Patrick Whelan Plays It Straight; Getting Fitted with Lisa Kahl-Hillerich’s Jeans


The city’s most interesting podcast returns for its 188th episode with a couple of the most interesting people in the ‘Ville. First up is Patrick Whelan, whose love of music and attending festivals was once tied in closely with his addiction to drugs and alcohol. After all, for many of us attending concerts and altering our state of consciousness with drugs and alcohol go hand-in-hand. But when Whelan began his recovery, he found the concert-going experience was different, and that it could be a better way to enjoy the music. From that realization he began working with festival organizers (starting with Bonnaroo in 2002, and later including Louisville’s Forecastle Festival) to set up safe havens for those in recovery attending the shows. Whelan’s team volunteers to man booths at more than 15 music festivals last year, with more on the horizon this year.

For Lisa Kahl-Hillerich, her 50th birthday was approaching, and she was ready to do something different with her life. So last year she started RoxyNell Blue Jeans, a startup focused on fashion, specifically the manufacture of her own brand of jeans. She’s been making custom-fit jeans using denim that, believe it or not, is washed in bourbon. The brand is known for Bourbon and Baseball as well, a tie-in to her husband’s family business, Hillerich & Bradsby. She’s officially launching the brand in April, and has big plans that include creating a space for local fashion designers to share ideas.

In the news, I’m ranting about our governor, who is using the same playbook as our President — making outrageous, often false statements to get attention. This week Bevin called JCPS “an unmitigated disaster” while celebrating the signing of two bills further restricting the rights of women. I’m watching a fascinating case involving Jackie Green, the former show guest who is fighting a ticket he received for running a red light — on his bike. Over at U of L, it’s definitely the off-season because football players are getting arrested, including a player driving around Park Hill with a loaded gun in his seat. Want some happy news? Over at EatDrinkTalk there’s a story about the impact of bourbon on the state’s economy — to the tune of $8.5 billion. And with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, chocolatier Erika Chavez-Graziano and artist Jeaneen Barnhart, both former Rusty guests, are teaming up to offer something special for your sweetie.

It’s all in a new Rusty Satellite Show. Thanks for downloading it, and please tell your friends about the city’s coolest podcast.

RoxyNell Jeans modeled by entrepreneur Lisa Kahl-Hillerich
Patrick Whelan in the studio