Exit 23 gets off at Town Pump

J.L. Hunt
Special to The Black Mountain News

Kentucky has been known to create wildly-talented musicians over the years. From the older sounds of Loretta Lynn and Dwight Yoakam to upcoming artists like Sturgill Simpson and current country superstar Chris Stapleton, the hills of eastern Kentucky have been providing America with hit artists since the birth of country music. Talent seems to pour out of these mountains, and that holds true with the band Exit 23, from the heart of the region, Pikeville, Kentucky.

Exit 23

Labeling Exit 23 as country doesn’t accurately describe the unique sound the band offers. At the band’s beginning, it was composed of the three core members Johnny “Pop” Day (lead vocals, guitar), Charlie Cable (banjo, mandolin, guitar), and Scott Cable (guitar). Their original songs were acoustic-driven, country songs that spoke from Day's experiences of being in the Army National Guard, going through bad decisions and bad relationships, and then finding himself and his true love.

What sets these country-themed songs apart from the rest is how they are delivered. In mid-2015, the band added an electric slide guitar and a heavy rhythm section, Jay Justice (drums) and Kyle McCown (bass).  The additions morphed Exit 23 from acoustic country to a unique blend of classic country and southern rock with a touch of folk-roots.

The band's unique take on country has given them the opportunity to open for big names in the music business, such as Ricky Skaggs, Brantley Gilbert, Aubrie Sellers, Ray Scott, Frank Foster, and even a Western North Carolina local favorite, Folk Soul Revival.

Get your country on

Who: Exit 23

When: 9 p.m. Nov. 18

Where: Town Pump, Black Mountain