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home : community : e-community May 5, 2021

6/21/2019 5:45:00 AM
Kelby Costner: Joins Parmalee & Jeff Bates At DABA Denver Festival
Photos Courtesy Kelby Costner
Photos Courtesy Kelby Costner

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Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

There isn't much I can tell you about Kelby Costner that you don't already know. The Lincoln Herald has published articles about him since 2015.

A 2009 LHS graduate, Costner didn't envision a career in music until after high school. "I knew college wasn't for me; I worked as a mechanic for awhile," he said, "and while I had started to play some songs about my sophomore year, I didn't get serious about it until much later."

In 2014, he recorded "My Grandpaw," a tribute to his grandfather who passed away in 2012. You can see the video on YouTube:

As we talked on his 28th birthday Wednesday, I mentioned that some get discouraged if they haven't made it to the top of the charts by the time they're 25; but there are those who have taken much longer. "Charley Pride--long before you were born," I remarked, "didn't have his first hit record until he was 32 and I remember seeing Alabama in Myrtle Beach long before they hit the big-time, and Randy Traywick (Randy Travis) played at a club on Wilkinson Blvd. in Charlotte quite awhile before he made it big."

"I think 2019 just might be the year for me," Kelby said. He released the single 'Hold On' in June 2017 to rave reviews--to date it has over 290k independent streams on Spotify. He also worked to create an ever-growing social media presence and has garnered over two million views on Facebook with his cover of Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Country Music Nation and Country Rebel also penned Kelby for his rendition of Randy Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses” while Country Music Minute named him “Artist to Watch" in 2017.

Kelby said the competition now is tougher than ever. "Used to be, you hoped for a record deal, but nowadays anybody can create a song on Facebook or YouTube and suddenly become a sensation."

It may be important that he is now getting out new 'singles' on a more regular basis. In January, his song "I Need My Girl" debuted and got him a lot of radio airplay and a good many downloads from music services. In May, he followed it up with "Somewhere." Another song is set to debut in another month and a half to two months. 

Kelby recently joined Aimee Webber in a duet version of Craig Campbell's "Outskirts of Heaven."  "She's got a beautiful voice," he told us, "and the song went well, but we've got to avoid having folks think of us as a duo.  We have our solo careers."

While he didn't put out new 'singles' during the llate 2017-early 2019 span, Costner was busy getting better known by peforming to good crowds at clubs as well as in larger concerts. This is his third year as one of the featured entertainers at the DABA Denver Music & Fireworks Spectacular. He performed with Collin Raye in 2017 and Mark Chesnutt in 2018. This year, along with Kelby, the event will feature Parmalee and Jeff Bates.

As for which kind of venue he prefers, Kelby said "both!" He enjoys entertaining a happy crowd at a club as he did at Queen's Landing in Mooresville in April; but he also likes to perform for the larger crowds like the one that will be at Denver Saturday June 29th.

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