CRS 2020 with J.D. Shelburne
Updated: Mar 8
"Straight From Kentucky," J.D. Shelburne Talks New Music, New Tour Dates and Being the Face of Kentucky Tourism
During Country Radio Seminar 2020 in Nashville, J.D. Shelburne took some time to talk with us about everything he has been up to lately.
We took a walk down memory lane to 2012 when we first met and he performed his first Hometown Concert in his hometown of Taylorsville, Kentucky in the parking lot of the Country Mart grocery store. Shelburne explains why it was, and still is, so important for him to give back to his hometown and how the shows have grown in size over the years.
We also discuss his latest single, "Straight From Kentucky," which is available everywhere you can purchase digital music. The song is definitely made up of everything "Kentucky" from Loretta Lynn, Muhammad Ali, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Montgomery Gentry and of course, Bourbon and the Derby.
Additionally, in case you have missed it, Shelburne is THE face of Kentucky Tourism this year. The Kentucky Official Travel Guide is available at all hotels and rest stops throughout the state. As fellow Kentuckians, we are so honored to have him representing our state.
Make sure to check out all of Shelburne's tour dates and head out to a show near you. He is definitely an artist that you do not want to miss. With songs that are original and relatable, lyrically beautiful and timelessly written, all produced with a naturally smooth, "Nashville" sound, there are no "pass 'em on by" songs in his catalog.
J.D., as music journalists, we are so honored to follow you on this journey and always look forward to what is going to happen next. As friends, we are so proud of you. Keep up the amazing work and we can not wait to see you again very soon.
More About J.D. Shelburne:
JD Shelburne is the best of both worlds. He rocks a crowd like nobody’s business and tears at your heartstrings with ballads that cut to the core of life and love.
Shelburne does both more than two hundred times a year in venues ranging from packed clubs to huge festivals. Shelburne has opened for Miranda Lambert, Craig Morgan, Chris Young, Marty Stuart, Jamey Johnson, and Montgomery Gentry. Including sharing the stage with 50 national acts, Shelburne has logged over 2,500 performances to date.
The approach is genuine and simple.
“I give them ninety minutes of high energy,” Shelburne delivers, “but at one point I’ll break it down with a couple of acoustic ballads, sit on a barstool and tell a story or two.”
Those stories give listeners more insight into his musical beginnings in Taylorsville, Kentucky, as all become aware of the dreams that took Shelburne from small home-town clubs to Nashville, Tennessee.
It’s this relentless drive that is gaining Shelburne national attention that has been earned, one audience, and one record at a time.
Shelburne has appeared on CMT, which premiered videos for his single “One Less Girl.” This single has earned thousands of online views, aired on dozens of country radio stations nationwide, and appeared on Nashville’s prestigious Music Row Chart. Another single, “She Keeps Me Up Nights,” topped charts on the CMT 12-pack Countdown. Shelburne has also debuted as the #1 trending artist on CMT.com.
Shelburne’s other accomplishments are as diverse as they are impressive. These accomplishments cover appearances on Great American Country, articles in Country Weekly Magazine, and live performances at over 100 fairs/festivals spanning the eastern region of the U.S throughout his stellar career. Tour dates include the CMA Music Festival, NCAA Women’s Final Four, Quaker State 400 NASCAR Race, SunTrust Park, Guaranteed Rate Field, Great American Ballpark , Freedom Hall and Rupp Arena to name a few. To say Shelburne has played his fair share in the music industry is an understatement.
Nowhere is Shelburne more appreciated than in his home state of Kentucky. Shelburne has made numerous appearances at the Kentucky Derby and his outfits have been featured on display in the museum at historic Churchill Downs. Shelburne was proud to perform the state song at the capital by request of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives; and was part of Hometown Rising in Louisville, headlined by Tim McGraw, playing for a crowd of tens of thousands. Shelburne has been featured in Kentucky Monthly and Kentucky Alumni magazines and was named Most Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information in 2016. Shelburne was selected to appear on the cover of the state’s 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide which printed over 400,000 copies statewide.
In addition, Shelburne has raised thousands of dollars for charities including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Blessings In a Backpack, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
One of the hardest-working singers in show business, Shelburne was recognized by the artist platform website, BandsInTown for playing the most shows of any of its half-million artists; a feat that earned him a mention in Billboard in 2019. Shelburne keeps up that touring pace while recording in the studio, where it all begins, creating new material regularly.
“It’s all about writing and recording great songs,” says Shelburne, with five albums in the rear-view and another in the works, “It boils down to a great lyric, something relatable and catchy, and a great melody my fans can relate to.”
Though he’s always been passionate about music, Shelburne was, in essence, a late bloomer when it came to entertaining. Shelburne grew up on a tobacco farm with his mother, a schoolteacher, and father, a principal. There, he was instilled with, “a strong work ethic, a love for family, and having a passion for what you do”.
Shelburne mentions that “My hometown of Taylorsville has provided me with a large platform to help share my story and chase down my dreams.”
Everything changed after his grandmother’s funeral.
“I was 19 when she passed away,” Shelburne relays, “I’d been at college in Lexington for two months and when I went home for her funeral, I found a guitar in her closet. I took it back to college and got the itch to play it. I played every single day in my apartment, in between classes. My dad also had the keys to the church back home, and I’d go play in the sanctuary, practicing singing through a microphone. There was just something about developing my craft in an empty church sanctuary. That’s where it all started for me back in 2002.”
“It just all came naturally.”
Friends advised Shelburne to start playing clubs as his passion of music and entertainment grew, and he started to sell out shows and build a large loyal following. Shelburne began driving to Louisville to launch a wider musical journey.
“When I was about to graduate college in 2007, my mind was all over the place. Should I give Nashville a shot or just put my degree to use? With so much support from back home and a rapidly growing fanbase, Music City, USA was my next stop.”
I honestly felt like I was born to play music, write songs, and entertain people. It was just something I gravitated towards naturally. Nashville was my destination and I haven’t looked back since.”
Fans who have followed him since the early days know just how impressive his combination of talent and dedication is. For those who are just learning about him, it’s obvious that for JD Shelburne, the sky’s the limit.
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