Rich Copley’s Copious Notes blog has moved.
View the Copious Notes blog at http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/copious-notes/
Rich Copley’s Copious Notes blog has moved.
View the Copious Notes blog at http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/copious-notes/
David McLean doesn’t mess around. Late in 2014, he had the idea to create the Lexington Music Awards to spotlight local music. By late February, despite some aggressive winter weather, the event happened at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.
And it is going to happen again.
Nominations are open for the next week on the Awards, which will take place Jan. 31 at the Lyric.
Click here to make your nominations. The nominations close at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 20.
After nominations are in, they will be voted on by the nominees. So if you have a favorite you want to see in the mix, make sure to nominate that artist and get others to weigh in as well.
Once the nominations are complete, watch LexGo.com for the announcement.
If you want to see who won in the inaugural edition, click here for the list.
The online version of Vogue magazine’s cover story on Jennifer Lawrence features a dramatic photo of the Louisville native riding a beautiful horse, but some of her comments caught her home state off guard.
According to writer Jonathan Van Meter, his interview with Lawrence took place the day after Rowan County clerk Kim Davis had been released from jail, where she was being held for contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Davis stopped issuing licenses in June after a Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same sex marriage nationwide saying gay marriage conflicted with her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.
Davis’ stand has made her a polarizing figure, and Lawrence definitely has an opinion about her.
“Don’t even say her name in this house,” Lawrence reportedly said, also calling Davis the “lady who makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky.”
Van Meter recounted Lawrence going into a rant saying, “all those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight. I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are.”
If we want to be charitable to JLaw, who has for the most part been a great ambassador for the Bluegrass State, maybe she meant to say she is embarrassed that Davis is from Kentucky. She was making dirty martinis at that point in the interview.
It’s far from the first time that Lawrence has made eyebrow-raising comments, even about her Kentucky upbringing, joking to Rolling Stone in 2011, “little redneck things still come out. I’m attracted to my brother. Stuff like that.” She has consistently been one of Hollywood’s most unpredictable interview subjects.
The latest round of publicity comes a week ahead of Lawrence’s last turn as heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. She has co-starred in the series with fellow Kentuckian Josh Hutcherson, who hails from Union. Next month, audiences will see Lawrence’s third film with director David O. Russell, who guided her to her Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
In the Vogue article, Lawrence talks at length about feeling freed now that the Hunger Games series has concluded and looks ahead to some of her upcoming projects. She says she wants to get back to her roots — a 25-year-old talking about getting back to her roots — in independent film, although she also has signed on to Stephen Spielberg’s next film, playing war photographer Lynsey Addario.
The field for Season 9 of The Voice was cut in half Wednesday night, and in the least surprising development of the evening, Harlan County’s Jordan Smith made the cut. The coaches’ darling through the show’s first three rounds seems to have resonated with viewers too, as Smith was one of the two top vote-getters on Adam Levine‘s team. He was joined by Shelby Brown, 17, of Elberta, Ala. Brown had a breakout performance of Linda Ronstadt’s You’re No Good Monday night.
That left Levine to pick from the four remaining members of his team for his coach’s pick to send to the Top 12. He tapped Franklin, N.J., songstress Amy Vachal, whom Levine stole from Pharrell in the knockout round, to join his Southern stars.
Levine’s team performed Johnnyswim’s Diamonds before the results were announced, with Smith hitting a few high notes but also proving his bona fides as a chorus member.
Each coach had the same situation, with two singers voted to move on by viewers, and the coach left to pick a third.
Gwen Stefani‘s team saw Jeffrey Austin and Braiden Sunshine voted through, and Stefani picked Korin Bukowski, saying she thought she could help the Miami college student the most. Of interest to Smith watchers, that meant that both Regina Love and Viktor Kiraly, whom Smith beat in the battle and knockout rounds and were stolen by Stefani, have now been eliminated.
Blake Shelton saw Barrett Baber and Zach Seabaugh retained by voters, and he used his pick to keep Knoxville’s classic country advocate Emily Ann Roberts in the competition.
