Host Robert Foster started the show with “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith. He followed that with “Cost of Living” by Ronnie Dunn, “When I’m Good and Gone” by Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, and “Childhood Souvenirs” by John Prine. Foster’s smooth voice and fingerstyle guitar playing are always a crowd pleaser.
Newcomers Scotty Bevers and Larry Blamb took the stage to play “Silver Wings” by Merle Haggard, “Heartaches by the Number” by Harlan Howard, and “Walk Softly on the Heart of Mine” by Jake Landers and Bill Monroe. “We’re always glad to see newcomers,” said co-host Taylor Hoch.
Regular performer Elliott from Petersburg performed his usual hilarious faire of campy folk songs. For the Halloween season, he started with a song about Anne Boleyn haunting the castle in England with “With Hear Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm.” Next he sang “Rickity Tickity Tin,” an Irish ballad about the maid murdering the family she served. He finished with “G’Wan Home yer Mudder is Callin,” a humorous ditty about gangs in the Bronx performed by Eddie Jackson and Jimmy Durante.
Apprentice host Travis Leimer took the stage next to perform “Momma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” written by Ed and Patsy Bruce, “Forever and Ever Amen” written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, and “Country Roads” written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver. “It’s great to have the next generation of performers and show hosts on our stage,” said Arts Center president Ron Hackett.
“This show has always been about all performing arts,” said the show’s original Hoch. “So we are always happy to welcome non-musical performances like Dr. Bill Stephens.” Stephens recited “Rain on the Roof” by Coates Kinney, “Casey at Bat” by Ernest Thayer, and “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” a story about a freezing gold prospector in the Yukon finding warmth in a most unusual way. This poem was written by Robert Service.
Indie Folk artist Thunderbyrd Newman followed Stephens to perform three of his original tunes. His songs included “By the Light of the Moon,” “Gentle Ghost of You,” and “Beautiful Dreams.” Newman accompanied himself on guitar.
Then co-host Taylor Hoch played three of her original songs. She started with “Let’s Me Seem Sane,” which is a love that Jack-the-Ripper would have written according to Hoch. This song is part of a suite for a play she is writing about the infamous murderer. She finished with “So You Run” and “Vanishing,” which are frequently requested by the audience.
With a few minutes remaining, Elliott told the audience a humorous story entitled, “John Loved Jane and Jane Loooved John.” Spoiler alert! If you untie the yellow ribbon, her head falls off.
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 that 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art Center is located at 303 Main Ave. South in Fayetteville. Doors open and sign-ups begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the show begins at 7. A limited number of advance sign-ups are available on our website. For more information, visit the Art Center at www.flc-artscenter.com/openmic.