Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chris Stapleton receives three ACM Award nominations

This morning, the Academy of Country Music announced the nominees for the ACM Awards.  Interestingly, Sturgill Simpson, who was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Album was left out of any of the nominees.  However, fellow Kentuckian, reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Stapleton is nominated in three categories. Once again, Stapleton is nominated in both the Male Vocalist of the Year category, and the Song of the Year category with “Tennessee Whiskey.”  Also, Stapleton received a nod in the Video of the Year category for “Fire Away.”.  Below is the complete list of nominees for the 2017 ACM Awards.  Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will return to host for the second consecutive year. The ACM Awards® are produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 2 (live 8:00-11:00 PM) on the CBS Television Network.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sturgill Simpson's revolution is now

Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album for his critically acclaimed "A Sailor's Guide to Earth."  The award was presented during the pre-telecast of the awards.  Below is Sturgill Simpson's acceptance speech:

"Like six years ago, I was in Utah working on the railroad, writing songs at night.  My wife made me quit that job and move to Nashville, so thanks babe. My son was born; I spent that spent first year on the road, missing them, and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have written this album, so I have to thank them.  And I guess the revolution won’t be televised.  Thank you.”

Watch Sturgill Simpson perform "All Around You" on the Grammy Awards:

Loretta Lynn honored at Pre-Grammy event

Photo: David McClister
Saturday night, country music legend, Loretta Lynn was honored by the Americana Music Association as a salute to her living legend status.  Quite a few artists were on hand to sing in tribute to Loretta Lynn at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

About two dozen music artists of multiple genres were a part of the two hour salute to Loretta Lynn.  Loretta Lynn opted to not travel 2,000 bus trip from her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, and she doesn't like to fly.  Instead, she wrote a letter that Brandy Clark read, thanking everyone for the tribute.  Two special people were on hand that are close to Loretta Lynn - her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and granddaughter Emmy Rose. Both performed songs in her honor as well, keeping the vocal 

Here's the setlist:
“Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” — the O’Connor Band
“You Wanna Give Me a Lift” — Sierra Hull
“Silver Threads and Golden Needles” — Leslie Stevens
“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” — Shannon McNally
“The Home You’re Tearing Down” — ZZ Ward
“In the Pines” — Fantastic Negrito
“Fist City” — Wheeler Walker Jr.
“Hello Darlin’” — Kesha
“I Wanna Be Free” — Jack Ingram
“After the Fire is Gone” — Ingram and McNally
“Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone)” — Lori McKenna with McNally
“You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” — McKenna and Robbie Fulks
“The Pill” — Fulks
“Whispering Sea” — Joe Henry
“Everything It Takes” — Patsy Lynn Russell with John Carter Cash
“Memaw’s Guitar” — Emmy Rose
“Lay Me Down” — Emmy Rose and Hank Compton
“You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” — Brandy Clark
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” — Brandy Clark
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” — cast

Friday, February 10, 2017

Thursday Night Live concert series announces lineup

Each summer, the city of London, Kentucky, hosts their annual Thursday Night Live Series.  It helps promote local and regional acts, as well as invite some national acts to the area.  The London Sentinel-Echo made the official announcement of the 2017 Thursday Night Live acts.  All concerts are held on Main Street in front of the Laurel County Courthouse each Thursday evening at 7:00 PM.  Available nearby parking is at the Garage on 5th Street and Broad Street, as well as on street parking spaces.  All of the shows are free of charge and open to the public.

2017 Thursday Night Live! Concert Series Schedule (click on name for link)
June 1: Grass Roots Revival with Elvie Shane
June 15:  Zippy's Clutch (Rockabilly Hall of Fame Members)
June 22: Grayson Jenkins with The Greg Finger Band opening
June 29: Blue Highway with Heidi and Ryan opening
July 20: Appalachian Ladies Night featuring The Local Honeys and Senora May Childers opening
July 27: Rachel Croe with Caleb Gilbert and the Tarshack Revival opening
August 3: Creek Don't Rise with Bob of the Dell opening
August 10: Blue Crawdads with The Wrong Party opening

For more information on Thursday Night Live, be sure to check out their Facebook page at

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Crystal Gayle becomes newest member of the Grand Ole Opry

Loretta Lynn with Crystal Gayle, the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Photo by Chris Hollo.
Grammy-winning songstress Crystal Gayle was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Saturday evening at the Ryman Auditorium by her sister and Opry legend, Loretta Lynn. Gayle made her Opry debut 50 years ago on the Ryman stage, singing the country classic Ribbon of Darkness at age 16. She had been publicly invited to join the Opry by fellow member Carrie Underwood in November.

