By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Burl’s three-year bash with JEFF The Brotherhood, Vandoliers and the Master Musicians Festival in nearby Somerset highlight this week’s live menu. View all of my top concert picks for July 15-21 below and the entire menu here.
Join me again next Monday, July 15, from 9-11 a.m. for episode 75 of Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio. I’ll be joined by local doom/sludge rock project Forrest the first hour to discuss their new album out July 17 followed by Jessica Crockett of the Master Musicians Festival in hour two to discuss the happenings at the event’s 26th annual gathering slated for July 19 and 20. Tune in on the dial at 93.9 FM or stream online at lexingtoncommunityradio.org.
Internationally-acclaimed songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird will stroll into Lexington on July 15 for a Monday evening performance show 983 of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour hosted by Michael Johnathon at the Lyric Theatre. Bird shines on his latest album My Finest Work Yet, a sublime mix of indie-folk, classical and singer-songwriter elements released on March 22. The album is just the latest chapter in a lengthy musical journey for Bird, which began with picking up violin at the age of four and includes 13 albums, the first of which was recorded in 1997.
The other featured guest joining WoodSongs with Bird will be iconic pianist George Winston, who’s career spans more than 40 years and includes more than 15 million albums sold. Monday’s show will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m.
They say everything is bigger in Texas. When it comes to Dallas-based punk-rooted alt-country troupe Vandoliers the saying sticks, with the band packing a monstrous instrumental arsenal equipped with meaty telecasters, a boisterous horn section and timely violin, producing a sound that many have heralded as helping to revive the cowpunk movement spearheaded by Dallas area heroes Old 97’s nearly two decades prior. With Fleming’s gritty and piercing vocals leading the storm Vandoliers’ punk roots are self evident, but also present in the group’s sound is a distinct nod to their Texas roots, incorporating bits of tejano and western swing. The band’s new album Forever, out Feb. 22, is the group’s third overall and first in collaboration with Chicago-based alt-country torchbearers Bloodshot Records, with it coming a Vandoliers’ album featuring their most polished sounding to date, a high-flying powder keg of emotions tackling everything from depression and anxiety on “Fallen Again” to Fleming deciphering his reckless, drug-filled musical life journey on “Sixteen Years.”
Joining the Vandoliers in support will be local songsmith Eric Bolander. Coming off the re-release of his album The Wind on Louisville-based Eastwood Records, Bolander will take the stage at 10 p.m.
Oh how time flies! The Burl will celebrate its three-year anniversary on July 20 with a mind-melting trio of psych rock overlords in JEFF The Brotherhood, Dan Luke and The Raid, and local instrumental trio Sweet Country Meat Boys. Each group is coming off of or has new music in the works with JEFF The Brotherhood releasing their latest album Magick Songs in August 2018 while Dan Luke and The Raid will release their debut effort Out of the Blue on Oct. 11 and Sweet Country Meat Boys dropped their sophomore album I Am The Thief, You Are The Medium on March 23.
Preceding the throw down of lo-fi, high distortion psychedelia will be an outdoor market at the venue hosted by Worn & Company featuring a wide array local vendors and artisans and good from Gringos Food Truck. the market will be open from 2-7 p.m.
Cosmic rock/jam/funk collective Driftwood Gypsy return to action on July 20 at the Night Stand Music and Art Soiree at Rock House Brewing. The group, who’ve been hard at work in their home studio on a batch of new material, have crafted an infectious, hip-shaking concoction of musical euphoria behind a wave of trippy, genre-bending instrumentals and the soul-stirring harmonies of Dereck Oldham and David Napier. Known for their unpredictable and lively shows, each Driftwood Gypsy performance is different than the last, leaving those who bare witness at the peak of anticipation from first meaty bass line to the last acapella echo.
Joining Driftwood Gypsy will be Bandit Sun. The psych/prog rock trio is fresh off the release of their debut album House Afire on July 12, which drummer Greg McIntosh discussed with me at length last week on Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio. In addition to music, visual artwork from Enrique Gonzales, HomeGrown Collectives and K10ArT will also be on display and available for purchase at the event, which begins at 7 p.m.
A collection of some of the best national, regional, and Kentucky born and bread talent will converge on Somerset July 19 and 20 for the 26th annual Master Musicians Festival on the campus of Somerset Community College. The festival, grounded in the foundation of a loyal and hard-working volunteer staff, have wrangled together a star-studded cast of Americana and southern twang for this year’s gathering led by multi-Grammy award-winning artist Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit along with husband and wife duo The War and Treaty and Muhlenburg County’s Lost Dog Street Band.
A bevy of familiar faces from Kentucky and the surrounding region fill out the festival lineup including The Tillers, Nicholas Jamerson and The Josephines. Take a look at my top 10 under the radar performances you won’t want to miss at next weekend’s festival. For more information visit MasterMusiciansFestival.org.
- Don’t miss these 10 undercards at the 26th annual Master Musicians Festival
- LISTEN: Johnny Conqueroo pack nostalgia into rock anthem “Calculations”
- LISTEN: Forrest bring hard-driving doom and gloom to “Bubba”
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 70 (Home Grown Head Band and Vena Cava)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 67 (Whalerus and Sean Whiting)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 66 (w/ Abby Hamilton)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 60 (Sweet Country Meat Boys and Jonathan New)
- 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)
- WICK’S PICKS: Ep. 48 – 12/17/18 (w/ Rachel Crowe and Senora May)