The Troubadour concert series at Cardome continues to grow and now includes a “Writers Night,” featuring three of Kentucky’s most successful authors.

The concerts are free to anyone with a vaccination card, but anyone wishing to attend must pre-register at and click on the TROUBADOUR panel at the top of the The requirement to have a COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to the concerts has been lifted. The concerts will be held on the grounds of Cardome beneath a giant tent holding some 500 people. Pfizer vaccines will be available onsite before each concert. Volunteers are needed to assist and can sign up via email at Include “Volunteer” in the subject heading, along with contact information.

The concerts will be held rain or shine.

Public response to the concert series has been very good, and local cooperation has been excellent, said officials.

The concert series has grown to 15 events, including the Writers Night, which will feature Kentucky authors Bobby Ann Mason, Silas House and Crystal Wilkinson. The first concert was held last night (Thursday, June 3) featuring Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and additional concerts featuring Nappy Roots and Yasmin Williams, the Sam Bush Band and the Traveling McCourys have been added to the agenda.

The Jerry Douglas Band will be performing Sunday at 5 p.m. Douglas is also a member of Alison Krauss and Union Station, but is also known for his solo efforts.

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 initial concert series lineup and it has steadily grown..

“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, so come early if necessary, he said.

“These concerts are 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.”

The current concert lineup includes:

Jerry Douglas Band, June 6, 5 p.m.

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, 7:30 p.m.

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.

Nappy Roots and Yasmin Williams, June 11, 7 p.m.

The Appalachain hip-hop legends bring their roots based, beat driven music to Georgetown. The Bowling Green natives have a national reputation for southern-based hip-hop. Yasmin Williams is a unique guitar master who mesmerizes audiences.

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, June 12, 7 p.m.

The most awarded fiddle player in the history of the IBMA, infused with rocket ship energy on the heels 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, 7:30 p.m.

Grammy Award-winning blues master, king of the Delta roots tradition and Chitlin’ Circuit, winning 12 Blues Music Awards just in thrill the 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.

Victor Wooten, June 17, 7:30 p.m.

Suzy Bogguss, June 18, 7:30 p.m.

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, 7 p.m.

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, 7:30 p.m.

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!

The Sam Bush Band, June 26, 7 p.m.

The legacy of Bill Monroe lives in the strings of Sam Bush’s mandolin, one of Kentucky’s music icons, founding member of the superstar group, New Grass Revival and revered as the Father of NewGrass. Sam puts on a high energy explosion of musical power.

Exile, June 26, 5 p.m.

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, 7:30 p.m.

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 performances in one night. One ticket, One Night, One stage, Two artists for an evening of mind bending musicianship.

Writers Night with Bobby Ann Mason, Silas House & Crystal Wilkinson, June 30, 7 p.m.

An evening with some of the finest and most successful writers in Kentucky. A string quartet will play between each literary artist who will read from their many great works. Presented by Georgetown College and the Carnegie Center for Literacy, Bobby Ann Mason is a premier novelist with books like “In Country” and her memoir was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Silas House works have been lauded by the New York Times and his books include the much praised “Clays Quilt.”

Crystal Wilkinson is a passionate literary artist who was just named Kentucky’s Poet Laureate.

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 

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