Country music is the lifeblood of Whiskey Riff, and we pride ourselves on standing firmly in the corner of the independent artists, and those few in the mainstream still doing it the right way. Whether it’s Waylon, Willie and legends of the past, or superstars in the making like Zach Bryan, our finger is always on the pulse of true country music. From Texas to Tennessee, Appalachia to Bakersfield, Whiskey Riff is THE unapologetic voice of the country music fan.
A RIFF on what makes the great outdoors…great.
“Country” is more than just a steel guitar. It’s a lifestyle. A mindset. A cold beer, hot grill and the great outdoors. A lifestyle so perfectly captured by the country greats of yesterday, but still alive and well today in artists who truly get it.
Whiskey Riff is that lifestyle.
Say goodbye to boredom.
The best playlists in country music…period.
On ‘Whiskey Riff Raff,’ Steve Gazibara and Wes Langeler give an unfiltered and unapologetic take on country music, life, and all the craziness that comes with it. Laugh with us. Rant with us. Drink with us.
I imagine meeting THE legendary icon of country music, Johnny Cash, would be extremely intimidating for just about anybody.
But, for a young artist moving to Nashville and him being one of the first people you come in contact with, it has to be downright terrifying.
And it’s exactly what happened to Travis Tritt, as he recounted back in January during an interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson on Tucker Carlson Today:
“One of the first people that I met when I came to Nashville was Johnny Cash–just an incredible human being, a walking contradiction.
I mean, a walking contradiction.”
The meeting happened when he was at a county music radio seminar in Nashville back in 1989, where stations would set up booths at a week-long event to meet artists and make connections.
Travis was there to meet as many people as he could, and on the last night of the event, they had one big final gathering for all of the artists to attend.
He says not only did that include the Man in Black himself, but tons of other country icons, too:
“The people that were in the room that night were Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner, all of these big country music stars.”
The moment Johnny and June Carter entered the room, though, there was a “dull roar,” as Travis puts it, and conversation fell silent as he walked in like he was in an “EF Hutton commercial”:
“All of a sudden, there was a silence that fell across that ballroom. And the only thing you could hear was people whispering– it’s Johnny Cash. It’s Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash.
And almost like a wave, you could see this crowd of people turn and start slowly moving toward one side of the room.”
Wanting to get a better look to see who’d just walked in the room, he ran up a massive staircase in the middle of the ballroom and out they came:
“I look across the room and out of a service elevator steps Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter.”
And, much like how Dolly Parton has described her first meeting with Johnny, there was just an incredible magnetism and presence Johnny had to him that can’t really be put into words:
“And they literally took two steps into the room. There was no announcement that they were there.
They just stepped into the room. That’s how much magnetism this man [had].”
Travis actually ended up officially meeting Johnny the next night, but says Johnny stuck around for about 15 minutes, signing autographs and taking pictures with other people at the event.
And as scary as it must’ve been to meet Johnny for the first time, it’s so cool to hear real-life accounts that solidify just how incredible these iconic artists were in person, too.
Because just as quick as he entered the room, Johnny was gone again, almost like magic:
“As Houdini-like as he had appeared, he and June stepped back into the elevator and were gone.”
And if you haven’t heard Tritt’s cover of “I Walk The Line,” check it out.
WHISKEY RIFF RAFF PODCAST
WHISKEY RIFF SHOP