Some of country music’s fastest rising stars will take the South Jackson Civic Center stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the second annual “A Night of Nashville.”
The event will star Winchester native Lee Gibson, the creator of the musical showcase that features artists Tori Wilson, Mike Petty and Maybe April.
Gibson has been on the road with some of the most talented artists from Music City. While performing with his fellow artists Gibson said he found that each entertainer had limited time and only a few songs to showcase his or her talent.
Gibson said he wanted to create a performance venue whereby multiple artists could come together and perform, giving them the opportunity for more stage time and thereby plugging the audience into each artist’s unique sound.
Two years ago, Gibson began working on what would become “A Night of Nashville.” In 2015, he was able to make his dream come true at South Jackson.
“Shows I worked on had so many artists, and those artists were only allowed two or three songs per show,” said Gibson. “It’s tough to convince an audience of an artist’s ability with just one song. I figured, ‘Why not give each of them six to 10 songs and let them showcase what they can do?’ Everyone will work as frontman or frontwoman during the same show, being able to back up the other artists on the show.”
Now, taking on a second showcase, Gibson said he is featuring the same high-caliber talent he did in 2015.
“We want someone who can carry the weight of their songs and who can also perform alongside us,” he said. “It’s not just a group. It’s three to four, sometimes five multi-instrumental artists coming together to do a show. We’ll separate it. Artist ‘A’ will do their part, and so forth and then we’ll come together and play together. So it shows not only these artists as solo artists, but they can back one another up. It a versatility thing.”
Meet the artists
Maybe April is a country Americana trio made up of Katy Bishop, Kristen Castro and Alaina Stacey. Hailing from Jonesboro, Arkansas, Simi Valley, California and Chicago, the three met in the summer of 2012 at a music industry camp in Nashville.
The group is recognized for its three-part harmonies, strength as instrumentalists, original songs and shared roles as frontwomen, each adding something different from their musical backgrounds to create a unique sound.
“Our uniqueness is what brought us together in the first place,” said Bishop. “If you listen to our solo work before we got together, you would have never put us together. Kristen can play every single instrument. She started playing guitar when she was 10 years old. Alaina grew up doing harmonies with her family. She’s the one who teaches us how to do all the harmonies. I’ve been coming to Nashville since childhood and have been able to learn a lot about the music industry and make connections, so that’s what I feel I bring to the group.”
Now together for over three years, Bishop said they have grown as a band.
“I think we’ve gotten more comfortable as a band. Our shows have grown and I think all around we’ve gotten better.”
Gibson said he is hoping to showcase the group’s harmonies.
“I’ve seen them a handful of times,” he said. “We met and became friends and now she’s here in Nashville. They are incredible. Incredible harmonies that run from pop country to bluegrass infused. They also write very well.”
Nashville singer/songwriter Tori Wilson is making waves in Music City. According to Gibson, she is a “vocal force to be reckoned with.”
“This is the second time I’m bringing her down here. She’s from New York. She’s even performed at Madison Square Garden. Incredible vocalist and a great songwriter,” said Gibson.
Relocating to Nashville in 2013, Wilson tapped into her songwriting talents, co-writing with acclaimed Nashville songwriters Karen Staley, Craig Wilson and Ben Cooper.
She is currently writing and recording original songs and looks forward to pursuing her musical dreams in Nashville.
An artist in his own right, Petty is working his way through the gauntlet of the contemporary Christian genre.
Petty began his career in church playing with praise bands that eventually led him to Nashville in 2007. Today, he continues to perform in the studio and on tour with artists such as Gary Slayton, Michelle Rene, Deanna Loveland, country artist David Kroll, The Nate Dodd Band, Adley Stump and Dom Weir.
This is will be Petty’s second Tullahoma performance with Gibson. “Mike is a contemporary Christian drummer who is great. He’s a bonus. There are no slouches; this is a very well-rounded group,” said Gibson.
Southern roots run deep in Gibson’s veins. Being raised in Winchester gave Gibson the humbleness that comes across on stage and shows in his love for country music.
As a child, Gibson enjoyed sitting in front of the television or radio listening to some of the greatest artists of the time such as Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard and George Jones. Gibson was part of the musicals and plays in his school, a member of the church choir and had an acoustic show which eventually became a full band.
Today, Gibson carries some of the songs from his country icons on stage as his songs tell the story of lost loves, hardships and falling in love, and there are always the good drinking songs that have made history in country music.
“Who You Are,” “Long Slow Night,” “My Country” and “Lincoln County Lightning” are just a few of the originals Lee Gibson performs at his shows. All of these songs tell stories to which his audience can relate.
Sharing the Love
Gibson said he is honored to have such a talented lineup of artists to perform for the local community.
“Individually, each artist has a rather accomplished résumé,” he said. “I wanted to showcase a few talents from Nashville that deserve more of a spotlight than Nashville sometimes gives. Each person who is a part of this is so talented. I have respect and admiration for each one. Also, we are glad to be back in town. We really haven’t had a full band concert down here in a while. We love the venue. Tullahoma has always been good to us and folks from Winchester always come over as well.”
If you go
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at South Jackson Civic Center, located at 404 S. Jackson St. in Tullahoma or by calling 455-5321.