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Year 2018 Update!

Posted by [email protected] on January 5, 2019 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Top-Rail News Flash * 30 December 2018

Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger Music "into American Music History Again!" Video

Howdy Top-Rail Bunch!

   As the year 2018 comes to an end, I'd like to wish all of you an upcoming happy, safe, and satisfying 2019 New Year! What an interesting year 2018 has been. Particularly the onslaught of bad weather all over the country which put a damper on my road trips to the Carolinas and Florida! Having crisscrossed this country in a semi for nearly 20-years, on all kinds of roads, and in all kinds of weather, I am once again reminded that the old adage, "Don't mess with Mother Nature!" rings true. For those who have survived, and/or lost family members, friends, pets, and property, we here at Roughshod Records offer our since condolences and wish you a speedy recovery. A number of my friends also suffered some heavy losses as well.

   I'm happy to announce that I finally finished editing the March 2018 Recorded Sound Reference Center video that I shot at the Library of Congress of them accepting our newest music productions for inclusion in their permanent music collection. It also features "Juarez" a song that I had our gifted musician James Adelsberger compose for his 2015 Instrumental CD "Country Sounds." The presentation video is now posted on our YouTube Channel, so check it out.

Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger: Into American Music History Again!

   Unfortunately, Reference Librarian Janet McKee had retired about a year or so ago, but Reference Librarian Bryan Cornell was still there and graciously accepted the new additions. For those of you who aren't aware, Janet McKee spearheaded collecting my music with the acquisition of 114 of my yodeling songs and my first two CD releases in April 2007.

   Though I stopped doing live performances in the Washington/Northern Virginia area in January 2017, my production works are keeping me quite busy. Among them is preparing music, videos, and photographs from my vast catalogs for the Library of Congress, my long overdue art book, re-printing some of my out-of-print novels, and finishing and publishing James Adelsberger's first song book. Not only does James play over a dozen instruments, he transcribes notated music, composes film scores, and wrote the fantastic fiddle parts for his classical violinist friend, Michael Romans, to record for our CD releases!

   Also in March I produced Dale Heeren's very first CD for his Kitty Creek Records, and he has been very excited that it has taken off like hot-cakes with lots of interviews and sales! It's also available on CD Baby and I produced and posted a promotional video on my YouTube Channel.

"They Call Me a Weekend Cowboy"

Dale Heeren: They Call Me a Weekend Cowboy

   Having recovered substantially well from the May 2018 series of mini-strokes that affected my balance and vision, I can drive my car again. In September I produced a CD for my long-time local music friend, Rocky Guttmann, called "Long Way Home... from Cassette to CD." This wonderful collection of songs were written and originally produced on cassette in 1993 by Rocky Guttmann and Harry Pritchett. Rocky's wife Mary Ann is enduring a painful recovery from a knee replacement surgery. Also in September, the last of the Bell women, my aunt Johnnie Lou Burbank passed away shortly after her 87th birthday. She was my mother's younger sister, and third of four siblings, with a brother as the sole survivor.

   I'd been toying with the idea all year, and finally decided, better late than never and released a 2-song CD single on You and Me Records on 13 December 2018. Short version... You and Me Records was created in 1987, along with Roughshod Records, for my non-country and border-line country songs. Unfortunately a lot of those songs were released by Roughshod with a country twist. When I signed James Adelsberger in 2012 his musical versatility paved the way for You and Me releases and we produced four CDs, one of them, "Country Sounds" which received the 2016 Instrumental CD of the Year Award from the Rural Roots Music Commission. Overwhelmed with projects and not having enough time for an album I decided on a 2-song single and titled it "SideKicks Antics" featuring one song each from mine and James' Roughshod CDs. This 5th You and Me production is now available at our Roughshod Records Web Store with a quick and easy checkout platform.

   My good friend Aharon, finally got to retire at the end of the summer when he leased his dry cleaning/shoe repair business to the former manager of the dry cleaning plant that did his customers' laundry. Aharon had been repairing my boots since 1995 and spends a few hours a day helping the new owner learn the ropes before leaving for good! Frankly, he's a workaholic so I don't think he wants to make the break.

