November 15th, 2006 :: PRESS
Blue Highway to Kick Off Concert Series
"The City of KingsportÌs Cultural Services Division will partner again with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance to present the Celebrate Our Appalachian Heritage concert series as part of the ÏArts Nights, City LightsÓ performance arts series. The first concert of the series will feature Blue Highway on Friday, November 10 at 7:30 PM at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. "
"Blue Highway to Kick Off Concert SeriesThe City of KingsportÌs Cultural Arts Division will partner again with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance to present the Celebrate Our Appalachian Heritage concert series as part of the ÏArts Nights, City LightsÓ performance arts series. The first concert of the series will feature Blue Highway on Friday, November 10 at 7:30 PM at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. ÏThis marks our fifth year of partnering with Cultural Arts Division of Kingsport to showcase our regionÌs living musical heritage,Ó commented Bill Hartley, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance. The concert series, which focuses on traditional music and features local and regional bands, won the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association Arts and Humanities Sections Annual Awards in the category of Music in 2003 and was nominated for arts leadership at the Great Kingsport Arts CouncilÌs 2004. ÏWe could think of no better way to kick off this yearÌs series than by having Blue Highway perform.Ó There are several truly great bluegrass bands on the circuit right now, but not one of them brings to the table the same combination of instrumental, vocal and songwriting chops possessed by Blue Highway. One of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass, Blue Highway excels at every facet of the music, from instrumental dexterity to impeccable vocal interplay to literate, powerful songwriting. Individually, Jason Burleson (banjo, guitar, mandolin), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Shawn Lane (mandolin, fiddle, vocals), Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals), and Wayne Taylor (bass, vocals) are at the forefront of their respective roles, appearing on innumerable projects as sidemen, songwriters, and solo artists. Each member plays his role to perfection, so the band moves from strength to strength, more mature and impressive with each new album. Their latest album, Marbletown, achieves a startling new depth to their songwriting, an even higher level of instrumental interplay, and a vocal blend that is at once effortlessly smooth and ruggedly soulful. Marbletown was recently nominated for International Bluegrass Music AssociationÌs (IBMA) Album of the Year and a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. Two of the songs were also nominated for IBMA Awards, ÏMarbletownÓ for Song of the Year and ÏLazarusÓ for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year.Blue Highway has released six acclaimed albums, received a Grammy nomination, topped the Bluegrass Unlimited radio charts, won a Dove Award and an astonishing 11 International Bluegrass Music Association awards, individually and collectively. Their peers acknowledge their instrumental superiority with not only industry awards, but with the ultimate compliment of being invited to record and perform with some of bluegrass's biggest stars. Members of Blue Highway have worked with Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson, Patty Loveless, and others. Refusing to coast on past glories, Blue Highway continues to push their music to new levels of accomplishment, balancing tradition and innovation, while spread bluegrass to new audiences.The members of Blue Highway have also received recognition for their talent as songwriters. Rob and Jason turn out the heart-pounding instrumentals, while Wayne, Tim and Shawn give Blue Highway a depth of songwriting talent unprecedented in sixty years of bluegrass bands. All three are intelligent and polished writers, and each writes with a distinctive, personal voice and style. As part of their performance, they will be conducting a songwriting workshop at 4:00 PM. ÏWe are happy to be able to add this educational outreach component to their performance,Ó noted Hartley.Admission for the concert is $18; $15 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased in advance by contacting the City of Kingsport Cultural Arts Division at (423) 392-8414. Fees for the workshop will be $15, and space is limited. The performance and workshop are sponsored in part by a Touring Assistance grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information, visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org
This performance is a part of ÏArt Nights, City Lights,Ó a performing arts series featuring music, dance, theatre and storytelling at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. Future concerts in the series will be held on December 15, 2006; February 16, 2007; March 16, 2007; and April 27, 2007. These shows will feature bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, and other styles of music with performances by The Boohers, LightninÌ Charlie, Fire in the Kitchen, the ETSU Pride Bluegrass Band, the Dixie Bee Liners, Dale Jett, Wires and Wood, and Robby Spencer. For more information about the concert series, contact the City of Kingsport Cultural Services Division at (423) 392-8414 or (423) 392-8417, or visit www.kingsportarts.orgThe
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of the living musical heritage of the Appalachian mountains and the cultural traditions that sustain it. The BCMA is funded in part by grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information, call (276) 645-0111 or visit online at www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org