It’s been a bit since I’ve written anything about the folks in Sundy Best. I was honored to photograph a show way back in 2014 at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville. The guys were ramping up and riding an incredible high at that time, but unfortunately, the band would come to an end back in 2018.
The year 2020 can kiss my a$$, and up until Saturday night, 2021 could kiss it as well. There, I said it. Let’s just lay it to rest and focus on the future.
As the weather begins to warm up, the hope is that the musical opportunities do so as well. That’s what drug me out of hibernation, and after receiving my 2nd vaccination shot, I’ve been waiting patiently on an opportunity to jump back in here at Capture Kentucky. Now is not only the right time, but it’s also the right show.
If you’re new to the band or the site, allow me introduce ya. Back in 2017, I heard the first notes from a fairly new band that shook me to my core. That band was Magnolia Boulevard. (more…)
Eric Bolander has officially released the music video for “Cold Men” — chronicling the Blackjewel Miners protests in Harlan County, Kentucky in response to owed back pay.
This new single, produced by regular Bolander collaborator Duane Lundy (Sturgill Simpson, Ringo Starr) in Lexington, Kentucky, is a natural transition in Bolander’s catalog as a deeply-emotional protest song in an ever-tumultuous world. While it is based in the realities of a specific event, it serves as a cathartic microcosm of the pain so many have felt in the past year.
You might have seen The Local Honeys open for Colter Wall or Tyler Childers. If not and you’re behind, start with the double-side single they released today on La Honda Records. “Way down in the hole where he earns his pay, it’s dark and unforgiving. Digging this coal and digging his grave, he’s dying to make a living.” Talk about direct, “Dying To Make A Living,” along with its double-single counterpart “Octavia Triangle,” pulls no punches in painting a grim, realistic picture of life lived working underground. Sonically, this double-single from The Local Honeys represents two sides of old-time music— one led by phase-shifted electric guitar and the other by clawhammer banjo, both a beautiful complement of the other. Both tracks were released today via La Honda Records (home of Colter Wall, Vincent Neil Emerson) and can be purchased or streamed right here. Hear more about the origin of “Dying To Make A Living” and “Octavia Triangle” from The Local Honeys in this behind the scenes video.
In Their Own Words: “‘Dying to Make A Living’ is a song we first heard a few years ago from Rich & the Po’ Folks at the Seedtime on the Cumberland festival in Letcher Co., Kentucky. They were performing a traditional adaptation of the song, written in 2006, by WV Hill and AJ Mullins of the band Foddershock in Southwest Virginia. The song is a prime example of the continued collaborative nature within this region. Traditional music is an evolving art form, living and breathing in generations as they come and go. This song is an honest and brutal commentary of the working men and women dying to make a living at the expense of their bodies to power the world outside of Appalachia.”
Kentucky music is where it’s at. Even during a pandemic, Kentuckians keep cranking out music that somehow, someway, continues to change the musical landscape. Look no further than the bluegrass release from Sturgill Simpson that debuted at number one on the Billboard Charts, or even the politically enlightened release from Tyler Childers. Chris Stapleton is slowly introducing the world to his next release as well. So there is no shortage of powerful Kentucky voices making the world a better place.
I present to you now, yet another powerful Kentucky voice, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Allow me to make that trio of Southeastern Kentuckians into a quartet for ya by introducing you to Johnson County native, Sean Whiting. Whiting’s voice is as powerful as the diesels he once drove for a living and you’re gonna walk away from this article as a fan. (more…)
I’ve been blessed to cover an amazing array of bands and artists over the last eight years or so. I’ve also worked with just as many as a talent buyer. As I look back at the body of my work, there is one band that has always been a constant. That band is Edmonton, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry.
From booking shows, to creating graphics and posters, to covering the band on just about every Kentucky home show, I’ve given a lot to “fight the good fight” for these fellas. There’s a reason for that, and it’s likely not what you’re thinking.
The obvious answer is their music. Yet, while that’s certainly a large contributing factor, it’s their collective character that continues to compel me to focus on the band. I have never met a fan, a fellow musician, a publicist, a promoter anyone say a bad word about the fellas in Black Stone Cherry.
