Music trips and picks in the area

January 25, 2019

Some good news earlier this week on the summer country front: Grammy Award-winning Paintsville, Kentucky, native Chris Stapleton announced he will be bringing his 2019 All-American Road Show concert tour to the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 — and he’s bringing friends.

For that date, the red-hot guitarist Marcus King and his Band will be opening as will ace country artist Margo Price. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb 1. Sign up for the pre-sale at http://StapletonFanClub.com.

Grammy news straight outta Johnson County

Stapleton, who is in my opinion, arguably one of the greatest country soul singers of all times, is up for a couple Grammys at the 61st annual Grammy Awards that air at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, on CBS from the Staples Center in L.A.

Stapleton is up for Country Solo Performance for “Millionaire,” and for Best Country Album, “From A Room, Vol. 2.”

Interestingly, Stapleton not only has some stiff competition for the Performance award, but it’s also from an icon in his own home county. Also hailing from Johnson County (Van Lear), Kentucky, is the one and only Loretta Lynn, who is nominated for her performance of “Wouldn’t it be Great.”

In other local Grammy news, also nominated is Kenova native Michael W. Smith, whose latest album “Surrounded” is up for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. Go online at www.grammy.com to see who else is nominated.

Fiddling our way from winter through St. Paddy’s Day

For fans of the devil’s instrument (the fiddle) you’re in luck

this very Friday night.

Over at the relatively new and always hopping experimental art, music and community space, Aliasl4W, 720 14th St. W., they are hosting the excellent fiddling of Cody Jordan, a member of Modock Rounders. Jordan is on a bill with other fresh, new throwback acts as banjoist KerryErin Coattails, Little Lawnmowers (finger-style early jazz blues and world grooves) and New Water, which comes swinging in with some hot club jazz.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. There is a $5 cover. Go online at https://www.facebook.com/aliasl4w/ to keep up with the happenings at Aliasl4W.

Fans of old-time music also should save the date of Saturday, Feb. 9. That is when one of the world’s best old-time music acts. The Bing Brothers, with Jake Krack, will be out at the Fly In Cafe, 6090 Kyle Lane, Huntington, at the Robert C. Newlon Airpark.

The Bings will not only be playing some of the hottest old-time you’ve ever laid ears on from 8 to 11 p.m., but they will also be announcing the lineup for the 2019 Fly In Festival Lineup during the night.

That Festival is set for Aug. 22-24 at the Fly-In Cafe and in the spacious fields and campgrounds at the Airpark. That festival will also be hosting the Robin Kessinger WV State Flat-pick Guitar Contest and Workshops on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/events/277004292983177/.

Last but not least for fiddling news, but “Mountain Stage” has a couple of mighty fine fiddlers coming through in March. The ace, jam-grass unit Yonder Mountain String Band — armed with ace fiddler Allie Krai — has been booked on Sunday, March 17 (yes, that’s St. Patrick’s Day), for a special “Mountain Stage” at the Culture Center Theater. That taping also features Balsam Range, Peter Case, Les Poules A Colin and Oh Pep!

Tickets ($20 advance) are on sale at noon Friday, Jan. 25, online and at Taylor Books.

And tickets are also on sale for the March 24 concert with the great fiddler (and multi-instrumentalist) Tim O’Brien (the Wheeling native and Nashville all-star), who is bringing in his bluegrass band on a packed string music bill that also features The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, the Alison Brown Band and The Honey Dewdrops.

West Virginia Winter Music Festival

My road trip pick this weekend is to head over to Lewisburg, West Virginia, on Saturday for the West Virginia Winter Music Festival that takes place at eight different venues throughout the area with live music from nearly 50 acts rolling Saturday afternoon through late Saturday night.

Enjoy a wide array of music from some of West Virginia’s finest string bands to funk, jazz, rock and singer-songwriters of all stripes.

H-town’s own funk, pop and jazz unit Heavy Hitters will be heating up the stage at Hill and Holler at 8 p.m., while Jim Rumbaugh, of the Huntington Harmonica Club, will be performing at the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center at the Corner Stage.

All-access wristbands are $20 and get you into all of the venues. There will be performances at the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Center (all events at the center are free).

Paid venues include The Asylum, Hill and Holler, Montwell Park Barn (all ages), The Livery, North House Museum Listening Room, The Wild Bean and The Sweet Shoppe.

All proceeds benefit the WVWMF Emergency Relief Fund. Go online at wvmusicfestival.org for more info.

Tickets on sale today for MercyMe at the Arena

Contemporary Christian veteran MercyMe is continuing its “Imagine Nation Tour” that will find the group traversing 30-plus cities nationwide alongside fellow Grammy nominee Crowder and multiple GMA Dove Award nominee Micah Tyler.

That March-to-May tour has them stopping off May 11 with a stop at the SMG-managed Big Sandy Superstore Arena in downtown Huntington on Friday, March 15.

Tickets for the Huntington show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25 at the Arena Box office, on line at www.tick-etmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.

MercyMe last played the Tri-State in 2011 when they performed at the Paramount Arts Center.

Formed in 1994 out of Edmond, Oklahoma, the five-man band (lead vocalist Bart Millard, percussionist Robby Shaffer, bassist Nathan Cochran and guitarists Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul) has first gained mainstream recognition with the crossover single “I Can Only Imagine,” which elevated their debut album, “Almost There,” to triple platinum certification.

Since then, the group has released eight additional studio albums (six of which have been certified gold) and a greatest hits album.

Go online at http://mer-cyme.org/ for more information and go online at www.bigsandyarena.com to check out more info about incoming shows.

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