We had a great time last Friday as Create Huntington brought its fourth annual Create Lovington fundraiser over to the Black Sheep Stage at Pullman Square.
It was the second year at that spot which was filled to the brim with some of the city's finest creative spirits, all there to pump some coin into Create's Mini-grant program which has through the years doled out about $28,000 in mini-grants (up to $500) for local community and creative projects.
Just a few of the projects funded in the past have been chess tables in the park, musical artists like Chris Sutton, Ona and Short and Company, Porch Unplugged, Funktafest, the Huntington Music and Arts Festival, Cinema Under the Stars, the Sustainability Fair, pop-up art shows and street music.
Music-wise, I got to join the always funky and always fresh bluegrass unit, Good Ol' Boys and A Girl (Michael and Meagan Valentine and Brandon Branham) to kick off the night which featured a blazing night of music with hip hop artist, Sin Revel, Nic Allen and The Troubled Minds blasting out some killer alt-country, and the evening closer The Settlement - Colten Settle's festival main stage ready tribe that now has ace ax-man Mike Parker shifting over from bass to guitar after bassist Rebecca Harrison joined the band. Look for some big things from The Settlement which took an already full and tight-sounding band (which includes Molly Page on violin) and made it even better.
Although Good Ol' Boys and A Girl doesn't play too often out since Huntington native banjoist Brandon Branham has been nine years gone with the U.S. Navy, the band has been performing out in Htown since 2002 - probably making them one of the longest running bands of their generation. After taping a (soon to be released) video session of one of Branham's originals over at Valentine's Montani Films, Branham said he hopes to roll back more often since he is stationed closer.
That is definitely something I am looking forward to as it's a real treat to saddle up and ride with the band.
As for Lovington, Create Huntington's current board of connectors president, Bill Rosenburger, said the Lovington event cleared $1,500 which all goes to the mini-grant program.
If you have a good idea for an art, music or community project or event that could use a little boost, go online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/createhuntington/ and www.createhuntington.com to fill out a mini-grant application.
Celebrating songwriting in the Gorge
Hats off to a long-time favorite West Virginia songwriter and performer, Fayetteville, West Virginia, songwriter Andrew Adkins, whose Wild Rumpus has rambled far and wide through these hills.
In the past few years, Adkins has been cranking out some mighty fine solo tunes and these days ahead are going to be his brightest as his new solo record, "Who I Am," is due out Friday, March 15, which happily coincides with the airing of his recent appearance West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage, heard round the world on NPR.
Adkins isn't just sitting around waiting for March. This very weekend he's gathering up some of his best songwriting and music-making friends for the Fayette SongWriters Festival that will take place at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, at the historic Fayette Theatre.
On Friday, the event will feature Allan Dale Sizemore, Clinton Collins, Mark Spangler, and special guest, the critically acclaimed Alabama songwriter and visual artist, Abe Partridge.
On Saturday, some of the state's heavyweights such as Ron Sowell, of Mountain Stage, and John Lilly, join Tony Harrah as well as Adkins, who will be performing with an all-star band with whom he recently played Mountain Stage. Those musicians include: Johnny Staats, Bud Carrol, Ammed Solmon, Annie Neely and Clint Lewis.
There will be day time songwriting clinics. Tickets will be $20 for Friday night or $35 for both nights. Money raised goes to the CODA Mountain Academy.
Zombie and Manson tickets on sale today
Just a reminder for rock fans that two iconic metal mad men, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson are bringing their notorious "Twins of Evil" tour to Huntington, Friday, July 12, and those tickets are on sale to the public at 10 a.m. this very morning.
Produced by Live Nation, the co-headlining "Hell Never Dies Tour 2019" North American summer tour kicks off in Baltimore, MD on July 9 and makes stops at Rock USA in Oshkosh, WI and Rock Fest in Cadott, WI.
The tour, which is hitting amphitheaters, festivals and indoor arenas, will be stopping by the Big Sandy Superstore Arena on the third date of the tour, Friday, July 12.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at LiveNation.com and at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box office
Tickets are $99.50 (PIT-GA standing only), $79.50, $59.50, $49.50, $39.50 additional fee may apply.
Zombie, who is well known as a filmmaker and author as well, last rocked Huntington in October 2015 with Godsmack and then in 2013 with Korn. Zombie's new album is due out later this year and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his new film "Three From Hell."
Marilyn Manson is working on the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2017 release "Heaven Upside Down." More details on upcoming projects to be announced soon.
Tickets on sale for W.B. Walker's Old Soul Radio Show live
W.B. Walker's award-winning real country podcast, the Old Soul Radio Show (recorded straight outta Dingess, West Virginia) celebrates its annual anniversary in style each year at the V Club.
As always, W.B., has roped in more talent than should be legal and this year is no exception as Sasketchewan, Canada native country artist Colter Wall headlines a talent-laden show on Saturday, May 11 that also includes a rare performance by The Horse Traders, as well as Justin Wells, Bob Summer, Coby Langham and The Citizen Band, Justin Payne, Chelsea Nolan, Tony Harrah, The Wine Tree at the V Club.
Tickets are $25 and go on sale at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at holdmyticket.com for this ages 18 and up show.
TV premieres from classically laced banjo to blues
We've got a couple really cool music-related TV premieres this weekend.
At 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, the television special Songs of Rural America starring The Ohio Valley Symphony and folk singer Michael Johnathon will premiere on RFDTV. The show was recorded live at the 1895-built Ariel Opera House in Gallipolis, Ohio. RFDTV is offering the premiere as part of Johnathon's "Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour."
Johnathon, the host of the Lexington, Ky.-based "Woodsongs" which airs in millions of TV homes in this country and abroad on a weekly basis, wrote "Songs of Rural America,"with Nashville arranger, Joshua Carter, to create the orchestrations and the show that premiered live Oct. 6 with the OVS under the direction of conductor Tim Berens who said in a release, "We had a wonderful time exploring the centuries-old relationship between folk and classical music."
At 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, you can check out the release of The Ditty TV Concert Series premiere of Short and Company that was taped back in January when red-hot guitarist and blues rocker Jeremy Short was down in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.
DittyTV is accessible on the web and on any connected device, and also on your TV set via AppleTV, FireTV, Roku, GoogleTV, Sony and LG Smart Televisions, and through cable providers with digital service, such as Mediacom, Comcast and Cox via a Tivo box.
Or you can watch online via: https://dittytv.com/watch/
My road trip pick
Spring music festivals are just around but in the meantime you can get melted as The Nelsonville Music Festival and Archie Fox Live present a new live music experience, the MELTED Music Festival, featuring Ty Segall & White Fence, Black Lips, Kikagaku Moyo, Deerhoof, Cherry Glazerr, Heron Oblivion, JJUUJJUU, Ma Holos, DANA, and Hongo Gonzo Liquid Light Show.
MELTED will take place 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at The Bluestone, 583 East Broad St., in Columbus, Ohio. Doors open at 1 p.m., and there will be a record sale from 1 to 8 p.m. with live music starting at 2 p.m. Food trucks will be on the patio throughout the event. Tickets are going fast but are still available in advance for $69 from meltedmusicfest.com. Tickets are also available at Lost Weekend Records, Used Kids, and Spoonful Records all in Columbus, Ohio with no added ticket fees. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door for $75 on Sunday
Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.