By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Christmas shows, festival reveals and soul-soaked Americana from Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound help ring in the start of December in this week’s live menu. View the rest of my top picks for Dec. 2-8 below and the entire live 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, Dec. 3, I’ll be joined by singer-songwriter Coby Langham and members of the Quinn and Helmuth families — specifically Otto Helmuth (Otto, The Blueberries), Daisy Helmuth (People Planet), Billy Quinn (Rebel Without a Cause, 10 Foot Pole), Wils Quinn (Johnny Conqueroo, Boytown USA), and Jack Quinn (People Planet).
Holiday cheer fills the air on Wednesday, Dec. 5 when Red Barn Radio’s Appalachian Christmas special returns for its 10th iteration at Lexington ArtsPlace at 8 p.m. Guests on this year’s show are Louisville-based string quintet Mama Said String Band, dulcimer wizard Ted Yoder, Eastern Kentucky Appalachian rock band Luna and The Mountain Jets and Cincinnati-based bluegrass outfit My Brother’s Keeper.
For those unable to attend the event, the show will be streamed live on Red Barn Radio’s Facebook page in addition to airing on Kentucky Educational Television throughout December.
Up-and-coming, Lexington-based bluegrass troupe Dark Moon Hollow return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Al’s Bar with high octane, Indianapolis-based string band Flatland Harmony Experiment.
The group — comprised of Brett Horton and Trigger Trey on guitar, David Fish on upright bass, Thomas Keathley on banjo and Sean Morrisey on mandolin — have played a number of high-profile gigs as of late that include the band’s debut on Red Barn Radio (Oct. 31) and a gig with Eastern Kentucky-based singer-songwriters Sean Whiting and Josh Nolan at The Green Lantern (Nov. 24). Wednesday’s show will be only the second at Al’s Bar, and the first since performing at the hip northside bar in late February.
Improvisational jam supergroup Ghost Light makes their way to Manchester Music Hall on Thursday, Dec. 6. Made up of classically-trained pianist Holly Bowling, guitarist Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, American Babies), bassist Steve Lyons, Laina Mullen (American Babies) and drummer Scotty Zwang (Dopapod, RAQ, American Babies), Ghost Light first formed in the studio, with the group working collectively to build on their musical connection and collective sound.
Ghost Light’s Wednesday performance was originally scheduled to take place at Cosmic Charlie’s. However, the venue has construction ongoing and is not yet open to host the event, which has been relocated to Manchester Music Hall.
One of the region’s most beloved songwriters in Arlo McKinley returns to Lexington on Friday, Dec. 7, leading his Lonesome Sound down I-75 from Cincinnati with another Ohio band, The Tillers, and the genre-bending trio The Handshake Deals. McKinley and his band weave intricate tales of sorrow and heartache through a soul-drenched Americana lens, with McKinley’s dynamic voice acting as a guiding light, illustrating that through struggle and dark times light always prevails.
Head down the road southeast from Lexington to Somerset on Saturday, Dec. 8 for a Christmas party and 2019 reveal for the Master Musician’s Festival at Jarfly Brewing Company. Performing at the event will be the Laid Back Country Picker and Bee Taylor.
The Master Musician’s Festival will gather for the 26th consecutive year in 2019. Since 1994 the event has brought artists such as John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Strings and others to south-central Kentucky. The festival’s 2019 crop of talent is sure to be equally as strong.
- Mama Said String Band and Rumpke Mountain Boys lead ‘laid back’ lineup for Hartford Festival
- Dark Moon Hollow bring foot-stomping honky-tonk to Red Barn Radio debut
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 32 – 8/13/18 (w/ John R. Miller, Magnolia Boulevard, Katie Didit, Vivian Leigh)
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 29 – RYVOLI, Supermoon, Laid Back Country Picker
- PHOTOS: Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound at Red Barn Radio
- Wick’s Picks: Mama Said String Band in VR
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 14 – 4/4/18 (w/ Mama Said String Band)
- Master Musicians Festival builds to a rousing finale for growing audience