Here we are just days away from Kentucky Crafted: The Market. The excitement continues to build all across the Commonwealth as we look ahead to the 30th anniversary celebration and gathering in Lexington, Ky.
Personally, I can hardly contain myself. My head is swirling with thoughts of Kentucky’s finest food, art, crafts, literature, and of course… Music! The more I think about the lineup of talent scheduled for this year on the Kentucky Stage, the more I realize how fortunate we are to have such a tremendous roster of world-class talent right here in Kentucky.
Obviously, we’re very proud of our music and rightfully so. You may have heard about the two full days of live entertainment. However, I haven’t talked much about the fifteen performing artists who will be throwing it down on March 3rd and 4th. It’s important to point out that artists listed in the Performing Arts Directory are some of the most talented in the nation and have received national and international recognition and accolades.
So, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news, for now, is that space and time prohibit me from discussing, in detail, each of the fifteen scheduled artists. The good news is that you can come to The Kentucky Stage and experience each and every concert for yourself, LIVE and in person! With that in mind I’ll briefly focus on four of Kentucky’s finest.
1. Tim Lake hits the Kentucky Stage on Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m. EST. He is a professional musician, singer-songwriter, composer, performer, and teacher. A world renowned banjoist, he has released ten albums of original songs, including “An American Concerto for 5-String Banjo and Orchestra”, which he performed with the Atlanta-Emory Orchestra. Tim holds a doctorate in music from the University of Kentucky and was the recipient of the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award.
As a solo artist or with his group The Little Big Band, Tim has performed his brand of American music at international music festivals and concerts all over the world, including Tokyo, Japan; Ambato, Ecuador; Bo and Oslo, Norway; Graz, Austria; and Wexford, Ireland. Pretty darn impressive!
2. John Edmonds will entertain on March 3 at 3 p.m. EST. The word gospel is translated to mean good news, and there is no better way to describe the music delivered by John Edmonds. Even so, gospel music is not the only genre to which you will be exposed at a John Edmonds concert. “I’m a gospel singer by style,” says Edmonds, “but I’m just a simple message singer at heart.” This nationally and internationally acclaimed singer/pianist, who will soon celebrate 50 years of professional performing, has a repertoire that includes tunes such as “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” “I Believe In Music,” and “What The World Needs Now Is Love.” Of course, his listeners will also hear great gospel standards such as “How Great Thou Art,” “My Life Is In Your Hands,” “Joshua,” and “How I Got Over.”
“I like to sing songs that convey a message of peace, hope, joy, and love,” Edmonds continues, “love for God, for one’s self, and for one’s fellow man.” Edmonds goes on to say that he intends for his musical messages to reach people of all religions and all denominations. “It is my desire that even non-believers will be inspired by my songs,” he concludes.
3. Another sonic treat coming to the Kentucky Stage at 4 p.m. EST on March 3 is Appalachianfolksyrastafunkybluesman Mitch Barrett. He is one of Kentucky’s most sought after and talented contemporary singer-songwriters. Remaining true to his traditional roots, his original work has created a contemporary understanding that reaches beyond his Appalachian heritage to the music that today is being called Americana. Mitch’s songwriting talent has won him many of the country’s most prestigious awards, including the Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition twice awarded; the Kerrville New Folk competition; first place at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colo. (out of more than 900 entries); and in 2009 he won the 2009 Telluride Troubadour Competition, selected at the 36th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
He is a versatile and riveting storyteller of Appalachian tales. Ears perk up and eyes widen when he begins his eclectic mix of myth, tall tales and folklore. Being comfortable with any audience Mitch tells stories to audiences both young and old. His storytelling resonates with humor and poignancy. At any given performance, his show can be filled with Jack tales, tunes on the dulcimer and guitar and a lot of great reflection about his life and the traditions of the mountains.
4. Champion fiddlers, multi-instrumentalists, music educators and composers, Daniel and Amy Carwile bring over 50 years of performing experience to the Kentucky Stage at 5 p.m. EST on March 3. Their broad repertoire includes traditional tunes as well as original compositions stylistically ranging from bluegrass and old-time to Celtic and swing. The Carwile’s unique blend of music has been heard on the Grand Ole Opry, and throughout the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. They have performed and/or recorded with Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, Tim O’Brien and John Cowan, among others. “They are two of the most accomplished musicians I have run across in a long time,” said Don Rigsby, head of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.
So there you have it. Keep in mind, that’s just four of the fifteen artists coming to The Kentucky Stage on March 3 and 4. It’s hard to believe so much talent is coming to one place. It’s even harder to believe that tickets are as low as $8 and kids 15 and under get in free! I hear they even have extra chairs ready, so bring the whole family!
I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of artists. Wow! Now, if I can contain my excitement, I need to rehearse a while…
I’ll see YOU at the Kentucky Stage!
Peace, Love, Joy, & Diversity,