Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blue Mother Tupelo's Swampadelic Style Hard to Define, But Easy To Love

Rising up from the bluffs of Memphis to the mountains of east Tennessee, through the Delta lowlands and muddy banks of Mississippi - Blue Mother Tupelo oozes a kind of southern soul & roots rock that defies boundary or definition.

Blue Mother Tupelo is Ricky & Micol Davis. That's us. Micol is pronounced "Michael", by the way, and they've been making music together since before they were married, back in 1994.

Friday evening, August 24th, they'll take the main stage at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival.

Their musical life together began in Knoxville, Tennessee when they got started as a band in 1995 and then took them to Nashville in 1998. There have been so many peaks & valleys, precious memories & lessons, along the way.

Over the years, they've become fixtures at some of the most prestigious blues and roots festivals in the world, such as the Juke Joint Festival, in the birthplace of the Delta Blues. They've also appeared for many years at North Mississippi's Hill Country Picnic near Holly Springs, Mississippi, alongside the legends of Hill Country Blues. They are equally at home on the festival stage, or at quiet listening rooms with some of Nashville's most reknown singers and songwriters.

Blue Mother Tupelo has released five albums, including their latest, Sanctuary, recorded live in Crawford, Tennessee at Hippie Jack's farm in the Outlaw Gospel Music Sanctuary. Fans of this recording have described it as a "deep, personal connection, “ with nothing but acoustic guitars, tambourines and a 100 year old upright piano in the company of the warmest gathering of music lovers anywhere.

The husband-wife duo have also appeared on numerous recordings for other artists, as well as on movie soundtracks, commercials and television.

The Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, August 23-25 at Kenlake State Park in Aurora, Kentucky. Discount tickets are available HERE!

Charities which will benefit from this year's Hot August Blues Festival include The Shriners, who will be operating festival shuttles with all tips and proceeds going to the Shriners' Childrens' Hospitals, and the Knights of Columbus.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Miami-Based Blues Rocker Albert Castiglia Headed To Hot August Blues

Long known as one of Blues Music's most prolific “road-warriors,” Albert Castiglia (pronounced cas-STEEL-ya) is now bringing his road show to the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival, at Aurora, Kentucky, Friday evening, August 24th.

Albert Castiglia’s history is as colorful as his home town of Miami, Florida. He got a big break after meeting Chicago Blues Legend Junior Wells in 1996, and became Junior’s lead guitar player before Wells died in 1998. After Wells passed, he toured with Atlanta based Blues vocalist, Sandra Hall.

Returning to South Florida after launching his solo career releasing his first CD, Burn (2002), a self-release, collaborating with his long time friend, Graham Wood Drout. Drout’s songs became the perfect vehicle for Castiglia’s soulful vocals. In 2006, he released A Stone’s Throw, his second album and first release for Blues Leaf Record. Castiglia and Drout also released a live CD together, titled Bittersweet Sessions, in 2005.His 2008 CD, These are the Days contained five original Castiglia songs, including a tribute to his mentor Junior Wells, “Godfather of the Blues.” The cover songs from These are the Days paid tribute to a wide range of styles and artists. These are the Days earned him a Blues Music Award nomination for “Song of the Year” for his original, “Bad Year Blues.” Castiglia was nominated again by the Illinois Blues Blast Awards and walked away a winner for “Song of the Year” for “Bad Year Blues,” as well as being nominated for the “Sean Costello Rising Star Award.”

Up All Night is an apt title for Albert Castiglia’s seventh album: nobody sleeps when this man is in town. After 27 years of house-rocking studio albums and smack-in-the-mouth live shows, the Florida bandleader is the acknowledged master of red-raw, sweat-and-hair blues that gives it to you straight. Now, the visceral riffs and bruised soul of Up All Night make everything else sound like a lullaby. “I’d describe the musical vibe of this new album,” says Castiglia simply, “as heavy.”

