LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/13/13)—There are three things that most Kentuckians can’t get enough of: music, bourbon and the outdoors.Going to college in a small Eastern Kentucky town, we found entertainment in sitting around a campfire listening to friends play guitars and sing. Those who had the talent never really had big plans to go to Nashville or be famous; they just enjoyed relaxing and seeing other people enjoy the entertainment.
“I started playing guitar right around the time that I began to appreciate campfires,” said Nate Stone, singer and guitar player. “I never really thought about being in a band until the day that everything kind of fell into place.”
On July 4, 2012 Stone and four other guys came together and formed what is now the band South of Nowhere. All five guys, born and raised in Lewis County, learned how to play a variety of instruments in their ‘campfire years.’ Chris Fannin plays the mandolin, Tracy Cassidy plays banjo, Ryan Bradley plays the Dobro and John Thurman plays bass alongside Stone. Together they form a unique bluegrass sound.
“We have a cool sound,” said Stone. “We take bluegrass and mountain songs and turn them into contemporary.”
Four of the band members are in their early to mid 20s. Cassidy is in his early 50s.
“He is the father of the group, he keeps us in line,” said Stone.
The band started playing at festivals, fairs and events in the Flemingsburg and Lewis County areas and in just a year has spread their music to surrounding counties.
“Our goal is to start playing music all around Kentucky, but right now we are taking one step at a time,” said Stone.
The name of the band came to them after Bradley joked about where he was from.
“The idea was that once you get north of where we are from there really isn’t anything to do,” Stone said. “So when people ask us where we are from, we just reply ‘South of Nowhere,’ and it stuck.”
The music is mostly gospel sounds but also tells the story of growing up in Eastern Kentucky, including the hard work, struggles and ‘simple life’ that is lived.
“We started out doing covers of songs and it has evolved from there,” said Stone. “Hopefully in the next five or six months we will have enough originals to make an original album.”
The band’s first CD is scheduled to be released in the next couple of weeks.
“We are really excited to see where this takes us as a band and as a group of people that just love to play music,” said Stone.
South Of Nowhere’s next gig is August 24 in Flemingsburg at the Covered Bridge Festival, followed by a well-anticipated showcase at Battle Of The Bands on August 28 in Flemingsburg.
“Whoever wins Battle Of The Bands receives a $500 cash prize and is guaranteed a spot on next year’s stage at the bluegrass festival held at Mandolin Farms,” said Stone.
With their eye on the prize, South Of Nowhere is practicing and performing every chance that they get.
“Since I am in school and the other guys work 40 hour work weeks our practice time is limited,” Stone said. “But we always make time to work around our schedules because playing music is what we all love to do.”
Keep your eyes open for South of Nowhere; they are well on their way to the top of the Kentucky bluegrass charts. If you would like more information about the band, would like to schedule them in a event or pre-order their CD, contact the manager of the band Allen Prater at (606) 796-6437. Also check out their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter for event updates and special news.
Photo provided by South of Nowhere
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