If you’ve been a fan of our site, you’ve likely seen us mention Healing Appalachia several times. We were able to cover the first event, and you can find our coverage from that event, here.
If you’re unfamiliar with Healing Appalachia, allow me to provide you with an overview of the mission and some reasons that this event is extremely important. Healing Appalachia is (now) a two-day music festival that takes place on the fairgrounds of the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg, West Virginia. The event benefits the Hope In The Hills charity. An organization that is dedicated to helping fight the opioid crisis that grips Appalachia.
In short, the day that 26 people overdosed in one day in Huntington, WV, things had to change and that was the spark needed to pursue meaningful help and eventual change. The throes of addiction are very difficult to treat, and there weren’t a lot of organizations that were focused solely on addiction. Especially in the Appalachian region of our Country, which has been one of, if not the hardest hit regions in the entire world. So with music and events as the vehicle, Hope In The Hills and Healing Appalachia were born from a tormented necessity, and that’s why Capture Kentucky made the nearly five-hour drive to shine a little light on the cause that’s near and dear to our hearts.
Acclaimed Kentucky country singer-songwriter Grayson Jenkins has announced a September 23 release for two new singles, his first since releasing the full-length Turning Tides in 2021. Both tracks serve as a tribute to the late Don Williams, with original “Little Things” (produced by Steve Dawson) featuring fellow Kentuckian Abby Hamilton on harmony vocals. “Tulsa Time” is a cover of Williams’ country-funk classic, written by Danny Flowers.
Jenkins, on “Little Things”: This song started in my kitchen on a Sunday morning while my girlfriend and I were cleaning tomatoes from the garden. A friend of mine had posted that day about Don Williams being the perfect Sunday record to spin, which I wholeheartedly agree with, and that was on my mind while we got to work canning. I wrote the chorus that day in July 2021. In the original demo, you can hear rustling in the background from my girlfriend working away while I played. That moment in time is pretty special to me.
As a product of the 70’s and 80’s, my mom was a big fan of Don Williams and passed his music down to me. He’s been a favorite of mine since, and even more so the older I get. When I started working to finish the song, my mother was on my mind. We lost her in 2015 and that’s had a profound impact on my perspective. She had a way of appreciating and loving the small details in life – pretty flowers, old houses, good gardens, and more. She’d always say, “we’re not rich, but we’re rich with love” and that’s stuck with me as the years go on. When I find myself appreciating the little things, I feel a lot more at peace and able to give more love to the people in my life. (more…)
I’ll be honest, the best part of running this website, is the discovery of Kentuckians that are not only talented, but just great people. The fact that more often than not many folks become friends. Those relationships are what fuels my passion and keeps this site going.
Today I want to share an artist with you that I’m just getting to know. His name is Jordan Foster. Jordan currently calls Knoxville, Tennessee home, but he’s originally from Somerset. While Jordan may not be a new artist to many readers here at Capture Kentucky, he only popped up on my radar (Quite literally my Release Radar on Spotify) earlier this year. I enjoyed what I heard, but I was still fighting with my health at that time.
So let’s fast forward to Festival Of The Red back in June. I was only able to catch a few sets on that Saturday because of the rain, but Jordan happened to be one of those sets. While the set was shortened by the weather, I was still able to get a good look and listen that day. I left satisfied that Jordan can deliver, and he’s not someone lifted up by “studio magic.” What you hear, is what you get and that will forever bring a smile to my face.
Music is the closest thing we have in our lives to time travel. Music can take you right back to your first kiss. Your first loss. The good. The bad. The beautiful. The ugly. It can paint vivid mental imagery, and it can transport you to wherever the artists want to take you.
Today, I present to you a perfect example of when that happens. The brand new EP from No Deceit, titled ‘Burn’, delivers an experience that has been forged in love and life. No Deceit provides the ticket and the ride, all you need to do is strap in and enjoy.
