The Kentucky Headhunters

The Kentucky Headhunters

"The Kentucky Headhunters," says founding member, guitarist/vocalist Richard Young, "are and always will be in love with playing live. It's our lifeblood." The Grammy-winning band—declared "the great American rock 'n' roll band" by Billboard—is never more spontaneous and unpredictable as when they are performing live on stage. "We threw away the set list 20 years ago," says Young, whose brother Fred plays drums, cousin Greg Martin plays guitar and longtime friend Doug Phelps sings and plays bass. Although the Southern rock, blues and country band has been recording and touring together for over 30 years (and making music together for over 50 years), they had never, until 2016, performed overseas. That year, Richard—a notoriously uneasy flier—let his son John Fred (drummer for rising star rock group Black Stone Cherry) talk him into bringing The Kentucky Headhunters to Europe. A tour of Sweden and the United Kingdom was booked, and the band was on its way to earning a whole new audience for their raucous and rowdy music.

The Kentucky Headhunters' new Alligator Records album, Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, was recorded at The Ramblin' Man Fair in Maidstone, UK, a highlight of the tour. In front of 25,000 screaming fans, The Kentucky Headhunters rip through ten smoking hot tracks from their first-ever UK performance. The results are staggering. Combining old-school blues and blistering Southern rock with country overtones and a rural sensibility, The Kentucky Headhunters cross borders and genres with ease, as the elated UK audience roars its collective approval throughout the concert. Mixing six high-energy originals, searing blues rockers and a rollicking version of The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" (with Black Stone Cherry), Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair captures The Kentucky Headhunters at the absolute height of their power. Closing out the album are three recently discovered bonus studio tracks from the legendary Meet Me In Bluesland sessions featuring late blues piano icon Johnnie Johnson (known for his seminal piano work driving Chuck Berry's most famous songs).

2016's On Safari (Plowboy Records), led to the band's first European tour and in turn to the album Live At The Ramblin' Man Fair, their second career live album. "Truth is," says Richard, "we didn't even know we were being recorded. I found out later the festival folks recorded our whole set. After hearing it, I knew it captured us exactly as we really are, and I knew we had to release it." With the new album and another UK/European tour in the works, The Kentucky Headhunters are excited to visit their new friends and fans across the ocean, as well as hitting the highway across the U.S. and Canada. Whether they're turning Southern rock fans on to blues or turning blues fans on to Southern rock, The Kentucky Headhunters are simply thrilled to be enriching the lives of so many music fans for so many years. According to Richard, "When the four of us get together, it's a powerful thing. It makes people happy. It's really good music."


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