While most of the 150 artists playing this year’s Ichthus festival will cross state lines to get to Wilmore, some are natives of the Bluegrass state, and a few don’t even need to leave the county.
Acts with Jessamine County ties in this year’s festival include the Abe Parker Band, Amaris Blevins and Absalom Absalom.
Abe Parker Band
Asbury University graduate Abe Parker fronts the group that also includes Nicholasville’s Robbie Goins, fellow Asbury grad Tyler Young and 18-year-old Sam Jones of Lexington.
Parker will play some solo songs on the main stage Wednesday before taking the galleria stage Saturday at 4:40 p.m. with his bandmates. The band, whose sound Parker described as “rock-a-booty,” played the galleria stage twice last year.
Blevins, a 23-year-old Lexington native who will graduate from Asbury University in December, will take the galleria stage twice Friday at 1 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. The singer/songwriter will play piano with Asbury grad Tyler Young and Nicholasville’s Robbie Goins backing her up.
Blevins led worship at Ichthus a few years ago as part of a band that included worship leaders from several Lexington-area churches. She had attended the festival in high school.
“It was pretty crazy, because I¿think even when I went when I was younger, I¿didn’t think I¿would ever have a chance to do that kind of thing,”¿she said. “It’s just cool how God has opened up a lot of opportunities, and really a lot of times, it’s just people asking me and not something that I¿pursued, which makes it a pretty cool blessing.”
Blevins sang with the Abe Parker Band last year but has not had a solo spot at the festival before.
“At first, I¿was really nervous,” she said of finding out she would play Ichthus by herself. “All the shows I’ve done before this have been opening up for people, so this will be my first time ever doing my own thing and doing my own music, so I’m excited.”
With a piano-driven sound similar to pop artist Sara Bareilles and an R&B flavor, Blevins’ lyrics reflect honesty about her past.
“As an individual, I¿really just wear my heart on my sleeve; I’m very open and honest, and that translates into me being an artist, as well,” she said. “It’s just me being really honest and open with the stuff I’ve gone through in the past and that I’m currently going through.”
Blevins has a fan page on Facebook and hopes to have songs recorded and available for download soon.
“Hopefully with Ichthus, people will hear me there and start to follow me and be able to eventually download my music and listen to it that way,” she said.
Check back next week for The Journal's full profile of the third local band to play at Icthus, Absalom, Absalom.