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‘Lonesome’ nights

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Flatt Lonesome, Lonesome River Band highlight 2014 bluegrass festival

By Stephen Lega

Bad roads and cold weather couldn’t keep bluegrass fans away from Lebanon over the weekend. Hundreds of people attended both nights of the 2014 Kentucky Bluegrass Music Festival at Marion County High School.
And the fans weren’t disappointed.
“We enjoyed it so much that last time we came. And this year was even better,” Mark Perelnuter of Louisville said.
He and his wife attended KBMK six years ago. This year they had the opportunity to come back, and it might not be the last time they come. Perelnuter is a musician himself, and he plays in a klezmer band called Lost Tribe Louisville. He said he saw similarities between the two styles of folk music, in part because both use bass, fiddle and guitar.
The artists he got to hear and see impressed him.
“The musicianship was excellent. The Moron Brothers were hilarious,” Perelnuter said.
But he was also glad to see that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
“The bands looked like they were having as much fun as the audience,” Perelnuter said.
Sammy Shelor agreed. Shelor is the banjo player for this year’s headliners, The Lonesome River Band.
“I was impressed and well-pleased with the crowd,” he said.
He also praised the Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians for putting on a quality event.
“It’s a beautiful facility, and they accommodated the people really well,” Shelor said.
And he was quite open to a return visit.
“If we get the opportunity, we would definitely be back,” Shelor said.
Brad Lanham, president of the Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians, said having the Lonesome River Band continued a tradition of having a strong headlining act at the festival.
Lanham was pleased with the crowds as well. While he didn’t have final attendance figures yet, he said the Friday night crowd may have been one of the biggest ones yet. On Saturday, dinner tickets sold out again, although he said walk-up tickets seemed a little lower than previous years.
Overall, however, he said it was definitely successful.
Looking ahead, 2015 will be the 10th annual festival in Lebanon, and Lanham said they have already started reaching out to possible performers. He said they are hoping to reconnect with some musicians who have performed here previously.
That includes Flatt Lonesome, who made their third appearance at KBMK this year.
“If everything’s possible, we plan on having them back year,” Lanham said. “They really seem to be improving every year.”
According to Michael Stockton, Flatt Lonesome’s dobro player, they are hoping to return to Lebanon in 2015.
“It’s always a lot of fun,” Stockton said.
Dominic Illingworth, Flatt Lonesome’s bass player, agreed.
“They really love the music here,” Illingworth said. “The crowd response is excellent here. That makes it 100 times easier to play on the stage.”

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Quilt show moved to Feb. 1
The Heart of Kentucky Quilt Show was originally scheduled for Saturday, but it was postponed due to the weather and road conditions.
The quilt show has been rescheduled and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Marion County Heritage Center. Admission is $5 per person.
Quilt show visitors are encouraged to participate in a scrap exchange. Anyone who would like to participate should bring a baggie with 36 five-inch by five-inch squares, which can be used to start a scrappy doo-dah quilt.
For more information about the Heart of Kentucky Quilt Show, call the Marion County Cooperative Extension Office at 270-692-2421.