Thursday, April 27, 2017

Meet The Artists: Laurie Jane and the 45's

Laurie Jane and The 45's will appear Saturday, August 26th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival! 

Laurie Jane and The 45's are currently generating a BIG BUZZ as a rising blues sensation. Already well known in the Kentuckiana area, Laurie Jane Jessup's vocals carry a torch for classic singers of the 40's and 50's while the band delivers Chicago blues swagger infused with the raw energy of the early days of Sun Records. Their soulful originals and unique interpretations of classics delight any blues-hungry audience. Laurie Jame and the 45's won over many new fans in Memphis earlier this year, while representing the Kentuckiana Blues Society in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge, where she and the boys packed em in on Beale Street.

Laurie Jane and The 45's are a band of best friends, brothers, a husband and a wife. Their sound is a melting pot of 1950's big-city electric blues with the high energy sounds of early rockabilly and soul. Laurie Jane's jazz-influenced vocals, sincere and restrained, float across the depths of Cort Duggins' 12-string slide guitar and deep blues picking. Jason Embry's upright bass and Scott Dugdale's drums lay down raucous, swinging backbeats.  They are indeed one of today's blues scene's rising stars! 

Meet The Artists: Alonzo Pennington

Alonzo Pennington, is a multi-award-winning guitar player who’s been performing his own music since he was 13. He cut his teeth playing alongside his father, respected and renowned thumbpicker, Eddie Pennington. So, take a smattering of vintage Merle Travis, a dash of Stevie Ray Vaughan, a spoonful of Waylon Jennings, and a pinch of Tommy Emmanuel, throw them all into a big old pot and you've got Alonzo Pennington. A satisfying musical stew that’s been influenced by greats in all styles! You are certain to enjoy some blazing guitar work, heart-felt ballads, and a few laughs along the way.

Although the son of a famous guitar player, Alonzo has established himself as a "A-list" guitarist in his own rite, having....

  • Played The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,TN.
  • Performed on stage with: Wille Nelson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tommy Emmanuel, John Michael Montgomery, Joe Diffie, and many more.
  • Been named 3-time International Thumbpicking Contest Grand-Champion. He is also a past National Thumbpicking contest winner.
  • Four Times competed at the Blues Foundation's International Blues Competition in Memphis Tn , and beating out hundreds of performers en route to the IBC Semi-Finals.
  • Been named an Honorable Kentucky Colonel, as an ambassador presenting Kentucky's rich musical heritage to the rest of the nation, and the world.

Alonzo's latest release is entitled, Born With Nothing on Soul-Trax Records.

Along with teaching guitar workshops and performing across the country, Alonzo has an instructional DVD and online course available through

Meet The Artists: The Beat Daddys

The Beat Daddys are appearing Saturday, August 26th at this year's Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival! 

In 1986, Larry Grisham and Tommy Stillwell joined forces to form the foundation of The Beat Daddys. The years since have seen a few lineup changes, but also nine critically acclaimed CD releases, film and television soundtrack credits and nonstop touring in the United States and abroad with Blues and Rock n Roll Hall of Famers. They've recorded for one of the nation's most revered blues labels, Malaco and Waldoxy, as well. Today, The Beat Daddys are still the road warriors they were more than 30 years ago. The only difference is, they have even more stories from the road, to bring the blues alive. 


Meet The Artists: 2 Years Wasted

2 Years Wasted appears Friday evening, August 25th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival.

If you like the Allman Brothers, you will LOVE 2 Years Wasted! 

Two Years Wasted was formed by five friends in Paducah, Kentucky, who shared a desire to write original songs together and have a good time doing it! In the fall of 2009, the journey began. With Dan Bell on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Rick Cooper on bass and vocals, Fred Hoover on keyboards, Sam Moore on guitar and vocals, and the one and only Jeff Pryor on drums. 

The Band has accomplished exactly what they started out to do, with the release of their self titled debut CD in August, 2016 and the up coming fall, 2017 release of the Bands second CD, they are definitely on a roll. Cranking out some of the finest Blues and Blues Rock tunes around with touches of Southern Rock and Jazz thrown in the mix, the Band has become an area favorite of music lovers and musicians alike! 

Without a doubt, one of the best, all ORIGINAL, Bands you'll hear anywhere! Come see what you DONT want to miss! 


