The past year has seen several Kentuckians release some of our favorite music yet. The meteoric rise of Tyler Childers and the return of Sturgill Simpson were definite bright spots, but the introduction of several new artists make this a list that we’re extremely proud to present to you.
Please note that this isn’t a comprehensive list of every Kentucky artist that released music in 2019, this is just an overall summary of some of our favorites. Also, the music included below is in no particular order, we love ’em all equally, and hopefully you will as well!
We put together a Spotify playlist to accompany the article. Hope you enjoy!
We’ll start the list with The Local Honeys. These lovely ladies delivered ‘The Gospel’ late into 2019, but the music they create and perform will forever be timeless. We dove a bit deeper in our review here. Check out their version of the Don Rogers penned “He Split The First Church Of God”.
Speaking of Don Rogers, he writes songs that pull no punches. If truth in storytelling is your thing, Don will hit ya right in the sweet spot. He hasn’t released his new album digitally yet, but you can read our review of ‘This Ain’t My Generation’ here, and while you’re at it, you can message him and buy it on Facebook here.
We have been screaming from every rooftop about Johnny Conqueroo for a long time. This year, they dropped a new EP on us titled ‘Takin It Easy’ and as usual, these fellas know how to keep ya on your toes. We dig in a little deeper in our review here. Check out “Calculations” below.
Sydney Adams was one of our favorite artists that debuted in 2019. Sydney brings the traditional sounds of say Loretta Lynn and mashes it with the sassy side of a Miranda Lambert. “Bringing Her Memory Home” is, in my opinion, one of the best songs of 2019 period. You can check out a full review here.
Grayson Jenkins is a young man that has came a very long way since Capture Kentucky began. He gave us his best release to date in ‘Cowboy Dream’ and one worth your ear. We discuss ‘Cowboy Dream’ a bit more in-depth here.
Dillon Carmichael snuck up on us in 2019. He dropped ‘I Do For You’ in October through Riser House Records. A five song EP that is the perfect snapshot of who Dillon is!
Ian Noe established himself as one of the greatest storytellers that Kentucky has ever birthed. With ‘Between The Country’, Noe invites us in and shows us the good, the bad, and the ugly of being an Appalachian.
I spent a lot of time with Ian’s album apparently and I have no shame about that!
Sturgill Simpson released the most Sturgill Simpson album yet. He did so with an ever-present middle finger to the Nashville suits. ‘Sound & Fury’ is a psychedelic, fuzzed-out rock and roll record that has it’s songs serve as the soundtrack to the accompanying anime film on Netflix.
Jericho Woods are a band that simply never releases a bad song or album. Have they ever written a bad song? Absolutely, but you’ll never hear it. The band dropped not one, but two albums in 2019. ‘One Perfect Sound’ and ‘Fare Thee Well’, pick up both, you won’t be disappointed.
Fun fact for ya; Kyle Daniel was once a member of Jericho Woods. Kyle released his ‘What’s There To Say’ in 2019. Check out our personal favorite track, “God Bless America (Damn Rock And Roll).
Eric Bolander is simply a great dude. Your life is simply better with Eric in it. So getcha a little Bolander by snagging his album ‘The Wind’ and we’ll see ya at a show soon after!
Kelsey Waldon received, what I feel, was the best compliment any artist could ever hope for when Mr. John Prine was asked what he thought about Kelsey. His answer? “I Believe Her.” I bet you will too.
If Bedford existed in 1975, their album ‘A Trip Into The Sun’ would probably have won multiple Grammy’s. A classic rock vibe with youthful energy and hellacious songwriting checked all of our boxes.
Lylak is a band that really snuck up on me personally. I had no idea what to expect with the band, so I went into listening to ‘Leave It To Light’ with unassuming expectations. What I heard was, is and always will be stunningly beautiful. Take “Beggar” for a test drive and you’ll totally fall in love.
There isn’t a bigger or more powerful voice than Sean Whiting’s. His latest album came with, and is also titled, ‘High Expectations.” Hit play on “Just The Same” you’ll get it immediately.
Louisville’s Knocked Loose dropped ‘A Different Shade Of Blue’ to crtical acclaim. My metal days are behind me now, but I certainly can appreciate their talent. Contributor Clinton Montgomery gave us his take here. Calling the album a brutal masterpiece.
After his departure from The Wooks, I hoped that we hadn’t heard the last from Arthur Hancock. Thankfully, Arthur gave us one of the most fun albums of 2019. ‘Alive At Hillbilly Central’ which features “Wolfpen Branch”. A song written solely about the home of Kickin It On The Creek.
Tiffany Williams released her debut EP and I was absolutely blown away by ‘When You Go’. Tiffany’s brilliance is in her melodies. She keeps the music simple, which allows her tone and melodies draw you in. ‘When You Go’ is basically an audio version of a nice warm hug. Check out the review here. My pick is “When I’m Gone.”
Western Kentuckian Clayton Crowder dropped an EP titled ‘Bones’, which only has three songs, but it definitely gets five stars. “Hurricane” is my jam.
Our buds in Black Stone Cherry dropped their second Blues tribute album titled ‘Black To Blues 2′. This one is one heavy six-pack. These guys are some of the best in the business, so let ’em treat ya to some Black Stone Cherrified blues classics.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the latest album from Mr. Josh Nolan. Josh gave us ‘Kind Heart To Follow’ back in May and it is still in heavy rotation for me. If you like what you hear below, you can read our full review here.
Several artists released singles that we chose to include, so we’ll call em honorable mentions and just drop a link to listen to each.
Hopefully you found an artist or band above that you can get behind and support their artistic pursuits. Kentucky is a very special place right now. So join us as we try to #BeTheFuel needed to help these folks reach the next level in their careers.