Take it all in at Roadworn Revival

Published 5:04 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

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By Abigail Roberts


STANFORD – Tre Owens and Brandon Moore go way back – it’s a friendship that was born out of a mutual love of music as the two would spend their youthful time in Owens’ family’s car lot practicing their hands at writing and recording songs.

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Now, after several years have passed, that love of music has once again brought the two together to create a local music festival called the Roadworn Revival.

Both Owens and Moore were born and raised in Lincoln County and have a profound love for the place they call home.

Moore, who went on to Nashville to pursue his musical career, wrote and released a song with his band The Highway Natives last year called “Lincoln County Line.”

The song was immediately loved by the Lincoln County community as it highlights well-known local places and themes, and still plays regularly on the local radio station.

The timing of the release was great, Owens said, because he and Moore had been talking about creating a music festival to welcome Kentucky singers and songwriters home.

The Highway Natives took the stage last year for the first-ever Roadworn Revival and the festival was such a hit, they decided to make it an annual event.

“400 people showed up and we were overwhelmed with positivity,” Owens said.

Central Kentucky is going wild with local talent, he said.

“We always want to make sure there’s a very local focus on the art.”

This year’s lineup happened organically, he said, because there are so many talented artists in Kentucky right now who are gaining traction.

Not only does the revival focus on showcasing local talent, but Owens said it seeks to provide a refuge to Kentucky artists who have been traveling on the road all year.

“Last year what Roadworn meant to us is everyone is mentally road-worn, physically road-worn, the season is changing – come home. All of you guys are from Kentucky. Come back home as alumni to Roadworn, that have played before, come back, see the show every year, get up here on the farm, stay in these houses and just take it in. Take home in, what Kentucky is to you, coming home.”

Line up highlights local talent

In addition to the Highway Natives, this year’s Roadworn Revival lineup includes many talented Kentucky artists, and more of them.

“We’ve scaled it up a little bit,” Moore said. “So last year it was us and two acoustic acts and it was all inside. It kind of got hot and sweaty and echo-y in there. It was fun but it was not the best listening experience. This year we have a big outdoor stage that we’re going to put in the back lawn. So we have six bands on the outdoor stage and then we’re still utilizing the indoor stage for acoustic acts.”

The festival was also pushed to October to avoid the heat, Moore said.

“It’ll be nice and perfect weather at the beginning of October for people to hang out on the lawn and watch some full band live music with the sunset behind the stage,” he said.

The 2023 lineup includes Kentucky native Miles Miller –  a drummer for famed artists such as Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers – who turned frontman and just released his first solo album called “Solid Gold.”

“The stuff that he’s been putting out is really cool,” Moore said.

The main stage lineup also includes Hunter Flynn, who is from Somerset; Daniel Cain who is also from Stanford; Jordan Allen & The Bellwethers who are out of London; and Clarke Sexton who is from eastern Kentucky.

“Everybody on the bill is from Kentucky,” Moore said.

Jordan Lee King, of Middlesboro, is also in the lineup, as well as Madylin Goins out of Nicholasville.

This year’s festival will also feature local vendors.

“All kinds of local businesses are coming out, and we’ll have a dedicated spot for them in the barn so people can shop around the booths and take home some souvenirs,” he said. “We’ll also have food trucks.”

The festival is open to all ages.

The Highway Natives just finished recording their next album, Moore said. For this album, the group traveled to Muscle Shoals, AL, to soak up the history of the famous recording studio, and explore new sounds.

“We wanted to capture a cool, historical, retro-kind of vibe,” he said. “We tracked 12 songs, all sounding completely different from our last album. We’re currently editing and mixing and working on titles and shooting to release it in Spring of next year.”

After traveling to Alabama and being on the road, Moore said he’s ready to come home to Kentucky and play for his hometown.

“We put out our song Lincoln County Line about a year ago and the reception from the community of my hometown is like everything that you can ask for whenever you put out music; have your hometown play it all over the place, that’s like the coolest thing,” Moore said. “As long as your hometown is spinning it, that’s about as cool as it gets. With all the support that they’ve shown my band and me I think it’s really great to be able to partner with Tre and organize this thing to give back to the community.”

The Roadworn Revival is very special to Moore.

“I love to come back and see all the friends and family and hang out and play for people,” he said.

Last year a portion of proceeds was donated to Little Hands Preschool. This year the festival will be raising funds for Little Hands as well as Volunteers of America, Moore said.

For more information or to purchase tickets ahead of time, visit https://www.roadwornrevival.com/. The festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 7 at Englewood Estates beginning at 12 p.m. All ages are welcome.

The event is sponsored in part by First Southern National Bank; AGE Engineering; Shady Deal Auto Sales; Englewood Estates; Central Kentucky Super Service; Super Shine Detail Shop; WPBK-FM 102.9; WNJK-FM 105.9; and WKYB-FM 107.5.