginia mountains. I am checking road conditions as there is one moutain peak that is a dirt and gravel road close by the party location that has one of the best views in the entire area. It is not easy to get to as it's a maintained road for cell phone towers, but well worth the expedition. 

So dig, dive around and explore the map around the area. We will be just off the Blue Ridge parkway by Coal Creek Road for the party. Lots of great roads and areas to explore. 

Check the map

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nothing can be quite as good as the crisp fall air and rollin' through the Blue Ridge Mountains. For our third annual Run What Ya Brung, we are opting to hit some new roads and to get a killer back yard party running full throttle. 

This is the rundown plain and simple. Friday night we will be rolling into the Willville Motorcycle Camp in Meadows of Dan, VA. Right up the street at the Floyd Country Store is a Friday night jam session of local musicians. The campsite offers cabins, bunk houses, camp sites along with showers and other facilities on site.

On Saturday we will be hitting some back roads and eventually ending up at a buddy of ours private property for a back yard jam session off the Blue Ridge Parkway, by Galax Virginia. The Jam Session will be with JB Beverley, Buck Thrailkill and Jake Cox for some good ol' Americana, Bluegrass and Real Country music. Camping will be allowed on site for free as long as everyone cleans up after themselves and is respectful of the property.

Anyone is welcome to roll in for the Saturday party if you want to enjoy the music, as it's all about a good time. Being that there is no charge for camping on Saturday as it's private property, it will be at minimum a $10 donation for the band fund. We will be posting a more info about the run shortly, but check your calendar, tune your ride and clear the dates. 

Run What Ya Brung 3 on Google Maps

To get in touch about the run, hit us up on Facebook

Run What Ya Brung 3, October 11th and 12th 2013, western Virginia mountains

Rock on with Rory Kelly, From Western Carolinian

Rory Kelly on tour in Spain
Link to write up on Rory Kelly on Western Carolinian

"Mixing guttural vocals and sick guitar riffs, innovative bass tunes and a reliable and confident slew of drum beats helps to form the three-man band known as Rory Kelly.

Lead singer and guitar master Rory Kelly founded the band in 2012 alongside his dad Mike “Pops” Kelly, drummer, and his “dirty rock” band has been steadily gaining momentum since day one.
Adding the bad bass skills of Billy Miller, the band released their first album title “(Don’t Shake My) Family Tree” in late 2012 under the Rusty Knuckles label. Not soon after, the band embarked on a tour across the Atlantic in Spain.

Embodying the “family tree” aspect of their first album, the Kellys and Miller have music in their blood and have grown up rocking it.

Rory Kelly, a long-haired, tattooed rocker whose throaty vocals compliment his stellar guitar skills, remembers attending his father’s band practices as a toddler.

“My dad was my biggest influence,” said Kelly. “I started playing drums as a kid and when I was about 10 got into the guitar. I played a Nirvana cover at my high school talent show and got a great applause.”

Since then, Kelly has not stopped rocking. Originally from Marion, Kelly said he must have had about 10 bands by the time he graduated high school. He attended Western Carolina University afterwards but found the experience competing with his dream to live on the road playing gigs.

“Eventually, I decided that I wanted to take my band on the road fulltime. I’ve been on the road since then, about eleven years,” said Kelly.

Rory Kelly’s father Mike Kelly, called Pops, has been on the rock scene since before Rory Kelly was born. As a member of the Old Bridge Militia, Pops Kelly’s bands helped found the metal music scene in New Jersey. Bands like Metallica and Megadeth found their way thanks to bands like his.

Rory Kelly is a family affair, said Kelly, whose mother acts as the band’s manager, booking gigs and keeping their finances straight.

“She gets us what we deserve,” said Kelly.

Miller, also from Marion, has his musical linage: his grandmother was been inducted in the North Carolina Country Music Hall of Fame.

Influenced by bands like Guns n Roses and the Pixies, Miller became a member of a goth industrial band called VooDou. After the band’s first big show, it was given a record deal and was preparing for a nationwide tour. For Miller, this was a dream come true, but family called him home.

“My dad was sick with cancer, and I had to come home to be with him,” said Miller, who values family just as much as the Kellys.

In fact, Miller’s own bass guitar was made by his father, who cut down the tree to build it and carved out the scorpion in the body.

