Although Senora loves to experiment with different sounds and genres, everything always comes back to her native Eastern Kentucky in the end. One of six children, she grew up playing in the woods, going hunting or fishing with her four brothers, identifying wildflowers and their uses, and says she always felt “comforted by the hills, calmed by being outside.” In fact, Senora says she feels sorry for people who are disconnected from nature. “We need it,” she says. Her music has also been influenced by the sounds of the outdoors. “The auditory boundaries are endless. You’ll hear frequencies in the hills right before the sun goes down that you can't make up on your own with a synthesizer,” she says. “Certain birds and little yipping foxes, bobcats, pitches of bugs, there's just so much to be inspired by.”
Senora feels a duty as someone from rural Appalachia to honor the culture’s musical tradition while also expanding notions of what it must be.
After a multi-year hiatus, Lexington, Kentucky-based post-punk Southern gothic rockers, Ancient Warfare, are at last emerging from hibernation. With new songs and a new direction in hand, the band’s core of Echo Woxihara (vocals, guitars) and Emily Woxihara (drums, vocals) will bring their trademark operatic and nostalgic soundscapes, hushed harmony vocals, and austere, tube-driven waves of sound back to the stage this year.
Englishman is the musical work of Kentuckian Andrew Russell English, supported and transformed with help from longtime friends and collaborators with membership in The Fanged Robot, Ancient Warfare, The Scourge of the Sea, Idiot Glee, and many other projects far and wide. Englishman wonders what we’re here for and how we can best spend our time, and performs songs to try to make the wandering less lonesome.
Mighty Mystic is considered as one of the leaders in the U.S. Reggae scene and labeled by many as one of the more prolific artists to develop outside of Jamaica. He has gripped the scene with ferocious conviction and an uncanny ambition worthy to be mentioned among the greats. He has gone from being a fan of reggae music to being a contributor to the art. Mighty Mystic came on the scene in 2006 after scoring his first international hit with the song “Riding on the Clouds.” However, it wasn’t until the release of his first album “Wake up the World” (2010) that he became a household name. “Wake up the World” boasted several standouts, such as “Revolution,” “Riding on the Clouds,” “Original Love,” and “Slipped Away” with appearances from reggae icon Shaggy and roots rocker Lutan Fyah. Mystic continues to wake up the world with his high energy, message driven brand of reggae music which he emphatically calls “HARD ROOTS.” It is this unique spin on classic reggae blended with Hip Hop & Rock that has catapulted him to the forefront of today’s Reggae Revival. Mighty Mystic is also the younger brother of current Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. When asked, does being the brother of Prime Minister Holness have any impact on your music? Mystic simply says “Andrew has a job to do and so do I, impact or not we both have our own mission to complete”.
Rob Dread was introduced to Reggae music in the late 80’s by Ciam Carr while the two them covered bass and guitar in the international west African tour band “The Riddem Afrique” and was highly influenced by The Ark Band, Identity and The Ras Bonghi All Stars as well as Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, 3rd World, Aswad, Steel Pulse, The Abyssinians, and the Ethiopians. Being a descendant of Ethiopia and Washitaw, reggae music and its way of soothing the soul touched Rob in a manner that could not be denied. It felt like being at home. This is the music that can and will unite the family. “The Whole of We”. The family being all of the people. In 1995 Rob then founded “The Dub Enforcement Agency” with Doctah X and started the reggae series at Atomic Cafe in Lexington, KY. which ran until 2016 when the venue closed its doors due to the owner's retirement. The KMA (Kindread Music Association) was formed in 1997 when Rob and Doctah X decided to expand in different directions. Rob Dread and the KMA did an extensive tour of the midwest as well as various Indigenous Nations throughout the region...
Club Dub is Steve Cherry-bass, Willie Eames- guitar & vocals, David Farris-drums. The band formed at the dawn of the 21st Century before the AI overlord wars. They weave in and out between hybrid styles of early Jamaican Dub, late-60’s/early 70’s Funk & Soul while putting it under a a psychedelic lens.
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Two time BMA nominee's The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band are the greatest front-porch blues band in the world. They are led by Reverend Peyton, who most consider to be the premier finger picker playing today. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy, country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Now The Big Damn Band is back with a new record "Dance Songs For Hard Times" that debuted at #1 on the Billboard and iTunes Blues Charts.
Mama Said String Band
Delivering a refreshing reinvention of sounds once forgotten through their own brand of grassroots, Mama Said String Band has been making an impact on the Bluegrass Scene & beyond since their debut in 2016. Based out of Louisville Kentucky, Mama Said String Band is a four-piece collection of songwriters & players, David O’Neal, Katie “Didit” Caudill, Kaitlen Farmer, and Kris Potts. Each member brings a unique perspective with backgrounds spanning multiple cultures, genres, and styles. Together they draw influences from Bluegrass, Folk and Americana while focusing on vocal harmonies and contemporary instrumentation to build an eclectic, eurythmic melody and tactfully delivered message.
