Music News & Reviews

Classic rock DJ Max Corona: Lexington has the ‘healthiest music scene I’ve seen’

Classic Rock 92.1 DJ Max Corona introduced Logan Smith at the 2016 Lexi-Fest. Corona will host again this year with Autumn Barber.
Classic Rock 92.1 DJ Max Corona introduced Logan Smith at the 2016 Lexi-Fest. Corona will host again this year with Autumn Barber.

When WBVX DJ Max Corona thinks of live music in Lexington, the tune that starts playing in his head isn’t one of the classic rock platters he spins on FM 92.1. It’s a TV theme.

“The song from ‘Cheers’: ‘Where Everybody Knows Your Name,’” Corona says. “We have a vibrant music community, and it is a community.

“In places like Nashville, musicians fight and compete all the time. But here, great musicians like Ben Lacy and Devine Carama will share the stage, and they’re not worrying about their place in the order and stuff like that.”

Corona has seen a lot of what Lexington musicians have to offer as an emcee, including for the third annual Lexi-Fest, which is Sunday at Proud Mary BBQ on the Kentucky River, just about as far south as you can go in Fayette County.

The showcase, organized by the same group that presents the Lexington Music Awards, will bring more than a dozen local acts to the stage, creating a sampler platter of rock, jazz, hip-hop, bluegrass and country. The 2016 edition included a classical string trio.

“I have huge expectations for everyone on the bill,” said Corona, who will co-host Sunday’s fest with local musician, attorney and music fan Autumn Barber. “Last year, I was taken by surprise.”

Among the acts he was thrilled to discover was Devine Carama, who he called “a pillar of the community, a servant leader. So many artists are impactful in their own ways.”

Corona says he started in radio at age 16, but he won’t say how long ago that was. He came to Lexington in 2001 and has been with several stations, currently on afternoon drive time from 3 to 7 p.m. on 92.1.

“Wherever I am, I always want to know what’s happening locally.”

These days, it is easier to find out. Most of the bands playing Sunday, including Johnny Conqueroo and the DeBraun Thomas Trio, have social media pages, websites and music on platforms including Bandcamp and Spotify. But Corona says there is something in seeing an act live that makes a difference.

“For most of these folks, the real goal is to play in front of people. At events like this, where everyone is together, you can see there is a lot of cooperation and mutual respect. It’s the healthiest music scene I’ve seen since I’ve done this.”

Rich Copley: 859-231-3217, @LexGoKY.

If you go


What: Local music showcase

Lineup (in scheduled order of appearance)

Mikaya Taylor

Indigo Storm

David McLean

It Takes Two


Regina Mickens

Driftwood Gypsy

Miles Osland / Raliegh Dailey Duo

Big ZO

Johnny Conqueroo

When: 2-10 p.m.

Where: Proud Mary BBQ, 9079 Old Richmond Rd.

Admission: $10