Friday, August 19, 2011

Crossing The Roads

This is my brother ... Royal Wade Kimes ... but to me he is just Wade. :)
I have made posts about him in the past but I wanted to share this with you folks too. If you like good Western Style music then you should give him an ear. I think you will like him & maybe even want to purchase one or maybe more of his CDs.

Western singer-songwriter Royal Wade Kimes takes his music videos literally.
The Chester native recently recorded a cover version of Bobby Bare’s 1963 hit “500 Miles Away From Home.” When it came time to creating a music video for the song, Kimes put on a director’s hat and got busy. Kimes’ camera captured footage during a three-week trip from his Nashville, Tenn., home to his family property in Chester.
“We shot that video, and it was exactly 500 miles from my home in Nashville to my hometown in Chester,” Kimes said during a recent telephone interview. “I used Sylvester Stallone’s ideas and shot Rocky Balboa-like camera angles. We’d shoot and move, shoot and move on the road.
“Sometimes, we’d literally jump off the tour bus, shoot some quick footage, and then jump back on the bus to go down the road,” he added with a laugh.
Kimes, who has collaborated with Garth Brooks, Diamond Rio and Gene Watson, among others, said he’s thankful that his video is “going viral” on YouTube, and other websites.
“According to all the statistics, the video is red hot in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Germany already, and it’s only been out for 14 days,” he said. “We’re going to the GAC music channel with it next week, and we’re pretty sure that the video will pick up with that channel.”
The video has low-key moments, like when Kimes is unsuccessful at hitching rides on an interstate, but there’s also room for more adventurous scenes, like the one where a sprinting Kimes tries to catch the Arkansas & Missouri Excursion Train that runs between Springdale and Van Buren.
“That is the coolest thing,” he said about the train scene. “There are some beautiful — really, really beautiful — shots of the Ozarks, and we used some folks from my hometown and in my backyard for the video. You see me pull up to go to my house, but in the next shot, there’s a surprise.”

Featuring a scene of Kimes riding horseback through the Ozarks,
“500 Miles Away From Home” was Kimes’ directorial debut. The experience has sparked an interest in him to direct more videos for himself and, possibly, for other singers and bands.
“I’m so proud of the video for ‘500 Miles Away From Home,’ and it wasn’t a problem to create because I knew the story,” Kimes said. “That’s a 46-year-old song, and back in that day, they didn’t have videos for songs.”
Kimes is keeping his fingers crossed that the “500 Miles Away From Home” single — and its parent album, “Crossing the Roads,” will match or beat the success of Kimes’ previous single, “I’m an Ole Song.”
“‘I’m an Old Song’ went No. 2 on the Top 40 Hot Disc Country Chart in Europe and Australia, and it went to No. 4 on the International Roots Chart of Pop and Country,” he said. “I’m glad ‘500 Miles Away From Home’ already is coming onto the charts. I’m hoping it goes to No. 2 or better over in Europe.”
Kimes is no stranger to chart success. He’s had five No. 1 singles in Europe, including “On the Border,” which details the Judge Isaac C. Parker days of Fort Smith, and his 2002 duet with Brooks, “Night Birds.”
Kimes also scored big when he co-wrote “We Bury the Hatchet” with Brooks. The track appeared on Brooks’ hit album, “Ropin’ the Wind,” in 1991.
“When we made the video for ‘500 Miles Away From Home,’ we had so much extra footage that didn’t make it to the final video,” he said. “We’ll do outtakes and some discussion about those extra shots and put all of that on YouTube in about a month.”
Kimes admitted he was a bit nervous when he learned that Bare had heard Kimes’ version of “500 Miles Away From Home.”

“I first thought, oh no, Bobby Bare is going to say something like, ‘What have you done to my song?’” he said before laughing. “But Bobby said, ‘Son, you’ve done a fine job on my song.’ I was just thrilled with that.”

