2016: A Year in Review

The Southland Music Line 2016: Johnny Cole – A Year of Travelin’ & 300+ Shows

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My Article Sections (below):
1. My Summary of 2016
2. My Link to Complete List of Shows
3. My Favorite Albums of 2016 (plus link to complete list)
4. My Favorite Shows of 2016 (plus link to complete list)
5. My List of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Seen in 2016
6. My 2016 Acknowledgements
johnny c“Me” at Tipitina’s in New Orleans enjoying soundcheck by one of my favorite bands of 2016 “Darcy Malone & The Tangle”. (Photo by Stephen “Andy” Anderson)
My Summary of 2016
In the summer of 2016, I wrote the article: “The Southland Music Line 2016: A Year in Music (So Far) – The Travels of The Line’s Johnny Cole “, which detailed the first half of the year. Since that time, my journey has taken me around the country and once again, I have surpassed 300 shows in one calendar year. 
I enjoyed hosting several TV episodes of “Music Scene” and writing or being involved with several articles at “The Southland Music Line” and elsewhere. Television, radio, online podcasts, websites, attending live music events and several thousand of miles of travel have kept me busy. Above all, the opportunities to meet some very kind people have made 2016 very memorable. I owe a great deal of gratitude to several good friends who I acknowledge at the end of this article.

Once again, I attended the 30A Songwriters Festival in northwest Florida, South By Southwest in Austin (TX), the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, AthFest in Athens (GA), Americana Music Festival (in both Nashville and New York City), the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival and several similar events. 

 .pm1-1425x800Paul McCartney at “Desert Trip” in Indio, CA (Photo by Johnny Cole)

During the fall of the year, I had the privilege of attending the highly promoted iconic music event “Desert Trip” in Indio, CA that featured Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Who, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. (An article appeared in The Southland Music Line in October of this year).
Several road trips and mini-tours led me around the country following musicians from all genres at multiple sized venues. (Read further for the link to my complete list of shows). It’s very difficult to list what I enjoyed most, though I attemped to be fair and honest on my annual year end list(s) of Favorite Shows and Albums.
Two standout albums for me in 2016 were the much anticipated second release by Escondido entitled “Walking with a Stranger” (their album “The Ghost of Escondido” topped my list in 2013) and the amazing solo release “National Treasure” from Anthony Crawford of the much loved duo of Sugarcane Jane and the successful Willie Sugarcapps.(Crawford has written a staggering list of songs and toured with such artists as Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam and Sonny James in a long and productive career).
Several standout shows quickly come to mind but due to the vast number that were, it’s mind-boggling when trying to narrow it down following multiple shows by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band who top 2016’s list.

FB_IMG_1481490787722Bruce Springsteen during one of his 4 hour marathon shows in fall of 2016.  In early 2017, I will be following The Boss to Australia and New Zealand for 14 shows (J.Cole)

Even though several shows that made my year end list were by widely known artists, including 35 (or so) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, there were several shows that were seen in more intimate venues by acclaimed up-and-coming stars like Dylan LeBlanc, Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds and Darcy Malone & The Tangle. The year end review wouldn’t be official without mentioning the all-star American Roots ensemble The Jericho Road Show – their show at Duling Hall in Jackson, MS was an enjoyable evening of music. In early December, the Kris Lager Band at The Listening Room also proved to be one of the best shows I attended in 2016. 

 I had the opportunity to attend several never-before-seen or heard music artists in 2016. Some that stood out:
*The already mentioned Darcy Malone & The Tangle (from New Orleans).
*Joey Cook & The Partyraddlers (from New Orleans).
* Renshaw Davies (from New Orleans)
*Steve Griggs who released the sensational album “Fort Worth to Bakersfield” (from Dallas/Ft. Worth)
* Kris Lager Band (from Omaha, NE)
* and of course, several others.
SCA_7084Johnny Cole visiting with Tyler James of Escondido prior to their show at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans.  Escondido’s second album “Walking with a Stranger” topped Johnny’s list of albums for 2016. (Their debut album “The Ghost of Escondido” did the same in 2013).
During this busy year, I attended 300+ shows at well over 120 different music venues in over 60 towns and cities. After several thousand miles of both air and road travel, I am still alive and doing well though, for a guy over a half century old, I must admit that it’s not as easy as it used to be.
Another year comes to close as we welcome in a new year. In late January through the month of February, I will be in Australia and New Zealand following The Bruce Springsteen Tour. 30A Songwriters Fest, SXSW, another Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and more such events are already scheduled. It looks like 2017 will be getting off to good start. A possible trip to Europe and a number of mini-tours are in the making. I am looking foward to seeing where the road and skies take me.