The New Beckham County Ramblers
The New Beckham County Ramblers were founded in 2016 in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Morehead Kentucky. Drawing influence from old-time music, bluegrass, and delta blues The New Beckham County Ramblers do not stray far from their upbringing in Kentucky, and southern Ohio. *
Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle
This four-piece moves from fast-paced, foot-stomping anthems to harmony-laden ballads and traditional dirges of spirit and labor. “The group started around the love of music that moves you,” says drummer/vocalist and band spokesman, Casey Campbell. “The music accompanies the story; and sometimes the music is the story by which we can all connect to one another.”
With the release of their 2019 album, Stranger in the Alps [the group strengthened] their original music portfolio while paying homage to select tunes that have had lasting impact on the band.
Abe Partridge is a heralded musician, singer/songwriter, visual artist, and podcaster based in Mobile, Alabama... Since the release of his debut, Partridge has toured relentlessly, including several tours of the Netherlands and the U.K. developing a reputation for moving, passionate, and sometimes comedic, performances at prestigious songwriter festivals and a regular at Nashville’s Bluebird Café. He has performed on the syndicated radio programs, Mountain Stage and Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour. Most recently, Partridge and co-producer Ferrill Gibbs released the Alabama Astronaut podcast, where they explore songs previously undocumented at churches in Appalachia.
Native to the Hocking Hills of Ohio, Darrin Hacquard takes his appreciation of folk lore traditions and the truth of country music to deliver authentic relatable life experiences through his song writing.
Darrin Hacquard writes songs that connect. He’s funny, tortured, melancholy, and joyous. Sometimes he’s all of these at once. It’s an uncanny gift for empathy. He can see characters for not just what they are, but what they hope to be. His sonic landscapes are as diverse as the lyrical subjects that populate his songs. From Old Time, to Psyche-Rock, to Country, to Spaghetti Western, Darrin builds stories in a way that only he can, and tells them with unflinching vision and kindness.
With a name that hints at color and nature, Lylak makes a point to play with heart and leave the stage a bit more beautiful than they found it.Interweaving vocals, from Gideon Maki (vox/guitar) and Elizabeth Varnado (vox/violin/guitar), present approachable lyrics which explore the lighter and darker aspects of life and love, memory and friendship.Dynamic guitar licks catch the ear while swelling synths, moody violin, and intricate rhythms (Paul Varnado, bass/synth; Jesse Hornbeak, drums) color the background.
Quiet Hollers formed in Louisville around singer-songwriter Shadwick Wilde. Their alt. country-styled debut, I Am the Morning, came in 2013, spawning a cult following via some critical praise, allowing the band to tour heavily, where changes in personnel and musical direction saw the band exploring territory beyond their beginnings.
Scott Whiddon is a musician, writer, and teacher living in Lexington KY. Along with playing bass for Letters of Acceptance, he's shared stages with artists ranging from Athens GA indie legends Elf Power to NPR/Pitchfork fave Lucy Dacus. From 2012-2016, Scott served as music director for the Harry Dean Stanton Fest while developing grant-supported film scores for Richard Knox Robinson (Smithsonian/National Geographic). His new solo album, the Best of Intentions, was produced by J Tom Hnatow and is set for release in Spring 2023.
& No Rulez Banda
Ours is Funky, Romantic, Hot, Dancing, Happy Feet Music!
Distilled and bottled in Kentucky, the music of No Rulez Banda conjures the essence of the Amazon. This band blends a unique mix of salsa, jazz, and Latin flavor to form an amazing sound.
Let the rhythms of the wild sound go to your head and make your “happy feet” dance.
The Ark Band
The ARK Band is a St. Lucian reggae band based in Columbus, OH. Founded in 1987 by Terry and Eustace Bobb, (The St. Lucian Riddim Twins), The ARK Band has continually toured across the United States, Canada, and Jamaica, sharing its roots reggae, calypso and soca music.
Combining heavenly harmonies with tight, crisp, performances, this powerhouse of talent captures their audiences with their very first note. Hailing from Columbus, OH, THE ARK BAND combines original and cover compositions with classic and current reggae hits designed to entertain, educate and enlighten all types of people. THE ARK BAND continues to be a dynamic force on the American scene after three decades, their songs expressing the love, peace, togetherness and spirituality needed in our world today!
Wayne was a renaissance man. Curiousity and good hand-eye coordination are a deadly combination. He was an electrician, a locksmith, a mechanic, a coal miner, a guitarist, and a singer, but the roles that took the highest priority in his life were husband, father, brother, and son. He approached life with a laughable optimism and proved over time he was right. He made sure to be my earliest memory and I have consulted him, wherever he is, with every major decision in my life. Over the years, I've met many strangers who knew him. Their tall tale is the same as those I've heard before. He was a legendary man with more soul than his body could hold.
KITH & KIN
Kith & Kin explore the overlap between soulful music from across cultures. The band is comprised of Eli Utteroff on bass, Paul Deatherage on drums, and Ross Whitaker on guitar.
