By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Rumpke Mountain Boys, Chris & Jenn Shouse and Joslyn & The Sweet Compression are sure to set off some musical fireworks in this week’s Fourth of July edition of the live menu. View all of my top picks for July 1-7 below and the entire menu here.
Join me again next Monday, July 1, from 9-11 a.m. for episode 73 of Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio. During the show’s first hour we’ll sit down with Jared Lee of Dead Audio Blog, Expansion Festival and Cornett to preview day one of Railbird Festival, coming to Keeneland in August. Then at 10 a.m. I’ll chat with the band Cindy about their upcoming EP release show at the Green Lantern on July 11. Tune in live on the dial at 93.9 FM or stream online at LexingtonCommunityRadio.org.
Following ROMP and Festival of the Red last weekend, the Kentucky festivals continue into the holiday weekend with the second annual Trash Bash at Rockcastle Riverside in nearby Livingston. Nestled along the banks of the Rockcastle River, the festival – which also shares the site with October’s Moonshiner’s Ball – begins on Thursday, July 4 with performances from Eastern Kentucky rockers Sean Whiting and Laid Back Country Picker prior to Cincinnati’s Rumpke Mountain Boys capping the evening off with their first of three sets to come throughout the weekend.
The music continues to heat up on day two with Red River grunge trio The Handshake Deals, harmonious Louisville string quintet Mama Said String Band, who are fresh off releasing their sophomore album Carry the Water; and Luna & The Mountain Jets before accelerating into overdrive with over-the-top, do-everything jam rockers Driftwood Gypsy along with another night of tripped out trash grass from the Rumpke Mountain Boys.
The third and final day of Trash Bash (July 6) begins with the rock and punk infused flavors of NP Presley & the Ghost of Jesse Garon followed by the ballads of songsmith Eric Bolander and the fast enough to light a spark string picking of Restless Leg String Band, a late add to the event as they eye the fall release of their third studio album. The jazz fusion of the Baja Yetis and tricked-out jams of Arkansas’ Vintage Pistol will later give way to the weekend’s final performance – an electric set from the Rumpke Mountain Boys.
For more information visit the official Facebook event page.
The Southland Jamboree continues on July 4 with Irvine-based husband and wife duo Chris & Jenn Shouse bringing their soothing harmonies and swift, yet soft instrumentals of Appalachian tales. The duo, which will stretch to a five-piece for Thursday’s show, first began pursuing their musical endeavors in 2016 following Chris’s departure from Louisville-based 23 String Band. Switching out his guitar for mandolin, Chris plays behind wife Jenn, who wields a guitar in addition to her bone chilling lyrics.
The group released their debut album Gray Space in June 2018 and have a habit of mixing in their reinterpretations of pop and rock hits such as Radiohead’s “Creep” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” among others into their sets to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Rounding out the group for Thursday’s show will be Owen Reynolds on bass, Cody Duggar on bass and Jamie Briscoe on drums.
Fresh off a Juneteenth performance with iconic Louisville rap group Nappy Roots, Lexington funk and soul collaborative Joslyn & The Sweet Compression return to action with a bluesy bash at Cosmic Charlie’s on July 6. Paired up with the high-flying troupe are Jackson, Ky.’s Short & Company, Dayton, Ohio’s This Pine Box and Louisville’s Roadie.
This Pine Box will kick off the evening with a mix of intoxicating alt-rock. Led by Jake Knight (vocals/guitar), the group formed in 2016 and has steadily built momentum around themselves following the release of their debut EP and full length The Way Out in Nov. 2018 via Soul Step Records. Following the Dayton group will be Short & Company, a gritty southern blues trio fronted by Jeremy Short that in past years has garnered recognition for reaching the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The group released their latest album Lost in a Spin in March 2018 which gives a glimpse into small town Appalachia in tackling topics such as addiction, hitting the road away from home and more.
Following Joslyn & The Sweet Compression and capping off the night will be Roadie, a group which is the brainchild of Chris Rodhaffer. Roadie’s debut album Unfamiliar Skies features guest appearances by Will Oldham, Dawn Landes and others to go along with the group’s regular lineup of Meg Samples on drums, Jose Oreta on bass, longtime Ben Sollee collaborator Jordan Ellis on drums and Christopher Fuller on keys.
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 68 (Moonshiner’s Ball and Joslyn & The Sweet Compression)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 67 (Whalerus and Sean Whiting)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 63 (Driftwood Gypsy and Lylak)
- Southland Jamboree reveals 2019 artist lineup
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 55 – 2/11/19 (w/ Mama Said String Band and Brother Smith)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 54 – 2/4/19 (w/ The Native Howl, NP Presley and Nicholas Jamerson)
- PREMIERE: Arkansas’ Vintage Pistol reminisces on “Play It Like They Used To”
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 29 – RYVOLI, Supermoon, Laid Back Country Picker
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 13 – 3/28/18 (w/ Jeremy Short)