Kentucky Headhunters & The Outlaws
The Kentucky Headhunters created a hybrid of honky-tonk, blues, and Southern rock that appealed to fans of both rock and country music. The origins of the Kentucky Headhunters lie in 1968, when Fred and Richard Young began playing together with their cousins Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney at the Youngs’ grandmother’s house. Mark Orr also later joined them. The first incarnation of the band was called the Itchy Brothers, and the group played together informally for over a decade. After about 13 years, the bandmembers began launching separate careers: Richard Young went off to write songs for Acuff-Rose, while Fred Young began touring with country beauty Sylvia. Martin became a member of Ronnie McDowell’s band, while Kenney dropped out of music. In 1985, Martin decided to reassemble the Itchy Brothers. When Kenney declined to rejoin the group, Martin remembered Doug Phelps, whom he had met while on tour with McDowell. Phelps joined the new project, which was named the Kentucky Headhunters. Besides Martin and Phelps, the band also included the Young brothers and Doug’s brother Ricky Lee Phelps.
For The Outlaws, it’s always been about the music. For more than 40 years, the Southern Rock legends celebrated triumphs and endured tragedies to remain one of the most influential and best-loved bands of the genre. Today, The Outlaws have returned with new music, new focus, and an uncompromising new mission: It’s about a band of brothers bound together by history, harmony, and the road. It’s about a group that respects its own legacy while refusing to be defined by it’s past. But most of all, it’s about pride.
It’s About Pride was also the title of the band’s acclaimed 2012 album, universally hailed as their victorious comeback. “Because The Outlaws had been out of the public eye for so long, it was almost like starting over,” explains founding singer / songwriter / guitarist Henry Paul. “But because of the band’s history, we dig deeper, write better, perform stronger. Everything we do is to reinforce the notion that The Outlaws still matter, and that Southern Rock will always matter. It’s a message we’re proud to bring into the 21st century.”
For The Outlaws, it’s still about the music. And now more than ever, it’s about pride.
Blue Gate Performing Arts Center
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