“What a righteous time to be alive / right here with one another,” sings Magnolia Boulevard’s Maggie Noelle roughly a minute into the joyous and jaunty “Ride.” The words are ostensibly about a budding relationship between two individuals, but Noelle could just as easily be referencing the singular and special connection that exists between her and her Magnolia Boulevard bandmates—guitarist Gregg Erwin, keyboardist Ryan Allen, bassist John Roberts, and the quintet’s latest addition, drummer Chad “The Beard” Gravitt—or, as likely, their bond with the fans that have been packing clubs in the band’s hometown of Lexington, Kentucky and beyond to shimmy, shout, and dance to the music.
The Jenkins Twins
(aka Trevor and Trenton Jenkins) have worked for years to craft a sound that seats them squarely on the cutting edge of modern country, pioneering a sort of cosmic Americana that nods to contemporary indie without turning their nose up to golden-age pioneers like The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison.*
the local honeys
Their debut album, Little Girls Acting Like Men, propelled them on tours through the United States and Europe with Colter Wall. Soon, they found themselves focal points of traditional music festivals, becoming a headline draw throughout the UK almost instantly.
Since then their specific sound of Appalachian music has grown, along with a fan base of music enthusiasts and proactive culture. A tour with Tyler Childers in early 2020 was followed up by a fun, yet controversial album The Gospel. With two records at their back, The Local Honeys set a standard for the preservation of old-time, hillbilly music, and the contemporary influences that inspire their songwriting. The Local Honeys have true charisma, and on stage, there’s no doubt they are headline artists.
From the hills of eastern Kentucky, Beattyville-native and singer-songwriter, Derek Spencer found a passion for songs, like so many other Appalachian youths, in church - at his mother's side singing from the Sunday hymnal. Embodying the purest form of folk tradition, Spencer is ultimately a storyteller. His songs and stories are filled with the characters and conflicts so familiar to Appalachian culture such as faith, doubt, damnation and redemption - but never without the one element that makes art universal - humanity.
Over the last two decades, Kentuckian Ben Sollee has distinguished himself as multi-faceted creative, blurring the lines between music, tech, and experiential design. As a cellist, songwriter, and storyteller he has toured the globe, sometimes by bicycle, performing his original music. As a composer he has created music for stage, screen, and virtual reality apps earning an Emmy Award for his 2018 score for Base Ballet. As a producer, he has curated hundreds of live events including experiences for the Speed Art Museum and Lincoln Center. Throughout it all, he has continued to advocate for people and the land by creating and curating experiences that grow a greater sense of togetherness.
Alma Gitana is a world music group in every sense of the word. The group’s core sound is deeply rooted in the flamenco sounds of the Andalucia region of Southern Spain. However, each member brings to the table his or her own musical background and experience. The result is a truly unique hybrid of musical genres that spans the spectrum from Arabic to Bluegrass. In this respect, the group’s name, which means “Gypsy Soul” in Spanish, fully embodies the collective vision and artistic efforts of each of its personnel. Remember, you don’t have to be a Gypsy to have a Gypsy soul!
Rakadu Dance Theatre
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Rakadu came together in October of 1998 under the direction of Teresa Tomb. Now, after more than 20 years, the troupe has expanded its repertoire to include other forms of dance and music through various teachers and theater techniques. Today, Rakadu Gypsy is best known for its rich musical diversity, highly explorative utilization of theater, and seamless improvisation. These qualities weave beautiful storylines in their pieces, which all exist in a unique presentation for consideration.
The Johnson Brothers
The Johnson Brothers are Bill Fairchild (bass) Jim Gleason (guitar) Dave Hamon (drums) Steve Pasquariello (guitar) Marty Walker (drums) Phil Simmons (keyboard) and Harold Young (keyboard). The group hit the ground running in 1994, and haven’t looked back. No matter the gig - whether it’s playing for the neighbors at a local bar, rockin' at a summer concert series, or orchestrating the occasional stage production - The Johnson Brothers love to give the audience a groovy, good time.
The Bats - comedy meets cabaret meets ...rock and roll! There have been many Bats over the band’s nearly 20 years performing. The current lineup features, founding member, Missy Johnston (vocals) along with Marilyn Robie (vocals) Susan Thomas (vocals) Kim Smith (vocals & guitar) Marianne Sherman (vocals & bass) Jim Gleason (vocals & stunt guitar) Harold Sherman (keyboards & alto sax) Craig Cornwell (drums). With superb musicianship, tight harmonies and sharp wit, they bring their audiences songs of love lost, weight gained, growing older, retail therapy and everything else life throws their way. Small or large stage, backyard party or laundromat, The Bats are sure to get faces smiling and feet moving.
Since their inception in late 2014 The Wooks have won the 2016 RockyGrass Band Competition, placed in the finals for the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, and were a 2017 IBMA Momentum Award Nominee. With CJ Cain (lead guitar) Harry Clark (mandolin) George Guthrie (banjo) and Allen Cooke (dobro) The Wooks parlay a love of the rich musical and storytelling traditions of Bluegrass music into a new, old sound that embraces both a string-music heritage, and rock ‘n roll, jam, and singer-songwriter influences. Live on stage, or through the speakers at home, the Kentucky based band delivers their signature sound, “...with improv-savvy interplay that endears the band to jam music fans and bluegrass traditionalists alike.” - Lexington Herald-Leader.
