Arts & Culture

UK Alumna Martha Bassett to Perform Live on 'Red Barn Radio'

Martha Bassett describes her time as a student at UK School of Music.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2017) University of Kentucky alumna Martha Bassett returns to Lexington to perform live on the “Red Barn Radio” program this week. The recording session for this concert featuring the singer, musician and songwriter will begin 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at ArtsPlace, located at 161 North Mill St. Tickets for this concert are $8.

Martha Bassett was raised on the bluegrass and gospel of her native West Virginia farmland. Classically trained as well, Bassett’s sound is described as “blessed with a crystalline tone, a remarkable range and sultry delivery.” Her performances are known for their emotional honesty and visceral impact, making everyone in the room feel she’s singing directly to them. Her musical inspiration moves effortlessly through swing, jazz, folk, country and rock guaranteeing playful variety at her live shows. Mixing originals with choice covers, Bassett navigates sexy torch songs, rip-your-heart-out ballads and slinky groove tunes with a band equally comfortable in acoustic and electric settings. On her fourth CD, “The Goodbye Party,” Bassett explores longing, anger, loss and love. The songs are heartbroken and wistfully triumphant. A critic from No Depression magazine described the artist’s music as “intricate and resoundingly captivating, each song takes me further into a scene.”

Regularly seen on stages at Merlefest, the Eastern Music Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival and concert venues throughout North Carolina and Virginia, Bassett has opened for Lyle Lovett, Tony Bennett, the Avett Brothers, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jim Lauderdale and Chuck Prophet. She contributed music to the Sony Classics film, “Junebug,” as well. Her tours have taken her up and down the East coast and into the Midwest.

Bassett holds a bachelor’s degree in music from UK and a master’s degree in music/voice from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At UK School of Music, Bassett was a student of Phyllis Jenness and Sara Holroyd. She performed with both the UK Choristers and UK Chorale, as well as a group known as the Sophisticates, a singing tour group sponsored by UK Alumni Association.

In addition to Bassett, the “Red Barn Radio” program has other UK connections. UK music alumni Renee Collins and Warren Cobb, founders of Room 17 Productions, have joined the radio program’s team. Collins serves as a co-host of the show and director of media services, and Cobb is a line producer and works with talent management.

If you are unable to attend the Martha Bassett concert, it will be recorded for "Red Barn Radio," which airs on NPR radio stations all over the country and Canada each weekend. Locally, you can hear the show at 8 p.m. Saturdays, on the WUKY radio station. The program is executive produced by Ed Commons.

"Red Barn Radio" showcases old-time and bluegrass musicians, both from the Commonwealth and neighboring states where Kentucky music has settled and flourished. In weekly conversation and performance with its talented guests, "Red Barn Radio" enlivens and archives Kentucky's musical heritage, and brings to the airwaves a uniquely refreshing and folksy hour of Americana programming.

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, theory and music history.

photo of Martha Bassett with guitar
Martha Bassett

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue