Posts Tagged With: Mitch Barrett

Tempt Your Senses: Hear

With over 200 exhibitors working in wood, paint, silver, wool, chocolate, clay, silk and much more, Kentucky Crafted: The Market is a sense explosion. That’s why we chose “tempt your senses” as this year’s theme. We dare you to come to the Lexington Convention Center on March 2 – 3 and be tempted by all of the music, textures, smells, sights and tastes offered by Kentucky’s best artists and crafts people.  It will be impossible to walk away empty handed.

The moment you walk into the Market – even before you purchase your pass – you will notice that art is everywhere. Although buying and selling visual art is the Market’s main purpose, it’s not the sole purpose. The arts council uses this versatile venue to create all kinds of arts experiences: literary art, folk and traditional arts and performing arts. The Kentucky Stage, located in the atrium of the convention center, features a full schedule of diverse musicians from across the state. Not only can we we boast the Commonwealth’s finest art and craft, we also present Kentucky’s most accomplished live performers for the price of your admission. If you like what you hear, you can step over to the Marketplace and purchase CDs.

Hog Operation – Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m.

Hog Operation uses bluegrass instrumentation to explore a variety of American musical styles from reels to rock ‘n’ roll. They play original music as well as country standards and bluegrass arrangements of popular songs. Audiences can expect to hear their favorite bluegrass sounds but should also be prepared for pleasant surprises. Each musician – Larry Raley, Mike Schroeder, John Hawkins and Steve Cooley – is accomplished in his own right. When they play together the sound can be described simply as “tight.” Come early to hear Steve Cooley discuss how he keeps the stringed instruments – that are so vital to the unique bluegrass sound – playing the sweetest possible notes. At 1 p.m., the Kentucky Stage will feature a live interview with Steve, Donna Lamb, Art Mize, Arthur Hatfield and Walter Lay – all Kentucky luthiers who make or repair banjos, fiddles, guitars, mandolins and more.

Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers  Saturday, March 2, 3 p.m.

It began 25 years ago in Covington’s Ninth Street Baptist Church when Ric Jennings formed an a capella quartet from members of their men’s choir. The Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers earned most of their chops in the church and some on the street corners, and the result is uniquely northern Kentucky.  Although they have performed all over the United States and Europe, they are true to the sound created in their community and play local churches,  song services, sacred music events and even anniversaries. In addition to their gospel repertoire, they also sing R&B favorites and other popular tunes. They take the Kentucky Stage on Saturday afternoon, but it may feel like Sunday morning as they “inspire feelings of fellowship and recreate the jubilant atmosphere of their home church.”

Appalatin  Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m.

The name Appalatin (as you may have guessed) is a portmanteau of Appalachian and Latin. True to their name, they blend the music of their home regions to create a sound that is – above all other labels and definitions – music of the world and 21st century Kentucky. Appalatin is artistic proof that no matter our culture of origin, our ways of expression have much in common. Old-time string, blues, bluegrass, Spanish-style guitar, bachata, cumbia – it all has roots. Their sound obviously speaks to more than just Appalachians and Latinos. With a musical mission “to bring a message of a fair and just world, one of hope, joy and love,” Appalatin have a popular sound and a strong following that can be seen in the results of their recent Kickstarter campaign to produce their new album. To date, they have made 150 percent of their goal with donors pledging as much as $1,500. Their campaign doesn’t even end until March 10, 2013. Now that is real listener buy-in!

Real World String Band – Sunday, March 3, 1 p.m.

Reel World String Band

Reel World String Band

Trouble in Mind

Early in their careers, this “all-girl act” was considered a novelty in mainstream music. But people who knew better saw that they were just darn good musicians. Lily May Ledford once said of the band, “You don’t see many people up on stage who’ve got fire. But you girls have got it. Lord, you girls are good!” This so-called novelty has thrived for over 35 years, and Kentucky is truly fortunate to have the members of the Reel World String Band as  native daughters. With rousing harmonies, the band makes music rooted in the Appalachian tradition while representing and championing Kentuckians through their songs. They are each masters of their instruments and treasures born of Kentucky’s arts and cultural heritage.

These are just a few of the performers you can experience on the Kentucky Stage. For a complete listing, look at the lineup in the Market program.

Market Program

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Are your sense tempted yet? For more peeks and previews, check out our titillating Pinterest board.

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Special edition: four reasons not to miss the Kentucky Stage

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.


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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…


Ill see YOU at the Kentucky Stage!

Peace, Love, Joy, & Diversity,

Heath Eric


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

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