There’s a new force making major waves in country music, Muscadine Bloodline. Proud natives of Mobile Alabama, Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster started Muscadine Bloodline in early 2016. From the first time they took stage, Nashville started talking… so now, with two Billboard charting critically acclaimed EP’s under their belt, it’s no surprise the rest of the music world is quickly catching on. The duo’s reputation for high-energy live experiences has resulted in a schedule full of shows spanning from coast to coast. Charlie’s contemporary vocals complimented by Gary’s harmonies and masterful guitar licks make MB a powerfully refreshing mic of talent, passion, and unfiltered authenticity. Infamously undaunted by the big stage, their sound intertwines the brash irreverence of early southern rockers with the seductive quality of 90s country love songs. Captivating hooks heard in songs like “Movin’ On” and the aggressively anthemic “WD-40” stand as a testament to MB’s wide ranging music-making capability. Every song and every show is a moving experience but at the same time, unmistakably Muscadine.
John Conlee’s hits have rarely been songs that see life through the hard-fact-hiding “Rose Colored Glasses” described in his first smash record of 1978. Through all the years since, his emphasis has been on songs of the lives of everyday people — middle class, hardworking people, and those who’ve been unable to attain even that level of economic ease. He made a fresh hit again of “Busted,” when country fans might have thought Ray Charles and Johnny Cash had enjoyed the last word on that one. He had us nodding in agreement to the tough realities of “Nothing Behind You, Nothing in Sight.”
“There are more of us ordinary folks than anybody else,” says the big-voiced baritone whose hits also include “Common Man,” “Working Man,” and “Friday Night Blues.”
When John Conlee looks at love, the view includes Harlan Howard and Bobby Braddock’s searing “I Don’t Remember Loving You” — and he has no trouble singing about being on the “Backside of Thirty.”
No-nonsense John grew up on a 250-acre Kentucky farm where he raised hogs, cultivated tobacco with mules, and mowed pastures. He also worked as a funeral home attendant and mortician, and as a pop music disc jockey in Nashville before settling into a career in country music during the mid-1970s. It’s typical of John that he used the returns from that long string of No. 1 hits (four in 1983 and 1984 alone) to get back to farm life himself.
“I spend all of my off-time, what I have of it, with my family on our farm,” John explains. “I enjoy it. There’s no glamour to it. Woodworking, gunsmithing or driving a tractor requires getting grease or varnish all over you. It’s dirty work, but I like it.”
John joined the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1981. “Back when I joined the Opry, there was not a great big hoopla about a new member coming on board,” he says. “But now, we make a big deal out of it for the people that join. It really doesn’t matter to me. I mean officially becoming a member made it a great night.”
Two decades later, John still stirs the hall to the rafters with his biggest hits, as well as his more recent salute to the families of American fighting troops on “They Also Serve.”
At one time, John raised more than $140,000 — one dollar at a time — for Feed the Children from the dollar bills tossed on the stage when he sang that 1983 hit version of “Busted.” He still collects donations from fans during that song’s performance, currently channeling the money to the benefit of Wounded Warriors. John was instrumental in the formation of the Family Farm Defense Fund. He helped Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organize and entertain at Farm Aid concerts that raised more than $13 million in grants.
John maintains an active touring schedule and still records albums. He is also a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.
Rockcastle County Community Collaborative is hosting a Summer Kickoff at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on June 1st from 2:30 to 6:30 PM. The event is free and kids from newborn to 5th grade are invited. The event will have Educational Booths, Interactive Activities for kids, Free Silcox Shaved Ice, Face Painting, Music Circle, ID Kits for Kids, and much more.
The Rockcastle Arts Association’s Noel Night Market is an annual outdoor event in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky on the first Saturday in December. This vendor market is limited to vendors selling handmade wares, arts, and crafts. Our organization’s first goal has always been to support local artists by providing places where their work can be showcased, creating programs they can lead or learn from, and sourcing economic support for their art works and efforts. This event has grown over the years and now includes several food trucks and vendors, activities for children, the City of Mt. Vernon’s Christmas Parade. The Rockcastle Arts Association continues to partner with local leaders, groups, and organizations to host the Noel Night Market each year!
Come out and bring to kids to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch during the Noel Night Market after the parade! Everyone is welcome to take their own photos.
Santa will be outside of Cindy’s Place, while Mrs. Claus will be inside the Chamber of Commerce building where it is warm. She will be reading books and serving hot chocolate. The Grinch will be on Main Street to greet everyone!
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
4-10 Ice Skating
4-10 Scavenger Hunt for Kids
4:00 Christmas Parade
4:45 Donovan Howard on Wonderland Stage
5:30 Parade Winners Announced
5:40 Rockcastle County High School Choir Students on Wonderland Stage
6:00 Best Elf Contest
6:15 KY Music Hall of Fame Voice Lesson Students on Wonderland Stage
7:15 Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest
7:30 Jaclyn Bullock on Wonderland Stage
7:30 Best Decorated Vendor Announced
8:30 Best Door Prizes Announced
8:45 CC Allen Conway Cowboy on Wonderland Stage