Friday, May 26, 2017

When a loved one dies

Papaw Jerry & Jessica back in time
During the month of April, I took a break from some things and focused on family.  In between my full time job and doing my music stuff, I sat in the hospital room and then nursing home room as my grandpa was sick.  The sound of the machines beeping, nurses and doctors shuffling in and out to check this and that became a new routine.  Relatives would come to visit and spend time sharing stories of our youth growing up in southeast Kentucky, with some moving on to Ohio and Tennessee.  Then on the morning of April 26th, time stood still as my grandpa passed away.

In the coming days, we sat together as a family at the funeral home making arrangements, going to the flower shop to pick out the perfect arrangement, shop for the outfit to wear, and preparing for the visitors.  My grandma asked me to speak at his funeral and for several days, I wrote, rewrote, and wrote some more trying to figure out the perfect words to say.  Needless to say it was the hardest and easiest thing I have ever written in my life.  It was an honor to be asked to tell others about my grandpa.

During all of the hustle and bustle, east Kentucky native, Angaleena Presley's new album "Wrangled" was released.  I have been meaning to write a full on review of the masterpiece of an album.  It has been hard to find the time to dedicate my full attention to it.  However, there was one song that has stuck in my head throughout April and now May.  "Cheer Up Little Darling" was written by Angaleena Presley and Guy Clark.  It would be his last song he wrote before passing away.  Musician Shawn Camp plays Guy Clark's No. 10 guitar, which was used to write the song, and Clark's mandola.  I personally want to thank them for this song that kept me rolling these last few weeks.  If you would like to listen to it, be sure to download it from I-tunes here.

"Cheer Up Little Darling" by Angaleena Presley & Guy Clark
Yeah, it's gonna be real pretty, man
Cheer up little darlin', don't be so sad
There's a time and place for the blues that you've had
Just hold what you've got, babe, and never give in
Seems like a tight spot, but it's just a loose end

Cheer up little darlin', don't be so sad
There's a time and place for the blues you have had
Hold what you've got, babe, never give in
It feels like a tight spot, but it's just a loose end

You can't fix the world, girl, it's so badly bent
But you can help it along if you save your own skin
The first thing you do, honey, is make you a list
Of the things that you've done and the things that you've missed

Do the best that you can, doll, there's no one to blame
It's just the turn that it took in this crazy old game
Hold what you've got, babe, never give in
It feels like a tight spot, but it's just a loose end

I will miss walking up to Mammy and Papaw's house and seeing him sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch. I will miss him saying "how are you doing?" as he sat there smoking a cigarette, drinking his coffee. I will miss his creamed style corn made in the cast iron skillet, complete with chocolate gravy and biscuits. Don't tell Mammy, but Papaw is the only one that could make the best gravy!  And most of all, I will miss hearing those words, "Now don't you run off – what’s your hurry?” and "I love you" as I had to leave to head home.

In the Bible, we learned that the Lord created the universe and all its beauty in 7 days. I always said that on the 8th day, God made a farmer. On the 9th day, he made a truck driver to haul the farm goods. While he may have parked his truck here on earth, I know that the engine is a roaring as Papaw Jerry drives the streets of Heaven. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kentucky music women to be featured in new book

Woman Walk the Line - How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives
At a time when women’s lives have never been more public, more debated, more celebrated and in many ways, more scrutinized, Woman Walk The Line: How the Women of Country Changed Our Lives arrives. A collection of 27 women writers of varying age, race, sexual orientation and occupation, these deeply personal essays reflect how one country artist served as the life pivot that shifted everything in each writer’s life.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

John Conlee Honored by Georgia Sheriffs’ Association with Award for Supporting Law Enforcement

L-R:Jones County Deputy Sheriffs Hunter Blount and Jonathan Joyner, Jones County Sheriff R. N. “Butch” Reece, Eatonton Police Officer Lynn Stanford, Putnam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Barbee, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, John Conlee, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Terry Norris
The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association presented Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee with a plaque for supporting law enforcement at the country hitmaker’s live show in Putnam County, Ga. The award was presented to commemorate Conlee’s dedication to the "men and women in the state of Georgia who walk behind the star."

