This week on Local Music Monday DeBraun Thomas shines the spotlight on Linda Jean Stokley of the Local Honeys.
Linda Jean Stokley is a multi-instrumentalist and native of Woodford County. She started playing drums at the age of 8 and moved to guitar and bass. Stokely says she was drawn to learn even more while she was a student at Morehead State University.
“I went to school to play Jazz and that’s when I met Jesse Wells, who’s a huge part of Kentucky music from all the angles, he plays every style, he’s my biggest mentor probably, I heard him play the fiddle and I asked him if he could teach me how to do that cause I loved it and so, not even a week later he started teaching me fiddle, so I’ve been playing fiddle ever since I got to college and banjo and stuff like that while working on a Jazz degree, so I was kind of hitting it from different angles.”
Stokley performs most with Montana Hobbs as a group called the Local Honeys. Hobbs and Stokley became the first two women to graduate with Bachelors of Arts Degrees in Traditional Music from Morehead State. After spending 6 years working on duel degrees, the pair graduated, took a trip to Ireland and returned to Kentucky to record an album. The album, called Little Girls Actin’ Like Men, is something Stokley says is a reflection of where the duo came from and where they will go next.
“We don’t necessarily play in the Bluegrass genre, per say, and we write a lot of things that kind of reflect our own sound together and we had a great time in the studio, we wanted to make the album very reflective of us, there’s tracks on there that’s just the two of us and then there’s tracks with Montana, myself and Megan, we wanted to make music with our friends and our mentors and those are some of our, huge parts of our lives.”
In addition to performing, Stokley also teaches private lessons and is an instructor at the Central Music Academy. For her, music is her life in every aspect. She says being an instructor and playing music, leave her with a very humbling feeling.
“I don’t have to go to a job that I don’t want to go to, I’m really lucky that I’ve been able to make this something to survive on and surviving on your art is really scary and really an incredible feeling, but definitely the guitar because there’s something about it, it’s my true love I guess.”
Linda Jean Stokely performs with The Local Honeys. More Information about Stokely and her projects can be found here.