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That’s a Wrap! Bourbon & Beyond 2022

Erica, Roger and contest winners

Fall is still here, but before it’s over, here is a wrap-up of the 2022 Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 15-18.  For WTSQ, the journey started early in the year. I contacted the promoter to get the ball rolling and, if all worked out, to be able to bring some of our listeners along with us! After some planning,  WTSQ was able to get enough tickets to send four of our lucky listeners to the 4-day festival.

There was a wide variety of food and drink! I’m not a Bourbon fan, but they had vodka and other adult beverages for those not into Bourbon.  I had a Whiskey Slushy at the Jack Daniels tent that was delicious! There were PLENTY of places to cool off in tents and with mist fans, much better than in 2019.

Shannon Pierson Parsons, Abby Miskowicz, Mike Jones, and Maddie Walker. Each winner was picked randomly from a list of commenters on contest posts on our WTSQ Facebook page over the summer. Roger Young of  TwoGuys OneShow, and I (Group E), met up with some of our winners on the third day of the festival to get some pics – it was not easy coordinating a meeting during that festival with so many acts we all wanted to see throughout the day!

Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers
Gary Brewer with Erica Simanek

Before our arrival, I reached out to agencies and artists, but almost all were not doing interviews. I was able to wrangle two, one with an artist and one with a founder of an important charity.

Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers
On the first day of Bourbon & Beyond, Roger Young and I meet up with Gary Brewer. Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers are a family band that has been around since 1980 – they have toured all 50 states, Canada and Europe. Their home is Kentucky and they are one of a few bands that have made. Gary Brewer is celebrating his 40th year with a resurgence in his career with “Pass Along the Good” which played on heavy rotation on the Sirius Outlaw channel. They were up for “Best New Artist” for the 64th Annual Grammys. Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers have a nonprofit, Brewgrass Entertainment, Inc. They support local music and have given back to their community in many ways. One way is their Shindig in the Park festival they run in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

So here I was, meeting an artist who has probably been interviewed a million times, and it was my first legit in-person interview for WTSQ. I was a bit nervous, but Gary couldn’t have been nicer. To hear the interview, LISTEN HERE.

Lori Hayes (Take Me Home) and Erica Simanek (Group E on WTSQ)
Lori Hayes (Take Me Home) and Erica Simanek (Group E on WTSQ)

Lori Hayes – Take Me Home
Lori Hayes (aka “Haze”) founded Take Me Home, an animal rescue non-profit, in 2001. Lori is very passionate about animal rights and has been rescuing animals, and since then, has turned that passion into a national animal rescue foundation, with volunteers spearheading lifesaving spay and neuter programs across the country.  I spoke to “Haze” about her organization while she was working her tent with her team. To hear the interview, LISTEN HERE

The lineup this year was fantastic! Like in other years, there were two main stages next to each other, so when one band would play, the other would be set up. There were only a few minutes max before the next band would play.

It was hard to pick my favorites, but I’ll have to say that Jack White and Alanis Morissette were mine because BOTH of them were bucket list concerts. They were the two top performers on the lineup the first night.  Alanis’s voice was just as strong as ever, running back and forth across the stage, spinning around at times, and singing as if she wasn’t exerting herself at all. At times, her performance was very emotional, along with video clips of her kids, and her rock history – it was a well-done production to go along with her songs. The crowd was singing along with every song. (I got pretty teared up, what’s new?!)

Jack White hit it out of the park! He came out with energy on fire and a lot of smoke on stage! At first, it was a little tough to see him, but it cleared up, and the stage was lit up blue to match his album, Fear of the Dawn, and he sang many songs from it as well. He was the most energetic performer of the four days!

A few of my other favorites were Japanese Breakfast, Brandi Carlisle, and St. Vincent! I’ve never seen any of them, and they surprised me with their vocal and musical talent, originality, and stage presence! Late the first night, we were surprised with a pop-up party where Michelle Zauner appeared as the DJ, spinning records and dancing with her fans.

For ALL of the artists’ playlists at the festival, CLICK HERE

If you weren’t able to attend, I wanted to share my photos and videos. (I was on an iPhone 12, so not the best quality, but I’ll add some professional pics later to this post) Here are the PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

So from us at WTSQ, we hope to see you there next year at Bourbon & Beyond. As I like to say, quoting the old-time movie makers, “That’s a wrap!”

With love,
– Erica Simanek (“Group E”)

Roger Young (of TwoGuys OneShow) and Erica Simanek (of GroupE)