Trainwreck Lightnin and the White Line Express

A project 26 years in the making

Joshua Anthony Atkins IS Trainwreck Lightnin. 

Named after two of his great-grandfathers, one killed by a train and the other struck by lightning, Atkins has donned the stage moniker Trainwreck Lightnin.

Joshua Atkins, paternal great-grandfather of Atkins, was struck by a train at a rural rail crossing on Saturday April 13, 1940 in Depauw, Indiana.

Millard "Tony" Saylor was a maternal great-grandfather of Atkins and was struck by lightning, in a barn, in front of several of his children, on Friday June 13, 1947, near Broadhed, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.

Atkins is being backed by the White Line Express, a band consisting of many of his former bandmates and long time friends, all of which have been long time staples of the Louisville-Lexington music scene.

Atkins, formerly best known for fronting Louisville's Trustees of Modern Chemistry (1997-2008), left the music scene for just over a decade, until several harrowing events occurred in 2018 - heartache, the suicide of a dear friend, death in his family - all but forced Atkins to return to the solace of music and art, in an attempt to salvage his own sanity and emotional well being. At which time, Atkins reached out to long time friend and fan, Jeff Disney.  Jeff has always pressed Atkins to return to music and when they spoke he informed Atkins that Chet Surgener, drummer for My Plastic Joy - Atkins' first band in Richmond, Kentucky, circa 1995-1996, and also drummer for the Trustees of Modern Chemistry, as well as several other projects Surgener and Atkins had previously collaborated on, had opened an analog recording studio in Corydon, Indiana, about 12 miles from where Atkins grew up.  

Shortly thereafter, organically and spontaneously, as Atkins reconnected with his friends and former bandmates, the concept of Trainwreck Lightnin, the album, To Save My Life Right Now, and the documentary all quickly came to fruition in a very symbiotic fashion.

Based out of both Louisville, Kentucky and Morgantown, West Virginia, Trainwreck Lightnin will soon bring his tales of joy and pain via the album, documentary and most importantly, live performance.  Josh will be also be playing many solo acoustic shows in the near future.

The band:

Joshua Anthony Atkins AKA Trainwreck Lightnin - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Chet Surgener - beater of drums, lap steel guitar, e-bow, percussion

Steve Sturgill - electric and 12-string guitars, Hammond organ, vocals

Mike Hood - piano, organ, vocals

Joe Easley - bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals

Sarah Breit - vocals

Leighann Yost - acoustic guitar, vocals

Addi Atkins AKA Lightnin, Jr. - vocals, percussion

The album is in post-production now and the documentary is still in the production phase, both will be released simultaneously at Headliners Music Hall on Saturday August 10, 2019.

Recorded and engineered by Chet Surgener at Earthtone Analog Recording, Corydon, Indiana.

Produced by Joshua Atkins, Chet Surgener and Jeff Disney

Mixed and Mastered by David Barrick at Barrick Recording Studio, Glasgow, Kentucky

Photography and video by Jennifer Mertz

Album design and art by Elmer J. Ramos 

Band logo by Wilfred E. Sieg III