   I spent Christmas with my dear friends Rocky and Mary Ann and visited my good friend Linda Caldwell at her Assisted Living Home in Fredericksburg. She owned the Coffee House of Occoquan and hosted scores of musicians for almost two decades. It would be nice if some of you would drop in for a visit. I finally got to see my old music buddy Bill Gibson [Tiffany Tavern] perform at Seibel's and Brenda Weitzel and Bert Huser [Coffee House] making up for lost time performing at JWs, as well as semi-retired Rocky Guttmann making the 100-mile trip to perform at Fiona's. Sorry guys, I've been so back-logged that I haven't finished editing recent videos of you that I filmed.

   Oh, that brings up another point. My YouTube Channel initially started out to showcase my music, then became an extension of my out-of-circulation [1995-2004] Top-Rail Chatter Magazine to showcase the many talented musicians I've met, taped, and or, performed with over the years. My Channel has over 920 videos, which includes about 15 Playlists to make it easy to find some of you. If I posted videos of you performing, please feel free to share the links so that your family, friends, and other contacts can enjoy your performances. I always send the links to all of my contacts, but that's only a drop in the bucket compared to what your collective involvement can do! Share the ride!

   On a somber note, the National Traditional Country Music Association's 44th Annual Music Festival will be held in Fremont, Nebraska for 2019. The Plymouth County Fairground Board in LeMars, Iowa doubled their fees for 2019 and wanted it all in advance, so NTCMA President Bob Everhart found a place in nearby Nebraska. The long-standing week-long event has been scaled back to four days. Sadly a lot of our members and supporters who have been coming since day one, are dying off and new blood is only trickling into this organization and festival event that started in Avoca, Iowa over four decades ago. We most recently lost Rick Andersen, a beloved person, harmonica player and guitarist, who performed with his wife Harriett on the upright Bass, for decades, and have backed me on stage a time or two.

   A big highlight for me this month was receiving a Christmas Card from my long-time Nashville friends, John and Lois Shepherd! I met them at Millie & Al's Bar, which was next door to the Ryman Auditorium [now Legend's On the Corner] during Easter week in 1981 following my first official Nashville recording session at Jim Maxwell's Globe Recording Studio. They graciously shared their stage with me and have done so many times since as I became a Nashville regular throughout the 1980s and 1990s! Long-standing Icons at Robert's Western Wear on Lower Broadway, I was so thrilled to know that this dynamic duo is still around! During that week I also became friends with Robert Moore, and performed at his Rhinestone Cowboy Honky Tonk years before he opened Robert's Western Wear. Ah, Lower Broadway was such an exciting place back in the 1980s and '90s!

   Not so long ago I discovered that CD Baby was stealing my SoundExchange royalties!!! When I confronted them they said they saw I had "unpaid" SoundExchange royalties and decided to collect them for me! Never bothered to tell me, though! And, of course, take their cut. That didn't fly too well since I was already a SoundExchange member long before ever placing any of my music on CD Baby! Hmm, let me explain... SoundExchange collects money from digital streaming platforms, takes their cut, and gives you the rest. Simple. CD Baby collects your royalties from SoundExchange, take their cut, and gives you the rest! See anything wrong with this picture? I ordered CD Baby to return all my royalties they had collected from SoundExchange and warned them that I would be keeping a close eye on them in the future. I also ripped SoundExchange for having "unpaid" royalties in my active account, and allowing CD Baby to collect then without bothering to consult me! Their excuse was a glitch in their system! Still, to this day, neither of them have answered my request to see a copy of their written agreement authoring the collection/payment of royalties.

   This is also one of reasons I haven't placed any new music on CD Baby, and created my own web store. I noticed this transgression when I was checking my CD Baby account and also noticed that CD Baby had deceptively listed SoundExchange as a sales outlet in its Opt-In Section. When I challenged that, they removed it and placed it in their sign-up policy whereby they would automatically collect royalties for their non-SoundExchange CD Baby members, and probably unsuspecting SoundExchange members on CD Baby! Because of my many projects, I had become a little lax in my routine monitoring of my music, and look what happened!

