2019 promises to be a big year for local music

December 29, 2018

We’ve had an incredible year celebrating local music here in the Tri-State, and 2019 promises to be even better.

Here’s a look at just a few of the things already on the books for 2019.

Arena to be hit by a winter ‘Hurricane’

The Big Sandy Superstore Arena has a busy year right out of the gates. It hosts the Tri-State Original Toughman Contest on Jan. 4-5, The Harlem Globetrotters on Jan. 12, the KEE100 Bridal Expo on Jan. 20, and the Huntington RV and Boat Show from Jan. 25-27.

On the heels of that is country superstar Luke Combs on Feb. 1. That concert became the first sold-out show of 2019 for the venue when it sold out in 10 minutes. Combs is known for his country music radio hit singles “Hurricane,” “When It Rains It Pours” and “One Number Away” from his gold-certified debut album “This One’s for You.”

He will perform with special guests LANCO and Jameson Rodgers.

Other incoming concerts include Shinedown, Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria on Feb. 24, Aaron Lewis on March 13, comic and puppeteer Jeff Dunham on April 13 and the final tour of Slayer, with Lamb of God, Cannibal Corpse and Amon Amarth, on May 13.

On the outside, the Arena’s new paint job (complete with a Don Pendleton-designed mural) will be started back up when the weather breaks (hopefully in March, said GM Cindy Collins).

Go online at www.bigsandyarena.com for more info.

Jazz Fest celebrates 50th anniversary

If you’re a jazz fan, save the dates of Feb. 22-23 as The Marshall University annual Winter Jazz Festival will celebrate its 50th year in 2019.

Join the Marshall University Jazz ensembles and combos, as well as local area high school and middle school groups for a jazz extravaganza celebrating one of the oldest collegiate jazz festivals in the United States.

The 50th annual MU Winter Jazz Festival will feature performances by the Marshall University Faculty Jazz Combo, MU Jazz ensembles and combos as well as a headlining performance on Saturday, Feb. 23, by The Columbus Jazz Orchestra featuring trumpeter Rob Parton.

Go online at www.marshall.edu/music/jazz/ for more info about this and other upcoming jazz concerts.

Jeremy Short heading back to Memphis

Regional blues burning artist, Jeremy Short, who played a bunch of festivals in 2018 including Bonnaroo, will be making his third trip to the 35th International Blues Challenge that takes place Jan. 22-26 on Beale Street in Memphis,

Short, who has made it to the semi finals both times, is competing in the world’s largest blues competition.

Before he hits Memphis, the Huntington Blues Society, which is sponsoring his trip, is hosting a fundraiser at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., as part of the Blues Society’s monthly blues jam and showcase. Cover is $1, but donations are being taken up to help pay Short’s travel expenses to Memphis.

Childers on tour around the world

Kentucky country songsmith Tyler Childers and his band are logging some frequent flier miles in 2019. In February, they roll down to Playa Del Carmen to play with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. In late February, it’s well across the pond over to New Zealand and Australia where Childers is opening up for kindred spirit, John Prine.

The boys will also be joining Prine and a handful of Prine selected artists for five dates in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in November. In the space between that Prine time, the boys are slotted up at a ton of fests including MerleFest, Shaky Knees, Floyd Fest and others.

Childers will also be releasing a new album in 2019 as well, according to his Huntington-based Whizzbang BAM team. Other Whizzbang albums set to come out in 2019 include Ona’s sophomore release, “Full Moon/Heavy Light” and new records from their Cincinnati-based artists, Arlo McKinley and Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle.

Go online at www.tylerchildersmusic.com and whizzbangbam.com for more info.

Mountain Stage kicks off 2019 with road trip and a sold out concert

Mountain Stage with host Larry Groce comes out of the gates swinging in 2019 with two big shows in January.

On Jan. 20, they make the well-worn trip up I-79 to WVU Creative Arts Center in Morgantown where they will present a show with Gregory Alan Isakov, Mandolin Orange, Elysian Fields, The Brother Brothers and more TBA.

