Posts Tagged With: Kentucky on Stage

Kentucky On Stage 2013 with Dale Pyatt

The Kentucky Arts Council will present Kentucky On Stage, a mini booking conference for presenters and afternoon of live performance free and open to the public, from 1 – 5 p.m. Aug. 22, in the William Stamps Farish Theater at the Lexington Public Library

Kentucky On Stage features a slate of artists from the arts council’s Performing Arts Directory, including new acts recently added to the online roster of adjudicated artists. Twelve acts will perform for 15 minutes each during the showcase.

One of those performers, singer-songwriter Dale Pyatt, was just adjudicated into the Performing Arts Directory and will perform at Kentucky On Stage for the first time. An award winning songwriter, Pyatt has penned songs that cross many music genres including Americana, bluegrass, new and classic country, roots, and even island-style music. Pyatt recently answered a few questions for us about the directory and what people can expect from his performance at Kentucky On Stage.

KAC: Why did you want to be part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory?

PYATT: I wanted to be a part of the directory because I’m trying to take my music to a professional level. Being in the directory will allow me to work more professional shows. I would like to be a full-time artist, and I need all the help and support I can get.

KAC: For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?

PYATT: My music is original, fun to listen to, and has been nicknamed “BuffettGrass” by some of my friends.

KAC: What can the presenters and audience look forward to during your performance at Kentucky On Stage?

Presenters can look forward to the “Dale Pyatt experience,” and to hearing some of the stories behind my songs. I will also be discussing my singer/songwriter workshop for beginners.

Learn more about Pyatt on his website at http://dalepyatt.com/.

Other showcase performers are:

  • Bob & Susie Hutchison, music, traditional Appalachian and Celtic
  • Hong Shao, music, traditional Chinese
  • Joe Hudson, music, thumbpicking guitar
  • Lexington Children’s Theatre, theater
  • TDH4, music, jazz-blues-originals
  • Squallis Puppeteers, theater
  • Octavia Sexton, storytelling
  • A Girl Named Earl, music, singer-songwriter
  • Diana Dinicola, dance, flamenco
  • Art Mize, music, string band-jazz-bluegrass
  • The Mark Whitley Band, music, Americana

As you can see, we’ve got a great lineup for this year’s showcase, and we hope you’ll consider joining us for the main event next Thursday afternoon. To see a schedule of the day’s events or for more information, visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/KOS13.htm.

Emily B. Moses, communications director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , ,

This summer, be an adventurous listener

When you travel this summer, music can be part of the journey and the destination. If you really want to have an adventure on the road, put aside your MP3 players and  favorite CDs, and forget the radio stations saved in your channel memory. Summer is a time to burst out of your usual, comfortable musical realm and be an adventurous listener!

 Journey with radio

Tune in, and turn on to something new. Radio is a conduit for creative and eclectic communities. Here are a few stations that will challenge and excite you while you travel across Kentucky:

WMMT-FM 88.7, Whitesburg

WRFL-FM 88.1, Lexington

WFPK-FM 91.9, Louisville

WKYU-FM, 88.9, Bowling Green

Music destinations

International Bluegrass Music Museum

Whether you love bluegrass music, or tend to avoid it, a trip to the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro and the Bill Monroe Homeplace in nearby Rosine will expand your mind. Experience the living legacy of bluegrass at the ROMP festival June 27-29.

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

Here, you will experience exhibits, tours and programs about artists from many genres of American music who have made a big impact and who are all from Kentucky. Country and bluegrass? Check. Blues and pop? Check. Opera and jazz? Check.

National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame

Experience the birthplace of thumb style guitar made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. Visit the Merle Travis Music Center in Muhlenberg County at the end of summer—late September—when the Home of the Legends Weekend and the Hall of Fame ceremony occur.

Butcher Holler

Take in the sights and sounds of the home place of the proud coalminer’s daughter, Loretta Lynn. If you are lucky, you might arrange a tour with Loretta’s brother, Herman Webb, like this blogger did.  Butcher Holler is just one site along the Country Music Highway. Learn more and order a copy of More than Music: A Heritage Driving Tour of Kentucky’s Route 23 here.