Released in 2017 on Ruf Records, Up All Night finds Castiglia in a creative swagger after last year’s acclaimed Big Dog. What wasn’t broke then hasn’t been fixed now, with the bluesman once again recording at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, and capturing a warts-and-all mix alongside producer Mike Zito. “I figured since the Big Dog session went so well there, why change studios?” he reasons. “I’ll probably record there for the rest of my life.”

Dockside might be home-turf, but any notion of a comfort zone was dispelled by an edgy new lineup who pushed their bandleader to the wire. “Putting my new band together was a pivotal moment and this recent incarnation has really upped my game,” says Castiglia. “My drummer, Brian Menendez, is very dynamic and gives me that extra spark. He’s along the lines of a Ginger Baker or Mitch Mitchell. Jimmy Pritchard is my bass player and he’s solid as a rock. His tone is fat and he’s right on time. When I hear him, I think of Bill Wyman or Calvin ‘Fuzz’ Jones. It’s a power trio with no boundaries or restrictions. It’s a pretty amazing sound to me and it’s reflective in Up All Night.”

Up All Night is what happens when fist-tight chemistry meets a songwriter firing on all cylinders. Flying out of the blocks and bottling ten songs on the first day, Castiglia shook the Dockside walls with the most powerful songs of his career. There’s the stinging Hoodoo On Me. The strutting garage-band vibe and scream-it-back chorus of Three Legged Dog. The punchy call-and-response bar-room brawler that is Knocked Down Loaded. “That song was written with my frequent collaborator, Graham Wood Drout,” says Castiglia, “and it brings me back to when I was a young musician and felt like I was ten feet tall and bulletproof.”

Now, Blues fans are looking forward to this road warrior bringing his road-tested rocking blues to Kenlake's Hot August Blues Festival!

The Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, August 23-25 at Kenlake State Park in Aurora, Kentucky. Discount tickets are available HERE!

Charities which will benefit from this year's Hot August Blues Festival include The Shriners, who will be operating festival shuttles with all tips and proceeds going to the Shriners' Childrens' Hospitals, and the Knights of Columbus.

Woody Pines Bringing Down Home Swing to Hot August Blues Festival

If you’re wondering where the music of troubadour WOODY PINES comes from, look to the streets. It was on the streets as a professional busker that Woody first cut his teeth, drawing liberally from the lost back alley anthems and scratchy old 78s of American roots music, whether country blues, jugband, hokum, or hillbilly.

That's the refreshing sound Woody Pines brings to the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival, Friday evening, August 24th at the Kenlake State Park Amphitheater.

Heavy rollicking street performances are the key to some of today’s best roots bands, like Old Crow Medicine Show (Woody and OCMS’ Gill Landry used to tour the country in their own jugband), and they’re the key to Woody’s intensely catchy rhythms, jumpy lyrics, and wildly delirious sense of fun. Woody traveled all over the streets of this country, road testing his songs, drawing from the catchiest elements of the music he loved and adding in hopped-up vintage electrification to get that old country dancehall sound down right.

That’s why the songs on his new most recent release, WOODY PINES (on underground label Muddy Roots Recordings) are so hot. This is gonzo folk music, the kind of raise-the-rafters, boot-shakin’ jump blues that used to be banging out of juke joints all over the South in the late 1940s, but now it’s burning into the earholes of a younger generation of Nashville kids, all looking for music with deep roots and something to hang on to.

It’s tempting to call Woody Pine’s newest music “rockabilly,” and in fact he recorded at Sputnik Studios in Nashville, famous for recording rockabilly and psych-twang heroes JD McPherson, Jack White, and Sturgill Simpson. But it might be more accurate to call Woody’s new songs “hillbilly boogie;” a rarely remembered genre of American music made famous by the Delmore Brothers. Hillbilly boogie sits at the exact moment when the buzzed- out, electrified hillbilly country music of Appalachia (which itself drew heavily from country blues), first hit the sawdust-floored honky-tonks of old Nashville and Memphis. It was the moment exactly before the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Woody writes with a wink to this critical time on songs like “Anything for Love” and “New Nashville Boogie,” drawing in modern references at will to make his points. He also dives deep into the tradition, drawing up gems like the old gangsta- folk song “Make It to the Woods” from the Mississippi Sheiks. In Woody’s music, there’s never an idea that roots music should be a recreation of an older time. Instead, he taps the vein of this music that’s still beating today, finding common ground with the old hucksters and bar-hounds who created the music in the first place.

