We are excited to announce the Country Music Highway Tribute Show performers for Saturday, August 12 at the Mountain Heritage Park. It is presented by Double Kwik. The event is FREE and will feature food trucks, other concessions, and arts and craft vendors!
The event will open at 11 a.m. with food, artisan, and crafters. The music will begin at 2 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn or camping chair. There is plenty of FREE public parking available in downtown Whitesburg. We’ve created a map to outline the parking areas within a short distance of Mountain Heritage Park.
This is the second of three stops across the Country Music Highway this summer.
The final event is:
August 19 | Prestonsburg at the Mountain Arts Center
The finale at Mountain Arts Center is a ticketed 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 the Peoples Bank Box Office. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards arts education at the Mountain Arts Center.
The Country Music Highway
There’s not a stretch of road in the world that has been the home to more Country Music stars and icons. From The Judds, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakum, Gary Stewart, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, and the late Naomi Judd, Keith Whitley, and Loretta Lynn.
Up-and-coming stars of the Highway will pay homage to those stars and icons while performing original content.
Here’s a list of confirmed performers for the August 12 show in Whitesburg.
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.
Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) is coordinating the events in collaboration 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 Whitesburg show is the second of a three-stop series on the Country Music Highway. The finale of the Country Music Highway Tribute Show will be Saturday, August 19 at the Mountain Arts Center. 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 the Peoples Bank Box Office.
“This collaboration has exceeded our expectations,” said Joshua Ball, Chief Operating Officer at SOAR. “We have received a high number of performer applications, as well as vendor applications. Our communities and the region have rallied around this, and we are excited to provide a first-class experience for locals and those who travel to our region to take in one — or all of our shows.”
The Country Music Highway Tribute Show is presented by Double Kwik and sponsored by Kentucky Tourism, Addiction Recovery Care, Kentucky Power, Whitaker Bank, Backroads of Appalachia, Foothills Communication, Thacker Grigsby Communications, TVS Cable, and Ale-8-One.
For more information, visit www.cmhtributeshow.com.