Americana Gospel/Bluegrass Series

The third in our series the The Johnny Staats Project performed June 22, 2019 - Johnny Staats exploded onto the Nashville and national scene in 2000, when his first CD, “Wires and Wood” by The Johnny Staats Project, was the talk of Music City and quickly received international attention and acclaim.  Johnny’s vocals and astonishing guitar and mandolin speed and creativity have since won him a large and varied following worldwide.

Johnny has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show,” CNN shows including “Larry King Live,” the CBS Evening News, CMT Country Music Television, as well as on numerous iconic national programs and stages (including the Grand Ole Opry five times).  He has been featured in People Magazine, Country Music Magazine, the New York Times, the Austin Chronicle, Bluegrass Today, and various other national and regional publications.  Most recently, he has been featured twice on TEDTalks, an internationally viewed program translated into more than 100 languages.

Johnny first established his musical dominance in his home state of West Virginia winning Charleston’s prestigious Vandalia Gathering Mandolin championships in 1996, 1997 and 1999.  1997 was particularly notable for Johnny at the Vandalia Gathering when he won first place in both the mandolin and guitar competitions while also placing third in the fiddling competition.  Early appearances on West Virginia’s “Mountain Stage” NPR Radio Program caught the attention of the music industry and led to the launch of his recording career.

Johnny reformed The Johnny Staats Project in late 2015 to explore, create and perform multiple genres of music beyond the bluegrass he regularly performs with Johnny Staats and The Delivery Boys (his five-piece bluegrass group), and to further expand live performance opportunities and experiences.   JSP music selections and programs are specifically tailored to each booking and often encompass (and sometimes blend) a wide variety of genres, making The Johnny Staats Project a musically agile and versatile group suitable for essentially any venue, event or occasion.

The Johnny Staats Project also features West Virginia natives Rick Poling and Roger Bush, who began playing music together in their pre-teen and teenage years.  Roger is well-known in the mid-Ohio Valley area for his stellar vocals and also brings his distinctive drumming and percussion skills to JSP.  Rick, known to many West Virginians as a former West Virginia University “Mountaineer” mascot as well as an accomplished pianist and vocalist, adds vocals, piano/organ/synth and left-hand keyboard bass to complete JSP’s precise yet rich and full array of instrumental and vocal sounds.  www.JohnnyStaatsProject.com

March 16, 2019 - The second in the series of our music venue's was held presenting:  "Andrew Adkins" - at 7:00 pm.  We are also having a Pot Luck dinner at 6:00 pm prior to the concert, come and join us.

After seven years of fronting the popular Appalachian Stompgrass band The Wild Rumpus at countless festivals, concerts and clubs including Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, and the AMA (American Music Association) as well as writing nearly all of the songs for their 3 studio albums, Andrew has now firmly established his own voice with the release of his 4th solo album. “Who I Am” on Mountain Soul Records.

Produced by Mountain Stage musical director Ron Sowell, recorded by virtuoso guitarist and engineer Bud Carroll and featuring an all star line up on West Virginia musicians, the album showcases Andrew’s wry insightful songwriting and his soulful authentic voice.

Andrew is not only a talented singer songwriter, he is held in high regard as performer by his peers. Often accompanied by his close friend, bass player and long time collaborator Clint Lewis, his performances leave a lasting impression. Here’s what Amanda Platt of the Honey Cutters had to say. “His onstage presence is the perfect mix of humor and humility, putting his audience at ease and drawing them into a songs-cape that originates in the Mountains of West Virginia and stretches to include the emotions and experiences that people of every corner of the country can relate to”.

And this from fellow West Virginian Tim O’Brien -”Andrew brings a likeable everyman to his live performances….his music and the stories he tells us are honest and real. Andrew reminds us that we’re all in this together”.


October 20, 2018 - The Reaching New People Committee is proud to announce the first in an Americana Gospel Series - kicking off October 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm with "The Sycomores" hailing from Boone County they just recently released their first album, "Traveling Mercies" . You may go their website to listen to their new album. Below is an excerpt from their own website http://thesycomores.com/.

The Sycomores’ roots run deep in gospel music. Growing up, Jessica Kirk and Zack Harold’s families both had southern gospel groups that traveled across West Virginia and its surrounding states. When they started playing music together in 2014, they quickly realized they not only shared similar backgrounds, but also had similar ideas about how to approach faith-based music.
The two started writing songs together, combining traditional themes of Christian music with the sounds of country, bluegrass, folk, and rock music. They invited Josh Holstein, a multi-instrumentalist who plays in their church and has recorded several bluegrass gospel albums of his own, and Richard Harold, Zack’s dad and the group’s pastor, to join the band and dubbed their group The Sycomores.
About Traveling Mercy

“Traveling Mercy” the debut album from The Sycomores, can be best described as Americana gospel. The music is heavily influenced by the hymns and southern gospel sounds the band grew up with blended with the country, rock, folk, and bluegrass music that populates their respective record collections.
The title track, featuring West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s “Mountain Stage” drummer Ammed Solomon, debuted on WTSQ’s “Musician’s Edition” in November 2017. Co-host Roger Rabalais asked the band “has Steve Earle ever heard this song?” — a testament to the album’s wide range of musical influences. The songs are delivered with the sincerity and old-time conviction custom to traditional gospel music, and uniquely crafted to achieve diverse appeal.
The Americana influence can be heard on tracks like “Mary Magdalene’s Song” and the band’s haunting arrangement of the gospel standard “My God is Real.” Other tracks like “Out of Egypt” showcase a strong rhythm and blues influence, while “Over and Under” enjoys a traditional country flare. But it’s Kirk and Harold’s lyrics that make The Sycomores’ music truly stand apart, offering honest looks at life and faith, and reinterpreting familiar Bible stories from new perspectives.
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