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How to support Kentucky musicians during whatever this is

Justin Wells at the barn
(Photo: © Sarah Cahill

Justin Wells at the barn

(Photo: © Sarah Cahill)

On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear followed CDC guidelines and ordered all “public-facing” businesses in the state to close. These included theaters and concert venues, basically anywhere that people congregate and don’t offer essential services.

While a bummer for those of us who are considering scheduling a colonoscopy just for the social interaction, it’s a huge blow to Kentucky musicians whose livelihood depends on people coming to see them play on any of the state’s great stages. Many of them took a big risk making a run at doing music full time, and this is an uneasy moment as they’re not sure when they’ll be able to make their next dime playing out.

It’s been so encouraging seeing how many Kentuckians have pledged to support their local businesses by ordering takeout, shopping online, and buying gift cards to use later. We can do the same thing for local artists—there are plenty of ways to support these folks from the comfort of your own doomsday bunker.

  • Buy an album on Apple Music. Streaming is good; buying is better.
  • Order a piece of merchandise from their online stores.
  • Drop some cash in a virtual tip jar. Some artists are holding online shows on Facebook (check out Social Distance Fest next week!) and will include their Venmo information. 
  • Donate to Sweet Relief, a nonprofit that helps industry workers who are struggling.

Some of you may be interested in helping out but aren’t familiar enough with the local music scene to know where to start. I’ve created a Spotify playlist with one song from more than 40 different regional artists to get you going. Spend a couple hours listening, and if one of their tunes perks up your ears, check them out and consider making a purchase. And if you know of someone that should be on this list, leave a comment and I’ll add them.

Article written by Tyler Young

1 Comment for How to support Kentucky musicians during whatever this is



  1. Irwin R. Fletcher
    5:05 pm March 19, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks for the playlist. Great idea!