Pharrell, a graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va., seemed to have the toughest time after Madi Davis and Evan McKeel were voted on, but he finally settled on Chicago singer and actor Mark Hood.
Next up, the Top 12 face off next week at 8 p.m. Monday.
One thing that made Smith seem like a sure bet to stay on was that his iTunes recording of Beyonce’s Halo made it into the iTunes Top 10 after Monday’s show and stayed there. Sales on iTunes mean votes for the artists, although it is far from a reliable metric: The artist behind Smith on the chart was Roberts, who had to have a coach’s save to stay in the running.
Jordan Smith has led off or closed every episode of The Voice on which he has appeared. Monday night, the first night of live competition, Smith closed it out with a slow-burn rendition of Beyonce’s Halo that left the coaches with heavenly praise.
“God has signed your voice,” Pharrell said.
“All I can think of is God, when he sings,” Gwen Steffani said.
“You’re not a singer, you’re a figure that everyone draws this amazing energy from,” Smith’s coach Adam Levine said.
During the segment leading into Smith’s performance, he talked about his Kentucky roots, including a grandfather who owned a coal mine in Harlan. Smith fully endorsed Levine’s choice of the Beyonce classic, saying, “It tells what kind of artist I want to be, an emotional passionate artist.”
This will be the first week to find out if the TV audience concurs. Starting this week, fans vote on the performances, and the top two vote-getters from each team, plus a coach’s choice, will make up the Top 12. Coaches Blake Shelton and Pharrell’s teams will perform Tuesday, and winners will be announced Wednesday.
University of Kentucky voice students Shareese Arnold, 29, and Mary Catherine Wright, 21, advanced to the regional round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Saturday, along with two other singers: Nicolette Book, 24, a student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Ashley Dannewitz, 29, of Charleston, W.Va.
They will go on to compete in the Mid-South regional round of the auditions Feb. 6 at the Germantown Performing Arts Center in Germantown, Tenn., near Memphis.
Two other UK singers were honored with encouragement awards at the Kentucky District auditions, which were held in the Singletary Center for the Arts recital hall: current student Thabang Masango, 27, and aluma Amanda Balltrip, 30. They received cash prizes, but did not advance to the next round.
Eight UK singers auditioned in the field of 11 that turned our for this year’s auditions. Kentucky has enjoyed recent success in the auditions as alum Reginald Smith Jr. won in the 2015 auditions in the spring.
Traditionally one winner advances from the regional rounds to the national competition in New York, though judges can select more. The national semi-finals are March 6 and the national grand finals concert is March 13 on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
“I thought, ‘Wait a second, did I win?'” Smith says, recalling watching his knockout round matchup with Viktor Király with his family and friends in Harlan County.
It was the Lee University senior’s second consecutive matchup with an established professional singer, following his battle round with Atlanta-based gospel singer Regina Love.
“I was very humbled to be considered to go up against Regina and Viktor,” Smith says. That he competed and won both rounds told Smith that, “Just by being myself, my coach saw that was enough. (Coach Adam Levine) just wanted me.”
A couple months of recorded competition behind him, Smith is now back in Los Angeles preparing for live competition on The Voice, which begins on Monday night on NBC. According to NBC publicists, Smith and all other remaining artists will perform Monday or Tuesday, and viewers will finally be able to vote for two people from each team to move on. The coach will also get to pick one remaining singer to retain in the results show on Wednesday.
“It’s a really similar process to the work that went into the other rounds,” Smith says of preparing for the upcoming live rounds. “It’s just expedited.”
He says the days are long with rehearsals, coachings, filming things like interviews, and wardrobe fittings. But it’s all a lot of fun and what he wants to do. For example, he got to spend part of his 22nd birthday recording his latest song for iTunes, which he says is one of his favorite things to do, and then he went to dinner with new friends on the show.
Now what that song is will be a secret until he takes the stage this week. But the trio of iconic singers he covered to get to the live rounds did not register with him until after the competition. His hit parade was Sia’s Chandelier, Sam Smith’s Like I Can, and Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain.
