“A Hard Knox Life” by Laura Blackley

A Hard Knox Life

Kevin Abernathy shamelessly proffers his rock-and-roll roots on his spring release of Ain’t Learned Yet. Produced by Abernathy and longtime fellow Knoxville rocker Tim Lee, the album is heavier on melodic rock than Abernathy’s most recent release, 2012’s Some Stories. The seasoned songwriter skirts the balance between the telling and the doing—appealing both to audiences that like their rock music loud and those that still want to hear a compelling story of hard luck. With a uniquely Southern style and sensibility, Abernathy inhabits his songs with the sorts of grifters, drifters, and assorted rounders he runs into on the gritty and hardscrabble streets of Knoxville. “I like loud distorted electric guitar just as much as the folkier acoustic country blues,” Abernathy says. “People who are familiar with my music know there’s always been two sides to me, and I think this album is the best mixture of the two.”

by Laura Blackley for Smoky Mountain Living | October 1, 2015


Greg Horne > Hungry Otter Fest > Open Chord Singer/Songwriter Night

I’ve got a few local shows coming up this month, two with my good pal, Mr. Greg Horne. Sunday the 16th we’ll be sharing the stage at Barley’s, then Friday the 28th we’ll be at the Pilot Light for the 2nd Annual Hungry Otter Fest with No Air Radio, Temperance League, White Gregg and Melungeons. I’ll also be playing Karen E. Reynolds’ Singer/Songwriter Night at Open Chord with Larry Warfield, Adam Whipple, Brandon Harmon and more on Tuesday the 18th. Make sure to check out the Shows page for all the details.



Alive After Five w/ JMB > The Bowery w/ Chuck Mead

Friday the 10th I’ll be pickin’ guitar again for the John Myers Band as we play the Alive After Five concert series at the Knoxville Museum Of Art. These shows are always a lot of fun so make sure to come out and join us.

Then Friday the 17th my band and I will be opening for Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys at The Bowery in Knoxville’s Old City. For more info on this show and others, make sure to click on over to the Shows page.


Ohio w/ TL3 > Meadow Lark Fest w/ JMB

Friday the 12th I’ll be heading north with pals the Tim Lee 3 to play at The Crows Nest in Cincinnati opening for The New Old-Fashioned, then Saturday night we’ll be in Columbus at Ace Of Cups with Fort Shame and Sin Shouters. This’ll be my first time playing either of these venues so I hope our Ohio friends will come cheer us on.

Saturday the 27th I’ll be playing guitar with the John Myers Band at the Meadow Lark Music Festival along with Pokey Lafarge, Lonesome Coyotes, Scott Miller, cousin EmiSunshine and more. Make sure to visit the Shows page for more details on these and all upcoming shows.



Black Mountain > Vestival > Jammin At Hippie Jack’s

Friday night Mr. Murphy and I will be playing at Town Pump Tavern in Black Mountain, NC. This will be my first time playing there and we’re looking forward to making some new friends.

Saturday the 9th the band and I are honored to be headlining Vestival, South Knoxville’s Art & Heritage Festival. We’ll be sharing the stage with our friends Quartjar, The Lonetones and more! Visit the Vestival Facebook page for more details.

Sunday the 24th I’m excited to be back on the farm for Jammin At Hippie Jack’s! Make sure to check out the video below for all the artist announcements, and for all the info make sure to slide on over to the Jammin At Hippie Jack’s website.


Behind The Barn > John Myers > Record Store Day

Thursday the 2nd the band and I will be playing down in Maryville at Barley’s Taproom for Behind The Barn with Jeff & Sarah. If you can’t make it in person you can tune in to WFIV 105.3 FM to hear the first hour of the show.

Friday the 17th I’ll be playing guitar with the John Myers Band on the Market Square Stage at 6:30 during the Dogwood Arts Festival. It’s always a treat to play with these folks, so if you’re out and about enjoying the festival stop on by and see us.

Saturday the 18th is Record Store Day and once again the boys and I will be pickin’ on the porch at Lost & Found Records in Knoxville. This years line-up is headlined by Webb Wilder. For the full line-up and details make sure to visit the Shows page.

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Ain’t Learned Yet press – Steve Wildsmith

“He’s got a wry knack for observations of life’s minutiae: snapshots found in old dresser drawers, a penchant for those pills mama takes, being too paranoid to take a light-night piss in the parking lot. In those real-life moments, he mines larger themes: love, loss, regret and the redemptive power of rock ‘n’ roll. His previous releases have run the gamut, from the sneering attitude of “Rock N Roll Fiasco” to the gentler ruminations of “Some Stories.” As hackneyed as it always sounds when trumpeting the latest release by an artist, “Ain’t Learned Yet” is far and away his most powerful. If Peter Wolf had cut his teeth in the hills of East Tennessee instead of the urban canyons of Beantown, he might have hoped to sound something like Kevin Abernathy.”

— Steve Wildsmith, Weekend editor, The Daily Times, Maryville, TN