I have written several articles about when artists return home to Kentucky, but in my lifetime, none will likely be bigger than Chris Stapleton playing Rupp Arena. As a fellow Eastern Kentuckian, Rupp Arena to us, is like the Ryman. It’s our Mother Church. It’s an arena named after Coach Adolph Rupp and is the home of our beloved Kentucky Wildcats in downtown Lexington. For a Kentucky artist, that was born in this city, to rise in popularity and be able to sell-out over 17,000 seats at Rupp Arena is unheard of. Unchartered territory, even.
The Kentucky Headhunters, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Backstreet Boys featured a couple Kentuckians, John Michael Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry had some great success. But Chris Stapleton is the only singular artist to have sold-out Rupp Arena as a headliner to be born in Lexington. At least to my knowledge.
In 2017, The Moonshiner’s Ball was the first festival that I covered as Capture Kentucky. I covered many shows and we featured many festivals on my old site,Unsung Melody, but most were out of state.
As Capture Kentucky began to evolve into what you’re reading now, I quickly came to the realization that festivals like The Moonshiner’s Ball are way more important than large overpriced festivals. Mainly because there importance immediately impacts the culture that I care most about and that’s my community. My State. My friends. Besides, without festivals like Moonshiner’s, where would the bands on those large overpriced festivals get the traction to make it to those bigger paydays?
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…)
One of the more fascinating things about Kentucky, is the fact that you know the sights or sounds of many fellow Kentuckians, but you often times don’t know their name or what they do. I bet I could name 25 musicians that are in popular acts and you would likely have no idea they were Kentuckians.
By now, you’ve heard the name Chris Stapleton. He is a fellow Kentuckian who has made his mark as a Kentucky, loud and proud. What you may not know, is that his bass player, J.T. Cure, is also a fellow Kentuckian. J.T. grew up in Elkhorn City and spent time as part of the Kentucky Opry at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.
The Kentucky Opry also produced Rebecca Lynn Howard. She has had success as a solo artist and she is currently the bassist in the backing band for Steven Tyler, who you’ll know from Aerosmith fame.
While we’re on the subject, keep your eyes peeled for a young lady that’s currently a part of the Opry. Rachel Messer is from just across the river in West Virginia. She has a wonderful voice that reminds me of Dolly Parton.
J.T., Rebecca Lynn and Rachel are shining examples of how important the Kentucky Opry and the MAC are for all Kentuckians.
Kentucky is known as the bluegrass state. Some days, I’m not sure if it’s due to all the beautiful horse farms or the fact that bluegrass music was born here. At any rate, we’re going with the latter for this article. One of the finest bluegrass bands around is based right here in Bourbon County, which is also where Capture Kentucky happens to call home. That may be a force that would cause many to be biased towards an artist. A little hometown love. That isn’t who we are here at Capture Kentucky. We promise you that we will never just put our name on something that we don’t believe in. If we write about anything, it will be sincere and honest. We also promise that we will never be negative towards an art form or artist. We don’t have time for negativity. If we don’t like something, we don’t write about it or at the very least, we will find something positive to include. But I digress, the purpose of this article is to share our thoughts on the recent transitions that have taken place within The Wooks and how they’ve shaped the live show. (more…)
For a long time, Lexington, KY’s music scene languished, seemingly never able to realize it’s identity and enjoy the talents of those in this area. There were spurts that gave it life, but it seemed that no one knew what could be done to bring everyone together. In the last 15 years, the scene has seen some amazing musicians, many of which picked up and left to make their mark elsewhere. The loss of the Dame certainly set back the scene for years, but right now the scene is vibrant and booming.
Sure some venues have survived and even thrived, but it’s the last five years that has built a community that really supports artists. Maybe it’s all the local craft beers. Maybe it’s the plethora of venues we have once again. Maybe it’s just a shift in culture. Maybe it’s the success of so many great Kentucky artists that rekindled a spark for live music. Or maybe it’s just that Lexington found its’ identity. Craft beer, bourbon and venues that know their audience have all helped build it up, but at its core, I feel it’s the talent that has grown immensely. The music is now its own force to be reckoned with and artists like Sundy Best have brought people together to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
I’ve got an admission to make. Tyler Childers has blossomed into a genuine star and he has done so, right under my nose. I ran UnsungMelody.Com for years, but stepped away to ready my son for college. In that nearly two year span, Tyler and his band, The Food Stamps, have toured relentlessly and built a huge underground following.
Now, I wasn’t totally oblivious to him, we did manage to snap a photo of him at the one and only “Buckle Up Fest” held in Cincinnati. (You can see that coverage here.) BUT, until I began Capture Kentucky back in April of this year, he had slipped off my radar.
As I began researching for my coverage of the 2017 edition of The Moonshiner’s Ball, I rediscovered Tyler with a little nudging from another photographer, Jennifer Buckler. She assured me that Tyler was a do-not-miss performance and I’m forever grateful to her for that. (more…)
Somerset, Kentucky was definitely the place to be on the first full weekend of July! The 24th edition of the Master Musicians Festival was about to get started and I was about shoot my first festival. How cool is that? Here’s to hoping that I don’t let ya down! Haha
Things got started early on Friday and thankfully Mother Nature didn’t throw anything terribly bad at the festival crowd, other than some Summer heat. I mean, it is July in south central Kentucky after all! Ya had to at least expect a need for sunscreen. (more…)