We are thrilled to welcome rising Americana artist Jason Kenney to the Red Light Café stage as part of the Frank Hamilton Concert Series! Jason is a real Georgia gem who has been compared to the intellect of Harry Chapin, the lightheartedness of Jim Croce and the intensity of Lyle Lovett. While he does not sound like any of these folks, he channels like them. He has that kind of insight and is tapped in to the same creative spigot. He’s that good.
BJ Wilbanks opens the show at 9pm.
$10 Adv – $12 Door
Doors @ 8 PM
All ticket sales are final. No refunds.
Formerly of HomeGrown Revival and The Kenney-Blackmon String Band (David Blackmon), Jason Kenney is a prolific singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Since 2003, he has released four full-length albums and collaborated on many others, including HomeGrown Revival’s “Leaving Wynfield Station” (2011), Kenney-Blackmon String Band’s “Singing Tree” (2012), Seth Livengood’s “Protrait of a Young Man (2015), and Corey Smith’s “In The Mood” and “The Good Life.”
To start an artist bio by dropping names of big time artists and those from days gone by may not be in the lesson book. But when you compare said artist to the intellect of Harry Chapin, the lightheartedness of Jim Croce and the intensity of Lyle Lovett you put them in pretty damn good company. No, Jason Kenney does not sound like any of these folks. But he channels like them. He has that kind of insight and is tapped in to the same creative spigot. He’s that good.
The music of Jason Kenney IS Americana. The nuts and bolts are acoustic-based, yet electric, folk and rock with a slight country twist. Dig deeper and it comes up completely fresh with a nod to the past. His songs are well-crafted, the musicianship is right where it needs to be and the voice is like a sunny spring morning bursting with energy. It’s music you’ll want to listen to over and over again. Music that needs to be heard. Music that will endure.
Back to name dropping. When you consider that Jason frequently works with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and A-list Producer John Keane you get a sense for the quality of the final product. And sharing the stage with the likes of Zac Brown, Shawn Mullins, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jonathan Byrd, Corey Smith and many more on their level doesn’t hurt either. It paints a picture of an up-and-coming young artist ready to pick up the Americana flag and hightail it up the hill.
Not his first record by far, but his first solo effort, “Turn This Sorrow Into Joy”, was released in April of 2014. It was produced by John Keane and features Amy Ray throughout, among others. To quote a long-time friend, “There’s not a stinker on it. Every song means something, stands on it’s own and is just as fresh the 478th time you listen to it.” Again, it’s just that good. Listeners have likened it to Mumford and Sons or Avett Brothers because of its personal storytelling and genre-defying instrumentation. The truth is, it deserves comparison with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie in its call to the downhearted and weary to carry on – together.
Georgia native BJ Wilbanks creates blues-infused rock music reminiscent of a bygone era, combining deeply-rooted Delta blues, funk, soul, and acoustic Southern rock to create a sound that is familiar, yet uniquely his own. BJ has developed his own sub-genre of Americana which he refers to as “back porch soul.” His tales of heartache, love, and life combine artfully with an engaging live performance.
BJ’s original songs range from heart break romantic to bad a$$ stomp-your-foot groove. He’ll often sling his guitar over his lap to play a slide tune that will transport you to a smoky blues bar in the bayou and then chase it with a tune that will bring you back to reality with an original rock anthem. Simply said, BJ Wilbanks has the ability to take you on a musical journey.
BJ’s early performances were centered around the city of Rome, Georgia with a band called The Southern Thread, for which he wrote the songs Grab Your Guns and Hate the Touch. The Southern Thread enjoyed regional popularity, performing at the Roman Roast BBQ Festival and winning 2nd place in the Rome Battle of the Bands as well. After TST’s dissolution, Wilbanks (now based in Atlanta) turned his artistic focus to songwriting and solo performance, frequenting venues such as Props-N-Hops, The Tavern, Ragamuffin Music Hall, and the acclaimed songwriter’s haven, Eddie’s Attic. In 2011 he was a semi-finalist in their renowned Songwriter’s Open Mic. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, BJ made it into Eddie Owen Presents at Red Clay Theatre’s Bi-annual Songwriter’s Shootout.
BJ’s considerable songwriting chops include catchy tunes sporting meaningful lyrics that emote a truth incorporating life and all that it has to offer. His rootsy melodies and sentimental lyrics provide a mental escape hatch to a simpler, more fulfilling life.