MainStage Morganton 2014 - 2015 Season Tickets on sale now, for more information call 800-939-SHOW or 828-433-SHOW.

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CoMMA's 2012 season kicks off with the BackPorch series in July with our MainStage series starting in August. Between the music, musicals, comedies, dramas and Christmas events, you're are sure to find something you'll love! Get a season pass and come enjoy all our great shows at an even greater price!

oe-20131219-MIPSO-600Thursday Dec. 19  |  7:30 pm

Rooted in the music of North Carolina's mountains and Piedmont, Mipso gives these traditional influences a distinctly modern twist. With an old-school combination of mandolin, bass, guitar, and three voices in close harmony, Mipso's Jacob, Wood, and Joseph mix these bluegrass ingredients with a healthy does of 21st century energy. In the vein of progressive bluegrassers like Chatham County Line and folk troubadours such as Mandolin Orange, Mipso is a band of young songwriters steeped in the sounds of their home state—and excited to combine new influences with the tradition of Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson.

Though Jacob and Joseph hatched the idea of forming a band during their freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill, their wanderlust and musical curiousity delayed those music making dreams. Each took a year off of school, Joseph to study Tango guitar in Argentina and backpack through Eastern Africa and Jacob to study winemaking in New Zealand. Upon returning, they enlisted Wood, a consummate jazz bassist with a love of mountain music, to complete their trio. Since then they've been honing their harmonies and gaining a following across North Carolina, developing a sound that the Indy Week calls "a Buddy Holly-like take on the Avett Brothers."

Mipso has become known for energetic live shows as well as their catchy, intelligent, and fresh original songs. While paying homage to the universal bluegrass themes of love and leavin', they also include a song about car chase and another about having a drink with the Devil. As the Salisbury Post wrote, "Any crowd will find it difficult to resist their distinct North Carolina feel... You might feel like you're listening on your front porch – that is, if you had friends who could sing in seemingly effortless three-part harmony." In other words, Mipso tells stories both universal and off-the-wall—and they have a lot of fun in the process.

www.mipsomusic.com

 

 

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oe-20140228-whisnant-Homecoming2014-600pxFriday Feb. 28  |  6:30
Saturday March 1  |  6:30

Over the years, many Southern Gospel groups have come and gone. But there is one group that has stood the test of time. This Morganton, North Carolina based group has been singing and ministering through song across the United States and Canada for 43 years.

Jeff Whisnant, owner and manager says, "We placed our ministry in God's hands 43 years ago and have watched Him do miraculous things. There is no doubt in my mind that God has His hand on this ministry."

The current line-up of Jeff and Susan Whisnant, Austin Whisnant, Ethan Whisnant and Aaron Hise have a sound that fans, church music ministers and promoters have enjoyed for years. Jeff says, " I have asked God to allow us to be the very best that we can be so that He can use this ministry to touch people's lives. He has done that!"

With 13 #1 Songs and numerous Top 40's, the group continues to see God's handiwork through their ministry. "All Is Well" was nominated for Song of the Year in the 2013 Singing News Fan Awards. Their song "What You Took From Me"- Singing News Chart Song of the Year-2003 and "Even In The Valley" - Singing News Chart Song of the Year- 2004.

Other achievements have been being nominated for Trio of the Year 9 times and getting numerous individual nominations (Favorite Young Artist, Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Alto) to name a few. They have made 18 appearances on the National Quartet Convention, appeared on the Gospel Music Southern Style Program (INSP Network), participated in the Feb. 2007 Gaither Video Taping in Nashville, TN and have performed in Hawaii and Canada.

As you attend a concert or worship service with the Whisnants, their goal is that the message of their music will be clear and will point people to the Cross of Christ.

 

In the Heart of the Blue Ridge…in the Heart of the Foothills…in the Heart of Morganton…

                                                                                          

“Feel the Beat” …atCoMMA.

Welcome to MainStage Morganton, 2014-2015, and what promises to be another stellar season on the CoMMA stage.  The stars not only come out but they truly shine as the talents and stories come to life in grand fashion in Season 28.