From the opening chords of “Fireflies,” you’ll feel as if you’re sitting around with the band at a campfire. Just shooting the $h!t, reminiscing, enjoying a cold beverage, watching nature’s light show provided by the fireflies. You are transported there immediately and you won’t want to leave. Wrapped in warm melodies, “Fireflies,” sets the course for your summer soundtrack. (more…)
There are two types of shows that I LIVE for as a journalist and photographer. The first is a hometown show. There’s absolutely nothing like the energy of seeing folks come home to a sea of appreciation. The second, and the category that this show falls in, is when an artist that I’ve previously witnessed on a small stage returns to that same fanfare of a hometown show. It’s a thing of beauty and it’s why I knew I had to cover this show.
See, back in 2019, before the dreaded c-word, I witnessed a young lady on a small stage in the front yard of one of my favorite families on this planet. That would be the Roberts from good ole Ross’ Creek. If you don’t know the family, until the pandemic, they hosted Kickin’ It On The Creek. Morgan’s performance was a favorite for a multitude of reasons. Number one being just how much Morgan performing meant to Kelli Roberts. Seeing Kelli pull up a chair on the side of that stage warmed my heart like few things have in my lifetime.
That hot September, I saw a Morgan Wade that was still in her protective shell. She was hesitant to talk a lot, somewhat ashamed of her Virginia accent, until she heard all of us talk and she knew she was fine. Lol Morgan hid behind her sunglasses for that performance. She was a young lady that had all the tools she needed to succeed, but she was uncertain how the world would react to her and her music. (more…)
Have you ever heard a song or artist that you immediately knew where they’re from and what to expect? It’s not all that common, but when it happens, I often find there’s an unusually deep connection with that song or artist moving forward. It’s like they allow you to know who they are immediately. There’s no digging around, trying to figure them out. What you see, or in this case, what you hear, is exactly what you get. It’s those artists that I find incredibly refreshing, and endearing.
The Local Honeys give you that immediate introduction. With their new self-titled release on La Honda Records, these two ladies have embodied the history, the people, the music, the dialect, the kindness, the love, and the beauty of what it means to be a Kentuckian. When you push play, you feel at home, immediately.
**Photo taken at my first Local Honeys show back in 2017**
That feeling was no accident. As the first two women to graduate from Morehead University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Traditional Music Degree, Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs set a course to honor the traditional music that has been created here in Kentucky. As you’ll soon hear, that mission is accomplished, but with a twist. You can call this album a straight-up bluegrass album, but it’s much, much more. These ladies have struck a balance of traditional bluegrass that has an ever-expanding sound. You’ll hear banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, drums, an organ, and even a trumpet. Yes, you read that correctly, a trumpet.
Linda Jean and Montana have been on this trajectory for several years, and since their beginnings as a duo, one very important man has been a constant supporter, Professor Jesse Wells at Morehead University. There’s another reason that name may sound familiar, he’s also a member of The Foodstamps. The backing band of Mr. Tyler Childers. Jesse’s familiarity, knowledge, and unbelievable skill made him the perfect co-producer for this project. As a mentor, he’s almost an honorary Honey. His familiarity with The Honeys music and goals shine through like a mid-day’s Summer sun.
It’s rare for a music “scene” or community to produce an artist that gains notoriety on a national or international level. With every passing day, I find Kentucky housing another artist ready to take the baton and run alongside those that have “made it.”
Some would say that our Commonwealth possesses an uncommon wealth of talent. I’d be one of those folks, and if you’ll allow me, I’d like to shine a little light on a young lady that I believe in wholeheartedly. If you’re a reader here at Capture Kentucky, then Sydney Adams is not a new artist to you. If this is your first time here or hearing about Sydney, welcome. Get comfortable and help me celebrate that aforementioned uncommon wealth.
Sydney Adams calls Corbin, Kentucky home. She’s drawn comparisons to some of the most iconic voices you’ve ever heard. I’ve even been guilty of tossing out that praise of comparison myself, but today, let’s focus on what makes Sydney, well, Sydney. After all, that’s what separates the big dogs from the rest of the pack.
