Music News & Reviews

Rumpke Mountain Boys headline at three-day Harrodsburg music festival

Adam Copeland, J.D. Westmoreland, Ben Gourley and Jason Wolf  of the Rumpke Mountain Boys will perform at the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival.
Adam Copeland, J.D. Westmoreland, Ben Gourley and Jason Wolf of the Rumpke Mountain Boys will perform at the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival. rumpkemountainboys.com

Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival

Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at Terrapin Hill Farm, 3696 Mackville Rd. (Route 152 West) in Harrodsburg. $40-$90. www.terrapinhillfestivals.com.

One of the surest signs of the impending fall is the return of the long running Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival.

For a full weekend every autumn, the event takes over Terrapin Hill Farm in Harrodsburg with a packed lineup of progressive bluegrass, string music and jam-oriented acts from around the block and around the country.

Among the luminaries who have played the Harvest Festival over the past decade are The Del McCoury Band, Moon Taxi, Railroad Earth, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, The New Mastersounds and The Infamous Stringdusters. There have also been separate group appearances that have featured three members of the Grateful Dead — Mickey Hart (The Mickey Hart Band in 2012), Bill Kreutzmann (7 Walkers in 2011) and Tom Constanten (Dose Hermanos in 2010).

This year’s guests include Harvest Festival favorite the Rumpke Mountain Boys out of Cincinnati, which headline Saturday and Sunday, the Joe Marcinek Band from northwest Indiana and EGi from Chicago. As usual, the bill will also sport a hefty serving of homegrown grooves courtesy of The Wooks, Magnolia Boulevard and Restless Leg String Band.

Here’s the full schedule:

Friday (Aug. 31) — open mic (12:30 p.m.); Jonathan Scales Fourchestra (3 p.m.); Electric Garden (5 p.m.); Magnolia Boulevard (7:30 p.m.); The Wooks (10 p.m.); Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (12:30 a.m.).

Saturday (Sept. 1) — Leight July (11 a.m.); DJ Spellbinder (1 p.m.); Joe Marcinek Band (3 p.m.); Hyryder (5:30 p.m.); Henhouse Prowlers (8 p.m.); Rumpke Mountain Boys (10:30 p.m.); Devil Train (1 a.m.).

Sunday (Sept. 2) — Brother Smith (12:30 p.m.); Restless Leg String Band (3 p.m.); EGi (5:30 p.m.); Rumpke Mountain Boys (8 p.m.).

Local heroes

Lexington music thrives this weekend as well as in the week ahead with three recommended shows at three different local venues.

Friday (Aug. 31), The Johnson Brothers Band close out the Summer Nights in Suburbia series at MoonDance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch St. with help from several local pals (Missy Johnston, Marilyn Robie, Tim X. Davis and Adam Luckey among them). The program, dubbed “Lost Legends,” will be devoted to the music of artists who have departed in recent years, including Tom Petty, David Bowie, Gregg Allman and Aretha Franklin. The performance is free. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Friday (Aug. 31) at the Green Lantern, 497 W. 3rd St. also marks the performance debut of Letters of Acceptance, a pop project featuring John Norris and Clint Newman with Lexington mainstays Scott Whiddon and Tim Welch. The band’s first-ever live performance showcases a new four-song release, “LOA 1,” that is being issued digitally and on cassette. Two Kentucky musical vets — Paul K and Otto Helmuth (via his current band Otto) — will open (10 p.m., $5).

Looking ahead to Wednesday (Sept.5), fiddler and songstress Maggie Lander will celebrate the release of a new five-song EP titled “Old Flame” at The Burl (8 p.m., $5). Recorded with local guitar pro J Tom Hantow producing, the record is a nicely textured set of country-tinged works colored with dark Americana ambience supplied by the depth and clarity of Lander’s singing. Hnatow, drummer Robby Cosenza and bassist Scott Stoess will serve as Landers’ backup band on Wednesday. For tickets, go to theburlky.com/shows.

Straight Shooter

Shooter Jennings is back in town on Thursday (Sept. 6) to show off his splendid new intensely country album “Shooter” at The Burl (9 p.m., $25). Jennings will discuss his return to country after numerous stylistic offshoot projects (including a 2016 Giorgio Moroder tribute album) and his longstanding artistic relationship with Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb in Sunday’s Living section. Tickets at theburlky.com/shows.

The week that was

George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center: How appropriate that one of the most telling and emotive performance glimpses of George Clinton would also serve as his Lexington parting shot.

During the closing moments of an uproarious two-hour concert, the only (so far) regional booking on what is being promoted as a farewell tour, the funk patriarch stood beaming amid a stage flooded with members of his vast Parliament/Funkadelic entourage and patrons invited up from the audience. As everyone behind him (roughly 30 or so eager followers) barked out the pop-boppish chorus to “Atomic Dog,” Clinton flashed a grin of childlike glee. Then as the celebration kicked into overdrive, he blew the audience a kiss, faded into the grooving masses and disappeared.

At age 77, the P-Funk headmaster understandably paced himself onstage. He sat for probably one-third of the show, but even then he was openly involved with the joy and action playing out before him.

Clinton touched on much of his 50-plus year career at the show’s onset by inserting the chorus of the 1970 Funkadelic relic “I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody’s Got a Thing” into “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me,” a song from a Parliament album (“Medicaid Fraud Dogg”) released earlier this summer.

The repertoire occasionally dipped far enough into the past to illuminate what was once a marked difference in stylistic temperament between Parliament and Funkadelic. That was demonstrated most generously on the 1971 Funkadelic instrumental “Maggot Brain,” once a showcase for the late guitarist Eddie Hazel, but now a wondrous vehicle for Blackbyrd McKnight. With the band whittled down initially to a trio, McKnight stoically stormed through the tune’s psychedelic slow-burn, a blast of raw blues and soul-inspired introspection. Clinton sat behind him, flashing broad smiles like a justifiably proud father.

Operating as a sort of mash-up of Frank Zappa, Sun Ra and Sly and the Family Stone, this funk circus proved jovial and infectious to the end, setting the stage for a grand and gracious exit by its rightly honored ringmaster.

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