“I didn’t understand the risk I was taking at the time,” Smith says. “I’ve tackled these songs that are almost legendary. Each singer has a signature sound and is held to a high standard.”
But, Smith adds he, “didn’t feel I had anything to prove by singing these songs.”
He was thankful his knockout round was shown early so he could watch it with family and friends, and says proper goodbyes to everyone before he left last Saturday. Some competitors had to disappear before their rounds were shown, he notes.
But now, after months of keeping secrets, Smith will find out results along with the rest of us. And he enters the live competition confident, but ready for anything.
“I do feel confident I will be able to perform to the best of my ability,” Smith says. “Each time I have wanted to show America it’s OK to be yourself, and hopefully that will come through.
“It’s all about inspiring people and making good music … that people want to experience.”
If I am going to be wrong, this is how to do it.
Lexington native and Paintsville/Staffordsville-raised Chris Stapleton won every award he was nominated for Wednesday night, taking home best new artist, male vocalist of the year and album of the year for his debut, Traveller. In doing so, Stapleton beat out competition much better known to country music fans such as Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. But it was clear members of the Country Music Association know Stapleton, a well-traveled and liked songwriter.
“Watching Chris Stapleton have this night is so uplifting,” Bryan said, accepting the night’s final award for entertainer of the year, moments after Stapleton bested him for the male vocalist prize.
Stapleton himself was a man of few words, accepting his trophies, saving the most for last.
“Two years ago, I lost my dad,” Stapleton said, accepting the male vocalist prize, breaking Shelton’s five-year winning streak. “I made this record thinking about music he liked. He would have liked to have seen this.”
Stapleton acknowledged artists in the room at the CMA ceremony he had written with and said, “This is an unbelievable thing to me, and I’m not going to take it lightly.”
In giving thanks, he acknowledged his wife Morgane, a regular stage presence with him; “cousins in Kentucky” and he joked that he should probably thank “six people who came to see me in a bar somewhere. Maybe we’ll play some big ones now.”
Stapleton did play with the biggest star in the room Wednesday night, teaming with Justin Timberlake for a barn-burning rendition of his cover of Tennessee Whiskey (a Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove song first recorded by David Allan Coe and then taken to the Top 10 by George Jones in 1983) and Timberlake’s Drink You Away.
Stapleton accomplished the feat without charting a Top 40 single on the country charts. According to Billboard, Traveller is the first platter to win album of the year without a Top 40 single in 12 years. The last time was an artist with a little more name recognition: Johnny Cash for his 2003 album American IV: The Man Comes Around.
But the next time Chris Stapleton goes on a country music awards show, name recognition should not be a problem.
Note: This post was updated Thursday morning to clarify Stapleton’s Kentucky roots and add some information.
I don’t think I am going out on a limb saying that Walter Tunis and I agreed that last year’s December Acoustic Jam show at the Lexington Opera House was one of the most pleasant live music surprises of 2014. Having country stars like Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery and Maddie & Tae in a stripped-down, round-robin format made for a great night of music making and story telling in the intimate confines of the Opera House.
Well The Bull (WBUL-FM 98.1) is doing it again.
The lineup for Acoustic Jam 2015, set for December 8, was announced Thursday morning. Tickets are $98, plus fees — it is a fundraiser for Kentucky Children’s Hospital — and will go on sale at 10 a.m. next Friday, Nov. 6.
Here’s who’s coming:
The Breeders’ Cup has announced the singers who will deliver the Star-Spangled Banner and other selections prior to the races Friday and Saturday.
Marlana VanHoose, a 20-year-old survivor of cytomegalovirus and cerebal palsy, will perform the national anthem Friday with the Culver Academy Color Guard. Marlana caught national attention singing the anthem at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race and at the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
Saturday, the music will start with St. Paul and the Broken Bones performing America the Beautiful and the group’s single Call Me. Acclaimed worship singer and songwriter Chris Tomlin will present the national anthem, and then the University of Kentucky’s male a cappella ensemble the acoUstiKats will sing My Old Kentucky Home. The acoUstiKats gained national attention competing on NBC’s The Sing Off in 2013.