Miller became involved with Rory Kelly after a long musical hiatus, but, as Miller said, “When you play with a guitar player like Rory, you don’t say no.”

In fact, when Miller began playing with Rory and Pops in 2012 after the band lost its former bass player, he was forced to learn a plethora of new songs and start recording the band’s first album within weeks.

“Billy got five days to rehearse and do the first show for us. He had to learn about 40 songs,” said Kelly.

Luckily, the chemistry was right. Miller had toured, and he knew what the music industry was all about.

“What made me want him was his energy on stage, his playing ability and his professionalism,” said Kelly.

Miller feels similarly.

“Rory has made me a better bass player. We’ve been together two years, and it hasn’t felt like a job yet,” said Miller.

Playing in large shows like the Texas Rockfest, where the band had to deal with four tire blowouts, the flu, a tornado and rain for 16 hours straight, helped to form a bond between the three artists. In fact, the band played eight shows in 10 days despite all of the obstacles.

Rory Kelly has also toured in Spain, playing 13 shows in 15 days and gaining a large fan base that bought them out of all of their merchandise.

Recently, Rory Kelly played at Bele Chere in Asheville. With close to 3,700 people watching and the rain coming down, they jammed.

Since its release in 2012, the band has been playing from their Family Tree album, which Miller described as a “shmorgishborg.”

“We weren’t sure what direction we were going,” said Miller of the first album, which was released by Rusty Knuckles but was still a self-produced album.

Currently, however, the band Rory Kelly is working on its newest album, enlisting the help of producer Jack Mascari to help refine their sound.

“[Mascari] is a renowned producer for a lot of bands. He’s got his finger on the pulse for the music industry,” said Kelly, who admitted that Mascari is one of the best guitar players he’s seen.
Kelly said that he is more confident than he has ever felt about an album.

Miller said that the new album has “more of a swampy dirtiness to it. As a band, we’ve dialed in what we want to sound like. We don’t want to rush things at all. We are more comfortable now.”

Having previewed songs like “Black Widow” and “Hittin’ the Bottom” (which is available on YouTube), the songs have a very refined feel but still express the grit that the band has become known for.

Kelly said that the three men “are all writing together now.”

“We didn’t get a chance to do that on the last record. The producer is letting it breathe and letting it form as an album. It’s the first record I’ve gotten to put together the real way,” said Kelly.

Using his two Les Paul’s in the studio and his cobalt v-style Gibson Explorer for shows, Rory Kelly has taken his humble Black Mountain band to the glass ceiling of the music industry.

With confidence, collaboration and their signature style, the band Rory Kelly is sure to break through the ceiling and realize their full potential very soon, if not on their next record.

No matter what happens, good or bad, said Kelly, “The band is family.”
In the next couple of months, while juggling studio time and local gigs, Rory Kelly will play in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The next time you can find Rory Kelly locally is in Asheville on Sept. 13 at The Social, Sept. 28 at Tall Gary’s Pub and Oct. 4 at The Shovelhead.

For more tour dates and information, visit (under the band’s former name).

Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming interview and live acoustic set with Rory Kelly on WWCU FM Power 90.5"

Rory Kelly featured on Western Carolinian

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Husky Burnette Featured On Itunes Blues 4 Straight Weeks

Husky Burnette featured for four weeks in a row now on Itunes Blues
4 weeks of launching from the top turnbuckle and no signs of tagging out. Husky Burnette is conquering the squared circle of Itunes Blues! Do yourself a favor and pick up this great album either through our store, Itunes or from Husky Burnette at his live shows.

Buy the album from Rusty Knuckles Music

Download the album from Itunes

Monday, September 16, 2013

Husky Burnette Featured On Union City Now

Get your copy of Tales From East End Blvd by Husky Burnette 

Link to Husky Burnette being featured on Union City Now

"Husky Burnette is an internationally renowned bluesman fresh off the release of his new album "Tales From East End Blvd." He has spent all of September as a featured artist on iTunes and has been getting rave reviews from all over the world! On Friday, September 20, he is making a stop here in Union City!!! We were lucky to have an interview done by Donnie Wymer with Husky Burnette.