See you in my travels.

 Johnny Cole’s Favorites:
Top Ten Albums:
1. Walking with a Stranger – Escondido 
2. National Treasure – Anthony Crawford 
3. Blackstar – David Bowie
4. Full Circle – Loretta Lynn
5. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter – Margo Price 
6. Gotta Get Home – Seth Walker 
7. Far Cries and Close Calls – John Calvin Abney 
8. Cautionary Tale – Dylan LeBlanc 
9. Silver Tears – Aaron Lee Tasjan
10. Paradise Right Here – Willie Sugarcapps 
.Click Here for My Complete List of Favorite Albums.
Top Ten Shows:
1. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band “The Three Shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Sept. 23, 25 & 30) [tie] *Attended 9 Springsteen shows in 2016.
2. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band “The Two Shows at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA (Sept. 7 & 9) [tie]
3. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Madison Square Gardens in NYC (Mon. Mar. 28)
4. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY feat. Deep Purple, Steve Miller, NWA Chicago, Cheap Trick. Also: Rob Thomas, Sheryl Crow, Kendrick Lamar, Steve Van Zandt, Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, Grace Potter, Kid Rock, David Byrne, The Roots, and Kimbra. (Fri. Apr. 8)
5. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Nationals Park in Washington, DC (Thur. Sept. 1); United Center in Chicago, IL (Sun. Sept. 28); Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, VA (Mon. Sept. 5 ) [tie]
6. The Desert Trip Night #2 Paul McCartney and Neil Young & Promise of A Real at Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA (Sat. Oct. 8)
7. Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders at Verizon Center in Washington, DC (Mon. Nov. 14)
8. Dylan LeBlanc with The Pollies & Courtney Blackwell at Callaghan’s in Mobile, AL  (Mon. Sept. 26)
9. The Desert Trip Night #1 Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA (Sat. Oct. 7)
10. The Jericho Road Show at Duling Hall in Jackson, MS feat. Rambling Steve Gardner, Libby Rae Watson, Wes Lee & Bill Steber. The show was opened by Oh Jeremiah. (Tues. Mar. 1) *The Jericho Road Show is easily one of my favorite shows of 2016. Once again, I was privileged to see Wes Lee a number of times throughout the year.
.Click Here for My Complete List of Favorite Shows.
desert-trip-poster-2016-billboard-1548Johnny Cole attended the much publicized 2016 music event “Desert Trip” featuring Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Who and Pink Floyd’s Roger Water in Indio, CA (see list of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees seen in 2016)
 The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Seen in 2016:
Gary Tallent (*E Street Band) “Inducted in 2014” (10 times)
Steven Van Zandt (*E Street Band) “Inducted in 2014” (10)
Bruce Springsteen “Inducted in 1999” (9)
Bob Dylan “Inducted in 1988” (4)
Elvis Costello “Inducted as a member of Elvis Costello & The Attractions in 2003” (3)
Bonnie Raitt “Inducted in 2000” (2)
Cheap Trick “Inducted in 2016” (2)
Paul McCartney *Inducted twice (solo in 1999 and earlier with the Beatles in 1988) (2)
Steely Dan “Inducted in 2001” (2)
Bob Weir (*Grateful Dead – 1994) (2)
Phil Lesh (*Grateful Dead – 1994) (1)
Billy Joel “Inducted in 1999” (1)
Chicago “Inducted in 2016” (1)
David Byrne (*Talking Heads) “Inducted in 2002” (1)
Deep Purple “Inducted in 2016” (1)
Dr. John “Inducted in 2011” (1)
Guns ‘N Roses “Inducted in 2012” (1)
Heart “Inducted in 2013” (1)
Jackson Browne “Inducted in 2004” (1)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “Inducted in 2015” (1)
Joe Walsh (*The Eagles) “Inducted in 1998” (1)
Lars Ulrich (*Metallica) “Inducted in 2009” (1)
Mike Mills (*R.E.M.) “Inducted in 2007” (1)
Neil Young *Inducted twice (solo in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997)
NWA “Inducted in 2016” (1)
Pretenders “Inducted in 2005” (1) 
Robert Plant (*Led Zeppelin) “Inducted in 1995” (1)
Roger Waters (*Pink Floyd) “Inducted in 1996” (1)
Rolling Stones “Inducted in 1989” (1)
Steve Miller “Inducted in 2016” (1)
Steve Winwood (*Traffic) “Inducted in 2004” (1)
Stevie Nicks (*Fleetwood Mac) “Inducted in 1998” (1)
Tom Petty (with Mudcrutch) “Inducted as a member of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2002” (1)
