A big shout-out to local singer/songwriter Nathan Bell for finishing runner-up to Jason Isbell in the 2018 Americana UK readers's poll in the Best Male Artist category. Also finishing as runners-up were JP Harris, John Prine and Luke Tuchscherer. That's pretty good company, and well-earned indeed.
Bell tends to remain fairly low-key, musically speaking, around here, but he is easily one of the most talented musicians we have living here. Earlier this year, he released two albums - "Loves Bones and Stars, Love's Bones and Stars" and "Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth (Live)" - which are both great. Bell has been overseas for weeks now performing, and I look forward to hearing all about it.
* While we are handing out attaboys, kudos to Peyton Manning for sending some autographed footballs and hats to Ryan and Austin Moore via their mother, Angie Lowrey. The family lost everything they had, including some UT memorabilia that meant a lot to them, about 19 months ago in a fire.
Thanks to the efforts of Alan Pressley and Dr. Rodney Susong, who managed to get signed stuff from Coach Phillip Fulmer, who personally gave the boys some items last year, and Manning, who took some time away from making commercials with Brad Paisley (I kid), the family has some replacements.
* Kudos also to model/actor and Walker Valley High School graduate Louis Macarthur, who recently helped reveal one of the most unusual art pieces I've seen in awhile during the 2018 edition of Art Miami | CONTEXT Art Miami during the international Art Basel festivals held in Miami.
I'm linking to a video because you have to see it to understand it. Macarthur was the model for the piece.
The sculpture, titled "Dream," received awards for Best of Best during the art show and was commissioned to a private buyer in the city of Miami.
"Dream" was created by German sculptor Julian Voss-Andreae, who recently was featured on National Geographic for his amazing 3D optical illusion sculptures that provide a disappearing illusion as you scan across.
Macarthur currently resides in Los Angeles.
* I don't like to wish time away, but I am looking forward to 2019 and to seeing what is in store for us in the arts and culture world locally. There have been so many things that have been "in the works" or planned that will come to fruition in the coming year. I'll have more thoughts on that next week, but Happy New Year everyone. Be safe.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.