Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 18, 2010

Local musician to host TV show

'Rob McNurlin Ranch Party,' influenced by Wagoner program, to begin airing in April

Tim Preston/The Independent

ASHLAND--With a strong dose of flavor from the days of �The Porter Wagoner Show,� local musician Rob McNurlin and his band will host a new television show on Saturday mornings starting in April.

�The Rob McNurlin Ranch Party� will be at 8:30 a.m. on the local MyZ station, available to nearly 600,000 households in Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia. Each show will consist of four songs and a short interview session.

�Interviews will be very minimum,� McNurlin noted.

The shows will be produced from a set under construction as part of the country music exhibit at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland, as well as locations including Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio, and Nashville, Tenn.

�It�s going to look like an old barn � just like �The Porter Wagoner Show,�� McNurlin said last week between visits to the set being built at the museum. �Porter was on TV every week when I was growing up and I probably love it more now than I did then.�

The singer/songwriter said the Ranch Party set will also bring something extra to the museum�s country music exhibit.

�When we�re not using it, it will be a great tribute to those old country music shows,� McNurlin said, adding a quick list of artists whose television shows were staples of his own childhood. The locally produced show will also be a tribute to many outstanding musical broadcasts from Huntington and Charleston in years gone by, he said.

The first shows will be recorded without a live audience, McNurlin said, explaining he hopes the show will someday evolve into a live show.

The show will be anchored by McNurlin, along the Beatnik Cowboys � guitarist Kenny Vaughan, steel guitarist Kayton Roberts and bassist J.T. Cure � who will perform as part of a �traditional 50s/60s Western, folk, gospel, blues and traditional hillbilly country TV show.� The guest list for the first 26-week season includes Laura and John Carter Cash, Roy Book Binder, Alamo Jones, Cowboy Jack Clements, Barry Mitterhoff, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Melvin Goins, Larry Cordle, Dave Evans, Marty Stuart, Ramblin Jack Elliott and Jorma Kaukonen.

McNurlin said the concept for the show has been a shared dream of himself and Richard Friley for many years, helped to life by Ginger Gagne of music media company Western Sky, LLC.

It must �be time� or something,� he said, explaining they have unsuccessfully pitched the concept several times before getting a green light for the project.

�We�ve always just wanted to do this. We�re already having fun. The stress levels are high, but if it was easy, I guess everybody would have TV shows.�

McNurlin said the first guest for the first show on the morning of April 3 will be a well-known musician, although the decision has not been made.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.