Mountain Arts Center hosts 2022 Appalachian Arts & Entertainment Awards

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) – Its no secret that the Appalachian Mountains have produced talented musicians, artists and writers, and many of them gathered under one roof on Saturday for the Appalachian Arts & Entertainment Awards (APPY’s) in Prestonsburg.

“You know, when you’re a musician, you’re kind of involved in an informal family and its kind of cool to see all your different family members that you don’t even know, and you’re meeting them, its kind of like one big reunion,” said Adam Williamson, a Best Wind and Brass Nominee.

The APPY’s not only recognizes Appalachians in country or bluegrass music, but the awards span across different genres.

“Its pretty interesting, a lot of country artists are around here, not many rap,” said Carter “Lil Cartier” Maynard, a Best Hip Hop Nominee. “But Jack Harlow, EST coming out of Kentucky, its helping out a lot. And Bryson Tiller, too.”

Educators, TV personalities and writers were also recognized during the ceremony.

“Its really neat that I had the opportunity to be included,” said Lyssa Culbertson, a Best Blog & Best Author Nominee. “It includes other arenas in art and entertainment so even though I write about music, normally I wouldn’t be up for something like this.”

The event was emceed by Tayla Lynn and Tre Twitty, the grandchildren of Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, who said it’s nice to have an awards ceremony that honors the mountains and the talent within them.

“There’s so many stars born in these hills,” said Lynn. “I mean, Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Crystal Gayle, Patty Loveless, Chris Stapleton.”

Music journalist and event co-coordinator Jessica Blankenship added that the APPY’s not only recognizes the talent that comes from the mountains but it also helps to paint a positive image of the Appalachian region.

Below is the list of winners:

Best Album of the Year

The Josephines – “Cocaine or Cowboys” (KY)

Best EP of the Year

Sean Whiting (KY)

Best Album Art

Melissa Abney (KY)

Best Original Song

Zoe Howard and Yellow Line – “Walkin’ Each other Home” (KY)

Best Female Vocalist

Hannah Bethel (TN)

Best Male Vocalist

Cole Chaney (KY)

Best Songwriter

Hailey Newman (KY)

Best Americana

Spooky Fox (KY)

Best Bluegrass

Wolfpen Branch (KY)

Best Blues

Mystery Meat Blues Band (KY)

Best Country

Courtney Mason (KY)

Best Gospel

Awaken Worship (KY)

Best Jazz/Latin/Big Band/World

Appalatin (KY)

Best Hip Hop

Carter Maynard (KY)

Best Pop

Phourist and the Photons (KY)

Best Rock

Jordan Allen (KY)

Best Cover Band/Variety Act

Eight Daze Sober (KY)

Best Bassist

Brandon Johnson (KY)

Best Drummer/Percussionist

Ben Caldwell (KY)

Best Guitarist

Cody Lee Meece (KY)

Best Keyboardist

Alex Marcum (KY)

Best Strings/Non-Guitar Bass

Justin Riley (KY)

Best Wind and Brass

Tommy Cate (KY)

Best Live Music Venue

The Corbin Arena (KY)

Best Music Festival

Manchester Music (KY)

Best Radio DJ

Loretta Friend – V 99.3 The Coyote (KY)

Best Recording Studio/Engineer/Producer

Dwayne King (KY)

Best High School Band

Boyd County High School Band (KY)

Best High School Choir

Johnson Central High School Choir (KY)

Best Music Educator

Clyde Porter (KY)

Art Categories

Best Art Educator

Tammy Clemmons (KY)

Best Digital Mixed Media Artist

Jerielle Hanlon/KY Pop Art (KY)

Best Cartoonist/Illustrator

Shawn Wallace (VA)

Best Photographer

Greg Davis (KY)

Best Logo Design/Graphic Designer

Chris Burkhardt (KY)

Best Painting

Lena Marie Auxier (KY)

Best Sculpture

Payton Martin (KY)

Best Tattoo Artist

John Haywood (KY)

Other Entertainment Categories

Best TV Personality

Lacey Roberts –InFocUS (OH)

Best Podcast

Jamey Johnson – “Sound of Sports” (KY)

Best Acting/Drama/Speech Educator

Artist Collaborative Theater (KY)

Best Dance Educator

Michelle Barbee-Smith (KY)

Best Original Movie/Short Film/Documentary

Grayson Gallery (KY)

Best Vlogger

Tipper Presley (KY)

Best Author

Lindsay Gargotto – “When the Poppy Sheds” (KY)

Best Poet

Khalisa Rae – “Ghost in a Black Girls” (NC)

Best Blog

Lyssa Culbertson – Hillbilly Hippie Music Review” (AL)

Community Arts & Entertainment Award

Jonathan Webb of AppHarvest

Star City Award

Loretta Lynn

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