CMA Bluegrass Ensemble
The Central Music Academy is an arts enrichment program that has provided free musical learning opportunities for more than 1,000 financially disadvantaged kids since 2004. Offering lessons on many different instruments, including brass, woodwinds, bowed strings, percussion, guitar, voice, Bluegrass and Old Time instruments, and piano, CMA accepts students with any level of experience and tailors studies and material to student's individual needs. CMA's long-term aim is to strengthen the community by reaching out to one child at a time with the hope to see their students become well-rounded individuals who, even if they do not choose to make their career in music, maintain a lifelong passion for, and connection with, the arts.
Shawnthony Calypso started as a home recording project for noise/experimental/pop/techno around 2003. Since then it has morphed into a sing-song skate tinged twangy bar rock fight club. 100 songs and multiple member lineups later they're still cruising along. Front-man, Reid Small, says of his writing style I often quote Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo , or at least paraphrase 'There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.' Bad times write songs and it isn't until you move past those times that you can appreciate what a helpful tool song writing can be. It's like therapy. All that said most of my songs are about beer, my sons, skateboarding, Kentucky and wanting to be a cowboy.
Yellow Dog Jazz Band
The Yellow Dog Jazz Band is a New Orleans Jazz revivalist band, playing traditional Hot Jazz from as early as 1890 until as late as 1930. Lots of this music was written and performed by artists such as Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Sydney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, and others.
"It's just more of me. It's as simple as that. I was able to get deeper and you get another level of my heart and soul... ...When I started writing this record, I thought about how maybe the struggles I've had at times in my life... what I got was the most self-healing I've ever had through the creative process. My positive message to others became my own mantra... singing these songs repeatedly has given myself a message I need to hear when I sing them over and over again." Says Erika Wennerstrom of her solo debut, Sweet Unknown. Fans [of Heartless Bastards can rest] assured that what they've grown to love about Wennerstrom's music is still front-and-center. Her trademark vocals that NPR so aptly calls "warm yet gritty, throaty yet sweet, gigantic yet intimate" are that... times 10. And the bluesy, rock vibes that Relix describes as "smoky, late night [rock] that exists somewhere between Royal Trux and the Rolling Stones" has only gotten smokier and bluesier.
Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don't really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle's distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty. With Ringle on guitar and vocals, Nathan Crockett on violin and mandolin, Robby Cosenza on drums and J. Tom Hnatow on bass, and pedal steel, the band's most recent album Appreciation (recorded partially in Lexington's own Shangri-La Studios) creates a sound that Exclaim! hails as "beautiful" and "borderline orchestral." Diehard fans are going to find plenty to cherish on Appreciation.
The Ark Band
The ARK Band is a St. Lucian reggae band based in Columbus, OH. Founded in 1987 by Terry and Eustace Bobb, (The St. Lucian Riddim Twins), The ARK Band has continually toured across the United States, Canada, and Jamaica, sharing its roots reggae, calypso and soca music.Combining heavenly harmonies with tight, crisp, performances, this powerhouse of talent captures their audiences with their very first note. Hailing from Columbus, OH, THE ARK BAND combines original and cover compositions with classic and current reggae hits designed to entertain, educate and enlighten all types of people. THE ARK BAND continues to be a dynamic force on the American scene after three decades, their songs expressing the love, peace, togetherness and spirituality needed in our world today!
Beginning her musical pursuits at an early age, Lexington singer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Woxihara has become one of the area's most sought-after talents. Over her tenure as a musician Woxihara has been a member of many local bands such as Chico Fellini, The Binders, Ancient Warfare, and Bear Medicine (to name a few). Additionally, she has collaborated on studio recordings with several wider-known artists including Jim James and Ben Sollee. "I love collaboration," she says, " ...I try to say 'yes' to as much as I can."*
Creatively, in her own songwriting, Woxihara brings all her talents together. "I'll try and finish a music idea on the instrument first before I really get into vocals. 'Cause I like for the, obviously, the marriage of that to be really fluid, but I like the idea of constructing the song in parts, and really focusing on those parts individually."**
Will Solomon began singing, writing, and playing guitar at an early age. Having grown up in Lexington, he moved east to study jazz at Morehead State University, and afterwards lived in Nashville for six years. Here Solomon focused his energy on creating his own sound and honing his talent, while playing in several of the area's bands. By 2013 Will felt Lexington was "calling him back," he returned to his hometown, bringing a desire to blend the bluegrass roots of Central KY with the honky-tonk and neon inspired sounds of the Music City. Having put together an ensemble featuring upright bass, fiddle, and mandolin, Will added a pedal steel, and drums to the mix on his 2016 debut album The Pelican & The Herring. Since this, he has spent time touring with Nashville duo Johnnyswim and Lexington-based Ryvoli, while also working up some new material for his digital EP The Dead Oceans, which was released in May 2019.*
"Italian beaches is a potent collection of live synths from Farhad Rezaei, pre-programmed and live beats by Dave Farris, and haunting vocals from Reva Russell English that accumulate into some kind of disorienting science-fiction reality; think Massive Attack but loose enough to be from some alternate dimension. 'We have this like digital reality that is not the reality that any of us evolved for, or with,' Says Reva 'and so, most people I know are experiencing a cognitive dissonance and extreme anxiety, and Italian Beaches tries to harness that and let us experience it, but in musical form.'"*
Zoe Speaks consists of Kentuckians Mitch Barrett, Carla Gover, and Owen Reynolds, (and often joined by Zoey Barrett and Arlo Barnette) who draw on their deep roots in the region to put their own spin on everything from traditional ballads to finely crafted originals. A smooth, mellow instrumental mix lays the background for the close vocal harmonies that are a defining feature of their sound. A veritable songwriting powerhouse, their awards include songwriting wins at Telluride Bluegrass Fest, Merlefest, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and Kerrville Folk Fest, among others. A staple on the Kentucky music scene for over a decade with three successful CDs under their belt, they are back together and set to release a new album this summer. They accompany themselves on guitar, claw hammer banjo, upright bass, and sometimes dulcimer and clogging feet.
