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The sounds of summer are heating up stages

May 24, 2019

It’s already been an amazing week of music in Huntington and the weekend has not even begun.

While it seemed half the city was out a couple Mondays ago for that epic Slayer concert at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, less than that made the correct call to be out at the V Club on Tuesday night this week as we got a real jewel of a show. A double-barrel southern countryfried cosmic rock blast of The Texas Gentlemen and then The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the V Club. The show was so good that most of the members of H-Town’s nationally touring acts Tyler Childers’ band, The Food Stamps and Ona, both fresh off of big tour runs, were all up in the V to catch the not-to-miss beautiful music of the gents followed by CRB serving it up fresh and smooth.

As a real — and unexpected treat — for musical fans, CRB has a “new” keyboard player as long-time keyboardist Adam MacDougall has departed the band.

That keyboard player is none other than iconic British native Pete Sears, who fits like a glove with the beautifully toned guitar-rich jam of the Brotherhood. Sears is one of the pioneers of early psychedelic rock, having played for decades with Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and, in his early days, Rod Stewart. That is Sears, who also plays bass in Robinson’s country unit, Green Leaf Rustlers, on Stewart’s iconic hit “Maggie May.”

There could not have been a more fitting and soul-stirring cap to the night than when Robinson invited some of the Gents back on stage to slather some of that slide guitar Texas jelly onto a

beautifully shu±ed rendition of The Rolling Stones’ classic, “Let it Bleed.” Sears leaned in to let the organ sounds swirl a gorgeous tapestry of sound out over the audience. And that was just a little slice of Tuesday night in Huntington.

If you need some great music to lean on and to dream on, you are in luck as the “Vahalia” (the V Club), which hosted the red-hot Canadian rock band The Glorious Sons on Thursday, is reeling in some more incredible rock acts and, thankfully, some on the weekend.

On deck as far as national shows will be a May 25 concert with the internationally touring western Kentucky native hard rock unit Black Stone Cherry, and then on Saturday, June 1, a double shot of radio rock with Hinder and Saving Abel.

Go online at www.vclublive.com for more information on those shows.

If you want to catch the Brotherhood, you can hit the road north, just a couple hours away CRB will join such acts as Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Leftover Salmon, Billy Strings, Marcus King Band, Dumpstaphunk, Donna The Buffalo, The Lil Smokies, The Nth Power, and host Dark Star Orchestra at the eighth annual Dark Star Jubilee at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio (just east of Columbus) that runs Friday through Sunday, May 24–26. The Jubilee has camping inside the venue with a wide range including sober camping and family camping. There’s also art, yoga and fun interactive workshops for all ages. Go online at http://darkstarjubilee.com/tickets for tickets.

On sale today: From Swedish metal to state fair country

Some pretty interesting concerts go on sale today. Bringing some cool Halloween-esque flair to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena will be a Friday, Oct. 1, stop by costumed Swedish metal act, Ghost. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 24, for the concert by Ghost, which is currently out on tour with Metallica. Their headlining six-week North America arena tour is titled,“Ultimate Tour Named Death.”

Known for their new No. 1 active rock radio hit “Faith,” Ghost will have support from openers Nothing More. In addition to rich costumes, special effects, and a spectacular light show tailored-made for arenas, the Cardinal, the Ghouls, and the Ghoulettes will take advantage of a series of multi-level platforms and walkways to prowl around on while performing some of Ghost’s fan-favorite songs from the band’s albums and EPs catalogs. The set list will include favorites “Square Hammer,” “Cirice,” “Ashes,” “He Is,” “Year Zero,” “Rats,” “Mummy Dust,” “Life Eternal,” “Dance Macabre” and many more.

Tickets for Huntington’s arena show are $69.50, $59.50 PIT (GA standing only) and $49.50. Additional fees may apply. Go online at www.bigsandyarena.com and ticketmaster.com for tickets on Friday.

Now for something completely different — also on sale Friday morning is a Thursday, Aug. 8, State Fair of West Virginia concert with country hit machine Justin Moore and special guest Arkansas native Ashley McBryde. Go online at http://statefairofwv.com/for more info.

Here comes ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’

Montgomery native John “Some Kind of Wonderful” Ellison is “coming home” to West Virginia for a number of shows and school visits.

Ellison, a 2015 WVMHoF inductee whose song is known around the world, will again headline the WVMHoF’s Garden Party at Cafe Cimino on Sunday May 26. The eighth annual event has become a “must attend” for anyone who likes great food, libations and WV music in a gorgeous riverside setting.

Ellison will perform throughout the day and close the show. Other performers include: 2020 WVMHoF inductee Larry Groce, Jesse Milnes & Emily Miller (of The Sweetback Sisters), and Mark Bates. Ellison’s backing band will be The Carpenter Ants and Randy Gilkey. Tickets are $75 advance and $90 at the door (if not sold out). Call 304-342-4412.

Ellison will also be performing at Piedmont Elementary School, Jerry’s Run Summer Theater, and in Parkersburg (for The Children’s Home Society). He will be one of the guest speakers at the WVMHoF’s Music Career Counseling Program’s visit to Buffalo High School.

Go online at https://wvmusichalloffame.com/for more info.

Kentucky coming to Colorado

Whew, it is going to be a full-on Kentucky invasion out Colorado’s way come late September. Already one young ginger song ninja, Tyler Childers and The Food Stamps, have sold out the 9,525-seat Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater on Sept. 30. The show features some hellacious support acts, the veteran top shelf Texas songsmith Robert Earl Keen, and Town Mountain (a killer band playin’ the V tonight). Add some icing on the cake as “Appalachia On The Rocks” is taking place a day before Childers’ Red Rocks at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Sept. 29. The Appalachia on the Rocks show features Kentucky’s other finest musicians The Wooks, Laid Back Country Picker and Kentucky country soul queen, Chelsea Nolan.

Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I hope to be out at that funky venue in the old Casino Cabaret whose history dates back to the Cotton Club days of the 1930s. A time when jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman took the stage as they toured through Denver. According to their website, over the years the Casino Cabaret has hosted such acts as James Brown, BB King, Ray Charles, Ike & Tina Turner and countless others. Cervantes’ now occupies the building, and has continued the musical legacy since their grand opening in January 2003. Cervantes’ and The Other Side have played host to thousands of live shows including intimate performances with Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), Derek Trucks, Dr. John, Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, Nas, Big Boi, STS9, Sam Bush, Page McConnell of Phish, Branford Marsalis, and Warren Haynes to name a few. Check out more about it at https://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com.

That funk shall be released

The M.F.B. is tanned, rested and ready to go funk up a bunch of stages this summer from their show Thursday, May 30, at Mountain Music Festival to Charleston’s Live on the Levee on June 14 with The Joint Chiefs and an epic Funktafest Pre-Party at the V Club set for Aug. 24 at the V Club.

Get primed up for this one-band festival by heading over to their social media where they just released a killer groovetastic new single, “Big Booty Judy,” that features some sick keyboards and talkbox by Ryan Long of Chattanooga-based band Opposite Box (which will be back at Funktafest).

While I’ll be dropping a full story about the fourth annual Funktafest (Sept. 21) early next week, go ahead and lay some ears on that head-bobbing single at https://themfb.bandcamp.com/track/big-booty-judy.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/MuthaFunkin/on Facebook and on Twitter check ’em out @the_mfb_ funk @oppositebox.

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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