Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages Degeneration X umm wait, I mean the Appalachian Wireless Arena proudly presents to you Chris Janson, Ray Fulcher and CJ Solar! I apologize, been watching way to many late 90’s wrestling videos on YouTube (but you know you read that in your best wrestling ring announcer voice)! Okay, let me get back on track here. Keeping with the cool things that happen in Kentucky that I mentioned in my last review for Capture Kentucky, Chris Janson along with Ray Fulcher and CJ Solar stopped by the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville to play some country music for the fine folks of eastern Kentucky. Judging by the size of this crowd, the people of Kentucky were joined by fans from West Virginia, Virginia and maybe even Tennessee who were more than ready for the country music these three artist are about to offer.
CJ Solar and guitarist Stevie Campos got the night started with a blend of southern rock and country. Playing songs from both his EP’s ‘Hard One to Turn Down’ from 2016 and his most recent release 2018’s ‘Get Away With It’ CJ had this Kentucky crowd ready to go. The music fans in Pikeville know a thing or two about good country music and they were loving what CJ and Stevie were doing on stage. If there was anyone not paying attention (which I doubt) they were after CJ’s great cover of the Charlie Daniels classic “Long Haired Country Boy”! Keep an eye and ear out for CJ Solar, after what we’ve witnessed tonight his musical future looks bright!
Ray Fulcher and band took the excitement that CJ Solar had ignited in the Pikeville crowd and ran with it! When Ray and his band hit the stage they had everyone’s attention from those first notes on through the end of his set with upbeat country tunes and great stage presence. If you’re like me and not a hard core country music fan you may not be aware of Ray Fulcher but chances are you’ve heard a couple or three songs that he has written or co-written. Like several (8 in fact that he co-wrote) on Luke Combs debut album including the number one hit “When It Rains It Pours”. Like CJ before him tonight, I think the future is going to be great for Ray Fulcher! Don’t sleep on him.
Chris Janson is no stranger to Eastern Kentucky. Having played several shows in the neighboring towns of Whitesburg and Corbin, tonight he brings his Real Friends tour to Pikeville and believe me Pikeville was ready! He mentioned how much he enjoyed visiting this area of Kentucky that it reminds him of where he grew up. The people of eastern Kentucky seem to have embraced him! Touring in support of his most recent album ‘Real Friends’ tonight’s setlist included many songs from that release including the #1 hit “Good Vibes” along with the title track “Real Friends”, “Beer Me” and “Waitin’ on 5”. But no Chris Janson show would be complete without the single that put him on the playlists of country music fans around the world “Buy Me a Boat”! The AWA crowd danced and sang their way throughout the set. It was a good night to be in Pikeville!