July 25, 2006

Unbridled folk music: Kentucky Music Weekend readies for Year 31

Barton Para Kentucky can probably be accused of a lot of things. As of late, most of the big complaints seem to concern coal mining and the destruction that goes along with it. But if there’s one thing the bluegrass state certainly cannot be accused of, it’s denying or ignoring its heritage. We’ve got a few claims to fame here, most notably the Kentucky Derby — and, by proxy, anything Churchill Downs- or horse-related. More importantly, we have bluegrass and old timey music. Of course, who can fault us for laying claim to a musical form that many consider one of the most innovative and vital styles in the world, behind jazz? Plus, bluegrass is fun and certainly reflects that “unbridled spirit” and down-home charm its home state likes to portray (har har har).Madcat RuthThat said, Iroquois Park, in association with the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, is playing host the 31st annual Kentucky Music Weekend, two solid days of bluegrass and old timey music performances. At 31 years, it can hardly be said that the people behind the Kentucky Music Weekend are Johnnys-come-lately to the whole bluegrass thing, and the recognition they’ve received only confirms this.     In 2000, for example, on the occasion of KMW’s 25th anniversary, the state legislature voted it the state’s premiere folk festival. Now that’s unbridled spirit.Reel World String BandIn addition to the Friday and Saturday evening concerts on the Iroquois Amphitheater main stage — featuring performances by John and Will Gage, The Cantrells, Juggernaut Jug Band, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Zoe Speaks and Spontaneous Combustion, among others — there will be several performances during the day on Saturday. These include Kentucky Standard Band and AltarNatives. Also, for the fifth year running, the weekend will play host to the Kentucky Championship Contest for mountain and hammered dulcimer, which happens from noon until 2 p.m. Later in the evening, there will be a big public dance and a pick-up band performance.For a complete list of performers and a schedule of performance times, visit the Kentucky Music Weekend Web site: www.kentuckymusicweekend.com. Also, it’s important to note that although the festivities are all free, there will be many Dare to Care food bank collection bins around, and non-perishable food donations are welcomed and appreciated.Music Issue apologia: There are a couple of things in need of address from last week’s LEO Music Issue. First, an apology to Production Simple, as we misstated the cost of a particular show and more generally the locations of others in Jessica Farquhar’s piece, “Do us all a favor and go see a show.” The errors were introduced during the editorial process, so don’t get mad at Jessica. Sorry ’bout that. In another matter, the LEO Music Desk has received an absurd amount of angry mail about the piece by Jay Ditzer and T.E. Lyons, “Genres we’d like to see dead.” We’ve also become aware that there are, in fact, members of the LEO Staff — as well as other people in the world — who enjoy some of the very genres these two would like to see “dead,” such as jam bands.So, in an effort to prove that we support equal opportunity, and to appease the virtual army of jam band lovers who’ve visited their vitriol on us big time, we’d like to offer additional genres of music that need to die. Really.To wit: Grade-school recorder concerts, classical music at-large, all locally generated music of any stripe, emo, indie rock, hardcore, punk rock, alt-rock, alt-country, jazz, jazz fusion, pop, singer-songwriter, country, hip-hop, acid jazz, autoharp music, electronica, a capella music, Bobby Fucking McFerrin, homeless men singing in alleys alone, all world music, oldies, smooth jazz, classic rock, boy bands, barbershop quartets (again, boy bands), hair metal, filk singing, folk singing, Tuvan throat singing, aboriginal jams, polka, adult contemporary, bluegrass, nu-grass, Hot AC, Riot Grrrl, children’s music, spirituals, gospel, country blues, Delta blues, Chicago blues, trucker songs, speed metal, thrash, Goth, campfire jingles, commercial jingles, Latin funk, gay club music, straight club music, all other club music, grunge, post-grunge, Southern rock, cock rock, ambient music, Tesla, tribute bands, cover bands, chanting, marching bands, fight songs, peace songs, war songs, all political music, Fleetwood Mac, soundtracks, show tunes, anything by Danny Elfman, stripper music, elevator music, power ballads, Christmas music, Chanukah folk, Ramadan jams, ska, dub, reggae, and whatever’s playing in your iPod. We will spare, for now, circus music, as we respect a sense of humor that is firmly in tune. —Stephen George/LEO Staff Hate mail here: leobeat@leoweekly.com