By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Country prodigy EmiSunshine, the return of the Southland Jamboree and Beattyville’s Ian Noe are ahead on this week’s live menu. See all of my top concert picks for the week of May 27 to June 2 below and the entire menu here.
We’re on a bye this week with Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio to celebrate Memorial Day, but join us when we hop back on the saddle on June 3 with Justin Carlson, Will Solomon and Mojothunder. The action kicks off at 9 a.m. on 93.9 FM and on LexingtonCommunityRadio.org.
Red Barn Radio’s 653rd live concert recording will feature Stanton, Ky. native Aaron Boyd, a purveyor of southern rock ballads. For the show Boyd will be joined by his backing band consisting of Trevor and Trenton Jenkins, Josh Anglin and Collin Vice, who lay the ground for Boyd’s epic stories of his languished past hooked on alcohol and opiates. Beginning to write songs only two years ago, Boyd is out to tell and show everybody that he ain’t the man that he once was, one song at a time.
The Southland Jamboree returns for it’s fourteenth season on May 30 when long-time series performers Southland Drive take the stage at Moondance Amphitheater. In addition to marking the first show of the season, the performance will also be the first for the series on it’s new Thursday night schedule, which was changed to better suit musicians and their schedules logistically to perform. The series, which was temporarily put on hold in 2018 due to a lack of funding, was quickly revived by fans later that summer after raising money through a GoFundMe campaign, which presenting partners the Southland Association and LFUCG Parks and Recreation has re-opened this year to assist in keeping the pulse of the free series beating.
Beattyville songsmith Ian Noe will celebrate the release of his debut full-length album Between the Country and help to drum up anticipation for August’s inaugural Railbird Festival (as if it needed help) with help from fellow festival performer Devon Gilfillian with a bash at The Burl on May 30. With an old-school country and folk sound hailing from the Eastern Kentucky coalfields, Noe’s authentic and forthright storytelling songs has long captivated those nearby possessing stunning imagery similar to that of John Prine paired with a drawl similar to Arlo Guthrie.
In recent years Noe has begun to cast his net outside of the Commonwealth to perform, bringing in a wider audience that includes big fish such as Jason Momoa (see video above). With the May 31 release of Between the Country, produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell) at Nashville’s RCA Studio A, Noe looks to cast that net even further and etch his name as the next musical star to emerge from Eastern Kentucky following Stapleton, Simpson and Childers.
Lexington funk/rock/jam collective Driftwood Gypsy return to action on May 31 with their first show at Cosmic Charlie’s 3.0. The group has been hard at work for much of the year working on new material having played only a handful of shows in the area thus far in 2019. However, the one’s they have played have been big, recently opening for the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio on April 14 and Gangstagrass on May 17.
Led by the dynamic vocals and unpredictable antics of vocalists Dereck “Dee” Oldham and David “Chill” Napier, the group continues to provide one of the most exciting and enduring live acts in Central Kentucky with genre bending tunes featuring tripped out jams and soulful melodies that leave listeners boiling over with anticipation of whats to come next. That unpredictability and anticipation is sure to erupt on Friday as the band looks to kick end the month of May in style.
Fourteen-year-old country music prodigy EmiSunshine comes to The Burl for a spectacular Sunday show with support from Wisconsin’s them Coulee Boys. Hailing from Madisonville, Tennessee; EmiSunshine has a voice and songwriting chops rich beyond her years influenced by legends such as Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker and the Louvin Brothers. The artist first broke out following a 2014 performance at a Tennessee flea market which was soon posted to YouTube. Since that time the artist has compiled over 14 million views of her videos on the platform, helping extend her audience and fandom around the globe.
Joining EmiSunshine will be Them Coulee Boys, who make their return to Lexington following a Feb. 14 performance at The Burl with Louisville’s Mama Said String Band. Led by brothers Soren (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Jens Staff (mandolin, vocals), the group features a mix of hard-driving folk rock and old-timey instrumentals that sounds equal parts of the Avett Brothers and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, the later being fellow Wisconsinites along with Them Coulee Boys. Joining the Staff brothers are Beau Janke (banjo, electric banjo, piano, harmonica, vocals) and Neil Krause (bass, kick drum, vocals).