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Jewel City Jam announcement set for Feb. 19

February 17, 2018 GMT

For music fans who love listening to a steady stream of raucous national act bluegrass on the banks of the Ohio River, there’s good news.

Dave Ball, music promoter and former Huntington City Council member, has announced his Memorial Day Weekend festival, The Jewel City Jam 4, is set for Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, with a half-dozen national acts on the bill.

Tickets to the one-day festival will go on sale in late March or early April. Ball said he will anounce the national acts playing the festival Monday, Feb. 19, on the fest’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/jewelcityjamboree.

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Ball said the acts they’ve booked include some of the high energy, genre-blurring festival favorite bands that have appeared at previous Jams as well as some new up-and-coming national act string bands that bring a rock intensity to the stage.

Some sweet bluegrass festival jam

It’s been since 2005 since Yonder Mountain String Band played the Tri-State proper, out at the Appalachian Uprising before they flew out the next day to play a festival in Toyko.

And while I didn’t stay up literally all night long and moonshine pick the campground with the band this time around, I can report it was sweet bluegrass jam and festival love last Saturday night for the veteran unit which lit up the Keith-Albee with a stunning display of music and lights during a two-hour-plus set for the Marshall Artists Series.

Armed with the literal jaw-dropping instrumentalists Jacob Joliff (on mandolin) and Allie Kral (the fiery fiddler who is expecting her first child in April), YMSB served up a

super tasty night weaving in and out of tunes like Bruce Springsteen’s “Hard to Be A Saint In the City” book-ending “Landfall,” and “Black Sheep” tucked into two sides of “On the Run” for the receptive and sometimes dancing crowd of about 1,200, which included about 300 area school kids.

With still a few months until the summer festival season kicks in, it was a good to feel that warm live wave of hot bluegrass.

Folking it up with Five For Fighting

While the Artists Series has another Broadway musical tour next (“Amazing Grace” on Tuesday, Feb. 20) the next music-only concert in the series will be a great one — Five for Fighting (John Ondrasik) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8.

The acclaimed singer/songwriter and pianist will not only be playing his hits (like the Grammy-nominated hit “Superman: It’s Not Easy” that helped launch his career 15 years ago) but also will be doing so with a string quartet and a very special guest.

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Curb Records folk pop artist Marie Miller is opening up for Five For Fighting on an eight-day run that kicks off at the Keith-Albee.

Musically, she is perhaps best known for getting a single, “6′2” onto “Dancing With the Stars,” and last year opened for “American Idol” winner Kris Allen and Carbon Leaf.

Her debut record, “Letterbox,” was released last April. Although just fresh in her career, Miller has a career bucket-list gig that few can top — in 2015 she performed for Pope Francis when he visited Philadelphia for the Festival of the Families, at which she played in front of a crowd of 750,000.

Tickets are $54.21, $43.30 and $32.39. Contact the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656 or order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com.

You can also visit the box office in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

More ‘Losing Sleep’ and Gov’t Mules

The Big Sandy Superstore Arena hit a home run last Saturday too with its sold-out presentation of the red-hot Chris Young’s Losing Sleep Tour that also features charting country artists LANCO and Kane Brown.

If you’d like to get a second helping of Young’s growing cache of country radio hits, you’re in luck—tickets are on sale Friday, Feb. 16, for his just-announced concert at the State Fair of West Virginia.

That show at the fairgrounds in Fairlea, West Virginia, is set for 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

Also now on sale, guitar slinger and mountain soul singer Warren Haynes is bringing Gov’t Mule to the Clay Center at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 22,with special guests Black Stone Cherry.

This is Mule’s first show at the Clay Center since 2014. Tickets range from $30 to $50. Call 304-561-3570 or go online at https://tickets.theclaycenter.org/shows/gov’t%20 mule%20with%20black%20stone%20cherry/events.

Creating that ‘Lovington’

Props to the current Create Huntington board of connectors who put on an awesome third anual Create Lovington —“A We Love Huntington Fundraiser” Feb. 9 at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews.

A couple musical notes from the night. First off, if you haven’t heard of Madison Lewis, you will. Keebie Gilkerson of Create Huntington, saw the London, Kentucky, 14-year-old tearing it up at Kicking It On the Creek last fall and knew he had to get her to Huntington.

Since Black Sheep is all ages, Gilkerson knew the Lovington event would be a great one for her area debut.

Speaking of bands that played Lovington, if you want to unwrap some fresh 1980s-vibing pop rock from Basie, you don’t have to wait long. The band is releasing a new single this very day.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/basieofficial/ to plug into their sounds and go online at http://createhuntington.com/ to learn more about Create Huntington.

Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at lavender@herald-dispatch.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.

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