When Woody Pines sings “when the train rolls by, I get a faceful of rain,” this isn’t some hipster dilettante twisting a faux-handlebar mustache and singing about old-timey railroads, this is a dedicated student of Woody Guthrie who used to hop freight trains to get from town to town. This is serious roots music that’s as much a way of life as an aesthetic choice. This music isn’t for dabblers; you gotta feel it in your bones. Let Woody Pines help.

The Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival is set for Thursday through Saturday, August 23-25 at Kenlake State Park in Aurora, Kentucky. Discount tickets are available HERE!

Charities which will benefit from this year's Hot August Blues Festival include The Shriners, who will be operating festival shuttles with all tips and proceeds going to the Shriners' Childrens' Hospitals, and the Knights of Columbus.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Interested In Being A Sponsor?

Are you interested in being a sponsor, or having your business or organization listed as a sponsor of the Hot August Blues Festival?  It's easy and affordable as a business or even an individual to help insure the festival's survival, while also letting everyone know you are helping with this community event which has become one of Western Kentucky's signature tourist attractions!

Our sponsors get their logos on the official Hot August Blues Festival T-Shirts and also on the beautiful and highly collectible Hot August Blues Festival Posters. You could get your name on the banner across the bottom of the stage and on the speakers on either side of the stage. Your logo or name will be featured on the official Hot August Blues Website, along with and link to your business website, and you'll receive mentions in our social media posts. You'll also see your logo or name scrolling on the Jumbo LED Screen which will be located at the top of the amphitheater between acts.  The rest of the time, the screen will be showing live video of the performances.

Before we go any further, let's thank the sponsors we already have!
Peppers Automotive Group
Aurora Electric & Storage
Universal Windows Direct of Paducah
Abernathy's Harley Davidson
Bunch Auction and Realty

There are several levels of sponsorships. It's easy to get your business' name on the collectible posters and t-shirts.  In fact, even an individual can get his or her name on the T-shirt!   For more information on how you can become a sponsor, email us at

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 Hot August Blues Festival! Here We Come!

The 2018 Hot August Blues Festival at Kenlake State Park will be here before you know it!  Make your plans now!  Tickets will go on sale soon on the website at  

We are finalizing contracts with the artists for this year's festival are are very excited, with nationally touring artists, in addition to a new crop of of the best regional talent!

We've listened to your requests and will be making some adjustments and changes, while keeping the things about the festival you said you wanted to keep.

  • We've upgraded the talent budget to bring in more nationally known artists. 
  • The festival will remain on Friday and Saturday at the amphitheater.
  • We have plans in place for a beer garden, although coolers will still be allowed.
  • We are working on better lighting for the steps.
  • We have plans for a big screen behind the sound board at the top of the amphitheater for those who would rather not be going up and down the steps.
  • We have decided to NO LONGER allow beach balls at the festival, as we feel they could be a hazard as well as a distraction for fans watching and listening to the show. 
We'll let you know more as we go along.  In the meantime, THANKS to our sponsors, Peppers Automotive, Aurora Electric and Storage, Bunch Auction and Realty and Abernathy's Harley Davidson.  There are still plenty of sponsorship opportunities available at all levels!  If you would like to join us in supporting the festival and The Blues, contact us at 270 519 1788.

You can also hear some great Blues music and keep up with the latest developments with the festival by listening to our new weekly Blues Radio show, The Sunday Night Blues Revue, each Sunday night from 6-8PM on 102-5 DXR, Paducah, KY, or also available worldwide in Podcast on iTunes, Tunein, Soundcloud, PlayFM and more!