Senora May leads Kentucky-fried lineup for Mountain Arts Center’s Fall Artist Series

Senora May

By Matt Wickstrom

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — The Big Sandy Community & Technical College Department of Fine Arts and the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) have released the lineup for the annual Fall Artist Series to be held at The Gearheart on the Prestonsburg campus. This year’s concerts include Senora May, an all-star lineup called “Star City Session,” and Louisa native Adam Chaffins.

The series opens with back-to-back presentations in late October. First up will be Estill County native Senora May on Thursday, October 25. May is a singer/songwriter with deep folk influences and wife to the Americana Music Awards’ Emerging Artist of the Year Tyler Childers. She is fresh from two important performances this month — the first on September 8 for the release celebration for her album Lainhart at The Burl in Lexington, which is already garnering high praise from critics, and September 15 at Kickin’ It On The Creek, a three-day music and camping festival near Irvine that has a history of elevating artists to the next level in notoriety.

“Star City Session” with Nicholas Jamerson, Grayson Jenkins, Sean Whiting and Bek Smallwood

The next evening — Friday, October 26 — features the “Star City Session.” The lineup for the event includes Nicholas Jamerson, Grayson Jenkins, Sean Whiting and Bek Smallwood. All four artists are busy with various projects on and off the road. This will be the first time they have graced a stage as a foursome. Jamerson describes the night as one of “singing songs and telling the stories that made the songs.”

The fall series will conclude with a November 8 appearance from Nashville musician and Louisa native Adam Chaffins, back in eastern Kentucky for a performance with his full band.

adam chaffins
Adam Chaffins

Moving to Nashville in 2010, he fast became an in-demand bassist and vocalist, touring with Rounder Records’ The Deadly Gentlemen and spending time as a member of North Carolina progressive bluegrass band Town Mountain. In the studio, he’s gained the attention of producers like Buddy Miller and Dave Brainard, and as a writer he won a SESAC award in 2013 for co-writing with GRAMMY-winning group The Infamous Stringdusters.

His debut album — Some Things Won’t Last — is scheduled for November release and features ornamentation more often found in pop and rock circles. Chaffins has a college degree in Jazz Performance.

All Fall Artist Series performances are on sale now through the MAC box office at, by calling 1 (888) MAC-ARTS, or in person Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 and all the proceeds go to benefit the Big Sandy Singers & Band scholarship fund at BSCTC.

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