You know how it feels to experience a sight, sound or smell from your childhood? That magical phenomenon where the smallest sensory cue can send you traveling back to a simpler time; a time when nature and family was all you needed, when lightning bugs were entertainment and parents told their kids to go play “over yonder”, or when your grandparents asked you to crank the handle of an old ice cream maker on the front porch and promised to “learn ya”.
Well, the Get Kentuckified brand brings that feeling to life with two distinct apparel product lines; the first, a classic line that showcases Kentucky phrases like “Y’all ain’t right” and “What in tarnation?” When you hear them you know that home has found you. The second, an iconic image-driven throwback to things that evoke Kentucky heritage, growing up in southern culture; images like an 8-pack of glass bottle Coca-Cola or Pepsi, a rusty ol’ horse-drawn plow, moonshine still, etc. This is a brand that honors the Kentucky way of life…finally. The co-creators of Get Kentuckified live that feeling every day.
Dennis Duncan hails from Henderson, Kentucky. He attended several colleges in Kentucky, Florida and California but was ultimately educated on the Sunset Strip as the lead singer of Sister Whiskey, self-described as “swamp rock”, a nod to Dennis’ Kentucky roots. Signed to Warner Bros., Dennis was living the dream touring and playing music.
American Idol hired Dennis for Seasons 6-9 as a Vocal Coach, Vocal Producer and Recording Engineer. He provided the occasional ghost background vocals for artists including Adam Lambert, David Cook, Kris Allen, Michael Johns, and Lee DeWyze, among others.
Dennis was co-creator and CEO of CyberRecords for seven years. He juggled several other jobs at the label including songwriter, producer and singer in addition to leading radio promotions. In various capacities Dennis has worked with Kid Rock, KISS, Slash, Velvet Revolver & Stone Temple Pilots, among others. He has also provided music for HBO & the Outdoor Channel, and others.
Lori Fields, Dennis’ partner and co-creator, took a different path. She was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Nursing, both from the University of Louisville. She has been an RN and a Nurse Practitioner for over twenty years. Her RN experience is in Critical Care, ER and Home Health, while her Nurse Practitioner experience is in Allergy/Asthma, Primary Care, Urgent Care, and School Health. She has been at Kentuckiana Allergy, Asthma & Immunology for a total of twelve years now. Lori is an animal lover and currently has three Chihuahuas and a cat. Her more recent passions are painting and rescuing old /senior dogs with an eye toward opening a dog rescue, “Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”. Lori never felt the need to live anywhere else. At heart she is a good ol' Kentucky girl, proud to be a Kentuckian.
In contrast, Dennis wanted to escape Kentucky as a kid because Los Angeles was calling. After years of what he considered “bigger and better,” he came to a transition point in his life and felt drawn back to Kentucky. He yearned to get back to his roots, and with the help of a music industry friend, he chose Louisville; a fun town, loaded with southern hospitality and charm. After relocating Dennis set up the two biggest Facebook Fan Groups: one for the University of Kentucky sports, Big Blue Nation Group with 40k members, and the other for University of Louisville sports, Louisville Cardinals Fan Zone with 26k members. But the best thing that happened to him after he moved back was meeting Lori Fields. When you’re not looking for a relationship, it finds you. They had a mutual friend who thought they were perfect for each other. They met at a benefit for a friend of Lori’s. A recurring theme of the event was the number 444 because Lori’s friend had always talked about that number being significant in his life. At the end of the night Dennis walked Lori to her car, already smitten. A few days later they spoke on the phone for hours. Afterward, Lori was curious to know how long they had talked: 4 hours and 44 minutes. It was meant to be.
In the early days of their relationship they found themselves dropping Kentuckian phrases like “hold your horses” or “going to hell in a handbasket” to each other in casual conversations. Phrases that made them feel good, comforted, and gave them a chuckle. Over time Lori helped Dennis realize that he had loved Kentucky all along...that it was home in every sense of the word. Sometimes you have to move away to appreciate how much you loved hearing frogs croaking and crickets chirping at night. That’s when Get Kentuckified was really born.
With twenty-plus years of experience in the music industry as singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record label owner, engineer, etc., Dennis knows his way around merchandising and marketing. He designed and marketed an apparel line for merchandiser Epic Rights for the rock band KISS. Get Kentuckified is a natural progression. Lori didn’t initially have merchandising experience, but it was love at first sight. She took to it like a duck to water. She dove right in and “she learn’d” Dennis a new thing or two about the business. She keeps him on his toes the way a great partner should.
What makes Get Kentuckified special is that it honors the Kentucky way of life through the use of iconic phrases and images captured in designs that make a bold statement. It represents the comfortable feeling of their old Kentucky home and its southern hospitality, warmth, and beautiful scenery. The brand exemplifies Kentucky history with nods to bourbon, the Derby, moonshine, basketball, and several cities and towns from Paducah to Hazard and Covington to Bowling Green, to name a few.
So if your Dad ever said you were as “handy as a pocket on a shirt” or you just have a “hankerin’” for that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia, “weep no more”. Come over to Get Kentuckified. It’s an homage to the kind, creative, quietly intelligent, down-home people of Kentucky and the phrases that generations of Kentuckians have passed down to their kin along the way.
I reckon I’ll go…Get Kentuckified.