It’s springtime in the Bluegrass, 60 degrees one day and snow the next. So as I’m traveling along Highway 80 to the Mountain Arts Center you’ll see evidence of spring and winter, snow in places and fruit trees blooming. That’s Kentucky weather for you. Tonight wasn’t about weather, it was about two homegrown Eastern Kentucky singers performing together at the MAC. What a performance it was!
Tyler Booth is a name that everyone in this area
and beyond will soon know. His voice and talent will make him a household name in the coming years I do believe. And what a voice! If you closed your eyes and listened to him sing with his baritone voice you would swear he’s a lot older than his 21 years. He just released his first EP Tyler Booth with 6 songs including “Hank Crankin’ People” which was also his video debut that has over a million views on Facebook. “Hank Crankin’ People” was one of my personal highlights of his set along with a great cover of the late Johnny and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson” sung with Kelsie May. Kelsie May is a talented artist as well, a former contestant on the popular TV show “The Voice “and presently working on her new album, another talented singer from eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky has been showcasing its musical talent a lot and tonight’s event just added to that! Tyler‘s set was very energetic and entertaining, get out and support Tyler and all the Kentucky talent every chance you have!
After a brief change over it was Josh Martin’s turn on the MAC stage. Josh is from Floyd County here in Kentucky, but lives in Nashville, the MAC is in Floyd County so to say he had a lot of family and supporters in the attendance would have been an understatement!
That family included a 99-year old (WWII veteran) Uncle Willie Martin and a photographer father Tom Martin (whom I kept running into during the set but didn’t realize until the next day that we’d been Facebook friends for a couple years.) Josh took the stage with two fellow Kentuckians; Clarke Sexton on drums and Cody Branham on bass, together they made some beautiful music.
Playing songs from his album How’d You Know including the title track “How’d You Know”. His former bandmates from Fastlane joined him on stage for some serious bluegrass, playing their hit “Tina at the Teardrop Inn” and several others.
After they left the stage it was time for Josh and his guitar for some acoustic songs. He did a stellar cover of Darrell Scott’s classic “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” and all though I am a transplant to eastern Kentucky (31 years now), this is one of my all-time favorite songs. Someone, as someone will inevitably will, yelled out “Freebird”, so that’s what Josh played as his encore on acoustic guitar. That closed out a great night once again at the Mountain Arts Center.
After the show, both Tyler and Josh were at their respective merchandise tables to shake hands and sign autographs. That’s one of many great things about the MAC it’s big enough to hold a thousand people but intimate enough that you as a fan can meet the singers and get an autograph.
Do yourself a favor, pick out a show and make the drive to Prestonsburg and the Mountain Arts Center, you will not be disappointed!