Do I love their music? Absolutely. Am I blinded by our friendship? I certainly don’t think so. In fact, our friendship puts them under an even bigger microscope than most. I’ve likely seen upwards of 30 shows over the years. Ya know what? I’m yet to see a show that has disappointed. That’s not something I can say about very many bands or artists. (more…)
Let’s face it, 2020 and COVID can collectively kiss all of our a$$es. Since I turned 21, live music has been a staple in my life and something that has been able to make my soul smile. Live music is my antidepressant. 2020 has largely robbed me of that peace. But on Sunday, it was time to return to the Mother Church of Kentucky Music, The Burl.
Make no mistake, COVID still had it’s hands in the experience, but The Burl has adapted quite well and won’t go down without a fight. Tables of six were sold for a show held in the parking lot of the Burl. Drinks and food could be ordered on your smartphone and you were allowed to be mask free, but only at your table. Social distancing was in full effect and thankfully the weather decided to be agreeable for once.
As for the parking lot show idea, The Burl is doing it right. Since they own the Arcade and now serve food, their corner of Lexington has once again reclaimed their undisputed title of the best venue to see a show. With tables of six spaced evenly on the parking lot, I felt safe from the dangers of COVID. Well, as safe as I could. I still had to sneak around folks to snag y’all some photos. Which, by the way, was something that I have missed way more than I ever dreamed.
Lexington, Kentucky’s Magnolia Boulevard Released Their Debut EP, ‘New Illusion’ on August 8th. Join us as we introduce you to the band while we show ya some of the reasons that Magnolia Boulevard should be on your radar.
I’ve been involved in music for a very long time. I’ve seen many careers blossom, and many more fizzle out. I’m a bit jaded at times because of that, BUT when I hear a song or an artist that immediately stands the hairs up on my neck and arms, I know my gut is telling me something. The first notes that I heard from Magnolia Boulevard did that and I’ve been a fan ever since. (more…)
Cincinnati, OH – For many Kentuckians, the name Arlo McKinley is immediately recognized as a stellar songwriter that is able to deliver like few others can even imagine. Arlo’s transparency is his secret weapon and his ability to be brutally honest is the reason why so many relate to his stories.
If you aren’t familiar with Arlo or his music, then allow me to introduce you to your new favorite artist. I am not kidding.
When you speak of an artist that has “paid their dues,” Arlo is the perfect embodiment of that sentiment. McKinley is a Cincinnati native that has made his own way. He’s played nearly every imaginable venue from Cincinnati to Huntington to Lexington to Nashville. He’s even been involved in several shows that Capture Kentucky has been a part of.
I was asked to review the new Nicholas Jamerson album recently. I, of course, said yes. As I found myself listening, I kept thinking about just how different the music that Nicholas is creating now, is from his past successes with Sundy Best. Sure Nicholas has released albums since those days, but in my humble opinion, those albums were the necessary tool that he used to find his true musical identity. That identity is still deeply rooted in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, but from a musical standpoint, Nicholas has evolved into an intricate songwriter. A passionate storyteller. A gifted poet. A true Kentucky treasure.
*Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Sarah Cahill
Jamerson has grown into an artist that much prefers the listener’s concentration over their affections. Nicholas has always had an incredible knack of melding lyrics and melodies into ear candy, but his voice now has more important things to convey. That’s why grabbing the listeners’ ear is much more crucial on this trip around the sun.
Equipped with the wisdom gained from living life, and the will to make the choice to take a gamble on himself, at least in my humble opinion, has paid off in spades. I was a fan of Nicholas before I was a friend, and his evolution since Capture Kentucky came to be, has been one of my favorite journeys to watch and I feel what Jamerson has found is more genuine and true to himself than any other work so far.
With his new release ‘The Wild Frontier’, out today, April 20th, Jamerson has set his sights on taking his music to the next level. Unfortunately for him and all of us, COVID-19 has become an unwanted hurdle but his determination is still unwavering and his belief in his creation is strong, as it damn well should be. Which is why I’m jumping back into Capture Kentucky for this article. The world needs this album and if my tiny voice can help Nicholas deliver it, I’m all in.