News Column

Country music legends highlighted in series opener

September 26, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 26--Jason Petty and Carolyn Martin are really big Nashville, Tenn., stars. He's had his own Broadway show and she's a Grammy Award winner.

The two have joined forces to create "Country Royalty: A Musical Tribute to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline," two of the most influential singers in country music history.

The performance will be at 7 p.m. Friday in the Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center, launching an all-star series of top quality professional entertainment, ranging from Nashville greats to Broadway stars.

The lives of Williams and Cline were both fascinating and tragic. Along with a live five-piece band, Petty and Martin will take audiences back in time to when these country giants ruled the airwaves. More than 20 of their chart-topping hits will be performed, including Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"; and Cline's "Walking after Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy."

Petty impressed New York's Theater District starring in "Hank Williams: Lost Highway," which played to sold out audiences at the Little Shubert Theater. He won rave reviews from all the major critics, including the New York Times, Variety and Rolling Stone. He won an Obie Award for Outstanding Actor.

Petty began portraying Williams in 1996 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Since then, he has appeared in national tours of "Lost Highway" and "Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes," his own musical revue.

His acting ability has afforded him roles in film, television and theater. His musicianship and song writing abilities have won him performances on The Grand Ole Opry and the honor of performing with the most distinguished songwriters and producers at the exclusive Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, Tenn.

Martin is an award-winning singer who has gained national notoriety from the PBS special, "The Time Jumpers." The Texas native has lived in Nashville for many years. She began singing as a teenager and was touring and performing throughout the United States just a few years later.

Since relocating to Tennessee, Martin has appeared with a number of groups (including her own), performed all over the United States and in Europe, and worked as a studio singer.

She was the 2008 recipient of the Academy of Western Artists' Will Rogers Cowboy Award for Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year. Her CD "Swing" was a finalist for the Western Music Association's Western Swing Album of the Year and was named as one of the Top 10 albums of the year.

Her more recent project, "Cookin' with Carolyn," has garnered rave reviews. The CD was nominated for Western Swing Album of the Year in 2010. One of the songs, "That's What I Call Cookin'," was Western Swing Song of the Year.

The 2013-24 series also will include: The Southern Fried Chicks Cage Free Comedy Tour Oct. 26; Sandra Fisher and Company presenting "Bringing Down the House" Feb. 1; and Franco D'Ambrosio, who played the Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway, March 29.

Series tickets for the four concerts are $85, general admission; $130, reserved patron seating; $25 per ticket per concert (general admission); or $40 per concert (reserved seating).

For information and/or tickets, call Alison Merritt, 252-560-8515; Barbara Smith, 252-521-4513; or go to ghpac.com.

Performing Arts Series

Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center

300 Park Ave., Kinston

7 p.m. Friday, Country Royalty: Jason Petty and Carolyn Martin

Oct. 26, Southern Fried Chicks: Cage-Free Comedy Tour

Feb. 1, Bringing Down the House

March 29, Franco D'Ambrosio

Info/tickets: 252-560-8515, 252-521-4513 or ghpac.com

___

(c)2013 The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.)

Visit The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.) at www.kinston.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel