Country Roads are bringing music home

July 13, 2018

While away on vacation these last few weeks, I sure missed out on excellent music being released here in the river cities. NPR debuted Hello June’s first melody-rich single and video, “Mars” from their sophomore album.

For this new album the Morgantown band (built by Sar Rudy and Whit Alexander) is working with a good buddy and all around area all-star, Bud Carroll. Similar to a musical Elon Musk, Carroll is adding his unique design and stardust touch to another talent-laden WV band. There is the potential to see a meteoric rise. From our friends at WV Pubcast, you can read more about the single here www.npr.org/2018/06/28/623931606/fans-of-90s-indie-rock-need-tohear-hello-june. Save the date for Friday, Sept. 28 as Hello June will be having an album release party at The Boulevard Tavern in Charleston with kindred spirit, West Virginia wanderer, and nationally traveling artist, William Matheny. Be sure to give them a follow and like on their social media at www.instagram.com/hellojuneband/, www.facebook.com/wearehellojune/and https://twitter.com/wearehellojune. Here’s hoping, and a smidgen of hinting, they’ll end up booking a similar release party here in H-town over at the V Club.

V Club keeps on the musical heat with weekend shows

Speaking of the V Club, the club has dialed back to mostly Friday and Saturday night shows. No matter the nights, their sounds are like a good maple syrup boiling down, keeping only the extra sweet, good stuff.

This weekend is testimony to the musical sweet spots. On Friday night, June 13, there’s a killer three-bill filled with internationally-traveling WV

rockers, Rozwell Kid featuring special guests, Bishops. Charleston’s nationally-traveling indie rockers, Time and Distance will also be joining Rozwell Kid on Friday night. Cover is $13 in advance or $15 day of the show.

Then on Saturday, Americana and rock fans won’t want to miss Oklahoma native, John Moreland. The critically acclaimed singer/songwriter has toured with Jason Isbell, and been featured on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Cover is $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Moreland is touring off of his stellar solo album, “Big Bad Luv.” The Greensboro, N.C. duo Old Heavy Hands is scheduled to open Saturday night.

On deck at the V on Saturday, July 21, is veteran rock unit CKY, Jess Margera’s skate punk metal band whose music first fueled the cult favorite video series, “Camp Kill Yourself.” Later years led to the” Jackass” videos made by his brother Bam Margera and their friends. Other national shows added include a Friday, July 27, stop by Bobaflex, and a Saturday, July 28, pairing of Portland’s internationally traveling The Harmed Brothers with Ona, and Maggie.

In August, on Friday, Aug. 10, there’s a hot three-band grass-fed bill of The Wooks, Buffalo Wabs and The Price Hill Hustle and Magnolia Boulevard. This is a pre-party for the already sold-out “Kickin’ It In the Creek” festival, which has quickly turned into the one of the most popular regional festivals taking place later in the summer. Kickin It In the Creek is hosted by the sweet, music-loving family of Byron Roberts.

A rare Wednesday summer show at the V is set for Aug. 15 with the mash-up internationally-known band, Gangstagrass with local openers Moonshine Crossing. Last but not least, the cult favorite guitar slayer, Unknown Hinson returns to the V, one of his favorite clubs, with openers Of The Dell. Go online at www.vclublive.com for a full list of upcoming shows.

Ridin’ away into a setting Kentucky sunset

Colette and The Magnolias headline The Greenup County Music Festival that rolls from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the beautiful Greenbo Lake State Resort Park amphitheater. They will be sharing the stage with Roger Smith, EK Station, Bonnie, Shannon and friends, Chad Stanley and then Sasha and the Magnolias. Members of The Magnolias now-include Jeremy Short on guitar, Chris Justice on bass and young musical talent, Hayden Miles, on the drums. Colette said she hopes to trot out The Magnolias a few times a year.

On Saturday, they will also have some copies of the band’s latest, and never before released CD, “Youngbloods.” Colette also has a gospel project where she recorded with her guitarist, and now out as his own front man, Jeremy Short. Go online at https://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/greenbo-lake/for more info on Greenbo Lake, which has camping, lodge rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool, lake, mini-golf, hiking, biking, and a SCUBA diving refuge.

Go online at https://www.reverbnation.com/sashacolette to keep up Colette who also has a select number of solo shows coming up as well.

Take Me Home Country Roads finally a number 1 song

Last week was a big week for some “Fallout 76” hype here in the Tri-State as Camden Park hosted a fan event and drawing 400 people on Sunday. To add to the hype over July 4th week is the fact that Bethesda Studios released the video game’s theme song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” The featured song is covered by Copilot Music + Sound, with lead vocals by Scout Ford of the a cappella group Span. On July 4, the song shot up the US iTunes singles chart like a firework all the way to No. 1.

An interesting sidenote, the original version, written and performed by John Denver with his co-writers and back-up singers, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert of the Starland Vocal Band, only ever reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. It stayed there for only one week in June of 1971 and became Denver’s first charting single. Later, Denver went on to have four No. 1 songs, but none as timeless as the world’s sing-a-long song, “Country Roads.”

As of this week, the new version of “Country Roads,” whose proceeds are going to Habitat for Humanity, has practically disappeared from the iTunes singles charts sitting at No. 33. Go online at http://www.copilotmusic.com/to find out more about Copilot Music + Sound, which has done sound and songs for such games as “Dishonored 2,” “Fallout 4,” and “Blitzmensch.”

And all that Jazz

A couple of jazz notes. First off, while I got to hit the first three days of the Huntington International Jazz Fest. Unfortunately, we were out of town when the flood of blue notes from the Marsalis Family, the Arturo O’Ferrill family and Jon Batiste made their way to downtown. Although the sounds had residents jiving with jazz blowing straight in off New Orleans’ Gulf Coast. I did happen to run into the festival’s main organizer, Dean Don Van Horn, who reported to the Mayor’s Council on the Arts. Since him and I are members of the Council, we learned the festival had rousing success. The week saw the city packed with SRO crowds, and a final performance happened at Missio Dei Church, formerly Funny Bone Comedy Club, at Pullman Square. Here, residents were treated to the first Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition. Van Horn reported the crowds were bigger and better than expected but the competition, which had been live streamed also drew another 27,000 viewers from around the world to watch the seven finalists.

Van Horn, now retired from Marshall, said he is signed on to direct the festival for another year—in 2019. He’s already working towards planning, getting more people involved and coming out to this new, incredible event. While we can’t wait to see what will transpire, keep in mind you don’t have to wait to see some good jazz for too long. Boykin Jazz Alley Gigs Series at The Paramount Arts Center presents the Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band with Phil DeGreg at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14. Led by Gregg, a professor of jazz studies at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, the group, which has been round since 1996. They have recorded six CDs and played all over the U.S. on river and ocean cruise ships, along with touring overseas in Germany. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 606-324-0007, on our website www.paramountartscente.com or by visiting the box office at 1300 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, Kentucky.

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

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