A series of 10 concerts featuring nationally known artists such as Exile and Jerry Douglas will be held this June at Cardome Renaissance Center.

Michael Johnathon, who created the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour and the Troubadour Concert Series, assembled the series which will be presented by Highbridge Spring Water. The concert series will be run by the all-volunteer-run Troubadour Concert Series staff under Johnathon’s leadership.

The concert series is part of an effort by Gov. Andy Beshear to encourage people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in order to open the economy, Johnathon said. Among those hardest hit have been musicians and artists, because they could not perform due to pandemic restrictions, he said. When he was offered a chance to help, Johnathon put together the concert series. Anyone with a vaccination card will be admitted free, and Pfizer vaccines will be offered onsite before each concert. A rapid test clearance taken within 48 hours of the concert event will also be required.

“The music business has been clobbered by the pandemic,” Johnathon said. “What better way to fight the collapse of the music business with more music?”

It took Johnathon, a Paris resident, a week to assemble the concert series lineup.

“This is part of what makes Kentucky so great,” he said. “The community spirit is absolutely endearing. Kentucky is like the rocking chair on America’s front porch and this music is part of the soundtrack that will make Kentucky’s future a leading force.

“These artists are all coming out of the goodness of their hearts. They want to help. This series was not hard to put together because they are all my friends and we all want this ding-dang pandemic over with.”

The concerts will be held in a massive 500-seat tent.

Teams will be on site the night of each concert, so people can receive a Pfizer vaccine and a rapid test — which takes about 20 minutes for a result, so come early if necessary.  Information on how to reserve a free ticket to any or all of the Concerts at Cardome will be posted online at TroubaShow.com beginning May 25 after 10 a.m. Look for the Cardome button.

“These concerts are 10 great reasons why folks should be in Georgetown this June,” Johnathon said. “That’s important, we need to love our hometowns, keep them healthy and fun.”

All concerts are tentatively set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Grounds will open at 5 p.m. for those who plan to receive a vaccination or who may need a rapid test.

The concert lineup includes:

Jerry Douglas Band, June 6

One of bluegrass SuperStars, the iconic featured performer with Alison Krauss & Union Station, the driving force behind the IBMA Entertainer of Year group Earls of Leicester, in concert with his full band.

Arlo McKinley, June 8

Standing in the grand tradition of Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson and Colter Wall, Arlo is packing them in at theaters across north America. This is a rare and special event.

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, June 12

The most awarded fiddle player in the history of the IBMA, infused with rocket ship energy on the heals of receiving the Grammy Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year. In concert with his band of super pickers.

Bobby Rush and Tee Dee Young - Double Bill, June 16

Grammy Award winning blues master, king of the Delta roots tradition and Chitlin’ Circuit, winning 12 Blues Music Awards just in thrill e last few years alone. If you love real, raw, rootsy blues … don’t miss Bobby Rush! Tee Dee Young is nothing short of Kentucky’s own blues treasure, a legend in his on right as a recognized master of the Blues.

Suzy Bogguss, June 18

One of country musics most awarded and revered voices, In the 1990s, six of her songs were Top 10 hits, three albums were certified gold, and one album received a platinum certification. Hit records like “Souvenirs’ “Aces’ “Letting Go’ “Drive South” and more, plus tunes from her latest Merle Haggard tribute album.

George Winston, June 19

One of America’s premier piano masters, selling millions of albums across the globe, especially know for the Linus and Lucy theme song for the Peanuts TV Specials. This will be a magical evening of grand instrumental mastery not to be missed.

Tommy Emmanuel with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, June 25

Revered as the greatest acoustic guitarist on planet earth, his concerts leave audiences spellbound around the world. The Australian guitar master is considered the Chet Atkins of the new generation, inspiring thousands of young guitar players in his shadow. Rob Ickes is a master musician winning over a dozen IBMA Dobro Player of the Year Awards and Trey Hensley is a brilliant new generation guitar player. Bring your seat belts for this one.

Exile, June 26

Kentucky’s own iconic superstars, members of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and among Country music top hit makes. They ignited their career with the global smash “I Want To Kiss You All Over” followed by a huge list of top country hit records.

Andy McKee and Ben Sollee, June 29

Andy is one of the most brilliant acoustic guitar players in North America, Ben has changed the way musicians approach the cello. This is two separate concert performance in one night. One ticket, One Night, One stage, Two Artists for an evening of mind bending musicianship.

In January, Gov. Beshear presented Johnathon with the Milner Award for his efforts in the arts, nationwide and in Kentucky. Other Milner Award winners include Wendell Berry, Jesse Stewart and Jean Ritchie. In addition to creating the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio hour, Johnathon has produced multiple albums and books. Most recently, his screenplay, “Caney Creek: The Legend of Alice Lloyd,” was optioned for production as a motion picture.


Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com. 

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