   Also be forewarned that CD Baby dumped their YouTube Monetization Agreement with Rumblefish Music Licensing and has taken over that licensing themselves. Following a recently posted promotional video of the songs on Dale Heeren's CD, I immediately received copyright claims from YouTube informing me that CD Baby had lodged a copyright claim on the song content. I informed them that I was the CD producer and have a written contract with Dale Heeren that authorizes me to create promotion material of his songs. CD Baby insisted their claim was valid and refused to remove it. Their arrogant refusal to acknowledge my valid contractual rights made me contact Dale, explain to him what was happening, and instructed him to opt-out of CD Baby's YouTube Monetization licensing. He did and the copyright claims disappeared from my his video promotions. A little while back a similar thing happened with a video I posted of me and James listening to my Texas friend PJ Price on my car's CD player! At that time Rumblefish was still monitoring YouTube videos and when I explained that my video did not contain an uploaded track, they watched it and removed their claim.

   The U.S. Congress recently passed the 2018 Music Modernization Act, a "long-overdue" Bill that is designed to "guarantee" that all music creators are paid their just royalties by the digital music streaming services that use their music. The Statutory Royalty Rate is about 9.5 cents [varies with song length] and platforms like Spotify, for years, have been paying music creators only a percentage of a penny per stream! [Taylor Swift's law suit against Spotify] Some of them even had the audacity to claim they can't afford to pay royalties even though they charge their listeners a subscription fee!!!

   SoundExchange was created by the Copyright Tribunal over a decade ago to collect and distribute streaming royalties. My experience with them has been very rocky. And they still don't seem to have their act together. For, one, royalty payments to them by streaming platforms was voluntary, and every time SoundExchange updated their systems, my music data got purged from their system and I've had to constantly re-submit it. Frankly, since their payout is so miniscule they are on my low priority list. And they still don't have a platform whereby you can see that they have the current listing of all of your songs in their catalog, like you can with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

   Even though the 2018 Music Modernization Act makes it mandatory that streaming platforms pay up, I can't help but wonder how long it will take before it turns into an exclusive bankroll for the big music producers and creators and once again leave us little guys on the short end of the music pole! Everybody wants to use our music for free, or pay us as little as possible!

So, that's it. I hope you had a wonderful, warm, and satisfying Christmas, and once again, I'd like to wish you a bright, safe, and wonderful New Year!

NEW ADDITIONS to the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent music collection:


RCD51-13082016-1 "Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk!" - Mike Johnson & spec sheet

RCD52-13082016-2 "My Heart Still Sees" - James Adelsberger & spec sheet

RCD54-13062017-3 "Covering James Adelsberger" Mike Johnson & spec sheet


YCD2-13062017-1 "Going Places" - James Adelsberger & spec sheet

YCD3-13062017-2 "Here We Go Again" - James Adelsberger & spec sheet


Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger 2016 Lifetime Achievement & CD of the Year Awards

Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger 2016 Main Stage performance with Terry Smith & Bill Lear


2016 Mike Johnson Old Time Country Music Festival Award Folio - 4-page

2016 James Adelsberger Old Time Country Music Festival Award Folio - 4-page

2016 Roughshod Records SideKicks Old Time Country Music Festival Award Folio - 4-page


Mike Johnson 2002 Hall of Fame Award

James Adelsberger 2015 Pure Country CD of the Year Award

James Adelsberger 2016 Instrumental CD of the Year Award

Mike Johnson 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

Mike Johnson 2017 Legendary Honky Tonk CD of the Year Award


Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger 2016 Music Awards presented by Bob Everhart

Mike Johnson, James Adelsberger, Bill Lear and Terry Smith 2016 Main Stage Performance

James Adelsberger meets Grand Ole Opry Legend Claude Gray 2016 Main Stage rear

Adios Amigos from Mike Johnson!

Roughshod Records * You and Me Records * P.O. Box 100933 Arlington Va. 22210

Copyright 2018 Roughshod Records * All Rights Reserved

Into American Music History Again!

Posted by [email protected] on April 30, 2018 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy Top-Rail Bunch!

   Looks like Spring has finally sprung upon us. Here's just a short recap and/or update on what's been going on around here at Roughshod Records. Since January 2018, Mike Johnson has been rather busy trying to keep up editing and archiving his huge video footage collection. A number of new edits have been added to our YouTube Channel, which now hosts about 893 video clips. Incidentally, if you happen to be any of our videos, be sure and share them with your family, friends, and other contacts.

