Tonight’s near-capacity show at the Mountain Arts Center saw Ashley McBryde bringing her Girl Going Nowhere Tour into East Kentucky along with Prestonsburg’s own Nicholas Jamerson. It is always good to be back at one of my favorite venues in east Kentucky, well for that matter not just Kentucky but just about anywhere. In my opinion, you would be hard-pressed to find a better thousand seat venue than the Mountain Arts Center. Beautiful building, top-notch staff and incredible sound and lights! But enough of that, let’s talk about tonight’s music.
As I said earlier Nicholas Jamerson is from right here in the city of Prestonsburg, he’s covered a lot of miles since he left Prestonsburg all those years ago to be back home and performing on this stage tonight. I’ve had the pleasure to photograph him several times both as a member of the successful duo Sundy Best and as a solo artist. I commented to someone recently that this show was the best I’ve heard him sound in a long time, he (more…)
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…)
The Music Rules Fest is a partnership between the Mountain Arts Center and Capture Kentucky. It is an event that I am incredibly proud of and that’s exactly why this article has been so difficult for me to write.
The City of Prestonsburg now has control of the Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre, which is located in the gorgeous Jenny Wiley State Park. They have allowed the Mountain Arts Center to run the venue as a sister venue to the 1044 seated theatre at the MAC.
The city has begun a remodel of the venue and there are plans to further improve the amphitheater. Restoring it to it’s once prominent place in the community.
The Music Rules Fest was developed to be a genre-less music festival that promises good music for good people. A simple concept that we felt could grow and become a tradition while growing into a Kentucky destination music festival. (more…)
*Photo provided by an anonymous Facebook rule-breaking renegade
Jason Isbell brought his acoustic show to the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) for a nearly sold-out performance. Just over 1,000 tickets were gobbled up almost immediately and deservedly so. There were a few seats that opened up last minute, otherwise it would have certainly been a sell out.
I do want to say one thing about the MAC. I know I sound like a broken record, but the MAC is an absolute Kentucky treasure. I have now seen Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell in that room. If you’re overlooking the MAC, you need to remedy that because those folks and the venue itself are top-notch.
Mr. Isbell is often recognized as one the greatest songwriters around and in what has became a winter tradition, Jason Isbell ends the year with
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…)
Bek and Tim Smallwood
When it comes to Contemporary Christian music, few names are bigger than that of Crowder. So as you can imagine, Prestonsburg was buzzing with excitement that such an amazingly talented individual was visiting the Mountain Arts Center.
Crowder is the last name and moniker used by Mr. David Crowder. He rose to prominence as the frontman of the David Crowder Band. A position he held until 2012 when the band decided it was time to move on. David then pursued a solo career and Crowder is the end result. The Texas native is well known for his energetic performances and wonderful message as a fellowship leader, so I was excited to finally get to experience Crowder in one of my favorite venues.
If you’re a reader of this site, you’ll know that, in my humble opinion, the Mountain Arts Center, or MAC as it’s often referred to, has the best lighting and sound in Kentucky. The folks that run the MAC are also top-notch, so as an Eastern Kentuckian, I love to catch a show there and I knew Crowder would enjoy themselves at the MAC. (more…)
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.