Track Premiere: Can’t Sleep from Kentucky Shine

If you are involved closely with bluegrass music, you’ll be at least a bit familiar with Owensboro, KY. It was where the International Bluegrass Music Association was formed and initially located, and is currently the home of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

It is worth a trip to northwestern Kentucky along the Ohio River to visit the museum, or take in their annual festival, ROMP. But is there a native bluegrass music scene in Owensboro?

It turns out that the answer is yes, as evidenced by Kentucky Shine, a bluegrass quartet that calls Owensboro home. They have just released a six-song EP, Leavin’ Town, featuring original music written within the band, a taste of which we are delighted to premiere today.

The group got its start as a partnership between guitarist and singer Jordan Wood, and fiddler Steven Stewart. Wood’s original songs were the glue that held things together, and they quickly added banjo player Jordan Riehm and J.B. Miller on bass. They play a hard driving, mountain-style bluegrass with echoes of early pioneers like The Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe.

They have selected a track written by Jordan Wood to share with our readers, Can’t Sleep. It retains the primal energy that has long attracted people to the plaintive mountain sound in a mournful story of lost love.

Wood says that the pain in the lyrics came from a real episode in his life.

“I wrote the song Can’t Sleep about a year after a really hard breakup. I wanted to write something that could express my pain and experience, while also bringing out my heavy bluegrass roots.”

Have a listen…

Leavin’ Town is available now from popular streaming and download sites.

You can learn more about Kentucky Shine by visiting their web site. They will be featured on the 2021 ROMP festival, and invite everyone to come on out in September and see them there.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.