By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Album release celebrations for locals The Wooks, Sour Cream and Joslyn & The Sweet Compression top this week’s live menu. Find my top 5 picks for Nov. 11-17 below and the entire menu here.
Tune in live to Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio every Monday from 9-11 a.m. on the dial at 93.9 FM and online at lexingtoncommunityradio.org. Next week, Nov. 12, I’ll be joined by indie folk group Wicked Peace and songbird Abby Hamilton.
From the budding music hub of Austin, Texas, Whiskey Shivers are a high-energy five-piece band blending bluegrass and punk. The group’s latest musical installment, 2017’s Some Part of Something, continues the trend of frenetic string plucking and punk spirit.
The show acts as a reunion of sorts for guitarist Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa, who graduated from nearby Centre College in Danville in 2009. Additionally, the band was recently in the spotlight after being in a scene in the movie Pitch Perfect 3. Supporting the Whiskey Shivers will be Lexington’s own Kentucky Hoss Cats.
Earlier this year Aaron Lee Tasjan made his debut at The Burl, albeit a solo performance. The Central Ohio-bred singer-songwriter returns to Lexington on Wednesday night, this time with a full band in toe and songs from his new album Karma for Cheap, out Aug. 31.
Tasjan broke onto the scene with 2016’s Silver Tears, which earned him his first appearance on national television when he appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in Feb. 2017 along with trips to two Kentucky festivals, The Moonshiner’s Ball and Forecastle, later that spring/summer. While Tasjan’s studio work has earned much acclaim his live shows far exceed the hype, with Tasjan’s live shows quickly transforming into much more of a high-powered rock show than his recordings.
Lexington bluegrass troupe The Wooks have undergone several changes in the last two years with mandolinist Galen Green and fiddler Jesse Wells departing the band along with tendon problems limiting banjo player Arthur Hancock to guitar. In the time since the group has welcomed banjo players Aaron Bibelhauser and Will Parsons and recently found Harry Clark to take over on mandolin.
Despite the changes and hurdles, the group has stayed true to its diverse bluegrass sound, toeing the line between the progressive and traditional veins of the genre along with jamgrass elements. The band will celebrate the release of their sophomore album Glory Bound on Friday at the Red Mile. The event was originally scheduled to be at Cosmic Charlie’s, but the venue has yet to reopen at its new location at 105 W Loudon Ave. after moving from its prior location on National Ave. in June.
The edgy blues-rock sounds of youthful Lexington trio Sour Cream will echo from Al’s Bar on Saturday night as the group celebrates the release of its self-titled debut EP alongside People Planet. Both groups are comprised entirely of musicians still in their teens, showcasing the next crop of talent set to emerge upon Central Kentucky’s budding music and arts scene.
Sour Cream, comprised of Jon McGee on drums, Colby Grant on bass and Harlan Cecil on guitar, first formed and had their first gig in February 2017, having since performed at bars throughout Lexington in addition to Crave and Cinder & Smoke Festivals.
Aretha Franklin may have passed earlier this year, but Lexington’s version of the Queen of soul, Josyln Hampton, is sure to take your breath away with her powerhouse vocals just as Mrs. Franklin did when she celebrates the release of her debut album at The Burl on Saturday with her band The Sweet Compression. The group’s captivating blend of soul, funk, pop and R&B leave you feeling transported back into a 70s-era disco dance party.
Joining Joslyn & The Sweet Compression on the bill is another fast-rising Lexington group mixing blues, funk and rock in Magnolia Boulevard. Much like with the band they’ll be sharing the stage with, Magnolia Boulevard is led by the commanding vocals of Maggie Noelle and augmented by the electric words from guitarist Gregg Erwin that give the band a distinctly southern rock and soul vibe.
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 40 – 10/15/18 (w/ The Wooks and ivyrye)
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 34 – 8/27/18 (w/ DeBraun Thomas, Joslyn & The Sweet Compression, Petefest)
- Joslyn & The Sweet Compression and Natalie Prass at The Burl (Photos)
- Premiere: Joslyn & The Sweet Compression flash funk and soul on “Honey, Be”
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 10 – 3/7/18 (w/Arthur Hancock and CJ Cain of The Wooks)