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Local band pays tribute to folk great Pete Seeger

Jan. 30, 2014 @ 10:24 PM

To twist a line from the late Lewis Grizzard, Pete Seeger is dead and I don't feel so good myself.

The seminal banjo-armed soul-stirrer who passed away earlier this week at the age of 94, was to folk what Bill Monroe was to bluegrass, what Hank Williams was to country music and what Louis Armstrong was to jazz.

One of the best local tributes to the man who introduced Dr. Martin Luther King to the folk tune, "We Shall Overcome," has been by the 1937 Flood.

They've got an excellent digital tribute (http://1937flood.com/pages/aa-digitaljam.html) in which Charlie Bowen gives some Flood love to Seeger, who was 94, then digs back into the archives for a sweet rendition of the Shaker song, "Simple Gifts," played by Dave Peyton on his autoharp.

A Hall of Fame kind of Friday

It's kind of interesting that tonight, Jan. 31, we've got two not-to-miss concerts that have a West Virginia Music Hall of Fame connection.

First, 2011 WV Music Hall of Famer, Butch Miles, the much respected jazz drummer, puts on a free concert at 7 p.m. at the 45th annual Winter Jazz Festival at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse at Marshall University.

The fest runs through Saturday, Feb. 1. Miles is performing with the Marshall University Jazz Ensemble I along with several other guest performers. In addition, the iconic Blue Wisp Big Band will be performing Saturday. Admission is free but tickets must be picked up at the playhouse ticket office prior to each concert. The box office will open at 5:30 nightly.

Also in Huntington Friday night is the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame director Michael Lipton. He's bringing in his ace soul gospel unit, The Carpenter Ants, on a mini tour with powerhouse vocalist Rev. R.L. Bush - former member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Jackson Southernaires and the Highway QC's.

That show is set for 10 p.m. Friday at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington. Also on the bill is Travis Egnor and The Horse Traders. Bush is also playing Sunday night at The Empty Glass in Charleston with the Ants as well. Admission is $5.

Gone country from the Arena to the V

A big tip of the hat to the country-fried Big Sandy Superstore Arena which was nominated bv the ACM's for Venue of the Year (medium-sized).

It is a tall order going up against legendary venues The Grand Ole Opry House and Red Rocks in Colorado, but as they say on the awards show, it's an honor to be nominated.

Brian Sipe and crew aren't resting on their laurels. They've pulled the trigger on Hunter Hayes, another top shelf country show. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday for that March 21 date. Hayes, who performed on the Grammys kicks off his tour in the area at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky., on March 20 before stopping in Huntington on March 21.

Special guests for the tour are: Danielle Bradbery/Dan & Shay. Ticket prices are reserved $35 and $49.50, general admission (standing) $49.50 (applicable fees may apply).

For fans of killer country songwriting, Alabama native Jason Isbell is about as good as it gets. His last album, "Southeastern" made about everyone's top 10 list in 2013 for good reason.

One of the country's most revered Americana artists is coming to Huntington at March's end. Jason Isbell, formerly of the renowned Southern songblasters, Drive-by Truckers, and a celebrated solo artist in his own right, has just announced his spring tour is stopping in Thursday, March 27 at the V Club.

Opening the show is Cory Branan.

Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31 online at www.vclublive.com.

Post Aquapocalypse Blues

As crisis happen and social injustice visits, folk songs about life's travesties are not far behind.

And thus songs about the on-going Aquapocalypse continue to trickle in.

Jay Hill, the Boone County singer/songwriter who for years backed up Jesco White, has recorded a song written by Travis Vandal, at Hill's Third Street Studios. Vandal's wryly-titled, "The Beer Won't Kill Me (But the Water WIll)," is now up on iTunes.

Marshall University graduate, Charleston resident musician T.J. King teamed up with Kevin Kidd for a rollicking folked-up song "Aquapocalypse in West Virginia" that was recorded live on Coach Kidd in the Morning on Electric 102.7-FM, WVSR in Charleston.

Complete with a video by Toni Lynn, the clever song (recorded a week after the chemical spill) has gotten more than 5,000 views on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie9vD0nrX2Y&feature=youtu.be).

King's got some great zingers in there like saying this is the first time that water has outsold Mountain Dew in West Virginia and rhyming Aquapocalypse with Erin Brockavich.

Fans of the Symphony

The Huntington Symphony Orchestra is conducting an ongoing "Fan of the Week" contest on Facebook in which all fans are eligible to win prizes such as HSO concert tickets and gift certificates to local shops and restaurants.

This past week's prize goes to orchestra fan, Mary Beth Norman. Fans are encouraged to interact with the page in order to further their odds of winning.

The HSO's next concert is March 8 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington. Tickets are available now through the HSO website, office or by calling 304-781-8343.

Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at lavender@herald-dispatch.com.



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