National Jug Band Jubilee

Did you know that Louisville was the birthplace of this enduring DIY music style? Plan now to go to the Jubilee on Sept. 21, so you can close out your summer with a jubilant thhhhhbbbtt!

Go beyond these suggestions. It is easy to find out about festivals, performing arts centers, and jam sessions all over Kentucky. You can start by surfing the Performing Arts Directory to find video and audio of artists you like. Visit their websites, collect their music, go to their shows.

Have fun, be adventurous and then post your experiences and recommendations below.

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program director

Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts, Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LaMay and Reese: the growing songbook

You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley
You’ve got to walk it by yourself
Nobody else can walk it for you
You’ve got to walk it by yourself

As a fifteen-year-old growing up in Western New York, hearing that chorus in the Kingston Trio’s “Reverend Mr. Black,” awakened me to a new music—actually an old music—something like I’d never heard before. Just by coincidence, five years later Sherri Reese heard Johnny Cash sing the same song on his TV show and experienced the same epiphany.

When we met several years later in 1998, Sherri and I discovered that we had both been drawn to the old songs—songs that came out of the mountains—what we now think of as traditional American folk and country music.

Sherri grew up with old-timey and bluegrass music and had been performing with her father and daughter in a family band. I had been performing as a folk musician and singer/songwriter. Our teaming as a duo brought together our two styles, and we gravitated toward that old mountain sound. Our original songs retain the old feel.

It wasn’t long before some other bluegrass bands and folk musicians were singing and recording a number of our original songs. To illustrate our traditional direction: one of our favorite experiences as songwriters was at a traditional folk music gathering where we sang our original song, “Marbletown,” and several attendees were frantically leafing through their old song books trying to find the song.

We moved to Kentucky in 2004 at the urging of some fellow musicians, and we haven’t looked back. It’s been the opportunity of our lives to learn and share the music we love in the state where so many great songs were born.

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We continue traveling around to perform, and last year we played in seven states from Kansas to New York. The best part for us is meeting other musicians and making new friends.  We were singing in Coffeyville, Kan., for example and we sang “Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight.'” After the concert we met an elderly woman whose sister had been one of Amelia’s best friends growing up in Topeka. These connections are what it’s all about for us.

Sherri and I appreciate the musicians who have passed their songs down to us. We have found that there’s still an audience out there for the old songs, and we’re doing our best to keep the music alive.

Joe LaMay

See LaMay and Reese perform Aug. 23, 2012,  during this year’s Kentucky On Stage, a showcase of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory. 

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , ,

From the archive: Where music lives

This post was originally published August 17, 2011. Last Friday it took home an honorable mention in the feature writing category at the annual Kentucky Association of Government Communicators Awards of Excellence.  Congratulations to Tamara Coffey!

My parents loved music. Their taste ran toward country and I remember being awakened most mornings by the sounds of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Kentucky’s own Loretta Lynn and Tom T. Hall coming from the massive console stereo in the living room. The well-loved, well-scratched albums often played long into the evening unless someone dropped by with guitar in hand. My parents squirreled away money to buy musical instruments so that anyone who visited had little excuse for not performing. An upright Baldwin piano, over which my older brother and I labored in futile attempts to master the musical arts, was the first purchase. Sometimes, mom would play as she and dad sang from an old hymnal picked up for a nickel at the Methodist Mission.

On one of our regular trips to Nashville to listen to the performers on stage from the back door of the Ryman when it was still the Grand Ol’ Opry (who could afford tickets?) Dad bought a little Gibson guitar, rumored to have been specially made for the small hands of Dolly Parton, though it turned out to be just a student version. Later they added a beautiful Gibson Dove with mother-of-pearl inlay along the frets and in the shape of a dove on the instrument’s body. Over the years the musical menagerie grew to include a couple of mandolins, a fiddle, a banjo and a doghouse bass. When my younger brother, the only one of the kids with any musical talent, and his friends formed a Southern rock band, electric guitars, an electric bass and a full drum kit moved into a room over the garage so as not to corrupt the country, bluegrass and traditional mountain music in the house.

