Rose Center Council for the Arts is pleased to announce the line-up of performers featured in the Tennessee Songwriter’s Week event—Tennessee Songwriter’s Retrospective: Pickers & Pros, which will take place on Saturday, February 23rdat 8 PM in Rose Center’s Prater Hall.
The event, which is sponsored by Visit Morristown, of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, takes part along with multiple celebrations across the state honoring the great heritage of Tennessee songwriting. Grounded in legislation passed in 2018 and signed into law by former Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee has officially designated the last full week of February as Tennessee Songwriters Week. Interested individuals can find out information on events state-wide by visiting the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development at https://www.tnvacation.com/songwriters-week.
Tennessee Songwriter’s Retrospective: Pickers & Proswill feature performances from five regional songwriters, three of whom are professional musicians and two, who are amateurs. The performance will take place in a round-robin style, with the performers taking turns. The show will be moderated by Rose Center’s own songwriter, Candy Durman.
“We really hope that the audience can take away a better understanding of the process of songwriting. It differs for each artist, but as we listen, we can identify patterns of the process, which they all share”, says Durman, who has planned the event.
Meet the Pros: Toby Gibson is a Hancock County native with music roots deep in Appalachia. Toby’s grandfather Henry Bunch was a gospel singer who traveled throughout the Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee mountains to play at local churches. Sunday dinners after church and evenings through the week would include successful bluegrass musicians, who would stop by to play with Mr. Bunch and sing with his family. This early exposure to music is something he still carries with him today.
Toby is quick to point to the Knoxville music scene of the 90s as the starting point of his musical ambition. “It was a great little spot in time for music. You could hit the old city and hear local legends like Scott Miller and RB Morris After hearing so much great local music, talking about things in life, I knew the sound inside me had a place. I was kind of looking for my voice and It felt like they had found it and were talking for me, but I had my own things to say.” Toby spent the following years playing with various groups of musicians through the South East. Currently, he plays with Tom’s Handgun an up-and-coming regional touring favorite.
Andrea Davidson is truly a unique independent pop singer and songwriter. She is well-known nationally and internationally for her ability to captivate audiences as a multi-instrumentalist and powerful one-woman performer.
Andrea’s mesmerizing range and authentic vocal characteristics are something to witness first-hand, and Rose Center is very happy for her to participate. Andrea’s deep commitment to music’s ability to bring people together, uplift, and heal, has inspired her song work. Andrea has won an International Song of Peace Award and has opened for the Dalai Lama as he toured the world to promote world peace and compassion. Additionally, with an understanding of music’s importance to childhood development, Andrea has worked as a committed Artist in Residence in Kentucky and has taught music to underprivileged children in South Africa. This year she will debut her Voluntour project to benefit music and the arts in K-12 schools across the USA.
With major-label publishing, production and record deals, Andrea has spent recent years hyper-focused on honing her craft in Nashville, TN. After 2 1/2 years of solo writing, getting a song placed in the hit TV series "Nashville", co-writing with multiple acclaimed songwriters, and stepping into the studio with grammy-award winning producer Jay Joyce, Andrea is currently thrilled to begin sharing her latest album “Shadow Painter” starting with a limited release this Spring. Its full launch is expected the Summer of 2018 and throughout Voluntour.
Last up for the Pros is Peter McKeown. Having grown up in Minnesota - with parents from New England - and strong family ties to Ireland. According to McKeown, he feels most at home in places with rich stories and uncomfortable weather. He spent his formative years studying journalism, radio broadcasting, and playing soccer at Loyola University Chicago - all while honing his craft as a busker in the streets downtown in front of the Nike Store, on alley ways, or in the subway. He felt a strong tie to the magic of playing music for people who didn't ask for it - always scouring the city for places that looked like there should be a stage - and always observing the state of the world from the position of the street performer.
When he wasn't in class, on the pitch, or in the streets - he was caught eavesdropping and partaking in the open-minded philosophical discussions the Jesuits in formation would be having in their lunch room at the University. A quest for a deeper understanding of life was always endlessly fascinating to him - and he found music was the most satisfying way he could ponder it himself.
In 2013, he ended his soccer career with a broken ankle in a playful accident training as a 4th string goalkeeper for the Minnesota United - and decided that was his sign to move on from athletic aspirations and refocus on his artistic ones. Shortly after the injury, he moved to Nashville, and has been living in Tennessee ever since. He is now in love with the rich story telling culture of the land, the friendly nature of the people, and the deep musical roots.
While he has released music and performed under many names with bands, songwriters, and acapella groups in the past, he is on the cusp of releasing his first batch of songs under his given name.
Meet The Pickers: Angela Woofter is an East Tennessee native. Currently, she works for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has been writing songs for 9 years and is a member of the Songwriters Guild of America. She is interested in the power of storytelling with song, and occasionally dabbles in film making. Occasionally, Angela plays at venues around the area. In 2016, she played with partner Linda Capps, for Java Jive’s Night of Women and Music at Rose Center. She has also played at the Pilot Light in Knoxville, as rhythm guitarist for Candy Durman’s band Wampalachia Kitty.
Denny Cluck is an artist and massage therapist living and working in Hawkins county. He makes wonderful boomerangs, one-of-a-kind hand-painted ladie’s shoes, and hand-crafted drums. Cluck prides himself on the simplistic lifestyle he has crafted for himself. Each Saturday he leads a dedicated group of drummers in a drum circle, which has a more spiritual than musical appeal. Denny is a new songwriter, and will be presenting songs written specially for this show.
“We are thrilled with our performers, and the range represented is just amazing. We have folks that have been writing for more than a decade and one who has only just begun writing in the last few months. It is going to be a casual, informal, and intimate night of laughs, sharing stories, and great music”, says Durman of the event.
The doors will open at 7:30, the music starts at 8 PM. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the Rose Center Business office. Guests are permitted to bring adult beverages and snacks for general admission, table seating. For more information, visit rosecenter.org or find them on FaceBook. You can also call 423-581-4330, M-F, 9-5.