Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series reaches halfway point

Published 2:34 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019

We are already at the halfway point in the 2019 Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series, and if you ask anyone that has attended the previous shows, they just keep getting better.

This Thursday, the audience can expect to hear the blues, featuring a hint of funk, rock and soul from the Heather Newman Band — who is headlining the fifth week of free, live music on the Levitt Lot Stage.

“It is week five and we are so excited,” Emily Ayers, Director of Middlesboro Main Street exclaimed. “We look forward to seeing everyone this Thursday. The food vendors will start selling food at 6 p.m. Be sure you come out early, bring your lawn chairs and join us for another great night of free, live music.”

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Heather Newman is a two time 2018 Blues Blast Music Award Winner and a 2019 Blues Music Award Nominee. Right from the start, Newman’s vocals dominate the stage and roar throughout the crowd with a fierce intensity. Newman understands the art of singing as her words transition from note to note without any hint of strain.

The Kansas City Star reported this about the group, “The Heather Newman Band is poised to follow Samantha Fish and Trampled Under Foot as the next blues-oriented Kansas City Act to achieve national prominence.”

According to her website, Heather Newman had picked up a bass guitar only six months prior to her bands first on stage appearance at Knucklehead’s Saloon in Kansas City, Mo. on March 17, 2017. The Heather Newman Band immediately began to captivate audiences with their powerful performances and Heather’s dominant yet pixie-like stage presence.

The trio played locally around the Kansas City area before adding a brand new layer to their groove when Ryan Matthew joined the band on piano and keys. The Heather Newman Band and their album went on to win two 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards for “Best New Artist Debut Album” and the “Sean Costello Rising Star Award.” They were also nominated for a 2019 Blues Music Award for “Best Emerging Artist,” according to the website.

With 2019 in full swing, the Heather Newman Band has released their second Vizztone album, Rise From the Flames, which reached No. 4 on iTunes Top Blues Albums.

Heather Newman will take the Levitt Stage this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Opening for Newman is Blue Crawdads from Barbourville, and they will take the stage at 6:30 p.m.

According to the Levitt AMP Newsletter, the Blue Crawdads put home cooked blues, roots and soul on the table every night.

“Take You There,” the band’s fifth and latest release on Mojo Ranger Records, highlights soulful grooves that are reminiscent of New Orleans and Memphis, but the Crawdads remain firmly rooted in southeastern Kentucky.

The band met at Barbourville’s Union College, where all four members have worked or studied at one time.

Food vendors will be set up to serve food on the blocked off area of Cumberland Avenue beginning at 6 p.m.

New this year, a local artist, such as sketch, photography, painter, etc., will be featured each week with their works of art being displayed. This Thursday, Southeast Artist in Residence Jamie Corum will have her art on display.