Two local singers you need to know

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Lexington is filled with talented, creative artists — some you’ve heard of, and some you might not know yet. Today, we’re introducing you to two singer-songwriters we’ve seen start to make sound waves on the local music scene.

Meet Kara Shepherd

Kara grew up in Paris surrounded by a family full of musicians. “It was not uncommon to walk into my grandparents’ house and for my grandma to be tickling those ebonies + ivories,” she said.

While attending Georgetown College, Kara really began to pour herself into songwriting, eventually traveling to L.A. to audition for NBC’s “The Voice.” And although she didn’t advance, she said it was a good learning experience. “I feel like that kind of kickstarted me into taking the things that I’ve written and getting them out into the world.”

Kara’s sound is a bluesy-country blend. She has recorded and released three original songs + is currently working on her first album.

Meet Abby Hamilton

Abby is a Wilmore native, but her family’s musical roots run deep in Virigie in Eastern Kentucky. “There was a rule in our house that we had to be in a music lesson until we were 18, and at the time I hated it,” she said.

She grew up playing piano and violin, but focused on singing at around 17 years old. “In college, I went through a bad break up and I found myself wanting to write about it + process it through songwriting.” It was also around then that she braved the stage thanks to a friend scheduling some facetime at Al’s Bar.

In June of 2021, Abby and her band (which her brother is a part of) had their big break stepping in to open up for Wynnona Judd at The Burl. “I had never done a legitimate tour, especially opening for someone I admire + love so much.”

Where to listen live

  • Kara can be found almost every Wednesday evening onstage at Tin Roof, 303 S. Limestone, hosting + singing karaoke.
  • Abby is now touring around the country, but you can catch her this Sat., Aug. 27 at 4:35 p.m. at The Burl’s Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief benefit concert.

Check out this playlist we made for you featuring songs from both artists.

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