Nat Myers press photo/ Carly Pearce performs on stage during day one of CMA Fest 2023 at Nissan Stadium on June 08, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. / SG Goodman performs during day five of the 2021 Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park on July 27, 2021 in Newport, Rhode Island.
Jim Herrington/ Jason Kempin/Getty Images/ Douglas Mason/Getty Images)

'More Than Just Crops and Horses': 10 Kentucky Artists Share How The Bluegrass State Shaped Their Artistry

Carly Pearce says the state taught her "what it means to be a real singer."

When you think of country music there's several regional pockets of sound that come to mind — Nashville, Texas, Carolina, California and Kentucky — to name a few. The latter has been at the cutting edge of country and bluegrass music for over a half century dating back to artists like Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, Bill Monroe and others and extending to the present day with folks like Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers and Carly Pearce, among others.

Helping drive the state's musical success has not only been its widespread talent, but the supportive and familial feeling of the larger creative community they're a part of that has pushed the artist's within to the limit of their creative potential.

"There's a lot of times where artists feel like they're competing with each other, but you don't see that here," says Hunter Flynn. "People are supportive of each other. Whenever someone gets an important gig or starts to blow up on social media you see an outpouring of support from surrounding artists. It feels a lot like a family, which has to do with the upbringing of leaning on a tight knit community to lift you up because you don't often have everything at your disposal."

To celebrate the impact that Kentucky has had on country music, Wide Open Country spoke with 10 artists including Grammy award winner Carly Pearce, Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Class of 2023 nominee Darrell Scott, 2023 Americana Honors & Awards Emerging Act Of The Year nominee S.G. Goodman and more, about how the state has impacted them both as musicians and people.




READ MORE: Darrell Scott Reflects On His Kentucky Roots, Revisits 'It's a Great Day to Be Alive,' on New Album 'Old Cane Back Rocker'