Conlee first caught the attention of Putnam County Georgia Sheriff Howard Sills while listening to the legendary Grand Ole Opry on 650 AM WSM. When the country legend took the stage, he performed his song, “Walkin’ Behind the Star,” from his latest album Classics 2. The track pays tribute to law enforcement with standout lines like, “So God bless all of the women and men sworn to uphold the law, and thank them for the fallen ones, the ones that gave it all.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

Americana Music Association announces nominees for Honors & Awards

Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson leads the pack for the Americana Music Association's Honors & Awards nominees.
The Americana Music Association announced the nominees for its 16th annual Honors & Awards show this week at an intimate members-only ceremony held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The live-streamed event was hosted by The Milk Carton Kids — Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan — and featured performances by Jason Isbell, Jerry Douglas, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers and Caitlin Canty.

A full list of categories and nominees for the Americana Music Association’s 16th Annual Honors & Awards is below:

Album of the Year:
American Band, Drive-By Truckers, Produced by David Barbe
Close Ties, Rodney Crowell, Produced by Kim Buie and Jordan Lehning
Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens, Produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell
The Navigator, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Produced by Paul Butler
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson, Produced by Sturgill Simpson

Artist of the Year:
Jason Isbell
John Prine
Lori McKenna
Margo Price
Sturgill Simpson

Duo/Group of the Year:
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Drive-By Truckers
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
The Lumineers

Emerging Artist of the Year:
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Amanda Shires
Brent Cobb
Sam Outlaw

Song of the Year:
“All Around You,” Sturgill Simpson, Written by Sturgill Simpson
“It Ain’t Over Yet,” Rodney Crowell (feat. Rosanne Cash & John Paul White), Written by Rodney Crowell
“To Be Without You,” Ryan Adams, Written by Ryan Adams
“Wreck You,” Lori McKenna, Written by Lori McKenna and Felix McTeigue  

Instrumentalist of the Year:
Spencer Cullum, Jr.
Jen Gunderman
Courtney Hartman
Charlie Sexton 

The winners of each category will be announced during the Americana Honors and Awards show on September 13, 2017, at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The celebrated program is the capstone event of “AMERICANAFEST℠,” the Americana Music Festival and Conference, which runs from September 12-17, 2017.

Each year, the Americana Music Association℠ honors distinguished members of the music community with six member-voted annual awards and with Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be announced leading up to the event.

Described by Emmylou Harris as “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere,” the Americana Honors and Awards show has been broadcast in the past on AXS TV, PBS, and via SiriusXM Radio, BBC2, WMOT, WRLT, WSM, Voice of America and  The show has featured many amazing moments in musical history including Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash's last live performance together, as well as show-stopping appearances by Bob Weir, George Strait, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, The Avett Brothers, Solomon Burke, Rosanne Cash, Civil Wars, Dr. John with Dan Auerbach, Patty Griffin, Levon Helm, Robert Plant and many more. Tickets for the Americana Honors & Awards are available for purchase by conference registrants of the weeklong event.

For more information about the Americana Honors & Awards and to purchase registrations and tickets, please visit

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

J.D. Shelburne performing to benefit local Lawrenceburg charities

J.D. Shelburne has been very busy lately, having attended the Kentucky Derby and the Derby Eve festivities this past weekend.  On May 12th, Shelburne will be returning to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, for a special concert benefitting God’s Pantry and The Light Center.  Opening for him will be Hannah Blaylock, formerly of Eden’s Edge.  The event is part of the “Nashville on the Green” in downtown Lawrenceburg near the intersection of Main Street and Woodford Street.  The show starts at 7:00 p.m.

There is no admission charge to the concert but fans are encouraged to donate canned goods, which will be divided between two local organizations, God’s Pantry and The Light Center. Donations will earn fans tickets for door prizes to be given throughout the night. Cash donations for the organizations will also be accepted.

J.D. Shelburne, a blue-blooded Kentucky boy who starred in basketball and baseball at Spencer County High School, embarked on his career in music after finding a guitar when cleaning out his late grandmother’s house. He taught himself to play while attending the University of Kentucky, and then moved to Nashville in 2008. He penned the song “Farmboy,” which became a regional hit in 2012. He has opened for over 50 national acts and received recent national attention for the videos of his songs “Hometown” and “Better Man” playing on GAC and CMT.

May 12th promises to be a night to remember in Lawrenceburg. Shelburne hosted a similar event in Taylorsville drawing an estimated 4,000 fans last year and even more are expected in Lawrenceburg.

Stoney Top Burgoo, of Lawrenceburg, plans to be set up to serve burgoo for lunch on concert day.  Pappy’s Porch of Hampshire, Tennessee, also plans to be set up by lunch time. Menu includes pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, 1/3-pound burgers, Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs, nachos, BBQ nachos, fries and the J.D. Dawg (Two hot dogs, chili, nacho cheese, diced onions, crushed nacho chips, and pulled pork BBQ).

