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Landau to headline W.Va. Day show at FestivALL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. will headline a special West Virginia Day/ Mayor's Concert on June 20 during Charleston's FestivALL this summer.

The news was announced Monday morning at the Clay Center.

FestivALL Executive Director Larry Groce said, "Like everybody else, we've got Landau Murphy fever."

The show, he promised, would bring the 37 year-old Logan County native and "America's Got Talent" winner to the Clay Center, along with other West Virginia musicians, to help kick off West Virginia's 150th year anniversary, which begins in 2013.

So far, those appearing with Murphy for the show include the Bob Thompson Unit, which will back Murphy on stage as his rhythm section, and bluegrass mandolin, guitar and fiddle player Johnny Staats.

Others, Groce said, would likely be named later. He said they wanted to bring in jazz drummer Butch Miles, a recent inductee into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, but Miles will be in Europe during FestivALL's run from June 15 to 24.

Mayor Danny Jones said he was very excited about Murphy coming to play the Clay Center and sounded proud of the West Virginia's newly minted celebrity.

"Landau Murphy has been doing a lot for the community," Jones said. "He's been a marvelous ambassador for the state."

Tickets for the concert go on sale starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Ticket prices are $25, $35 and $45 and will be available at the Clay Center box office, by calling 304-561-3570 or online at www.theclaycenter.org.

Groce added that if patrons wanted to purchase tickets at the box office, the Clay Center asked that they not park in the drive circle in front of the building.

"It's the first day of the school performances for The Nutcracker," he said, and school buses will need to get in and out.

Murphy's other shows in Charleston have sold out. He's also sold out shows around the state and other parts of the region, some in just a couple of hours. The expectation is this show will also sell out.

"A lot of people missed out on his three sold-out shows in Charleston," Groce said. "This would be a great chance to see him."

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.


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