“Taste the Whiskey” with Eric Lee Beddingfield and Jesse Keith Whitley

New Single Honors the Legacy of Country Greats like Keith Whitley Just In Time for the Keith Whitley Memorial Event

Jesse Keith Whitley has generations of country music pumping through his veins. The son of Lorrie Morgan and the late Keith Whitley, and grandson of Grand Ole Opry legend George Morgan, Jesse was born with the gift of singing and songwriting. At age 23, Jesse launched his career by beginning to tour and record music.

His musical journey has seen him touring extensively, both as a headliner and an opening act for other artists and even performing alongside his mother. Jesse has graced popular venues in the Nashville area and throughout the country, delivering electrifying performances that have driven packed houses to their feet. His live shows are a testament to his versatility and talent, offering a potent mix of heartfelt ballads, southern rock, and hard-driving country.

Jesse may hail from a lineage of music legends, but he is far from being a mere “re-run.” His style encapsulates the different sides of Jesse Keith Whitley and his artistry. He honors his traditional country roots while infusing his music with elements of outlaw country, raw southern rock, and a tender, emotional side. This blend provides a refreshing and unique experience for his audience.

“In the past Jesse has just been told what to do or had to do what was told, due to the contracts he had, ever since being picked up by Innovative Music Group we have given him unlimited creative control with his music. One thing his upcoming album will be making known is that he is NOT “Keith Whitley”. It’s the “negative” comment he gets the most. “That boy ain’t no Keith Whitley”. Jesse knows that and he always responds professionally with “I know I’m not, can’t anyone be another Keith Whitley, I’m Jesse”. But now, we are going to make it known, through his music and show the world who JKW really is, not who he feels like he needs to be. His upcoming album will have a few country songs on it but Jesse has very high energy so this album will primarily be hard country blended with rock. It isn’t going to be filled with love ballads, it’s going to be raw, real, and hardcore emotion. It’s music you put on when you’re having a bad day or when you want to tell your boss to off.” – Jared Mangum, Innovative Music Group

It is evident that Jesse is not content to rest on his family’s laurels. Instead, he is eager to carve out his own path in the music world, crafting his distinctive styles as both a singer and songwriter. His respect for tradition is clear, yet he is unafraid to push boundaries and explore new dimensions of country music. This third-generation singer/songwriter is here to work and here to stay.

Most recently, Eric Lee Bedding Field and Jesse Keith Whitley released the single “Taste The Whiskey” “Taste the Whiskey” was co-written by Tommy Stephenson and Eric Lee Beddingfield.

“Me and Tommy were actually working on a different song one night and both getting frustrated because the song just wasn’t coming together. We took a break, poured a whiskey drink, and just started talking about all the country greats and all their crazy stories. Next thing you know, half a fifth of whiskey later. “Taste the Whiskey” was fully written without even trying. It’s like the lyrics were flowing as fast as the liquid. If you pay attention to the song there are mentions of Hank Williams Sr, Vern Gosdin, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Keith Whitley. Me and Jesse go way back as friends and artists, so when mentioning Keith; I knew we wanted Jesse on it. We sent Jesse the song and he loved it. So we took it to Kent Wells in Nashville, he put the music behind it, we laid down the vocals and boom! Then we took it to Rob Moroni for the video and “Taste The Whiskey”, came to life” – Eric Lee Beddingfield

Blending southern rock with traditional “outlaw” country, Beddingfield, or ELB as he is known to fans, became a Nashville sensation. In 2012, Beddingfield was named MusicRow Magazine’s Independent Artist of the Year, and that same year, Billboard Magazine named him one of the top artists to watch.

Beddingfield’s music career exploded after he met country legend George Jones and the two collaborated on the hit song, “The Gospel According to Jones.” The pair developed a deep friendship that lasted until Jones’ death in 2013. A veteran member of the Grand Ole Opry, Beddingfield also collaborated with Dolly Parton on his hit “Train Train” and says that the country music icon and now Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rockstar is as down to Earth as one would expect.

