Kentucky Bluegrass Legends to Headline Two-Day Country Music Highway Tribute Show in Louisa

LOUISA, KY — Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) announced today that Grammy winners Ricky Skaggs and Larry Cordle will join American Idol winner Noah Thompson as the headliners for the Country Music Highway Tribute Show on July 13 in downtown Louisa.

The free event is presented by Addiction Recovery Care and Kentucky Power, with stage sponsor Trace Creek Construction and special sponsor Todd Case Trucking.

The addition of the trio of headliners, all Lawrence County natives, has pushed the event to a two-day festival of music, arts and crafts, and food on July 12-13.

Skaggs, a 15-time Grammy winner, will perform with his band, Kentucky Thunder. Born in rural Lawrence County in Cordell, Skaggs’ father, Hobert, gifted him a mandolin at the age of five after hearing him harmonize with his mother while playing with his toys. A year later, the legendary Bill Monroe performed in the Lawrence County town of Martha, and Monroe strapped his mandolin around Ricky’s neck. He struck a chord, and it was a life-changing moment that charted his course into the fabric of Bluegrass and Country Music genres.

At the age of seven, Skaggs performed on Flatt & Scruggs’ popular syndicated television show. That earned his first paycheck.

It’s those defining moments that prompted SOAR to create the Country Music Highway Tribute Show as a celebration of a stretch of roadway that has produced more stars per square mile than any highway in the world.

“This is a pivotal moment for the Country Music Highway and our work to promote the up-and-coming stars of the region,” said Joshua Ball, Chief Operating Officer at SOAR. “When we started this journey more than two years ago, we made a commitment to dream big and to put together a high-caliber event on a scale to build relationships with the stars.”

The first-ever SOAR Country Music Highway Tribute Show launched in March 2022 in conjunction with the SOAR Mini Summit in Ashland. An idea to offer a musical addition to a networking reception at the Paramount Arts Center morphed into a movement.

“I remember sitting with Brandy Clark with Visit Ashland, and we looked at each other and said, “This has to continue,” recalled Ball.

And it has… through a collaborative effort between local tourism agencies and venues from all across the Country Music Highway.

Larry Cordle will return home to perform with his band of acclaimed musicians from Nashville. He is best known for writing mega-hit songs like “Highway 40 Blues” and “Murder On Music Row,” co-written with Larry Shell. In addition, he is featured on numerous collaborative albums and singles, such as the 2022 GMA Dove Award-winning song, “The Sweet By and By,” with Dolly Parton, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, and Bradley Walker. Cordle’s original songs have been recorded by artists such as Alison Krauss, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, and Ricky Skaggs. He has provided harmony vocals for artists such as Blake Shelton and Garth Brooks just to name a few.

Noah Thompson, the winner of Season 20 of American Idol, embodies the spirit of country music: overcoming adversity and the odds to achieve widespread acclaim and the hearts of millions. Growing up in Lawrence County, Thompson’s path from a construction worker to a famous artist shows his hard work and determination. His powerful voice and relatable story have won over millions of fans, and his performance is sure to be a major highlight of the festival.

Skaggs, who has 11 No. 1 Country singles, four No. 1 Country albums, and seven No. 1 Bluegrass albums, will perform at 8:30 p.m. on the Trace Creek Construction Stage.

Larry Cordle will take the Trace Creek Construction Stage at 6 p.m., and Noah Thompson will start at 7:15 p.m.

A total of 19 acts will perform over the two days in Louisa. The event is free and free shuttle service will be available from Lawrence County High School from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own camper chair.

In conjunction with the three summer shows, the Country Music Highway Tribute Show hosts an online Silent Auction. Proceeds from the auction go to organizations supporting the arts along the Country Music Highway.

Items are added weekly. Some of the items on the site currently include:

● Ricky Skaggs autographed handmade Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument
● Pair of Tickets to Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman in Nashville featuring Ricky Skaggs
and Kentucky Thunder on July 25.
● Autographed Billy Ray Cyrus Guitar.
● Autographed Wynonna Judd guitar.
● Pair of Cincinnati Reds tickets.
● Autographed basketball by University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach Mark Pope.
● Autographed football by University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops.
● iPad and iWatch.

For more information on the Country Music Highway Tribute Show, visit!

SOAR Country Music Highway Tribute Show Louisa Lineup

Friday, July 12
4:30 p.m. | Baldridge Brothers
5:00 p.m. | Phill Barnett
6:00 p.m. | Rachel and Connor Dale
7:00 p.m. | Adalyn Ramey
8:00 p.m. | Hannah Wheeler
9:00 p.m. | Ben Fugate

Saturday, July 13
9:45 a.m. | Lawrence Co High School Choir
10:00 a.m. | Hunter Jordan
11:00 a.m. | Laurah Louisa
12:00 p.m. | Them Lasses
1:00 p.m. | Eddie Jenkins & The 606 Sound
2:00 p.m. | Logan Purcell
3:00 p.m. | Luke Trimble
4:00 p.m. | Solid Ground
5:00 p.m. | Kentucky Just Us
6:00 p.m. | Larry Cordle
7:15 p.m. | Noah Thompson
8:30 p.m. | Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder