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Love is in the air when music’s on the stage


February 02, 2018

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It’s February, so the boss says “It’s the ‘love’ issue.” I guess that means I am supposed to find some pun-tastic way to integrate love into this month’s article. As musicians, that’s kind of what we do, isn’t it? We find the connections between some of the most seemingly random things. “This relationship reminds me of the way frost covers a window because it gets stronger when the world outside is cold, and it’s hot inside…” or something of that nature. Then we write or sing a song about it and become famous. That’s how it works, right? How am I not a billionaire rock star yet?

Anyway, it’s no secret that I am in love. No, I’m not referring to the 6’3” drink of water in the cowboy hat, although, there is that. I am referring to the music scene in this town. If the music scene in Statesboro were a person, I’d have fallen a little more in love with her over the past few weeks as I continue to get to know her more. A relative noob to this market, I’ve only been performing here for the past three years or so. Sure, there are a few people who knew me a decade ago, but as far as a professional musician in Statesboro, I am a transplant. There are those who have been plugging away at this for decades, and the amazing and wonderful and love inspiring thing about it is they welcome newcomers into the family like old friends. This is a family.

As I sat at Millhouse recently enjoying the sounds of Blu Vudu, a friend and I were discussing this very topic. Bulloch County is so inundated with amazing talent. Rich and diverse, we have jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, Americana. Young and old, there are folks new to the business and those who have been to Nashville and made their way back home. Young up-and-comers like Addie Smith whose resume is short, but whose heritage is deep from her dad, well-known local legend Corey Smith, perform on the same stage where veterans have been wailing for years.

Even beyond the fantastic talent in our area, though, I absolutely love the camaraderie. Step into any music venue in town on any given night, and you are likely to see any number of musicians in the audience there to support their friends. They’re even likely to sit in for a song or two. The folks at Millhouse Friday got to hear Blu Vudu, B. Harvey, and Samarie Palmer, and that is not an uncommon occurrence. I’m excited to get messages from friends all the time to come enjoy an evening of music and maybe sit in for a song or two. I just got a message from Brendon Sapp that Ten Mile Creek will be at Gnat’s Landing on Feb. 24. I’m hoping to make that show. I’ve been trying to get out to see them for a while now. I’ve heard awesome things. And the Birdhaus is always having house shows featuring excellent local, regional and national musicians. These are shows where the young songwriters can present their latest offerings for a small crowd and make great connections with regional artists like Cyril Durante or folks like Aaron Cooler who is now a booking agent and runs his own home studio. 

 

While there has always been a sort of unspoken, unconscious effort to support one another, recent years has birthed that into a conscious choice to have each other’s backs, support one another as often as we can, and fill the gap when there’s a need. The loss of Wesley Bragg in April of last year made this family closer and brought that effort to the forefront of our minds. A legacy I know he’d be proud to have left.

By the time this article runs, we will have had yet another Family Get Together. Micahlan Boney has put together a stellar group of musicians for a Bob Dylan Tribute Concert at Eagle Creek Brewery that promises to be a night of amazing music. There’s no shortage of events, gigs, shows and support for one another. With all that love and support, it’s easy to see why we have had so many musicians find their wings and fly on to have national and international careers. It’s easy to see why so many of us are so in love with the music scene in Statesboro.


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