As an artist, I think I produce better work when I round out my life by attending art events, where I can appreciate the work of other artists. Such is this week, the week of the annual 30A Songwriters Festival. More than 120 singer/songwriters are performing at 40 venues up and down Scenic Highway 30A, which is the road following the coast of the county where I live. The event is produced by the local arts association, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (Florida). This year marks the third annual production, which takes place on MLK weekend every year.
When I was a about 8 years old, my Mom made me take piano lessons for 3 years. I hated them, but my sister was taking lessons. I tried to do everything she did, baton twirling, gymnastics, swimming, you name it, even though she was always better than me. I was a good sport at most things, but it was hard to find joy in practicing the piano. I think the only thing I disliked more was doing the dishes for our family of 6. I can’t sing either — you can ask anybody and they will confirm that as fact. I never learned any instrument, and in fact I can barely play the radio.
But I am absolutely transported when I watch a live musical performance, especially when the artist emotes. So I take in all that I can stay awake for, at the 30A Songwriters Festival. Some of the people are big names, others are known only in the industry, and yet others are new, budding artists, some known only locally: Shawn Mullins, Joan Osborne, Sam Bush, Tommy Tolton, Amy Ray, Kelsey Anna, Dannica Lowery, Larkin Poe, Jeep Rosenberg, Suzi Ragsdale, Jim Lauderdale and many many others.
|Adron||Dannica Lowery||Lara Herscovitch|
|Alicia McGovern||Suzi Ragsdale||Ben Friedman|