Wick’s Picks: Top Albums of 2017

Despite the ups and downs that 2017 the year brought us great music aplenty. With the year in the rear view mirror, we at Big Blue Tunes take a look back on some of our favorite albums of the year, ranging from Americana to rock'n roll and indie pop.

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Appalachian artists shine at Kickin’ it on the Creek

In its third year, Kickin’ it on the Creek, located a “Country mile” from downtown Irvine, Ky. May just be the best festival you’ve never heard about.

Inaugural Petefest aims to “Stomp the Stigma”

Organized in memory of Pete Jones and to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, the first annual PeteFest at Jones Fields outside Louisville was a smashing success. Driving up to the festival it was hard to fathom how close it was to the bustling downtown of Louisville, with meandering roads hugged by bustling tree lines leading to the festival grounds, offering the perfect escape for a weekend of music and philanthropy.

Blake Shelton, Dustin Lynch bring Red, White & Boom to a rousing finale

With the dreary weather plaguing Friday’s opening performances of Red, White & Boom long gone, it’s closing night couldn’t have been more of a contrast, with sunny skies and dry weather drawing fans to Whitaker Bank Ballpark in droves dressed head to toe in cowboy boots and American flag garb to see Blake Shelton, Dustin Lynch, William Michael Morgan and Carly Pearce cap off a weekend of star-studded country music.

Master Musicians Festival builds to a rousing finale for growing audience

Since 1994 the Master Musicians Festival has brought marquee names to Somerset and the Lake Cumberland region including The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show and Willie Nelson. This weekend’s 24th annual gathering boasted fan favorites Colter Wall, Old 97’s, Dawes and Blackberry Smoke on stage at Festival Field at Somerset Community College.

Festival of the Bluegrass finishes with a late-night party

Saturday at Festival of the Bluegrass featured arguably the 44th annual gathering’s most diverse lineup, musically speaking, with equal amounts of traditional and progressive bluegrass from bands such as The Grascals, The Wooks, Seldom Scene and Town Mountain amplified into the sea of attendees in lawn chairs.

Blackfoot Gypsies bring old vibes to new album

At a time when people are reverting back to the age of classic rock, blues and old-time country, Nashville’s Blackfoot Gypsies bring a refreshing update to the genres with their third studio record “To the Top!,” out April 14 on Plowboy Records. The 15-track compilation sees the energetic four-piece foray into their usual blend of Rolling Stones-era rock ‘n’ roll along with honky-tonk country, jazz, blues, soul and Americana.

Foxygen shines with symphony orchestra on ‘Hang’

For a group that moved past breakup and physical abuse allegations, Foxygen doesn’t miss a beat on their third studio effort ‘Hang,’ which released on Jan. 20. The record, a follow-up to 2014’s disappointing ‘...And Star Power’ features a 40-person orchestra in the studio with duo Jonathan Rado and Sam France, allowing more room for their experimental blend of classic rock and pop that is sometimes even bordering on rock opera territory, to navigate.

The Wooks clean up at Lexington Music Awards

The Wooks walked away big winners at the third annual Lexington Community Awards on Sunday night, picking up victories for Song of the Year for the number “County Girl” and Album of the Year for their debut record ‘Little Circles.’ The Wooks also won the award for best country artist, leaving them with three trophies to lead the pack of all nominees.