Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival
12:30 p.m. Sept. 9; 10 a.m. Sept. 10, 11 at Terrapin Hill Farm, 3696 Mackville Rd., Harrodsburg. $50, $95, free for children 14 and younger. Terrapinhillfarm.com/festival.
It's nearing mid-September. That means any outdoor event that wants to catch a sense of summer spirit had better get moving. Luckily, the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival has always managed to find a balance between summer and fall sensibilities in a weekend full of jam band-friendly fun.
Leading the festival lineup this year will be Railroad Earth, a New Jersey-bred, bluegrass-informed band with a devout grassroots fan base that has built steadily during the past decade. Vocal inflections that evoke '70s-era Bob Dylan, jams that borrow from jazzier avenues of Southern rock — witness Spring Heeled Jack from Railroad Earth's self-titled 2010 album — and melodies that modestly recall the genre-hopping fun found in early albums by New Grass Revival continue to define the band's spacious sound.
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Other acts on the Terrapin Hill guest list include:
7 Walkers: The New Orleans-spiced groove band featuring guitarist/vocalist Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne; Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann; all-star bassist George Porter, whose credits run from Dr. John to John Scofield, plus a lengthy stay with New Orleans groove favorites The Meters; and longtime Willie Nelson keyboardist/studio sidekick Matt Hubbard.
David Gans: Veteran San Francisco Bay Area singer-songwriter also known to jam band fans as the host of the syndicated radio series The Grateful Dead Hour.
Cornmeal: Progressive bluegrass-and-more band from Chicago.
Greensky Bluegrass: Grassy jam band brigade from Kalamazoo, Mich.
Moon Taxi: Nashville jam band and a veteran of numerous Lexington-area shows.
A host of Kentucky bands including Born Cross Eyed, The 23 String Band and The Barry Mando Project help round out the bill.
As in past years, there are no single-day tickets to the Terrapin Hill Festival. Two-day passes for Saturday and Sunday are available only at the gate for $50, as are weekend-long tickets for $95.
For more information and a full performance schedule, go to Terrapinhillfarm.com/festival.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 10. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $38 $48. Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.
She is, as one of her hit songs attests, a California girl — but not the kind The Beach Boys sang about. But then again, who knows? Maybe what Brian Wilson had in mind when he wrote California Girls in the '60s was a woman with a propensity for blue wigs, the vocabulary of a seasoned sailor and the lack of inhibition about kissing a girl. And liking it.
But with five hits, including California Gurls, from her last album alone, the Santa Barbara-born Katy Perry has become a global pop princess. She is the first pop artist in history to have a recording in the Top 10 for a full year, thanks to the multiplatinum success of only her second studio album, Teenage Dream. Of course, appearing during the past 12 months on TV and film in everything from The Simpsons to The Smurfs also plays well to Perry's camera-ready profile.
"Just refer to the camera as a friend," Perry told Rolling Stone magazine in 2010. "Not a best friend, but a friend."
Not surprisingly, Perry's Saturday night outing at Louisville's KFC Yum Center will come with some glammed-up help that includes acrobats, mimes and costume changes galore.
See what other tricks are in store when Louisville spends Saturday night with a modern California girl.
Need a reason to remind yourself just how stylistically versed Lexington music can be? Then treat yourself to a session with The Swells.
The local sound stylists revel in tripping through various eras of jazz, swing, blues and more, summoning a sound unexpectedly vintage and refreshingly organic.
And what's the source material? Try this sampling of influences the band lists on its Myspace page: James Booker, Hank Williams, Los Lobos, Marc Ribot, Mahalia Jackson, Bill Monroe, Buena Vista Social Club, Miles Davis, Link Wray, Jim Jarmusch and Neil Young. Yeah, I can hear that.
The Swells have been a Lexington club favorite for years. On Saturday, enjoy an entire evening of their fine, undefinable cross- generational music at Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade. (8 p.m. $8. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.)
It's been seven years since we've had Ollabelle playing on local turf. Introduced to Lexington audiences at Rupp Arena as part the T Bone Burnett-organized Great High Mountain Tour in May 2004, followed by two performances at the gone-but-hardly-forgotten Dame location on West Main Street (the first coming the night after the Rupp fest), Ollabelle has established itself as a troupe of versed Americana song stylists that incorporates folk, blues, gospel and roots-driven rock and soul into its original and artfully chosen (and arranged) cover tunes.
There is also a new Ollabelle album, Neon Blue Bird, to champion and, at long last, a return Lexington performance. The band will play Monday at The Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street, as part of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Also on the bill will be the traditional Irish music band Goitse. (6:45 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888. Woodsongs.com.)
Multi-instrumentalist Byron Issacs discusses the making of Neon Blue Bird and more in the Living Sunday section.
Finally, we have a performance Thursday at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, by Fuel, the Tennessee band known for post-grunge hits like Shimmer, Innocent and Hemorrhage (In My Hands) as well as a breakup and reformation starting in 2009 that had members exiting and re-entering its ranks. Today's Fuel, which just released its first new album in eight years, Angels and Devils, features founding guitarist Carl Bell and new vocalist Toryn Green. (8 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 day of show. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)