“We’ve been together a long time, honey. And we’ve never had a fight,” Loretta Lynn said. “It was the greatest moment of my life when they made me a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1962. I know she is just as happy as I was then.” “Being a member of the Opry is just incredible,” Crystal Gayle beamed. “It’s really hard to comprehend. I have felt like a part of the Opry for all these years. Now, I’m official.”
Loretta Lynn inducting her sister, Crystal Gayle, into the Grand Ole Opry on January 21, 2017. Photo by Chris Hollo.
Crystal Gayle is an award-winning country music icon whose reign in the music business includes 20 No. 1 country hits, six albums certified Gold by the RIAA and the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales with her 1977 album, We Must Believe in Magic. Her her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, became an iconic staple and solidified her as one of the top female vocalists during the 1970s and 1980s. Her list of platinum and gold was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA's "Female Vocalist of the Year," for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for "Best Female Vocal Performance," thanks to her beloved "Brown Eyes" - a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy of Country Music Awards for three of their "Top Female Vocalist" statuettes. 

Crystal is the recipient of three "American Music Awards," voted by the nation as America's "Favorite Female Artist." Perhaps nothing sums up Crystal's career achievements as well as being awarded with a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2009. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister (by 19 years) of singer Loretta Lynn, and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. 

Gayle also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near Lynn's star. In 2008, Crystal Gayle was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.  

In August 2016, the Academy of Country Music honored Crystal with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award during the 10th Annual ACM Honors.

For more information on Crystal Gayle, be sure to visit

Monday, January 16, 2017

Meet Kenny Rogers in Kentucky and benefit CASA of the Bluegrass

Kenny Rogers - Photo by Piper Ferguson
Central Kentucky residents have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to personally meet country music icon and “The Gambler,” Kenny Rogers, when he makes his last stop in Danville at the Norton Center For The Arts on April 8 as part of his final world tour, The Gambler’s Last Deal Tour. In an online silent auction to benefit CASA of the Bluegrass, two exclusive VIP meet-and-greet tickets to meet Rogers backstage before his concert, along with two premium-seating concert tickets, will be up for the highest bidder’s grabs for ten days on from January 15 to January 25, 2017.

Donations are tax-deductible, and all proceeds will benefit CASA of the Bluegrass, which serves to advance the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Anderson, Boyle, Franklin, and Mercer County Family Court Systems through the training and support of community volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates working with children, the family, and the court. Currently, there is an increased demand for CASA volunteers and training.

“CASA volunteers are flies on the wall during some of the most horrific events in a child’s life, and some of the most wonderful,” said Laura Guerrant, executive director for CASA of the Bluegrass. “It can be emotional at times; it can be draining at times. But the end result of knowing that you helped ensure the child’s safety and permanency… that is exciting. That is the ultimate goal. There’s nothing better than seeing a family reunited or a child adopted,” Guerrant added.

The starting bid for the VIP package is $100, with hopes the charity can raise much more – all of which will go directly to funding the efforts of CASA of the Bluegrass. Interested donors can place their bids by visiting the homepage of and clicking the “Kenny Rogers VIP Package Live Auction” button at the top, which will take them directly to the listing at Or they can access the direct eBay link: Final payment is processed through PayPal.

Throughout his unprecedented career, Kenny Rogers has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide and is the RIAA’s eighth best-selling male solo artist of all time. The first country artist to consistently sell out arenas, Rogers quickly became a pop superstar as well with smash hits like “Lucille,” “Lady,” “Islands In The Stream,” “You Decorated My Life,” “The Gambler,” and many more.

In 2015, Rogers was named CMT’s Artist Of A Lifetime, a career highlight preceded by his three GRAMMY Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, 19 American Music Awards, eight Academy Of Country Music (ACM) Awards and six Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. Last year, he announced his retirement on the Today Show and commenced The Gambler’s Last Deal Tour.

“I’m really looking forward to performing in Kentucky again,” Rogers told The Advocate-Messenger in a recent interview. “I love your part of the country and the people there.”

For more information on the silent auction to benefit CASA of the Bluegrass, visit or call Amanda Clark at 502-419-8934.

For more information on Kenny Rogers, visit

Bill Monroe box set to feature outtakes of popular songs

Bill Monroe Box Set - from Richard Weize Archives
Bluegrass music fans will enjoy hearing that very unique limited edition box set will be released of Bill Monroe recordings.  The recordings for DECCA in 1950-51 from the Castle Studio have been released through the Richard Weize Archives, a division of Rockstar Records, Ltd.  The recordings feature lead singers Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield.  Unlike other box sets, this one will include all of the outtakes of all tracks, none of which were previously issued.  The box set will be released on February 24, 2017.

