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Effron White - Award Winning Nashville Singer/Songwriter: Press

CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE:

ARTICLE 1: "Effron White", Christine Thomas,
Fayetteville Free Weekly, Fayetteville, AR, Nov. 11, 2004

ARTICLE 2: "With a Little Help From His Friends, White Makes Beautiful Music", Amy Cotham, The Morning News, Springdale, AR, Nov. 12, 2004

ARTICLE 3: "On the Road Somewhere With Effron White - Our Trip to the Kerrville Folk Festival", Emily Kaitz, All About Town, June 8, 2004

ARTICLE 4: "Gruff is Good for White" , Malcolm Mayhew, FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM, February 10, 2007

ARTICLE 5: "Paradiso Loco Review", Daniel J. Hinnebusch, Miss Lana's Texacana Jukebox, August 31, 2007

ARTICLE 6: "Lyric Spotlight, March/April, 2010", Doug Waterman, AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE, Mar/Apr, 2010
- (Aug 31, 2007)
ARTICLE 1:


Effron White
by Christine Thomas

It's a typical Thursday night crowd at Arsaga's on Crossover, with the baristas opening little white boxes of Chinese food to accompany their study session. Effron White is buying me an Americano and himself a Cappuccino.
"Better make it decaf," he says.
A white-haired friend comes in to pick up a bag of coffee.
"How're you doin' there, Effron? Still playing music?"
"Yeah. Well, as a matter of fact, I'm having a CD release party in a couple weeks, Sunday, Nov. 14, right here."
White pulls out a card from his inner coat pocket and hands it to his friend.
"Well, just the other day, I put your CD in. We had some people over. We were eating some Cajun food, and I thought, this is a good time for that Effron White CD."
White smiles and accepts the compliment graciously.
White's CD release party on Sunday will be his second album and is called Yankee Dime. White wrote all of the songs and shares writing credits on some of the songs with Phil Lancaster, Eric Schabacker and Jeff Walter.
Effron White could be considered a late-bloomer. The award winning songwriter said he started playing guitar when he was about 10 years old, but didn't really get serious until about 14 years ago.
"I was about 36, so I got kind of a late start really, as far as getting serious about it," White said. "I had other things going on back then. I was an art major. I wanted to be an artist, a painter."
Since becoming "serious," White has amassed an impressive collection of songwriting awards, including the much sought after New Folk award for emerging songwriters at the Kerrville Folk Festival, which White captured earlier this year. Being a New Folk winner puts White in a select crowd of other musicians who have won the honor, among them Lyle Lovett.
White moved to Fayetteville in 1972 from West Memphis, but he says Fayetteville is now home. He and his wife Anne are raising a daughter, Katy who is a freshman at the University of Arkansas and a son, Matt, who attends Fayetteville High School and who took some one of the photos for Yankee Dime liner notes .
Like many musicians and songwriters, White has a day job. He has been working as a picture framer at the Duck Club Gallery in Fayetteville since 1977 as Robin Garrett
Effron White, he explained is a stage name.
"I was a teenager and I was trying to come up with a name for a band and a lot of bands had names kinda like people's back then-Jethro Tull, Uriah Heap… I was trying to think of a name and Effron came in my head. I think it probably came from the actor, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. who played Stuart Bailey in 77 Sunset Strip, it was a real popular show then, but I didn't know how to say it or spell it correctly… and then the 'White'… I said what goes with Effron? White. That just came out of the blue. You might be wondering: Why? Why did I use a stage name at all? I don't know, I guess it was just…fun. Just part of the fantasy, the right fantasy."
White draws his influence from both nationally known and local musicians.
"I've always listened to Bob Dylan," White said. "For a while I was really into Tom Waits. Probably my biggest hero is Guy Clark. He is my songwriting hero."
Among local musicians who inspire White is Emily Kaitz, who produced his first CD and Geoff Oelsner.
"He [Oelsner] just released his first CD and it's just… it's perfect. It's real folk. I've been real impressed with his CD and his live performances lately." He also mentioned former Fayetteville resident Lucinda Williams.
"I like her a whole lot. I cover a couple of her songs sometimes. She has influenced me some. I sing I Lost It. Another one I like is Still I Long for Your Kiss.
White usually squeezes in some time before he goes to his day job to write his own songs.
"Early morning is the best time for ideas to start coming-after I've had about five cups of coffee. I have to have my coffee. Then the ideas start flowing, usually when .… it's almost time for me to go to work, really. I'm in the shower, then it's time for me to go to work and dad-gummit, I have to wait 'til I get back home to finish the song. It's been a problem sometimes but I do the best I can. Just to try to catch up with that idea the next morning.
"In my springtime song, I actually had the doors wide open, and it was springtime. I started playing these chords on the guitar-just feeling the music. I was suddenly getting this feeling of spring. I just started writing words. It was on a Monday, my day off. Mondays are good for me. I can finish songs on Mondays."
White said the new album's title cut, Yankee Dime, is based on people he knows. "That one is probably the most personal song on there, and it's touchy to start saying too much about it."
He said that the song that came easiest on the new album was "Hanging in the Hall of Fame." "There is this place in Nashville called the Hall of Fame Lounge. I had played in this place in Songwriters' Rounds. That day I really didn't have much to do; I was in the hotel room… It all just came to me really quick. I had a song in a couple of hours. It's one that's pretty much based on fact, even the bar-tendress, the lady "Maggie," she came from New York just like the song says. She 'came because she loved the music'
White explained the Songwriters' Rounds.
"These are real popular in Nashville. They have three or four songwriters at a time get up on the stage. The Blue Bird Café is really famous and they started one there called In the Rounds….That's where it kinda started. Where songwriters sit facing each other with the audience sitting around them kind of more intimate setting. I've played the Blue Bird a couple times. In fact, in August, I played with a hit songwriter, Tony Lane. He's written for LeeAnn Womack and George Straight-he wrote one song for him I like in particular-Run.
"I've been driving around lately with a burned CD a guy in Indiana made me from the county in Indiana he's from. I don't' know any of their names, but there's some really good songs on it. They're from Brown County, Indiana.
"If I'm driving longer, sometimes I just drive in silence and just think and sometimes I come up with song ideas that way. Sometimes I turn on the radio, usually a country station. If I can't find a good college radio station playing some folk music, I'll settle for country. More because it's more geared toward the lyrics than the music the rock stations play-that's not true all the time, there's some good lyrics in rock, it's what I grew up on, listening to that."
In Hanging in the Hall of Fame, White sings that everyone's looking for glory. How does he define glory?
"Dreams. Dreams of glory. Every time I play I receive. I achieve some glory-almost everytime," he said and laughed. "When someone comes to me and says 'You touched my heart,' that's glory to me. That's when I've accomplished something great.
"The glory I was talking about in this other song is probably more in terms of what a lot of people in Nashville are going after which is fame and a lot of people spend all their time doing that so your time is what "all those dreams of glory will claim."
"I guess I spend a lot of time chasing glory myself. I try to keep things in perspective, knowing that it's not about the money or the fame but it's more about when people are moved by what you've said in the song or how you've said it. That's the greater glory."

