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MIKE CULLISON & The Regulars The Barstool Monologues:

“A Honky-Tonk Canterbury Tales”
www.theroadhouserambler.com

Buy the Album at CD Baby

TODAY, November 13th, 2012 marks the release of Nashville-based Singer-songwriter Mike Cullison’s The Barstool Monologues, produced by Mark Robinson through JoeDog Records. Music News Nashville calls Cullison “… one of Nashville’s most respected tunesmiths.”

With The Barstool Monologues, Cullison weaves lives of bar patrons into songs, then threading them together with spoken-word narrative to create a vivid musical tableau. There’s the heartbroken lover, the fracturing couple, the other woman, the lonely imbiber … each introduced by a bartender named Hollis, who sees and hears it all. Various singers (including Jon Byrd, Davis Raines, and six others) inhabit their personas, spinning musical novellas into what Cullison likes to describe as “a honky-tonk Canterbury Tales.”

WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING:

“Solid no-frills country and spirited barroom blues are the order of the day, with some expository narration and wry observations from the proprietor along the way.” —Jack Silverman, Nashville Scene

“If you head out to the barrooms tonight, keep in mind that everyone has their individual stories to tell. With that in mind, Cullison delivers a project that will have you thinking and maybe a little bit of drinking, as well! —Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

“Using a unique format, Mike Cullison and his band of ‘regulars’ deliver an album full of classic honkytonk country slathered in rock, blues and even a bit of zydeco. While all the songs are co-written by Cullison, he’s got a group of over a dozen performers on The Barstool Monologues that really serves to infuse the album with a sociable, collaborative feeling.” —Brent Fleury, Bold Life

Download the song “Wish I Didn’t Like Whiskey From November’s Blue Ridge Outdoors Musical Trailmix

ALBUM GIVEAWAY: Engine 145 has an extra copy of The Barstool Monologues to give away to one reader. To enter, leave a comment at this link about the most memorable person you’ve ever met in a bar. The deadline is 9 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, November 15.

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Mike Cullison and The Regulars
The Barstool Monologues
“A Honky-Tonk Canterbury Tales”

Album Release Show
Friday, November 9, 2012
The Building

www.theroadhouserambler.com

… one of Nashville’s most respected tunesmiths
–Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

He does a great job painting this picture of this little roadhouse and the lives of its regulars. It draws the listener in, allowing us the opportunity to see behind the curtain of the world from where he draws his musical inspiration.” –Bold Life

The Regulars will join Mike Cullison for this special staged presentation of the songs and stories from the new album The Barstool Monologues. All songs from The Barstool Monologues are written or co-written by Cullison, who has been hailed by critics as country the way country used to be. Mike plays the role of the Bartender “Hollis” for the occasion, while the cast of “The Regulars” is performed by a variety of singers and musicians, all listed below. The show will be videotaped—and, of course, the bartender will be kept busy. Mark this special event on your calendar–it’s not every day that Music City plays host to “honky-tonk Canterbury Tales.”

In The Barstool Monologues, Nashville singer-songwriter Cullison weaves the lives of bar patrons into songs, then threads those songs together with short spoken-word narratives to create a vivid musical tableau: There’s the heartbroken lover, the fracturing couple, the other woman, the lonely imbiber … each introduced by a bartender named Hollis who sees and hears it all.  Various singers inhabit their personas, spinning musical novellas.

The Barstool Monologues will take place at The Building in East Nashville on Friday, November 9th. Audience Specials for the evening include souvenir scripts as well as ”Barstool Monologues” drink coasters while supplies last!

Show Details:
Mike Cullison and The Regulars
The Barstool Monologues CD Release Show @ The Building
Friday, November 9, 2012

7pm / $5 cover
The Building, 1008C Woodland St, East Nashville TN 37206
More info: 615-975-9465
www.theroadhouserambler.com

Musicians and Cast:

Mike Cullison (aka “Hollis”, Owner/Bartender at “The Oasis”), Vocals / www.theroadhouserambler.com (has written with Johnny Neel of The Allman Brothers, No. 1 country hit writer Don Goodman, and Crosby Stills & Nash veteran Mike Stergis)

Mark Robinson, Guitar and Vocals / www.MarkRobinsonGuitar.com (also Producer of the CD; debut album is critically acclaimed ‘Quit Your Job – Play Guitar’; has played and guested with Tommy Womack, Davis Raines, Walt Wilkins, Johnny Neel, Tracy Nelson)

Daniel Seymour, Bass / http://danielseymour.wordpress.com/ (also Associate Producer of the CD; plays with Tommy Womack, David Olney, Matt Urmy, Otis Gibbs)

Justin Amaral, Drums / https://www.facebook.com/justin.amaral (has played with Junior Brown, The Half Brass, Amelia White)

Randy Handley, Piano and Vocals / http://bigsisterproductions.com/randy_handley (has written songs for and/or played with John Mellencamp, Garth Brooks, Lee Roy Parnell, Hal Ketchum, John Cowan, John Denver)

David Wood, Steel Guitar (has played with Lorie Morgan, Joe Diffie, and Doug Stone)

Ben Graves, Harmonica, Saxophone and Vocals / https://www.facebook.com/ben.graves.311 (jazz-rocker extraordinaire; has played with Kid Rock, James Otto, Rebecca Lynn Howard)

Jon Byrd, Vocals / www.jonbyrd.com (most recent album is the critically acclaimed “Down at the Well of Wishes”: “Americana the way it was and the way it should be” –MOJO Magazine)

