A nationwide live performance ticketing web site performed a survey of a number of thousand Individuals, compiling a listing of the 120 greatest “Hidden Gems of Stay Music” in the US — and Morgantown ranked within the checklist at No. 20.
With artistic occasions like Morgantown Arts Stroll and the Moonlight Market, and live performance collection by the West Virginia Botanic Backyard and on the metropolis’s Ruby Amphitheater, alongside the recognition of native venues like The Metropolitan Theatre, The Encore and 123 Nice Avenue, it’s no query that the humanities, and reside music particularly, are a spotlight of Morgantown’s tradition. Though locals can acknowledge and recognize the rise of inventive expertise within the space, it would come as a shock to some for Morgantown to obtain nationwide recognition for it.
“It’s no shock to me nor anybody who makes the Mountain State residence that it’s a place the place reside music is of excessive precedence,” stated native soul, R&B and folks musician Aristotle Jones — AKA the Appalachian Soul Man. “We reside in an ecosystem of afternoon porch pickin’ and night jam classes. Stay music is a large a part of our tradition. Since most vacationers don’t stray too removed from the principle roads, I’m certain it’s fairly a shock once they wander into certainly one of our unbelievable venues and expertise musical performances that rival the bigger, extra established music cities.”
Appalachia’s historical past is deeply intertwined with music, particularly genres which might be Appalachian at their core, together with bluegrass, folks, gospel and extra. Music has at all times been a method for communities to speak and join with each other, and this custom has solely grown stronger with time.
With the event of West Virginia and its individuals, so too has the music scene modified and tailored alongside the state. West Virginia’s music scene is now comprised not solely of its folks roots, but in addition the continued introduction of different genres, cultures and artists.
“The reside music scene in West Virginia is sort of a quilt interwoven with an enormous community of small cities with massive appetites for reside music. It’s alongside these corridors by the nation roads that West Virginia musicians like me hone our craft,” stated Jones. “Morgantown is exclusive in that it’s residence to WVU, so yearly we get an inflow of recent views from out of state that start to mix with our West Virginia values. In that regard we now have the perfect of each worlds. A phenomenal collision of in-state work ethic and ingenuity, with an out-of-state marvel and optimism.”
The success of native music venues has inspired the expansion of blossoming new artists and the continuation of Appalachian music’s historic influences. One such venue is The Encore, a listening room that goals to highlight native artists new and previous with a spotlight solely on the artist’s skills, with out distractions like meals, drinks or background noise.
“I like reside music and needed to create a brand new lane within the native music freeway by providing a listening room setting, an intimate setting for artists to carry out with out the distractions related to reveals in different forms of small venues,” stated The Encore proprietor Jay Redmond. “We’re all about younger artists and giving them the chance to get on stage with the lights of their eyes and get an actual style of what performing reside is all about.”
Simply as this “Hidden Gems of Stay Music” rating would counsel, reside music presents a novel expertise for artists and listeners alike. In an age of music streaming — which has helped new artists to be heard and appreciated by audiences which will have beforehand been inaccessible — reside music nonetheless holds an necessary place in group and tradition.
“I might encourage of us to go expertise one thing real,” stated Redmond. “There’s nothing just like the shared expertise that reside music gives and it’s uplifting to see individuals come collectively as one in assist of performing artists.”
After the native appreciation and elevation of West Virginia’s arts, the remainder of the world can even start to take discover — or proceed taking discover, as this survey suggests.
“In Morgantown and all through West Virginia we now have a possibility to inform our story and surveys like this solely present that the world is watching and noticing. We’re allowed to be happy with the laborious work we’re placing into our small state,” stated Jones. “For over a century our coal has lit the houses of thousands and thousands of Individuals and now it’s time for us to shine our gentle.”
Learn CheapoTicketing’s full rating at CheapoTicketing.com/Americas-Hidden-Gems-of-Stay-Music. Go to AristotleJones.com and TheEncoreWV.com for info on the musician and venue that contributed to this text. For people taken with West Virginia’s musical historical past, the WVU West Virginia & Regional Historical past Middle has an in depth assortment of regional folks music courting again to the Nineteen Thirties, accessible on-line at wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/collections/folk-music.