Times Staff Report
September 10, 2012
Julia Roberts Goad
When Lynyrd Skynyrd plays the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville this week, their opening act will feel right at home - because he is a Pike County native.
Logan Hall is from Virgie, Ky., and won the first annual Country Music Highway Road To Fame in June.
In addition to the concert, Logan will be walking one mile in each of the counties along the Country Music Highway Sept. 12 and 13, ending at the Expo Center before the Lynyrd Skynyrd show. The purpose of “Logan Hall’s Walk for Awareness” is to bring attention to the plight of the coal miners, not just in Eastern Kentucky but all across America.
Since winning the competition this past June, Logan, signed to Unbridled Entertainment, has been busy touring and spending time with Kentucky singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall at his ranch in Nashville to record in his studio. But no matter what happens and where his career takes him, Logan says his heart is with the people of Kentucky, many of whom recently lost their jobs in the mines. He is hoping to use his newfound celebrity to bring awareness to the many who are struggling desperately to provide for their families and to inspire them to never stop believing, to never lose hope.
Logan will be walking one mile in each of the counties along the Country Music Highway: Greenup, Boyd, Lawrence, Johnson, Floyd, Pike and Letcher Counties.
In addition to the walk, Logan Hall will also be releasing his self-penned single “Treasures from the Ground,” with a portion of proceeds being donated to Coal Mining Our Future, an organization made up of coal companies in Southeastern Kentucky with the sole purpose of keeping the people of Kentucky informed about the facts concerning coal mining.
“Treasures from the Ground” will be available on Google Play on Sept. 11.
In addition to being the spark that started Logan’s music career, winning the Country Music Highway Road to Fame contest brought closer to joining the superstars that gave U.S. Highway 23 its famous title. To be eligible to enter the contest, contestants must be residing in one of several Eastern Kentucky counties.
The area the Highway runs through has been home to stars such as Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, Tom T. Hall, The Judds, Billy Ray Cyrus and many more.
Logan is the quintessential artist to carry the torch of Appalachian music laced with hope, heartache and coal dust.
With musical influences as diverse as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Ray Charles, Logan is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and an amazingly talented songwriter. But above all, it is his unique voice that connects him to audiences that are riveted by his heartfelt delivery of soul-searching ballads and uptempo country rockers.
Like his father and grandfather, Logan entered the mines at an early age, working on an auger thenbecoming an electrician on a highwall miner working 70 to 80 hours a week, and playing music every chance he got.
“It’s an honest days work for an honest days pay, a life you can be proud of,” says Logan. He loved his work, the men who’d become family to him. In his dreams he was on the stage singing for his fans but in the real world mining put food on the table and he was content with that. However, an accident in the mines would change all that. Logan’s back was broken in three places and he quickly understood life would never be the same. After a lengthy recovery, Logan resigned himself to the fact that he would never return to the mines again.
Early in 2012 he heard that a contest called The Country Music Highway Road to Fame would soon be coming to the Eastern Corridor of Kentucky. Auditions would be held along Highway 23 looking for Kentucky’s next country music star. The goal was to find the next county music artist from the area and expose the talent in the region as well as revive music education in the public school systems.
After hearing his name called out to a sold out crowd at The Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg as the 2012 winner of The Country Music Highway Road to Fame, he was speechless. Since then it’s been television, radio and newspaper interviews, offers to perform and a lot of love from the people of Kentucky not to mention a lot of believers in Nashville.