Gary Brewer & The Kentucky Ramblers are next up to headline WFPK Waterfront Wednesday on August 11, and are gearing up to bring Brewer’s hometown their special brand of American roots music: Brewgrass.

After 40 years of leaving their mark in the legacy of American roots music, Gary Brewer & The Kentucky Ramblers recorded 40th Anniversary Celebration, and made plans for a special tour in 2020. But, like most things in 2020, the tour had to wait. Despite setbacks brought on by the onset of the coronavirus, their 40th Anniversary Celebration album has spent 56 weeks in Billboard’s Top Five American Roots albums, with the past 10 weeks at the number one spot.

I caught up with Brewer to learn more about their special brand of “Brewgrass” before they hit the WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Stage this week.

Your 40th Anniversary tour was delayed due to COVID. How did your family deal with the disappointment of having to cancel the tour?

Well, sometimes you have to play the cards you’re dealt and we made the best of it. Luckily, none of the tour was cancelled (just postponed). We wound up building our own studio in our warehouse since all the studios were under restrictions. So we got lemons and made lemonade.

The 40th Anniversary album really took off even without a tour behind it! Has it been a surprise to see it remain on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart for so long?

Yes, we are so grateful to see it stay on the chart this long and who knows how things work out, but with the tour postponed maybe, it drove people to go online and purchase since they could not see us in person. I’ve been in the business for over 40 years and sometimes you think you have things figured out but then something like this happens and you just go with it! We are truly blessed and we want to thank the fans and radio programmers all over the world.

How does your family manage the challenge of both living, working and traveling together?

Well, as I say so often our big bus gets small sometimes “LOL“ but all jokes aside it is a great blessing to be able to travel and tour together.

What can we expect from your performance at WFPK Waterfront Wednesday on August 11th?

We are looking forward to Waterfront Wednesday! The fans can expect our multi-genre variety show. We will be doing our Brewgrass, tunes from our Grammy-nominated “Vintage Country Revival” project, and even some Southern Rock and Roll. Also, we have our friends “Linkin’ Bridge” and a couple of other surprise guest artists coming out to perform with us. It is going to be one for the record books!

Gary Brewer & The Kentucky Ramblers hit the stage this Wednesday, August 11 at 9pm. Watch a recap of a recent performance in Illinois below.


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Otis is the late morning host on WFPK.