Kentucky Wild Horse

Kentucky Wild Horse takes its name from an old eastern Kentucky fiddle tune played by Wolfe County fiddler Darley Fulks (1895-1990) who possessed a vast repertoire of pre-Civil War tunes. Kentucky music from the 19th century down to the present, especially its fiddle and banjo traditions, has been our love and our inspiration.

The bluegrass music we have all played through the years in various bands and combinations has led us back to the older music that bluegrass evolved from. Bluegrass was but one of the many outcomes of the creativity and innovation that abounded during the golden age of rural southern music in the 1920s and ’30s. But the dividing line between Monroe’s 1945 band with David “Stringbean” Akemon on banjo and other bands of the late ’30s—like the Mainers or the Snuffy Jenkins-Pappy Sherrill group, that already featured 3-finger banjo picking and a driving bass—was never as clear cut as the distinction most people make between old-time and bluegrass music today. In Kentucky during this formative period, there was as much 2-finger and even 3-finger banjo picking as so-called clawhammer style, and there was as much attention given to expressive and emotional singing as in later bluegrass. Because of the sense of place that informs the music of a region, we find a consistency in deriving most of our music, whether old-time or bluegrass, from Kentucky sources. For us the two worlds are one, giving us the freedom to do what we like, combining the old with the new.

We believe the best original songs today are coming not from Music Row, but from real people, smart and observant, living in and listening to the heart of the country. The best songs are an expression of the place we live in, the people who are fighting to survive, and those who are working to keep our culture meaningful and strong for the next generation. They’re going to need it.

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