Folk Music

In the isolated regions of Central Appalachia, music was once the only form of entertainment. It's still alive today thanks to The Crooked Road, a driving trail that connects music venues in Southwest Virginia. It stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Mountains for 333 miles, crossing some of the poorest areas in the country.

Making a living in those areas has never been easy, as guitarist Greg Ward knows. He's a native of Floyd, Va. — population: 432.

"You know, it was a rough life," he says. "It was a hard life."

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Rural western Kentucky band The Savage Radley were WKMS Battle of the Bands semi-finalists in 2014 and were the first band to play the WKMS Live Lunch series. Based in Murray, they have a blues, folk sound in the Delta-style. Otto Sharp and S. Knox Montgomery join Tracy Ross on Sounds Good to talk about their recently launched Indiegogo campaign for their first album, "Houses."

Murray State University's ROOTS 5 Music Concert comes to the Lovett Auditorium stage on October 7, featuring Grammy-nominated Mark Newton and Steve Thomas headlining with a bluegrass set, along with Jason McKendree on banjo. Also, Nashville-based Chris Scruggs and the Stone Fox 5 with vintage country and western swing, featuring Kenny Vaughan (named best guitarist in the Nashville Scene Music Awards). Ted Belue stops by Sounds Good with a preview. 

Today on Sounds Good, we met Belgian vocal artist and songwriter Michel Stennier, who performs original music and the music of legendary singer/poet Jacques Brel tomorrow evening (November 21) for International Education Week at Murray State. Michel talks about his beginnings as a musician and why Brel's music is important today. He's joined in the studio by Theresa Saint Paul, Associate Professor of Humanities and Fine Art at Murray State. Stennier also plays some of the music ahead of his performance. 

Colonel J.D. Wilkes hasn't met a medium yet that he hasn't matched. An accomplished musician, illustrator, filmmaker, and author, he's added another book to his C.V.; Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky. It traces the history, legacy, and the future of the Commonwealth's music as well as the social gatherings that birthed it. Wilkes sat down with Todd Hatton to talk about what prompted him to write the book and what it taught him. 

Kate Lochte speaks with Stacey Menser on Sounds Good about the 16th annual Pennington Folk Festival, an outdoor, live performance honoring local thumbpicking guitarist Eddie Pennington this Friday and Saturday. The festival is located on 612 West Washington Street on the Butler Campus Lawn in Princeton, Kentucky. The festival is free, and it is recommended that you bring your own chairs. See more on the Pennington Folk Festival Facebook page.