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Arts Center’s open mic attracts new performers

Posted on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 8:21 am

Larry Groce, Ron Stacy and Kenny Blankenship debut at the Arts Center’s recent open mic. The performing arts show is held the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Arts Center, located at 303 Main Avenue South.

“We were privileged to have three new acts debuting on our stage last night,” said Arts Center President and Open Mic Host Ron Hackett. “It was a great mix of our regular artists with some new and unique acts to provide our audience with outstanding variety.”

Co-host Robert Foster opened the show with a cover of Cat Stevens’ “Moon Shadow”. He followed that with Dan Fogelberg’s “Old Tennessee” and John Prine’s “Souvenirs”.

Singer and songwriter Pete Crim made his first appearance at the show. He opened with a cover of Merle Haggard’s “My Favorite Memory of All”. He followed that with two of his original songs entitled “I Grew Up a Cowboy” and “I’d Love to Walk a Mile in My Grandpa’s Shoes”. He finished his set with “Choices” by George Jones.

Avant-garde songwriter Thunderbyrd Newman returned again this week to perform two original songs entitled “Lost Summer” and “Cherokee Indian Eyes”.

Poet Samantha Grace Posey read some of her original poetry, beginning with a poem entitled, “A Musical”. Next, she read “Finished”, a poem about giving up on rules and forgiveness. She finished with a poem she wrote for a friend struggling through a hard time. The poem was entitled, “Worthy”.

Next, a three-piece band lead by Kenny Blankenship on the guitar debut on the Arts Center stage. Ron Stacy played the mandolin, and Larry Groce played the violin. They started with “Kentucky Mandolin”, written by Bill Monroe. Next, they sang “Wagon Wheel”, written by Darius Rucker that is based on an unfinished chorus written by Bob Dylan. The finished with “Cold Frosty Morning”. According to Hetzler’s Facebook, this traditional fiddle tune memorializes an actual historic event as told there: “The fiddle tune Cold, Frosty Morning remembers the battle of Culloden Moor. On the morning of April 16, 1746, an English Army of 8,000 massacred a Scottish army of 7,000, ending the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland.”

Huntsville songwriter Jon Rosenblum made his debut at the Arts Center. He performed three of his original songs that included “Walked Right Into That”, “It’s Not Her Memory That’s Killing Me, It’s Mine” and “You’re My Queen”.

Regular performer Elliott from Petersburg came next to perform three of his humorous songs that elicit audience participation. He began with a reprise of “Oh How He Lied” from the last show. He went on to perform “Coney Island Washboard” and “I Want a Beer Just Like The Beer That Killed My Dear Old Dad” to liven up the evening.

Local songwriter Greg Mitchell came next to perform two of his Caribbean inspired songs. “Take Me” is a song about love, the beach and sailing in the Florida cays. Next was a song about a sailor called, “Charlie’s View”. The tune got its name from a bench label that overlooks Bay St Louis. He finished with a country tune entitled, “West Texas Rain”.

Hackett backed Mitchell on the guitar before finishing the show with a set of solo instrumentals. He began with “Mr. Bojangles” that was written by Jerry Jeff Walker and made famous by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Next, he played “Windy and Warm”, a well-known fingerpicked tune by John D. Loudermilk that was made famous by Chet Atkins. He followed that with a show tune from Doctor Zhivago known as “Lara’s Theme”, or “Somewhere My Love”. As a favor for one of the regular audience members, Hackett finished with a traditional tune called, “Spanish Fandango”.

The bi-monthly (first and third Saturdays of each month) performing arts show and open mic is free to all Arts Center members. They ask non-members to make a $2 donation to help cover the cost of the facility. You are welcome to bring your own refreshments. Smoking is not allowed in the building, but there is a smoking area outside.

Each act is allowed 15 minutes for their performance. Soloists who would like musical accompaniment for their performance, or anyone who would like to participate in an open jam session, please contact Ron and Taylor before the show. Questions about the show are also welcome. Their email address is openmic@flc-artscenter.com.

The Art Center is located at 303 Main Avenue South in Fayetteville. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the show begins at 7 p.m. A limited number of advance sign-ups are available on the website. For more information, please visit the Art Center website at http://www.flc-artscenter.com/openmic.