For a Grammy-winning agreeable artisan who has awash about 6 actor annal with the Kentucky Headhunters, Richard Young is about as abundant of a approved guy as can be. He’s as blessed to allocution about his ancestors tree, aged gun accession and fishing as he is to allocution about his adventures in the music business.
Reached by buzz at his home on the ancestors beforehand in Kentucky area he grew up, Young apologizes for actuality a few account backward for the interview, answer that he’s been accomplishing some errands for his sister, or as he agreement it, “steppin’ and fetchin’.”
WHAT: Kentucky Headhunters, with Burnin’ Whiskey and Wyatt Owen
WHEN: 7 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19; doors accessible at 6
WHERE: The Brickhouse, 228 Fifth Ave. S.
TICKETS: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Beforehand tickets are accessible at eventbrite.com.
The Headhunters are advancing to La Crosse Oct. 19 for a appearance at The Brickhouse, and Young is pumped up about that prospect.
“I can’t delay to get there,” he said. “We’re absolutely aflame about advancing up to The Brickhouse. We’ve got so abounding accompany up there, and Dave’s Guitar is appropriate up the road.”
When he comes to La Crosse, Young additionally will get a adventitious to aces up a custom-guitar angle fabricated by Paul Thieman of Ontario-based String Swing, crafted from ash copse that his grandfathering cut.
Family is a big accord for Young, who aboriginal started arena in a bandage as a boyhood in 1968 with his boot brother, Fred, and cousins Greg Martin and Anthony Kenny. They alleged the bandage Itchy Brother and through the 1970s and aboriginal ’80s flirted with one almanac accord afterwards another, including one with Led Zeppelin’s label, Swan Song, that fell through afterwards Zeppelin bagman John Bonham’s afterlife concluded the bandage and the label.
Young and his bandmates admired Zeppelin, Free, the Faces and all the adamantine rockin’ blues-based British bands.
“We consistently capital to be an English bedrock band, but we couldn’t be. Geography played it’s duke in that,” Young said. “If somebody had told me in the ’70s I’d be authoritative country records, I would accept laughed them out of the room.”
But that’s absolutely what Young and his bandmates did.
Itchy Brother disbanded for a while in the aboriginal 1980s, and Young went to assignment as a Nashville songwriter for the acclaimed Acuff-Rose Music. “I was about as all-important as a bobcat with teats bottomward there, but what I didn’t apprehend at the time was it was a abundant training arena there.” Young said.
His time on Music Row had at atomic one big absent opportunity. Young recalled one time he was at a alms golf accident and songwriting abundant Sanger “Whitey” Shafer came up to him and arrive him to curb to the auberge allowance for a songwriting session.
Young, of course, was accustomed by the action but declined.
“He didn’t charge any advice autograph a song. All he apparently capital me to do is accessible beers for him,” Young said, abacus that Shafer offhandedly aggregate the appellation of the song he capital to assignment up: “All My Ex’s Live in Texas.”
In the mid-1980s, Martin and the Young brothers launched a new band, calling it Kentucky Headhunters, recruiting Doug Phelps to comedy bass, forth with his brother, Ricky Lee, as advance singer. Thanks to a twice-monthly 90-minute appearance on WLOC, a radio base that accomplished a lot of bodies casual by Munfordville, Ky., on the interstate, the Headhunters congenital a following.
Young said the Headhunters came forth at a time back there was a ache amid country admirers for article that rocked, and two decades afterwards they started Itchy Brother, they had huge success with their aboriginal album, “Pickin’ on Nashville,” which included “Dumas Walker” “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine” and “Oh Lonesome Me.”
Executives at the band’s almanac label, Mercury, weren’t assertive that the band’s admission anthology was activity to be such a hot commodity, so alone 15,000 copies of the anthology were produced, Young said. That press awash out on the aboriginal day, and “Pickin’ on Nashville” was a huge seller, earning the bandage a Grammy Accolade for Best Country Performance and a CMA Anthology of the Year award.
Almost 30 years later, the Kentucky Headhunters still accept about the aforementioned calendar they had back they started (minus Ricky Lee Phelps). Since “Pickin’ on Nashville,” the bandage has appear 10 albums of what they call as “guitar-heavy, boisterous music,” including the best recent, 2016’s “On Safari.”
Young said the bandage hasn’t had a ton of radio comedy over the years, and that’s nice in a way because the admirers acknowledgment for the band’s music goes deeper, and the bandage doesn’t accept to be aloof a hits-playing jukebox apparatus on stage.
“That’s the greatest absolution that can be bestowed on a band. You accessible up a accomplished new akin of admirers to our music,” Young said. “We threw our set account abroad abounding years ago. I aloof addition it.”
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