11 months ago
Did you know that our record label, June Appal Recordings, has almost 100 albums in its catalogue?
Recorded by some of the true “greats” of our region, today we are proud to announce the addition of several new “greats” to our star-studded catalogue with the release of “Wild and Free,” a new album from Kentucky Wild Horse.
Formed in 2001, Kentucky Wild Horse is one of the region’s most sought-after live bands. Its original lineup included Paul David Smith, John Harrod, Don Rogers, Jeff Keith, Jim Webb, and Kevin Kehrberg, who recorded new compositions and riffed on traditionals to find common ground between old-time, bluegrass and hillbilly swing.
Over the years the band was joined by musicians like Jesse Wells, Tona Barkley, Ben Griffith, Arthur Hancock IV, Roddy Puckett, Barbara Rosner, and our very own Brett Ratliff. All these musicians are on display in “Wild and Free,” Kentucky Wild Horse’s new release on our June Appal record label that captures performances from 15 years of their beloved shows.
The album includes original songs by John Harrod, Jim Webb, Cousin Emmy, the Amburgey Sisters, Molly O’Day, the Kentucky String Ticklers, Red Allen, and Tom T. Hall, plus tunes adopted from other regions by Milton Brown, Bob Wills, Texas Ruby, and Arthur Smith.
“Wild and Free” brings home the energy that showgoers have come to love from one of the region’s most sought-after live bands, and captures the spirit of our own record label, June Appal Recordings, too.
Founded in 1974, June Appal Recordings has distributed mountain music over a period of time in which the very definition of what it means to be “mountain music” has grown and evolved.
The first album ever released on our label was by Nimrod Workman, who was the subject of an Appalshop film the next year by Scott Faulkner and Anthony Slone. Often breaking out into impromptu performances of traditional ballads and original songs — for which he won a National Heritage Award — Nimrod set the tone for the inventiveness and cultural heft that would typify so many June Appal Recordings.
Nearly 100 albums later, June Appal is still representing artists today. We were proud to release The Local Honeys’ latest album, The Gospel, in the fall of 2019, and we’re so pleased to amplify Kentucky Wild Horse and the many regional musicians who’ve made up this beloved ensemble now in the spring of 2020.
The album will drop in its entirety on Friday, but today we’re releasing “Yes, Sir,” a single from “Wild and Free.” It’s a toe-tapping tune about a good time courting and nearly getting yourself killed.
Stream it on our Bandcamp — and keep an eye out for the full album dropping Friday.