By Scott Smith
The Times Record


Star, songwriter to host annual benefit concert

By Susan Porter
Country music star and songwriter Royal Wade Kimes

Country music star and songwriter Royal Wade Kimes comes back every year to his hometown of Chester, just south of Fayetteville, to present an outdoor concert and lead a trail ride to raise money for the Backpacks for Kids program. The event helped feed 2,500 kids last year.
This year, the trail ride is Sept. 9 and the concert is Sept. 10. Gates for the concert open at 6 p.m. Chuckwagon dinners will be available. Tickets are $14 at the gate and $12 in advance. Advance tickets are will-call by calling 615-351-3167 or locally at Basham Grocery in Mountainburg or Chester Cafe in Chester.
For information on the trail ride go to
TFW interviewed Kimes to find out more about his career and the event.
TFW: When did you first begin playing music, and how did you break into Nashville?
Royal: Bought my first guitar at 15 years old after working cattle and a sawmill for a summer. I knew I wanted play music when I was 4 years old. I was drawn to guitars and melodies that early.
My first big break came when I met the late Eddy Arnold. He and I became friends by chance, which is testimony that you need help from God to make headway in the music business.
With his help, I began writing, and he happened to be friends with Bob Doyle who had just signed a new kid by the name of Garth Brooks. He hooked the two of us up and we wrote “Bury The Hatchet,” which came out on “Ropin’ The Wind” and sold 17 million copies. I quit my day job after that! Then I went on to write several other gold records and hits for other artists until I signed with Asylum Records a few years later. I had two big hits there, “Leave My Mama Out Of This” and “Another Man’s Sky,” which had a hit video, too.
TFW: How do you describe your music?
Royal: My music is “cowboy country.” It is love songs mixed with cowboy feeling tunes that are hard-driving to gunfighting ballads. I guess it would remind you of Marty Robbins. He sang “El Paso,” a gunfighting song, and “White Sports Coat,” a song about a prom, all at the same time.
My style turned out to be what Johnny Cash said — who by the way had all my records — “If they like rock or country either one, they’ll dig you.” He was right, and I am amazed that my audience runs from 15 to 70.
TFW: Who are some of the artists you have enjoyed working with?
Royal: People I have toured with and just hang out with over the years include Garth Brooks, DeAnna Carter, Trace Adkins, Bellamy Brothers, Mel Tillis and lots more.
TFW: What are you working on now?
Royal: I’m writing, cutting records and touring around the world, fall tour and a big tour for 2012. “Crossing The Roads” is my latest record and my 10th. The record is called “Crossing The Roads” because it crosses all things in music. It has a little blues, a little country, a little western, a little rockabilly, gospel and even one song of what I would call “easy listening,” but then it also has a couple of patriotic-type songs on it as well.
For the first time, it has two cover songs. I cut the Bobby Bare tune “500 Miles Away From Home.” Bare called me after he heard the song and said “You did a fine job on my song.”
I also did a video. The video play chart has it red hot in Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee, and it is also heating up in other states.
I also cut “Mr. Songman” by Donnie Sumner, JD Sumner’s son.
The CD is being downloaded like nothing I’ve ever experienced since cutting records. Find it at, and I have a new video out that can be seen at or on GAC and at
I’m also cutting a project unlike anything Nashville has seen. I’m more than excited about it.
TFW: What’s next?
Royal: As a songwriter, we wait and we hope that we write that one song that you know in your heart is “the” song. I have done that. I can say from my heart, from what I think I know about this biz, that I have now written that song.
It will be a full year before we release it, but I feel it will depict who Royal Wade Kimes is. I told my wife, “It’s OK now. If I should meet God tomorrow, it’s OK. This song will be here, and it will be released to the people … and they need it.”
Someone like me that creates, not just gets up on a stage and sings, but creates, lives and hopes he can leave something behind that will be remembered for many years to come, if not forever. I think this song is one the people will say, “He left me something that touched my heart, something special.”
TFW: Tell us more about the concert in Chester.
Royal: When we do the Chester show we try to bring the people who actually make the music happen in Nashville.
This year, I will have Laurie Canaan, who has played Broadway and Nashville both. She is a fiddle player with style and a piano player unmatched with her ability to make a song come alive. Larry and Ryan Crowley, a father-son pair that light up a stage with their guitars will also be there.
It is one thing to go see a concert where it’s “drive it to the wall,” but it’s quite another to watch the ones who not only play it, but composed and make it.
That’s what separates them from the gang, the pack of would-be’s. They are the true Nashville pickers.
The opening band will be a local bluegrass band, Yesterday’s Wine, headed up by Vander Atwell from Red Buff, Calif., who co-wrote “Jacob’s Well” with me on my “Strikin’ Matches” CD.
The concert opens with the local band … then there’s a silence … then there’s a hint of music, then the show suddenly takes off like it’s on jet fuel. It’s a show for everyone, the whole family, from 9 to 90.
There is something very special that happens at this concert.
We recognize and give away a handmade statue to a cowboy or cowgirl. It is an award called “The Cowboy Rides,” which is in honor and now memory of TJ Brown, a local, but famous, bronc rider.
Winners are chosen from three main criteria points: living the life of a cowboy, promoting the life and personality. It is somewhat emotional for me to watch the humbleness of the winners. TJ received the first one before he passed. Mark LaRue of Cedarville was given the second. Last year’s winner was Linda Johnmyer of Missouri.
TFW: Tell us more about the trail ride.
Royal: This is the sixth year for the ride. It leaves Chester and takes the 1800s wagon route out and crosses the mountains. It took me several years of planning and working to get the road open. It is only open one time a year and that is for the ride.
The riders will see an old wagon thimble where a wagon broke down and a rock where wagon wheels ran through it cutting a groove.
There’s a campfire show that night for the trail riders and chuck wagon steaks.
My favorite is the homemade cobbler. The man ought to be hung for causing the riders to have to wait until the next year for more.
I also give away Montana Smith Belt Buckles for the five-year riders. Last year, over 20 got them, and about that many this year will receive them.
TFW: What do you like about Northwest Arkansas, and why do you do the events here?
Royal: My folks live there, and I love them but what draws me, what I love, not just like, is “my mountains.”
They speak to me. I tear up as I think about them.
When I was a kid, it was my job to look after the cattle across those mountains.
How do you think I knew where and how to cut that trail out to have the grandest trail ride in Arkansas?


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