WILLIAMSTOWN, KY (June 15, 2023): Courtesy of the Grant County News: Even though he’s never visited Grant County before, JD Shelburne feels like he’ll be coming home on June 17 when he headlines the Southern Summer Jam at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Williamstown.
“I grew up in a small town like Grant County and I’m really excited to play a show in that area and make some new friends and fans,” said Shelburne.
Shelburne, a native of Taylorsville (outside Louisville), picked up a guitar after the death of his grandmother when he was 19 and hasn’t put it down since. After learning to play the guitar in college, he started writing his own songs and his career took off.
He has opened for acts such as ZZ Top, Marty Stuart, Chris Young, Kellie Pickler and Montgomery Gentry. He’s been featured on the cover of the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide and his 2021 Album “Straight From Kentucky” reached #9 on the iTunes Country Chart/Top 60 on the All Albums Chart.
He now calls Nashville home, but returns to Kentucky every summer to perform more than 150 shows. At his first small town show in Taylorsville, there were an estimated 7,000 in attendance.
“I hear people talk about the Ark and I’m really excited to play in that area, “Shelburne said. “I am really excited to meet the people in Grant County.”
Shelburne will perform at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 but the music at the inaugural Grant County Southern Summer Jam will begin at noon with Blake Tyler, followed by Michelle Robinson at 2 p.m. and John Morgen at 4 p.m.
The Southern Summer Jam is sponsored by the Grant County Tourism & Convention Commission. The goal is to bring a quality event to the community.
“Who doesn’t love music? Music is a universal language,” said Tourism Director Jamie Baker. “With Grant County being so close to Cincinnati, Lexington and Louisville, we felt a music event would bring even more visitors to Grant County.”
With only a $5 per vehicle cost for a full day of music, the event also offers an affordable afternoon of entertainment for area residents. In addition to the Main Stage acts, there will also be local artists on the small stage in the concession stand area of the Grant County Fairgrounds on Baton Rouge Road in Williamstown.
Featured local artists include Chayse Abrams (12:30 p.m.), Austin Adkins (2 p.m.), Kaleb Hensley (3-30 p.m.) and Bill Dotson (5 p.m.).
There will also be inflatables for the young and a mechanical bull for the adventurous. Several food trucks including Belle’s BBQ, Edwardo’s Pizza and mini donuts will be onsite, as well as concessions at the Grant County Fair Board kitchen and the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association food booth. Browning’s Country Hams will be selling fresh lemonade, and Moonbird will be selling beer.
Jams and jellies, produced by Jackson Traylor, a student at Grant County High School and member of Grant County 4-H, will be sold for $10. Flavors available include apple butter, strawberry and jalapeno and pepper jelly.
Event T-shirts will also be available for purchase. Festival goers need to bring their own chairs or blankets as this is outdoor seating.
“We tried to think of everyone from the kids to the adults and include something for all ages,” said Baker.
Cost is $5 per vehicle and local veterans will be assisting with parking.
Tourism’s goal is to grow this event into potentially a three-day music festival.
“We want people to plan a trip to Grant County to experience the Southern Summer Jam, which means they’ll be staying in our local hotels, short-term rentals and campgrounds, and while they’re here they are eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores,” Baker said.
For Shelburne, who plays many of his concerts in the central Kentucky area, the Grant County Southern Summer Jam is an opportunity to introduce his music to new fans.
“I get the most satisfaction from the small town shows that we do, and it’s been awesome,” Shelburne said. “I feel like, as we get farther out from Covid, people are coming out more and seem happier to be able to get out and do things.”
Read article here: https://www.pmg-ky3.com/grantco/features/community/southern-summer-jam/article_cb4d9808-f0bc-5157-9642-5f022be58c28.html?fbclid=IwAR2PPW2I2OdQHLRBZFa2P-z7E8B4q9rhDekYqT_llO9DOcKYIv4XzTHmmAk