Matt Wickstrom

Matt Wickstrom is a freelance journalist based at the foothills of Appalachia in Waco, Kentucky. His passion for the music of Tyler Childers, Kelsey Waldon and other acts from his home state is only rivaled by his love of mountain drives, auto racing, University of Kentucky basketball and a good bourbon (on the rocks).

Railbird Festival Limestone Stage - Holler / Sarah Cahill

LIVE REVIEWReview: Railbird Festival

By Matt Wickstrom, August 31, 2021

Railbird’s merging of top shelf music, bourbon and horse racing culture helped to create an event that was uniquely Kentucky in every way imaginable.

Sierra Ferrell by Keni Omdahl.

INTERVIEWIntroducing: Sierra Ferrell

By Matt Wickstrom, August 23, 2021

While prepping for a run of west coast shows, Ferrell caught up to discuss all things Long Time Coming, busking, Billy Strings, overcoming her anxieties and more. But before all of that, we started with food – a certain West Virginia institution in particular.

Holler Country Music

INTERVIEWIntroducing: Brit Taylor

By Matt Wickstrom, May 24, 2021

Calling from a front porch swing on her Mt. Juliet, Tennessee farm with dog Whiskey by her side, Taylor candidly reflected on everything from using nature as inspiration to working on your own terms, while discussing the long and difficult road to releasing Real Me.

Joy Oladokun

INTERVIEWOne Hot Minute: Joy Oladokun

By Matt Wickstrom, October 8, 2021

Oladokun talks candidly about learning to open up during co-writes, how meditation and nature have kept her grounded and being an inspiration to others as a queer Black woman.

Artist - Arlo McKinley 1

INTERVIEWMy Essentials: Arlo McKinley

By Matt Wickstrom, May 13, 2021

As we sit down to mull over the five essentials he couldn’t live without, Arlo McKinley shares what kept him going through a period of self-doubt and what continues to bring him comfort in both music and life.

Artist - Emily Scott Robinson

INTERVIEWIntroducing: Emily Scott Robinson

By Matt Wickstrom, October 25, 2021

A truly nurturing soul, Telluride, Colorado-based songwriter Emily Scott Robinson has mastered the art of using music as a means of healing.

Live - Jade Bird 3

LIVE REVIEWJade Bird at The Burl in Lexington, KY

By Matt Wickstrom, May 17, 2021

It may have been billed as an intimate evening of acoustic music, but at their show at The Burl in Lexington, Kentucky, vocal powerhouses Jade Bird and Savannah Conley certainly filled the instrumental void (and then some).

Lilly Hiatt

INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: Lilly Hiatt

By Matt Wickstrom, October 12, 2021

Lilly Hiatt catches up with Holler to discuss the music and albums most dear to her heart for Cuts The Deepest.

Jade Bird

INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Jade Bird

By Matt Wickstrom, September 1, 2021

As she tucks into a cherry bagel, cup of tea and chocolate orange, Jade Bird discusses her new album Different Kinds of Light, her transition to moving to the USA and why acoustic performance allows her to express herself with total honesty.

Think I'll Just Stay Here and Meme

INTERVIEWWho The F*** is Think I'll Just Stay Here and Meme?

By Matt Wickstrom, August 3, 2021

Electrician by day, meme king by night. That’s the Clark Kent / Superman dynamic portrayed by Jonathan Oost, a lifelong native of Owensboro, Kentucky and the brains behind Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Meme.

Holler Country Music

INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Sam Filiatreau

By Matt Wickstrom, June 2, 2021

Sam Filiatreau's self-deprecating new single 'Wrecking Ball' showcases his quirky lyricism.

Artist - Eric Bolander 2

INTRODUCINGNew Artist of The Week: Eric Bolander

By Matt Wickstrom, March 3, 2021

Kentucky singer-songwriter Eric Bolander has no problem cutting straight to the cold, hard truth in the soul-stirring country ballads he spins.

Holler Country Music

INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Blackberry Smoke

By Matt Wickstrom, May 26, 2021

Charlie Starr discusses working with Dave Cobb, the cultural misconceptions highlighted within You Hear Georgia and how he makes sense of genre classifications.

Artist - Kelsey Waldon

INTERVIEWOne Hot Minute: Kelsey Waldon

By Matt Wickstrom, October 21, 2021

Oh Boy Records artist Kelsey Waldon talks with Holler about her artistic bond with John Prine, finding her way in Nashville and more for Introducing.

Preview Railbird Festival

OPINIONPreview: 10 Artists to see at Railbird Festival 2021

By Matt Wickstrom, August 24, 2021

Our top artist recommendations for a weekend of great live music at Railbird Festival in Kentucky!

John R. Miller

INTERVIEWIntroducing: John R. Miller

By Matt Wickstrom, July 12, 2021

Ahead of the release of Depreciated, we spoke with Miller about linking up with Rounder Records, chance musical encounters and his West Virginia roots.

Bendigo Fletcher

INTERVIEWIntroducing: Bendigo Fletcher

By Matt Wickstrom, October 18, 2021

Folk-rock melodies, a thunderous howl and wide-eyed performances - Bendigo Fletcher are Elektra Record's next best thing. Their frontman Ryan Anderson caught up with Holler to talk about the group's new album, 'Fits of Laughter'.

Live - Katie Pruitt 3

LIVE REVIEWKatie Pruitt and S.G. Goodman Live At The Burl, KY

By Matt Wickstrom, May 31, 2021

For many music lovers in Central Kentucky, the Burl is a home away from home, so to get to step foot back inside and lay eyes on the glowing stain glass behind the stage is nothing short of magical.

Album - Billy Strings - Renewal

ALBUM REVIEWBilly Strings - Renewal

By Matt Wickstrom, September 24, 2021

Renewal is Billy Strings’ Sistine Chapel; his grandest work to date that’s sure to cast a wide net of influence over bluegrass music for years to come.

Holler Country Music

ALBUM REVIEWCristina Vane - Nowhere Sounds Lovely

By Matt Wickstrom, April 2, 2021

Leaning heavily on old school rock and pre-war blues, Vane’s songwriting also explores paths of gospel, bluegrass, delta blues, country and even waltzes, resulting in a record that resembles a patchwork quilt of influences, both old and new.

Great Peacock by Michael Weintrob

INTERVIEWIntroducing: Great Peacock

By Matt Wickstrom, October 11, 2021

Led by longtime friends and musical collaborators Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd, Great Peacock have been carving out folky, southern rock ballads for close to a decade.