Posts Tagged With: music

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

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

An apprentice’s dream

When things “don’t go according to plan,” it typically invokes a negative thought. But my unplanned adventures with Grand Ol’ Opry star Bobby Osborne, through the Kentucky Arts Council’s Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, were quite the opposite.

What were going to be bimonthly mandolin lessons and history chats turned into performing with one of the most famous artists in bluegrass music history.

I was able to perform at venues and locations throughout the South including: the Ohio Valley Opry; Mount Airy, North Carolina; the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History; the Kentucky Coal Rally; and the highlight, the world famous Bean Blossom Bluegrass Music Festival.

Bobby and Cory perform during the “Makings of a Master” debut at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

My experiences with Bobby were not limited to just musical ones. I believe it would be safe to say that I learned just as much, or even more, about the history of the music I was playing than the music itself. I was able to learn about the history and source of some of the most popular songs in bluegrass and country music. Also, I learned facts, stories and legends about some of the most famous icons in music; all told from a first-person perspective by a man who was there.

My experience with Bobby Osborne, through the generosity of the Kentucky Arts Council’s apprenticeship grant, has been a literal dream come true. I was able to be a part of something that many young musicians only dream of, and I am humbly thankful.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to: Mark Brown, Bob Gates and everyone at the Kentucky Arts Council; Bobby Osborne and all the members of the Rocky Top Express, and all of the other countless friends and family who have supported me through the amazing twelve months of my apprenticeship. You all have my deepest heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

And to all the other young musicians out there, dreams do come true.

God Bless and keep on picking!

Still dreaming,

Cory May, folk arts apprentice 

To learn more about folk arts apprenticeships in Kentucky, visit the Makings of a Master exhibition when it travels near you. The next application deadline for the apprenticeship grant program is February 15, 2013.

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: , , , , ,

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