Copious Notes

For 25th anniversary, Master Musicians Festival finally gets its man

John Prine will headline the 25th annual Master Musicians Festival in Somerset, July 13 and 14.
John Prine will headline the 25th annual Master Musicians Festival in Somerset, July 13 and 14. Master Musicians Festival

Master Musicians Festival president Tiffany Bourne says in her nine years heading up the event, there has never been a time John Prine’s name did not come up as a potential headliner.

“His name has consistently been on our list and is always our first choice,” Bourne said in a news release from the festival. “The timing has never been right for his schedule until this year, and we consider that no coincidence.”

That’s because the timing this year is perfect as Prine will close out the 25th edition of the Somerset Festival, July 13 and 14.

“We are honored to celebrate our 25th year with this legendary master musician,” Bourne said.

Amanda Shires, a frequent John Prine opener and collaborator, will be the penultimate act at the 2018 Master Musicians Festival in Somerset. David McClister

Prine, maybe best known for his Kentucky-based classic “Paradise,” tops a 25th anniversary lineup that includes Amanda Shires, a frequent Prine collaborator who opened for him at a 2015 Singletary Center concert and was joined by her husband, Americana star Jason Isbell. Isbell was just announced as one of the top artists at Louisville’s Forecastle Festival, which will be the same weekend.

J.D. McPherson plays the Mast Stage at the Forecastle Festival July 15, 2017. He’ll headline the opening night of Somerset’s 2018 Master Musicians Festival. Rich Copley

Headlining the opening night of Master Musicians will be one of last year’s Forecastle standouts, JD McPherson, and Canadian quintet The Dead South has the early evening slot.

Saturday will start with a celebration of Kentucky female songwriters including several familiar to Lexington audiences: Chelsea Nolan​ of Slade, Maggie Noelle​ of Lexington, Madison Lewis​ of London and June Burton​ of Somerset. Other Bluegrass-area acts on the lineup include Eric Bolander, Magnolia Boulevard, Joslyn & The Sweet Compression and Grayson Jenkins and the Resolutions. Some of them will be playing on a second stage, which is new this year to the festival.

“Kentucky has so many incredible local and regional bands — this will give festival-goers even more diversity in music and bring an entirely new, exciting vibe to our festival,” Bourne said of the additional stage.

Here is the complete lineup from the fest’s news release:

Main Stage

Friday, July 13

Lamay and Reese 4 p.m.

Bendigo Fletcher 5:30 p.m.

Joslyn & the Sweet Compression 7 p.m.

Art Auction 8 p.m.

The Dead South 8:30 p.m.

McNeil Voice Studio Winner 9:30 p.m.

JD McPherson 10 p.m.

Saturday, July 14

Kentucky Americana Women Songwriters 12 p.m.

Grayson Jenkins and the Resolutions 1:30 p.m.

Dawg Yawp 3 p.m.

Lifetime Achievement Award 4 p.m.

Arlo McKinley & the Lonesome Sound 4:30 p.m.

Art Auction 5:30 p.m.

The Felice Brothers 6 p.m.

Amanda Shires 7:30 p.m.

John Prine 9 p.m.

Eastwood Records Stage (Art Valley)

Friday, July 13

Eric Bolander 5 p.m.

Bee Taylor 6:30 p.m.

Luna and the Mountain Jetts 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 14

Dave Ernst & The Early Favorites 1 p.m.

Coby Langham 2:30 p.m.

John Clay 4 p.m.

John R. Miller 5:30 p.m.

Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters 7 p.m.

Magnolia Boulevard 8:30 p.m.

Rev. John and the Backsliders 10:30 p.m.

Rich Copley: @copiousnotes