The Do502 Live Music Lou Weekly Preview: STRIVEFEST at La La Land

***Side note: Do502 and Live Music Lou have both made their way up to Chicago for some good ol’ Lollapalooza merriment – therefore, this week’s preview is being published on our website for the time being. CHEERS!

From what we can tell, Strive is a new organization in the 502 that speaks to the things we are very committed to developing: arts, wellness and community. Saturday’s StriveFest will aim to help support this rising feature in the Louisville arts realm. This single day (and only $10 event) will occur from 2-10pm at Kevin Ratterman’s wonderfully eclectic and creative studio, La La Land. The day’s lineup includes a jugband session, kids dancing, a drum circle with Cheyenne Mize and music from Louisville staples Appalatin, Small Time Napoleon and Howell Dawdy. Although we’re up in Chicago for Lollapalooza, we foresee this as an event that is doing all of the right things – we know the associated acts will bring something refreshing to this first Saturday of August.

StriveFest 2015
StriveFest 2015

In a busy week preparing for this worthy event, we got a hold of Steve Sizemore, who provides some percussion goodness for Appalatin – they’ll be performing at this fundraising event. We asked him about StriveFest, this summer and upcoming fall schedule, a new album and his favorite Louisville acts.


Live Music Lou: So from what we’ve read, Strive sounds like a great organization. What do you know about it and how did you get involved?

Steve Sizemore from Appalatin: Over the last couple of years through conversations with Cheyenne, I’ve learned about her work as a music therapist and the positive impact it has on people’s well-being. I remember hearing about her vision for the organization and its formation and was very impressed. It is an evolving and critical field and in a way, while we aren’t trained music therapists, Appalatin strives to play its part in helping people be happy. When she asked us to participate in StriveFest, we were very excited to be part of such a wonderful organization and purpose. Music heals.

LML: StriveFest is clearly in support of the organization – what can we expect from this event? What all will be going on?

SS: I will have to refer to Cheyenne or Nina to answer that question more accurately.

LML: What has Appalatin been getting into this summer? What do you have coming up for the fall?  

SS: We’re having a really fun summer. As far as concerts, we’ve had some great experiences playing private and community events. We also got to record a track alongside some very talented Louisville musicians in a tribute album to Muddy Waters expected to be released this fall. Right now, we are in a very creative moment, developing new material for another album. The concerts have been very energetic and we’re playing good shows. We plan to carry that energy into the fall by heading into the studio and cutting all the tracks for the next album. Our goal is to get something released by late spring.

LML: So we’re two years out from Waterside…is there any new music in the works?  

SS: Yes, the next album is going to be a new evolution in our sound. We love where we are heading with this project. We’ve got a ton of material that we plan to narrow down for the album.

LML: The Louisville music scene is really something else in our opinions – how does Appalatin fit into the music culture here in town? What artists are you into right now and/or who would you like to work with? We are very fortunate to be part of a special music community here.  

SS: There is such a richness and diversity of music and talent in this town. With our proximity to Nashville, central location to so many other metropolitan regions, and the talent coming from institutions such as the University of Louisville and the Louisville Orchestra among other influences, Louisville definitely has a place on the musical map. We are very grateful to be part of that community and appreciate the respect we’ve been given over the past few years. However, it has been equally shared with our friends from so many other walks. We find ourselves often enjoying and spending time with listening to, dancing, and collaborating with other great groups such as Cosa Seria, Afrophysicist, Small Time Napoleon, Moonlight Peddlers, Zach Longoria, Billy Goat Strut Revue, Bibelhauser Brothers, and several others. We had an opportunity last fall to collaborate with Teddy Abrams and Ben Sollee for the YMCA Thanksgiving Breakfast and would really welcome the opportunity to work with them again. Of course, we have a couple of pieces we would dream to have the Louisville Orchestra join in on. That would be really special.


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