Veteran's Affairs Hospital Drama:

   Earlier during the year Mike had a dramatic experience at the VA Hospital while undergoing a heart scan. The procedure had to be terminated because he developed a severe allergic reaction to the iodine in the contrast dye. This was a first, and he put off any more tests until about a month ago. There were some issues with the monitoring set-up procedure, and after about four failed attempts, Mike pulled the plug on that and got dressed! He told them there would be no more tests for at least a year, if ever!

   Make no mistake about it, Mike has always received excellent care and treatment from the VA, and this incident in no way diminishes his feelings about them. In fact, he has several upcoming appointments which he will most definitely keep. Unlike most, Mike is not afraid to speak up and cut things off, if he perceives something isn't working the way it should.

Other Happenings:   

   On a recent visit to see Linda Caldwell, Floyd Harrison, Editor of the Lorton Valley Star tagged along for a surprise visit. He lost his driver's license. Linda owned the former Coffee House of Occoquan and now resides in Heartfields of Fredericksburg, a Senior Assisted Living Home. For nearly 20-years her establishment hosted scores of musicians from near and far to perform as featured guests on Friday nights, and her Saturday night Open Mics. Floyd was usually on hand to photograph, interview, and feature a number of them in his Lorton Valley Star, our own Mike Johnson, included.

   Mike's best friend Rocky Guttmann, one of the most successful solo acts in Northern Virginia has semi-retired from music to spend more time with his wife, Mary Anne, and the grandkids. But he still does every other weekend at Fiona's Irish Pub in Alexandria, and is building up a following in the Richmond area, where he now resides.

  Mike's veteran buddy Roy Jobber is out of the hospital and recovering from an infected foot injury. Mike and Roy served on a local police department during the 1970s. Roy is also one of the label's music sponsors. Leo Maimone, a childhood Boy Scout friend from the 1950s is currently in the hospital undergoing treatments for a reoccurring hernia incident. Mike turned a couple of Leo's poems into songs and recorded them. "Pigtails and Bubblegum" and "Liquid Hell." "Liquid Hell" was also recorded by James Adelsberger, who laid some exciting foot-stomping tracks to it. It was released on James' "Old Time Country Songs Are They Really Dead and Gone?" CD in 2014 and received the Rural Roots Music Commission's "Pure Country CD of the Year" Award in 2015 at the Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa.

Kitty Creek Records Production:

   Mike produced this new, and very first CD for Dale Heeren on Heeren's own Kitty Creek Records. It was released on 13 March 2018, and a CD Sampler, containing excerpts of the 7-song release, on 14 March 2018. Dale was very excited about this project which actually began formulating around November 2017. Originally Mike rejected the notion, us having a full plate of our own around here. Then, around mid-January 2018, Mike revisited the idea and made a proposal. He would provide a release that Dale could post on CD Baby, and then take over additional productions.

   Agreed, Dale sent Mike the song files, and we converted them from MP3 128-kbps to MP3 320-kbps format. We then created a Master CD Disc, encoded it with artist, label, title information, a barcode and ISRC Codes for each track. Dale provided a photograph for his CD cover and Kitty Creek Records logo, and we did everything else. The graphic designs for the cover, the CD label and tray liner. The CD Cover layout was sent to our printer, Tyler Print in Alexandria, Virginia, and when they arrived, me and Mike inserted the tray liners and covers into the jewel cases and shrink wrapped them and sent 30 copies off to Dale! We also created and produced his CD Sampler. Dale electronically registered his new CD with the Copyright Office and Mike Johnson delivered Dale's deposit copies to the Copyright Office on Good Friday, 30 March 2018.

   Unfortunately, in various interviews and comments about his new release, Dale gives the impression that he did everything and that Mike Johnson 'assisted' him and 'helped me step by step trhough the processes necessary in today's music world' instead of acknowledging and naming Mike as the Producer. We also paid all of the production expenses. This basic violation of music protocol, wherein a new release always names the artist, label, and the producer, was further perpetuated by Bob Everhart's review of Dale's CD [April 2018 Issue of TRADITION Magazine and Country Music News International] in spite of the fact that he was given detailed information about Dale's CD during its production!

Into American Music History Again! Recorded Sound Reference Center at Library of Congress:

While at the Library of Congress, Mike stopped by the Recorded Sound Reference Center to drop off additional material for their "Mike Johnson" collection. He also discovered that Reference Librarian, Ms. Janet McKee had retired. McKee spearheaded this venture back in April 2007, when she voiced a concern that their collection didn't have a lot of Black Yodelers' yodeling songs. She and Acquisitions Technician Peter L. Stark, [also retired] acquired 114 of Mike Johnson's yodeling songs, his first two CDs, and a 45-page soft bound biography, for the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent music collection.

