Louisville singer/songwriter Dave Ernst’s debut album ‘Hickory Switch’ is the culmination of nearly 30 years in music and a tribute to his country and rock roots. The album is a blend of his own well-crafted, well-thought songs along with a nod to Todd Snider (Rocket Fuel), and an acoustic cover of the R.E.M. tune Driver 8, make ‘Hickory Switch’ the kind of album you can put on and let it play. Over and over again.
While the album is technically Dave Ernst’s debut, it has been a long time in the making. It’s the distillation of thousands of experiences into 30 minutes of rocking good music. This isn’t an album that a teenager could write. There is a lot of life in these songs. Just one track in and the listener knows well, that this songwriter has lived these songs. That is the secret sauce of this release. Believability and authenticity that are thrown around a lot these days, but ‘Hickory Switch’ practices what it preaches. (more…)
Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle may claim Cincinnati as their hometown, but their old souls fit in quite well with us folks in the Bluegrass. The band is steeped in traditional folk and gospel music, covered in the blues, all the while their hearts are rock ‘n’ roll. That unique mix is what makes Buffalo Wabs standout from everyone else.
Their last album had a fantastic version of a classic hymnal of sorts, often sang by African Americans during the unfortunate years of slavery. “Down By The Riverside” embodies everything that makes these folks special. The harmonies, the hat tip to the “chain gangs” and the sheer energy they (more…)
I’m blown away, on nearly a daily basis, by the talent our Commonwealth continues to produce. I saw an article recently with the title “Country Music Was Born, & Is Now Being Reborn, In Appalachia“, the article itself is a pretty simplistic piece, but I couldn’t agree more with its title.
Folks like the “Whiskey Riff” don’t cover artists until they reach a certain level of fandom. In doing so, they barely scratch the surface of what is actually happening here in Kentucky. They’re pumping out short and simple articles that focus on the “it” artists of the moment. They’re going for clicks. We’re here for the music, the artists, the discoveries of Kentucky’s hidden gems.
The hotbed of talent that lies within our great Commonwealth surprises me on an almost daily basis. Country music or as some call it, Americana, is pretty prevalent around these parts, but the music community is extremely diverse at the moment. We have Rock, Rap, Soul, Singer-Songwriters, Metal, Circus Sideshow performers and just about anything you can dream up.
In this article, I want to shine a little light on a band that is based in Morehead. The band is Bedford and their business is rock’n’roll. And from where I’m sitting, business (more…)
Some of the greatest songs written were written by troubled, sometimes tortured souls. It seems that madness and genius share the same real estate in their complicated minds. Having said that, I want to introduce you to an artist that I’m proud to call my friend. Meet Danville, Kentucky’s Coby Langham. Coby is a truck driver by trade and (more…)
It’s no secret that Kentucky has become a hotbed for talent over the last couple of years and I want to introduce you to one of the young guns. Meet Sour Cream. If you’ve followed the site, you may remember these guys from our Cinder & Smoke Fest earlier this year. If not, let me fill ya in a bit.
Back in the late 1990’s the music scene in Lexington was booming with venues like The Wrocklage hosting tons of bands that have went on to become household names. The scene at that time had a few local bands that had a real shot at becoming a household name themselves. Rock bands like Black Cat Bone, 10 Foot Pole, The Blueberries and Gold Tooth Display were the Kings of the scene and that rich history is now giving us some very talented young rockers of our own to cherish. Sour Cream, People Planet and Johnny Conqueroo all have ties the bands above and you can see two of them tonight (11/17) at Al’s Bar in Lexington, as Sour Cream celebrates the release of their debut self-titled album. (more…)
For me, I look for music that moves me. That can be construed in a couple of different ways, so let me clarify a bit. With Dan Conn, you’re not buying a dance record. You’re buying a collection of short stories with the sole purpose of soliciting an emotional response. Be it love, loss or heartbreak, Dan Conn’s songs are relatable at nearly every level.
I’ll call it a blue-collar authenticity. His songs are real. They’re matter of factly in nature and they deserve your attention. Especially if you listen to music as intently as I try and tell myself that I do.
For ‘Shine On’, Conn has decided to keep it simple. An album sans drums is a bit of a risk nowadays, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss them in certain songs, but what that allows you to do, as a listener, is focus on the stories. You get to enjoy the colorful contrasts as Conn weaves his tapestry without distractions.
I was able to catch a performance of Dan Conn as a trio at (more…)
I want to start this article by saying something that I can likely never say about another artist. I have never heard an album that captures a person’s personality more than Chelsea Nolan’s new release, ‘chelsea.’ What does that even mean? Glad you asked. Follow me down the rabbit hole and enjoy this one!
I’ve spent some time with Chelsea over the last year. I was honored to take a few photos for promotional purposes and I’ve seen her perform several times. In a way, I watched these songs be born and grow into what you now hear.
I know what you’re thinking. Which one is Wayne Graham? And the answer is none of them. The bands moniker was created by combining the two Grandfathers that brothers Hayden and Kenny Miles share. As a fellow Eastern Kentuckian, I certainly understand and appreciate the nod to family.
While Joy! is Wayne Graham’s fourth release, in my humble opinion, it is by far their most ambitious. Joy! is also their first album to receive a European release, which will be on K&F Records in Germany.
As with any review, I try to highlight only a few songs that I feel you will appreciate. Then I leave the rest for you to discover on your own. So here goes. (more…)
What does a music venue really mean to a community? That’s a very difficult question to answer, but one that I want to try and tackle. Smaller venues have a tendency to attract fair-weather business owners, especially when the capacity of the venue isn’t 25,000 people where so many people go and word of mouth helps things grow much more quickly. As soon as a small venue begins losing money, most close up shop and disappear as a small blip on the musical map. Others though, help musicians and communities grow and as time goes on are sometimes taken for granted. When those things happen, it breaks my heart. As the hair band Cinderella put it, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone.”
The value placed on a smaller venue though, that has helped foster the arts over a 20 year period, in my humble opinion, is immeasurable. Which brings me to my point, I want to talk to you about the Spillway Bar & Grill located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (more…)