Friday and Saturday nights became house parties with people coming from miles, sometimes states, away. No invitations were issued, yet somehow there were always performers, often strangers to each other, and a well-pleased audience crammed into the living room, spilling out onto the porch and the front yard and into the kitchen where contributions of homemade food—fried chicken, biscuits, apple stack cakes and gallons of sweet tea and coffee sustained us into the early morning hours. The high, lonesome sounds emanating from the living room contrasted with the driving beat of the drums and screaming guitars coming from the garage, but it all worked and no one ever complained, not even the neighbors who must surely have wondered why, up our dark, winding, eastern Kentucky holler, it all had to be so loud.

Sometimes on Sunday mornings, overnight guests from Cincinnati, Middletown or Dayton (thank heavens for Route 23) performed bluegrass gospel that wondrously passed through a microphone into the phone cooperative’s party lines to become part of a live radio program on WLKS, an AM station from town.

Coco Yam Band performing at Kentucky on Stage

Music was then, and is now, an essential part of my life. I still believe that live performance is the best way to experience it—a house party in the living room or an impromptu jam under some trees at an outdoor festival, a community get together at the fire station or a staged performance in a theater. Live music is an excellent addition to a family reunion, a birthday or anniversary party. What wedding would be complete without it? Some of the Commonwealth’s most outstanding artists have juried into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory. Enjoy a day of live performances by 15 of these artists at Kentucky on Stage, Thursday, August 25, at the Ursuline Arts Center in Louisville. For more information and to register online, go to http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/KOS11.htm.

Tamara Coffey, individual artist program director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , ,

Where music lives

My parents loved music. Their taste ran toward country and I remember being awakened most mornings by the sounds of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Kentucky’s own Loretta Lynn and Tom T. Hall coming from the massive console stereo in the living room. The well-loved, well-scratched albums often played long into the evening unless someone dropped by with guitar in hand. My parents squirreled away money to buy musical instruments so that anyone who visited had little excuse for not performing. An upright Baldwin piano, over which my older brother and I labored in futile attempts to master the musical arts, was the first purchase. Sometimes, mom would play as she and dad sang from an old hymnal picked up for a nickel at the Methodist Mission.

On one of our regular trips to Nashville to listen to the performers on stage from the back door of the Ryman when it was still the Grand Ol’ Opry (who could afford tickets?) Dad bought a little Gibson guitar, rumored to have been specially made for the small hands of Dolly Parton, though it turned out to be just a student version. Later they added a beautiful Gibson Dove with mother-of-pearl inlay along the frets and in the shape of a dove on the instrument’s body. Over the years the musical menagerie grew to include a couple of mandolins, a fiddle, a banjo and a doghouse bass. When my younger brother, the only one of the kids with any musical talent, and his friends formed a Southern rock band, electric guitars, an electric bass and a full drum kit moved into a room over the garage so as not to corrupt the country, bluegrass and traditional mountain music in the house.

Friday and Saturday nights became house parties with people coming from miles, sometimes states, away. No invitations were issued, yet somehow there were always performers, often strangers to each other, and a well-pleased audience crammed into the living room, spilling out onto the porch and the front yard and into the kitchen where contributions of homemade food—fried chicken, biscuits, apple stack cakes and gallons of sweet tea and coffee sustained us into the early morning hours. The high, lonesome sounds emanating from the living room contrasted with the driving beat of the drums and screaming guitars coming from the garage, but it all worked and no one ever complained, not even the neighbors who must surely have wondered why, up our dark, winding, eastern Kentucky holler, it all had to be so loud.

Sometimes on Sunday mornings, overnight guests from Cincinnati, Middletown or Dayton (thank heavens for Route 23) performed bluegrass gospel that wondrously passed through a microphone into the phone cooperative’s party lines to become part of a live radio program on WLKS, an AM station from town.

 

Coco Yam Band will perform at this year's Kentucky On Stage


Music was then, and is now, an essential part of my life. I still believe that live performance is the best way to experience it—a house party in the living room or an impromptu jam under some trees at an outdoor festival, a community get together at the fire station or a staged performance in a theater. Live music is an excellent addition to a family reunion, a birthday or anniversary party. What wedding would be complete without it? Some of the Commonwealth’s most outstanding artists have juried into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory. Enjoy a day of live performances by 15 of these artists at Kentucky on Stage, Thursday, August 25, at the Ursuline Arts Center in Louisville. For more information and to register online, go to http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/KOS11.htm.

Tamara Coffey, individual artist program director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , ,

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