By LARRY VAUGHT
If you are looking for a reason to help convince you to make sure you come to Commonwealth Stadium when Kentucky hosts South Carolina Sept. 24, I have it for you.
J.D. Shelburne will be back with a pregame concert just like he had last year that was really popular with fans.
“Hopefully our concert will help jazz things up,” said Shelburne, a UK graduate. “We had a blast last year doing it. We don’t get a chance to play in Lexington too often, so it is really cool for me to come back.”
Kentucky officials reached out to Shelburne about a month ago about playing again this year. He had one Saturday available — Sept. 24.
“It worked out and we can’t wait to be back,” Shelburne said.
He said they will play about a 90-minute set after the first Cat Walk.
“I think we will play up until about 30 minutes before kickoff,” Shelburne said. “We have beat South Carolina the last two years, so hopefully this will be another big win for us. It could be a game we really need to get going again.”
The opening week loss stunned Shelburne. He went on stage to perform in Columbus, Ohio, with UK way ahead. When he finished, UK had turned a 35-10 lead into a 44-35 loss.
“Two of my band members are Tennessee fans and I make them wear a Kentucky jersey on stage at UK,” Shelburne said. “I even hung out with Joker (Phillips) a bit in Columbus since he’s now coaching at Ohio State. I watched the first half of the game at the hotel, then left thinking we were going to beat the hell out of them. I got back home I see where Mark Stoops apologized for losing. It was unreal.”
Shelburne was already scheduled for another presume gig Oct. 8th when UK hosts Vanderbilt. He won the outstanding alumnus award from the College of Communications and Information this year for his contributions to the college and community.
“I am going to play in the alumni tent. Me and probably my guitar player will do the show Oct. 8,” Shelburne said. “But we are going to have a blast with the full band before the South Carolina game. I am also ready to check out the new facilities. I am really looking forward to it.”
Shelburne is also a huge Kentucky basketball fan. Now I’m hoping maybe he’ll get a chance to sing the national anthem at Rupp Arena this season.
“I would love to do that,” Shelburne answered when asked if that might interest him.