For musicians and careful listeners who have studied that spectacular recording for years, it's as though a new set of Stone Tablets has been found. It also means the "tape blip" we've always tolerated in "The First Whippoorwill" is now corrected, as the previously issued take was from a faulty tape dub whereas the new 1951 version is from the original master.

Accompanying the box set is a  revised discography by Neil Rosenberg, and notes by Dick Spottswood (edited by Rosenberg) with recollections by Monroe fiddler Charlie Smith.  Below is a track listing per cd, but note that each song has multiple recorded versions on each cd.  Only 1,000 copies of this collection will be released, so be sure to order a copy.  To order your copy of the box set, be sure click here to visit Rock Star Records.

CD 1
Bluegrass Ramble
New Mule Skinner Blues
My Little Georgia Rose
Memories of You
I'm On My Way to the Old Home
Alabama Waltz
I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome
I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning
Boat of Love

CD 2
The Old Fiddler
Uncle Pen
When the Golden Leaves Begin to Fall
Lord Protect My Soul
River of Death
Letter From My Darlin
On the Old Kentucky Shore
Raw Hide

CD 3
Poison Love
Kentucky Waltz
Prisoner's Song
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Angels Rock Me to Sleep
Brakeman's Blues
Travelin' Blues

CD 4
When the Cactus is in Bloom
Sailor's Plea
My Carolina Sunshine Girl
Ben Dewberry's Final Run
Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia
Those Gambler's Blues
Highway of Sorrow
Rotation Blues

CD 5
Lonesome Truck Driver's Blues
Sugar Coated Love
Cabin of Love
You're Drifting Away
Get Down on Your Knees and Pray
Christmas Time's A-Coming
The First Whipporwill

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Watch Sturgill Simpson perform on Saturday Night Live

Sturgill Simpson - Saturday Night Live Guest on January 14, 2017
Kentucky native, Sturgill Simpson, exceeded everyone's expectations with his explosive performance of "Call to Arms," complete with Miles Miller's cymbal falling off towards the end of the song and Sturgill putting a stamp into the performance with throwing his guitar into the ground.  

Sturgill Simpson has made a name for himself over the years.  His family are originally from Breathitt County, Kentucky, before moving to Versailles, Kentucky.  Sturgill has performed throughout Kentucky, as well as the world, having reached across the ocean throughout Europe with successful tours.  Most notably, he recently received Grammy Award nominations for Best Album Overall and Best Country Album for "A Sailor's Guide to Earth."  The album itself was done for his young son, as well as in tribute to when Sturgill spent his years in the Navy.

Miles Miller, another fellow Kentucky native, being from Versailles, has been gaining notice with his explosive drumming alongside Sturgill.  Needless to say, both have placed a spotlight onto Kentucky with their unique sound.  The Saturday Night Live performance showcased a sound as if you mixed Ralph Stanley, Keith Whitley, and Ray Charles.  As you could say, when Appalachian soul meets the soul of New Orleans.

Watch the performance of Sturgill Simpson performing  "Call to Arms" and "Keep It Between the Lines" on Saturday Night Live below:

KY Artist to Watch: Tyler Childers

Kentucky Country Music Artist of the Week for January 15, 2016
Tyler Childers of Paintsville, Kentucky
Tyler Childers - photo by Melissa Stillwell
Eastern Kentucky native, Tyler Childers, has caught the ears of many throughout the Appalachian region. His rustic vocals with lyrics to bring you back home caught our attention. Tyler Childers comes from the same neck of the woods as many others of east Kentucky fame - Dwight Yoakam, Loretta Lynn, Chris Stapleton, and more along US 23, the Country Music Highway. He has been featured in quite a few festivals throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Be sure to check out Tyler Childers at the links below:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Country Music Hall of Fame to honor Loretta Lynn with special exhibit

Country Music Hall of Fame member, Loretta Lynn, will soon be getting her own exhibit on display. The exhibit will showcase Loretta Lynn's artifacts, costumes, and personal items from six decades in the music business.  It will open on August 25, 2017 and be on display through June 2018.

"I am so happy the Country Music Hall of Fame has asked me to be one of their main exhibits in 2017... gonna show off my 50 some odd years in country music," Lynn says of the upcoming exhibition. "They best have a big space... I have a lot of stuff!". 

On her 85th birthday on April 14th, Loretta Lynn will be celebrating by performing at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  In 1960, she made her Grand Ole Opry debut on the same stage.  Her current album, "Full Circle," is nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album.