Over the years the Center acquired more materials including 16 DVDs of Mike's performances for the Library's Motion Picture Division. So, Library Technician Bryan Cornell, Janet McKee's co-worker, accepted our 5 latest CD productions, along with their spec sheets for easy cataloging and a number of photographs of Mike & James' awards and being awarded. Also included were two DVDs for the Motion Picture Division. Mike is currently editing and preparing a clip of these new acquisitions presentation for posting on our YouTube Channel. Library Technician, or more correctly, Reference Librarian Harrison Behl took over Janet's spot, and was otherwise engaged during our Good Friday presentation and videotaping. We'll definitely include him the next go round. Be sure and visit the Roughshod Records Photo Gallery and our YouTube Channel to see photos and live footage of the presentation.

The new acquisitions are;

1. DVD: Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger Awards Ceremony & performance at the 2016 41st Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, where Mike receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and James receives the Instrumental CD of the Year Award.

2. DVD: Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger 2016 Main Stage performance with Mike's old friends, Terry Smith and Bill Lear. This was a particular treat for James' Grandparents who are die-hard Terry Smith fans.

Roughshod Records CDs:

51st CD "Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk" 2016 * Mike Johnson (Received the 2017 "Legendary Honky Tonk CD of the Year" Award)

52nd CD "My Heart Still Sees" 2016 * James Adelsberger (Nominated for 2017 "Original Classic Country CD of the Year" Award)

54th CD "Covering James Adelsberger 2017 * Mike Johnson 

You and Me Records CDs:

3rd CD "Going Places" Instrumental 2017 * James Adelsberger

4th CD "Here We Go Again" Instrumental 2017 * James Adelsberger

   For those of you who don't know, both of Mike Johnson's labels, and You and Me Music Publishing, were created on 13 June 1987 by Mike during his Nashville recording days. However, the songs that should have been released on You and Me Records were released on the Roughshod label. Mike has always been busy, but he simply had too many irons in the fire, including his full-time job as a long-distance trucker, to be juggling two labels and two publishing companies, magazine publishing, etc. He was retired from trucking when he signed up James Adelsberger in 2012 and saw this gifted musician's versatility as the perfect vehicle to produce You and Me Records material.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Make no mistake, we're still plodding along, a little slower albeit, but still moving forward. And we hope to see some of you at this year's 43rd Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa!

Adios, from myself and Mike Johnson. And, Happy Easter 2018!

Joe Arnold, manager, Roughshod Records

Roughshod Records turns 30 in June 2017!

Posted by [email protected] on June 6, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Created on 13 June 1987 by Mike Johnson, singer, songwriter, and Country Music's No.1 Black Yodeler, the label has produced and released 8 cassettes [4-albums & 4-singles] and 53 CDs.

Also created on that date was You and Me Records, and You and Me Publishing, for his non-country songs. Unfortunately those songs ended up on the Roughshod label with a country twist, until 2012 when James Adelsberger was brought aboard. In December 2014, You and Me Records released its 1st CD, "SideKicks Christmas Special" a 2-song single featuring a Mike and James duet.

In November 2015, You and Me Records released a 12-song Instrumental featuring James Adelsberger and music tracks he created for their 2014 releases, and a couple of compositions James wrote for the project. This CD received the Rural Roots Music Commission's 2016 "Instrumental CD of the Year" Award at the 41st Annual Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, where Mike Johnson also received a "Lifetime Achievement" Award.

Releasing on 13 June 2017 are You and Me Records 3rd and 4th CDs; "Going Places!" and "Here We Go Again!" two 12-song Instrumentals featuring our fantastic musician James Adelsberger.

Mike Johnson wrote his 1st song in 1957, began performing in the mid-1960s, and began recording in Nashville in 1981. Prior to creating Roughshod Records he produced and released 2 45rpm singles and 3 cassette albums.

Visit our web site for a detailed history.

Joe Arnold, manager

Roughshod Records

Roughshod Records SideKicks at El Ranchero 15 October 2016 in Arlington Va.

