Oct 202014

The Carolina Chocolate Drops stop in the Clifton Cultural Center for a two-night stand, October 22 and 23, which is not the first time they’ve been here, having played a several venues in the area, including the Jugband Jubilee back in 2007. They’re definitely more an old-time string band than a jug band, though the differences are more significant to a musicologist than an regular fan. They won a Grammy back in 2010, for Genuine Negro Jig, which certainly testifies to their abilities. Taking their material from the Piedmont (North and South Caroina) musical tradition, they throw in some bluegrass-ish stuff (at least enough to get them at gig at 2011 ROMP in Owensboro) as well as blues (they got a nomination for a Blues Award, too). One could easily argue that they do not care to slotted into a particular genre, which bodes well for the future of the band. Their most recent record is 2012’s Leaving Eden, which was produced by Buddy Miller and recorded in Nashville. It hit No. 1 on the Bluegrass Chart and No. 2 on the Heatseekers chart. To sweeten the deal, The Clifton Center has arranged for Birds of Chicago to open. Tickets are $29.

Watch the official video for “Country Girl”:


Website: www.carolinachocolatedrops.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolinaChocolateDrops
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_CCDs
LastFM: www.last.fm/music/Carolina+Chocolate+Drops

Sep 142014

Vocalist and bassist John Cowan has been a musical presence in the Louisville area for a long time, going back to the Newgrass days at the Great Midwestern Music Hall and continuing on through the various bands he has assembled and fronted. Although generally known as “The Voice Of Newgrass,” his choice of musical styles ranges widely, through soul to the Doobie Brothers, with whom he is a touring member. Now he has joined with John McFee and Friends at for a show at Headliners Music Hall on September 18, celebrating his new Sixty album, which McFee, a Doobie Brothers bandmate, produced. The album has gotten a good reception in the Americana market, including getting airplay on WFPK. No doubt, Louisville will welcome him back, no doubt. Tickets to the show are $30 Reserved Seats / $20 SRO.
Here’s a sampler from Sixty:


Website: www.johncowan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/the.john.cowan.band

Sep 112014

Bill Monroe’s version of bluegrass has traveled far and wide but so has Sam Bush’s newgrass, which was mated with the music of the Grateful Dead to produce jamgrass, now a staple of festivals around the country. We see many jamgrass bands coming through town: Yonder Mountain String Band, String Cheese Incident, any of several configurations from David Grisman and now Greensky Bluegrass, which will be at Headliners Music Hall on September 16. Equipped with the usual bluegrass instrumentation (including Dobro), Greensky rips right along nstrumentally, with harmonies more in tune with various Americana country groups than standard bluegrass four-part harmony. If you like Newgrass, perhaps with the edges smoothed a bit, these boys will make you feel right at home. In fact, they are so good that they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in 2006, which is no small deal. They have a brand-new album, If Sorrows Swim, which they wil be performing. Swear and Shake will open. Tickets are $15

Check out “Demons”:


Website: http://www.greenskybluegrass.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenskybluegrass
Twitter: https://twitter.com/campgreensky
LastFM: www.last.fm/music/Greensky+Bluegrass

Aug 282014

The Sunday edition of the Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky Bluegrass and Bourbon Experience at the Water Tower will feature Storefront Congregation, The Hogslop String Band, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Westbound Rangers and Turning Ground. Storefront Congregation is arguably one of the very best bluegrass ensembles in town, noted for their overall blend of talented pickers and terrific vocals from Lauren White. The other notable bands on the set are more old-time string bands than bluegrass, with The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys also right at the top for Louisville players. The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville old-time string band that has played Louisville before.

Watch Storefront on “The Woodsongs Coffee Hour”:

Here’s Hogslop playing Soldier’s Joy>


Website: http://www.kentuckybluegrassfestival.com/

Aug 272014

If it’s Labor Day Weekend, it must be bluegrass at the Louisville Water Tower, this year under the title of the Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon Experience. The bands playing are Flickertail Holler, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, Hog Operation, Relic, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Turning Ground, Storefront Congregation, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Westbound Rangers and The Hogslop String Band. Of that lineup, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is the biggest name, without casting any aspersion on the others, particularly Louisville’s Storefront Congregation and Hog Operation, either of which is also worth the ticket price. The event goes on August 30 and 31, a day less than in previous years. Still, a fine Kentucky way to spend yourLabor Day Weekend, hanging out at the Water Tower, drinking bourbon, eating BBQ and listening to bluegrass. Tickets are $10 before 6p.m. $14 after.
Here’s a little Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, singing “Take Me Home, Country Road”:

Website: http://www.kentuckybluegrassfestival.com

Aug 042014

“Few musicians garner the universal respect of Michael Cleveland. A child prodigy, Michael won the hearts of the entire bluegrass industry in 1993 as a member of the IBMA Youth All-Stars. Since that time, he has gone on to perform and record with nearly everyone in the business, picking up nine IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year awards along the way. He is, without a doubt, one of the premiere fiddle players of his generation, if not in all of bluegrass history.” Daniel Mullins, Bluegrass Today
Watch the band play “Fiddlin’ Joe”:


Website: flamekeeperband.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mcflamekeeper

Jul 302014

Lord have mercy – as if a show featuring Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs and Rhonda Vincent wasn’t enough to make any Bluegrass fan reach for his/her wallet, there’s a Jerry Douglas show on the same day – August 1. This one is at the Kentucky Country Day Theatre, which is very nice, new venue out in the East End. Douglas, for those of you unfamiliar with him, is, arguably, the premiere Dobro player in the world. He spends most of his time as a session player (1,600+ albums and counting), touring with Alison Krauss And Union Station plus recording his own records. His Grammy Awards total is a lucky thirteen and he has won the Country Music Association’s “Musician of The Year” award three times, plus a number of other assorted awards. His bona fides are beyond any doubt, even for a very picky Bluegrass fan. The only considerations are: 1.) do you like resonator guitar music 2.) Do you have enough money and 3) did you not get tickets to see Bush, Vincent and Skaggs? If you answered ‘Yes’ to these three questions, then you should be out a Kentucky Country Day on August 1. Tickets are $25-$35, which are a bit more reasonable than the tickets to the Creekside event.

WAtch “Little Medley”:


Website: www.jerrydouglas.com/
LastFM: www.last.fm/music/Jerry+Douglas
MySpace: https://myspace.com/jerrydouglasband

Jul 292014

Here’s a bluegrass show to stretch your budget: a fundraiser called Creekside Jam, at the Humana Grand Allee in Beckley Creek Park, featuring Sam Bush and Band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Good lord, you might gasp – how could that big a show be out in a park nobody knows about? But that’s just you, Bucky, not paying attention. It’s all part of the Parklands of Floyds Fork in eastern Jefferson County that’s been under construction for some time now. This show is for the Beckley Creek Park section and is expected to bring in some heavy hitters from around the metro. (They hired the heavy hitters for the bluegrass.) No need to detail the history and status of Bush, Vincent and Skaggs – if you don’t know, then this show is not likely to interest you. On August 1. Tickets are $55 adv/ $65 DoS.
Here’s Sam Bush’s set at the 2013 edition of ROMP:


Website: http://www.theparklands.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Parklands-of-Floyds-Fork/145811382098648
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theparklands/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheParklands1?feature=watch