Davis Raines, Vocals / www.davisraines.com (well known Nashville songwriter with cuts by Walt Wilkins, Kenny Rogers, Pam Tillis; his most recent album “Santa Maria Hotel” has been called “a gem”)

Tiffany Huggins Grant, Vocals / www.tiffanyhugginsgrant.com (this award-winning songwriter’s new album is “Sing Sigh Kitty”)

Travis Lamb, Vocals / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Travis-Lamb/267214746632470 (has worked with, among others, Jim & Jesse and The Oak Ridge Boys)

Lisa Oliver-Gray, Vocals / https://www.facebook.com/lisa.olivergray.7 (sings with Tommy Womack and many others, including Will Kimbrough, Bonnie Bishop, Marshall Chapman; new CD “Dedicated to Love” has been called “compelling and distinctive”)

Photos by Greg Roth.

www.theroadhouserambler.com

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The Barstool Monologues

MIKE CULLISON & The Regulars

“A Honky-Tonk Canterbury Tales”
***   ***   ***

Fans of classic country music will feel right at home with Mike Cullison.
–John Davy, No Depression

A captivating blues rocker … soulful roadhouse songwriting.” –Simon Hallett, Totnes FM (UK)

This is what country music has been missing … [Mike] is bringing it back.” –Renaldo 6, SongCritic.com

I think music is the highway through life and I’m just rockin’ and rollin’ down the road.” —Mike Cullison

www.theroadhouserambler.com

Singer-songwriter Mike Cullison (aka “The Roadhouse Rambler”) is used to hearing his work defined in painterly terms; music journalists commonly pull out such metaphors when trying to describe songs. But with his new album, The Barstool Monologues (due out November 13th through JoeDog Records), it’s almost as if he’s working in the 3D style of sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr., who turns famous Impressionist paintings into life-sized tableaux, incorporating not only the original images, but his own fanciful imaginings of what went on beyond the canvas.

Cullison takes a similar approach with The Barstool Monologues, weaving lives of bar patrons into songs, then threading them together with spoken-word narrative to create a vivid musical tableau. There’s the heartbroken lover, the fracturing couple, the other woman, the lonely imbiber … each introduced by a bartender named Hollis, who sees and hears it all. Various singers (including Jon Byrd, Davis Raines, and six others) inhabit their personas, spinning musical novellas into what Cullison likes to describe as “a honky-tonk Canterbury Tales.”

“It’s as if you walked into a place and you took a snapshot and everybody’s looking in the camera,” says the Nashville resident. “What I wanted to do was place everybody in that picture into one of the songs, either as its subject or the person singing it to somebody else.”

Mike Cullison. Photo by Greg Roth.

Cullison, an Oklahoma native who’s honed his songwriting skills with such royalty as Don Goodman (“Ol’ Red”; “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands”), Johnny Neel (the Allman Brothers) and Mike Stergis (Crosby, Stills & Nash), describes his style as “roadhouse blues and country roots-rock.” But his influences are as vast as the early rock ‘n’ roll his mom adored and the classic country his dad preferred, and he draws deeply from that well, along with other Americana styles — from Bakersfield to hybrid zyde-Cajun blues — to create a rich aural tapestry as colorful as Johnson’s art.

He considers himself a lyric writer first, however. “The story and how it is told are very important to me,” Cullison says. “Some songs come at you very quickly, but most take time. There’s still a lot of polishing to do even after the lightning bolts strike.”

Cullison’s career has taken time, too. In fact, the release party for his first album, 2004’s BAC (Big American Car), was also his retirement party after 32 years with the Bell Telephone Co. Midway through his Bell Tel years, he moved to Atlanta, “because it was five hours closer to Nashville.” His ultimate goal was always Music City, “because that’s where the writers were.”

He finally made it in 1995. Throughout his day-job years, he always wrote and performed; in Atlanta, he was in a band called Lone Walter. These days, Cullison appears solo or with a variety of friends and collaborators in the states and Europe, where he first released the EP Roadhouse Rambler in 2011, which hit #1 on the Airplay Direct radio charts. (His second CD, Blue Collar Tired, came out in 2007.)

Like most musicians, Cullison spends his share of time in bars. And like most country-influenced players, he’s sung his share of “tears in beer” tunes. But one night, while performing at the late Nashville bar the Sutler (lost, sadly, to developers), a thought struck: “Instead of having somebody sitting on the customer’s side of the bar crying in their beer, what if we turned it around?”

That was the genesis of the Mark Robinson-produced The Barstool Monologues.

“Songwriting is storytelling, so it kind of fit for me,” says Cullison, who also has plenty of “behind the song” stories. One of his favorites involves the opening tune, “Wish I Didn’t Like Whiskey” — a perfect choice to open an album set in a bar.

“I had bought a drink for a friend of mine,” Cullison relates, “and as I handed her the glass, she said, ‘I wish I didn’t like whiskey so much.’ I excused myself for a minute while I wrote that on a coaster. Turned out to be a very good song.”

They’ve all turned out to be very good songs — vignettes, actually, sung and performed by some of Nashville’s finest. If Cullison has his way, The Barstool Monologues might even turn into a musical of some sort, with actors and stage sets. Life-sized, like a Johnson tableau. Only even more real, because we can recognize the characters in Cullison’s stories. They’re our friends, our exes … or maybe even ourselves.

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