Dave Lavender: Area musicians already very productive in 2012
The year 2012 is just rocketing out of the gates for area music fans.
Already this year, I've laid ears on three quite amazing new CDs by such area stalwarts as Bud Carroll, The Carpenter Ants and Sasha Colette and the Magnolias.
While Bud quietly shot out his stellar CD via the bandcamp website, the Ants and the Magnolias have a couple CD release parties on the books and Bud will join the Ants party on Saturday. Over at The Empty Glass in Charleston, Carroll's jangly-pop unit, AC30 (which just cranked out a rare piece of local vinyl of its debut record) perform at a CD release party for The Carpenter Ants, with whom Carroll has rocked out with on occasion.
The veteran Carpenter Ants are celebrating the release of "Ants and Uncles," their first full-length CD since 2003's "Ants In Your Pants."
Recorded in Nashville at Wayne Moss' legendary Cinderella Studios and produced with Don Dixon, "Ants and Uncles," is flavored with the tasty picking of guest guitarist Bill Kirchen and features such special guests as dobro master Jerry Douglas playing lap steel, pedal steel Hall of Famer Russ Hicks, keyboardist John Deaderick, great gospel singer Melody Jordan, Larry Groce and Bill Kimmons.
As for Colette, you'll want to get this on the calendar for next week as the powerhouse singer/songwriter and her band, The Magnolias, will be celebrating the release of their new CD, "Ridin' Away" Saturday, Jan. 28, at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington with a pair of excellent fellow Kentucky artists on the bill, Tyler Childers and from Lexington, The Switchmen.
Check back next week here in the H-D, when freelancer Nick Harrah will have a nice ink spill on Colette's mighty-fine new CD.
Honey Badger on the slopes and now on Bandcamp
Colette, of course, was one of the 11 different indie artists from Huntington that were featured in the Huntington Underground's two-CD fall samplers, Rooster and Honey Badger that has been heard recently in some pretty wide circles. It's been sent to radio stations in the region and has even been heard pouring down from yonder mountains.
In fact, we heard the sampler last weekend while sliding down the slopes at Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Davis, W.Va., as they were playing the rocking CD over the outdoor loud speakers at the mountain ski resort.
You don't have to slip slide away to hear the new CD, you can now go online at huntingtonunderground.bandcamp.com and download the samplers either for free, or you can also make a donation as well to help the bands promote the Huntington scene.
Incoming Newsboys and Paper Airplanes
Two concerts that go on sale today. The female with the most Grammy wins to her credit, Alison Krauss, is armed once again with her stellar bluegrass unit, Union Station, featuring Jerry "Flux" Douglas, and they will be playing tunes off their new CD, "Paper Airplanes," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium.
Tickets are $59.50 and $49.50 and are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, and at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium box office.
On sale at noon Friday, Jan. 20, are tickets for a Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center performance by veteran Christian pop rockers, Newsboys at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11.
Tickets will be $20, $25, $30 and a limited number of VIP seats for $82.50. The VIP tickets include a meet and greet opportunity. A portion of the VIP ticket proceeds support Compassion International's child trafficking initiatives. Other major sponsors supporting the tour are I Am Second and Interstate Batteries.
Tickets will be available at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone 800-745-3000 and the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to buy their tickets together and will receive $5 off of each of the tickets purchased in the $25 price level. Groups should call 304-696-5990 ext. 7.
Joining Newsboys on the tour will be special guests The City Harmonic (winners of GMA Canada's New Artist of the Year award), the high-energy pop foursome Anthem Lights, the rock-driven group Abandon and youth evangelist Bob Lenz.
Dinner and the blues
A couple of blues notes from the Mountain State. Hawk's Nest State Park in Ansted, W.Va., has been hosting a new January dinner theater series called, "Dinner Plus."
On Saturday, Jan. 21, the evening's performance will be Lady D's (Doris Fields) performance in her one-woman Bessie Smith show called, "The Lady and the Empress."
Cost is $54.25 per person, tax and gratuities included. You can find out more info online at www.hawksnestsp.com.
Another note on the blues, mark the calendar for May 18-20 as the dates for the Thornhill Auto Group presents The Charlie West Blues Fest 2012 at Haddad Riverfront Park in downtown Charleston. They've got a slew of heavy hitters including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Ruthie Foster, Johnny Rawls, Mahajibee, Diddley Squat, Kristine Jackson, Ms. Freddye, Dennis McClung Blues Band, Jill West and Blues Attack, Six Kinds of Crazy, Fiona Boyes, Slim Fatz and Lascivious Deacons.
In the words of West Virginia Blues Society president Jack Rice "that's six Grammy nominees, three days, two stages, arts and craft fair, Blues Brunches and more to come." And it's all free, You can check out more about the blues festival, online at www.wvbluesociety.org
A spring blast of Kentucky metal
Veteran vocalist, Julie Westlake, who can easily shift gears between nailing down country and metal vocals when she fronts her husband Jeff's metal band Hydrogyn, had put her music on hold a bit in 2011 after some health problems.
Westlake is back in full fury as Hydrogyn is prepping for its fourth release of original material since 2006. "Private Sessions," was recorded both at the Westlake's Ridgeline Studio in Ashland and Patrick Liotard's Peek Studio in Boisseron, France, and you can hear three cuts from the record online now at http://www.reverbnation.com/hydrogyn.
Julie is also tracking vocals with former Dio guitarist, Tracy G and his Tracy G Group for their next release slated for spring, and that also coincides with the release of Tracy's new book that details the career of the Los Angeles guitarist including his six years as guitarist for the late, great Ronnie James Dio.
Julie just did a new audio interview on Jan. 14 about that new CD. Go online at www.rockeyez.com to hear that interview.