The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Balagula Theatre‘s production of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? starts its final week today with Adam Luckey playing the lead role of Martin. In the video above, Luckey talks about his busy last several weeks balancing the Edward Albee play, which closes Feb. 20, with his new role as host of Bluegrass showcase Red Barn Radio.
Since the departure of Brad Becker, the host slot at Red Barn Radio has become something of a musical chair, and not in the way the show intends.
But as of last week, well-known Lexington actor Adam Luckey has taken over hosting duties for Red Barn, which is broadcast nationally.
“It’s an incredible commitment he’s made,” Red Barn producer Ed Commons says. “We feel incredibly lucky, because whenever I tell people who we got, they say, ‘How did you get him?’”
Hosting Red Barn will make nightlife quite active for Luckey, who is curently in rehearsals for Balagula Theatre‘s production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Luckey has a musical background as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, including playing in Lexington area bands and writing music for SummerFest’s July production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he also directed. But hosting a radio show wasn’t something Luckey had contemplated.
“I love having this opportunity to be part of the audience for these incredible musicians,” Luckey says. “I’m not so much the voice, as the one bringing the seats closer to the stage.”
Red Barn, which is recorded most Wednesday nights at ArtsPlace in Downtown Lexington, features performances by national and regional Bluegrass and roots music artists. This week’s program features Lexington quartet Small Batch.
Commons said shows Luckey hosts should start being played on the air in approximately three weeks. Red Barn is heard locally at 8 p.m. Saturdays on WUKY-FM 91.3 and 9 p.m. Saturdays and 3 a.m. Sundays on WEKU-FM 88.9.
If you were planning to head out to Red Barn Radio tonight (Oct. 26) to catch Lester Ray Sears & the Tennessee Border Band, there’s been a change of plans.
Red Barn producer Ed Commons says a health issue in the band forced it to cancel and Sears and band will be rescheduled for a later date.
Stepping in will be local favorites Howard’s Creek featuring singer and guitarist Russ Farmer, mandolin player and vocalist Ron Mobley, bassist and vocalist Terri Powell, dobro player Ted Critchfield, fiddler and vocalist Joanna Binford, and banjo player and vocalist John Mattingly.
Wednesdays are the nights Red Barn usually records its shows for later broadcast at ArtsPlace in downtown Lexington. Oct. 6 will begin as usual at 7 p.m. But at 8, the program will go live from the Mill Street location with host Brad Becker and guests Hog Operation from Louisville and champion fiddler Mike Mitchell form Floyd, Va.
Admission to the special performance is $8 in advance, through the LexArts box office, and $10 at the door.
Aug22Filed under: Music, radio, slide shows; Tagged as: ArtsPlace, Brad Becker, Charles Farmer, Dale Ann Bradley, Ed Commons, Grand Ole Opry, Grascals, Howard’s Creek, International Bluegrass Music Association, J.D. Crowe, James Still, LexArts, Mary Farmer, Red Barn Radio, Rusties and Riddles and Gee-Haw Whimmy-Diddles, Sam Bush, WEKU, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WUKY
There is no actual Red Barn, just like there’s no Grand Ole Opry.
“You create the vision in your mind,” says Ed Commons, producer and director of Red Barn Radio, the Bluegrass radio showcase heard each week at 9 p.m. Saturdays on WEKU-FM 88.9 and 11 p.m. Saturdays on WUKY-FM 91.3. “You can imagine about the music. You hear the interviews and the people. It’s a place people would like to have grown up, a place they would like to go in their hectic lives today where we’re just a little kick back, and you can hear music of another time.”
And its a place that is recreated most Wednesday nights at ArtsPlace in Downtown Lexington.
There, in the theater behind the gallery and offices of LexArts, Commons, host Brad Becker and the rest of the Red Barn crew gather to put on a radio show that brings in Bluegrass musicians from emerging artists to established stars such as this week’s guest, Dale Ann Bradley, three-time International Bluegrass Music Association female vocalist of the year.
Early Wednesday evening a banner hangs over the Church Street side door of ArtsPlace directing guests up a short flight of stairs into the theater where the show is recorded.
A pair of folding tables is set up with CDs from some of the show’s artists, swag from the radio stations, pizza from show sponsor Dominos and coffee.
Within a whiff of the pizza, Becker chats with Charles and Mary Farmer, a couple that drives up from Stanton four or five times a year for Red Barn tapings.
“It’s a fun evening’s entertainment,” Charles says. “And for $5, what more can you ask for.”
Unlike its rootsy-radio sibling, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, which tapes Monday nights at the Kentucky Theatre, Red Barn doesn’t try to record a show in real time. The artists play several sections of four-to-six songs, and they take a couple breaks for Becker to conduct interviews. Commons will later splice the parts together to form a 59-minute show.
“We call the live show ‘gathering our assets,’” Commons says. “We try to gather a minimum of 40 minutes of music recorded, Brad does a couple interviews, and we also do a live give-away each week for our audience.”
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich