One of the things Jonathan told me he was looking for when I joined Capture Kentucky several years ago, was that if it was cool and happened in Kentucky or had a Kentucky connection he was interested. Let me ask you this and you tell me if this qualifies. I think I know the answer before I ask but here goes, does The Kentucky Headhunters playing on stage in the mountains of eastern Kentucky qualify as cool? Maybe an emerging artist in Kaleb Lee and former contestant on The Voice born in western Kentucky playing on that same stage, is that cool enough? Or to top Kaleb and The Headhunters, both were opening for the legendary Charlie Daniels and his band at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville Kentucky. I think all that qualifies as cool, no, not just cool, that qualifies as kickass!
Born in the Bluegrass State but now calling Ormond Beach Florida home, Kaleb Lee took the stage first. He and a guitar-playing friend (also from Florida) played an acoustic set that seemed to fit well with tonight’s musical offerings! Some in the crowd may have known Kaleb from his time on The Voice where during season 14 he finished in the top 6 as a member of Team Kelly. His latest single “Nothin’ On You” was released on the 25th of October, yep the day before this show. Release one day and get to perform it the next. Keep your eyes and ears open for more music from Kaleb Lee, I see nothing but good things for him!
Remember when I was talking about cool things in Kentucky? Of course you do it was just a few words ago, well at least I hope you remember! That Kentucky cool factor runs deep with the Kentucky Headhunters and has for a long time! The state of Kentucky is known for a lot of things horses, basketball and bourbon come to mind but music, music is at the top of that list for me (with bourbon and basketball tied for second!). Kentucky artist have and are setting the country music world on fire (recently see Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers and a few right on the brink in Dillon Carmichael, Josh Martin and Tyler Booth) the Kentucky Headhunters have been lighting that fire since the late 80’s.
Tonight in Pikeville they proved to me and everyone in attendance that the fire was still there. They looked and sounded great with Greg Martin on lead guitar, Doug Phelps on bass and lead vocals, Richard Young on rhythm guitar and wild man Fred Young on drums. I point out that Fred Young is a wild man on drums for a reason because if you weren’t there to witness the drum solo/clinic he put on, well, you truly missed out! The Headhunters have set the bar high for southern rock/country/rock bands!
Charlie Daniels is one of those artists you really can’t say much about that hasn’t already been said over a 60 plus year career. Singer, songwriter, musician, performer, Patriot, Grand Ole Opry member and member of a couple different Halls of Fame including the Country Music Hall of Fame. But tonight in Pikeville Kentucky two days before his 83rd yes 83rd birthday Mr. Charlie Daniels and his band are about to teach us fine Kentucky folks a thing or two about “sawin on a fiddle and playin it hot” (I apologize, I had to do it!) and what country music is supposed to sound like!
Opening his set with “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye” a set that was filled with hit songs and a couple of amazing covers, even a gospel song “How Great Thou Art”. Of course, he closed the show with what is surprisingly to me his only #1 song “Devil Went Down To Georgia”, which also proves that #1 songs are nice but a career it doesn’t make. Get out and see this legend of country music, no not just country music but of music in general. See and hear for yourself what a music legend sounds like.
If you are not familiar with the venue do yourself a favor and look them up. The Appalachian Wireless Arena (formally The East Kentucky Expo Center) has your live music and events in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia covered. They hosted Black Label Society a few days before tonight’s show, upcoming they have Chris Janson on November 16th, Black Stone Cherry on the 24th of November and three nights of Tyler Childers near the end of December. Mix in college basketball, high school basketball, The Harlem Globetrotters and some motocross AWA has your entertainment needs covered!