Meet The Artists: Reggie May

Reggie May appears Saturday, August 26th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival.

Originally from the New York City area, he's made Kentucky his home since 2001. He's been playing music since he was a kid... soul/R&B, classic rock, blues, jazz, pop, and more. He's backed up artists like Carole King and Alice “Tan” Ridley, and played in bands on guitar, bass and drums.

His style is a blend of many of his musical influences: the smooth jazz of George Benson, the funk of James Brown guitarist Jimmy Nolen, the searing rock tones of Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix, the rhythmic grooves of session giants like Cornell Dupree, Charles “Skip” Pitts and David T. Walker. His mellow baritone voice recalls Larry Graham's vocal style, with an upper range reminiscent of Sam Cooke.

Meet The Artists: Al Hill

Al Hill appears Saturday, August 26th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival. 

Al Hill is a Nashville-based singer, piano player and guitarist. Just back from Memphis where he won First Place awards for Best Solo/Duo Act and Best Solo Guitarist at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, he stylistically covers a wide swath of roots-rock, blues and soul music.

Since 2002 Al has been music director for three-time Grammy nominee and the Blues Foundation’s Best Soul Blues Female Artist of 2016, Bettye LaVette, performing throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Japan and Australia. Bettye and Al have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Austin City Limits.

Al’s latest release is “Big Valley Girl”, a collaboration with his long-time pal and partner Brophy Dale. The disc dips into the R&B sounds they made while tearing up the Michigan scene in the ’80s, and is dedicated to a good friend they recently lost.

Al’s debut recording “Willie Mae” blended roots-rock and soul and was voted “Best CD” at the Motor Cities Blues Awards in 1999. Al and his band won the “Best Unsigned Band” competition, held at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago in 2000, and Al was voted “Outstanding Blues Artist” at the Motor City Music Awards in 2005. In 2008 Al was inspired to move south, and now calls Nashville home.

When not touring on his own or with Ms. Lavette, Al performs with his wife Whit Hill in her alt-folk-country band The Postcards, does sessions and produces other artists.

Other artists Al has worked with include Delbert McClinton, T. Graham Brown, Johnny Johnson, Detroit blues luminaries Johnnie Bassett, Alberta Adams and Sir Mack Rice, Wanda Jackson, Mike Farris, Lazy Lester, Marva Wright, Kermit Ruffins and Sleepy LaBeef.

Meet The Artists: Ivas John

Ivas John appears Friday evening, August 25th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival.

Born in Chicago as a first generation Lithuanian American, Ivas John’s self made career stems from the musicality of his family. His working class father, who Ivas credits as his biggest influence, appeared in productions for the local opera company and was a regular fixture on the vibrant folk and blues scene in Chicago during the late 60’s. Ivas picked up a guitar at sixteen and hasn’t put it down. At first focusing on the instrument, and later adopting his father’s short and sweet “three verses and a chorus” theory of songwriting.”

Riverfront Times, “Together, between Ivas’ ability with the guitar and the songwriting

assistance from his father, Ivas John’s sound is a blend equal parts Ry Cooder, Mose Allison, Robert Cray, Van Morrison, Keb Mo, and Delbert McClinton. The music pleases the casual bar patron and the scrutinizing critic alike. Though he is an artist who understands the debt that is owed to his predecessors, and how important it is to honorably carry traditional music on, Ivas John is no copycat. As such, fans may have a hard time pinpointing exactly in what blues style Ivas is playing, but none will question that it is the genuine article.

Chicago Blues Legend Billy Flynn, “Refreshing to hear a new band that clearly has a foundation in the blues, and not funk or rock like so many others.”

Meet The Artists: Lew Jetton & 61 South

Lew Jetton appears Friday evening, August 25th at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival. 

Lew Jetton learned The Blues while working in the cotton fields of his native West Tennessee as a teenager and young man. Musically, he had 2 of the best mentors you could think of. While working in Jackson, Tennessee, he became acquainted with the legendary Carl Perkins. Later, after moving to Western Kentucky, he was befriended by blues legend Snooky Pryor, who hailed from just across the Ohio River in Southern Illinois. Lew joined the blues band 61 South in 1994 as a guitar player, then took over as the frontman a year later, when the original singer, Fast Layne Hendrickson, moved to New Orleans.

