Reagan Boggs plays Northeast State at Blountville July 7

Community Contributor Tom Wilson • Updated Jun 22, 2017 at 3:47 PM
BLOUNTVILLE — As a daughter of the Coalfields and “The Crooked Road,” singer-songwriter Reagan Boggs continues to grow her reputation as one of Americana music’s most popular and influential artists.

Boggs grew up in the tiny Southern Appalachian town of Pound, Va. Her family’s home was tucked away in a “holler” outside the small mining community. At times, she can be as pure as such mountain songbirds as Patty Loveless or as edgy as such artists as Shelby Lynne or Matraca Berg. But, all throughout her latest album, Empty Glasses, she manages to simply be Reagan Boggs — and that’s pretty special, as you will hear.The new album was released last year as the follow-up to her Quicksand disc and won the attention in her home base, as well as on the Americana Music Association chart. She feels that the music on Empty Glasses reflects her diverse musical stylings.

“I had gotten a review in, and one of the lines said that I transcend genres. It’s hard when people ask me – and kind of to my detriment in a way – because when people ask me what kind of music I do, I draw a blank – because I have such a hard time with that,” said Boggs. “It’s very country based, with some other influences running through it. I went through so many phases of my life. I was a Blues singer, a Bluegrass singer, I sang Gospel, and was a Rock and Roller, too. I just love music….of all kinds.”

She lists such artists as Jason Isbell, Patty Loveless, Ryan Adams and Patty Griffin among her influences. She related that growing up in an area where there was little to do, and no cable, music was king – and that’s where she gained her biggest inspiration.

 “I love anything that makes me feel something,” says Boggs. “It doesn’t really have to be a specific genre.”

Lee Zimmerman of the roots music journal No Depression compared Boggs style as “…the same wellspring of heartfelt emotion, bittersweet reflection and bleak back porch desire that birthed great singers like Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Her voice is filtered through a mix of hard wrought emotion and soothing sensitivity, the kind that breeds great balladry and stirs the senses simultaneously.”

Boggs is a two-time Mountain Stage performer on National Public Radio and will be featured this summer on the PBS broadcast of “Song of the Mountains.” She also uses her vocal talents to narrate audiobooks. Check out her titles on Audible.com and iTunes.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.NortheastState.edu or contact jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.