We are ready for the second stop of the Country Music Highway Tribute Show, presented by Double Kwik. It is Saturday, August 12 at the Mountain Heritage Park. Food and Arts and Craft vendors open at 11 a.m. and the music starts and goes non-stop until 10 p.m. The event is FREE, so bring your favorite chair or blanket and join us.
We’ve assembled a great lineup of artists from across the Country Music Highway. Cory Harris and Coaltown Dixie will headline the event.
Here’s the schedule:
- 2 p.m. | Nathan Coots
- 3 p.m. | The Pure and Simple Band
- 4 p.m. | Johnny Pop Day
- 5 p.m. | Solid Ground with Special Guest Don Rigsby
- 6 p.m. | Ben Fugate and the Burnin’ Trash Band
- 7:30 p.m. | Coaltown Dixie
- 9 p.m. | Cory Harris
There are plenty of FREE public parking located near the Mountain Heritage Park. We’ve partnered with Letcher Tourism to create an interactive map to outline the parking areas within a short distance of Mountain Heritage Park.
Meet our Lineup
Cory is a singer/songwriter from Whitesburg. He has been active in the region as a performer for more than 10 years and has been on stages from Nashville to Bristol and throughout southeastern Kentucky. He’s been fortunate enough to share stages with the likes of Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, Sturgill Simpson, Sundy Best, Aaron Tippin, Tyler Farr, Earl Thomas Conley, Chris Knight, and Halfway to Hazard to name a few.
Solid Ground with Special Guest Don Rigsby
Solid Ground is an up-and-coming bluegrass band based out of Eastern Kentucky. The group was established in March of 2023. The band consists of Andrew Rigsby on Guitar, Brayden Maxie is featured on Banjo, Price Harris playing the Bass, and Justin Lemaster on Mandolin.
Eastern Kentucky native Don Rigsby discovered bluegrass music early in life, nurturing his interest through Ralph Stanley records and hanging out with two of Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys, Ricky Skaggs (who happens to be Don’s cousin) and the late Keith Whitley. Soon enough, he would move on to make his own mark with his powerful tenor and distinctive mandolin playing.
Don first began to pursue a musical career while in college. He emerged on the national scene with the Bluegrass Cardinals. Subsequently, he hooked up with J.D. Crowe and the New South. He has also done stints with Charlie Sizemore and Vern Gosdin and eventually became a member of the award-winning Lonesome River Band. In addition, he filled in with the Seldom Scene upon the sudden death of John Duffey, and has been involved with Longview, Rounder’s super-group comprised of top-ranked traditional bluegrass artists. The late ’90s found him releasing solo recordings and undertaking a series of “brother duo” albums with Dudley Connell.
Coaltown Dixie is a classy, energetic all-female bluegrass band hailing from the Appalachian hills of East Kentucky. The band formed in 2009, taking its name from Dixie Hatfield, manager of a coal camp boarding house and the great-grandmother of the band’s bass player. Coaltown Dixie has been the recipient of a National Bluegrass B.O.R.N. (Bands On the Rise Nationally) Award, graced the cover of Music Entertainment magazine, been named Best Traditional Appalachian Music Band by Mountain Top Media’s Best in the Mountains Competition, and has been nominated three consecutive years by the Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards as Best Bluegrass Band.
Coaltown Dixie has been honored with prominent television and radio appearances throughout the Southeast including KET’s “Jubilee” and “Tim Farmer’s Homemade Jam,” “The WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour,” WDVX Knoxville’s “Blue Plate Special,” “CMH 23” and two appearances on Red Barn Radio. Career highlights include packing the house at Suwanee, Georgia’s Everett’s Music Barn on a balmy summer night; numerous appearances at Dollywood’s Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival (it’s never easy to sing over that train!), The Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival and Dr. Ralph Stanley’s Annual Memorial Weekend Festival; sharing the Mountain Arts Center stage with bluegrass superstars Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, The Boxcars and the Lonesome River Band; twice headlining the Rural Roots Concert Series at the Historic Sipp Theater and opening for Larry Sparks and country music stars Bucky Covington and Randy Houser.
As recipients of a Kentucky Foundation for Women “Artist Enrichment” grant in 2021, Coaltown Dixie members helped develop and host the first Mountain Grrl Experience event in Pikeville, Kentucky. This annual arts and music event celebrates the creativity and resilience of Appalachian women. Proceeds from the event benefit Eastern Kentucky women and children who are victims of homelessness or domestic abuse. They write, play and sing our own brand of “high-heeled bluegrass.” Sometimes they wear overalls. Sometimes they wear sequins. Usually in boots.
