Black Opry founder and co-director Holly G and the Museum’s Angela Stefano Zimmer host this conversation and showcase featuring recording artists and songwriters the Kentucky Gentlemen, Nikki Morgan, Aaron Vance, and Julie Williams, all involved with the Black Opry. Founded in April 2021 as a digital home for Black Americana music, blues, country, and folk artists and fans, the Black Opry now includes a series of showcases, known as the Black Opry Revue, that highlight the diverse sounds and stories of the Black artists in these genres.
During the show, Holly G and Zimmer discuss the history of the Black Opry, and each artist shares career background, how they got involved with the organization, and performs. Vance performs “Set the Tone,” Morgan performs “24 Hours,” Williams performs “Southern Curls,” and the Kentucky Gentlemen perform “Vintage Lover.” Part of the Museum’s “Live at the Hall” series, this live performance was recorded during AmericanaFest 2022, on September 16, 2022, and presented in partnership with SiriusXM Outlaw Country.
The Kentucky Gentlemen—twin brothers Brandon and Derek Campbell from Versailles, Kentucky—recently released their debut EP, “The Kentucky Gentlemen, Vol. 1,” and have had the music video for their song “Vibin’” featured on CMT. Nikki Morgan, originally from North Carolina, began performing while living in Chicago and has opened concerts for Sean Watkins, Jaime Wyatt, and other artists. Mississippi native Aaron Vance has released three albums—his newest is 2021’s “Cabin Fever”—and is an alumnus of the Acoustic Guitar Project. Julie Williams signed her first record deal, with Duke University’s student-run record label Small Town Records, when she was a college student and became a regular host of the weekly, all-women Song Suffragettes artist showcase after moving to Nashville in 2019.
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