I approached the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg back in 2017. They had no idea who I was and on a personal level, I had no idea who they were. Over time, I have worked closely with Joe Campbell. Joe is the Executive Director at the Mountain Arts Center, or the MAC, as it’s affectionately referred to. Joe and I bounced ideas off of each other, helping each other move forward. I asked if he’d like to partner up to create opportunities for Kentucky artists. He said yes and we began to discuss different ways to accomplish that goal.
I’ve been working on and thinking about this article for quite some time. I sat out to write an article that highlighted all the great musicians that are an alumnus of the Kentucky Opry, but the further I dug into that side of things, I decided that this article needed to be broader to convey what I was discovering. So, I want to take a step back and focus on what the Mountain Arts Center means to the folks in Eastern Kentucky. (more…)
I debated on putting this photo recap together, but oh what a year it was! We had a ton of fun and there were waaaaaay more photos that I wanted to include, but I tried to just do some highlights and favorites for everyone. My goodness, Kentucky is absolutely loaded with talent and we had an almost overwhelming amount of support in 2018. We truly can’t thank you enough and we promise to work even harder in 2019 to not only cover your favorite artists, but to create events and to shine a little light on the wonderful talent in Kentucky.
Thanks for everything and we’ll see you at the show!! (more…)
I have written several articles about when artists return home to Kentucky, but in my lifetime, none will likely be bigger than Chris Stapleton playing Rupp Arena. As a fellow Eastern Kentuckian, Rupp Arena to us, is like the Ryman. It’s our Mother Church. It’s an arena named after Coach Adolph Rupp and is the home of our beloved Kentucky Wildcats in downtown Lexington. For a Kentucky artist, that was born in this city, to rise in popularity and be able to sell-out over 17,000 seats at Rupp Arena is unheard of. Unchartered territory, even.
The Kentucky Headhunters, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Backstreet Boys featured a couple Kentuckians, John Michael Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry had some great success. But Chris Stapleton is the only singular artist to have sold-out Rupp Arena as a headliner to be born in Lexington. At least to my knowledge.
One of the more fascinating things about Kentucky, is the fact that you know the sights or sounds of many fellow Kentuckians, but you often times don’t know their name or what they do. I bet I could name 25 musicians that are in popular acts and you would likely have no idea they were Kentuckians.
By now, you’ve heard the name Chris Stapleton. He is a fellow Kentuckian who has made his mark as a Kentucky, loud and proud. What you may not know, is that his bass player, J.T. Cure, is also a fellow Kentuckian. J.T. grew up in Elkhorn City and spent time as part of the Kentucky Opry at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.
The Kentucky Opry also produced Rebecca Lynn Howard. She has had success as a solo artist and she is currently the bassist in the backing band for Steven Tyler, who you’ll know from Aerosmith fame.
While we’re on the subject, keep your eyes peeled for a young lady that’s currently a part of the Opry. Rachel Messer is from just across the river in West Virginia. She has a wonderful voice that reminds me of Dolly Parton.
J.T., Rebecca Lynn and Rachel are shining examples of how important the Kentucky Opry and the MAC are for all Kentuckians.