            If you are a past or current MainStage Season Subscriber, you know the value that goes with being in that same seat show after show, year after year.  Beyond a savings that isnearly 45% off the single ticket price, there are new and exciting benefits that undoubtedly enhance the performance attendance experience for all season ticketholders.

This season, for the first time, join us at Stage One, apre-performancewine receptionprior to four events for all MainStage season ticketholders.  At one hour prior to the stage lights going up, party with other MainStage’ers on the CoMMA mezzanine for some light refreshments and lighthearted fellowship.   Stage One is just how we say thank you for your continued dedication and support.

As for the season itself…Begin by sitting back and relaxing under the willow oaks in the summer fun BackPorch series.  The MainStage season opens with country music star and Grammy winner, Pam Tillis, followed by four national Broadway musical tours, incredible concert performances throughout the year, including a holiday spectacular with legend BJ Thomas, and closing in May with Blood Sweat and Tears...There’s not a theatre standing that offers what our Morganton performance place brings to the city.  Each event promises to please and awe.  Who else can put a ventriloquist act with “Mutts Gone Nuts” and make it work?  Who else boasts the unknown, “THE SHOW 3”, but CoMMA?  Look through this brochure, do the math and compare…CoMMA has no rival.

And if just perhaps the MainStage Morganton season package is not for you, we hope you will join us as a single ticket buyer through 2014 and 2015.  All the seats are good, and one has your name written on it!  But remember, CoMMA tickets are reserved seating, so there are more choices the earlier you make your purchase.

It’s really simple…call the CoMMA Box Office or come by and make plans for a season of joy, laughter,  and most of all, rhythm…like you’ve never experienced before.

 “Feel the Beat…”

                 

                                                                       Bill Wilson, Director

Saturday Aug. 25, 2012 | 7:30 pm

ms-RNR-700x450px"RICKY NELSON REMEMBERED" is a unique multi-media entertainment event featuring the live music of Ricky Nelson's hit songs, "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man," "Garden Party" and many more, all performed by Ricky's twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. The concert includes never before seen big screen video footage of the Nelson family and interviews from celebrities that were influenced by Ricky Nelson. Celebrating the life and career of America's original 'Teen Idol.'

"RICKY NELSON REMEMBERED" appeals to a wide audience and multiple generations and Matthew and Gunner are also, grandsons of '50's TV icons Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. When their rock band NELSON hit #1 on the Billboard chart with their self-penned #1 mega hit "Can't Live Without Your Love & Affection," it put the Nelson family in the Guinness Book of Worlds as the only family in entertainment history with three generations of #1 HITMAKERS!

www.rickynelsonremembered.com

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Video

Audio

Hello Mary Lou

Travelin Man

Ticket Prices

seating chart-200pxPlatinum - $31

Gold - $27

Silver - $25

Youth - $22

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

From the Director...

Welcome to MainStage Morganton, 2013-2014. As CoMMA enters Season 27, we know that it would not have been possible without the local and regional support of the tens of thousands who continually enjoy and support live stage performances in Morganton. So it is fitting and indeed proper that we say "Thank You" for your role in the memories and successes over the years.

The new MainStage season is offered on the following pages where you will find a wide variety of concerts, Broadway musicals, gripping drama and specialty offerings unsurpassed. There truly is something for everyone. Whether you choose to be a MainStage Morganton season ticketholder or decide to purchase the shows one event at a time, we promise that you will enjoy, and perhaps even be moved, with what lies in store.

By holding the line on ticket prices via blockbooking, artists eager to perform, and having created long-term relationships with quality artist management groups, MainStage Morganton has to be one of the best deals around...and you do not want to miss a second of the new MainStage season.

On behalf of the City of Morganton and those who come to our community as singers, dancers, actors, magicians, acrobats, and more, we truly appreciate the support and 'applause' of the best audience a performer could ever ask for.

So, what's not to like! It never gets old to say, "I know you're gonna love it!!!

