The Steel Mill Bar and Grille in Martins Ferry is quickly becoming a hotbed for local music talent.
Last Saturday night was no different.
A trio of Eastern Ohio performers took to the outdoor venue and didn't disappoint a huge crowd that turned out on a beautiful star-filled night.
Headlining the concert was fan favorite Joe Zelek, who was his unflappable self in playing hit after hit.
He was preceded to the microphone by Neffs teenager Taylor Porter and Martins Ferry's own Matt Van Fossen.
Zelek, who has been a regular on the Jamboree in the Hills lineup for the past several summers, had the crowd standing from the get-go.
The Buckeye Local graduate is gearing up for a big summer as he will be appearing tonight in Pittsburgh at WDVE/WXDX Bike Night. He will be at Tappan Lake on Saturday, June 30 as part of the Fourth of July celebration. The next night, July 1, he will take the stage at Harding Stadium in Steubenville as part of the city's Fourth of July get-together.
On Wednesday, July 18, the personable Zelek will treat the JITH crowd to a free concert, as he has done in year's past, on the hillside overlooking the large venue. He will then move to the stage Thursday for the opening night festivities.
In August, Zelek will be playing at Valley Harley Davidson in Morristown on Friday the 3rd. He will then be at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on Friday, Aug. 10 and at the Monroe County Fair on Monday, Aug. 20.
Porter, an up-and-comer, got the crowd primed with her strong vocals on bluegrass, country and southern rock selections.
Her show "Modern Ladies of Country Music" is a mix of cover songs, along with some originals.
Porter is in the midst of recording her first CD, appropriately named "Taylor Porter-1st Impressions."
For the past two summers, Porter has served as the opening act for The Rafter M Bar W Rodeo.
Van Fossen's hit "Are You Ever Gonna Love Me" spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Cashbox Independent Country Singles Chart, and "Time Ain't What It Used To Be" ended up at No. 76 on the Top 98 of 2010 on WOVK.
If the show is any indication of what's to come along the Ohio River in the Purple City, it should be an outstanding summer of music under the stars.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org