Medicine Shows travelled the old west until very recently, selling snake oil remedies, offering entertainment and giving artists a helping hand along the way. Hank Williams and Roy Acuff cut their musical teeth on Medicine Shows, Hank met his muse and future wife Audrey on a travelling Medicine Show. They were later to marry on the road in an Alabama gas station. The rest is well documented in every Hank Williams song and country music history book.
Our Health and Happiness Shows features old and nu-timey music, classic tracks and new releases, some special guests in session and conversation and, as always, Rob will do what he can to support independently minded roots musicians and venues. Email Rob and let him know about your gigs and tours, or that of your favourite artists and he'll play and plug them just as long as they've got their roots showing in their music.
Rob Ellen has been involved in music development in Scotland for nearly 30 years. He keeps a trail open around the Highlands in particular for touring roots musicians, small combos and bands. He helped found and continues to help organise Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival. He also organises the Tartan Heart Fringe and Potting Shed Stage with the help of Square Wheels Cycles of Strathpeffer.
Rob will tour many of The Medicine Show favourites around Europe through "The Medicine Show On The Road" 2012 saw him and Hamish Roberts travel 6,500 miles play 23 shows, 10 Radio Stations and 7 countries, to get to WOMEX in Greece where he was invited to talk on DIY Music. The Highland tour has become a pilgrimage with American Musicians in particular, wishing to trace the roots of "The Great American Song Book" back to its home in the Highlands. Rob says, "I am fascinated by the song lines and tracing the roots of music, but equally fascinated with the contemporary shoots that keep it all alive and well".
Rob's particular interest, is supporting and setting up House Concerts. This is a chance to experience music in a warm and intimate environment, i.e. a private house or your home. Rob maintains the Euro House Concert Hub. This is a place for artists, guests and hosts to social network. Drop by and say hi by clicking the link below.
Medicine in the modern sense is perceived to be a treatment for ailment, but in the ancient sense, particularly in the minds of Native Americans, medicine is "all that is good in nature connecting the spiritual world with the physical. The Medicine of music can be a direct connection with all it is to be human and also our best prescription for the disconnecting-ailments of our modern culture".
The Medicine Show is a "Pass The Hat Production" for UKCountryRadio.com and relies on your donations. Please help keep the wheels on The Medicine Show by visiting Rob's website using the link below.
I'm also in a band called The Slim Panatellas who are Cigar Box Don Jack and Rob Ellen, we hail from the Highlands of Scotland and play Old Time Home Grown Hand Built Cigar Box Music "Pure Hokum" on home made instruments. Our ranks are regularly swollen by guests such Washboard MacPherson, Havana Hamish Roberts, Fash Di Caprio (no relation) Charlie Roth, Tom Mason, Gypsy Dave Smith, the Vieil Alliance, Matt Morrow, Emma Mitchelle and just about anyone else hanging around the job centre on the day of a gig. We arrange our famous Roots and Cheroots nights to share our love of roots music with great musicians and to healthy audience (we'll play with unhealthy musicians with bad audiences too) We've played the Northern Roots Festival, Belladrum Festival, Live at Troon, the amaSing festival and had the great honour of being the first band ever to play The BSA French International Cigar Box Guitar Festival. We've opened a funeral conference called Dying to Know, played in the Scottish parliament for the abolition 2000 conference, and have been Pirates at a Fish and Chip Festival aaaarh!