Introducing Kentucky music acts to watch in 2020
Each year, Kentucky Country Music likes to promote music acts that we feel like could rise even further in their year. Each of these acts have showed off their talents on the stage and in the studio and should be some that others should get to know. For 2020, we picked out a wide variety of music acts that also flow into other genres of music.
Cody Lee Meece is singer-songwriter from Somerset, Kentucky. His musical style consists of country blended in with rock and blues. Cody’s is influenced by the likes of the Allman Brothers, Al Green, Otis Redding, Kevin Dalton, Pearlie Jenkins, Jon New, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Lamontagne, and Del Phonics. He has plans of releasing an album in 2020, so be sure to stay tune to have a chance to hear it. You can find him online at www.facebook.com/codyleemeecemusic. Below is his performance of his self-penned song, “Lonesome as Me” as recorded for SomerSessions.
Dustin Collins hails from Bardstown, Kentucky, and has been living in Nashville lately. His honky tonk attitude is brought out with his music that makes you ready to party. In 2019, Dustin made his debut as No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers South Central Albums chart, No. 9 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, No. 21 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and No. 25 on the Billboard Country Albums Sales chart (Hot Shot Debut). He also partnered with Fastline with “Workin’ Man.” Be sure to check him out online at www.dustincollinsmusic.com.
Ian Noe was born and raised in Beattyville, Kentucky, nestled in the heart of Appalachia. In 2017, he released an EP called “Off This Mountaintop.” Then in 2019, he would release “Between the Country,” which would gain national attention by several publications and the ears of actor Jason Momoa. Momoa would feature him on his social media pages with video clips of his beautifully handcrafted songs. Ian Noe’s songs bring out different characters that are described that is reminiscent of how fellow Kentuckian, Tom T. Hall, would bring the stories to life through songs. Go and check Ian Noe out online at https://www.iannoe.com/
JD Shelburne has been working on creating his fanbase for several years, but it seems as though things are really kicking up for him. He has been constantly touring between Kentucky, Tennessee, and out to California in the last year. J.D. Shelburne has represented the state of Kentucky through his songs that are upbeat to take you to a field party or a tailgate party cheering on the UK Wildcats. In fact, the 2020 Kentucky Tourism Guide will be featuring him on the cover. Read about our recent interview with J.D. Shelburne by clicking here. You can also check him out online at https://www.jdshelburne.com/.
Joslyn & the Sweet Compression comes Lexington, Kentucky, and has really made a huge impression to many throughout the state. If you blended soul, funk, rock, and a slice of country, you would result in Joslyn & the Sweet Compression. Joslyn’s songwriting talents are shown throughout the songs the band has released. In 2019, they released their debut album. Between the album and live music performances, we feel like 2020 will be one of greater momentum. Be sure to check out them out online at https://joslynandtsc.com/ and check out Joslyn & the Sweet Compression at a show near you.
Kevin Dalton & The Tuesday Blooms of Somerset ended 2019 with a New Year’s Eve performance in their hometown. The songwriting, vocal harmonies, and grooving instrumentation get you on your feet dancing as you sway to the music. They just released their album, “Paper Airplanes.” Be on the lookout as they are taking flight in the Kentucky music scene. Catch a ride by checking them out at https://www.facebook.com/radioangels/.
Kristi Stanley is perhaps the most eastern Kentucky native that we have the list, coming from Pikeville. Upon listening to Kristi Stanley, you hear such sweet vocals that are genuine to the Appalachian sounds of eastern Kentucky. In talking with her, you learn of a great appreciation that she has of the music of Kentucky. Whether it is country or bluegrass music, Kristi Stanley’s talents shine through her lyrics and vocals. This year she plans on releasing a new album. In the meantime, check out our interview with Kristi Stanley by clicking here. You can also check her out online at www.krististanley.com.
Phoebe White is our youngest member of the list out of London, Kentucky. The sweet natured young talent has been singing for several years. Most recently, she has performed the National Anthem at Lexington Legends ballgames, performed on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, as well as Renfro Valley. In 2019, she caught our ears by winning multiple talent contests throughout Kentucky and in Nashville. Phoebe is a JMA Junior Entertainer of the Year at just 10 years old. Her love of music spans many different generations and genres, but her favorites are country, western, Christian, gospel, Americana, bluegrass, and R&B. Be sure to check Phoebe White out at www.singphoebesing.com.
Rachel Crowe Band comes along from Stanton, Kentucky, and has been making a scene in Kentucky through their music. Their performances are a blend of soulful country rock blues with a hint of Appalachia. They have been rocking on stage of quite a few festivals and gaining attention by many music fans. Rachel’s vocals remind us of that raspy soulful vibes of Wynonna Judd, but her own flavor. Be sure to check out Rachel Crowe Band at https://rachelcroweband.com/home.
Tiffany Williams was brought to our attention one year ago with the release of her debut album, “When You Go.” The Whiteburg, Kentucky native is a true reflection overall of the beauty and soul of Appalachia with her songwriting and performances. Her vocals have a slight hint of Suzy Boguss and Holly Dunn, but she has made them her own.
Furthermore, in addition to being an excellent songwriter, she has won awards for her fiction writing. One of those prestigious awards was the 2011 Jean Ritchie Fellowship for Appalachian Writing. Be sure to follow her online at www.tiffanywilliams.com.
Tyler Booth was born and raised in Wolfe County, Kentucky, in the heart of natural attractions such as Natural Bridge and the Red River Gorge. He has been splitting his time between Nashville and Kentucky in his career performing at several honky tonks. Over the last few years, he has started to make a name for himself. In fact, he was chosen to be a part of an album with the hit duo, Brooks n Dunn, singing their greatest hit songs. He has been a part of Brantley Gilbert’s cruise performing alongside many well-known acts. Tyler Booth plans to release a full album in 2020 that we’re guarantee will represent Kentucky very well. Be sure to keep track of Tyler at www.tylerboothmusic.com.
Tyler Smith of Harlan County has been making a name for himself in the last year. He has been a huge promoter of Kentucky acts, all while shining his light on his own musical talents. The singer-songwriter has been performing at several music festivals in 2019, as well as been featured on stage of the Red Barn Radio show. His robust sounding band is one to be on the lookout for if you want solid country gold sounds coming through your speakers. Find out more on Tyler Smith at www.facebook.com/pg/TylerSmithMusic1985.
Stay tune as we plan on featuring each act on our social media pages, as well as here on Kentucky Country Music.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.