The next weekend, Mountain Stage is back at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston for an already sold-out live taping with Greensky Bluegrass, Donna the Buffalo, Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis and Fayetteville resident singer/songwriter, Andrew Adkins.

Go online at www.mountainstage.org for more info.


The Huntington Old Time Dance and Music, which formed up in 2018, is starting the new year out with an old time square dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 520 11th St. in Huntington. Folks will be be dancing to the music of the Allegheny Hellbenders from Morgantown with Caller Linda Donohew from Lesage. The dance is free but donations are appreciated to cover costs. Adults $7, Students $5 and Children under 12 are free. Beginners welcome. You don’t need a partner and instruction is given before each dance, so come on out and help support Huntington’s only Old Time Dance organization. For more information you may call or text Dennis Bills at 304-412-4889.

Jewel City Jam moves to April

The Jewel City Jam is back for a fifth year at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington.

The 2019 edition, of #JCJAM5 will be held Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, at Harris Riverfront Park with 17 American roots music acts that run the gamut from folk, blues, old-time, swing jazz, rockabilly, and Americana to country and jamgrass. Band hail from all over the Eastern U.S. from Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, to here in West Virginia.

Confirmed acts for the #JCJAM5 will be Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton (both nights), David Mayfield Parade, Strung Like A Horse, The String Assassins, Professor Pennygoode’s Mighty Flea Circus, The Bluegrass Sweethearts Dave and Valerie Mayfield, Rob McNurlin and The Beatnik Cowboys, Laid Back Country Picker and Honey, String Therapy, Big Rock and the Candyass Mtn Boys, Of The Dell, The 1937 Flood, Nip and Tuck, The Independent State, Micah Scott, Mike Gray and Tim Lancaster.

Early bird tickets — only $25 for the weekend — are good through Jan. 1 at The Jewel City Jam website at www.jewelcityjam.com or on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jewelcityjamboree/ That

Advance weekend tickets will go up to $30 after that. Weekend tickets will be $40 at the gate for two days or $20 a day. MU students with ID will get half price tickets. Kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/jewelcityjamboree/ to find out more about the #JCJAM5.

Huntington Music and Arts Festival celebrating its 10th year

The Huntington Music and Arts Festival started out as a one-day fest and has grown into a more than week-long event with nearly a dozen events that showcase visual arts, comedy, film, music and a host of other activities from picnics to roller skating.

The ninth annual Huntington Music and Arts Festival spread 12 events over seven days and ended with a Labor Day weekend blast of 23 musical acts on the Ritter Park Amphitheater stage.

Thornton and his HMAF planning team are already meeting for 2019 to make it an HMAF for the record books.

HART in the Park diving into Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’

HART (Huntington Area Regional Theatre) in the Park will be keeping it cool this summer at Ritter Park Amphitheater as they will be presenting the fun, modern musical, “Mamma Mia,” (featuring the music of ABBA) in June 2019 and then “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” in July.

There will also be a HART, Jr. pre-show as well. It’s not too late to audition for those. Auditions are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 5-6 at St. Clouds Commons (the stone lodge building).

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/HARTInThePark/ for more info about HART in the Park

A Paramount season beginning in Ashland

Although the Paramount is quiet from Dec. 23 to Jan. 14, they make up for it with a flurry of shows from mid January through February.

Early shows are: Jan. 15, “Honk Jr.” by the Paramount Kids, Jan. 17, Heather Land; Jan. 25, Murder and Merriment; Jan. 30, Harriet Tubman and North by Night Heroes of the Underground Railroad; Feb. 3, film, “Groundhog Day;” Feb. 8, magician Bill Blagg; Feb. 15, The Midtown Men; Feb. 16, The Southern Momma Tour with the Cledus T. Judd Experience; Feb. 18, The Sound of Music and Feb.21, Brothers Osborne.

Go online at http://paramountartscenter.com/201415-upcoming-events/ for more info on upcoming Paramount events.

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