The third Thursday of each month-May through August-various artists perform at 7:30 pm at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion in Dogwood Park. Free admission.
The lineup for 2016
June 16-Mean Mary
Mary James, youngest of six children, was born in Geneva, Alabama. Mary learned to read music before she could read words and was an official singer/songwriter before she’d started her first day of kindergarten. By age seven she was proficient on the guitar, banjo, & violin, and entertained audiences across the US with her vocal and instrumental skills. With the help of her mom, she wrote her theme song “Mean Mary from Alabam’.” The press immediately baptized her with this handle, and she’s been Mean Mary ever since.Today she labors on her TV show, produces music for herself and other artists, produces shows and videos, is co-writing a novel trilogy about the music world, is an endorsing artist for Deering Banjos, and is constantly touring.’Mean Mary’ James, based in Nashville, began life as a musical prodigy. She could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. Her life has been one long road show interspersed with TV, radio, and film.
July 21-Post Monroe
Ashlee Hewitt, Whitney Duncan and Shelby McLeod meld their distinct voices, backgrounds and life experiences together to create Post Monroe. “Our sound is our voices,” Ashlee explains. “They’re different. They’re unique. The blend of them together makes Post Monroe what it is.”
The trio’s harmonies are paired with acoustic-driven, catchy melodies to create the music they each grew up idolizing. “We’re country, that’s what I love,” Whitney adds. “We’re not pop country, we’re not trying to be a crossover group. It’s back to our roots.”
The songs themselves are extremely important to the songwriting threesome. “Most the time when we’re writing it’s like a therapy sessions, where someone shares something that’s happened to them and it’s like, ‘Well, that’s the hook!’” Ashlee says. “We are strong women and we’re vulnerable,” Shelby adds. “There are many sides to every woman. We like writing songs that speak from all those sides.”
August 18-Tennessee Backroads Band
In 2003, Pat Fitzpatrick was asked to play his guitar for some events at his church in Cookeville, Tennessee; however, he needed a singer. One of the guys at church recommended a friend named Ken Mayes; he had listened to Ken sing while on fishing trips and claimed he was a good singer. Even though skeptical of this claim to fame, Pat called Ken and invited him anyway. Pat realized after ten to 15 minutes of Merle Haggard songs that Ken Mayes was probably the only person he knew with relative – if not perfect pitch!
Mark Maberry began getting together with Pat and Ken in 2004; they played guitar and worked on harmonies. From there, the band benefited from the additions of Danny Dodson, Jay Grissom, Jay Nemore, and Pat Moran. After playing several events for the church, the band became The Backroads Band and eventually evolved into Tennessee BackRoads Band. The band enjoys playing music all over the Southeast. They feel fortunate to have found seven guys that not only get along, they enjoy each other!
The band sticks pretty close to its roots: classic, traditional, and contemporary country music as well as the typical “party favorites.” Additionally, the band has a sound engineer that travels with them and has played shows at the Gibson Showcase, Gatlinburg Convention Center, events in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and all over the Tennessee and Southeast area.
Tennessee BackRoads Band has a CD named “The Backroads Band.” A second CD is coming soon. Watch for more information on their website.