Brushy Mountain Winery in Elkin inaugurated a Songwriters Showcase on Thursday featuring songs written and composed by local performers.
An appreciative audience seemed to be made up of people who tapped their feet and drummed their fingers to the local sounds, while some enjoyed the unique selections of the winery in the process.
The event is set to become a regular one scheduled on the fourth Thursday of each month, said winery owner Jason Wiseman.
Winemaker/owner Wiseman said he and his partner, Amy Euliss, were fortunate enough to buy the winery last December after coming back from Napa Valley. When they opened it was with a goal to promote North Carolina wines, he said.
In the process, music became an integral part of the scene at the winery. Wiseman said the music scene began for reasons, he called” partly selfish.”
He said his love of music was factored in the winery mix from the get-go with music performed the opening weekend. Since, Wiseman and wife said they have continued wanting to use the winery as a venue to draw and showcase local musical talent.
Amy Wiseman said, “I think it allows us to be part of the community and celebrate the great musicians in the area.”
Jason Wiseman’s mother, Maggie Prevatt, said “bursting with pride” barely expresses her emotions when seeing the “hard work of her son and daughter-in-law” come to fruition.
Musician and songwriter showcase organizer Julian Charles helped put the showcase together and performed at the first event.
Charles said, “The Songwriters Showcase was a great success, featuring world class songwriting that is going on right here in our little town of Elkin. It’s a chance for an artist to present their own writing and arrangements in a noncompetitive and personal environment.”
Charles performed a popular song entitled “Beaches,” a maritime ballad about the wreck of the Annie Jane off the Scotland coast in which over 300 people on board perished. Charles said the inspiration for the song came after he literally slept on top of the burial mound.
A final song in Charles’ personal play-list was a song about a town in England, entitled ‘Wasdale.” Charles defined it as a tribute to “the most beautiful place on the earth.” The chorus line resonated thoroughout the winery. “It only takes one smile to get you home, it only takes a while to find your place among the stars,” sang Charles.
Musicians who took part, in order of appearance, were RG Absher, Caroline Noel Blackmon, Gray Burchette, Julian Charles and Cory Myers.
Charles said artists were afforded the chance to present their own writing and arrangements in a non-competitive and personal environment.
The musician added, “I borrow a phrase from the Native American Ute “God gave us each a song,” which I take as meaning that we all have our own individual purpose to follow in life.”
Charles said if we make space for that purpose, a song perhaps, then miracles begin to happen.
Songstress and musician Blackmon said she drew from a list of originals, as well as traditional songs that she performs regularly.
Blackmon said, “One of my main interests is preservation of old folk songs so I wanted to include the traditional list.”
Her originals “100 Starling Sky” and “Watching Venus Rise” captivated Thursdays’ audience.
The next showcase will be on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
The owners and Charles said they are encouraging artists who write their own material to join in. For more information contact Charles (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jason Wiseman (email@example.com)
On Saturday, the winery hosted Marie Reid, who was nominated Charlotte Folk Artist of Year.
Winemaker and owner Jason said he saw a lot of familiar faces and a lot of regular customers enjoying the talent that is in the town of Elkin. Wiseman said the music scene is important to them.
In addition, the winery hosts musical performances on the weekends. For more information on the full entertainment list, one may visit www.brushymountainwine.com