2017 06 28 kentucy Lavalette
Photo by Shane Lavalette

19th Annual
Southern Music Issue & CD
featuring KENTUCKY

From 2009 until 2015, our music issue featured a different Southern state every year (raise your hand if you’ve got them all: Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia).
Last year, we departed from the series to examine “Visions of the Blues.

In 2017, we are returning to the state series. And we are thrilled to announce that it’s your turn, Kentucky.

The Commonwealth gave us musicians like Loretta Lynn and Nappy Roots, Richard Hell and Bill Monroe—just to name a very few—and beloved writers like Crystal Wilkinson, Ronni Lundy, Silas House, and our own poetry editor, Rebecca Gayle Howell. This is just a taste of Kentucky and a taste of what’s to come.

We invite you to come back for more reading—and listening—in November.

In the meantime: What Kentucky song or story should we feature in the issue? Drop us a line with your ideas. 

As always, the issue will come packaged with a CD of songs, with liner notes in the magazine.

On newsstands November 21, 2017 — pre-order your copy here.

The issue will mail to subscribers on November 7, 2017 — subscribe today.

 

I had this idea that I could arrive in Macon, Georgia, via rental sedan, nose around for a day or two, and figure something out about the South, and rock music in the South, and men in the South, and men, and death, and guitars, and the Allman Brothers Band, who, in the late 1960s, engineered a new style of rock music that was deeply and earnestly influenced by rhythm & blues but also by something else—some wildness I couldn’t isolate or define or deny.

The 1960s were coming to a close when rising country rock musician Gram Parsons posed next to Nudie Cohn, the celebrated Western-wear designer more than three times his senior, for a photoshoot. Neither of them would have predicted that Parsons’s “Nudie suit”—embroidered with rhinestone-studded marijuana leaves, sequin-dotted poppies, and sugar cubes laced with LSD—also foretold of his death.

Twelve years ago, the historical reissue label Dust-to-Digital released a six-disc masterpiece of early spiritual recordings called Goodbye, Babylon. Lance Ledbetter, who runs the Atlanta record company with his wife, April, is working on another project that will match Goodbye, Babylon in size and scope. That is, if they can finish it.

At forty-three, Rico Wade’s still got something to prove. Most people with music industry aspirations find a way to build a business. Rico built a family instead. Then he discovered why family and business rarely mix. But when your past is OutKast and your present is a rapper named Future, it ain’t over till the last ATLien sings.

I’ve often said that Vic Chesnutt was the best songwriter of my generation; someday there will be classes at fine colleges devoted to the study of his songs.

While urban hip-hop ushered in an era of “bling” and hyper-materialism, the Albany-based duo Field Mob trademarked their country-ness.

 

A heartbreaking deep soul classic by Atlanta’s Lee Moses almost became the third ’60s-era song called “Bad Girl” to grace an OA music issue CD.

At the age when most rappers have effectively retired, burned out, or become irrelevant altogether, Killer Mike is releasing some of the best music of his career to the widest audience he’s ever reached.