- Bill Wilson , Director

BP-Darryl-Corley-700x450pxThursday July 11  |  7:00 pm

DARRYL CORLEY'S musical journeys have been many throughout the Southeast. He performs a musical blend of Americana, Folk, Bluegrass and many tasteful original tunes. He has opened performances for many well-known artists such as New Grass Revival, Doc Watson, Tift Merritt and John Cowan. The eclectic blend of musical choices leaves his audiences asking for more.

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Audio

Wagon Wheel

Ticket Prices

Adult - $10

Senior - $8

Child - $5

ms-Masters-of-Motown-CollageFriday Aug. 23, 2013  |  7:30 pm

MASTERS OF MOTOWN has been called the most entertaining history lesson ever performed! This show authentically reproduces the look, choreography, style and sound made famous by a record label that was relatively unknown at the time but went on to profoundly influence the history of popular music. The performance goes beyond the music to preserve the integrity of the entire Motown experience. For many, MASTERS OF MOTOWN is the ultimate stroll down memory lane. For younger generations, the show offers a way to experience a period in our country's past that produced many of the greatest music acts ever recorded.

The show features a completely live performance with seasoned musicians and world-class performers from The TFC Band. This group has toured extensively world-wide for more than 30 years, performing at private events, festivals, casinos, corporate events and military bases from coast to coast and overseas, including tours of Europe and Africa. After having toured together for decades, The TFC Band created the MASTERS OF MOTOWN show in 2008 as a way to heighten the experience for their fans and deliver the full package—a stage show which captures the sights, sounds and feel of the Motown era.

Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the 10-person cast of MASTERS OF MOTOWN has performed to numerous sold-out audiences and garnered rave reviews across the country at venues ranging from community theaters and universities to performing arts venues and concert halls.

www.mastersofmotown.com

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Martha Reeves Medley

Marvin Gaye Medley

Smokey Robinson Medley

The Supremes Medley

Ticket Prices

Platinum - $27

Gold - $24

Silver - $22

Youth - $17

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

oe-20131019-MTM-logo-2012Saturday Oct. 19  |  7:30 pm

COME JOIN OUR SISTERHOOD! This hilarious musical parody staged to classic tunes from the '60s, '70s and '80s will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles. See what millions of women worldwide have been laughing about for over 10 years!

Set in a department store, four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra on sale, come to find they have more to share than ever imagined. The all-female cast makes fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. A sisterhood is created between these diverse women as they realize that menopause is no longer The Silent Passage, but a stage in every woman's life that is perfectly normal!

"Most women know intuitively that every other woman is experiencing hot flashes or night sweats," says author Jeanie C. Linders. "There is always a close friend or two who can sympathize or identify, but when they are sitting in a theatre with hundreds of other women, all laughing and shouting 'That's me! That's me on stage!' They know what they are experiencing is normal. They aren't alone or crazy. It becomes a sisterhood."

It's the Hilarious Celebration of Women and The Change!

 

oe-20140313-The-Tams-logoThursday March 13 | 7:30 pm

VIP Seats (includes pre-event reception) ..... $100.00
Platinum ......................................................... $50.00
Gold/Silver ..................................................... $25.00

+ 6.75% NC Sales Tax

i-asl-logo-256• Proceeds to benefit the Senior Deaf and Blind Community Project
• Signed performance for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

oe-20140313-The-Tams-700px

Friday Aug. 22, 2014  |  7:30 pm

20140822-ms-pam-tillis-2-900px     Recording Artist PAM TILLIS has been a formidable force in country music since her first single hit the charts in 1990. She has racked up 14 Top Five hits including six that hit #1, and has sold over 6 million records. An accomplished songwriter, PAM has had her compositions recorded by artists as varied as Chaka Khan, Martina McBride, Highway 101, Juice Newton and Conway Twitty. She was one of the first women in Nashville to produce her own album, and she was awarded the coveted Female Vocalist of the Year by CMA in 1994. In 1999 PAM showed her trademark versatility by being the first female country entertainer to ever star in a Broadway Musical when she appeared in Smokey Joe's Cafe. PAM was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