Posted by [email protected] on October 6, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On Saturday 15 October 2016, our award-winning Roughshod Records SideKicks James Adelsberger and Mike Johnson will be performing at El Ranchero Bar & Grill in Arlington, Virginia from 7pm to 9pm. Recently back from the 41st Annual Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, where James received the Rural Roots Music Commission 2016 “Instrumental CD of the Year” Award for “Country Sounds” and Mike received the National Traditional Country Music Association 2016 “Lifetime Achievement” Award for nearly four decades of country music involvement.


Nestled at the bottom of the hill on Wilson Blvd between North George Manson Drive and North Glebe Road, this iconic establishment has been serving Arlington County since 1984. So, come on down and belly up to the bar or grab a table and enjoy a wide variety of authentic home-made Mexican cuisine while our SideKicks treat you to some good old-fashion country music. As an added bonus, El Ranchero owner, Youssef Boushor, is offering a 20% discount to any of our friends who attend the show!


Joe Arnold, manager

El Ranchero Bar & Grill, 4617 Wilson Blvd. Arlington Va. 22203 * (703)524-1010 * 11:30AM to 10:00PM Monday through Sunday


James Adelsberger Instrumental CD of the Year & Mike Johnson Lifetime Achievement Awards

Posted by [email protected] on October 6, 2016 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (1)

On Monday, 29 August 2016, at the 41st Annual Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, in a ceremony on the Main Stage, officiated by Bob Everhart, president of the National Traditional Country Music Association, James Adelsberger was presented the Rural Roots Music Commission 2016 “Instrumental CD of the Year” Award, and Mike Johnson was presented the National Traditional Country Music Association 2016 “Lifetime Achievement” Award for his decades of traditional country music involvement. On 13 August 2016, and just in time for the festival, Roughshod Records released its 51st and 52nd CDs; Mike Johnson’s 14-song “Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk!” and James Adelsberger’s 13-song “My Heart Still Sees.”


James and Mike left Virginia on Saturday 27 August 2016 and arrived in LeMars, Iowa on Sunday 28 August 2016. Two early to check into their room at the Amber Inn Motel, they headed over to the festival grounds to touch base with the Everharts, the festival organizers, and catch up with some old friends. After setting up their product table they did what everyone comes to do. Play music! They started an impromptu jam session in the plaza and soon drew a respectable crowd and accompaniment by Jacob Austin on his mandolin.


Towards noon, Sunday, Bob Everhart, president of the National Traditional Country Music Association, showed up to kick off the week-long 41st Annual Old Time Country Music Festival with a short speech and a prayer. The organization was started in 1976 with the express purpose of preserving America’s roots music; country, bluegrass, gospel, and folk. And he’s done just that with 10 different stages, attracting hundreds of musicians and fans from around the globe!


Mike and James did over a dozen performances throughout the week, together, James solo, and James backing up a number of other acts who love his guitar picking. A big highlight for James was Mike getting his long-time friend Terry Smith to perform on stage with them. Terry is the songwriter of “Far Side Banks of Jordan” and James’ grandmother is his biggest fan. She was tickled to death to get photos and a video of James performing with Terry. Another highlight for James was Mike introducing him to Grand Ole Opry star, Claude Gray, and presenting him with our latest CDs. Claude received the National Traditional Country Music Association 2016 Living Legend award, and did a stand-up performance on the Main Stage. Also a member of the NTCMA Mike and Claude first met back when the festival was being held in Missouri Valley, Iowa, and kept in casual touch.


Though a number of his festival friends have passed on to Hillbilly Heaven, or could no longer travel, Mike was very pleased to re-connect with those who did show; Terry Smith, Bill Lear, Mary Nell Eidson, Marge & John Duttweiller, Fred Lawson, Larry Harms, Jackie Shewey, Francis Hahn, Kathy Dovel, Dale Eichor, Elaine Peacock, Gordon Wilcox, Ben Steneker, Harold Condray, Lee Muller, Rick & Harriett Andersen, to mention a select few. And James was equally excited to meet with the new friends he made in 2015 when he made a solo trip to the festival; Jacob Austin, Rod Brandt, Janine Sherry, Ed & Betty Rydell, and Red Johnson, to mention a few. And to all you new fans and friends they made, Mike and James say “It was a pleasure meeting you and we hope to see you again!”