The city parking lot on the west side of Western Avenue will be closed all day on Friday, May 12. Onsite parking will be available at First Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg City Hall, City Main Street Parking Lot, City College Street Parking Lot and behind the Anderson County Judge Executive Office. Off-site parking will be available nearby at Anderson County Middle School, Saffell Street School and Anderson County Community Park.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Watch Chris Stapleton perform on The Tonight Show

Chris Stapleton was the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for Monday, May 8, 2017.  Take a look at him performing, "I Was Wrong."  The song is from his now released album, "From A Room: Volume 1."

Stapleton also joined up with Kevin Bacon and Jimmy Fallon for a comical look at the ZZ Top classic, "Legs."

Saturday, May 6, 2017

It was all about the music at sixth-annual Unbridled Eve Derby Gala

Celebrities from film, television, music, comedy and sports, horse racing industry professionals, and local and national business leaders, gathered last night for the always highly anticipated sixth Annual Unbridled Eve Gala, an Official Kentucky Derby Event. 
Farewell Angelina attends the Unbridled Eve Gala for the 143rd Kentucky Derby at the Galt House Hotel & Suites on May 5, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve)

From the world-class cocktail reception featuring 19 specialty cocktails to dinner, dancing, live musical performances, and a spectacular silent auction, Unbridled Eve truly offers the best in Southern hospitality, elegance and entertainment.
Kentucky native,JD Shelburne, attends the Unbridled Eve Gala for the 143rd Kentucky Derby at the Galt House Hotel & Suites on May 5, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve)

American country artist, Grammy-Award nominee, and former contestant on The Voice, Billy Gilman kicked off the musical performances for the evening followed by all-female country group Farewell Angelina, which features four powerhouse vocalists, dynamic songwriters and multi-instrumentalists.
Next to take the stage was former “Kansas” lead singer, John Elefante who sang classic hits such as Point of “No Return,” “Dust in the Wind,” “Cold as Ice,” and “Wayward Son.” Wally Palmar, lead singer of The Romantics followed Elefante’s lead kicking off his set with “Talking in Your Sleep,” “Rock You Up,” and “What I Like About You.” 

Guests packed the dance floor as three-time Billboard Award winner, Taio Cruz performed his hits, “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart” followed by a set of throwbacks from headliner Morris Day & The Time including the hit “Jungle Love.” 
Shannon Burton attends the Unbridled Eve Gala for the 143rd Kentucky Derby at the Galt House Hotel & Suites on May 5, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve)
To close the night, Unbridled Eve regulars Robin Meade, Bob Guiney, JD Shelburne, John Elefante, Wally Palmar, and Farewell Angelina took the stage for an all-star jam. 

Since its inception in 2012, the Unbridled Charitable Foundation, Inc. has supported 31 charities with $1,626,108 in both direct proceeds from the Unbridled Eve Derby Gala and additional funding received due to exposure gained in conjunction with the Unbridled Eve Derby Gala. The Unbridled Charitable Foundation, Inc® and Unbridled Eve® were founded by Tonya York Dees and Tammy York Day. 

Hosts and Co-Founders of the Unbridled Eve Gala, Tammy York-Day and Tonya York-Dees attend the Unbridled Eve Gala for the 143rd Kentucky Derby at the Galt House Hotel & Suites on May 5, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve)
The two primary beneficiaries for tonight’s Unbridled Eve Gala are Blessings in a Backpack and Fund for the Arts, both 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.  Additionally, the Animal Care Society, APRON, Inc., Down Syndrome of Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical College Student Emergency Fund, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust,Kentucky State Police Trooper Island Camp, Louisville Dental Society Mobile Dental Van, Metro United Way,Miracle League of Louisville, Inc., Operation Homefront, SOS International dba Supplies Over Seas, Super Student Athletes, USA Cares, WESTEC (The Blue House) and Winter HAYven will benefit.                  

Triple Crown Sponsors of the 2017 Unbridled Eve Derby Gala are Delta Dental of Kentucky and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Other sponsors include Cigna, Meijer, Churchill Downs, Inc., Galt House Hotel, Nora Roberts Foundation, Red 7e, Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Inc., Wayne and Kathy Richards, YPO Dallas, Sun Tan City, Planet Fitness, and Barry Wooley Designs. Media partners include:  The Voice, Today’s Woman, Louisville Magazine, 102.3 The Max, 99.7 WDJX, and

For more information on Unbridled Eve, be sure to check out