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Kentucky Just Us

Written by on January 23, 2023

When I finally caught up with ‘Kentucky Just Us’ in November of 2022, it didn’t take me long to realize what I had been missing. Even though I was very familiar with their videos and recordings, from following them on facebook, youtube, and The Bluegrass Jamboree; the quality of their sound in person, was extra special good! In addition to their sound quality, the talents of the young band members soon became readily apparent. The members of ‘Kentucky Just Us’ and their musical contributions are as follows; Kacey O’Neal, 21, Fiddle, Vocals, other instruments, & Songwriting. Jesse Meador, 20, Banjo, Vocals & Songwriting. Justus Ross, 19, Guitar, Vocals. Caleb O’Neal, 13, Mandolin, Vocals, Guitar, Dulcimer. ‘Mama’ Shelane O’Neal, Bass, Vocals, Songwriting. And ‘Papa’ Terry O’Neal, Band Manager & Sound Engineer. Obviously, the O’Neal family has a large role in the membership of ‘Kentucky Just Us’, which creatively started out as a Family, Christian Band, singing together as a family, performing early on at Church and other small events, and has grown and developed into the fully robust, highly entertaining, vastly touring, multi-talented Bluegrass Band that it is today. ‘Kentucky Just Us’ does in fact, sing & play to ‘Honor the Lord’, and they hold to their roots in Bluegrass to simply and humbly accomplish that mission. However, as you will see them today, they bring a stage and show presence indictive of their growth and professionalism, as a band. A few years ago, the band started out pretty much playing on their own, but progressed to other organized events such as The Silver Dollar City ‘Youth In Bluegrass’ festival, and ‘Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars’ (TBS) events. The band is based in Glasgow, KY, and has quickly grown into a Nationally touring band, traveling and sharing their music across the country. In 2019, the band played in over 100 shows! In 2022, they almost reached that benchmark, again. In 2022, some of the more notable Festivals and events they played were Dailey & Vincent’s ‘American Music Festival’ in TN, the ‘Homestead Festival at Hardison Mill’ in Columbia, TN, as a featured artist at the highly regarded and selective ‘The Station Inn’ TN, and the ‘Walnut Valley Festival’ in Kansas, where Jesse also finished 1st in the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship, and Justus finished 2nd in the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship. Kentucky Just Us has recorded numerous videos for facebook & youtube, most of which are ‘live’ recordings from shows & festivals. In addition, they have an EP on CD ‘In A Child’s Eyes’ 2019, and two CD Albums ‘Stand By Me’ 2020, and ‘Mountains of Home’ 2022. Had I been writing for The Bluegrass Jamboree at the advent of the latter album, I would have most assuredly requested a Music Review. There are at least two cover songs; ‘Fraulein’ & ‘Rank Stranger’ that received considerable airtime this last year. In addition, it includes my personal favorite ‘The Valley In Eastern Kentucky’, an Original written by Kacey. Their music is also available via streaming platforms. The members of ‘Kentucky Just Us’ say, that ‘they rely a lot on self-instruction, collaboration, and hard work’. This writer believes them when they say, ‘they hold true to Traditional Bluegrass, keep it simple, pray a lot, and what you see, is what you get.’ I know, I want to see a lot more of them in 2023! You can follow ‘Kentucky Just Us’ on facebook, youtube, all Streaming platforms, and on their website

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