Effron White will host a CD release party for his new CD Yankee Dime from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Arsaga's at 1852 N. Crossover Rd. in Fayetteville. Performing with White will be Keith Grimwood, Pat Villines, Bruce Parker and Emily Kaitz.






© 2004 Fayetteville Free Weekly

By Christine Thomas
Christine Thomas - Fayetteville Free Weekly, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Nov. 2004 (Nov 10, 2004)
ARTICLE 2:


With a Little Help From His Friends White Makes Beautiful Music
By Amy M. Cotham
LIVE! in NWA
The Morning News




Despite several awards for his songwriting and a solid fanbase, Effron White remains as humble and sincere as ever.

He's also a bit shy, which is why you'll only see Effron's trademark tennis shoes on the cover of "Yankee Dime," his newest release. On the 13 songs contained therein, however, White is confident, passionate and witty, clearly so deep in his element that his bashfulness fades away.

What's left are his charmingly scratchy voice, which sounds as if Tom Waits cleared his throat just a bit, and the even more charming songs he has penned since his 2000 release, "Day In the Sun."

"My craft has improved some, I think, and I hope my songs have more depth," he says of his second CD. (See what I mean about being humble?) "Sometimes I still wonder if the next song is ever going to come," White admits. Fortunately for him and for his fans, "it always seems to when I least expect it."


While songwriting and performing are White's calling, he says he doesn't really enjoy the studio process, one reason we've had to wait four years since his last release. This time around, he enlisted the help of Keith Grimwood, the shorter half of Trout Fishing in America.

"Keith brought a lot of ideas to the table," White says, and the bassist ended up playing on all of the songs on "Yankee Dime."

