I debated on putting this photo recap together, but oh what a year it was! We had a ton of fun and there were waaaaaay more photos that I wanted to include, but I tried to just do some highlights and favorites for everyone. My goodness, Kentucky is absolutely loaded with talent and we had an almost overwhelming amount of support in 2018. We truly can’t thank you enough and we promise to work even harder in 2019 to not only cover your favorite artists, but to create events and to shine a little light on the wonderful talent in Kentucky.
Thanks for everything and we’ll see you at the show!! (more…)
Persistent heat and unforgivable humidity couldn’t put a damper on the 15th annual ROMP Fest held at Yellow Creek Park outside of Owensboro, Ky. from June 27-30. Continuously gathering the best in bluegrass, old-time and roots music, the festival’s 2018 iteration featured headline and standout performances from Alison Krauss, Leftover Salmon, Billy Strings, Love Canon and others.
Missing earlier sets on Thursday from the likes of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, bluegrass state native Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder and others, I arrived just prior to Colorado music and ROMP veterans Leftover Salmon. The group opened their set with frontman Vince Herman singing about the state’s rolling hills and ever-flowing moonshine on “Kentucky Skies” before jumping into more from 2012’s such as “Liza” and the Drew Emmit led “Gulf of Mexico.” Later bassist Greg Garrison took the lead on “Analog,” a tune bursting at the seams with twang and a silky smooth groove. The group has developed an undeniable chemistry in their 25+ year lifespan as evidenced by taking over on lead vocals, but each member also has the ability to take command at ease on instrumentals, from Erik Deutsch’s finger dancing on keys to Alwyn Robinson’s “Drums and Space” -esque solos to Andy Thorn’s clawhammer picking, helping to elevate the group to the peak of a budding jamgrass music scene.
The Levitt AMP Whitesburg Music Series kicked off on May 31st with Dave Adkins and Larry Cordle. A little history about the Levitt AMP Music Series can be found here https://grant.levittamp.org/
The Levitt AMP Music Series is a 10-week concert series with different genres of music performed each week, all concerts are free to the public. The venue had to be an underused public space. Whitesburg’s space is the Mountain Heritage stage in downtown Whitesburg. The stage used during the Mountain Heritage fall festival, but it is rarely used any other time of the year. In all, there were 15 grants awarded this year, with Whitesburg being the smallest community to receive a grant. The impressive thing about that is Whitesburg was also number one in the online voting across the country. A quick look at the map on the Levitt AMP website shows that Kentucky has three communities that received these grants, which also the most across the country. That shouldn’t be surprising with the amount of musical talent that has come out of Kentucky in recent years.
Bluegrass was the genre represented for the first show. Whitesburg’s own Sunrise Ridge got this rainy night underway with right at an hour long set. Included in their set were original tunes with some very well done covers, including my personal favorite “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, which was written by Darrell Scott, who was born in London, KY. I’ve heard Sunrise Ridge cover that song a couple times now and it gets better every time I hear it.
Some nights, you are just simply more fortunate than you feel you deserve. Wednesday night happened to be one of those nights for me. Please allow me to explain. This is the third time that I have written this article. Why? Because I didn’t feel what I had written had really captured what happened in Nashville that night. The other incarnations focused too much on the music and the people involved. Please don’t think I’m downplaying all the artists that were involved with this fundraiser that we were fortunate enough to attend that night. Because let me just say it was one of the most incredible nights of music that I have ever witnessed. In fact, if you missed it, go ahead and kick yourself in the ass. I’ll wait.
Seriously though, the music was otherworldly at times and we will get to that, but that wasn’t the story of the night. The story that I want to tell, is the story of music and it’s love that creates a community that becomes family.
*Photo credit: Mike Owens GoFundMe (more…)