With their impressive heritage and undeniable talent, Jesse Keith Whitley and Eric Lee Beddingfield are poised to carry the torch of country music into the future. Their dedication to craft and ability to connect with audiences on a deep level ensure that both will continue to make an indelible mark on the music industry. Whether by delivering soulful ballads or rocking out with high-energy southern rock, together or solo – it is clear that the performances are consistently compelling, making them standout artists in today’s country music scene.

Both ELB and Jesse Keith have had their connections to music history and it not only shows in their music but with the events that they are a part of – like the Keith Whitley Memorial Event. When Jesse signed with Innovative Music Group and Innovative Talent Agency, they also agreed to organize the memorial event this year.

Jared and his partner Daphne own Innovative Music Group (Label) and Innovation Talent Agency (booking) respectively but together they also own Bad Duck Entertainment which organizes large-scale festivals, events, and cruises. For these types of events they are coordinating artists to come play paid gigs and pitching them specific events and dates to perform – which can sometimes be very trying to seal the deal on. This was not the case for the Keith Whitley Memorial (KW Memorial).

“What’s funny about the KW Memorial is they are contacting us to come play for FREE just because of how badly artists want to honor Keith Whitley, I’ve had more than a few artists cancel “pending/not confirmed yet” paid dates just to be a part of this event. And there are a lot of artists this year that we just couldn’t fit in, and when they couldn’t get added, there’s more than a few that bought a ticket as a fan,” said Jared. “So when you come to the KW Memorial as a fan, you might be standing right next to one of your favorite artists, who is also there as a fan. And I just love that and that is what makes Keith Whitley such a powerful and special person and influence in Country Music”

In the past, the memorial show was held on a Thursday, but this year the show is being moved to Saturday, June 29th at the Patron Event Center in Goodlettsville, Tenn. Doors open at 6pm.

“We wanted more fans from further away to have time to travel and to get a bigger attendance. We were very nervous doing this “artists” wise because the end of June on a Saturday is very busy for artists during the paid touring season to decide to come to perform a memorial for free. We thought we might be being a little too crazy too quick, but based on the outreach we have received that hasn’t affected it at all,” said Jared.

This year an additional experience has been added to the memorial event with the inclusion of a celebrity golf tournament on Friday, June 28th. The celebrity lineup includes artists, influencers, comedians, and more, which fans will get the chance to play alongside during the tournament. The golf tournament will be held at 9 am at the Twelve Stones Crossing Golf Club in Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Red Roof Inn in Goodlettsville is the home base for the weekend activities. Thursday and Friday evenings they will be doing karaoke/open mic in the outdoor parking lot stage with food trucks and more for event-goers. On Friday evening after the golf tournament, there will be a stunt/trick bike show.

Saturday at 9 am is the memorial bike ride which will leave from the Patron Event Center. There will be a breakfast truck there for everyone to eat and mingle before the ride takes off at 10 am making a few key stops and ending at the KW grave site. A few words will be spoken thanking everyone and a few stories about Keith from those who knew him closely. You do not have to have a bike to be a part of the ride, anything road-legal is fine.

“It honestly just blows my mind that this event just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. After partnering with Bad Duck Entertainment we have moved the show to Saturday, added the golf tournament, and have built one hell of a lineup of artists! This year will be a keystone for the growth to come. And it’s just incredible for all of these artists to take time off of their busy schedules to help me honor my dad. Keith Whitley has now been gone 35 years. And he still has millions of monthly listeners on his music. Wow. Think about that. Not one new song in 35 years yet millions are still streaming him. That right there is a man who can never be kicked outta country music.” – Jesse Keith Whitley

For more information on Jesse Keith Whitley visit: facebook.com/jessekeithwhitley

For more information on Eric Lee Bedding Field visit: facebook.com/ericleebeddingfield

For more information on the Keith Whitley Memorial Event visit: facebook.com/keithwhitleymemorial/

*** This story was originally ran in the Summer 2024 Issue of Nashville Music Guide

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