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Music in the Park

J.D. Shelburne to debut new music

The Taylorsville, Ky. singer
has seen his career on the rise

Music in the Park

• Sept. 14: J.D. Shelburne at 7 p.m. (Opening act: Greg and Kriss Luckett Ziesemer at 6 p.m.)
• Free concert sponsored by the Madison Main Street Program
• Information: (812) 493-4984

(September 2018) – When J.D. Shelburne comes to play Music in the Park on Sept. 14 in Madison, Ind., he will already know his way around town. The popular recording artist often came to Madison when he was younger to bring Hinkle’s hamburgers to his wife’s grandmother.
In releasing his latest album, “Two Lane Town,” Shelburne says he has recorded the album that could take him to a whole new level.
“I’ve been working really hard on this album. I think it is my best collection of songs that I’ve released thus far,” he says of his fourth project.
Shelburne’s wife, Amy Bibb, is from Madison, and her dad still lives there.
“We try to come and visit two or three times a year,” he said. “When we pass through from Cincinnati to Louisville, we try and stop by as often as we can. It is a great little place.”
Shelburne’s most recent visit was on July 7 to play the Madison Regatta.

Photo provided

J.D. Shelburne started playing the guitar at age 19 and has never looked back. He has since played some of the biggest stages for many top names in the music business.

“I have a large base in Madison, Hanover and across the river,” Shelburne added. “We had a great turnout for Regatta, I really enjoyed playing.”
“This is the first time we have come to play Music in the Park,” he said. “I am excited to do it. Regatta was nice, and we are excited to get back.”
Shelburne said he is excited about playing the songs from his new album for fans in Madison.
“We enjoy playing for new fans, so I am excited to play for a new fan base,” he said.
When he played the new album for fans in his hometown of Taylorsville, Ky., 7,500 people came to hear him play, he said. He wrote five of the nine songs on the album.
“I feel it is my best,” he said. “Fans in Madison will hear the entire album in the show.”
I’ll be around after the show, of course.”
Music in the Park is the summer concert series organized by the Madison Main Street Program. This will be the final concert of the season and is held at the Broadway Fountain. Concessions open at 5 p.m. Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett Ziesemer will be the opening act at 6 p.m. Shelburne plays at 7 p.m.
“It’s all about writing and recording great songs,” he says. “It all boils down to just a great lyric. I try to write and record songs that I can relate to – ones that are catchy and have a great melody that I feel my fans can relate.”
Of the tracks from the new album, Shelburne says there’s one in particular that has a special place in his heart.
“I co-wrote a song on the record called ‘Born for This.’ It’s the first song on the record, and it talks about picking up a guitar and adapting to a new venture in life while attending college and just running with it. I was 19 when my grandmother passed away. My life turned around in an instant when I found that guitar after her death. I didn’t realize until early in college that music was my true passion in life. I had played three different sports growing up and just led the simple small-town life. I picked up the guitar, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
“It’s kind of the title track of my life. When I was about to finish college, there was a point when I realized I was about to be an adult and wondered what I was going to do with my life. Where I was going to go? I honestly felt like I was born to play music and entertain people. It was just something that I gravitated towards, naturally. Nashville, Tenn., was my next destination, and I haven’t looked back since.” 
Shelburne began that gravitation while growing up on a tobacco farm in Taylorsville, a tiny town southeast of the Ohio River near Louisville Ky. By his sophomore year of college, he had found a few gigs at some local bars in the Louisville and Lexington, Ky., area and developed a fan-base that eventually landed him on some of the biggest stages in the business. He opened for some of the nation’s hottest stars. Eventually, Shelburne was adding original songs into the set mix, in addition to producing songs of his own material. 
In 2002, Kentucky fell in love at first sight with Shelburne, then college student and small-town kid with a wide smile, natural singing voice and a love of faith, family and his hometown. But that small-town image is merely a fond memory, now that he has moved on to Nashville and a path to stardom.
Now you’ll find him soaking up the music scene, touring cities, building a fan-base and celebrating a decade of success playing venues all across the southeast trying to get his big break. Today, he’s among the hardest working and relevant country singers in the business. They say Nashville doesn’t work that way anymore – that talented musicians with very few connections don’t stand a chance. But Shelburne proved that Music City’s engine still runs off talent and persistent driven antics.
Critics find him credible. Fans pack his shows. Venues strive to book him. There are very few new artists recording songs today about whom that can be said. 
During his whirlwind career explosion, he has performed with more than 50 national acts ranging from stars such as Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Jamey Johnson, Kellie Pickler, Steve Wariner to Clay Walker and Johnny Lee. He has performed at some of the region’s most famous venues such as the Ryman Auditorium, Rupp Arena, Murphy Center, KFC Yum Center, Freedom Hall, Churchill Downs and Old Cardinal Stadium, which recently drew the Kentucky State Fair’s largest crowd of the concert series. Shelburne performed “God Bless America” prior to the 2016 Quaker State 400 NASCAR race at the Kentucky Speedway in front of more than 100,000 race fans.

Shelburne says he has high hopes and expectations for the new music. “One of my goals is to play the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve been on the verge couple of times but have never been asked to play. I am also looking to propel into national success. I would love to guest on a national TV show like ‘Today,’ where I can introduce my music to a national audience overnight.”

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