Don Maddox and Screamin' Gulch

Old-time music is back at the new Johnny B's
Don Maddox can still turn heads when he plays "Orange Blossom Special."Photo by Julia Moore

A music bash with country fiddler Don Maddox and old-timey band Screamin' Gulch will kick off a grand-opening celebration for Johnny B's in downtown Medford.

The eatery and nightspot reopened its doors a couple of weeks ago at a new location in downtown Medford. The new digs inside the Woolworth Building offer customers the same great sandwiches, burgers and fries, along with a larger stage for live performances.

If you go

Who: Don Maddox and Screamin' Gulch

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Where: Johnny B's Rockin' Diner, 120 E. Sixth St., Medford

Cover: Free

Call: 541-773-1900

Maddox of The Maddox Brothers and Rose — known as "America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band" from the '30s through the '50s — and Screamin' Gulch, with John Bach on banjo and snare drum, Evan Davidson on guitar, Mike Marlow on stand-up bass and Dan Dosier on fiddle and mandolin, will kick off the celebration at 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Johnny B's, 120 E. Sixth St., Medford.

Maddox — 89 and a newlywed — and his family's group received a March tribute in "The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country," an exhibit at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It explores the music and performers that came together to make the California town a force in country music.

Maddox is the remaining member of The Maddox Brothers and Rose, known for colorful costumes, stage hi-jinks and enthusiastic performances.

"I tell a few jokes at my shows and play fiddle and entertain," Maddox says. "I've got some new CDs. The first is called 'High Desert Waltz,' the second is 'Step It Up and Go' and the third is 'Fiddling Into History.' The last one includes a song titled 'The Maddox Brothers and Rose,' written by a songwriter from Texas named Jerry Faires."

During the '60s, music by The Maddox Brothers and Rose was broadcast by XERB 1090, a Mexican radio station located near Tijuana.

"Faires must have been about 10 when he heard our songs on the station," Maddox says. "A couple of years ago, my nephew came up from San Francisco with the Faires song. I liked it, so I recorded it."

The title cut on "High Desert Waltz" is a sweet and slow, honky-tonk heartbreaker, Maddox says.

He's also just returned from playing at the Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookville, Tenn., where he shared the stage with Little Jimmy Dickens and bluegrass artist Ralph Stanley. Stanley's work was featured in the 2000 film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in which he sings the Appalachian dirge "O Death." T-Bone Burnett produced the soundtrack.

"There were some rockers at Muddy Roots, too," Maddox says. "But I do old-time country. I don't do pop country."

Dosier and his Double D Ranchhands also will perform at the show.

There is no cover charge. Call 541-773-1900.


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