Not all music festivals are created equally, and to prove my point, let’s take a quick look at my experience at Festival of the Red (FOTR) over the weekend. Contributing to Capture Kentucky has helped me discover a lot of local artists that I may not have had an opportunity to see or hear otherwise. I enjoy photography, and I’ll admit I’m a much better photographer than writer, so I’m going to give you an overview of some cool moments, and a couple of discoveries of artists that I hadn’t heard before Festival of the Red ( Friday – Aaron Boyd and Saturday – Cole Chaney).
Let’s set the scene for ya. Festival of the Red takes place at the Natural Bridge Campground in good ole Slade, Kentucky. The Festival was created by Mr. L.G. Richardson. He obviously didn’t do it all by himself, but I wanted to give him a shout-out, as he and his staff were very kind to all of the media there to cover the event. That’s not always the case, unfortunately.
My Friday began with the Matt Green Band. I apologize for missing the three earlier artists, had to work half a shift at the day job.
But in between Matt Green and Josh Morningstar (Friday’s closing act), there was some serious Kentucky talent on display! Talent that included Sydney Adams, Jen Richardson & Bourbon Branch, and Aaron Boyd and that’s not saying anything negative about the other performers on Friday, these three are standing out in my mind today… ask me tomorrow and I would probably add everybody else from Friday to this list!
Closing out this amazing day of music is the incredible singer/songwriter Josh Morningstar. If you’re a Cody Jinks fan you are probably familiar with some of Morningstar’s songwriting “It Must Be The Whiskey”, “It Don’t Rain In California” and “The Plea” just to name a few songs. As was the case on both days of Festival of The Red, the music went on well after midnight. Josh Morningstar was still going strong as I made my way back to my tent for the night.
**Be sure and catch my coverage of Saturday below the photo galleries.**
Brandon Fulson, Ethan Wayne, and Brandon Martin:
Jen Richardson & Bourbon Branch:
Saturday was a hot one. Not just the weather either, I’m surprised the stage wasn’t burned down by the end of the night as the music matched the intensity of the heat (see Sean Whiting & The Big Badness – my word, they tried to burn the stage down)!!
The music started Saturday morning at 11 am with a singer, songwriter round, but my day started a little earlier than that. My day started off discussing music, music festivals and all things Kentucky music with my campground neighbors Ken (from Bourbon Branch (they played Friday but Ken hung around Saturday to catch all the great bands)) and Tim Parks (FOTR staff). This is a good way to start off a Saturday, who I’m I kidding… that’s a good way to start of any day!
Not only was Saturday hot (and believe me it was HOT!) but it saw the return of several old friends and hugs! I don’t think I’d been on the receiving end of so many hugs since I was at my mom’s house this past April when all three of my brothers came to visit! Among those old friends that I mentioned were Bek & The Starlight Revue, Luna & The Mountain Jets, Laid Back Country Picker, Chelsea Nolan, Sean Whiting & The Big Badness and Nicholas Jamerson. There were some new friends, well new to me anyway, like the Capture Kentucky hat-wearing Cole Chaney, Clarke Sexton and Cody Lee Meece. These three along with everyone mentioned previously and those not mentioned put on a great Saturday here at Festival of The Red. A Saturday that was closed out by Nicholas Jamerson & the Morning Jays with Jobi Jamerson, I say Saturday, it was well into Sunday morning before they brought the 2021 version of Festival Of The Red to a close!
All in all, Festival of the Red was a really good time. It seemed to run smoothly and most of, if not all of the artists hung around after they played. It just felt like home and I hope they’ll have me back again next go around.
Jory Bowling, Dave Shoemaker, W.D. Miller:
Bek & The Starlight Revue:
Cody Lee Meece:
Luna & The Mountain Jets:
Laid Back Country Picker:
Sean Whiting & The Big Badness:
Nicholas Jamerson & The Morning Jays With Jobi Jamerson: