Send It Slam Artist Feature: Cole Chaney
The final of a series: GoWild Cofounder, CEO, Brad Luttrell is sharing the stories behind how GoWild came to work with each Send It Slam artist.
In September of 2020, a text with a link showed up that said, “You need to check this boy out. Now.”
The sender was my friend Blake, whose music recommendations are always solid. In addition to that, I saw the link was to Red Barn Radio. If you don’t know, Red Barn has famously found many musicians before their big break. In fact, it was because of Red Barn Radio that I started listening to Tyler Childers a full four years before nearly anyone else had even heard of him.
I dove into Cole Chaney’s Red Barn show and it held up—this boy was good. A few months later, Cole dropped his debut, “Mercy.” I texted Blake again, “shew, this kid is good. If he ever teams up with a band, he’s going to be off to the races.” Blake told me Cole had been playing a bit with a bluegrass band I was more than familiar with—Wolfpen Branch. I thought that would be a heckuva show, if I ever got to see it.
Little did I know, I’d get to see Cole just a few weeks after “Mercy” was released. He played by himself—no band—at the Laurel Cove Music Festival in Pineville, Kentucky, and I made the five minute hike down through the woods from the main stage to see him. Standing with about a hundred people next to a creek, I watched Cole sing Kentucky lullabies and, in between songs, swat the moths flocking to the single light at his back. Just a young man, his guitar and the crickets, and it was one of my favorite sets I saw that year.
Fast forward to planning Send It Slam, we talked about a lot of possibilities for talent. When we decided to make this event a robust flavoring of Kentucky artists, I knew who I wanted to headline.
Much of the GoWild audience grew up like I did. They may not have grown up playing with Tonka trucks in a coal pile or fishing on an Appalachian strip mine, but their journeys are similar all the same. They’ve been through hard times, learned to love in small towns, lean on family, have family members who are preachers, and know more good storytellers than any city folk. Cole Chaney writes songs for people like us.
I recently got my wish of seeing Cole Chaney with a full band, and that band was in fact Wolfpen Branch. They played the 2022 Laurel Cove Festival—this year on the big stage—and it was one of my favorites I saw there, as well as the media’s.
Cole Chaney and Wolfpen Branch are our closing act for Send It Slam, and having seen Cole a few times now and followed his journey for the last few years, I can promise you, this is indeed a boy you need ot checkout. Although, it’s pretty clear, young Cole’s come of age as a real songwriter now.
Send It Slam is presented by Black Rifle Coffee Company. Grab those tickets.
About the Author
Brad Luttrell is the Cofounder, CEO of GoWild. His career has taken him through journalism, advertising, technology and the outdoor industry. All along the way, he’s had a guitar in his trunk and a song in his head.