Thursday, February 28, 2013

Northern Kentucky Takes the Stage at the Market

Celebrating its 31st year in 2013, Kentucky Crafted: the Market has been named Number One Fair & Festival in the country four times by the readers of American Style Magazine.  The Southeast Tourism Society has named it a Top 20 Event for 15 years.  This year the Market offers the best in Kentucky traditional and contemporary art, music, film and food all under one roof at the Lexington Convention Center on March 2 and 3 in downtown Lexington, KY.

Of course, my favorite part of the Market is the music.  Not only will there be a Made to be Played Exhibit dedicated to the memory of master luthier, craftsman, instrument inventor and musician, Homer Ledford, but there will also be a stage showcasing performers from the Kentucky Arts Council's Performing Arts Directory.  This year Northern Kentucky is well-represented in that line-up.

At 10 am on Saturday March 2, you can hear the classical/jazz of Richard Goering. Goering delivers beautiful classical, funky finger style and passionate Latin guitar with equal mastery. His improvisations and arrangements of jazz standards and popular tunes engage and captivate. OK, but here's my testimony: I once saw Richard improvise accompaniment for a classical singer on one song and then turn around to play "Fly Me to the Moon" for a jazz ensemble on the next number. With no rehearsal.

If you stick around the Market until 3 pm on Saturday, you will hear Covington's own Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers who do gospel and a cappella like no one else. Begun as a jubilee-style a cappella, sacred gospel quartet, the Brotherhood Singers have expanded their repertoire to include patriotic, holiday and feel good R&B music. Lately, they have sung the National Anthem at major sporting events including Bengals games. I have always marveled at their ability to grab a starting pitch out of thin air.

On Sunday March 3rd at 11 am, you can catch your Northern Kentucky acts back-to-back. Kyle Meadows and Tisa McGraw perform Celtic, Appalachian, and pop tunes on hammered dulcimer and Celtic harp. Believe me, you have never heard "Stop, in the Name of Love" until you've heard Kyle perform it with those hammers. The blend of Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer makes for some breathtaking arrangements.

Up at noon is bluesman extraordinaire, Greg Schaber, who is--in my humble opinion--one of the best guitarists on the planet. He moves easily between blues styles including Mississippi bottleneck, the smoother Texas guitar style and even the rag-influenced Piedmont approach. He ties his jaw-dropping licks together with anecdotes and humor. He once patiently taught me to play a guitar lead for the Motels' "Only the Lonely" note for note.  That, my friends, is a feat in itself.

And besides all of these great Northern Kentucky acts, you can enjoy some straight up jazz, bluegrass, roots, singer songwriter, gypsy jazz, and world as performers like Mitch Barrett, the Reel World String Band, Carla Van Hoose and the Kentucky Travelers, Osland Daily Duo, Heath & Molly and No Tools Loaned grace the Kentucky Stage. One of the most delightful acts scheduled this year is Appalatin, a unique band blending Appalachian and Latin roots who are based in Louisville. You can link to the Kentucky Stage schedule and find all Market ticket information by going to the Kentucky Arts Council website.

This review originally aired on WVXU's Around Cincinnati on February 24, 2013. Listen to the review by clicking here.

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