If you were ever in a school band or took piano lessons, you might be familiar with the term downbeat. The downbeat is usually the first note in a musical bar – the steady rhythm of a song. But unless you’re an avid jazz fan or musician, you might be less familiar with the term backbeat. A backbeat is when musicians choose to accent one of the normally unaccented beats in a measure, highlighting an unorthodox note or rhythm. In this series, The Backbeat, I’m going to be highlighting all aspects of the music scene in Louisville, including those that normally stay in the background. 

Louisville has a vibrant music scene, and if you’ve been in Louisville very long, you’ve likely caught wind of some of the big names that come through the KFC Yum Center, or you’ve seen the crowds gathering for WFPK’s Waterfront Wednesday. In addition to those kinds of features, The Backbeat will take a look at the community of music in Louisville, featuring local artists, music retailers, recording studios, and more.

More than anything, as a Louisville native who’s been involved in the music community for the past 20 years as a musician, retailer, consumer, fan, and writer, I want to tell the stories that don’t normally make the front page – stories from behind the counter at your local music shop, behind the soundboard at a popular venue, and behind the scenes in a thriving community of musicians and music lovers.  

Know a person, place, or shop I should scope out for The Backbeat? Hit me up on Instagram @derbycityrockco or by email at akilchenman@gmail.com.

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