Few records encapsulate the essence of an artist in a moment in time the way "Straight From Kentucky" captures JD Shelburne. The release of the album has Country music lovers chomping at the bit awaiting its release this June. Produced by Phil O’Donnell, JD’s new release propels this hard working success story into stardom. JD shines the spotlight on his pride in his roots cementing his surefire connection to his audience in making the most compelling music of his career to date.
“This is probably the best collection of songs I’ve ever released,” says JD. “There is something about Phil’s approach to music and songwriting that connects with me, and he helped me to dive deep and find my authentic sound.” JD's authentic sound combines JD's infectious energy and his pride in his hometown with his distinctive voice. With all the talent that JD exudes, combined with his notorious work ethic has made JD one of Country music's fastest-rising stars and his new album captures the magic that is JD Shelburne.
"Straight From Kentucky" is a series of real life story telling masterpieces dealing with the search for release, romance, and redemption. JD calls the title track, “An anthem for my people. I’m still partial to where I’m from. I spend time there when I’m off the road, and I carry its spirit with me everywhere I go.”
JD credits his hometown for instilling in him “A strong work ethic, a love for family, and having a passion for what you do. My hometown of Taylorsville has provided me with a large platform to help share my story and chase down my dreams,” JD states.
As always, Shelburne wanted to celebrate the release of his 5th album by bringing a FREE CONCERT back to his hometown fans. JD will host his 2021 CD Release Concert in his hometown of Taylorsville, KY on Saturday June 26, 2021! This will be his 5th concert that Shelburne will host in Downtown Taylorsville, KY to celebrate the release of a new album, this one aptly named "Straight From Kentucky"!
So what can you expect, well the song ”Hometown In My Headlights” is not surprisingly about embracing your roots. Both the song’s feel and its message were important to JD, “The title drew me in,” he says. “I wanted an authentic anthem, something that says ‘today’s Country,’ and I just love the drive, the groove, the party feel, something I really wanted on the album.”
JD calls “Fine By Me”, “My wife’s favorite song. When Phil pitched it to me, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been cut yet, and I knew it had to be part of the album.” While “Bottoms Up Sundown” embodies the pure release of a cold one, a guitar, and good friends after a hard day’s work in the country, “Sun Bleached Polaroid” contemplates a perfect moment in time and “Sunburn” is a pure slice of country life with JD’s authenticity echoing through every note and phrase. “Country Boy’s Girl” is a, “homemade, homegrown” love song.
“Church Pew Bar Stool,” made its video world premiere on CMT and CMT Music on July 1st 2020. “It was the first song for the album I recorded and I loved it from the moment I heard it. My upbringing was in a small town Baptist church and I related to the song and the lyrics, about finding our own ways to ‘do what He would do.’ In today's times especially, I think it should hit home with a lot of people.” This particular compilation of songs builds a picture of the place where JD's life and music merge for the pure joy of Country music lovers.
The state of Kentucky couldn’t be prouder of their native son and in fact, it’s JD’s face you’ll see on Kentucky’s 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide, with over 400,000 copiwes in print. Also, after making numerous appearances at the Kentucky Derby, JD's outfits have even been featured on display in the museum at historic Churchill Downs. JD was proud to perform the state song at the capital by request of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, and he was part of Hometown Rising in Louisville. The show headlined by Tim McGraw played out for a crowd of tens of thousands. JD 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.
“Music and family are where it’s at,” JD says. “I really feel blessed on the personal side with my wife. I noticed that when Amy Jo is in a video, I get more traffic. People want to see our inside lives, it’s not just about the music. No matter how weird the world gets, we have something in common, music and family, and performing and recording is my way of sharing those.” And the sharing of his life with his fans expanded when last September 21st 2020, JD and Amy Jo welcomed their first child, son Jax Dillon Shelburne into this world.
At the time of Jax's birth most of JD's shows had been cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Always finding the silver lining, the cancellations allowed JD to share some quality extended time with his new born son and beautiful wife that he may have otherwise not have experienced. Parenthood is a much treasured and long awaited blessing for JD and Amy Jo, and Shelbourne gushes with pride when he speaks of Jax. It is understandable that JD has raised thousands of dollars for charities including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Blessings In a Backpack, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to name a few, as family is JD's life.
As with many other touring artists, COVID 19 saw many shows on JD's tour cancelled in 2020. JD though still managed to appear at over 80 shows before things were shut down, however this was less than half of his average of 200 live dates he usually performs. In fact JD has been recognized as one of the hardest working singers in show business by the artist platform website, BandsInTown, for playing the most shows of any of its half-million artists. JD is looking forward to continuing his busy live show schedule in 2021 as the pandemic subsides, and is already booked until the fall.
After all, Shelbourne has been part of the CMA Music Festival, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, and the Quaker State 400 NASCAR Race, and has performed at SunTrust Park, Guaranteed Rate Field, Great American Ballpark, Freedom Hall, and Rupp Arena, to name just a few. JD has opened for Miranda Lambert, Craig Morgan, Chris Young, Marty Stuart, Jamey Johnson, and Montgomery Gentry, and has shared the stage with over 50 national acts. He was also featured as the Texas Roadhouse Artist of the Month nationwide in May 2020 in 580 restaurants! A feat that put him among the ranks of many stars such as Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Rodney Atkins and more.
For JD, “It’s all about writing and recording great songs,” he says. “It boils down to a great lyric, something relatable and catchy, and a great melody my fans can relate to. Also, I give them ninety minutes of high energy at any of my shows, 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 connection and insight into Shelbourne's musical beginnings in Taylorsville, Kentucky, as all become aware of the dreams that took Shelburne from small home town clubs, to Nashville, Tennessee. "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,” comments JD.
Fans who have followed him since the early days know just how impressive JD Shelbourne's combination of talent and dedication is, and as they follow him on social media, they are learning how he balances that drive with family. JD Shelburne is the best of both worlds, rocking a crowd like nobody’s business, and then tearing at your heartstrings with ballads that cut to the core of life and love. Find out for yourself by listening to his new album, "Straight From Kentucky", that for JD Shelbourne, it’s obvious the sky’s the limit.
By Deborah Gibson