Last updated: March 26. 2014 5:12PM - 1776 Views
Rachel Dove rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

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By Rachel Dove


DELBARTON - The Tug Valley region is all abuzz with the news of a performance that is scheduled to take place on the stage of the Delbarton Opry House on Friday night, and many local residents are scrambling to purchase tickets for what is predicted to be a sell-out show.

Two of country music’s brightest up-and-coming young stars are touring together for the first time and bringing their “Young Country Tour” to Delbarton. American Idol semifinalist Chase Likens And “Walmart Singing Sensation” Kayla Slone from The Grand Ole’ Opry will be displaying their musical talents for all to enjoy, as they make another stop on their national tour.

The two talked-about young country artists will each perform their own set as well as several duets. The tour is being booked and routed by The Bazel Group in Nashville, Tenn.

“The great thing about this tour is the broad variety music fans will experience; Chase has a more rowdy contemporary country style and Kayla just kills those country classics,” said Ed Bazel, head of The Bazel Group on Nashville’s Music Row.

Chase Likens has been defined in the music world as a “triple threat.” He’s a country music singer, songwriter and actor who recently was a Top 12 Males Finalist on American Idol Season 11. During the competition, Likens won the praise of judge Jennifer Lopez, who said, “You’ve got the movie-star good looks for sure, but you sounded great tonight as well. Tonight is about showing America who you are, and you definitely did that with that song. I look forward to seeing where you go.”

“You definitely have some kind of range,” said veteran judge and music executive Randy Jackson. “You’re ready dude … you’re ready.”

“Welcome to American Idol, cowboy,” said judge Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Since Idol, Likens has wowed fans performing at fairs and festivals throughout the U.S., sharing the stage with Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Thompson Square, and America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., among others. Likens recently performed at the prestigious Zeigenbock Fest in Houston alongside notable Texas Country artists Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager and Randy Rogers. His new single, “No Other Girl,” is now available on iTunes and was sent to country radio stations nationally. Likens will be embarking on a 20-city radio tour starting in late spring. His debut CD will be released this summer.

Kayla Slone says it all started at the checkout counter at a Walmart store deep in the foothills of West Virginia, where she would sing to her customers while working the register. One of them whipped out a smart phone and shot a video of Kayla’s authentic Appalachian crooning to later post it online. That brief clip soon went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of views worldwide.

Soon after the video became a viral sensation, a local ABC reporter saw the video of Kayla’s heartfelt rendition of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire classics online, found her still singing at Walmart and did a story about Kayla for the evening news. That story soon made its way to “ABC World News Tonight” with Diane Sawyer, who featured Kayla on her national evening newscast. Grande Ole’ Opry executives were watching and soon Kayla was standing on that world-famous stage, receiving a standing ovation from the sell-out Opry crowd while ABC filmed it all for yet another national news story.

Since then, Kayla’s life has been a whirlwind; her first-ever trip to New York City for a national TV appearance on the Anderson Cooper Show; a backstage meeting with country chart topper Dierks Bentley and a personal invitation to join him in Las Vegas for the Academy of Country Music Awards; and an invitation to perform for top Walmart corporate executives at company meetings in Bentonville, Ark.

Perhaps most poignantly, the young singer received words of encouragement followed by an invitation to perform with the undisputed queen of Country Music, Loretta Lynn.

“She was so kind and so humble; I can’t tell you what an honor it’s been to just be in the same room with Loretta, much less share a stage with her,” Kayla said. Kayla also has shared the stage with The Marshall Tucker Band and Confederate Railroad, and says she’s “excited to take our old smelly tour bus out with Chase Likens; it’s gonna be fun!”

Tickets for American Idol semifinalist Chase Likens and Grand Ole’ Opry performer Kayla Slone are available on each of the artists’ websites by visiting www.chaselikensofficial.com and www.officialkaylaslone.com.

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