While Kentucky may be known for it’s bourbon, tobacco, horses and bluegrass music, there’s a special sound coming out of the Bluegrass State these days and it’s from their very own J.D. Shelburne.
Shelburne is the official face of the 2020 Kentucky Visitor’s Guide as well as recently gracing the cover of Kentucky Living Magazine. All of his writing, playing and hard-work has garnered him the ability to share his deep-rooted love for his home state and for him to be recognized in return.
“The new album will release on August 8th,” said Shelburne. “The whole album isn’t based around Kentucky but that song was written to pay homage to my home state. I am on the cover of the 2020 Kentucky State Tourism Visitor’s Guide (450,000 copies statewide) so I wanted to write a song that would be an anthem for those who are proud of where they come from – the bluegrass state. With all the promo surrounding that, my hometown roots and some other magazine features in my state, Straight from Kentucky seemed to be a no brainier in naming the new album. – considering that is where I am from.”
His upcoming album and lead single track, “Straight From Kentucky,” is an upbeat and melody-driven tune that pays homage to virtually all the iconic people, places and brands that hail from the Bluegrass State. And all the cultural aspects of life that you’d expect a true Kentucky boy like J.D. would sing about; Daniel Boone, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), Louisville Slugger, Fort Knox, Bill Monroe, Jim Beam, the Colonel (Sanders) and of course, the Coal Miner’s Daughter (Loretta Lynn), amongst others.
Shelburne grew up on a tobacco farm in Taylorsville, Kentucky, a tiny town southeast of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky. At age 19, he found a guitar after the death of his grandmother and began learning to play and sing on his own.
“I love the people and small town life I grew up in,” said Shelburne. “It’s a town from a movie script where everybody knows everybody and it still has that feel when you visit. Those people, that town and my family molded me into the man I am today. I love to visit when I get away from the road and visit my parents farm in Kentucky. Just something about the air, the way of life about that place. It’s home. Its magic.”
By his sophomore year of college, he had found a few gigs at some local bars in the Louisville/Lexington, Kentucky area and developed a fan-base that eventually landed him on some of the biggest stages in the business, opening for some of the nation’s hottest stars. Eventually, Shelburne was adding original songs into the set mix, in addition to producing songs of his own material.
Now, Shelburne is always burning up the road, making new fans and sharing his music. That is until COVID19 hit the states and everything started shutting down.
“I have lost 38 shows total so far so that has been a different transition in reaching fans,” said Shelburne. “Thankfully, I am able to reach many fans each night during my Facebook lives. I enjoyed getting on live, playing songs, answering trivia etc. The key to those videos is keeping it interesting and going live at the same time. Anything to keep the fans interested and that has worked really well.”
Once things start to get back to the normal, or whatever the new normal will be, Shelburne can’t wait for the spotlight.
“When things get back to normal, I am looking for that first stage to perform on I am so excited for that day to come,” said Shelburne. “I’ll also probably visit an island somewhere in the sun so my wife and I can enjoy the beach.”
Check out the video to “Straight from Kentucky” and be sure to follow J.D. Shelburne to keep up with new music, live streaming and announcements.