"I enjoyed playing the different musical styles of Effron's music," Grimwood says. "I really like the songs, and they're some of the best he's ever done." The title track, Grimwood describes, "just sparkles. 'Yankee Dime' is an instant classic."

Grimwood adds that White's distinct voice "is perfect for what he writes, which is homespun wisdom" and points to "That Wouldn't Be Me," on which White sings, "This old dog's content with his tricks."

"What other voice would you want singing something like that?" Grimwood asks.

After some successful sessions over at Winterwood Recording Studios in Eureka Springs in the initial stages of "Yankee Dime," it was Grimwood who hooked Effron up with Nashville musician and producer Fred Bogert, who has produced CDs for Trout and worked with other artists like Amy Grant and Delbert McClinton. Bogert says he was wowed by White and his music.

"He's very sincere, he's a great story teller, and he's got a lot of talent," Bogert describes. "I was impressed with his songwriting and his delivery as an artist. I'm very proud of the album."

Bogert adds what could possibly be the ultimate compliment from a music biz insider like himself: "I've worked on about 3,000 recordings over the years," he says, " and ('Yankee Dime') is one of the very few I actually listen to myself."

Bogert's mastery of the recording process drew the best from the studio players, Grimwood testifies and the CD proves. But the result is not overly produced, slick-sounding tracks that would have been a terrible mismatch for White's style. Instead, "Yankee Dime" gives a listener the feeling that the singer is sitting in a nearby corner, providing some earthy background music.

White will unveil "Yankee Dime" during a CD release show Sunday at Arsaga's on Crossover in Fayetteville. Grimwood, Pat Villines and Bruce Parker will join the man of the hour in performing songs from the new CD. The Growling Gravy Revue, featuring White, Villines and Emily Kaitz, will also perform. Showtime is 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

"Yankee Dime" may be purchased at Hastings Music and Sound Warehouse in Fayetteville and online at cdbaby.com.
Amy Cotham - The Morning News, Springdale, Arkansas, Nov. 2004 (Nov 11, 2004)
ARTICLE 3:


On The Road Somewhere With Effron White
Our Trip To The Kerrville Folk Festival
by Emily Kaitz, for “All About Town”

It's 8:55 am, and Effron White and I sip coffee from our travel mugs in his car facing south on the shoulder of I-540 just north of the I-40 split. We have been pulled over by a police officer; Effron was going 66 in a 50 mph work zone. "Now I'll have to win the contest just to pay for my traffic ticket!" he growls. We are on our way down to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, roughly a 12 hour drive from Fayetteville, where Effron will compete in the prestigious "New Folk" songwriting competition. Six winners will be awarded $400 prizes, along with some recording equipment and a 20-minute performance slot.

But those possibilities are a long way off right now. We've just started our long drive on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Effron is one of 32 finalists, his 2 songs having been selected from a pool of 600 entries. He'll play them tomorrow before a panel of judges, with me accompanying him on electric bass. Sunday night the winners are announced, and Monday we drive all the way back, since Effron has to be at his day job Tuesday. A kamikaze trip for sure.

I've been to the Kerrville Folk Festival many times since 1981, the first year I went, when the festival had been in existence a mere 10 years. I went on to compete in New Folk twice myself, but never won. Later, however, I was hired a few times as a regular performer, the most recent occasion being last June. One of the reasons people love the Kerrville Folk Festival so much is that it's a great equalizer. Whether you're a bank president or an itinerant musician who lives out of his truck, within 24 hours of arriving there you'll be sunburned, covered with dust, and operating on less than 4 hours of sleep. After 36 hours you'll be hugging total strangers. Effron and I hope to be back on the road before we reach that point.

Effron sings a lot of songs about being on the road. Some he's written, like Six Friends in a Datsun, Wanderlust, Going Down Kerrville Way, and the signature song with which he ends most performances, On The Road Somewhere. He also covers traveling songs like Guy Clark's LA Freeway, Woody Guthrie's Rambling Round and Hard Traveling, and the ubiquitous Geoff Mack classic, I've Been Everywhere, which strings together the names of dozens of towns in its verses.

I've played bass off and on with Effron for about 5 years, and produced his debut CD, Day In The Sun. But this is the first time I've been on the road with him, unless you count driving to Tulsa once to play a wedding. Effron mostly performs in and around Fayetteville, since he has a family and a job, but in the time I've known him he's managed to get to Nashville to do some songwriter showcases and recording, to the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma, and to North Carolina where he was a finalist in the Merlefest songwriting contest.