Van Morrison “Inducted in 1993” (1)
The Who “Inducted in 1990” (1)
13124897_10154116138569493_6284012242823275281_n“Me” at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile, AL. The friendly staff always has my iced-tea ready as soon as I arrive (see acknowledgements)
Some 2016 Acknowledgements: 
> Stephen Anderson for all of his wonderful photos featured at The Line and for his good friendship.
> Robby Amonett for his amazing art, shared love for music and valued friendship.
> Cindy Thamert for her article assistance, writing and timely proofreading.
> Sandra Cole for her article assistance and encouragement. 
> Freelance Writers Group for their much appreciated assistance.
> Jim Pennington of The Listening Room, John Thompson aka J.T. at Callaghan’s and Manci’s, Mark Garrison of Jack’s by the Tracks, Ben Kaufman – formerly of Irish Coast Pub, Cathe Steele of The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm, Mark Shaffer of The Julep Room, Ryan Johnson of The Merry Widow. They all consistently provided me with incredible venues to enjoy music.
>Jeff and Suzanne Zimmer for their kind friendship – It’s a joy attending numerous shows with them throughout the year. 
> Doug & Susan Sholes for a true and meaningful friendship. Words can’t express enough.
> Bobby Rayborn – A real friendship. His love for music is shared and addicting.
> Glenda Campbell – Words can’t match my appreciation for this valued friendship. She and The Duhs along with Phyllis, the two Cindys and a few others make attending shows a whole lot of fun. I’m still wondering when I’ll see that pink Mary Kay Cadillac convertible pass me up on its way to another show. 
> Anthony and Savana Crawford – In all my years of closely following music, few have reached the amount of admiration I have for this very talented and wonderful couple. They are gifted musicians and even better people.
> Wes Lee – What an incredible talent! He is a true favorite of mine. I am also glad to call him a dear friend.
> Jimmy Lee Hannaford and Keitha Bozeman – It doesn’t matter where I see them because it is always time well spent with two of the nicest folks around. 
> The good folks at The Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival – Every year feels more like a family reunion. 
> Ron Thamert – Some people will go that extra mile to help and Ron is such a person – A valued friendship.
> Harry Stewart – I have spent some great times listening to music with Harry – the man does love good music!
> John and Michele Boland – Since they moved to North Carolina, my dear friends are truly missed. We’ve shared many nice times together and I look forward to more. 
> The Good Folks at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm – The place brings people together to form The Frog Pond Family. I can’t thank everyone enough for contributing to this year’s Frog Pond article. 
> Jason Sanford -He will always be someone who’s music has brought needed joy to my life when I needed it most.
> Stefan Lawson & Coastal Noise – Co-hosting the TV show was “an experience”. I appreciate his friendship and love for music. 
> Rambling Steve Gardner – Though most of the year he is on the other side of the globe, I truly enjoy whenever we do get to personally visit. His messages throughout the year are dearly appreciated too.
> Everyone who contributed on the TV show “Music Scene” – Russ Clement, J.T. Nicholson and of course, Steven Dale.
> Abe Partridge – I can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented guy. I’m glad to call him a friend. 
> Steve Hassenplug – One word…. Bruuuuuuuuce! 
> Brenda Parsley Germany – A wonderful lady. A good new friend who enjoys music. She has also assisted me with some much needed help at The Southland Music Line.
> Norville Harrison – A Callaghan’s regular who traveled to Martha’s Vineyard and reported back with his wonderful experience.
> The friendly staff at Callaghan’s and Jack’s by the Tracks for always having my Iced-Tea or Coca-Cola ready as soon as I arrived. Great service! Awesome folks!
> Jeremiah and Erin Stricklin for bringing joy into my life through song and kindness. 
> Josh and Emily Sholes Smith for showing genuine kindness to this old guy. I was glad to have been witness to their special day on March 12 of this year.
