Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

After a killer Saturday show, Sunday saw a stacked line-up of performances by Stevie Nicks, Gary Clark Jr., Trombone Shorty, Jonny Lang, and more.

Day 2 of the Bourbon & Beyond Festival started out with some singing from the University of Louisville Back Diamond Choir on the Mash Stage, while the Workshop tent was having their Chick’s & Champs Gospel Lunch. A nice way to start your morning.

Things quickly got underway from an uplifting set by Caitlyn Smith. Actor Kiefer Sutherland made an appearance in the number two slot of the day. There was a good amount of folks to see him play, maybe because he’s a famous actor, or maybe they were curious to see what he sounded like. Either way, he was received with great applause from the crowd. He does have the chops to play onstage, with the help of his backing band.

Anytime you catch Jonny Lang live, you can count on seeing him make some crazy faces while playing. At times you’d think he was crying or in severe pain. I love musicians that visibly display their emotion like this when playing: they transcend, and become one with their music. Needless to say, the 36 year old put on an amazing, soulful set.

One of the sets I was looking forward to was Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Right from the start of the set, it was funky and electric. He made his way around to the band members and flashed some brass for the crowd. For a brief moment in time, you’d think you were down in the “Big Easy”. Soon we’d be briefly transported to Austin, TX with the likes of Gary Clark Jr. The way he plays his instrument is effortless. Closing with “Bright lights, Big City” his line “You’re gonna know my name by the end of the night” is absolutely true, and I’ve known it since 2007.

Then, Paul Rodgers from Bad Company put on another hit show for the “Looaville” crowd. Playing hit after hit from his repertoire, he kept the crowd engaged and singing along with songs like “Can’t Get Enough”, “Feel Like Making Love” and “Shooting Star”, before closing out their set with “Bad Company”. Joe Bonemassa was the last act on the Barrel Stage and it’s a good thing, because he burned it down to the ground! Dressed in his standard suit, the 40 year old axe player, came out blazing and I don’t think he stopped until the last chorus of Led Zeppelin’s version of “How Many More Times”. Yes, it was that amazing.

Sadly the festival had come to its final act, but, not without a last hurrah. With a mixture of Fleetwood Mac and solo compositions, the “Queen of Rock and Roll” herself, Stevie Nicks, kept the tired and sweaty crowd enthralled during her set. Highlights included staples like “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with her guitarist Waddy Wachtel, singing the Tom Petty parts), “Gypsy”, “Gold Dust Woman” and “Edge of Seventeen”. “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” closed out her set as well as the inaugural year of the Bourbon and beyond Festival.

All in all, the first annual festival ran as smooth as a good Kentucky bourbon. The way the two main stages were set up, side by side, ensured the live music kept flowing all weekend long, with little interruption. The weather was perfect, albeit a little hot, but I’ll take it. I hope it becomes an annual event – let’s see what’s in store for 2018!

Photos of Day 2:
Caitlyn Smith, Kiefer Sutherland, Jonny Lang, Nikki Lane, Trombone Shorty, G Love & Special Sauce, Gary Clark Jr., Paul Rodgers, Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Nicks

Check out our coverage of Day 1 here!


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