Letters of Acceptance
Letters of Acceptance are power-popular psych-song glam-folk Indie-rock Americana group from central Kentucky comprised of Clint Newman, John Harlan Norris, Scott Whiddon and Tim Welch. "After writing and recording together for some time, (Clint & John) began taking their music out in public, giving it the local version of a road test before eventually enlisting bassist Scott Whiddon and drummer Tim Welch in mid-2018. Whiddon, a staple of the Lexington music scene the last several years, had been in a band that crossed paths and joined bills with another project of Norris while Whiddon was a grad student at LSU. He helped recruit Welch. Their music's looseness gives it a lived-in, organic feel, but not a sense of sloppiness. That loose approach doesn't bleed over into the production value, however, despite the guerilla recording effort."*
Born and raised in Kentucky, David "Chill" Napier is a new soul musician with an old soul spirit. Chill began his music career singing and performing drums in his grandfather's church when he was a young boy. Big Chill's love for music never wavered. While he continued to perform in church, he also joined his high school marching band playing both saxophone and percussion. After graduating high school, he went on to peruse a degree in music from Western Kentucky University. Chill's musical abilities have grown tremendously since the days in his grandfather's church; his smooth vocals paired with his electrifying guitar riffs are an exceptional treat for anyone listening. His musical stylings cannot be confined to a single genre, it is his blend of soul, rock, gospel, funk and country that make him truly unique and shine on any stage where he steps foot.
Restless Leg String Band
Restless Leg String Band is a Bluegrass Quartet straight from the heart of The Bluegrasssd, Lexington, Kentucky. Restless Leg String Band draws from a deep well of traditional string band music, combined with unique original material to create a new 'Progressive Bluegrass.' The members are Joe Schlaak (bass & vocals) Casey Baumgardner (guitar & vocals) Ishi Wooton (fiddle & vocals ) and Jonathan Bramel (banjo, dobro & vocals). Beginning in 2013 and releasing a highly anticipated, self-titled album in 2016, they incorporate traditional bluegrass numbers and high-energy originals. With their style and energy, RLSB have garnered a strong fanbase and a reputation for great shows at festivals and venues alike.
Marble Creek Rangers
"The Marble Creek Rangers lead is Eric Cummins, who pulled the band together mostly from his other two bands, the more electric sound of the Eric Cummins Band, and the beloved Allman Butter Band. The Rangers are a more acoustic sound, but very eclectic, hitting everything from Johnny Cash to Gillian Welch, The Allman Brothers, Billy Joe Shaver and Alejandro Escovedo in their covers, mixed with originals mostly written by Cummins, with a fast, upbeat bluegrass sound. But even those are not just Bluegrass. "We cut a wide swath, " Cummins says of his band's diverse tastes and talents. Joined by Martie Clough on bass and harmony, Brandon Bowlds on mandolin and harmony, Mike DeLong on drums and Don Rogers on fiddle and singing, the Marble Creek Rangers are a powerhouse of solid musical talent."*
Isle of Eight
Lexington, KY native band Isle of Eight is a four piece indie rock band comprised of Isaac Craft, Nick Bernard, Austin Vitucci, and Dale Devore. Their 2015 debut album Of Chesapeake features a "diverse sound across the record from high energy to ambient soundscapes." *Reverbnation.com* They mold the shape of their sound with Isaac on rhythm guitar and vocals, Nick on lead guitar and vocals, Austin on bass and synth, and Dale bouncing the sticks off the skins. When the four of them aren't busy making music you may find them pursuing some of their other interests like eating. They really like food.
Eric Bolander Trio
Rooted in the traditional music soundscape of eastern KY, Eric Bolander's flavor of Americana/folk music offers soulful vocal tone with thoughtful melodies that have staying power. Lyrically driven by life experiences, Eric's songs will give you a glimpse into his life and a realization that happiness can be perpetuated through pain. Growing up in Garrison KY, Bolander learned the value of hard work and personal relationships, from his father. The Trio are Eric (guitar & vocals) Seth Murphy (cello) and Ben Caldwell (drums & backing vocals). Already this year, the group have performed on Red Barn Radio and WDVX's Blue Plate Special, an opening spot for Ian Noe, as well as gigs in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois, and they show no signs of slowing down.
The Eastman Duo
Miles Osland and Dieter Hennings are the Eastman Duo:
"Director of the University of Kentucky's prestigious and successful Jazz Studies program, as well a professor of saxophone, Miles Osland cut his professional teeth at an unusually early age. He was just ten when he was playing flute in local San Diego establishments with some of his teachers. Osland successfully combines his roles as a performing artist and an educator. Influenced by Herbie Mann's flute and the saxophones of Johnny Hodges, Paul Desmond, and Cannonball Adderley, his recordings have focused on the possibilities of modern saxophone playing using all four of the more popular members of the sax family: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone."*
"The musical endeavors of Dieter Hennings Yeomans span from new music on guitar to early music for lute, baroque guitar, and theorbo. Mr. Hennings has been a soloist with Canada's New Music Concerts Ensemble, Orchestra of Lecce, Italy, The Riverside Symphony of NYC, Eastman BroadBand Ensemble, Julliard's 415 Early Music Ensemble, Guanajuato and Monterrey Symphony Orchestras, among many others. Since August of 2009, Dieter Hennings is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Kentucky where he directs the Classical Guitar Studies program."**
The Rough Customers
The Rough Customers are a high energy ska/punk band that incorporates almost every genre of music in their songs. From "Bach like" chorales to romantic period tone poems to 1980's punk, to third wave ska, they've got it! With eight members, Andrea Moffett (vocals) Matthew Lawrence (drums) Tim Vice (bass) Brad Minton (guitar) Mike Trusty (saxophone) Tommy Townsend (trombone) Noah Tolson (trumpet) and Taylor Brandenburg (sousaphone) and eight distinctive tastes in music, The Rough Customers run the gamut of musical space and knowledge, and cram it all together! Their music is catchy and is so danceable they dare you not to dance!
Playing all around Central Kentucky at markets, cafes, fairs, and festivals, Liberty Road performs bluegrass music seasoned with swing, jazz, occasional original tunes, and more. Beginning in 1996, with founding members Thomas Adler, Wesley Atha, Brian Powell, and Terri Powell, the band played in the region for several years, before moving on to other groups. In 2016 Tom (banjo), Wes (guitar), and Terri (bass) decided to pick together again, with the addition of Noah Adler on mandolin. Later that year, the group performed on WEKU's Red Barn Radio. Since then, the four have been going strong and helping keep the tradition of Bluegrass alive in the Bluegrass.
The Jive Hounds
Four Lexington locals reunite to combine the two generations of the blues infused garage rock that is The Jive Hounds. The band originally formed in the summer of 2012 with Jordan Hall, Dan Kerwin, and Jack Gallentine, and revamped in 2013, after the untimely passing of drummer Dan Kerwin. This new lineup included Jordan Hall, Ryan Deatherage, and Clif Meyers. These three carried on releasing 3 albums and playing countless gigs in all your favorite dives. Now, after hiatus, The Jive Hounds are back, along with founding member Jack Gallentine. Jordan (guitar & vocals) Ryan (drums) Clif (bass) and Jack (guitar - not pictured) bring all the same energy to the stage as ever, and are sure to have you jiving with all the other hounds in memory of your friend and ours Dan Kerwin.
The Mojo Tones
"The Mojo Tones started out as four friends just getting together, playing Blues and Blues-Rock songs for the fun of it. Mike Joyner (drums) initiated things by asking Billy Compton(guitar) if he'd be interested in doing a Blues project, just for fun, just because. "One thing led to another, word got out, and suddenly, we were playing gigs by word of mouth," says Billy. Mike knew a singer/harmonica player in Joe Conkwright... With Gerald Evans, on bass the group mix genres, within songs, playing Country Blues with Blues Rock, Jump Blues with Jazz, without any of the high-brow sensibilities. It still comes down to four friends playing music, for the love of music."*
Sour Cream is a Lexington, KY based hard blues rock band, mixing influences from all flavors of rock music. Bringing the vintage sound back with young faces are Jon McGee (drums) Colby Grant (bass) and Harlan Cecil (guitar). The three of them have been gigging around the central-eastern United States since February 2017, and released their debut self-titled album in November of 2018. Sour Cream's unmistakable vintage sound is molded with the energy and raw power of youth... and they're only getting started.
The RaeCamp Band
The RaeCamp Band formed in May of 2018, as the result of a supposed 'one time' show for a birthday gathering. Originally Doug Ford (musical director and keyboardist), Tyler Mayfield (percussionist) and Paul Logan (bassist) came together with Rae'Shawna Campbell (vocalist). Now Kenny Payne (bassist) has joined the unit along with Cameron Fogle to create what is now a neo-soul, jazz fusion and R&B inspired sound that will leave you wanting more! From a Motown sound to soul, to a jazz turnaround- this band appeals to all with songs everyone can relate to and vibe through. Music to your ears and medicine for your soul- The RaeCamp Band will not disappoint!
