The only time I'd been to Pegram before this night was when I was driving in the area I moved to this past summer. I missed my turn and kept going...eventually I found I had crossed counties and arrived in this little town. I found out later that Pegram was home to this lovely place called Fiddle and Pick. It's housed in a restored 100+ year old building which had served a number of purposes but is now a place which celebrates traditional music and offers instruction and workshops on fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars and similar instruments. Fiddle and Pick has a homey, country store atmosphere with excellent sound quality.
Many wonderful songwriters graced this writers night benefiting the Friends of Pegram Park. For me it had a combined intimate feel of a house concert and a CLC writers night I recently attended. By and large these writers have had cuts by major artists or are touring artists themselves. The half hour sets offered a variety of styles from folk to Americana to jazz.
Joe Doyle had cuts with many hit artists, including "In Pictures", a #1 song by Alabama. He played electric and acoustic guitars instead of his usual piano. A set highlight was the song "Tacklebox" recorded by Luke Bryan. The charming Steve Leslie admitted to being a little nervous without a set list, but did a fine job nonetheless performing among others, one song which was covered by George Strait. Laurie McClain, accompanied by Fats Kaplan on mandolin, is an alluring singer/songwriter who performed thoughtful songs off her lovely new release "Ascend", including one very cute song about a UFO landing, "Somewhere In Kentucky".
K Squared (Karen Angela Moore, vocals, Kent Gunderson, guitar) offered up an upbeat jazzy set of original material. Kim McLean, Devon O'Day and Mark Elliott, who tour together often, teamed up for a great set trading off songs and backing each other. Mark did a few songs from his latest album, "Good Life". Personal set highlight for me was Kim and Devon doing the hauntingly beautiful "Baruch Ha Ba" (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; this can be found on Kim's marvelous CD "Soul Solace". You'll be blessed.) Wrapping up the night was Jeff Miller, a fine singer/songwriter and technical guitar virtuoso who created sound effects with his guitar. He's much like northern Minnesota artist Michael Monroe who I heard often in the Twin Cities.
This was for sure one of those warm fuzzy evenings. There were some familiar faces in the crowd and on stage at the show, and I made a few new friends among the players before the night was out. Some were so kind to share their product with me upon finding out I write this little blog. And a special shout out to Mark Elliott, who went above and beyond after the show to give me a "personal by request" performance of a song of his I enjoy called "Baseball and Beatles" from his "American Road" CD.
How lucky can a gal get, anyway? I am thankful to be in this town.