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Recently I was out walking late one evening when I heard the call of music coming from a nearby restaurant. When I located the source I found it was coming from the pub's deck. So I found a place to sit nearby and listened from afar to the last few songs of the closing set.

It was a solo act, acoustic guitar and vocals, playing popular songs from now and then. I asked a couple standing on the lawn if they knew his name. They said "no" but they liked him and also wanted to know who he was. I proceeded up the stairs and to the entertainer's station just in time for his last number. A Johnny Cash song. He announced his name as Mike Waters. Afterword I had a moment to speak with him and found him to be a very nice and engaging young man. We set up an interview so I could learn more about him and his musical calling.

"I have known Mike Waters for many years and he is one of the most well rounded/talented guitrarist/singers you'll find.  He can go from "Cash" to "Clash" and covers about any genre.  Not only that, he is a great friend and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet!"  -  Butch Oneppo of The Oneppo Brothers (Duo and Band)

I found out he is a full time musician and has been performing as a solo act for about 16 years, loves spending time with his wife when he's not working, likes to cook, and is into martial arts. Check out the interview below to learn more.

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Bert Hesse of Studio South at a meeting today in Fort Mill about the plans for Catawba Studios at Catwba Indian Nation east of Rock Hill, SC. He said they hope to have groundbreaking for the first phase by the end of the year. When completed there will be three phases: the sound stages, film and music schools, and retail shops.


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English: Wynton Marsalis at the Oskar Schindle...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performing the music of some of the great jazz performers and composers like Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.

Presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Music of the Masters: Duke Ellington and George Gershwin
Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
430 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina



   

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Map of South Carolina highlighting York County

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effort is underway to create a first class movie studio on 124 acres of land at the Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill, South Carolina. $485,000 has been spent on the study so for the project that is expected to cost $45 million. The study will be completed this spring and if all goes as planned the first phase, sound stages and visitors center, could be completed within a year.

Plans  include production suites, an iMax style theater, a film school, and  a music school. Studio South and Pacific Ventures will develop, build and manage the complex.
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LaShawn Woolridge, who performs under the name "Poe Anonymous", is a writer, actor, songstress, and poet who has just graduated from Winthrop University. While there, in addition to her work in theatre, she founded the organization Winthrop Def Poets Society.

Def Poets Society, a community for students that are passionate about the spoken word, held a college tour this year called Souls n Substance with events at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, as well as Winthrop University.

Poe Anonymous will be performing as the featured artist in the Charlotte, North Carolina area over the next few weeks at these locations:


Kelly Cheats

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Kelly Cheats by Trevor Mercer.jpg
Photo credit: Trevor Mercer

















Kelly cheats, or so I'm told.

Seriously, the Kelly Cheats band got their name from an incident at a poker game. I'm sure it serves them well as it's both intriguing and easy for the audience to remember. So they can be sure to come back to see the band the next time they're in town.

There's no cheating when it comes to their sound. A well seasoned group of musicians that like to have fun. Currently finishing up the final touches of their second, soon to be released, album Out of the Patch. 

Always ready to tour the southeast they will be appearing this weekend at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday, October 23rd) with their blend of rock, reggae, pop, and blues.


Rhymefest in Manchester, on tour with Kanye West

Rhymefest i(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this article by Marlow Stern the award winning songwriter for Kanye West and John Legend talks about the Academy Awards, songwriting, and his new documentary In My Father's House.

"My ASCAP royalty checks went from a lot to almost nothing."



Photos from the PJ Brunson Gala

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A night honoring PJ Brunson.  PJ has been nominated for Best Folk Album of the Year at the IMEA Awards.

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PJ Brunson

The Hinson Girls

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As a performer, your job is to entertain. No matter how much a virtuoso you are on your instrument it doesn't mean a thing if you are unable to entertain your audience.

The Hinson Girls succeed at both of these things. Playing a combination of bluegrass and gospel each member can hold their own in a room full of pickers. A young band, ranging from 15 to 20 years old, all sisters. Katelyn, Allison, Melissa, and and Kristin.

PJ Brunson

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When we think of "folk music", our minds wander to the past, to the vivid stories about the real characters that our favorite folk songs are about, and to those phenomenal artists who made those stories come alive! We think of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Woody & Arlo Guthrie and Neil Young. 
When we think of singer-songwriters, we reflect on the poetic and heart-felt style of writers like James Taylor, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Seals & Crofts, Jim Croce and the emotional wellspring of their songs. 
And when we our thoughts go to contemporary performer-songwriters, our favorite ballad and blues artistes materialize; favorites like Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, Bonnie Raitt and Taylor Swift.