University of Kentucky Gamelan
Associate professor of ethnomusicology, Donna Kwon, leads this ensemble. The group offer a unique opportunity to experience this indigenous art form first-hand. A gamelan is a traditional, Indonesian orchestra comprised of a variety of tuned bronze gongs, gong-chimes, metallophones, drums, one or more flute, bowed and plucked string instruments, and sometimes singers. Gamelan music dates as far back as the twelfth century and is historically present throughout Indonesian worship and ritual.
The Ford Theatre Reunion
This "neo-carnival rock n' roll group, based out of Lexington, KY produce a sound that harkens back to a by-gone era of gypsy caravans and rail-riding hobos. This, married with blistering progressive rock technicality and heavy punk, is all brought together under multiple vocalists that are a study of compliment and contrast. It all manifests as an auditory spectacle that is both well-timed and well-executed. The result is compellingly jarring, featuring narrative lyrics and theatrically-matched music all wrapped up in a deliriously raucous stage show. FTR feverishly pulls you to your feet and drives you to dance, thrash, and shout.."
Borrowing its name from the Ginsberg poem "Howl," Leaden Verse is a solo experiment by Jim Shaw of The Recipe for Gamma Rays (Lexington). Wearing a vocoder mask and homemade LED goggles that light up with his vocals, he bashes out sometimes-rhythmic drum beats together with ferocious, sequenced bass-waves, industrial arpeggios, and soaring synth leads. Surrounded by pulsing lights and fog, Leaden Verse brings you melodious tunes of a grim personal future. (WARNING: attendees with light-sensitivity issues should proceed with caution.)
Kentucky-based Big Fresh, has undergone a few lineup changes before arriving at its current incarnation. After nearly a decade of writing, performing, recording, touring, and repeating it all, the group has become recognized as one of Lexington"s premier acts. This ten-member ensemble features members of such groups as Club Dub, The Apples in Stereo, Bear Medicine, Satellite Giant, Eggstone, Candy Claws, and many more. Having been described as prog-pop-soul, hippie-psych, jazzy-pop, etc., Big Fresh"s sound is anything but boring; it keeps the audience on their toes, eager to hear what will happen next. Dancing, harmonies, horns, keys, antics, slips, falls, guitar, drum, and bass. They will not disappoint.
The Big Maracas play musica latina. A few years back, Venezuelan ex-patriot Enrique Gonzalez got together with a few friends to have a little fun, and since that time the Big Maracas have grown to incorporate more band members, a multitude of styles, and a great deal of fun! The Maracas delve into many branches of Latin and Tropical music, being particularly fond of the great Cuban traditions and Brazilian samba, but that's only the beginning. Too self-conscious to dance? Perhaps not when you make it to a Maracas show... Que bueno baila usted!
Western Movies, the songwriting/recording project from Chris Sullivan, is a travelogue of organic, musical styles ranging from surf pop and old-school lounge to exotica twang, instrumental film music, and cinematic, acoustic folk-blues. Sullivan's family traveled often during his childhood, and while living in Spain, he began learning guitar at the age of six, from a flamenco virtuoso. At 18, Sullivan formed a band with his college roommate, Otto Helmuth, called Serious George. Having traveled, and lived many places around the country for some time, Sullivan eventually ended up in Lexington, where he has not continued creating and collaborating.
" ...Fabled Canelands fits together like a tapestry. Song edges overlap and bleed, offer moments of fulfillment and emptiness, and trace out a past that continues to exist at our own margins. It's new, it's old, it's ambitious, and it just so happens to be quite good." -- North Of Center -- Fabled Canelands couples primarily acoustic guitar melodies and steady rhythms with the occasional pedal-steel, key, or trumpet parts to convey a unique sound. With references to mountains, landmarks, bodies of water, surrounding towns, and everyday life, Fabled Canelands bring a style that feels like home.
The Local Honeys
The Local Honeys are comprised of Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs. Stokley from the rolling hills of the Bluegrass, learned her love of singing and playing from her mama, who exposed her to a wide array of music throughout childhood, and encouraged her to keep playing and writing. Her music is her solace. Hobbs, who hails from the foothills of the Appalachian region, also gained her love of music from her family er older brother shared a spectrum of sounds from the grungy acts of the '90s, to the heartland picking and singing of John Prine, which piqued her interest in songwriting. The two have dedicated themselves to the preservation of old music and the creation of new music.
Doc Feldman & the Alt Cntry Delete
Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, Doc Feldman is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist interested in exploring the darker sides of folk music. Unafraid of incorporating distortion, weird field recordings, and other noise experimentation, Doc's debut album Sundowning at the Station feels rooted in traditional forms of American music, yet totally new. ALT+CNTRY+DEL (Alt Country Delete) is a subversive cosmic Americana band from Lexington, Kentucky.