     PAM TILLIS can tell you what it is like to win big awards, run a record label, sing on Broadway, and sell platinum records, but she'd much rather change the subject to the future. "I've traveled a million miles in my career," says TILLIS. "The next million don't scare me a bit."

www.pamtillis.com

Video

Photos

Ticket Prices

seating chart-200pxPlatinum - $31

Gold - $26

Silver - $24

Youth - $21

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

Friday Sept. 21, 2012 | 7:30 pm

ms-Lorrie-Morgan-1-20120828Loretta Lynn Morgan was born to make music... Lorrie Morgan, a child of the Opry, staked her claim as being one of the youngest to have made his/her debut at the Mother Church of Country. Applauded for her talents and commitment to country music and her heritage, Lorrie made history of her own when she became a lifetime member of the Grand Ole Opry at the age of twenty-five; youngest person ever to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Today, Lorrie has become the essence of country music femininity. Having blossomed from a bright-eyed Opry starlet to carrying the torch for many a lady trendsetter—Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette—Lorrie Morgan has become a renaissance woman of the genre recognized as royalty by her fans and her peers.

Lorrie made her mark with what have now become timeless country standards, "Five Minutes," "Something In Red," "Watch Me" and "What Part Of No" to establish her place as a bright and shining country star—a modern woman making country music history. "I have been a daughter, a bride, a mother, a divorcee, a widow, a single mother, a grandmother, a breadwinner, and ultimately, a survivor. It seems, in many ways, that I am a living, breathing country song and I know what I sing."

Lorrie Morgan has sold over six million records and a trophy room adorned with reminders of gold and platinum successes (including fourteen top ten hits, twelve recorded albums and four Female Vocalist of the Year awards). Her duet partners have included the likes of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and The Beach Boys. She's performed on Broadway and abroad.

Like a freshwater pearl, Lorrie Morgan is a natural gem that shines in a palette of colors. Her music, her life, her heart--black, white, lavender or pink, the overtones reflect her light.

http://lorrie.com/

Photos

 

Video

 

Ticket Prices

seating chart-200pxPlatinum - $32

Gold - $27

Silver - $22

Youth - $17

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

25 years. Hundreds of shows. Plays. Musicals. Concerts. Dramas. Comedies. And some things that can't be categorized! Thousands of performers and thousands of spectators have passed through CoMMA's doors since 1986, and we look forward to thousands more! Check out out past seasons below.

Read more...

bp-CHARLYHORSE-TOSCOThursday July 25  |  7:00 pm

CHARLYHORSE is what Americana Music has always strived to be. A group of outstanding musicians and modern day troubadours who weave tales of small southern towns and the roads they have traveled. Vivid stories in sound, populated by trailer-park queens, hellfire preachers, shuttered cotton mills and down-home philosophers. The music of CHARLYHORSE is firmly anchored in the Americana roots tradition.

Influences from rock, country, bluegrass, R&B and soul gives each tune it's own unique feel.

Onstage, the upshot is compelling, soulful performances — spirited rockers paced with wistful ballads of lost love, life and death. Chuck's presentation, salted with wry humor, and band camaraderie invites the audience into the act.

Charlyhorse, American made.

Charlyhorse is:

  • Chuck Johnson: head troubadour, lead vocals, guitar.
  • Tom Kuhn: bass, mandolin, backing and harmony vocals
  • Dale Meyer: guitar, dobro, backing and harmony vocals viagra sell in canada
  • James Brock: drums, percussion

www.thecharlyhorse.com

Photos

Audio

CharlyHorse

Ticket Prices

Adult - $10

Senior - $8

Child - $5

ms-Blues-Brothers-MainTuesday Sept. 24, 2013  |  7:30 pm

"Infectious and unbridled energy.... it blows the roof off..."  - Jeff Johnson, The Chicago Sun Times

THE OFFICIAL BLUES BROTHERS REVUE recreates the live concert experience, integrating the humor and songs from the original film and subsequent albums. Produced by Judy Belushi Pisano and Dan Aykroyd, the Revue pays homage to Chicago's rich history of blues, soul music and gospel in the true spirit of the original BLUES BROTHERS. Under the musical direction of Paul Shaffer, Jake, Elwood and the high-energy eight-piece Intercontinental Rhythm & Blues Revue Band lay down a big sound, performed with the passion and precision of the original BLUES BROTHERS. Fun for all ages, THE OFFICIAL BLUES BROTHERS REVUE strikes the right balance of humor, music and mayhem featuring Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood.