> Brice Creel – We saw less of each other in 2016, but whenever the opportunity arises, its a nice one.
> The Mulligan Brothers for always performing Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” and giving me a “shout out”.
> Diggs Darcey and the entire Monday Night Jam Session Musicians from the former Irish Coast Pub – I miss those incredible nights of music. 
> Libby Rae Watson – I could listen to her stories all day long. Libby is truly a gifted musician and one of the nicest you’ll ever meet.
> Darcy Malone & the Tangle – They helped make the end of 2016 a fun one. They could not have been any nicer to Andy and me in New Orleans. I look forward to seeing them a lot more in the near future.
> Tyler James and Jessica Maros of the band “Escondido” for releasing another great album and always being so kind to me whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them.
> Rick Hirsch & Linda Stewart for inviting me to the party. It was a memorable and very fun evening.
> Lisa Mills – She was an easy choice for The Line’s Music Artist of the Year for multiple reasons – such a kind person who happens to be extremely talented.
> Gram Rea for always making others (including me) feel special. His talent is obvious while his generosity rises to every occasion.
> Jessie Scott for all she does to promote music and helping make SXSW such a nice yearly experience.
> Backstreets for the obvious!
> Flagpole for the obvious!
> SPIN for the obvious!
> The folks at what was formerly known as The Underground Music Press, Pulse, TME and The Edge – for the obvious!
> NYU Radio for the obvious!
> GWU Radio for the obvious!
> Bailey Smith Kennedy, Cori Wright, Donna Lawson, Kelly Anderson, Janae Torres, Karen Erickson, Karen Holloway for the much appreciated assistance.
> D. Rooney for the obvious!
> Sam Keyes for the obvious!
> Larry and Woodard for their help and longtime encouragement.
> Colton McMillan for his tech help and being very supportive.
> Wendell Cole for his encouragement. He is not only family, but a valued friend.
> Randy Fountain for a lasting friendship. He is one person I can honestly rely on at all times in my life. 
> Jeff and Patsy Cheek for the support, encouragement and love shown to me.
> Uncle Jim – Few few words can’t express how much I appreciate you. 
> Terry Knobf – A friendship that goes back 35 years and means even more now than ever!
> My brother and his family for many obvious reasons. We most definitely share amazing parents. 
> ALL THE MUSICIANS –  Too many to individually name” but its obvious why I thank them. 
> ALL MY MUSIC LOVING FRIENDS  – Too many to name” – I have had some very memorable visits with so many nice people throughout the year. I could name a hundred without blinking an eye. At the end of each night, I personally write down the ones I had the pleasure of visiting with on that particular day or night. I can’t thank enough to all those who take the time to visit. 
> Above all, my wife Lauri for making my life complete. I am a better man for being married to you. That Thursday night in January of 1987 when I first met you changed my life. 
> My parents for providing me with the best example on how to live my life. I miss them each and every day – A Love that never ends.
> And finally Harry & Linda Brown for so many reasons. Their friendship with my family is a cherished one. In recent years, they have been supportive of me in a multitude of ways including offering their home on a number of occasions when I went to Austin to attend events. More importantly, they helped me through the difficulty of losing my parents. 
Sadly, this year saw the passing of Linda. I miss her and will never forget how much joy and comfort she brought to my life.
> To Everyone – It’s obvious I appreciate building on friendships.

FB_IMG_1459700517815Coastal Noise’s Stefan Lawson and “Me” in front of The Listening Room in Mobile, AL for a taping of an episode of “Music Scene”.

SCA_9336“Me” with ShinyRibs (Kevin Russell) and my good friend Bobby Rayborn at Callaghan’s in Mobile, AL.


© The Southland Music Line. 2017. All rights reserved

©The Southland Music Line

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