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Trailblazing Women of Country: A Tribute to Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly

LIVE PERFORMANCE: Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 7:30 pm
Link to the Online Bardo Arts Center Box Office

Poster with Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Patsy Kline in cartoon drawings.

Image Courtesy of IMG Artists.

Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton revolutionized country music and blazed a trail for future generations of female artists. With their chart-topping hits and record-breaking sales, Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly wove threads of contemporary womanhood throughout the tapestry of country music, resulting in unprecedented commercial success and earning each a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Trailblazing Women of Country, will entertain and inspire audiences during this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, featuring soloists, Miko Marks, CMT's 2022, "Next Woman of Country"; and Nashville based singer, KristinaTrain, supported by a 5-member all-female band.

Cline, Lynn, and Parton harnessed country music’s rich storytelling tradition to offer their uniquely empowered—and unmistakably female—perspective on issues faced by women of their day. Their shared legacy of musical excellence, earthy glamour, and unapologetic authenticity continues to resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds in the 21st century.

Patsy’s assured contralto affirms that a woman can be heartbroken and sure of herself at the same time (“Crazy,”“Walkin’ After Midnight”); Loretta Lynn’s songs exalt autonomy attained through contraception (“The Pill”) andself-respect (“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ with Lovin’ On Your Mind”); and Dolly Parton demonstrates that a womancan ascend the career ladder (“9-to-5”) while never losing sight of her roots (“Coat of Many Colors”).

Through their singular voices and artistry, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton defied restrictive gender norms, proving that women can be at once beautiful and strong, vulnerable, and powerful.

Photo is of Miko Marks in a white dress on a leather stool.

Photo courtesy of IMG Artists.

The Wall Street Journal has described it as a “genre and industry-defying mission.” NPR declared it a “multilayered experience.” The New York Times commended the movement as carving out a new path in country music. All tell the story of Miko Marks’ resurgence as she deftly blends country, blues, southern rock and even gospel to create a sound and experience that has literally brought every audience to its feet. This new sound along with her warm and soulful spirit catapulted her into a community of change with her doing more than breaking ground - she’s shattering it. It’s a serendipitous realization that Marks was meant to be here, at this time, in this moment, for good.

After releasing her critically-acclaimed album, Our Country (via Redtone Records) in March 2021, Marks dove head first  into an industry that previously never fully embraced her. She closed out 2021 with her EP release, Race Records, which shined a light on the arbitrary divisions forced upon artists and audiences in the early days of music marketing in the 1940s. In January of this year, Marks was named to CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2022 and by April, she stood alongside five other artists and managers chosen to participate in the inaugural Equal Access Development Program, a program designed by mtheory and CMT to foster and support marginalized communities underrepresented in the genre of country music. Now more than ever, the change needed is beginning to come to fruition; a change Marks feared she wouldn’t bear witness to in her existence: “I get emotional around it, because I didn’t think I would see any of this in my lifetime,” Marks says.

Nearly one year after the release of Our Country, Marks released the first single, “Feel Like Going Home” (March 25, 2022) from her forthcoming project of the same name, due this fall. The lyrics sing, “Rest for the wanderer who never more shall roam.” For Marks, the time to reclaim her roots that were planted long ago is now; a powerful reconnection that can be felt in every note. No longer a wanderer, Marks has returned to her true self after years of trying to figure out her place in the world and in her first true love: music.

Feel Like Going Home is an amalgamation of where Marks has been and where she is going. What she has learned and what she wants to teach. It’s an innermost look at the ebb and flow of her past, present and future. It’s the stories she wants to tell but hasn’t been able to speak into existence ever before. The messages are profound: healing, restoration and distinctly individual. Feel Like Going Home will be released on October 14, 2022.

Find Miko Marks on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube.

Photo depicts Kristina Train wearing a wide brimmed hat.

Photo courtesy of IMG Artists.

Musician's Name Instrument Photo
Megan Palmer Musical Director, Piano Photo of Megan Palmer
Morgan Blaney Bass Photo of Morgan Blaney
Heather Thomas Drums Photo of Heather Thomas
Thayer Sarrano Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards Photo of Thayer Sarrano
Anne McCue Electric Guitar, Lap Steel Photo of Jane McCue

Photo of Eli Wolf


Eli Wolf is a producer, executive producer, A&R person, and music executive. Eli began his careerat Blue Note Records, where he was mentored by Bruce Lundvall. In his 20-plus years in themusic business, Eli has A&R-ed and produced a wide array of artists spanning diverse genres,including singer-songwriter, alternative, country, Americana, R&B, pop, hip-hop, indie rock, jazz,world, classical, andfilm soundtrack. Career milestones include working closely with Grammy-winning artist Norah Jones since the beginning of her career; conceptualizing, executiveproducing, and A&R-ing Al Green’s Grammy-winning albumLay it Down; signing and producingGrammy-winning hip-hop/jazz crossover artist Robert Glasper; and signing and A&R-ing singer-songwriter Amos Lee. Eli produced Norah Jones’s album,Day Breaks, which charted at #2 onthe Billboard Top 200 and has, to date, sold over one million albums worldwide. Additionalcareer highlights include projects with Grammy-winning artists Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, TheRoots, Anita Baker, Wynton Marsalis, Angelique Kidjo, & Brittany Howard.

Images of Jackson County Arts Council and North Carolina Arts Council logos


The project was supported by a Grassroots Grant from the Jackson County Arts Council with funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

WCU Campus theme -community & belongingness


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We look forward to seeing you at Trailblazing Women of Country - A Tribute to Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 7:30 pm. Doors will open to the performance 30 min before the show is set to start.

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