News Column

Thursday Night Live returns to London

June 25, 2014

By R. Scott Belzer, The Sentinel Echo, London, Ky.

June 25--LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. -- Thursday evenings in June provide residents of Laurel County with many things such as warm summer breezes, enjoyable temperatures, and long days. Thursday's are also known in downtown London for one thing in particular -- live music provided by fresh, local talent.

For the third time this month, London Downtown hosted its annual Thursday Night Live event at the steps of the Laurel County Courthouse. A crowd of about a 100 populated the downtown square to take full advantage of the free entertainment and sense of community.

Thursday evening's entertainment was comprised of the bands Kites and Frontier. The former, a neo-folk quartet from Corbin, provided guests with music spanning the entire emotional spectrum. Leah Hatmaker's haunting vocal harmonies with Jo Jo Stephens stood out as especially memorable, especially as the band chose to cover Radiohead's "Creep" towards the end of their set.

Hatmaker, who sang the song almost as a solo performance, pleased the crowd enjoyed her minimal rendition of the famous rock hit from the '90s.

"That's the first time we've performed it in front of this many people," Hatmaker said. "I'm glad everyone liked it -- it's one of our personal favorites."

The evening's second band, Frontier, is a country and bluegrass trio from London. Brothers Ethan and Andrew Worley combined acoustic guitar stylings with their cousin, Caleb Caudill, on bass. The trio also expertly combined vocal harmonies in the style of bluegrass bands of old. The end product was nothing short of a unique acoustic experience, especially considering the three young men covered hits from bands like Zac Brown Band, Dave Mason, The Eagles, The Beatles and even '80s glam rockers Poison.

According to Michael Sliter, who serves as an event organizer for Thursday Night Live, its important for Thursday Night Live to showcase the broad array of talent within the region.

"These performers represent the spectrum of musical genres, inclyding some artists that even break down the traditional notions of the genre," Sliter said. "One of our goals is to introduce our audience to new artists and genres that they may not be familiar with. We also understand that our audience is as diverse as the performers we bring to our stage. "

Sliter also maintained Thursday Night Live has always been a family-friendly event. He provides the free cost of attendance and impromptu activities for kids as prime examples, the latter of which became a highlight of Thursday evening's event.

In between sets, three young women from London took to the Laurel County Courthouse steps for a hula-hoop competition. Bailey Douglass, 10, an Alabama resident, as well as Chelsey Lakes, 11, of London, hula-hooped for approximately five minutes straight, wowing the gathered audience in the process.

Other activities aimed specifically for kids included jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. According to Sliter, on July 31, Thursday Night Live will host a "Kid's Night," which is set to bring in even more fun activities, games and prizes for kids that attend the event.

Thursday Night Live will continue every Thursday evening until Aug. 7. June 26 will showcase local favorites Sneaky Pete as the event's main performers.

For more information on Thursday Night Live, visit its website at


(c)2014 The Sentinel Echo (London, Ky.)

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Source: Sentinel Echo (London, KY)

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