Walter Tunis: Labor Day fare includes country lineup at Winchester festival

Contributing Music WriterAugust 29, 2013 

Singer-songwriter Dustin Lynch is one of the headliners Sunday at the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival.


Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival: Dustin Lynch, Love and Theft, The Lauren Mink Band

5:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Lykins Park, U.S. 60 at Mount Sterling Road, Winchester. $10. 1-800-298-9105 or (859) 744-0556.

It all comes down to this: Labor Day weekend, the last unofficial gasp of summer. Yes, we all know there are three more calendar weeks to the season. But once Labor Day hits, summer becomes a memory. That's just the way it is.

Regionally, one of the biggest non-football-related codas to summer comes to us from Winchester's Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival.

Now in its 35th year, the festival is a weekend-long event that features a Friday night street dance (with Prime Cut and Custom Made; show time is 6:30 p.m.), talent contest, and arts and crafts exhibits. But the main event always comes Sunday, when country music takes over Lykins Park.

I won't go so far as to say the Pioneer Festival has been a launch pad to stardom for Nashville up-and-comers. But celeb acts, including Sugarland, have played the event in their commercially formative years.

This year's lineup includes Tulahoma, Tenn.-born singer/songwriter Dustin Lynch; the country duo of Love and Theft, which took its name from one of Bob Dylan's more recent albums; and Winchester's own Lauren Mink.

10 Foot Pole, The Binders, Happy Chichester

10 p.m. Aug. 30 at Cosmic Charlie's. 388 Woodland Ave. $10. (859) 309-9499.

Lily Pons

10 p.m. Aug. 31 at The Green Lantern Bar, 497 W. Third St. $5. (859) 242-9539.

Get set for some serious time-tripping this weekend as two Lexington bands that have been dormant for many years resurface for a pair of one-off reunions that will turn back the calendars to the '90s.

Up first is the latest reunion of punk-funksters 10 Foot Pole, whose late-'80s shows at the long-gone Wrocklage were some of the great Lexington groove-fests of the day, with music that was akin to the early ravings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Guitarist/ vocalist Bill Quinn, drummer Dave Farris, bassist Brian Arnett and trumpeter John "J.T." Turner roared through the early '90s with 10 Foot Pole until Turner moved to New York. The band continued as a trio until 1996. Local guitar mainstay Willie Eames, who has performed at several previous 10 Foot Pole reunions, will augment the band on Saturday.

"The songs all come back to us," Quinn said. "When you're away from them long enough, some new ideas start to cook. Usually at these reunions, there is always a new flavor to the music."

A realigned version of the all-female rock covers troupe The Binders (Sherri McGee will take the place of Emily Hagihara on drums) along with Ohio song stylist Happy Chichester (of Royal Crescent Mob, Afghan Whigs and Howlin' Maggie fame) will open.

Farriss, Turner and Eames will leap into another, more unexpected Lexington music reunion Sunday. They will head to The Green Lantern to join longtime local-ite Tim Welch and Lexington expatriates Steve Poulton and Eric Belt for the first show in 13 years by the jazz, funk and neo-psychedelic instrumental troupe Lily Pons.

Lily Pons regularly released homemade cassette tapes of prog-induced groove music during the '90s. One of its best tunes, Room to Move, from the then-timely titled Lose Yr Confusion I & II, is available for a listen at

The Deadstring Brothers

8 p.m. Sept. 1 and 2 at Willie's Locally Known. 805 N. Broadway. $7. (859) 281-1116.

Rounding out the holiday weekend will be a two-night stand at Willie's Locally Known by Americana/ country renegades The Deadstring Brothers.

Formed in Detroit by singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Marschke but reconstituted by a move to Nashville, the band has issued an impressive string of recordings, primarily through Chicago's Bloodshot label.

The newest, Cannery Row, downplays the many Exile on Main St.-era Rolling Stones comparisons, which have dogged Marschke and company, in favor of more progressive psychedelic country musings pioneered in the late '60s by The Byrds and Gram Parsons.

The trick with the Deadstrings' live shows, though, is how much of that music you will get to hear. At a late-June performance at Willie's, a trio version of the band spent as much time pounding out proficient covers of faves by The Band, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard and Delbert McClinton as it did on its own music.

It was a blast to listen to, but with a pair of return nights at Willie's at hand, here's hoping Marschke will dig deep into the fine catalog of original songs that made the Deadstrings such a distinctive act in the first place.

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