Kentucky’s Top Independent Talent Comes Together for Tornado Benefit

Cole Chaney / Kelsey Waldon / John R. Miller / Logan Halstead

The tornadoes that ravaged large swaths of Western Kentucky on December 10th struck at the very heart of country music’s heartland, and what’s become the launching point for the current country music revolution led very much by artists from Kentucky and the surrounding region.

Now many of the artists whose names are synonymous with Kentucky and the authentic country music it gives birth to are coming together to help their fellow neighbors and communities in a benefit concert at The Burl in Lexington on New Years Day, which will also be streamed live thanks to John Prine’s record label, Oh Boy Records.

John Prine’s family is originally from Kentucky, and one of his signature songs called “Paradise” is about a now ghost town in Muhlenberg County. Muhlenberg County and the town of Bremen were especially hard hit in the tornado outbreak, with two twisters touching down, including one that was on the ground for 17 miles, and tore through Bremen, killing 11 of the town’s 350 residents.

If you want to know who some of the greatest independent and up-and-coming artists are from the region, just look at the lineup for this benefit concert. There may not be a better congregation point of the present and future of independent country music.

Kelsey Waldon is the Oh Boy Records-signed songbird of Western Kentucky, originally from the tiny community of Monkey’s Eyebrow. Cole Chaney’s debut album Mercy has been cited by many as their favorite discovery of 2021, while West Virginian John R. Miller’s Depreciated has been cited as the best album all year. Brit Taylor’s album Real Me put her on the country music radar in 2020, while Logan Halstead and Leah Blevins are two names commonly brought up as the future of music from Kentucky.

That’s not to mention former Saving Country Music Song of the Year winner Justin Wells, or Nicholas Jamerson of Sundy Best. For those in-the-know, they know how loaded this lineup is, and what a great opportunity this benefit will be to preview it all in one place. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Muhlenberg Country Disaster Relief Fund, and Team Western Kentucky.

Tickets can be purchased from The Burl, with livestream tickets available from Oh Boy Records.

Full lineup includes: Abby Hamilton, Brit Taylor, Brother Smith, Cole Chaney, Eric Bolander, Grayson Jenkins, John R Miller, Justin Wells, Kelsey Waldon, Leah Blevins, Logan Halstead, Magnolia Boulevard, Nicholas Jamerson, Scott T. Smith, Senora May, and Wayne Graham.

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