Restless Leg String Band and Wayne Graham bring a taste of Kentucky to Columbus

Story and photos by Matt Wickstrom

(L-R) Ishi Wooton, Casen Baumgardner and Joe Schlaak of Restless Leg String Band

COLUMBUS, Oh. — A wave of Kentucky submerged the Buckeye state’s capital last week when Restless Leg String Band and Wayne Graham came to town to perform at Woodland’s Tavern for my father Tom Wickstrom’s 60th birthday bash.

Wayne Graham began the night with a set of psychedelic, blues-soaked rock. The band — led by brothers Kenny (acoustic guitar) and Hayden Miles (drums), Lee Owen (electric guitar) and Chris Justice (bass) — performed several cuts from their new album Joy including opener “Joy;” “White Rose,” “Two Blade Razor,” “My Tomb,” “On My Throne” and set closer “Wishbone.” One of the set’s highlights came from another cut from Joy in the Hayden Miles-led “Don Williams,” which begins in a subtle manner, slowly picking up steam into an extended jam.

In addition to originals, Wayne Graham also sprinkled in reinterpretations of Dire Strait’s “Setting Me Up” and JJ Cale’s “Nowhere to Run” and “Drifters Wife.”

Following Wayne Graham and bringing the evening to a rousing finale was frenetic jamgrassers Restless Leg String Band. The quintet rotated between lead vocalists throughout the set, with the only person not taking over the responsibilities being newcomer Chris Cupp, who’s slowly built his confidence and is beginning to take a more prominent role with the band in jams, with solos and figuring how to better fall in and fill his space throughout.

View a video of Restless Leg String Band’s entire performance below.

View a full gallery of photos from the show below.


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