Music News & Reviews

After successful first run, Concerts at the Castle announces line up for second season

The first season hasn’t even concluded yet and already year two of Concerts at the Castle is a done deal.

The Grascals, Alison Brown and The Travelin’ McCourys are just some of the acts confirmed for the 2019 run of the bluegrass, country and folk-informed concerts series to be staged at the Kentucky Castle in Versailles. The sophomore season schedule will also include several familiar home state faves, including Ben Sollee and Exile.

Concerts at the Castle debuted in late spring with outdoor performances staged on the roof (when weather permitted) and lawn inside of the iconic Central Kentucky attraction. The events have been sellouts, prompting an extended second season of 10 shows to be staged between May and October of 2019.

Season tickets are currently available. Tickets for individual shows will go on sale following the final concert in the series’ inaugural year, an Oct. 18 outing by Tyminski, the stage alias of longtime Alison Krauss and Union Station co-vocalist Dan Tyminski.

Concerts at the Castle has been one of the most visible — and, as a result — most popular projects designed to make the Central Kentucky property more public friendly after remaining dormant and closed for decades.

“It’s funny to be playing here,” said Jerry Douglas, during his June concert, the series’ first performance to be presented on the roof of the Castle. “I mean, I’ve been driving past this place all my life.”

Here is the near-complete lineup for the second season of Concerts at the Castle. Details on a 10th performance are to be announced.

Ben Sollee, shown performing at the 2018 Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, will be the first artist in the 2019 Concerts at the Castle series. Rich Copley

May 16: Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native — The Lexington/Louisville cellist, known for working in numerous folk and pop-directed settings, performs with his Americana- inclined string band Kentucky Native.

June 13: Exile — A pop institution during the ‘60s and ‘70s and a country dynasty during the ‘80s and ‘90s, Exile has been performing for more than 55 years. The band returns with its popular ‘80s country lineup intact.

July 11: The Grascals — Multiple IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals still boast such powerhouse players as guitarist/vocalist Terry Eldredge and banjoist Kristen Scott Benson.

July 25: Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band — As comedic as it is country, this Nashville troupe relishes in old time string band sounds with the playing of clawhammer banjo ace Troy at the helm.

Aug. 15: The Farm Hands — The Farm Hands are old hands when it comes to bluegrass with a lineup that includes Grammy winning dobro pro Tim Graves and guitarist (and Rhonda Vincent/Vassar Clements alum) Keith Tew.

Aug. 29: Alison Brown Quartet — Perhaps the most progressively minded act on the Concerts at the Castle bill, banjoist and Compass Records co-founder Brown brings a jazz ambiance to her band’s string sound.

Sept. 19: Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley — Next to Jerry Douglas, Ickes is the dobro’s most heralded and innovative instrumentalist. His duo with guitarist/vocalist Hensley steers closer to traditional country than bluegrass.

Ronnie McCoury leads the Travelin’ McCourys on stage at the 2017 MoonTower Music Festival. Rich Copley

Oct. 3: The Travelin’ McCourys — Essentially the Del McCoury Band without father Del in charge, The Travelin’ McCourys venture beyond bluegrass tradition but maintain a sound that is consistently scholarly.

Oct. 17: Over the Rhine — A welcome and overdue return by the progressive folk couple of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist. The Cincinnati-bred group they front will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2019.


Concerts at the Castle 2019

When: May-Oct. 2019

Where: The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles

Tickets: $299 for full season, $35 for individual concerts

Call: 859-256-0322