After turning countless heads in 2020 with the critically-acclaimed 40th Anniversary Celebration album, Gary Brewer & The Kentucky Ramblers have even more reason to celebrate as the project jumps to No. 1 this week on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. The achievement marks the first time in his illustrious career that Brewer has topped the chart. The star-studded collection features a “who’s-who” lineup of featured artists on the project including Sam Bush, The Travelin’ McCourys, Russell Moore, Dale Ann Bradley, Ashton Shepherd, Doug Phelps (of The Kentucky Headhunters), Ralph Stanley II and T. Graham Brown. The full collection is available for download and streaming HERE.
“Well it is most certainly an honor and privilege to be in the number one slot on Billboard,” says Brewer. “I am very excited that the 40-year celebration project has garnered enough attention to top this industry chart. I would personally like to thank everyone on our team, and the music professionals that helped make this possible.”
The band’s main goal is to produce top-notch music, carrying on a family legacy for generations to come. Gary’s sons (Gary “Wayne” Jr. and brother Mason) are also helping to do this as 6th generation musicians, currently touring and creating music as members of The Kentucky Ramblers. Needless to say, that even though he’s 40 years in, Gary and the Brewer’s will be making music for many more years to come. By having many inspirations both young and old, the band’s sound has evolved with an Americana edge, while also staying true to Gary Brewer’s Bluegrass roots, which have been a mainstay on Bluegrass and Roots Music charts for decades.
Throughout the album roll-out, the chart-topping band has kept busy promoting the new material. American Songwriter gave fans the exclusive premiere of the project’s lead single, “Goin’ Up Shell Creek” which features the Grammy winning group The Travelin’ McCourys. The publication raved about the song, saying that “The track is a well written and pristinely executed bluegrass tune that keeps its energy up without losing control. The song comes equipped with every element it needs to be a complete and cohesive piece of music.” “Goin’ Up Shell Creek” puts Brewer’s songwriting on full-display, with the hit-maker penning it himself. The hard-hitting track serves as the opening cut for the 40th Anniversary Celebration album.
Other outlets praising 40th Anniversary Celebration includes Roots Music Report, who calls the record “a perfect way to recognize a man’s 40-year professional music career.” The Bluegrass Standard called the project “an all-star extravaganza of all original songs,” while the Midwest Record says “Brewer is the kind of guy that has the oomph to make something niche go mainstream and open the ears… This pro and his pals might have the biggest Bluegrass record on his hands since Dueling Banjos.”
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.