Erika Wennerstrom to perform at Tahlsound Music Festival

By Matt Wickstrom

Erika Wennerstrom. Photo by Briana Purser

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The howling vocals of Erika Wennerstrom will echo down the Southland Drive corridor when the artist performs during the third annual Tahlsound Music Festival, to be held Sept. 21-22 on the Oleika Temple Great Lawn.

Other performers joining the Dayton, Ohio-born Heartless Bastards are songwriter Will Solomon, Marble Creek Rangers, a group led by Eric Cummins, a longtime employee at Southland Drive business resident Willcutt Guitars; Letters of Acceptance, Pinky Liberachi, The Eastman Duo consisting of University of Kentucky (UK) Professors of Saxophone and Guitar Miles Osland and Dieter Hennings; the UK Gamalan Ensemble and The Mojotones.

In addition to music the festival will include local and regional merchants, artists and food vendors; craft beer from West Sixth Brewing, interactive and family-friendly experiences, face painting and creative art from the Sisohpromatem Art Foundation, an instrument petting zoo provided by CKYO MusicWorks, a Tahlsound CANvas creation and much more.

The idea for Tahlsound began nearly a decade ago as a mere dream of bringing a music festival to Southland Drive, which has previously been the home to venues such as Willie’s Locally Known and Big Hair HQ along with being the long-time host of the Southland Jamboree on the lawn of Collins Bowling, Southland Lexington Farmer’s Market and the Southland Street Fair. Finally, in 2017 the dream came to life. Four friends – Gareth Evans, Seth Murphy, Brandon Pittard, and Chris Smith – with aid from dozens of their friends and neighbors collaborated to bring Lexington the inaugural Southland’s Tahlsound Music Festival at the neighborhood’s best kept secret, the Oleika Temple Great Lawn.

However, the area dubbed “Lexington’s Music Row” in 2010 by former mayor Jim Newberry have far more in the realm of music to offer than just performance spaces. Southland Drive has long been known as one of Lexington’s oldest shopping districts, connecting a thriving array of local, regional, and national businesses to a loyal, neighboring populous and constant flow of patrons. A string of music stores have and continue to operate along Southland Drive as well including Willcutt Guitars, which just last year celebrated it’s 50 year anniversary, along with Don Wilson Music, The Drum Center of Lexington and the Doo-Wop Shop. Other businesses that have occupied the corridor in the past include Carl’s Music Center, Chuck’s Guitars, and DW Sound.

Southland’s Tahlsound Music Festival is not a festival for the ages; it is a festival for the neighborhood, for the families that attend the Jamboree so faithfully, the folks enjoying a picker or two busking nearby as they purchase some local produce at the Farmer’s Market, and a festival for Lexington that seeks to spotlight showcase talented, area musicians to a local audience on a green space with artists and vendors in a family friendly environment.

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