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Rocking the pavilion: McNurlin opens up 2019 Ironton Tuesday Night Summer concert series

The summer concert season kicks off tonight at the Ironton Farmers Market.

This is the seventh year for the free Ironton Tuesday Night Summer concert series. Each show begins at 6:30 p.m. and the series will run until the end of August.

First up is the bejeweled beatnik cowboy singer from Eastern Kentucky.

“Rob McNurlin, a local favorite will be the season opener,” said Sam Heighton, executive director of Ironton aLive. “This is a family event so bring the kids have dinner at one of our great Ironton restaurants and enjoy the concerts.”

McNurlin’s musical path began with singing hymns in church, watching the Johnny Cash Show on TV, listening to his parent’s records and getting a guitar on his ninth Christmas.
He spent his youth studying traditional music and learned hundreds of folk, hillbilly-blues and gospel tunes. After being inspired by Cash, Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie and Hank Williams Sr., he started writing songs and mixing his original material with the traditional sounds he absorbed living in the hills of Kentucky into a persona he once called “The Last of the Beatnik Cowboys.”

In his three decades in the music industry, McNurlin has toured with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Hot Tuna. His songs have been covered by Ronnie Elliott, among others, and have been used in two award-winning documentaries. He splits his time between Greenup County, Kentucky and Nashville. He has played along side Marty Stuart at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

The concert will be held under the pavilion on the Second Street.

“In case of rain the concerts will be moved to the historic RO-NA theater,” Heighton said. Although, last year when it started raining during McNurlin’s concert, everyone just squeezed under the pavilion and the band continued playing.

The concerts are produced by Ironton aLive and Studimo Productions. This years sponsors are Glockner of Ironton, Phillips Funeral Home, Gold Street Muffler, Central Hardware, Citizens Deposit Bank, Holiday Inn of Ironton, Perry Distributing, J&J General Maintenance, Armory Smoke House, Portable Solutions Inc., and Scherer Mountain Insurance.