By 5 pm Saturday we're just south of Hamilton, Texas on Highway 281, with several hours still to go. To help pass the time, we've been listening to CDs - Merle Haggard, the Beatles, and now Alan Rhody, a Nashville singer-songwriter who recently performed in Fayetteville. But my favorite CD has been the newly mastered advance copy of Effron's soon-to-be-released second album, Yankee Dime, which he started recording in Eureka Springs with Eric Schabacker at Winterwood Studios, and finished up in Nashville with producer/engineer Fred Bogert. "Effron, this sounds as good as a famous person's album," I say. "Maybe someday soon you'll be able to quit your day job."

8 pm - We arrive at the festival, as I predicted, exactly 12 hours after we left, to the minute. Effron is amazed. "I'm a bass player," I brag, "my timing is impeccable." Amid a tent and trailer city of many acres and several thousand campers we easily locate Phil Lancaster and Alison Moore, who are saving Effron a campsite and me a spot in their tiny trailer, the Love Bug. I arrive to find a cozy little home with actual electricity waiting for me. What a deal.

When it becomes apparent that Effron doesn't need my help setting up camp, I start walking around and immediately run into 3 close friends from my 21 years of living in Austin. Purly Gates now divides her time between New Hampshire, Oregon, and Wimberley, Texas; Thomas Hart has moved back to Washington state to help his elderly father after his mom died; and Brian Cutean is currently based out of Eugene, Oregon. It's been at least 15 years since all 4 of us were together like this.

All are musicians, of course. People who have never been to the Kerrville Folk Festival don't realize that the acts appearing on stage are only a small portion of the wonderful music that goes on day and night informally in the campgrounds. I visit with my friends, trade a song or two. My energy is fading fast after the long drive. I manage to make it to the main stage for part of Bill Morrisey's set, but then return to the campgrounds and am in bed by around 1:30 am, early by Kerrville standards. Not far from my trailer I hear Effron singing Yankee Dime, one of the songs he'll perform in New Folk tomorrow.

* * * * *

1 pm Sunday. I'm sitting in the shade of Camp Sweetness & Light. There are dozens of established camps here with names; people come each year and claim the same spots, bringing entire kitchens (Camp Cuisine), an upright piano (Camp Stupid), an inflatable Dracula doll (Camp Bite Me). Camp Sweetness & Light has a bubble machine. I've just played bass with Effron on his 2 songs, Nothing To Lose and Yankee Dime. Effron performed well, and made a bunch of new fans. The 3 judges, Slaid Cleaves, Ruthie Foster and Eric Schwartz seemed to respond positively, but there are some stellar contenders in the contest and Effron doesn't expect to make the winners' list. Still, just performing his two songs was fun, and great exposure. It's about 95 degrees now, and I'm grateful for the shade here at Sweetness & Light, and the bubbles lightly landing on my shoulders as I visit with more old friends.

At 5 pm Sunday, Effron and I are sitting under a canopy at our campsite talking to a guy named Jim Stephens, a musician who works at Wild Oats grocery in Nashville. Although I've met Jim on several occasions, I've never heard his music. He drags over a battery-powered Yamaha keyboard and plays two beautiful, delicately melodious songs with poetic lyrics that he wrote. Not the kind of music you'd expect to hear at a campsite in Kerrville, Texas, and absolutely wonderful. Anything can happen here.

8:55 pm. After Vince Bell's set on the main stage, festival director Dalis Allen announces the 6 New Folk winners - Cary Cooper, Idgy Vaughn, John William Davis, Claudia Nygaard, Julie Clark, and--Effron White! Holy Moly! Effron joins the others for photos on stage. My heart swells with pride.

11:30 pm. I am sitting in a song circle at Camp Cuisine, surrounded by many musician friends and scant inches away from two legendary singer-songwriters, Steve Gillette on my left and Jack Williams on my right. Jack is one of the most amazing guitar players I've ever heard. It doesn't get any better than this. Two hours and many songs later I lie in the Love Bug trying to fall asleep, still hearing great music outside my window.