The characters of Jake and Elwood Blues, created by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in 1978, were initially imagined as frontmen for a fictitious American blues and soul band. Since their film debut in 1980, the irreverent characters have resonated with people around the world and the BLUES BROTHERS have catapulted into a cultural phenomenon and musical, comedic, and cinematic legend.

www.bbrevue.com

Photos

Video

Ticket Prices

Platinum - $27

Gold - $24

Silver - $22

Youth - $17

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

Graphite and colored pencil drawings by Chad Brittain are on display now at CoMMA.

 

Debbie’s Dance Academy Presents

“Underwater Fantasy” & “Dance With Me Tonight” 

Saturday May 17, 2014 | 12:30 pm

A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Thursday Sept. 25, 2014  |  7:30 pm

20140925-ms-oh-what-a-night-1-900px     OH WHAT A NIGHT! is an exciting musical revue written by Motown producer and creative consultant George Solomon, directed by award-winning producer/director Michael Chapman with choreography by Paul Holmquist. Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk like a Man, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You, Working My Way Back To You, Let's Hang On and Who Loves You are just some of the many hits you'll enjoy from the dynamic songbook of those boys from Jersey, FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS.

     In 1990 FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To this day their unique and irresistible music continues to thrill all ages. The personable cast of OH WHAT A NIGHT! stay true to the original recordings without trying to mimic or impersonate the group...And their interpretation of these classic hits are so true to the original recordings that it must be pointed out that the cast is singing live and not lip-synching. The end result is a show as fresh and relevant today as it is nostalgic for the purists. The audience gets to know and love four dynamic talents and cheer them on with each exciting, individual performance.

     This exhilarating family-friendly musical revue has been thrilling audiences with great choreography, boundless energy, humor and, of course, instantly recognizable classic pop songs that have become timeless.

www.frankievalliandthe4seasonstribute.com

Video

Photos

Ticket Prices

seating chart-200pxPlatinum - $26

Gold - $24

Silver - $22

Youth - $20

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

THE MUSICAL

Saturday Oct. 13, 2012 | 7:30 pm

deer camp"DEER CAMP" THE MUSICAL stars Tony Papenfuss and John Voldstad, best known as "My Brother Darryl and my other Brother Darryl," on the Newhart television show.

"DEER CAMP" hilariously follows four fearless deer hunters from on their annual trek to deer camp in search of the elusive 14 point buck. But things are looking bleak this season...After decades of hunting trips, the guys have yet to bring home a single deer and the wives are getting suspicious. This season the need to show their wives that they are the mighty hunters they claim to be. This is not so easy when the thought of drinking beer and hanging out in the deer shack is more appealing than freezing in a deer stand. They find themselves in panic mode on the last day of camp with no deer in sight. Luckily for our guys, what happens at deer camp stays at deer camp.

Laugh and sing a long as they hatch a plan to save their hunting paradise without firing a shot.

"DEER CAMP" features hilarious songs such as, "Mighty Hunters," "She's Playing Bingo,'" "If I Were A Male Dancer," "River of Brew," and "The Grunt Horn Song." "You'll laugh your antlers off!!!"

Photos

Video

Ticket Prices

seating chart-200pxPlatinum - $22

Gold - $18

Silver - $16

Youth - $15

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online

Thursday Oct. 10, 2013 | 7:30 pm

ms-the-show-2-700pxIt was a great adventure last season - and we are just crazy enough to do it again. Take a chance and be one of the only ones to know what THE SHOW 2 is in the new MainStage Season.

As has become tradition, no one in the audience will know what THE SHOW 2 is until the curtain opens and the stage lights come up. We'll keep the secret until then ... and hope you will once the curtain closes on THE SHOW 2.

