I’ve been blessed to be able to work with Master Musicians Festival. I was given the honor to be their staff photographer this year by Tiffany Finley. Many of you know Tiffany, but for those that don’t, she is the President of Master Musicians Festival. She is also an avid supporter of local music and all things Kentucky.
What makes Master Musicians Festival (MMF) so unique? The Festival is ran by ALL volunteers. That’s right. ALL volunteers. From the local roller derby tending bar, high school football teams setting up and tearing down the stages, marching bands providing golf cart rides to folks like the Don Franklin family of dealerships putting up sponsorship money, Somerset comes together and shows everyone else how it should be done.
With that army of volunteers, MMF has an economic impact of 3 million dollars. That’s absolutely incredible and astonishes me even after typing it.
This will be the 26th year that MMF has taken place and they handpick the artists. So since I’ll be there this year, I thought it would be fun to put together a top 15 list of performances that You should definitely try and take in.
There are a few tickets still left, so pick up your tickets here and enjoy the show.
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…)
If you’re a reader of this site, you’ll know that we absolutely LOVE Mr. Sean Whiting. His vocals are rarely matched. So given the opportunity to premiere his new album, ‘High Expectations’, we jumped at the opportunity! With this album, I don’t have to say a single word, because this album speaks volumes. This one hits on May 3rd through Eastwood Records in Louisville So without further ado, enjoy this absolute gem from the hills of Eastern Kentucky!
There must be something in the water of Johnson County, Kentucky. Known as the birthplace of such country titans as Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle and Chris Stapleton, the sweeping hills of eastern Kentucky continue to bear witness to music inventors. Americana singer-songwriter Sean Whiting is also a product of these humble roots and shines a light on the many phases of life with his upcoming sophomore record High Expectations. (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…)
The Kentucky music family came together to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival as the soundtrack.
From well-known artists to supporters of this site that have nearly no experience performing, this bill was truly a community effort and that was absolutely by design.
Now you may ask why would I give performance spots to someone with little to no experience. It’s really simple, I enjoy helping people. Especially those that are supportive of me. I’m not saying that the next Elvis Presley played on Sunday, but several folks got the opportunity to not only perform but to perform to a crowd. If I spark one person to take a chance on a dream, then I’ve already won. (more…)
Having been around music and musicians, I know the nervousness and anxiety-inducing thoughts an artist goes through as they release new music. No matter how confident you are or how great you may feel the music is, you still worry about being too open and how others will receive and perceive your music. On Saturday night at The Burl, Coby Langham went through those very emotions and fears as he unleashed his debut EP, ‘Years On The Road’. If you’d like to know our thoughts on the EP, you can find that here. When I asked Coby before the show, how he overcame his fears, he gave a very simple answer…”Whiskey.” Ahhhhhh, the ole liquid courage!
Bek and Tim Smallwood
The crickets, frogs and birds provided the soundtrack for a peaceful nights rest and it was once again time to do some kickin’ on the creek.The music started early on my day two and the fact that Mr. Childers would be playing later on Saturday night, I fully expected the crowd to be much thicker.
The Wine Tree Band began the day for folks, but I have to admit they didn’t start mine. So my apologies to those folks. The sirens song that the frogs and crickets sang kept me in bed until about 9:15. As I awoke and scanned the schedule for the day, I suddenly realized that Saturday was going to be a who’s who for Kentucky and regional music. (more…)
Kickin’ On The Creek is one of the most difficult festivals that I have ever been asked to describe. Why you ask? Thank goodness! I wasn’t sure how to move forward. So I’ll start here, family.
The Roberts family has turned their beautiful homestead into a music venue. Wait, what? No seriously. Hear me out. Deep in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, part of the Daniel Boone Forest, technically in Lee County, Byron Roberts and his family have seriously turned their home into a music venue. What seems impossible is actually flat-out magical.
Give me another example of such selflessness. I’ll wait…..You have nothing? That’s what I thought.
The idea for Kickin’ It On The Creek was born from a birthday party. No, again, seriously. When Kenton Roberts turned 21, Byron and Kelli threw him a birthday party and invited several local musicians to participate. Just so happens, one of those locals eventually became a household name for us Kentuckians and the rest, as they say, is history. The local? Tyler Childers. Every year since, with this being the fourth year, folks have traveled as from as far away as Oregon to experience such a unique event.
Kickin’ It On The Creek (KIOTC) has quickly grown into the absolute MUST have ticket for Kentucky Festivals. The four-day event held deep in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains has drawn in like-minded folks who have banded together to create a beautiful, helpful, loving community. There’s even a common phrase used by those in the musical community and it’s eloquent in its simplicity, “Know Your Tribe.” I can say first hand that once you are accepted within the “tribe”, your faith in humanity will get a huge jolt in the restoration department.
Now I’ve heard a million stories about how magical KIOTC is. How it is all about community and how that is right up our alley here at Capture Kentucky. So when you get a phone call from KIOTC owner Byron Roberts asking you to be a part of something as special as his event, you simply, “Yes, Sir.” Mr. Roberts also gave me a compliment that I can not thank him enough for. He sees how we’re benefiting artists and creating a genuine spotlight for all the talented folks that we can. He told me that he likes, “The eyes that I see this community with.” That told me that our missions, intentions and hearts were in the exact same spots.
A lot of us here in Kentucky feel that there is a musical revolution that’s beginning to take shape here and I personally think a lot of the recent success stories point right back to the vision that Mr. Roberts created. Folks like Tyler Childers, The Wooks, Arlo McKinley, Justin Wells and countless others have made tremendous gains in popularity just from being a part of KIOTC.
Having said all of that, I felt that I needed to create a list for those folks that may be overwhelmed with so many performances. I will focus only on Kentucky artists for this list. That’s definitely not a slight towards any traveling artists, it just makes more sense in helping us build a community.
We won’t be able to make it on Thursday unfortunately, but if you see us during the weekend, say hey. We ordered 3000 stickers and they are supposed to be here by Friday. So snag ya one if ya like! Also, don’t forget to bring cash for your artist merch, food and drink purchases as there is no cell or wifi service available.
Now on to the music! (more…)