First and foremost, Sydney refuses to compromise who she is as an artist and has used her God-given talents to carve out her own path. And by golly, that ain’t easy to do! Sydney is unrelenting and knows exactly who she is, and more importantly, who she wants to be. In a world of Kardashians, Sydney wants to be Sydney and I respect the hell out of her for that, and you should too. I feel this EP is a shining example of that determination and her character.
Kentucky is bountiful when it comes to singer-songwriters these days. It’s kinda embarrassing to be honest, but we’ll sure as heck enjoy the ride while we can.
Today, I want to focus our little spotlight on one of the youngest, but brightest rising stars in Larah Helayne. Larah is an inspiration in many ways, and the future is a very bright one that I’ll be watching for a very long time.
Photo By Erica Chambers
So allow me to introduce you to Larah for a bit. Larah hails from the home of ‘Court Days’ which is a festival that takes place every year in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. The Whirlin’ Sterlin’ as it’s often referred to. Helayne is a strong voice within the LBGTQ+ community. Identifying as non-binary, Larah is blazing a path that is dubbed as they lovingly describe as “Queer Country: for the adolescent and adventurous.” So it’s no coincidence that Larah is releasing this sophomore EP during Pride Month. Yet another wink and nudge that Larah knows where they want their heart and full attention to be. Helayne recently dropped out of the University of Kentucky to pursue music full-time. A move that could become a truly defining moment in Larah’s career.
Lexington, KY – June 3, 2022 – Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs, better known as the beloved Kentuckian duo, The Local Honeys, have a gifted way with words—particularly the playful colloquialisms and regional idiosyncrasies from their home in the Bluegrass State—that simultaneously connects the past and present, old and new. They bind stories with warm vernacular that makes those in-the-know feel warm and welcome and those not, well, flat out curious to hear more. On Wednesday, DittyTV premiered The Local Honeys’ newest “Better Than I Deserve” from their upcoming self-titled album (out July 15th via La Honda Records), of which the title itself was an everyday motto of Hobbs’s Papaw; a positive answer for the oft-asked question, “How are you doing?” A moody two-step, “Better Than I Deserve” tells the story of Montana’s grandfather who was an orphan, a U.S. naval pilot, and a war survivor. “‘Better than I deserve’ was his motto in life and carried him through many hardships,” says Hobbs, who built the whole song around his iconic informal greeting.
Fans can pre-order or pre-save The Local Honeys ahead of its July 15th release at this link.
Their first release on La Honda Records (Colter Wall, Riddy Arman, Vincent Neil Emerson), The Local Honeys features ten winsome vignettes of rural Kentucky, conjuring 90’s alternatives sounds with hillbilly Radiohead lilts, soaring above layers of deep grooves and rich tones masterfully curated by longtime mentor Jesse Wells, a GRAMMY-nominated producer, musician (currently a member of Tyler Childers’ band The Food Stamps), and Assistant Director at the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State.
Hey y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to catch a show and bring you in-depth coverage, so for my first article in months, I chose a show that features one of my favorite bands, in Black Stone Cherry, (well it would’ve been anyhow) and the fine folks in 3 Doors Down at The Barnyard in Sharpsburg, Kentucky.
Unfortunately, COVID reared it’s ugly head and the fellas in Black Stone Cherry were forced to cancel several shows. Believe me when I say this, missing a show in their home state is just as heartbreaking to them, as it is to all of us. Their health is what matters most though. So send the folks some love, prayers, and good vibes.
Now you may remember our coverage of the very first show to be held at The Barnyard. (You can find that coverage here.) At that time, the main pavilion wasn’t complete like it is now. That day, we saw Kentuckians George Molton AND Tyler Booth on a removable stage back in 2021. They were support for Drew Parker and Sawyer Brown. Since that day, much has changed at The Barnyard.
The main pavilion is now finished and the traffic flow is much improved, as it’s a bit more spread out now. If you were able to snag tickets for a seat under the roof though, you were absolutely golden. Lawn access is also available for most shows, but as the Kentucky heat keeps creeping up higher and higher, you’re better off getting out of the sun. It may cost ya few more bucks, but I assure ya, it’s worth it.