A wonderful farm wedding outside Louisville, KY
I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair bit of traveling lately and this past Labor Day weekend I DJed Summer and Brandon’s Kentucky wedding in Louisville—voted Manliest Town in America by GQ magazine. Summer and Brandon were guests at Katie and Josh’s wedding at the Goodstone Inn in Virginia horse country in June of last year and were definitely inspired by the event. They brought me out to their beloved hometown of Louisville, KY to celebrate with them and 350 of their closest friends and family. The wedding and reception took place at Summer’s family farm in Lagrange, about 30 miles away, where there was ample space and plenty of down-home ambience, matched by the wedding theme “Boots & Bowties.”
All the images seen here are courtesy the generous and talented husband and wife photography team of Chris Higdon and Jessie Kriech of Kriech-Higdon Photography.
Sound was already set up when I arrived in the late rainy afternoon, with speakers inside the barn and on the porch so set up and sound check were a breeze, a welcome change from my usual procedure, for sure! Just as the first guests were arriving (plenty of boots and bowties to be seen), I ran into Jim James and Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, one of my favorite bands. Clearly it was going to be a pretty special evening…!
Summer & Brandon hired The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars to lead them—in the best New Orleans tradition—in a second line 1/4 mile from the al fresco ceremony along a winding dirt road past the pond to the barns where lemonade and cocktails awaited. Colorful umbrellas reflected the festive mood.
The largest of the barns was transformed into a rustic dining hall, with seating for all 350 guests. Planners Jaclyn & Nicole handled all the details with aplomb: candles and wildflower arrangements decorated the expansive dining tables; strings of lights crisscrossed the rafters and provided a warm, inviting glow.
For dinner music I provided a wide-ranging, heady and soulful mix that included reggae (Jackie Mittoo and Desmond Dekker), 80s pop (Tears for Fears), 90s alternative (Blur and Super Furry Animals), 60s soul classics (Marvin Gaye, Carla Thomas, Bettye Everett, Al Green, and Sly Stone), 00s latin fusions (Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno and Gecko Turner) and indie (The Sea and Cake, Ray Barbee, and The Bees) that definitely got some heads nodding and contributed to the relaxed, convivial atmosphere.
After Summer and Brandon’s first dance—to “I’ll Be Glad” by Bonnie “Prince” Billy, another Louisville native—guests were invited to the porch where I played a short set before The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars returned for a rousing set of New Orleans R&B. It was up to me to keep the energy high when they finished, so I delivered one dance floor hit after another. Learning just a few days before the wedding that the bride is a big Pointer Sisters fan, I played the 12″ version of “Automatic,” which was well-received by all.
Also on the playlist: “Hold On, I’m Comin’ (Phat Tony Ghetto Funk Remix)” Sam & Dave “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)” The Bucketheads, “Show Me Love” Robin S, “Ray Of Light” Madonna, and “Hello (Club Edit)” Martin Solveig & Dragonette.
Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say?” gave way to a number of uptempo tunes, including a great reworking of Shirley Ellis’ “Clapping Song” by Vinyl Cat, Foo Fighters, Vampire Weekend and A-Ha.
Cali Swag District “Teach Me How To Dougie” continues to be a requested favorite. George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” and DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince “Summertime” raised the roof! As did a pair of remixes from The Captain: Queen “We Will Rock You (Samba)” and The Beatles “The Word.”
The blend of Michael Jackson and Bel Biv Devoe earned a fist bump from Jim James. His request for Marvin Gaye was fulfilled with The Reflex’s re-vision of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The energy continued full-blast ’til the very last song and continued with spirited singalongs on the bus ride back to the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville.
One final note: If you ever find yourself in Louisville, a visit to Please & Thank You, is a must, a coffee shop with a formidable and well-curated selection of new and vintage vinyl. Awe. some.