Lexington, Kentucky has never seen anything like the inaugural Railbird Festival. Over the last few decades, Lexington has had some great success in cultivating talent that goes on to become household names. What Lexington has not had, is a true destination festival. Unlike Louisville that hosts the Forecastle Festival and several Danny Wimmer Productions. That all changed when AC Entertainment (Promoters of Forecastle and Bonnaroo) partnered up with Keeneland.
Let’s be honest, horses and bourbon are what most folks associate with Kentucky. Music though, isn’t too far behind in terms of exports. Kentucky has produced artists like John Michael Montgomery, Montgomery Gentry, Sundy Best, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, and of course our newest favorite son in Tyler Childers. Who happened to be one of the headliners at Railbird.
So where else could a classy festival that shines a light on horses, bourbon and music? My answer as a Kentuckian, is nowhere. Keeneland is the ultimate location that has plenty of room to grow with this festival.
Having said all that, we’re incredibly honored that we were given the opportunity to cover this festival and put our own little spin on the who, what and why Railbird is hopefully here to stay.
There’s no better way to spend a warm Summer night, than taking in some of the best talent in the world. I truly enjoyed taking these photos and I hope you enjoy them!
JJ Grey & Mofro:
Tonight’s near-capacity show at the Mountain Arts Center saw Ashley McBryde bringing her Girl Going Nowhere Tour into East Kentucky along with Prestonsburg’s own Nicholas Jamerson. It is always good to be back at one of my favorite venues in east Kentucky, well for that matter not just Kentucky but just about anywhere. In my opinion, you would be hard-pressed to find a better thousand seat venue than the Mountain Arts Center. Beautiful building, top-notch staff and incredible sound and lights! But enough of that, let’s talk about tonight’s music.
As I said earlier Nicholas Jamerson is from right here in the city of Prestonsburg, he’s covered a lot of miles since he left Prestonsburg all those years ago to be back home and performing on this stage tonight. I’ve had the pleasure to photograph him several times both as a member of the successful duo Sundy Best and as a solo artist. I commented to someone recently that this show was the best I’ve heard him sound in a long time, he (more…)
The Cinder & Smoke Fest is our baby here at Capture Kentucky. It was an idea that was born as an opportunity to showcase some of the great artists that we feature here. A way to bring our articles to life, if you will. Last year, it was held in Lexington at Proud Mary BBQ. We had a great first year and we loved the location, the people, the food and everything about Proud Mary. The decision to move Cinder & Smoke was made to allow us the freedom to move to a ticketed event, as Proud Mary BBQ prefers to simply have an open door policy.
Enter Shawn & Crystal Hatcher. They were the gracious hosts for the 2019 version of the Cinder & Smoke Fest. They own Thatcher’s Downtown, a very cool restaurant in Jackson, Kentucky. Thatcher’s isn’t your normal little hometown restaurant. They serve breakfast, often have doughnuts, coffee, beer and barbeque. They also host live music and have been very supportive in providing a venue and wanting to grow their restaurant, as well as a music scene in their hometown. So the decision to move Cinder & Smoke to Jackson was made much easier. (more…)
Sometimes an article needs time to simmer. Seeing Ian Noe at his CD release, processing what we experienced and turning that into an article has taken me a few days. It was one of those nights that will be talked about for years to come.
I made a Facebook post on my personal page before the show that accurately described how the night felt. “Good morning to all the good people!! Today is the day we get to send off our next star out into the world! Come to The Burl and be a part of history with Ian Noe tonight!!” I often call The Burl our Mother Church. While the Burl was never an actual church like the Ryman in Nashville was, it does feature a lovely stained glass above the stage and it’s hosted what has felt like several religious experiences over the years. I mean, just look at the scene before the show.
Now I’m not slighting Daisy Helmuth or Devon Gilfillian, both were fantastic, but this article will mainly focus on Ian and his night. (more…)
The Music Rules Fest is a partnership between the Mountain Arts Center and Capture Kentucky. It is an event that I am incredibly proud of and that’s exactly why this article has been so difficult for me to write.
The City of Prestonsburg now has control of the Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre, which is located in the gorgeous Jenny Wiley State Park. They have allowed the Mountain Arts Center to run the venue as a sister venue to the 1044 seated theatre at the MAC.
The city has begun a remodel of the venue and there are plans to further improve the amphitheater. Restoring it to it’s once prominent place in the community.
The Music Rules Fest was developed to be a genre-less music festival that promises good music for good people. A simple concept that we felt could grow and become a tradition while growing into a Kentucky destination music festival. (more…)
Tyler Booth. Where do I begin? I’ve known Tyler’s Dad for years. We worked together back in the ole Stitch Rivet days. So I helped out any way possible when Jay reached out to me. This was in the early days of Capture Kentucky. I helped behind the scenes, in other words, the boring stuff that isn’t important. Lol I heard a few songs Tyler had written and as I do with anyone that is talented, I needed to see if he could pull it off live. Let me just say, that if you saw that November or December of the 2017 model of Tyler Booth, you would not believe that he’s come this far, especially in such a short period of time. That first show, I saw a nervous young man. One that escaped his fears by rarely making eye contact. I joked at the time that I took 1000 photos and only 8 had his eyes open. Some folks would get mad about that, but Tyler listens to people and that’s his biggest asset in my opinion.
I see a lot of Tyler in myself. He’s able to internalize things, sort out the truth from the bull and come back even better. That is what will keep this young man on his meteoric rise. With each show, Tyler gets better. Those early shows, he would go flat sometimes, as everyone does from time to time. Watching his face through my lens, I saw that brief moment of doubt. He’d be mad at himself, but he would go home and practice to dial in his voice. I saw none of that on Saturday. Which speaks volumes to his work ethic.
Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry needs no introduction, but the venue that I saw them in, definitely does. I have been wanting to attend a show at The Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns ever since I laid eyes on photos folks have posted. Now Cumberland Caverns isn’t in Kentucky, it is in Tennessee, so I simply waited until a Kentucky angle made sense for me to put over 8 hours behind the wheel in one day.
Finally ,the perfect show popped up! Black Stone Cherry, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, and Bowling Green, Kentucky’s own, The Josephines. I will admit that I have already seen all three bands, so I had a pretty good idea of the energy and performance that we were in for.
So back to the venue for a moment, the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns is located 333 feet below the surface. The room itself holds about 750 people and if you’re anything like myself, you’ll be blown away to learn that at the back of the venue, there is a concession stand, as well as bathrooms located just past the merch tables. (more…)
Eric Bolander is a name that pops up quite a bit around these parts and there’s a good reason for that, Eric is a total badass. So when he invited me to cover his release party, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.
As the release date for his new album approached, I was given the opportunity to do an exclusive premiere of ‘The Wind.’ You can check that out here.
For me, as a Kentuckian, the opportunity to premiere songs and albums that folks like Eric put together is the ultimate honor for what we’re trying to do here at Capture Kentucky. Why? Because music is the blood, sweat, tears, hopes, dreams and dedication that have taken a lifetime to write. Songs are like children to an artist, so as I said, it’s the ultimate honor. (more…)