The Tri-State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to Herald-Dispatch.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

mic BLOX.jpg

HUNTINGTON — As the pandemic continues to evolve and the city, region and nation respond, safely attending and supporting live events benefits everyone. Here is a look at what is going on in the Tri-State and beyond:

TUNE IN: On the current 20th season of “American Idol,” 19-year-old Louisa, Kentucky, construction worker Noah Thompson has made it to the Top 7 of the singing competition as of last Sunday. Thompson said he had no desire to leave his construction job to pursue singing as a career because he simply did not believe he was talented enough to do it and he has a 1-year-old son to support. His co-workers, however, knew better and secretly signed him up to try out for the competition. Now, after the votes by the public are in and after the world has heard his naturally earthy and real country music voice, Thompson’s run continues Sunday evening on ABC. He may become yet another artist who grew up along nearby U.S. 23, aka the Country Music Highway, who makes a mark in the music world.

HELP IS OUT THERE: Condolences continue to pour in for Ashland-born-and-raised Naomi Judd, who died last weekend just one day before she and her daughter Wynonna Judd were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, making two more U.S. 23 Tri-State natives who have achieved this honor. Naomi’s daughters were courageous in their statement about their mother’s death saying she “lost her battle with mental illness.” If you find yourself struggling similarly, seek out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, where help is available in real time. You can also reach Help4WV by calling or texting 844-435-7498 for immediate help with an addiction or mental health issue. The line is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Tri-State native Tyler Childers continues to blow up on the national music scene, and he is bringing his talented local friends along with him. This year, Childers’ touring schedule includes two shows at the music venue in Colorado known as Red Rocks, an amphitheater created among the red rock formations of the Rocky Mountains. On Sept. 28, Childers performs there with opening acts that include world music singer Noga Erez and local band Luna and the Mountain Jets. “Luna” is Teresa Prince, who is married to David Prince, also known here for his singing alter ego Laid Back Country Picker. He was also one of Childers’ schoolteachers in eastern Kentucky. For the Sept. 29 show at Red Rocks, Childers brings in Lexington, Kentucky, funk band Joslyn and the Sweet Compression. Want to see Joslyn and her band locally? They were recently announced as part of the upcoming 9th Street Live lineup for summer 2022 and will perform Friday, July 1, in downtown Huntington ahead of the Dawg Dazzle fireworks display.

JUST ANNOUNCED: It was recently announced that West Virginia will debut a new music festival July 9. The Hammons Family Fiddle and Banjo Contests and World Class Jam will take place at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton, West Virginia. The event is dedicated to the legendary Hammons Family, who influenced generations of West Virginia musicians from the 1800s to the 1990s before becoming inductees into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. All are encouraged to enter the fiddle and banjo contests, which begin at 9:30 a.m. July 9. Register for $10 online before the festival or in person before 9:30 a.m. on the day of the contests. After the contest prize winners win their $500 earnings in each category, there will be a free concert by The Bing Brothers featuring Jake Krack, Richard Hefner and the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys and Danny Paisley and Southern Grass. All are welcome to join the jam sessions to be hosted that day and evening by musicians such as the IBMA Bluegrass Male Vocalist of the Year Danny Paisley, Richard Hefner, Mike Bing, JR Loudermilk, Henry Barnes and others. More information and an online contest registration form can be found at To learn more about the Hammons Family, go to

SPRING FLING: As for the local calendar this week, Heritage Farm Museum and Village is hosting their Spring Festival on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event will mark the opening of the 26th season of the venue. All museums, wagon rides, petting zoo with new spring critters, nature center, treehouse trek, rock wall, children’s activity barn, live music, great food and more will be open, along with the return of the popular Makerspace exhibits and booths. More information can be found at or 304-522-1244.

COUNTRY CONCERT: On Friday, May 6, Mountain Health Arena will host country music artist Justin Moore. Opening the 7:30 p.m. show will be Granger Smith. Tickets range from $40 to $54. More information can be found at

AT THE LOUD: This weekend, The Loud Music Venue and Beer Garden begins with a celebration of Cinco de Mayo with an Open Mic Night on Thursday, May 5, beginning at 8 p.m.

On Friday, May 6, Baltimore’s Dirty Grass Players band performs with the Restless Leg String Band from Kentucky starting at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, the annual Funktafest Lineup Announcement Party kicks in at 10 p.m. with sets by The M.F.B., The Settlement, BERTH and Charlie Brown Superstar.

Finally, eastern Kentucky singer/songwriter Cole Chaney returns to Huntington for a show Wednesday, May 11, beginning at 9 p.m. Opening the show will be Arthur Hancock.

All shows at The Loud are for those 18 and older. More information about tickets can be found at

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Recommended for you