Ben Fugate and the Burnin’ Trash Band
Ben Fugate & The Burnin’ Trash Band is a six-piece country band hailing from the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. Their mission is to bring a true country sound back for folks to enjoy. With original songs ranging from heartbreak and the bottle to spending a night in the county jail.
Perry County native, Nathan Coots, has been playing guitar since he was five years old and even taught himself how to play the guitar. Coots sees music as his avenue to mix bluegrass, folk, country, and rock sound genres to help capture what he is feeling in the moment. Coots gives credit to his family to help inspire his music as it helps share his feelings in a creative manner – in addition, Coots and his family are huge music lovers. Coots is determined to make music his ultimate career goal.
The Pure & Simple Band
The Pure and Simple Band was formed from a love of familiar music. Mike Wright (vocals/guitar) mentioned Lynyrd Skynyrd in a chance encounter with Travis Fields (vocals/guitar) when he rented a tux from Mike’s business. A friendship formed and began inspiring both gentlemen to start a band. The two recruited Cory Branham (drums) and Robert Barnett (vocals/bass) to complete the outfit. Cory and Robert brought in many influences to the band. Both were heavily influenced by country music. The band began to incorporate country music into their repertoire along with their favorite songs from the 60’s through the 90’s rock and roll. In the last two years, Mike’s son, Jaden Wright joined the band to form a Skynyrd-like 3 guitar attack. The band considers the invitation to perform at the celebration of the Country Music Highway a great honor. They will be bringing their unique brand of rock and roll mixed with the local country artists from Highway 23 flavored in the talent that each member of the band possesses. There will be guitars, Cadillacs, and hillbilly music in spades.
Johnny Pop Day
Johnny Pop Day is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has been entertaining audiences for over two decades. His music draws from a wide range of influences, including blues, soul, rock, and funk, and his performances are known for their high-energy and soulful delivery.
A collaborative effort
We are coordinating the events with tourism agencies and venues all along the Country Music Highway. They include Boyd County Tourism and Convention Bureau, Visit AKY, the Paramount Arts Center, Lawrence County Tourism Commission, Paintsville Tourism, Prestonsburg Tourism, the Mountain Arts Center, Pikeville Tourism, Pikeville/Pike County Tourism, the Appalachian Wireless Arena, and Letcher County Tourism.
The Paintsville show is the first of a three-stop series on the Country Music Highway. The show will travel to Whitesburg on Saturday, August 12. The finale will be at Mountain Arts Center on Saturday, August 19. It is a paid event with music beginning at 2 p.m. and running through the evening. Tickets are $15 (this includes fees) and can be purchased at www.macarts.com or at the Peoples Bank Box Office.
Another way we are supporting those promoting the arts along the Country Music Highway is through a Silent Auction.
The auction has a variety of items, ranging from autographed memorabilia and other fan favorites donated by the stars of the Highway and performing arts venues.
We are adding items every day. Some of the items online now include:
- Autographed Dwight Yoakum Fender Guitar
- Autographed Trace Adkins Fender Guitar
- Autographed Travis Tritt Fender Guitar
- Three Vince Gill gift sets (including autographed items)
- Ricky Skaggs gift set
- Alex Miller gift set
There are other items, such as Cincinnati Reds and Dollywood tickets.
Special thanks to our sponsors and partners
The Country Music Highway Tribute Show would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and partners, including our presenting sponsor Double Kwik.
Other sponsors include:
- Kentucky Tourism
- Foothills Communications
- Thacker Grigsby Communications and TVS Cable
- Addiction Recovery Care
- Backroads of Appalachia
- Pikeville Medical Center
- UK Healthcare
- Kentucky Power
- Whitaker Bank
- Rye Development
- Citizens Bank of Kentucky
Our media sponsors are:
- The Paintsville Herald
- Forcht Broadcasting
- ANI Digital Media
- Appalachian News-Express
- The Hazard Herald
- Floyd County Chronicle and Times
- Mingo Messenger
- Mountain Bargain Hunter
- Kindred Communications
- 93.7 FM The Dawg
Don’t miss the finale of the Country Music Highway Tribute Show, presented by Double Kwik, on Saturday, August 19 at the Mountain Arts Center. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $15 (this includes fees) and can be purchased at www.macarts.com or the Peoples Bank Box Office. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards arts education at the Mountain Arts Center.
Check out the lineup for the Mountain Arts Center show.