Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Quilt from Bluegrass heads to Emerald Isle

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

When JD Wilkes and his bandmates tour Europe, they often find themselves playing in punk rock clubs on the other side of the tracks.

So it was a welcome change when Wilkes received the chance to serve as a cultural ambassador for his hometown, donning a suit and a string tie to tour the Mansion House of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland.

"It was very regal, very prestigious, and I was honored to represent Paducah abroad," said Wilkes, frontman for American roots band The Dirt Daubers.

The musician visited with writer, actor and politician Gerard Mannix Flynn, who was representing Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn, during the Dirt Daubers' three-day tour of the Emerald Isle earlier this month. The two exchanged gifts in a gesture of friendship from one UNESCO Creative City to another.

Wilkes gave Flynn a quilt created and donated by Sandy Sheffield of Brandon, Fla. The Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau had purchased the quilt from the National Quilt Museum during its auction this year.

And Wilkes returned to Paducah with a couple of books, including a copy of Flynn's novel, "Nothing to Say," to give to Mayor Gayle Kaler.  

Despite the jet lag that left Wilkes "barely functioning," he recalls the day in Dublin as one of the best experiences of his life. One of his favorite moments of the trip was looking up from the group's gig in Dublin and finding Flynn in the middle of the audience.

He said these kinds of cultural exchanges help to reinforce Paducah's relationships with other creative cities and secure the town's place on the cultural map. Paducah was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2013 and has since been making efforts to partner with other cities in the network.

"The way I see it, Kentucky and Ireland have a lot in common, and this gave us an opportunity to acknowledge that. We have so much music (in common), and even the topography looks similar," he said.

The musician said he'd happily represent his hometown again. It's important to visit other continents, he said, in order to spread the word about Paducah and learn about other cultures. And even if you've already been dubbed a Kentucky Colonel, an extra touch of prestige never hurts.

"It really helps me win back a little more integrity in the eyes of my parents, who think I'm burning my life away," Wilkes joked, "so thank you, Lord Mayor."

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 15dbd14b81b14e768500e0c0cfe2f61f
Top Classifieds
  • HAVANESE PUPS AKC Home Raised, Best H ... Details
  • • Old English Bulldog Puppy$ ... Details
  • 2 year old female yellow lab, registe ... Details
  • Adorable Puppies Yorkie Mix. Tails &# ... Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • Hummel Figurines, Bells & Platesi ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't b ... Details
  • OWN YOUR OWN HOME -AS LOW AS $500 DO ... Details
  • 3 BD, 2.5 BA, 1900 sq ft, 1 mi. from ... Details
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan 4 dr. 70K ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. NO. 1 Kentucky leads nation in lung cancer cases
  2. 3 killed in gunfire at clinic
  3. Blame tantrums on excessive coddling
  1. Black Friday less frantic this year
  2. Mystery surrounds 2 deaths
  3. McCracken District Court
  1. Columnist's viewpoint on patriotism displeasing
  2. NO. 1 Kentucky leads nation in lung cancer cases
  3. 3 killed in gunfire at clinic

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...