Whistle Peak Soundtracks Kentucky Derby Museum Exhibit

horseplayThere’s no arguing that Whistle Peak is one of Louisville’s most accomplished, and most underrated bands. Back in April, Whistle Peak added something unique to their stable, as band members David Boston and Billy Petot crafted eight instrumental tracks to soundtrack the “Horse Play” exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum. This exhibit runs through December 31, 2014, so if you haven’t been yet, it’s a great chance for adults and kids alike to have fun celebrating one of Kentucky’s proud traditions: 140 years of the Kentucky Derby. I’ve been listening to this at work, and I’ve been amazed by how easily these tracks transport my imagination to scenes from horse races.

The Kentucky Derby Museum is releasing this soundtrack on CD and digital formats, and you can stream it below. For instrumentals that are somewhat secondary to the visual component of the art exhibit, these tracks really capture the spirit and the environment of the Kentucky Derby and add so much more to “Horse Play”.

I asked Billy Petot of Whistle Peak a few questions about the Horse Play soundtrack, so you can read his own thoughts on it.

What was it like for Whistle Peak to soundtrack this exhibit? What was the creative process?

Well, we mostly just went into it thinking we wanted the songs to represent different periods of time yet still work together well, to be playful and nostalgic.  The original idea was that there would be a song for each station in the exhibit, representing different time periods.  And we wanted the songs to be able to play together in some combination because each song would be playing at the same time and depending on where you were standing in the exhibit you would be listening to some particular combination, blah, blah, it didn’t work.  so due to size and space constraints, the soundtrack ended up taking on a more playlist construction.  

As far as actually creating it, David Boston and I worked a bit more on our own than we have in the past.  We each wrote and recorded a couple songs on our own and then did a couple together.  The most fun was recording the Tetris-like version of My Old Kentucky Home.  We hadn’t really planned to do it but David had an atari sounding beat he’d been working on and I had just learned the song on guitar that morning, so we just laid it down in an hour or so.  It was a lot of fun.    


Has Whistle Peak ever done anything like this, combining or collaborating with other artistic media?

For a few of our live shows, we had Ryan Daly project video, which wasn’t just random images.  He actually made all of those trippy music videos.  And until you’d asked that question I’d forgotten about them.  But other than working with him and performing with other musicians, no we have never done something like this, where we are approached with a concept and asked to bring it to fruition.  


(this might be a dumb question, but I think it’s neat that kids got to enjoy this) The Horse Play exhibit is specifically designed to include children, which isn’t the typical audience many Louisville artists play for. What are your thoughts on including children, inviting them to participate in being viewers or audience members?

We thought that was neat as well.  I have a stepdaughter in elementary school, so I really wanted her school to take a trip there, but I don’t think that is happening.  It is neat to know that kids are listening though.  our songs have always included children in a way.  Often when writing lyrics we approach from a children’s perspective with imaginary animal and stuff like that.  A lot of our songs have toy instruments and noise makers that belong to my kids or something David picked up at a flea market or something. Friends with children always say how much their kids love our music, which I find flattering.  If your music makes a kid dance, I think you are tapping into something that we all naturally desire to hear and feel.   


Any other things you’d like to add about this album?

I was a bit surprised with how it turned out.  I like listening to it. It was nice to think less about creating for the band, our yourself, and instead to try and bring someone else’s vision to life while still holding on to whatever it is that is Whistle Peak.  I think we accomplished that goal and I hope it leads to similar projects in the future. Another thing I wanted to add is that the exhibit was curated and dreamt up by Dominic Guarneschelli who works for the museum.  A neat thing about working with the museum was that we had access to any archival footage of any Derby race we wanted.  So we were able to sample sounds from those videos, the sound of horses or trainers bragging on their horses, or just the crowd.  Also, KET gave us permission to sample audio from their documentary on the Barney Bright clock, which was really cool as well.

Permanent link to this article: http://backseatsandbar.com/2014/10/28/whistle-peak-soundtracks-kentucky-derby-museum-exhibit/

TENNIS w/ Pure Bathing Culture @ Headliners — Sep 19

Tennis is Denver-based husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, who will visit Louisville to perform at Headliners on September 19 in support of the September release of their newest full-length album, Ritual in Repeat.

Ever since releasing their debut LP Cape Dory and follow-up album Young & Old, Tennis has emboldened the leisurely surf-pop of their early days with more introspective themes of a band (and a couple) that seems to grow more confident, yet also more uncertain, about their future.  But they still inject levity into their sound, so come ready to dance.



I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Tennis play their newest album Ritual in Repeat because they enlisted several well-known producers to work with them, including Patrick Carney of The Black Keys (who produced Young & Old), Jim Eno (Spoon), and Richard Swift (The Shins).  All of those guys are great in the studio when it comes to pulling out just the right tones to keep the song’s strongest elements in the foreground while subtly working in each supporting layer in a way that balances the final mix nicely.



Tennis played Zanzabar in November, and received well-deserved acclaim for playing a great set.  Now they’re ready to return to Louisville and beyond, carrying on the momentum of their recent sold-out tour in support of HAIM.

Not to mention, Tennis themselves will be supported by Pure Bathing Culture, who are Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman of Vetiver.  If you enjoy dream-pop, take a listen to “Pendulum” the first single released off PBC’s debut album Moon Tides:



Anyone lucky enough to score a ticket to this show will have a unique opportunity to enjoy a talented band on the leading edge of indie rock, at an intimate Louisville venue.  And on a Friday night for $10, that’s a no-brainer.

More Details:

Holy Carp Productions presents Tennis, with Pure Bathing Culture

Headliners Music Hall

September 19, 2014

$10 Adv / $12 DOS

Ages 18+

Tickets (or purchase at Headliners box office)


Permanent link to this article: http://backseatsandbar.com/2014/08/08/tennis-w-pure-bathing-culture-headliners-sep-19/

NORMA JEAN @ Diamond Pub Concert Hall – 8/1


It was some time in the early aughts when I was walking with a buddy of mine to our cars in a school parking lot in rural North Carolina. He told me to wait up and handed me a CD case with a statue of a cherub or something on the album cover. “Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, you need to have this”, he said. He was right, and the ensuing 12 years since have seen an interesting evolution for Norma Jean. I’d be doing them a disservice if I didn’t mention their latest album, “Wrongdoers”, which came out last year. I really respect seeing a band take chances and change from album to album, and although there are some pretty drastic changes in their recent offering, there are some pretty solid hits and interesting work in the music. On a couple occasions the typically melodic post-hardcore arrangement sounds more like doom metal, and the sludgy bass harkens Sleep-esque stoner rock at times. The band’s current roster has only one thing remaining in common with that first album that got me hooked – guitarist, Chris Day. The other positions have been somewhat of a game of musical chairs, however the musical composition has that distinctive Chris Day style, from the unique guitar tuning and tone to the clever arrangements of riffs. Anyway, you can tell I’m a total nerd for this band. Norma Jean is er, was one of my all-time favorite bands. I haven’t seen them in their current manifestation but my hopes are pretty high after seeing a sneak peak of their setlist. Here’s a classic oldie to get you in the mood.

Joining Norma Jean are Night Verses, Gravemouth, Johari, and Great Floods. It’s been a while since I’ve gushed over Great Floods so here’s a refresher course: in a nutshell, they’re one of my current favorite bands, period (you can read a fuller account of my first impression here). They’re everything I hope rock to sound like, and they’re right on my wavelength lately as I’ve seriously lost patience for a lot of music that doesn’t instantly grab me. Good news on that front, their “long” songs clock in at just over two minutes. And they’ll grab you. Nice and mean like. Check out their latest music video for “Limbs”. Also they have free downloads linked from their Facebook page so don’t snooze on that.

Who: Norma Jean, Night Verses, Gravemouth, Johari, Great Floods
Friday, August 1, 7PM
Diamond Pub Concert Hall
$15, available in advance through Ticketweb

*This is an 18 and over show!

Permanent link to this article: http://backseatsandbar.com/2014/07/30/norma-jean-diamond-pub-concert-hall-81/

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