For years, that’s how Louisville has celebrated the last days of summer.
Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon Experience will again feature all of your favorites – 3 days of incredible live bluegrass music from musicians across the country, barbecue, a craft vendor tent, plus the chance to enjoy some of the area’s most popular bourbons – and even taste a few of the unique craft bourbons that help make Kentucky the bourbon capitol of the world.
There’s no better place to toast summer good-bye than the Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon Experience. We can’t wait to see you there!
Since 2000, the Bluegrass genre has experienced an explosion of popularity nationwide. Nowhere is that more powerfully demonstrated than right here in our own Kentucky bluegrass-grown backyards. Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon Experience captures the essence of what has made it so popular-a musical experience that comes from the soul in a way that grabs your ears and your heart and simply won't let go.
Hailing from Prospect, KY, it only seems right to have local Hickory & Friends kick off this year’s Bluegrass Festival. Their melodic sound is sure to get you into the mood and warm you up for a long weekend of Kentucky’s homegrown bluegrass sound.5pm – 7pm
This local band’s sound is often summed up by the title track of their debut album “Livin’ in the Past”. Louisville, once the epicenter of bluegrass music, bears a rich history of bringing the genre right up to the cutting edge. With their songwriting and multi-genre fusion, Relic is part of a revival of this platform, blending rich vocal harmonies with colorful instrumentation.7:30pm – 9pm
Lonesome River Band continues their reputation as one of the most respected names in bluegrass music. Led by five-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year and Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer Sammy Shelor, the group holds a powerhouse line up of award-winning players including vocalist and songwriter Brandon Rickman on guitar, Mike Hartgrove on fiddle, Barry Reed on bass and Randy Jones on mandolin and vocals.
9:30pm - 11pm
Now these boys will take you through the hills of ol’ Kentucky, bearing the stories, traditions and liquor that date back a century. This old-time band delivers with an intensity that would knock the sock’s right off of their forefather’s feet.
4pm – 4:45pm
It's bluegrass that burns going down, warms your gut, and then hits your head like a thunderbolt of white lightning. Banjos, mandolins and fiddles mingle with drums and electric guitars and the soaring, emotive vocals of lead singer Beth Walker harness an Appalachian blues to make the stories in their songs really sing.
5pm – 6pm
Hog Operation has been a part of the Kentucky bluegrass scene for the past 30 years. With members who previously performed as part band such as the Galoots and the Dillards, as well as a member who founded the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, these guys are sure to put on a show!
6:15pm – 7:30pm
Hailing from rural Southeast Ohio, The Wayfarers emerged onto the scene in early 2010 playing their own form of American Roots music. They fuse tight musicianship - centered largely by the fiddle - with the high energy that characterized early mountain music. With old-time radio shows setting the example, their style encompasses Appalachian dance music, traditional mountain fiddle tunes, and pre-bluegrass music of the 1920's - resulting in a dose of nostalgic Americana.
7:45pm - 9pm
Larry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia.
9:30pm - 11pm
Red Ember has all the elements for a great instrumental band, but the huge vocals swimming in emotional harmonies pour out of the group around heart-felt songwriting to offer the full package. The group is easily capable of hitting any genre skillfully, and still settles in an individual niche that can’t be replicated.
4pm – 4:45pm
Total Strangers is a Louisville, KY based band playing an eclectic mix of Bluegrass, Country, Old-time and original material. When the band played its first two gigs, the members did not really know one another, hence the name. But, that's the thing, it's about the music. It doesn't matter if you catch Total Strangers performing at a festival, at a rehearsal or just warming up back stage before a show, the music is always exciting and fun.
5pm - 6pm
Decidedly contemporary in their musical approach, this band showcases virtuosic improvisation and creative harmonic soundscape ideas alongside old-time rhythm and emotional melodic sensibilities. Only two years old as a band, the duo has already gained recognition and attention from some major festivals, including a headlining slot at the 2014 Auckland Folk Festival in New Zealand.
6:15pm - 7:15pm
Newtown features five artists demonstrating a vast array of acoustic music styling. The band is able to journey into a realm of their own while still maintaining the spirit of the legendary bluegrass and “Newgrass” sounds created within the walls of Lexington’s Red Slipper Lounge during the mid 70’s.
7:30pm – 9pm
It doesn’t really get much better than five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California and North Carolina giving us a wide array of flavors of bluegrass music. Known to raise a bit of a ruckus wherever they play, The Hogslop String Band will surely bring this year’s Bluegrass Festival to a rockin’ close.
9:30pm – 11pm
To maintain a safe and fun festival, the following items are prohibited from the event:
Note: All prohibited items are subject to confiscation by event promoter and/or staff
The event promoter (Bisig Impact Group), event staff, Louisville Water Company, City of Louisville, sponsors, or contracted vendors are not held liable for injury, loss, property damage, inclement weather or natural disasters on event premises.
Have a question about this year’s festival that we have not answered above? Send us a message and we will be happy to help.Jennifer Washle
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