Muddy Roots News
  • 11.14.17

    Soundtrack of Tennessee feature in The Tennessean

    The Muddy Roots Music Festival was one of eight features as the “Soundtrack of Tennessee” in Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper. (USA Today)

    Read the full article and browse multiple photos in their gallery HERE!

    Putting down roots

    One hundred and twenty miles west is Cookeville’s June Bug Ranch, where the Muddy Roots Music Festival is held every Labor Day Weekend. (It’s actually 95)

    Muddy Roots, also a record label, is headquartered in Nashville’s Vinyl Bunker, a record shop filled with Cold War-era military surplus in the bottom floor of a parking garage near the Ryman Auditorium.

    Attendance is usually capped at just over 2,000, making it one of Tennessee’s most intimate music festivals, even with its 50-acre footprint, four stages and 100-plus performers.

    A lot of Muddy Roots devotees grew up listening to punk or metal before getting into country and roots music, said founder Jason Galaz, and the performers reflect that. Past lineups have included acts as different as bluegrass greats Del McCoury Band and sludge-metal pioneers the Melvins.

    It’s not unusual to see a headliner watching another band, or jam around a campfire until the wee hours. Said Galaz, “Nobody’s a rock star here, no matter how big they are.”

    “It’s the people who make Muddy Roots,” said Craig Aldridge, one of many who attend annually.
    Members of the band Tejon Street Corner Thieves pourBuy Photo
    Tennessean Muddy Roots 2017
    Members of the band Tejon Street Corner Thieves pour beer on fans at the 8th Annual Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, Tenn. on Sept. 3, 2017. Muddy Roots promotes everything from roots and blues to bluegrass and punk rock. (Photo: Shelley Mays / The Tennessean)

    We meet Joachim Vanderzeypen near a sign offering $25 tattoos. It’s his first time in Cookeville. First time in America, actually. He’s from Belgium. He went to Muddy Roots’ European festival and liked it so much he crossed an ocean to attend another one. Wearing socks emblazoned with the Tennessee tristar, Vanderzeypen gets “BLESS YOUR HEART” inked on his knee. He says his mother will think it’s a religious tattoo.

    -Juli Thanki