WHEN: Friday January 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm
WHERE: Renaissance Arts Center Theatre in Kingsport, Tennessee
COST: Reserved Seats $25 Book now: www.EngageKingsport.com (423) 392-8414
KINGSPORT – The Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts and Engage Kingsport present an evening with Grammy nominated contemporary bluegrass band Blue Highway and special guest The Loose Strings Band on January 15, 2016 at the beautiful Renaissance Arts Center Theatre in Kingsport. This show will open the Engage Kingsport Performing Arts Series of 2016. All tickets are for reserved seats and available now at www.EngageKingsport.com or by calling (423) 392-8414.
Blue Highway is indisputably one of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass. The bands eleven exceptional albums and compelling live performances give proof to the stellar reviews, Grammy nominations, and numerous awards earned by the band since it first took the stage on December 31, 1994. Blue Highway was honored to be nominated for a cumulative eight awards at the 26th Annual IBMA Awards held last October in Raleigh, NC. Blue Highway has earned a collective 25 IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award and two Grammy nominations as a band, plus three prestigious Grammy Awards among its members.
Last year at this time, Blue Highway stormed national airplay charts sending “The Game” soaring to #1 on the national Bluegrass Unlimited Album Chart, holding firm at #1 for 7 consecutive months (Jun-Dec 2014). The IBMA 2012 Vocal Group of the Year also sent the title track of The Game to #1 on multiple charts including Bluegrass Today and Roots Music Report, as well as holding at #1 for three consecutive months on the national Bluegrass Unlimited Song Chart (Aug-Oct 2014).
Blue Highway Announces Gaven Largent as Newest Member
As momentum continues to build for the 21-year strong powerhouse band, Blue Highway broke into 2015 with sold out shows (including a sold out show in Kingsport in January 2015!) accounting for half their shows to date. On December 9, 2015 the band announced its new member, Gaven Largent, as dobro player, filling the spot which opened when founding member Rob Ickes departed three weeks ago.
Gaven grew up in a musical family spanning five generations in the heart of Virginias Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, the hometown of legendary Patsy Cline. Gaven worked on his great grandparents farm from the time he was a youngster. The high value his family placed on music, honesty, and hard work enabled him to become a fine and multi-talented young man, gifted with most anything his hands touch, from playing dobro, guitar, bass, banjo, and mandolin, to fine-tuning the engines of vintage tractors like McCormick Farmalls and Minneapolis Molines. Largent began playing guitar at age 8, resophonic guitar at age 9, and at age 13 was honored to be invited to perform with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
Since 2012 Largent has performed in several bands including Buds Collective, Lonesome Highway, and most recently Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. Gaven is a true find for Blue Highway, said Wayne Taylor. Hes a great person and the perfect person to fill this spot in the band! Im so excited to have Gaven in the band! said Jason Burleson. He’s an amazing dobro player and an all-around great musician and good guy. I can’t wait for everyone to hear this cat!‚ Gaven has really impressed me in the short time I’ve known him, both as a musician and person, said Tim Stafford. He’s a natural, and his talent and dedication to his instrument and the music is inspiring. We’re very excited to have him in the group! We couldn’t have found a better musician for this spot than Gaven, echoed Shawn Lane, who summed it all up, relaying, Gaven rocks!!
Gaven grew up listening to Blue Highway, but came to meet the members of the band through his good friend, Jacob Burleson, son of Blue Highway banjo player, Jason Burleson.
Largent expressed his excitement to be invited join Blue Highway:
Id first like to say it’s my extreme honor to join a band that has been such a huge influence on the way I think about bluegrass music and the way that I play. Tim, Shawn, Wayne, and Jason are all huge heroes of mine, and as a young dobro player, Rob Ickes has always been one of my idols! He is one of the best, and it’s going to be tough for me to try to follow such a respected and talented musician. But that said, I am very excited for the challenge of learning all these tunes (even though I’ve listened to Blue Highway for years!) and thankful for the opportunity to join the ranks and share the stage with this band. Playing music full time has been a goal and dream for me since I was eight years old when I started, and to do it now seems surreal. I hope I can make all the family, friends and fans proud!
Opening act:‚ The Loose Strings Band
The Loose Strings Band (LSB) is an all-girls band, ranging in age from sixteen to twenty years of age from Galax Virginia. Once known as a youth band, the girls have now crossed over into the adult league and placed thirteenth out of 178 registered bands in the adult competition at the world famous Galax Fiddlers Convention! The band has been together now for nine years, playing at bluegrass conventions, weddings, benefits, churches, reunions, festivals etc.
They are known in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and beyond for their nice blend of tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms. They are also unique in their style since they all play an instrument and sing! Sometimes the sound technicians are not used to providing eight microphones and if they do, it is a rare find! William Nale, father to Ashley and Lindsey, runs the sound for the group and is sometimes called the MIC (man in charge). But as you know, with four girls….. Enough said!
The band has been very blessed through the years to have great parents and family support!‚ They have traveled throughout Southwest Virginia and beyond playing for many different types of events. They have won contests in which one of those wins allowed them to play at the little Nashville Palace in Nashville TN. They have also traveled to Ohio where they were recognized as the best entertainment of the entire travel expo in Columbus. They were also honored to play at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) this past year in Raleigh N.C. They have played in Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina and of course their home in the state of Virginia. They have even been asked to play in Europe! The girls are also excited to be performing on the PBS televised show Song of the Mountains at the famous Lincoln Theater this year. The girls have gone through their early years, high school years and now three of them are in college!
There is a fine balance in their music career, with studies, family and extracurricular activities. Somehow through their love of music, determination, and very busy lives, they have continued to perform and completed two CDs recently.
About the Office of Cultural Arts & Engage Kingsport:
City of Kingsport Mission: To provide economic, educational & quality of life opportunities that create a safe, vibrant & diverse Community.
The Office of Cultural Arts, part of the City of Kingsport, connects, coordinates and engages the public with a creative community. Programs & partnerships include: Art in the Heart Gallery, Public Art Kingsport, The Engage Kingsport Performing Arts Series, the Kingsport Carousel, the Carousel Fine Craft Show and more. They provide a broad range of support to the areas arts organizations. They work in tandem with Engage Kingsport, Inc., the Friends of the Cultural Arts group, a private, volunteer-led 501(c)3 non-profit community organization.
For more information or to purchase tickets to any event contact the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts at (423) 392-8414 or log on to www.EngageKingsport.com