Ticket Prices

Platinum - $22

Gold - $19

Silver - $17

Youth - $12

CoMMA Seating Chart

Download and print the PDF above or click on the image to the right to view the seating chart online.

oe-20130215-james gregory-250pxFriday Nov. 15 | 7:30 PM

For more info on James visit his website at www.funniestman.com.

 

James creates an evening of non-stop laughter with a wry sense of the absurd, a Southern accent and universal story-telling. The ridiculous, the common and sometimes even the simplest events all become hilarious in the hands of this master storyteller and world-class comedian.

 

bp-hitsandgrinsThursday Aug. 1  |  7:00 pm

HITS & GRINS is a trio of talented writers/performers from Nashville who present an extremely entertaining evening filled with great stories, hit songs and comedy.

Photos

Video

Ticket Prices

Adult - $10

Senior - $8

Child - $5

Debbie’s Dance Academy Presents

“Party Up!”

Saturday May 17, 2014 | 4:30pm

oe-20130830-JMMFriday Aug. 30, 2013 7:30 pm

With a musical career that spans twelve albums and a greatest hits package, John Michael Montgomery's overwhelming contribution to the country music format includes hits such as "I Swear," "Be My Baby Tonight," "I Can Love You Like That," "Sold (the Grundy County Auction Incident)" and "Life's A Dance," among many others. He's earned 15 number one singles, sold over 16 million albums and received numerous industry and fan-voted awards, including a Grammy Award, CMA Awards, ACM Awards and American Music Awards.

In November 2007, John Michael launched his own label, Stringtown Records, taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer. He'll release his tenth studio album, Time Flies, in 2008, which he's producing with Byron Gallimore. The album's first single – the introspective ballad "If You Ever Went Away" - marks John Michael's first return to the airwaves since "Letters From Home," (2004) reached #2 on Billboard's Country Singles chart.

Born Jan. 20, 1965, in Danville, Ky., John Michael Montgomery arrived on the country music scene in 1993 with a debut album, Life's a Dance, which became the only million-seller on the country charts by a new artist that year. Its title track was a No. 4 hit single and was followed by his first country #1 single, "I Love the Way You Love Me." The follow-up, Kickin' It Up, hit the top spot on both the country and adult contemporary charts and produced four more successful singles, the chart-topping "I Swear," "Be My Baby Tonight," "If You Got Love" and the No. 4 single "Rope the Moon."

John Michael and his older brother, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, received musical encouragement from their father, who performed in a local country band and taught his son his first chords. He joined the family band as guitarist before taking the lead singing role when his parents divorced. Afterwards, he made a frugal living on the local honky-tonk scene as a solo artist playing what he referred to as "working man's country." Eventually, Atlantic Records signed him, and he became part of the '90s wave of honky tonk hitmakers that brought country to new commercial heights.

John Michael made his name primarily as a romantic balladeer showing an undeniable knack for finding hit songs and giving them just the right emotion or energy they need. This strong track record has consistently kept him at the top of the radio charts.

"I've been singing since I was a kid," he says. "And I've been very fortunate to have a lot of peaks and valleys in my career; seeing a lot of changes since 1992. The main thing I've learned is to just be myself, to treat people kindly, and if you give radio a good song, they'll play it. I know how lucky it is to be successful in this business, and I've always tried to let the fans, the deejays and the people I work with how much I appreciate them."

Opening Act: Blake Wise

oe-20130830-BlakeWiseBlake Wise wasn't born onstage—but he got there as soon as he could.

He has been singing onstage since age 2, was rocking nightclubs with his own band by 13 and by 18 was making his way in the Nashville music world. Music is his destiny, entertaining fans is his passion and the stage is his home. "That's where I feel the most comfortable," he says. "That's the reason I write songs, that's the reason I do everything in this business: to get onstage and entertain people."

