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…)
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.
With several Kentuckians currently occupying spots on most any music chart you look at, one would have to agree that Kentucky holds an embarrassment of riches within her musical arms. The love and support of her music family finds a new way to impress me on a daily basis.
So I want to re-introduce you to a young man that is about to make his own push and hopefully climbs his way up a few of those charts himself. Grayson Jenkins may or may not be a new name to you, either way you’re gonna find something you’ll like on ‘Turning Tides.’ That’s the brand new album from Mr. Jenkins, which drops everywhere on August 27th. (more…)
The Kentucky music community is flourishing once again and, we are just beginning to see the fruits of the labors put in during the pandemic. Folks like Sean Whiting and Cole Chaney are riding high on the waves of their releases. While we’re patiently awaiting new albums from folks like The Local Honeys and Grayson Jenkins. That’s a fairly diverse list, but I’m going toss someone else into the ring for y’all.
Shelby Lore is a young fella from Carter City. His style is difficult to pinpoint, but that’s by design. And while a lot of folks would suggest an artist “pick a lane” and stay in it, I’d argue the opposite. I really enjoy when an artist spreads their wings a bit. I think it’s a deeper look into who they are as an artist and something that I wish more folks embraced.
Swift Silver is likely a new name to many of our readers, but quite a few of you will the know the two musicians at it’s core. Anna Kline and John Looney, formerly known as Grits and Soul, have joined forces once again to bring you music that has been 10 years in the making.
The first time that I experienced the powerful duo perform together was at the very first Sweet Thing Jamboree back in early 2019. Anna’s vocal control was, is, and likely will be one of the best around. She was captivating. Plain and simple. (more…)
I’m a firm believer that great music will find you if you’re willing to listen. In the case of Cole Chaney, I heard his name long before I ever heard a song. The music community that I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of was shouting his name from seemingly every rooftop. Several folks went out of their way to make sure Chaney was on my radar.
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…)