On Sunday, April 29, the final show of Years of Farming’s 2017/2018 series is excited to feature four-time SPBGMA Female Vocalist of the Year Alecia Nugent at 2 p.m., at Double S Entertainment, 150 Foster Street, Flemingsburg.
The West Liberty Mountain Boys will be the opening band. Cost of tickets will be $15, available in advance or at the door. Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult are admitted free. Attendees will have the chance to win door prizes provided by our sponsors. We will be drawing for our sixth winner of an instrument, this time an autographed banjo, that we are selling chances on. Tickets are $3 each or 2/$5 and are still available until the end of the show Sunday.
Alecia Nugent of Hickory Grove, Louisiana who now resides in Nashville, Tenn., was one of the most celebrated bluegrass and country singers across America’s heartland. Alecia took some time away from her musical career but is now working on a new CD to be released in the near future. Her latest CD is “Hillbilly Goddess.” Featuring stellar support from producer Carl Jackson, duet partner Bradley Walker, J.D. Crowe, members of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Blue Highway, The Dan Tyminski Band and The Infamous Stringdusters, Hillbilly Goddess is major step forward from one of the great voices in American music: Alecia Nugent.
As Alecia sings in the upbeat “Nugent Family Band,” her upbringing was saturated with the sounds of bluegrass and gospel. Her father’s Southland Bluegrass Band trained her in tradition. By the time she was in her teens, she was the group’s lead singer. Alecia was schooled in the sounds of The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and other bluegrass masters. On her own, she developed a taste for country-music greats such as George Jones, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. That’s why she can pull off a honky-tonk weeper as brilliantly as she can. Her sublime harmony vocalists on that track are Bluegrass Male Vocalist of the Year Bradley Walker and Alecia’s producer, Carl Jackson. Carl has been in her cheerleading section for years. When Mississippi bluegrass promoter Johnny Stringer volunteered to bankroll Alecia’s debut album in 2004, she turned to Carl for help. Carl had sung with her at a festival 15 years earlier and had never forgotten the sound of her extraordinary voice.
Carl not only co-wrote three tunes for Nugent, he produced the sterling-silver singer’s reinterpretations of Flatt and Stanley classics, her delicious revival of Jenny Lou Carson’s “Jealous Heart,” dynamic performances of tunes from the pens of Larry Cordle and Jerry Salley, among others, and even a bluegrass-ified arrangement of “But I Do,” an obscure bopper by the former Louisiana Hayride rockabilly act Tibby Edwards. Carl Jackson’s endorsement attracted such stellar sidemen as Ronnie McCoury, Aubrey Haynie and Randy Kohrs to Alecia’s debut disc, not to mention harmony vocals by the likes of Sonya Isaacs, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Rhonda Vincent. It also attracted the attention of famed WSM disc jockey Eddie Stubbs, who became a booster. And then it attracted Rounder Records.
In 2006, Rounder issued Nugent’s breakthrough album A Little Girl…A Big Four-Lane. Jackson was once again in the producer’s chair. Once more a group of bluegrass A-listers gathered for the project – Adam Steffey, Jim Van Cleve, Cia Cherryholmes, Rob Ickes, Doyle Lawson, Jamie Dailey and Alison Krauss among them. And once again, the repertoire was drawn from the finest country and bluegrass tunesmiths. Not the least of them were Dixie and Tom T. Hall, whose rippling, nostalgic “I Cried All the Way to Kentucky” was one of the album’s many highlights. When Alecia showcased those 2006 tunes in Nashville, she was proclaimed a “hillbilly goddess” by Nashville music critic Robert K. Oermann. That offhand nickname has now been transformed into the title tune of her third Rounder album. Hillbilly Goddess plowed some new ground, digging into lyrics with more poetry, complexity and depth than ever before. Alecia’s story telling abilities are also better than ever on this collection. On this collection, Alecia emerges as a songwriter, as well.
Nugent brings extraordinary believability to everything she sings. And once again, Jackson surrounded her with instrumentalists who underscore her emotions at every turn – Andy Leftwich, Tim Stafford, J.D. Crowe, Andy Falco, Rob Ickes and Adam Steffey among them.
West Liberty Mountain Boys, is a local bluegrass group based out of Morgan County. The band members are from Morgan and surrounding counties. Lead singer and guitar player Dylan Hager, 17, from Ezel, has been with WLMB since early 2017. His soulful singing and classic country roots put you in mind of local singer Keith Whitley back in his Bluegrass days. He adds a favor to the band. Johnathan Keeton, 18, from Wrigley, plays banjo and sings harmony for WLMB. He is one of the original members of WLMB. His driving banjo playing keep the music hot and adds drive to the band. Josh Atkins, 25, of Farmers, plays mandolin and sings lead and harmony. Josh has been a seasoned veteran by being a superior vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for years. Matt Bailey, 18, from West Liberty, plays bass and sings harmony and lead. He is the only other original member of WLMB. Together they are a bluegrass powerhouse.
From day one our goal at Years of Farming is to not only promote bluegrass music in our area, but also to promote our local businesses. We are pleased to be sponsored by 48 local businesses that employ more than 500 people in our community including three other great festivals in our area. Most of our sponsors have sponsored all our shows we have scheduled since 2011. We appreciate our sponsors whether this is their first show to sponsor or if they have sponsored all and we hope you will thank them for helping us bring such great groups to Flemingsburg. Please take the time to thank our many Fleming County businesses for helping us bring great bluegrass music to Flemingsburg.
We hope you will join us at Years of Farming for an afternoon of awesome bluegrass music. It is a great opportunity to see this caliber of artists in our area in an indoor facility. If you are not familiar with any of our bands, whether a feature band or an opening band, check their websites and/or YouTube for some of their music and history. This April 29 show is our finale for the 2017/2018 season but our shows will resume in October. Keep checking our website www.yearsoffarming.comfor our next schedule.