Beginning March 1st, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame will begin a special Residency Program. The Artists in Residence program is an ambassador program for the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame where one group or a single individual is chosen each year to represent the Hall of Fame. The program is also an aid to the chosen group because they help promote them and grow their following in the industry.
For 2018, the Artist in Residence that was chosen is Kentucky Just Us of Greensburg, Kentucky. The family music group will perform at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame monthly and all special events.
Avery Bradshaw, Director, noted that “Kentucky Just us is a family group that truly has a passion for music and Kentucky. We know they have a passion to keep Kentucky’s musical heritage alive. They are great ambassadors of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and we look forward to helping them grow their talents.”
Kentucky Just Us is composed of a talented group of individuals. On lead vocals, guitar, and mandolin is John Paul Meador who embraces the traditional styles of bluegrass and country music. Over on fiddle and vocals is Kacey O’Neal, whose sweet voice reminds you of a young Loretta Lynn. The comedian of the group is Jesse Meador who plays banjo, as well as tell a few jokes. This 15-year-old might be destined to become the next Grandpa Jones or Stringbean Akeman. The youngest of the group, Caleb O’Neal, is 8 years old and has been working hard on his mandolin licks.
The two pillars of the group are Terry and Shelane O’Neal. Shelane has learned to balance teaching, family, and playing bass for the group. She is also an accomplished BMI Songwriter. Terry is also multi-talented from balancing band management, promoting, being a father, and playing keyboard.
Kentucky Just Us is knowledgeable of the deep history of Kentucky’s music. They are presently attending Hazard Community and Technical College’s Kentucky School of Bluegrass & Traditional Music in Hyden, KY. Among their instructors is bluegrass legend and Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Member, Bobby Osborne. The group also spends a lot of time learning from their mentor, the great fiddle legend, Buddy Spicher.
In becoming the first Artist in Residence at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Terry O’Neal said, “This is truly an honor. We have been blessed and I’m glad that they thought so much about us to include us.”
Kentucky Just Us have traveled many miles and performed at events in Branson, Nashville, and many Kentucky festivals. They have been featured at the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as Tim Farmer’s Homemade Jam and Woodsongs. They are expecting to book more events to showcase their talents, as well as promote the rich heritage that is contained at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
Be sure to check out Kentucky Just Us online at www.kentuckyjustus.com and via Facebook at www.facebook.com/KentuckyJustUs. You can find out more on the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame at www.kentuckymusichalloffame.com.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.