1. How did you get into the blues?

My two uncles steered me in the direction. I was heavily into 70's rock and hard rock growing up. I've always been one to seek out new music and a huge fan of all genres of music so once I started going backwards to see where it all came from I found the blues. It started with Chuck Berry and went from there.

2. Who are your biggest musical influences?

Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Roger Alan Wade, Gram Parsons, Guy Clark, Leon Russell, Chuck Berry, Jr. Walker & the Allstars, Rory Gallagher, Lee Michaels....there's just so many. I'm a lyric guy, so anything with what I consider to be bad ass, poetic writing inspires me also

3. What modern bands or artists are you currently listening to?

It depends on what you consider modern I guess. White Trash Blues Revival, Left Lane Cruiser, Carolina Still, JD Wilkes and The Dirt Daubers, Justin Townes Earle, Alvin Youngblood Hart, South Memphis String Band, Corey Harris, JD McPherson

4. Whats the best part of being a touring artist and the worst part?

Well, the best part is traveling around doing what you love for folks everywhere, not just in your hometown. Its a double plus: I love traveling, I love playing music. The exposure you get is a huge plus.

I'm not sure I can think up a worst part...other than mechanical failures with my van. I love doing what I do and wouldn't trade it for anything. Yea, sometimes situations or people or whatever may get to you emotionally but, at the end of the day I'm doing the one thing I'm passionate about the most and the main thing I've wanted to do since 7th grade.

5. You have been getting a lot of press recently since the release of your new album "Tales From East End Blvd", including being a featured artist on iTunes the past three weeks. What has the extra exposure been like for you?

It's been great. You always want that extra exposure, non-stop, when you're doing this music thing. Hell, you need it. Honestly, though, it hasn't been any different for me, other than a lot more "congratulations" and gaining new fans. I'm extremely happy with the way the album turned out and so is the label(Rusty Knuckles) and the studio(Rebel Roots Studio). And apparently some folks at iTunes are too! They(label and studio) all worked really hard on it so it's as much their "Win" as it is mine. The fans have been great and really receptive to the new album too, to say the least.

6. You will be playing here in Union City at Woodcrest Lanes on Friday, Sept. 20th. What can people expect from your live show?

(Expletive) energy, man. Raw, (expletive) energy with passion, no matter what style of blues we're doing. It's definitely not your basic blues! The new rhythm section I have backing me up these days is powerful and relentless, even on slow 12 Bar blues tunes. Just a damn good band.

7. Where can people find you and your music at on the web?

Husky Burnette Facebook is the fan page for tour dates, news, etc and Rusty Knuckles is where you can buy physical copies of the new album. And you'll also find it anywhere you can buy music digitally, worldwide, such as ITunes, Amazon, etc.

8. Is there anything you would like to add?

If you haven't checked out the new record, look it up! Along with all the other great bands' albums on the Rusty Knuckles label.

Keep supporting and seeking out REAL music. Period."

Husky Burnette featured on Union City Now

Stevie Tombstone Featured On 85 - 26

Stevie Tombstone featured on 85-26
Link to post on 85-26

"Stevie Tombstone could perhaps chalk up his musical success to bad behavior. At least, that's how he got started playing music as a 12-year-old.

“I got suspended from school one year, and that summer, I couldn't go out to play,” Tombstone said. “I was under house arrest. There was nothing to do, but there was a guitar in the closet and I was allowed to play it.”

Tombstone is hardly a household name, but he's had a music career that has lasted more than two decades.

He led an Atlanta-based swamp-rockabilly band called The Tombstones in the 1980s and '90s before eventually becoming a solo artist with a handful of critically acclaimed albums.

Tombstone's latest effort is “Greenwood,” an Americana-fueled offering of folk and blues that serves as the follow-up to his 2011 album, “Slow Drunken Waltz.”

“The last two records are probably more autobiographical than any of the other ones I've done,” Tombstone said. “Especially the 'Greenwood' album, it's really stripped down.”

The title track recounts Tombstone's early 1990s misadventure in trying to deliver a marker for seminal bluesman Robert Johnson, who is believed to be buried in Greenwood, Miss.

“Long story short, we got accused of doing a lot of stuff we didn't do,” Tombstone said. “You go down there to try to do something good, and you get caught up in this whole thing of politics and hypocrisy.”

While growing up outside Atlanta in an area that was then rural, Tombstone was raised on vintage country, blues and early rock 'n' roll.