After a very busy week of playing music and catch-up Mike and James checked out of their motel on Saturday morning, 3 September 2016 and headed over to the festival grounds to say their good-byes. They arrived in Virginia on Sunday evening loaded with lots of good memories, about 1500 photographs and about 20 hours of video footage. They took 2 guitars each, 3 cameras, and 2 camcorders. Check out our YouTube Channel to see some of the performers and Mike and James’ awards presentations.


Joe Arnold, manager Roughshod Records


Roughshod Records 51st & 52nd CDs released August 2016

Posted by [email protected] on August 9, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Howdy Y'all!

   It gives me great pleasure to announce that on 8 August 2016 Roughshod Records officially released its 51st and 52nd CDs! Two more great albums by Mike Johnson and James Adelsberger, filled with ballads, yodeling, drinking and good love and love done me wrong songs1 The stuff that made country music, Country Music!


   RCD51 "Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk!" is a 14 song treat, featuring Mike Johnson singing the types of songs he grew up on, and writes. Johnson turned 70 in June 2016, and this release also demonstrates, he’s not ready to hang up his spurs. As usual he wrote all the songs and his label-mate & co-owner, James Adelsberger brought them to life, along with the assistance of his fantastic fiddling friend, Michael Romans.

   Honky tonking with the title cut “Let Me Die In a Honky Tonk!” “Could You Spare Me a Quarter” and “I Will Hitch a Ride With Joe” to trucking and truck stops in “Break One-Nine!” and “Bertha” and good and bad love “Nuthin’ Honey” “How Come They All Know” and There’s Something In Between Us” and four yodeling songs in all, to make up for the lack of any on his last release. This release is classic Mike Johnson keepin’ the “country” in his music!


   RCD52 “My Heart Still Sees is a 13 song wonder featuring James Adelsberger’s coming-of-age debut as an artist no longer in the shadow of his mentor. James applies his newly developed unique style to some very carefully self-selected songs and delivers them with warmth, emotion, and deliberation. From passion in “My Heart Still Sees” “Pictures On the Wall” “Another Lonely Night” and “Face Without a Name” to ballads like “Sittin’ In a Truck Stop Down In Georgia” “He Wrote the Song On the Jukebox” and “High Lonesome” [a yodeling song] and back-up choruses, James paints some very vivid pictures on the mind’s walls.

   Though Mike Johnson wrote all of the songs, James wrote new music for four of them, explaining that he had some ideas he wanted to try out. Mike loved them and approved the new co-writes, especially “Here We Go Again” to which James not only wrote new music, but also added several verses, and a Bob Wills western swing touch!

Once again we were fortunate enough to get Michael Romans to provide more of his fantastic fiddling. James, who turned 21 in March 2016, is living proof some young’uns do know a thing or two about traditional country music!


Both of these great CDs are available at our Roughshod Records Web Store.


Joe Arnold, manager Roughshod Records


Open Mic at Joe's Place

Posted by [email protected] on April 20, 2016 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

   As you know, the Roughshod Records SideKicks [Mike Johnson & James Adelsberger] have been doing some regular shows at Joe's Place in Woodbridge, Virginia on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month from February 2016 to May 2016. This was an effort to help Joe's Place become the music gathering place it once was when it was just a mile down the road on US Highway 1. The shows went quite well, and we extend a special and heartfelt thank you to our featured guests for making it happen;

1. Brenda Weitzel & Bert Huser 6 February 2016

2. Jeff Seidel & the Wallaboosie Brothers 20 February 2016

3. Bill Gibson the Story Teller 5 March 2016

4. Anthony James 19 March 2016

5. Bob Ellis the Man with the Golden Voice 2 April 2016

6. Larry Rice Fiddler & Music Instructor 16 April 2016

7. Rocky Guttmann helped kick off the Thursday Night Open Mic 14 April 2016

   There are two more shows left on our Winter/Spring ticket. James Adelsberger, all-around musician on 7 May 2016 and Tom Hawk, the Yodelin' Professor on 21 May 2016. BE THERE! 

   And a big, big, thanks to two of our great friends and supporters Aharon Polatain owner of A1 Clarendon Valet in Arlington, Virginia for making and supplying the curtains for the bar side of Joe's Place, and Rocky Guttmann, who performed at James' surprise CD release party in December 2015, bought us a new Yamaha PA system and a brand new Washburn Acoustic Electric Guitar for Mike!