Monday, Memorial Day, at 9:30 am. I've been awake 2 hours - it gets light, but more importantly, it gets hot early at Kerrville. I've had some coffee and am waiting for Effron to bring his car around so we can load up. "I won't have to pack up my tent," Effron told me, "I'll just leave it where it is since I'll be coming back next weekend." The 6 New Folk winners each play a 20-minute set next Sunday, and claim their prize money and further glory. It's been great, but I'm ready to head back to Arkansas. At Kerrville it's easy to feel like you've been there much longer than you actually have. There's so much crammed into a short time - wonderful people, great music, poetry and inspiration, fire ants and blisters and cold communal showers. Whether I return or not, I know Effron will put on a fine performance. I expect the out-of-town gigs to come pouring in, and he'll have more reason than ever to be on the road somewhere.
Emily Kaitz - All About Town, Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 2004 (Jun 8, 2004)
ARTICLE 4:

Gruff is Good for White
By MALCOLM MAYHEW
SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM

FORT WORTH -- Nanci Griffith wasn't the only multifarious folk singer playing downtown Friday night. Across the street from Bass Hall, where Griffith performed, Effron White spun his own yarns at McDavid Studio.
White is part of an Arkansas musical community that calls its music "Ozark skittle." The name is a play on skiffle, a blend of folk, jazz and blues that dates from the early 1900s. Skittle, to such practitioners as White, Eddie Glenn and the Ozone Players, is skiffle for the 21st century.
White proved why he's skittle's ringleader: With just one guitar, he proficiently ran through a variety of sounds and styles, from country to jazz to blues. Like Griffith, he's restless musically, and like her, he has a voice and vocal style so oddly unique that you'll either fall in love with it or be immediately disgusted.
His voice was sometimes smooth and melodic like early John Prine, but more often, on songs such as Yankee Dime and Town Within the Town, he brought to mind the Cookie Monster-like grunt of Tom Waits. That's the raw attraction of folk music, though; even those with the most seemingly unappealing voices often find a fan base. Ask Griffith.
Malcolm Mayhew - Fort Worth Star Telegram (Feb 10, 2007)
ARTICLE 5:

Texicana Jukebox @ misslana.com

Paradiso Loco Review
Effron White
Sticker Freak Records
Effron has apparently picked up a number of awards at various songwriters events, of which by listening to Paradiso Loco, one can see why. In comparison with younger artists, maturity is found here with a wide spectrum of subject matter being covered. He opens with an odd piece, "Big Northern Murder", a ballad about murder by tying a woman to the railroad tracks. Interesting lines incur such as, "No chains heavier than guilt and despair" and "I never knew what a man was capable of til I let myself break the laws of love". One quickly can see the maturity I mentioned.
"Black Window" (track 3), gives depth in feeling both musically and lyrically as he conveys a broken heart and wanting her back again. Effron, like so many others, has been compared to the likes of Dylan and Guy Clark, and I hear those undertones in his music. Wonderful musicianship ala banjo is found in track 1 and again on track 4, "Angel", but also found throughout the CD.
Contained within the tracks is really nice dobro, banjo, guitar and, of course, bass and drums. "Arkansas Wine (track 5) tells of the serenity found on the porch swing with his gal, in comparison with Dallas where, "The street couldn't feel me shakin, the neon didn't know I was aching, but without you I was just faking". Stories of pain, foolish one night stands, murder, the clowns around town, and not being able to keep a good man down like track 7, "You Can't Kill A Man Like That". The aforementioned clowns around town is found in track 9, "Going Loco Bein' Local", a good little country rocker.
If you are looking for good stories about life itself combined with good music you can find it here. This one is worth far more than just a listen, for when it comes to music, this one does glisten.
You can purchase this CD at www.EffronWhite.com or go to www.myspace.com/effronwhitemusic for more info on this artist.
Daniel J. Hinnebusch, August 2007
link to this review: http://www.misslana.com/texicana_jukebox.htm

Lyric Spotlight | March/April 2010

By Doug Waterman on March 1st, 2010


A Q&A with Lyric Contest 3rd Place Winner Effron White


In your AmericanSongspace.com bio, you mention a couple of song placements, one on an Australian TV program and another on Canadian TV. How did those come about, and how did they pan out financially and/or creatively?

I don’t know specifically how those songs got placed. I assume they were just grabbed off the Internet somewhere. I didn’t know anything about it until I received my first ever BMI check for a pretty decent amount. What’s even better is the checks have kept coming.

Can you talk a little about how your song “Long Haul” was fleshed out? Any particular inspiration, or a story behind it?
“Long Haul” was a gift. I was on one of my own long hauls as a part-time traveling troubadour. One morning in a hotel room I grabbed my guitar and started writing these words. In an hour or so I had most of the song, or at least the main idea. When I got home, I tweaked the words and worked out the melodies.

