The boys of “Kentucky Rain” have been busy recording their third album, and this Saturday, a release party will be thrown at the Harlan Center to celebrate and promote the band's newest compilation.
“They're excited as they could be,” said band manager Tara Moore. “A lot of hard work, plus a lot of their heart went into this album, and they're very anxious for the public to hear it.”
Titled “Winds of Time,” the group's third album, is solely bluegrass. In the past, the young group has mainly recorded and performed bluegrass gospel.
“The title song was written by members of the band,” Moore said. “There's a lot of original material on this album, plus old favorites like ‘Working on a Building.' The best way to describe the album is a bunch of old favorites with a new style.”
And “Winds of Time” will also have that distinct “Kentucky Rain” style, which has made the boys a highly sought-after band. Moore said it was hard to put into words what that distinct style was.
“One person said it best when she said they're a group of young boys with an older sound,” Moore said. “To be so young, they're very much traditional.”
Members of the band include lead singer and banjo player Jonathan Jones, 25; mandolin player and vocalist Dustin Middleton, 18; guitar player Brandon Jones, 20; and bass player and tenor vocals Adam Wynn, 18.
While Moore said there's been a “long list of people” who have been in “Kentucky Rain” since the group got started a few years back - including two women - the combination the group now has seems to work. And work well.
“We stay pretty booked,” she said. “We average about 25 shows a month. We stay gone all the time. Seems like a lot of our shows are off from here. We've been all over Kentucky, and we've performed a lot of shows in Tennessee and Virginia. We're even booked in Florida, and we want to take this thing all the way to California.”
“Winds of Time” will be available to the public for the first time during the band's release party this Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. Other merchandise such as T-shirts and hats will also be available for sale. Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited to come meet the members of the band.
While Kentucky Rain is almost booked solid this summer with festivals and special concerts, a good place for locals to catch the group is at Appalachia Service Project outings, which are held every Tuesday at the Ages Head Start building at 7:30 p.m.
“We get calls every day,” said Moore. “And after people hear them perform, they're always so amazed at the amount of talent they have, and the maturity of their voices for them to be so young.”
For more information about Kentucky Rain's performance schedule, or to buy merchandise, log onto the band's Web site at www.kentuckyrainbluegrass.com.