Buskin Blues is a feature length movie about street performing in Asheville, North Carolina. A look into the lives and performances of those that come to play there.




Buskin Blues
Charlotte Film Festival
September 27th, 2015
3:20 pm
Carolina Cinemas
9630 Monroe Road
Charlotte, North Carolina


More information about other films showing today and during the course of the festival is available here:

   

English: Example of a piano staff. Español: Ej...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Have you ever wanted to record or use a song but didn't know who to contact for the rights to distribute your copy on CD, stream it, or use it in a film? Not an easy  thing to do.


The first step it to check with a mechanical licensing agency such as the Harry Fox Agency. A mechanical license is what you will need to distribute a copy of your song on a CD or stream.  A syncronization license will be needed for TV or film.  You may also need additional rights from the publisher.



English: Fats Waller, three-quarter length por...

Fats Waller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've seen a couple of Broadway musicals in my time and more than a few musicals  and plays on stages large and small here in the south.  There's nothing I enjoy more than a small intimate theatre with a local production.  Why?  I guess it's recognizing the talent we have in our own midst. Another reason is I sometimes know the performers and am blown away by seeing them transform themselves into someone so different from their normal selves that I start to forget what they're like in real life.  That takes a lot of work I'm sure, and when it happens it's both beautiful and inspiring.

The other thing I like about small theatres is that I can see, hear, smell, and  sometimes even taste (smoke bombs for instance) what is happening on the stage.  All the while with my attention focused on that actor or interaction I'm most  interested in.  No camera leading me back and forth.  I'm in control of the viewpoint.

One such musical that I saw locally which really impressed me is Ain't Misbehavin'.  It's a story, almost 99% musical, about Fats Waller, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and piano player that was popular in the 20's and 30's.
Aislin answers my questions as we talk about her acting and performing career both deliberately and thoughtfully. Better than you might expect from someone who is barely a teenager. You can tell she wants to get it right. Her poise is no surprise though as she has been active as a performer since she was 3 years old. That builds character.

The daughter of nature loving and artistic parents, her mother worked at a performing arts school for a time and her father is an art gallery owner in Asheville, North Carolina.  She grew up surrounded by talent and enlightened minds. Not to mention the support she has received from her parents and mentors along the way.  That can make a big difference in the formative years.

 You can tell a lot about a person by the people they regard as role models. For Aislin it is Emma Watson for being a down to earth actor that uses her celebrity to bring attention to the causes she favors and Malala Yousafzai for her bravery in standing up for the right to go to school and get an education in a country where young girls are discouraged from doing so. A refreshing outlook for someone to aspire to.

Photo Credit: Amanda Guy Studio
With the ability to sing, dance, and act Aislin's talents transfer easily to the movie screen where the key to a believable performance is to act but not overact. Here is what her director on several films, Kira Bursky of All Around Artsy, had to say about her.


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Resurrection After-party Album Cover.jpgResurrection After-Party is the latest album from Stephanie Wolfe.  It is being released on her Chipped Polish Records label tomorrow, February 14th, Valentines Day. 

This album is heavy into electronica.  My favorite song is Excited although Something Wicked is very popular too.

Chipped Polish Records is committed to female artists in the genres of pop, electronica, rock, and experimental music.




Thomas Lorenzo on acoustic guitar

 (Photo credit: Fgil65 via Wikipedia)


If you enjoy music and poetry and have never experience an artists in the round type of performance you should attend this one presented by The Charlotte Singer-Songwriters and Poets Circle.

Five performers present their songs and poetry, taking turns on stage, for your enjoyment.  Sometimes artists that are touring the country are booked to perform and at these in-the-round events.  So you never know what to expect.


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One of Tweetsie Railroad's two steam locomotiv...

One of Tweetsie Railroad's two steam locomotives, 2-8-2 #190, on May 20th, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tweetsie Railroad, located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is seeking entertainers for their 2014 season.

They are needing singers, dancers, actors, equestrians, magicians, and specialty acts.


2014 Local Auditions
January 25 & 26
9:00 am Registration / Auditions begin at 10:00 am
I.G. Greer Hall
Appalachian State University
401 Academy Street
Boone, NC