I know nothing really about truckers, trucks, or trucking. But I guess I can relate to driving many hours down some lonely highways to get to a gig. The more I sang the song, the more I realized that that trucker was very much me. And I taught myself something through writing this song. Songs are often like prayers. You write them not necessarily knowing that you’re really asking for something in your life that you’re lacking. In my case, I was feeling a loss for having not told certain people how much they have truly meant to me. “Long Haul” was the catalyst for me getting that part of my life in order before it was too late. I feel the action I took because of the song was the answer to the prayer that I only realized was a prayer through playing it many times over and over.

You put out three albums independently in the past decade. How do you find time to work a day job in picture framing, write and perform songs and promote your self-released albums?
I ask myself those same questions all the time. It does take a lot of effort to balance all those things. On top of all the things you mentioned, I do some art (currently, junk art sculptures) too. And I have a family I have to make some time for. I have often thought how great it would be to not have to go to the day job. But I’m afraid I would not use my time as well then. I’d probably get very little done, I know this because, believe it or not, I waste way too much time now.

Was there a moment of epiphany that you can point to as a prime inspiration, or a signal toward a more serious-minded musical focus?
I talk about wasting time. There was a period in my adult life where I was really just being lazy. It reached the point where I just couldn’t stand the thought of throwing my life away. So, I got serious about music.

Has the festival circuit proven to be fertile ground to get your songs out to people?
I think it has. I just got back from the first annual 30A Songwriters Festival down in northwest Florida. The festival sold out and I was able to get my songs out to some very receptive audiences. I sold a few CDs and handed out lots of free bumper stickers (my most popular sticker being the one that reads, “EFFRON WHITE? EFFIN RIGHT!”)
It's probably prettier than it should be, It's a lot smaller than you'd expect, and even with the somewhat over-the-top retro-Victorian doll-houses, condos and resorts that litter the beaches, it somehow seems to work.


The 30A Singer/Songwriters Festival of Northwest Florida, is an anomaly in a sea of otherwise gritty musical events that usually nuance the national touring stage. This is a festival perhaps best defined by what it is not. Absent is the double-barrel branding of the Lollapalooza-Lilith-fair type of event, with writhing teens stacked against stages, and amped-up performers performing sophomoric political discontent. No, this is not that, but rather something far more surprising, a legitimate festival that is actually about music. An intimate series of venues that stretch up a spell of 2 or 3 miles, along arguably one of Florida's prettiest two-lane coastal roads. From fish-restaurants, to coffee-houses, and small Grecian styled outdoor amphitheaters (you sit on the lawn), the venues are quaint, unpretentious, and seemingly devoid of artificiality - you walk in, you sit, you listen, and the performers are glad you're there - it's a perfect recipe for a successful event.


At the farthest end of the festival, this past Friday, in a small wine-house, I found one such performer playing along side his pal. The bar was neatly filled with intent faces, and loosely strung chairs and sofas made the scene feel even more relaxed than it already was. Up on a stage, that hung perilously close to being halfway out onto the road, stood Jeep Rosenberg and Effron White. The two men had just finished a song and were in the midst of a conversation with some bar patrons. It was an easy give and go, there was no sycophantic behavior, no sloppy drunks yelling "Freebird," just a simple exchange about life and music. After a few brief moments both men returned to what they came to do…


The music was instantly riveting. Not because it was catchy, toe-tapping, or titillating, but because it made you listen. You knew right off the bat you weren't' just getting a tune - but a poem as well - a musical 2-for-1. Not necessarily Dylan-esque, or Cash-esque, or country-esque, or any kind of -esque, It was simply something American, something in between, and something on the outside. As you watched the faces in the crowd, you could sense the pie-eyed concentration as people strained not to miss a word, as the storyteller sung his tale. The music was rich, full of context, and entertaining, and everyone in the room knew it.

The 30A Songwriters Festival may be small in scope, but like the area in which it resides, it's anything but small when it comes to originality, uniqueness, and creativity. The talent is first-rate, the audiences are authentic, and the location is, well… it's January, you're just dang lucky to be anywhere where it's not snowing.


About the Author

Mr. Verte is an international freelance correspondent who has written for Paris Match, The Trib, La Posta, The Toronto Star and a host of other international publications. He currently resides in Canada and the Northern Panhandle of Florida.