   In a continued effort to try and bring the music back to Joe's Place, Mike decided to experiment with a Thursday Night Open Mic from 6pm to 9pm. Ana, Joe's owner, was very receptive to the idea and decided to give it a go for several weeks. If it works out, the Open Mic will run through the summer until the 2nd week in August 2016. Later that month the boys are off to the 41st Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa. Last year James received the 2015 "Pure Country CD of the Year" award from the Rural Roots Music Commission and this year Mike is slated to receive the Lifetime Achievement award. This popular week-long festival is sponsored by the National Traditional Country Music Association home-based in Anita, Iowa.

   Stay tuned, and back soon for photographs of our Roughshod Records SideKicks shows.

Joe Arnold, manager, Roughshod Records

Happy 21st Birthday James Adelsberger

Posted by [email protected] on March 15, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Today, 14 March 2016, our young studio engineer and recording artist, James Adelsberger celebrates his 21st birthday!

This is a very welcomed event given that last Monday, 7 March 2016, James was having his infected appendix removed. He's doing fine and on behalf of him, his family, and myself, we'd like to thank all of you concerned fans and friends who wished him a speedy recovery.

Happy Birthday James, and I hope you have many more in the future!

Mike Johnson & Roughshod Records

Roughshod Records 2016 Winter/Spring Schedule

Posted by [email protected] on February 17, 2016 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Our official 2016 Winter/Spring performances at Joe’s Place will be on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from February 2016 to May 2016 from 6pm to 8pm. Our special guests, Brenda Weitzel and Bert Huser, helped us kick off the first of our shows on 6 February 2016. Even though I forgot my camcorder we had a great time!


Here is the Guest line-up for our next shows.

20 February 2016 Jeffrey Ho & the Wallaboosie Brothers

5 March 2016 Bill Gibson

19 March 2016 Anthony James & Mary

2 April 2016 Bob Ellis

16 April 2016 Larry Rice & Big Cheese Band

7 May 2016 Mystery Guest (guess who)

21 May 2016 Tom Hawk the Yodeling Professor

Shows will be cancelled in the event of heavy snows, blizzards, hurricanes!


Joe’s Place

13275 Gordon Blvd. [Gordon Plaza Shopping Center] Woodbridge, Va. 22191 * 703-491 8498


The Gordon Plaza Shopping Center at the intersection of US 1 South [Woodbridge Exit] and Route 123 North [aka Gordon Blvd].

Come on down to Joe’s for cold beer, hot pizza, hotter wings, smooth wine, and more!


James Adelsberger's surprise CD release party

Posted by [email protected] on December 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

   On Saturday 19 December 2015 James and I met to set-up our equipment for what he thought was merely our debut gig at a new venue in Woodbridge, Virginia. Joe's Place, a popular pizza place and weekend hangout, was formerly on US Route 1 on the south bound side. It also hosted music on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring local musicians, myself included between trucking trips.

A couple of years ago the state of Virginia decided to expand the highway from Fort Belvoir south, towards Fredericksburg, Virginia. A number of businesses had to move, while some only lost portions of their property that bordered the existing road. Joe's was one of them, but was fortunate enough to find another place just about a mile north in the Gordon Plaza shopping center on Route 123, just off of US 1. When I approached the owner, Ana about performing there, she was very reseptive, and I discussed the possibilities with my label-mate James. Little did he know I also had something else in mind. With three prior releases I've produced of him, it still bothered me that he never had a CD release party. Especially after his 2nd release "Old Time Country Songs Are They Really Dead and Gone?" garnered the Rural Roots Music Commission's "Pure Country CD of the Year" award which he received at the 40th Old Time Country Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa on 31 August 2015.

This was perfect! It also was pretty much in sync with James' lastest CD, a 12-song Instrumental called “Country Sounds” [his 4th CD] released by You and Me Records on 26 November 2015. Only a select few knew my ulterior plans, and when the time came during mid-show, James was so involved with his guitar that he didn't even see the special cake, which was waved almost under his nose! We all had a good time. 

Thank you Ana, for hosting us. And to Rocky Guttmann, for providing the new PA head, Linda Caldell, Jeff Seidell, and the Adelsberger family!

Mike Johnson