The urge to connect with others through song has shaped the course of Wise's life from the very beginning, and it continues to shape the music he makes on his debut for Broken Bow Records. These are songs that speak to the joys and concerns of the working-class folks he grew up around in the small town of Nebo (pop. 3,700), nestled in the mountains of North Carolina. "I wouldn't trade the values that I got from growing up there for anything," he says. "It taught me to be grounded. Family has a lot to do with that as well. I had a good support system in my family."

Not to mention a great role model: Wise's father was a talented singer who was quick to integrate his music-loving son into his nightclub set. "I'd get up there and sing and act like I was playing guitar," Wise says with a chuckle. He began taking guitar lessons at 4, and over the following years added piano, mandolin, fiddle and banjo to his repertoire. At 13 he began hitting the small circuit of country bars in the counties surrounding Nebo (accompanied by his dad, of course). He paid his dues for the next several years, learning valuable lessons about how to win over skeptical audiences. "The most honesty you'll ever get is from a crowd at a bar," he says. "You know what they like and what they don't like, by whether they're dancing or just standing there looking at you." He also dealt with his share of rowdy audience behavior. "The things my eyes saw at 14 or 15 ..." he says with a chuckle. "It was an interesting time."

When he headed out to see concerts by favorite artists like Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, he closely observed how they rocked huge crowds. "I remember watching Kenny and being like, 'Wow! This is what I want to do,'" says Wise, who also cites George Strait, George Jones and fellow North Carolina native James Taylor among his varied influences.

Wise was discovered at age 15 by veteran manager John Dorris, who convinced him to wait until he finished high school before heading to Nashville. "For three years I was in waiting," he says. "At 15 you're nowhere close to being ready for this, even if you think you are. John knew that." A few months after his 18th birthday, Wise made his move to Music City. "I'd never been on my own," he remembers. "I'll never forget the feeling when my parents left the apartment that I'd just rented. That first night was tough. But I had direction."

There were plenty of highs and lows as Wise learned the ropes of music business. Most devastatingly, the record label with which he had signed before even moving to Music City collapsed in 2008. He remained squarely focused on achieving his goals, calling upon a fierce sense of discipline that he credits in part to his experience living with juvenile diabetes since age 4. "It helped me to grow up quick," he says. "That's been a big part of making me who I am today. If one day I get famous for some reason, I look forward to being able to help kids that have the same disease I have."
Wise's focus and determination paid off in September 2009, when he signed with Broken Bow Records and began recording his debut album with the New Voice production team. "It's been a great process," Wise says. "I could not be happier with the songs that we've picked, and they came out great."

The songs they recorded demonstrate the impressive range of Wise's powerful, versatile voice—from the uplifting anthem "I've Got This Feeling" to the yearning ballad "Could You Love Me Again" and the country-life celebration "Cornfields." "That song really hits a heartstring with me," he says of the latter. "I'm from the mountains of North Carolina, where there aren't many cornfields, but it still hit home." In fact, all the songs reflect Wise's personality. "If I can't relate to it there's no sense in recording it," he says. "It's not going to come to life if it's something that you don't feel for yourself."

Now that fans are getting to hear him bringing those songs to life, Blake Wise is—as always—looking toward the future, toward the next goal, the next challenge. "I feel like I have a solid path ahead of me now," he says. "I couldn't be more excited about what's going on right now, and I want to be able to do this for a long time. There's a lot more to come."

Thursday August 7, 2014 | 7:00 pm

20140807-bp-Amber-Hayes-900px     Country artist AMBER HAYES is as gracious as she is talented and considering that Amber counts singer, songwriter, theatre performer and actress among her credits as an entertainer that says a lot.

     Born and raised in tiny Weleetka, Oklahoma, AMBER grew up idolizing the iconic female entertainers before her: Dolly, Reba, and Barbara Mandrell. Their pioneering efforts, which extended far beyond the simple guise of "Country Singer," made a strong impression on Amber as a little girl. So it should come as no surprise that the talented singer-songwriter is making strides today that follow a similar path to those trailblazing women before her.

     For more information on AMBER HAYES please visit www.AmberHayesMusic.com

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Ticket Prices

Single: $10.00

Senior/Youth: $6.00

+ 6.75% NC Sales Tax

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