“My parents were huge music fans, and my dad had a great record collection,” Tombstone said. “It was Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Jimmy Reed — all the essentials, as I like to put it. And I got to go see a lot of really cool acts when I was young.”

Tombstone once even met country music legend Roy Acuff while his family visited Nashville, Tenn., for the Country Music Association Awards.

"He was at the museum for some reason or another, and he sat down and talked to us and was, like, one of the coolest human beings I've ever met” Tombstone said. “I had just learned to play 'The Great Speckled Bird,' so I was pretty beside myself. It was kind of like meeting Abraham Lincoln.”

These days, he describes himself as a “performing songwriter.”

“It's different when I'm working with a band; it's a little more upbeat and a little more theatrical,” Tombstone said. “But (as a solo artist), I try to work in tight quarters where I can connect with everybody in the room.

“I think the old days of there being an invisible barrier between the entertainer and the audience, that's kind of gone to some degree. I just like sitting down and being one of the people in the room, except for the fact that I've got something to tell you.”

Tombstone cites songwriting influences that range from the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce of punk outfit The Gun Club to Jason Ringenberg of twang-rockers Jason & the Scorchers.

“When it comes to songwriting, it's like I always tell a buddy, 'Real life is a lot scarier than anything I could possibly make up,' ” Tombstone said with a laugh. “That's really what it comes down to for me — just be honest with people.”

Rory Kelly Write Up From Newnan, GA

Rory Kelly rolls in Newnan, GA
Link to post on Times-Herald

"On Saturday and Sunday, Rory Kelly’s Triple Threat comes to Jekyll and Hyde’s for two shows to sling rock ‘n roll all over Newnan.

Rory Kelly’s Triple Threat emerged out of the dissolution of Kelly’s former band, Crank County Daredevils, when he then put together his dream group eventually consisting of his father, Mike, on drums (Rory jokingly insists his dad earned being the drummer; it wasn’t a merits system) and Billy Miller on bass. In the two years since forming the current lineup, the product of small-town Marion, NC, RKTT has found success, even taking their “southern swamp rock” overseas to places like Spain, Germany and France.

On the back of their 2012 album, “Don’t Shake My Family Tree,” RKTT was able to tour Europe and catch the eye of Jack Mascari, a veteran producer in North Carolina who’s worked with people like Warren Haynes, the longtime guitarist for The Allman Brothers and the frontman of Government Mule.

Mascari is producing the new album the band is working on and they plan on playing several songs from it at the shows this weekend. I asked Kelly the difference between playing in the States and playing overseas, and though he loves playing anywhere and everywhere, he has noticed stark differences.

“[In Europe], they come out in droves every time. We did 14 shows in 15 days and had 12 sellouts. These people had never heard of us before in their lives, but they knew we were coming [to their cities] and they learned every word. They were singing along to our songs.”

Just like in soccer matches, crowds will also make up chants. After one of their shows in Spain, a group of kids followed them to their tour bus chanting “Rory Kelly Ohhhhhh.” Kelly laughs recalling the experience. “It was kind of awkward but it was cool. I want to see our hometown crowds have that same kind of energy.”

Kelly recalls a French magazine writer who reviewed one of their shows and called them the best child of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Motorhead and Guns N’ Roses, something the band appreciated and won’t disagree with. They’ve been called southern sleaze for their penchant for southern roots rock and their hard edge sound that rocks. Beneath the muscle of their music is a band who works hard, touring every chance they get and relishing the opportunity to rock a crowd.

“There’s a lot of energy on that stage. We’re going to go up there and throw it down like we always do.”

Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. There is a $5 cover for those over 21 and $10 for those under on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon is Jekyll and Hyde’s biker rally which is open to the public for free. Jekyll and Hyde’s is located at 10 The Boulevard in Newnan. For more information call 770-683-5000."

Custom Railroad Spike Knives and Leather Sheaths

The railroad spike knives are coming out quite nice
Nothing feels quite like making something by hand. The warm feel of tool hardened steel, the sheen and smell of freshly crafted leather and a sense of purpose keep the fires lit. Stay tuned on a write up and video we are editing to showcase just how these railroad spike knives were created, as they are part of a promotion for JB Beverley's new album, Stripped To The Root.