Ethos Jazz Quintet
Ethos Jazz Quintet, Lee Carroll's latest project combines the wisdom of experience with the fire of youth. Tripp Bratton (C The Beat, March Madness Marching Band) and Ibu Diop from Senegal on drums, Thomas Usher (C The Beat, DAD, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers) on upright and electric basses and Jonathan Barrett (C The Beat) on saxes. From Bluenote classics re-interpreted and second line funk to searing original compositions, you won't be able to stay in your seat. This is serious funky jazz at its most joyful and celebratory. They regularly pack the house at Lexington's Crēaux jazz club, it's as close to NOLA's Frenchman Street music Mecca as you'll find north of the French Quarter. Gumbo, cocktails and hot jazz.
Daisy Helmuth, Madeline Farrar, Charlie Overman, and Jack Quinn - "just a few rock and roll kids" from Lexington - make up People Planet. When they are not busy dog-whispering or sleeping-in, they are probably busy playing their instruments and holding their own. Frequenting the Lexington all-ages circuit like true weekend warriors, People Planet performed at venues such as Lynagh's, Al's Bar, and Willie's Locally Known, and Moontower Music Festival. This group carries the torch of Lexington music for a fresh, ready-to-rock generation.
ATTEMPT is the recording project of Trevor Tremaine. Tremaine is known as the drummer for noise band Hair Police, as the proprietor of the now-defunct micro-edition cassette label Rampart Tapes, as a co-founder of the surrealist Resonant Hole collective, as the conductor of avant-folk combo Eyes & Arms of Smoke, or as a sideman with a strange and diverse resume (Burning Star Core, Warmer Milks, Matt Duncan, Death Unit, Silverware, and Thurston Moore's Aktion Unit).
Joslyn and The Sweet Compression
Joslyn Hampton and her band, The Sweet Compression, combine to deliver a hook-filled mix of funk and R&B-flavored pop, in a series of single releases throughout 2017. The powerhouse vocalist, joined by veterans (guitarist Marty Charters, bassist Smith Donaldson, and saxophonist Joe Carucci) and exciting young talent (Rashawn Fleming on drums, Steve Holloman on keyboards, Jeffrey Doll on trumpet, and Rae'Shawna Campbell on backing vocals), will be supporting the releases with live shows throughout the year.
Kentucky Hoss Cats
The Kentucky Hoss Cats formed in 2012 when several Kentucky-based musicians decided to finally do something about their collective long-standing deep devotion(s) to old school honky tonk music. The band initially formed to pay homage to Hank, Sr., Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, and other country music greats, playing popular weekly four hour sets of honky tonk classics and deep tracks. Over the past two years, the band has found its own voice and has written more than an album's worth of new honky tonk originals which will be featured during current live shows along several nods to the juke joint forebearers.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, and fronted by award-winning vocalist/fiddler Kati Penn Williams and her singer/banjo-picker husband, Jr. Williams, NewTown is one of the most exciting acts in contemporary Bluegrass. The band was formed in 2009 when Jr. left Bluegrass band NewFound Road to play full-time with his wife in what would become NewTown. Since then, the group has gained a strong following by playing at festivals throughout the U.S., sharing bills with such acts as Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. NewTown has appeared several times at the legendary Station Inn in Nashville, and has performed twice at showcases at the IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina. The ensemble has also opened shows for the John Cowan Band, whose namesake leader says on NewTown's website, "Bands like NewTown are not by any means common; they're not made everyday. It takes sweat equity, passion, patience and vision."
The Recipe for Gamma Rays, a four-piece band from Lexington, Kentucky, is the wayward offspring of the keyboard and drums duo, Wol and Weeps, formed by Jim Shaw and Dave Cobb in 2011. After recruiting Mike Joyner on drums and Blake Cox on bass, the group now emits a frenetic blend of pseudo-euphonic vocal melodies over fuzzy synthesizers, jittering guitar, and girthy bass. Interwoven with cosmic electronic sound interludes, their songs run the emotional gamut from dystopian absurdity to melancholy mania.
Coleslaw is a 5-piece instrumental band that came together through a mutual love of jazz, funk, and soul, as well as many other influences. The band centers around two unique and powerful voices (Jacob O'Donnell, Kirby Davis-Saxophones) stating strong melodies and exploring a vast harmonic realm overtop hard grooves laid down by a powerhouse rhythm section (Nolan Brelsford-Guitar, Simon Long-Bass, James Gooding-Drums). As one of only a handful of funk acts based in Lexington, and perhaps the youngest of that demographic, Coleslaw and it's ambitious musical exploration are bringing something original and exciting to the Lexington music scene.
The Forthlins are Justin Adams on guitar, harmonica, lead vocals, and bass, Gareth Evans on guitar, mandolin, keys, and bass, Adam Luckey on bass, harmonies, guitar, and keys, and Adam Napier on drums and percussion. With Evans, Luckey, and Adams often swapping roles on instruments the group creates an eclectic sound ranging from garage-rock to pop to funk. With a wide catalogue of original work combined with a plentiful supply of covers The Forthlins put out an upbeat souund that is fun and down to earth.