This week DeBraun Thomas profiles Joel Serdenis of the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers.
Joel Serndenis is a native of Louisville and multi-instrumentalist who has been part of Lexington’s music scene for the last two decades. Serdenis comes from a musical family and while he learned music at an early age, it wasn’t until he was a teenager that his passion for music truly sparked.
“Music left me for a while and after I was too injured to play soccer, which is my sport of passion, I started fooling around with the guitars my parents had in the house and I think after my dad got one of the guitars in tune for me, I was probably around 17, I learned how to play a G chord and proceeded to play it for the next three months straight, it sounded so good to me, the I switched to a D [laughs].”
In 2001 Serdenis started an incarnation that would eventually become the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers. The band has gone through various personnel changes and while it difficult at times, Serdenis says the songwriting and the sound of the band has continued to evolve.
“The genesis of losing one chair and adding another, it’s a little stressful at times, but we had a strong passion for the music and for the songwriting and had to keep it going, adding drums and electric guitar was a huge step for us, a lot of people in traditional bluegrass world will just say you’re jumping the shark when that happens, but for us we thought it was a natural evolution that really let our original musical influences, which for me were not bluegrass, leap out onto the musical stage.”
After years of being supported by the local music scene, Serdenis and the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers decided to give back. In 2014 they started the Moonshiner’s Ball which is a music festival that is held at Homegrown HideAways in Berea. As an organizer he says everyone works hard to make it a special event, but as a musician, he says he is really able to soak in the whole experience.
“As a musician on stage, for me it’s probably the greatest concert that we play each year since its inception, our fans, our friends, kindred spirits in the community, they’re all raising their glass to you and cheering you on and the symbiotic nature of the energy transfer from the audience to the stage is, it’s as powerful there as it’s ever been for any show I’ve played for over the 15 years, I really look forward to it.”
Joel Serdenis performs with Trucker Hat Coalition and the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers. Serdenis will be performing with Trucker Hat Coalition on May 20th and with the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers on May 21st at the Moonshiner’s Ball at Homegrown HideAways in Berea. More information about Serdenis and his projects can be found at blindcorn.com and at themoonshinersball.com