Since then, they've become multiple “Picks to Click” on Sirius/XM Bluesville Channel, and favorites on the Midwest club and festival circuit and Lew has continued to write and produce critically acclaimed blues music.

Rain, the new CD from Lew Jetton & 61 South, continues to further Jetton's reputation as a clever songwriter, and dynamic, original vocalist, finishing in the top 40 of Roots Music Report's Contemporary Blues Releases for 2016 after more than 6 months on the Roots Music Report Charts. Their new CD, Palestine is due this summer.

Meet The Artists: Rip Lee Pryor

Rip Lee Pryor appears Friday, August 25th at 6PM at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival! 

Richard "Rip Lee" Pryor didn't have to go far for his blues pass. He was born into it, he is the son of the legendary Snooky Pryor. Rip started at a young tender age blowing his dad's discarded harmonicas and mimicking his records.

Rip played guitar in several local soul bands while in high school. In 1994, he started playing blues guitar with his dad, netting a spot on Snooky's CD recording "Mind Your Own Business" and also a Japan tour. Rip formed several blues bands in the Carbondale Il area, singing and blowing harmonica. In 1998, he recorded a CD "Pitch a Boogie Woogie" playing all instruments on 8 of the tracks. Later he got into doing his solo act playing guitar and harmonica. With the hassle of music and a day job he got out of the music business in 2000. After retiring from his day job in 2008 and a bout with bone marrow cancer in 2010, Rip is back and very strong. He has been working steady with his One Man Blues Show touring South America, Europe, playing various local venues and blues festivals throughout the US. Rip recorded a CD in 2014 with Electro-Fi Records "Nobody But Me". Rip plays Chicago '50's style blues with a vengeance


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Meet The Artists: Scalehound

SCALEHOUND will be appearing Thursday, August 24th at 6PM at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival. They'll be appearing at the annual opening FREE concert on the lawn of the Kenlake State Park Lodge!

SCALEHOUND is the musical creation of brothers Jonathan and Robert Sirls.

Growing up in rural Western Kentucky with musician parents, the Sirls brothers were exposed to live musical performances at an early age. After a few years of honing their skills in their teens, writing original music became the focus. So the brothers packed up and headed to Nashville, TN to further the cause.

Since moving to Nashville many moons ago, the brothers have released six albums independently (w/Scalehound and also Big Jim Slade) and have performed hundreds of shows locally, regionally, and nationally. Some notable experiences include a 4 year residency at popular Nashville venue Mercy Lounge as backing band for the “Everybody’s A Rockstar” Show, multiple appearances at Bonnaroo, and direct support for national acts such as Blind Melon, King’s X, Drive-By Truckers, Blackberry Smoke, Raging Slab, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise, Kevin Kinney, OkGo, Centromatic, etc.

In 2011, SCALEHOUND released their self-titled debut album, recorded at The Switchyard in Nashville, TN, with only an acoustic, a resonator, and a stomp board. The album contains 11 songs that run the gamut, from swampy opener “The End If We Want It” to heavy closer “Movin On”.

SCALEHOUND was also a featured artist in THE DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL (now PIVOT) series “Liner Notes” during the documentary "John Lee Hooker: That's My Story".

In addition to SCALEHOUND, the brothers are also members of Abandon Jalopy, the solo project from Brad Smith of Grammy Nominated/Multi-Platinum act Blind Melon.

SCALEHOUND is currently working on songs for a sophomore release, and recently added Chris Belt to the fold on drums for full band shows. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Your Kenlake Hot August Blues Questions Answered!

Do you have some questions about this year's festival? We bet others have the same question!  E-mail your question by filling out the form HERE on the CONTACT PAGE, and we'll answer your question, PLUS post the question and answer here so others can see!

