Along with the arrival of warmer weather (finally!), the middle of April brought plenty to see and do to the Bluegrass. Leading up to the weekend was the free downtown concert series Thursday Night Live‘s first beautiful day. And while the April 8th opening day at Keeneland was cold and rainy, weekend two at the races provided cloudless 80 degree days to attendees. Most importantly, the music scene had a huge weekend around Lexington.

Friday evening at Cosmic Charlie’s marked the Moonshiner’s Ball Pregame event presented by Holy Carp. On the bill were Columbus-based funk group MojoFlo, Lexington’s favorite dabstomp band Driftwood Gypsy, and bluegrass rockers Blind Corn Liquor Pickers.  All three put on excellent performances to gear attendees up for The Moonshiner’s Ball that takes place May 20-22.  After, we settled in like children on Christmas Eve , dreaming of what Record Store Day 2016 would bring in the morning.

The Blind Corn Liquor Pickers kicked off the weekend at the Moonshiner's Ball Pregame

The Blind Corn Liquor Pickers kicked off the weekend at the Moonshiner’s Ball Pregame / Photo Credit: Chevy Chaser

Twice a year Record Store Day is held at independant music stores across the country bringing special, limited run releases and live performances to music fans and collectors.  This year’s Spring RSD 2016 was held Saturday, April 15 and the Dead Audio Team was on hand to partake in the festivities at CD Central in Lexington, KY.

With doors opening at 9am, we made sure to get to the store prior to the opening.  As expected, we were met with a line wrapped around CD Central, into the adjacent parking lot.  Thankfully, the store has a first-come-first-served ticketing system that allows for an easy and swift line to get through. 

The line for RSD 2016 was long, but moved swiftly.

The line for RSD 2016 was long, but moved swiftly.

For weeks leading up to the 9th annual Record Store Day, I followed “The List” of special releases hoping to find a few rare records that piqued my interest.  Not wanting to break the bank, I set my sights on one release in particular: Alt-J’s Live at Red Rocks.  Having seen them on their 2015 tour, and an avid fan of the band, I really wanted to get my hands on the blue double LP that was limited to just 4000 copies that also came with the live DVD and CD of the show.  Thankfully, there were several copies of Live at Red Rocks, allowing me to breathe a sigh of relief.  The DAB team also snagged a copy of Thelonious Monk’s London Collection, and Tame Impala’s Currents, as they are one of our “one’s to watch” at Bonnaroo 2016.

Throughout the day CD Central held free, live performances with Shawnthony Calypso (Lexington Skate Rock) kicking the party off. Following them was the currently omnipresent Johnny Conqueroo, Frigidkitty, and the Lexington three-piece Palisades. Kudos to anyone who made RSD AND Keeneland.

As we moved on to Saturday evening, we headed over to Cosmic Charlie’s to catch the Jammy Prog-Rockers The Werks. out of Dayton, Ohio. The band provided a dance party with teases/covers including “Carry on Wayward Son” (Kansas), the “Ghostbusters Theme Song”, “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin, and Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock”.

The Werks Live at Cosmic Charlies

Sunday evening was no dud, either. James Friley’s Idiot Glee was in town and put together a three band bill for the night with himself as the closer at Al’s Bar. Warren Byrom and Fabled Candelands opened up, with band-on-the-rise State Champion (out of Louisville) playing second.

If this weekend taught us anything it’s that there’s always great, live music and events in town especially this time of year.  The collaboration between important music establishments like CD Central, Cosmic Charlie’s, Al’s Bar and the city of Lexington makes it easy to find a new favorite band, pick up a new album, or attend an upcoming music festival, like MoonTower or Moonshiners Ball.

And for those who didn’t get enough over the weekend, be sure to check out Cabin Fever Reliever Music Festival taking place this weekend, April 22-24 held at Terrapin Hill Farm