By Patti Nickel
If you love sipping good Kentucky elixir and bootscooting to the best of country/western music, you’ll want to be in Lawrenceburg on October 28th for the 5th annual Boots and Bourbon Music Concert.
For five years, the best country singer/songwriters have been converging on The Barn at McCall Springs to sing and strum about love gone wrong, honky-tonk ladies, life behind bars and all the other misfortunes that send a country song to the top of the charts. This year’s event will be more of the same, according to concert organizer Meredith Lewis.
“These performers are the best of the best songwriters,” says Lewis, “the ones writing the songs that win Grammys.”
Billed as a Nashville Songwriters’ Festival, this year’s lineup features Lee Thomas Miller, Deric Ruttan, the Warren Brothers and special guest Paul Carroll Binkley. Lewis has known Miller since their college days at Eastern Kentucky University, and when he moved to Nashville to pursue his dream, they continued to stay in touch. Boots and Bourbon is a collaboration of the two, with Miller, through his Nashville connections, providing the talent and Lewis, through her organizational skills, providing the planning and staging. It has proven to be a match made in hard-driving, heart-pounding heaven.
If it’s credentials you want, this year’s performers have them in spades. Among his accomplishments, Miller is the wordsmith for Trace Adkins’ Billboard Hot 100 hit, “You’re Gonna Miss This” and Kentucky native Chris Stapleton’s “Whiskey and You.” Deric Ruttan may be Canadian, but his music is pure Tennessee, with him writing for the likes of country superstars Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley. The Warren Brothers – otherwise known as Brett and Brad – have not only written songs for Taylor Swift, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw, but with their skill in acoustic guitar and electric guitar have served as opening act for McGraw and Faith Hill.
“All of these talented songwriters will perform in the round, both singing their own songs and telling the story of how those songs came to be,” says Lewis.
The show will begin at 8:00 p.m. following a 7:00 p.m. dinner. Platinum ticket holders will get a bonus with a 6:00 p.m. bourbon tasting to the accompaniment of Paul Carroll Binkley on his acoustic guitar. And if you want proof of his credentials, Binkley has played acoustic guitar for the likes of superstar group Alabama. As to the bourbon part of the equation, that comes courtesy of Bardstown Bourbon Company and Green River Distillery in Owensboro. Green River Distillery is making its first visit to the event, but Bardstown Bourbon Company has been involved with Boots and Bourbon since its inception. “They saw our vision and wanted to be a part of it,” says Lewis.
This year, the concert returns to the 250-seat barn at McCall Springs after being held outdoors during the COVID pandemic. In the past, country music lovers have come from as far as Pennsylvania and Texas to rock to the music, which, according to Lewis, “usually goes on for about three hours.” She expects equal excitement (and attendance) for this year’s event.
“We’re bringing incredible talent and incredible bourbon to Lawrenceburg for one night,” she says. “What more can you ask?”
Ticket prices for Boots and Bourbon begin at $75 for general admission to the concert. For dinner and the show, tickets are $115, and for $125 you get the package (bourbon tasting, dinner and show.)
So, put on your best boots and head to Lawrenceburg for bourbon and big-time country music songwriters.
You can get your tickets for this year’s Boots & Bourbon Nashville Songwriters’ Festival here.