Arts & Culture

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Brings Bluegrass and More With Blue Eagle Band, Brett Ratliff

The Blue Eagle Band performs "Somebody's Knockin'."

Watch the video for Brett Ratliff's "Fire in the Hole" above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2018) Enjoy bluegrass music, the banjo and more as the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series presents performances by the Blue Eagle Band and Brett Ratliff. On Friday, Oct. 19, the Blue Eagle Band will play. The next week, Friday, Oct. 26, Brett Ratliff will perform. These free public concerts will take place at noon, at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Blue Eagle Band Comes to Big Blue

The Blue Eagle Band is a four-person acoustic group that includes Terri Powell, Jesse Peña and father-son duo, Tom Adler and Noah Adler. In addition to performing covers of traditional-to-progressive bluegrass and "newgrass" songs, the band's repertoire features some original pieces. Because of the diverse music each musician grew up listening to, the band's music is best described as "bluegrass and more."

Banjo Balladeer Brett Ratliff

Banjo balladeer Brett Ratliff loves to share the stories of his native Appalachian home through his music. Silas House wrote, "when we hear Ratliff sing we know that Appalachia lives in his throat." As a musician and community organizer, he has been an activist for the connection between the arts, foodways and economic development since graduating from Morehead State University in 2007. Ratliff has worked toward the wellness of his region with such organizations as Appalshop and Hindman Settlement School, and founded such festivals as the Morehead Old Time Music Festival and the Lexington Old Time Gathering.

"The Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series showcases 12 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim.

The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, host of the concert series, is a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine ArtsUK School of Music and UK Libraries.

For more information on the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series or the concerts featuring Blue Eagle Band or Brett Ratliff, contact Revell Carr, director of the Niles Center, by email to or visit the website at

photo of the Blue Eagle Band with instruments
headshot photo of Brett Ratliff in hat

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