The Kentucky Headhunters, a Grammy-winning Southern rock band, has signed to perform at this year’s Warren County A&L Fair on Thursday, Sept. 14.
“All of us Kentuckians are looking forward to meeting folks and having a great time at the Warren County Fair,” said Richard Young, rhythm guitarist and vocalist for The Kentucky Headhunters. “We’ll be playing a lot of new songs, as well as everyone’s old favorites like ‘Dumas Walker.’ I’m sure we are going to have a blast. Tennesseans and Kentuckians known how to have a good time when we get together.”
A short story and biography in the words of The Kentucky Headhunters shows the group had very humble beginning and struggles that eventually led to their success.
“Once upon a time, in a deep and dark forest, in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, not far from the village of Edmonton, stood a psychedelic shack where the only rock and roll band in Metcalfe County rehearsed. The year was 1968, and the band was called Itchy Brother. "
The biography goes on to say, "The shack was really a farmhouse now known as the infamous Practice House. And the deep and dark forest was a place on Richard and Fred Young’s family farm.”
The brothers, with cousins Anthony Kenney and Greg Martin, set out to conquer the world by creating their own brand of rock and roll, armed with a pickup truck load of amps, drums, and guitars, and a stack of American and English rock records.
“In early ’80s, we started to hand out in Nashville,” said Richard. “Because it wasn’t known as one of the rock ‘n roll cities, we had always avoided it like the plague. Our only bout with Nashville was a TV show called ‘Young Country.’”
Itchy Brother played Robert Johnson’s Crossroads on the show in 1970.
“It opened our eyes and pointed our hearts in a different direction,” said Richard.
Becoming a national recording act seemed to elude the group, but they never gave up.
In 1986, Greg introduced Richard and Fred to Doug Phelps. Prior to this, the plan had been to record an Itchy Brother album and go for it again, but Anthony declined. Phelps was asked to join in Anthony’s place.
“We couldn’t see using the Itchy Brother name without Anthony,” said Greg. “At the time, I was reading a book called ‘Deep Blues’ by Robert Palmer. It spoke about the head-chopping ritual and the fact that Muddy Waters’ band was nicknamed the Headhunters. I told the other guys about the story and it struck a nerve with all of us.”
The Headhunters started rehearsing in March of 1986.
Known as “Southern rock royalty,” the group is gearing up for its 2017 tour that will take their rowdy, high-energy live show across the pond. In October, eight performances are scheduled in the UK.