Boyd County Native Renee Collins Cobb
Takes Entertainment Industry to the Next Level
By Pamela Hall
Ashland and the Tri-state area are well represented in nominations for the Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards this year. A familiar name to many in Boyd County that is repeated on the ballot in several categories is Ashland native Renee Collins Cobb. She and her husband, Warren, have an impressive eight nominations in six different categories!
Renee is a 1980 graduate of Boyd County High School where she was very active in the choral music department. She is an accomplished pianist who earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Kentucky in 1984. She went on to get a master’s degree in Business from Xavier University in 1994.
Renee and Warren reside in the Lexington area and to say that they have an impact on the local music scene there would be a gross understatement. Their passion for local musicians and artists is the foundation of their company, Listen Locally. That passion, in turn, led to the development and presentation of Overtones LIVE, a radio show in Lexington that is recorded live at various venues featuring local artists.
“The definition of the word ‘overtones’,” Renee explains, “is a musical tone which is a part of the harmonic series above a fundamental note, and may be heard with it. So, we try to accomplish just that - a show that not only features an artist but also lends a platform to the stories that relate to the actual songs and songwriters themselves - that may also be heard with the song.”
The “overtone” of presenting these shows snowballed into partnering with the UK Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History for the making of film documentaries. As a result, they have three nominations in the Original Movie/Short Film/Documentary category for “The Greg Austin Story”, “The Tribute to Greg Austin Concert”, and “The Austin City Saloon Story.” It also evolved into their first vinyl recording, “Overtones LIVE Working in Concert With the Goodwin Brothers,” which is nominated for Album of the Year.
“We have engaged local artists as guest hosts,” Renee said, “and this has been a great way to 'work in concert’ as we say with a variety of people, venues, broadcasters, photographers and videographers to make this show the success that it has become.”
The Appy Awards nominations alone are proof of that success. Renee is also nominated for Radio Personality, and she and Warren together are nominated in the categories of Best Podcast, Author/Writer, and Social Media Influencer.
But wait, there’s more! They also won the Lexington Music Awards Critics Choice Award last January and Media Company of the Year – Audio Visual at the Josie Music Awards in Nashville in October.
“We are honored to be nominated for The APPY Awards for a second year,” Renee stated with excitement. “In addition, we have identified 60 nominees on the list that have also ‘worked in concert’ with Overtones LIVE in the past five years.”
A success? No doubt! And that success has also had an impact on the local music scene in Ashland. Renee and Warren have worked with local artists Holly Forbes, Shelby Lore, Cole Chaney, Rick Potter, and others.
"I know first-hand how much work goes into what Renee and Warren do each week,” Rick Potter said. “Renee and Warren truly love local live music and promoting these incredible musicians. Overtones LIVE provides a truly professional outlet to help current and upcoming artists have their music heard. Thank you so much for all you do."
It would be safe to say that Renee and Warren are not only having an impact on the Lexington and Ashland music scenes, but are making an impact on a national level as well. And, it all began from a little Boyd County girl who played the piano!
Voting for the Appy Awards has begun online. To cast your vote go to https://appalachianartsandentertainmentawards.com.
The Awards show will be held on March 18 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Tickets are available at www.macarts.com.
Congratulations and best of luck to Renee and Warren! Their efforts just go to show that when someone works toward something they are passionate about, it can open many doors and touch and make a difference to so many others as well.