**Article by James Stamper / Photos by Thomas R. Biggs**
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Guitar Town himself, Steve Earle, made his presence known at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, KY! I was ecstatic to see Steve Earle and The Dukes perform so close to home! I want to give a special shoutout to the Mountain Arts Center and the Mayor of Prestonsburg, Les Stapleton, for bringing these amazing shows into the eastern part of Kentucky. This brings me so much joy to know that I don’t have to drive 100 miles to see an incredible show. I’ve heard people around this area say, “There’s nothing to do” or “It’s boring around here”. Open your eyes!! The local music scene is booming, the MAC along with the Appalachian Wireless Arena is bringing in tremendous shows, so if you’re “bored”, get out and see what amazing talent we truly have coming in this area! With that being said, let’s explain the show in detail!
Now, with all the concerts I’ve been to in my life, I’ve seen a lot of openers, but nothing like this opener for Steve Earle. To my surprise, 2 members of The Dukes opened the show with their side project “The Mastersons”. Relatives of “Bat Masterson”? Who knows? But all kidding aside, these guys did a fabulous performance. The stunning duo of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore showed the Mountain Arts Center what they were all about! What’s even more impressive is they’re husband and wife! In my mind, when two musicians are together romantically, I believe there is more of a special connection shared on stage. I picked up on it quickly when watching these two. They had a love for what they were doing, and they weren’t going to let up! Performing songs such as “King of the Castle”, “Eyes Open Wide”, “The Devil You Know?” among others! King of the Castle had deep meaning behind it. Eleanor told the story of someone she knew who lost a loved one and that person said the one they lost was the “King of the Castle” and that stuck, so they wrote a song about it. Overall, it was a phenomenal performance, and I was excited I got to witness The Mastersons in person! If you haven’t checked them out, I would fix that in a hurry! (more…)
Just like your favorite fishing spots, music venues often draw you back in on past successes. Once you figure out where the good stuff is at, you visit as often as you can. While this was my first visit to The Bell Theater in Pineville, it was not my first show promoted by Jon Grace. Jon is the tourism director for Bell County, which is where Pineville resides. He produces many shows throughout the year, with highlights being the Laurel Cove Music Festival and the Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival in Middlesboro. To put it quite simply and bluntly, he knows his $hit. In fact, I’d go ahead and make plans for the Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival if I were you. I’m planning on being there if at all possible. You can’t beat the price of $0 and just check out that lineup!
This Ian Noe show was originally scheduled for the Laurel Cove, but the heavy chance of thunderstorms (Which waterlogged Pineville about halfway through the show) forced the show inside the Bell Theater. While I love the Cove, the Bell is one heckuva substitute. Why? The worst seat at the Bell is still closer to the artists than the best seat at the Cove. BUT, the Cove will always win over more hearts with its’ choir of crickets and bullfrogs. That’s an insurmountable obstacle for any venue, in my humble opinion.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I headed towards Sharpsburg, Kentucky. The Barnyard Entertainment Venue is a new outdoor venue there, and on Saturday, they hosted their first official concert. The first show had two Kentuckians, an up-and-coming artist, and a legendary band. That would be George Molton, Tyler Booth, Drew Parker, and Sawyer Brown. I highly doubt there would ever be a more perfect weather scenario than what we had on Saturday. The high was around 80, there was a nice breeze, there were fireworks, there were cold beverages, sno-cones, tacos and bbq. The only thing missing was some hot apple pie. I mean, that’s America at it’s finest.
For the second week in a row I find myself at the Jenny Wiley Amphitheater for a socially distant outdoor show. Yep, you read that right “for the second week in a row” take that 2020!!
For those that aren’t familiar with tonight’s venue, the Jenny Wiley Amphitheater is part of a Kentucky state park, the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, located in Floyd County very near the town of Prestonsburg deep in the hills of eastern Kentucky. Prestonsburg is also home to another of Capture Kentucky’s favorite eastern Kentucky venues the Mountain Arts Center. (more…)
I was asked to review the new Nicholas Jamerson album recently. I, of course, said yes. As I found myself listening, I kept thinking about just how different the music that Nicholas is creating now, is from his past successes with Sundy Best. Sure Nicholas has released albums since those days, but in my humble opinion, those albums were the necessary tool that he used to find his true musical identity. That identity is still deeply rooted in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, but from a musical standpoint, Nicholas has evolved into an intricate songwriter. A passionate storyteller. A gifted poet. A true Kentucky treasure.
*Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Sarah Cahill
Jamerson has grown into an artist that much prefers the listener’s concentration over their affections. Nicholas has always had an incredible knack of melding lyrics and melodies into ear candy, but his voice now has more important things to convey. That’s why grabbing the listeners’ ear is much more crucial on this trip around the sun.
Equipped with the wisdom gained from living life, and the will to make the choice to take a gamble on himself, at least in my humble opinion, has paid off in spades. I was a fan of Nicholas before I was a friend, and his evolution since Capture Kentucky came to be, has been one of my favorite journeys to watch and I feel what Jamerson has found is more genuine and true to himself than any other work so far.
With his new release ‘The Wild Frontier’, out today, April 20th, Jamerson has set his sights on taking his music to the next level. Unfortunately for him and all of us, COVID-19 has become an unwanted hurdle but his determination is still unwavering and his belief in his creation is strong, as it damn well should be. Which is why I’m jumping back into Capture Kentucky for this article. The world needs this album and if my tiny voice can help Nicholas deliver it, I’m all in.
Railbird Festival, the Lexington-based, world-class music festival produced by AC Entertainment and Lexington entrepreneur David Helmers, is proud to present its 2020 lineup. Grammy Award-winning artists topping the weekend’s bill include Americana standout Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and singer-songwriter Maren Morris. The festival will return to the Grounds at Keeneland, August 22-23, 2020.
Additional acts include The Head and the Heart, Young the Giant, The Decemberists, Tanya Tucker, Trampled By Turtles, Colter Wall, Whiskey Meyers, and more. More than 30 artists will perform across three stages during the two-day festival.
General Admission (GA) and VIP weekend passes will be available to the public beginning Friday, February 21 at 10 a.m. ET via RailbirdFest.com, with a limited quantity starting at only $135. For the first time, Railbird will also offer a limited number of General Admission student weekend passes for $115 while supplies last. Affordable layaway plans are also available, with payment options starting at only $20 down.
A portion of proceeds from every ticket sold will benefit Railbird’s nonprofit community partners, Fayette Alliance, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope and Central Music Academy.
Those wishing to elevate their Railbird experience can purchase a VIP weekend pass with enhanced amenities for 2020. VIP patrons will have access to all GA amenities, as well as exclusive Limestone and Elkhorn Stage lounges with air-conditioning, a VIP Village with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and spa services by the Drybar, private bars with exclusive VIP pricing, luxury restrooms, fast-track entrances to the festival, free on-site parking for the weekend, commemorative Railbird merchandise and more. (more…)
I’ve seen well over 1000 artists, probably closer to 2000 to be honest, but few have grown as quickly as Luke Combs. Combs has completely taken over country music with one of the most unique songwriting styles the genre has ever seen.
Combs has a great ability to twist the meanings of his lyrics. He’s blessed with a voice that blends, bends and shapes to whatever he’s singing and in my humble opinion, Luke will be one of the biggest stars that country music has ever seen. Before we get into his set though, let’s discuss Drew Parker and Ashley McBryde’s sets from a chilly Valentine’s night.
Drew Parker was up first to rock Rupp. His style fits the mold of what you hear on terrestrial radio. Stations like 98.1 The Bull love artists like Parker. (more…)
Ladies and gentlemen, 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. (more…)
Here at Capture Kentucky, the goal is always to help shine a positive light on Kentucky and her people. The greatest asset we have in our Commonwealth is by far and away, our people.
Seeing people chasing their dreams and ultimately catching them is likely my favorite hobby. That’s why this Blues Traveler show was so important to me. (more…)
What if I told you that a young man by the name of Tyler Childers played to about thirty people at the Moonshiners Ball, just 2-1/2 years ago? Would you believe me? Well, ya should, because I was there.
That show was my first time seeing Tyler perform. He was all by himself, kicked back, sitting in a chair, singing away at a, if I remember correctly, 2pm set. He had on torn-up jeans, muddy boots and was wearing a “Hawaiian Shirt.”
I thought to myself, “Does this fella deserve the hype that my friends have heaped upon him?” Now I had listened to his first album, as well as a few soundboard recordings from live shows, but I was internally skeptical. All that skepticism was flushed away though as soon as the man opened his mouth.
Since then, Tyler has grown so quickly, that his new album, Country Squire, debuted at the number spot on the Billboard charts and earned him a spot on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. (more…)