Music and its culture are in the blood of Jason Galaz, a shirt designer by day, who trades in his craft of screen-printing and artwork services for the love of music.
The Hardin Draw, a Murfreesboro band, will perform Friday, Aug. 31, at the Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
A Murfreesboro businessman and owner of Color My Shirt, Galaz is also the founder of the snowballing music fest, Muddy Roots Music Festival, which is set to take place from Friday, Aug. 31, through Sunday, Sep. 2, at the June Bug Ranch in Cookeville, Tenn.
As most festivals include a mix of talent spanning across all genres, Muddy Roots is similar, but it crosses across roots, blues, rockabilly, punk and bluegrass, all the while paying respect to elder statesmen such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Don Maddox and many others.
“The name Muddy Roots stems from the concept that most bands we love don’t fit nice and clean into a genre,” Galaz said about the name and concept. “They are all somewhat rootsy but muddy up the lines on classifications. One might be roots blues and rockabilly or bluegrass and punk rock.”
This year, the lines intersect a lineup that features Dickens, James Hand, Dale Watson, Elliot, Stanley and The Legendary Shack Shakers to name a few.
“We have several artists in their late-80s and early-90s performing such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Don Maddox and Robert Belfour,” he added. “You’ll see a lot of reference to early century blues and country along side vintage rock ‘n’ roll bands.”
The success of the festival has relied more on the fan base of the musicians, rather than airplay or record deals and with that comes more charisma and a moving live experience.
Muddy Roots offers an occurrence where fans not only see and hear the artists, but they live with them for the weekend. The festival touts a laid back atmosphere where most attendees camp and hang out for the entire weekend, and also interact with the artists.
“Muddy Roots is a different kind of festival. There is a sense of comradery and oneness with the bands,” Galaz said.
Other bands that will be playing include Murfreesboro’s The Hardin Draw, Hillbilly Casino, Reverend Horton Heat, The Dirt Daubers and Cutthroat Shamrock, among many more.
Needless to say, this isn’t Galaz’s first rodeo, as he has put on this production for the past two years and also has events in cities such as Las Vegas, Nev. and Austin, Texas, and is eying Europe for next year.
“We promote this music out of love and are excited to see the growth,” Galaz said about the festival’s progression. “There is so much junk out there on the radio that it’s comforting to see people getting back to the roots of our music.”
The festival’s movement also coincides with the rise of the roots scene in the past few years, but unlike other large festivals throughout the area, Muddy Roots manages to push through each year with a limited budget.
“We are 100 percent independent with no cash sponsors yet and rely on word of mouth for the festival. So, if you think our events look cool tell someone,” he said. “Most the bands are there because we are hard core fans. Actually, we started the event on that premise. We really just wanted to get as many of our favorite bands into one place as possible and see what happens. Turns out it worked.”
For more information on tickets and the festival, visit www.muddyrootsmusic.com.