Rock N Roll was alive and well Friday night in Pikeville, Kentucky. The coal mining town doesn’t often see kick ass rock bands like Ted Nugent and Grimsley Rose. The town usually sways more toward country and bluegrass when it comes to music. But not on this faithful night. The crowd was pumped before the first note was struck at the East Kentucky Exposition Center. Ted of course is touring in support of his 2014 release ‘Shut Up And Jam’ which features one of the best rock songs released in quite a while. “She’s Gone” featuring the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar. The honor of opening the show went to a rock band that consisted of Kentucky born musicians. The members hailing from various towns around the Bluegrass State like London, Paintsville and Salyersville they pretty much felt at home in Pikeville.
Grimsley Rose made their way to the stage and quickly made themselves some new fans. Fists were pumping through the air and some ladies were dancing through the aisles. Singer Cameron Jayne’s powerful vocals caught the fans attention immediately. They played through several songs and asked the crowd if they were ready for Ted Nugent, while the majority of the crowd clapped and screamed one gentleman up front had already became a super fan and yelled back “We are loving you guys!” The bands incredible guitar player in Todd Stricklin you may remember from the killer band Superunknown. He made the guitar playing look so easy, and I assure you it’s not as easy as he makes it look. It takes immense talent to play flawlessly like he did on stage. A song or two into their set singer Cameron Jayne also got his guitar out, and it is one of the most beautiful guitars I’ve seen. They took the time to detail the inspiration behind one of their songs. In 2012 a tornado ripped through the small town of Salyersville, Kentucky and left nothing but devastation in its path. The song “Won’t Miss You A Bit” was inspired by the tragedy that struck that day and all the destruction it caused the thousands of people in the community. Pikeville being so close to Salyersville the crowd instantly had a connection to the song. It was by far one of the hardest hitting songs the band unleashed on our ears. If you haven’t heard anything by the band you need to pick up their EP ‘Truth to Power’ now on iTunes.
The crowd was waiting patiently for the Motor City Madman, and the wait wasn’t very long. Uncle Ted wasn’t about to leave his fans sitting idle. The lights went dark and in front of a huge flash of lights appeared Ted Nugent. The freedom loving man himself appeared with his guitar in hand, and the American flag in the background. The only thing missing was the many different telescopic flagpoles that could’ve been incorporated within the vicinity to fly even more American flags above the heads of everyone who found themselves in this arena. Can you get any more patriotic than that? However, Nugent did have a few things to say prior to unleashing on his guitar, which probably shouldn’t be repeated here. Like any great event things got started off with the national anthem, which Ted passionately played on his six string. Ted has always been vocal in the political arena and this night was no different. He of course knew also that he was in a coal mining town and mentioned it several times. “Thank you for the energy” he stated between songs. Coal is something everyone in Eastern Kentucky and surrounding areas is deeply passionate about. Everyone’s father, grandfather or someone close in their family has worked in or around the coal industry at some point in their lives. The crowd loved every moment of his thankfulness for the coal miners and to Ted Nugent I’m grateful he supports hard working coal miners, lots of them have lost their jobs in recent years. One of the best things about the show was seeing Ted’s drummer. The 21 year old drummer Jason Hartless really stood out. Ted of course has had some amazing drummers in the past like Tommy Aldridge, Carmine Appice, and Cliff Davies; but Uncle Ted says Jason is one of the best drummers he has ever worked with. His sound and style adds that little something extra to the show and in time he will become a household name in regards to drummers. When it comes to guitar Ted handles that all on his own. Rhythm, and lead he plays it all. Each song showcased his iconic guitar playing either within the song or between songs. He is one of those musicians that could come out and simply do an improvised jam session and wow everyone in the crowd. We got to hear classic songs like “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”, but the night ended with his two most powerful hits “Stranglehold” and “Cat Scratch Fever”. Hundreds of satisfied fans walked away from the show with a memory that will last forever. Ted Nugent is truly a bucket list show you must see.
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