Kentucky art and music is something we can be proud of — something we should encourage and introduce more people to.


Whether it’s country, bluegrass, or rock, Kentucky has a proud music history. Heck, US 23 in Kentucky is known as the Country Music Highway.

As someone who grew up in a family of folk singers, music is an important part of my life, and I’m proud to support Kentucky artists. Art, and especially local art, gives us something we can all relate to, something that connects us with each other.




John Prine isn’t a native Kentuckian, but has deep Kentucky roots. This whole list could be John Prine songs, but this is one everyone should hear, from his latest album and even more poignant since his death.


Tyler Childers’ songwriting speaks to me and the opening line to his love “You remind me of a Sunday/Back home in old Kentucky” in this song is something I truly appreciate.


This song reminds me of my Granny Hicks, who I spent many summers with in Eastern Tennessee and how she was always singing along with all my crazy dreams.


Senora is from Estill Springs in Estill County, and this sweet song about waiting for your love to come back home and complete you is really powerful.


Lots of folks from Eastern Kentucky know exactly the references in this song and the sentiment of giving anything to go back to simpler times is one I certainly share.


New dads and old, and especially those of us who spend a lot of time away from our families, can appreciate this tribute to our children.


If I need a powerful message about the consequences of greed and the human cost of corporate selfishness, I put this song on at full volume. About once a day these days.


A sentiment more folks should hear – Written by a local musician and performed by some awfully talented women, this ballad centers me when I’m feeling out-of-sorts.


Bill Monroe is a Kentucky treasure, and father of Kentucky Bluegrass music – he used to tell folks he didn’t like “You ain’t no part of nothin’.” I hope he wouldn’t say that about me.

This is a Bill Monroe classic, but adds vocals from Tom T. Hall, a native of Carter County, Kentucky. This story of a Kentucky Thoroughbred winning a close race is currently my Dad’s favorite song.


Another Kentucky native, and one lost too soon, had a number of hits. This song, however, written to Lorrie Morgan, Keith’s wife, is a tremendous ballad of love and its importance.


This Lee County native does some powerful songwriting, and this song about perseverance and hope is something I listen to whenever I need a little boost.


Appalachian rock is not a very well known genre, but Luna and the Mountain Jets (with Teresa Prince on vocals and Dave Prince on lead guitar) will get you up to speed quickly.


Chris Stapleton is now a mega-star, and although I’m more of a fan of his time with The Steeldrivers, this cover shows tremendous vocal talent from a Paintsville, Kentucky native.


I love this song because I can hear my Dad and his sisters singing one of the traditional songs our family has sung for generations. It just feels like home for me.


One of my Dad’s favorites – I love the Kentucky tie, since my family settled here hundreds of years ago, and love to hear this version. Mine isn’t too shabby either!


So many folk songs have humor, and this one is no different. But behind the humor is the very real struggle of early Appalachian life, and this is one you should give a listen to.


Like I said, music is meant to be shared. Let me know what you’re listening to and what’s connecting with you.