How much are tickets and where can I get them?
Tickets are ON SALE NOW online!  Ticket prices will NOT GO UP!  In fact if you order early you will save BIG $$$.   If you order online before August 1st, they will be only $30 for BOTH FRIDAY and SATURDAY! After that ticket prices will go up. At the gate, ticket prices will be the same as last year, Friday $20, and Saturday $25 and $40 for BOTH DAYS.  Children 12 and under, accompanied by an adult will be admitted at no charge. Ticket sales at local retailers do not start until August 1st, with the combo ticket costing $40. There will be no advance sales for individual day tickets, only for the combo tickets. Tickets will be available August 1st at The Kenlake State Park Lodge, and Kaylee's Farmhouse Restaurant in Aurora, and Music One in Murray, KY.  If we add more outlets, we'll update the information.   CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

I noticed you have a beer/wine vendor, will I be able to bring in a cooler, like in years past?
Yes! Nothing has changed although we will be asking lot's of YOU questions at the festival about possible changes and what YOU would like for future festivals.  In the meantime, even though you can bring in a cooler there are NO GLASS BOTTLES ALLOWED and they will be confiscated!

The last several years, my friends and I have purchased a table with an umbrella at the top of the amphitheater.  Will we be able to do that again this year and if so, how much?
There are 10 tables with umbrellas at the top of the amphitheater.  Five are for our corporate sponsors, and the other 5 can be purchased by those who want preferred seating. They'll each have 6 chairs and come with 6 wristbands for both Friday and Saturday. THERE IS ONLY ONE LEFT! They are available on a first come, first served basis for $420.  CLICK HERE TO BUY THE VIP PARTY PASS TICKET! 

My band would like to play at the Kenlake Hot August Blues.  How do we apply?
The bands for this year have already been chosen, but in the late fall, our committee will begin looking at bands for next year!  Please feel free to submit at the time by clicking HERE and including a link to your band's EPK.

I would like to be a vendor at the Kenlake Hot August Blues.  How do I apply?
The vendors for this year have already been chosen, but we will be closely examining how our vendors do, and how they go over with the crowd, asking questions such as, "Do we have enough vendors?, Do we need different varieties of food?"  Just like the bands, feel free to contact us in the late fall and inquire about being a vendor for next year, by clicking HERE!

Will there be a shuttle service from the lodge, campground and Aurora to the Amphitheater? 
YES! The Shriners will provide shuttle service, with ALL TIPS going to the Shriners Children's Hospital!  There will be designated shuttle stops to get on and off.  The shuttle will begin running at 3PM Friday, and 10AM Saturday and continue running until everyone is returned to the campground, cabins, lodge or other motels in Aurora.  If you're coming to the festival, be sure to have a designated driver or take advantage of the shuttle service as it is there for the safety and convenience of everybody!

Can I bring my dog into the festival with me?
No!  We're sorry but it would be a safety concern for your pet, and our other guests!  


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Friday LIneup for Kenlake HAB 2017

Friday night, August 25, the Kenlake Hot August  Blues moves over to the Kenlake State Park amphitheater for a great night of blues! The gates will open extra early at 3 PM. That way you can go ahead and pick out your favorite spot,  and also sample some of the great food from our food vendors.

The show will begin at 6 PM with Rip Lee Pryor, the son of the legendary Snooky Pryor. Snooky, of course, was a blues legend, and with Rip Lee, the apple did not fall far from the tree!

The next band is 2 Years Wasted. If you like the Allman Brothers, you will LOVE 2 Years Wasted.  That's who most say they remind them of.

Up next is Ivas John. If you have never heard Ivas John you are in for a real treat! Ivas is a favorite in both St Louis and Chicago. His CD spent most of last year on the roots music report chart. His cool voice and unique picking style give him a sound which is both traditional but different from anyone else on the blues scene today.

Friday night comes to a climax with Lew Jetton & 61 South returning to the festival! Their latest album, Rain, spent more than 6 months on the Roots Music Report's Contemporary Blues Chart in 2016 into 2017. For this show, they're also promising some surprises, with some special guests joining them for a good ole fashioned blues jam!

Kenlake Hot August Blues Begins Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The 2017 Kenlake_HotAugust blues festival will officially begin Thursday night, August 24, on the lawn of the Kenlake State Park Lodge.

This will be a FREE concert so bring your lawn chairs and plan to attend. The concert will feature Scale Hound, a band with Western Kentucky roots, although they have played the Bonaroo music festival several times, and have opened for such great bands as the Drive By Truckers and Blackberry Smoke among others. 

Also on the bill for Thursday night are local favorites Adam and the H-Bombs!  It's a great way to get the long festival weekend off to a great start!