If you happened to miss the Danbury Songwriters weekly summer music series, you missed out on a treat. The 14 concerts were held at The Arts Place in Danbury each Thursday evening and featured two to three accomplished musicians from a pool of 21 performers.
“They were all wonderful,” said organizer and musician Skip Staples. “Originally I was worried that no one would come to Danbury on Thursday nights to hear live music. Before the first concert, I did begin to sense enthusiasm, but I thought I might be fooling myself. It turns out I shouldn’t have been worried at all.”
The event pulled in a steady attendance from familiar faces in the community, and also provided entertainment to visitors vacationing at Hanging Rock.
The venue allowed the weekly concerts to become an intimate performance for the musicians and the audience.
“The new Arts Place of Stokes is one reason why we started the Danbury Songwriters in the first place. Many of the musicians have been around for years ready to play for people, but up until now there has never been a suitable venue. Now there is one,” Staples said.
Each concert showcased different artists which kept the summer series fresh and new each week.
“One of our catch phrases is, ‘The Danbury Songwriters are always different, but always good’. We tried to avoid pairing artists on the same night that sounded similar and to make sure every concert was different from the one the previous week. I think we succeeded. We like the variety and will continue to do that.”
Staples has been warned, if the group stops now, he may have to change his name and move out of the county. He said on a serious note, he was thankful the community was receptive and he’s already making plans for next summer.
“We’re always trying to make things better. We have plans to improve our sound and lighting systems and we’re also giving some thought to expanding the series beyond just the summer. We’ve had several requests to consider that,” he said.
According to Staples, there were many who helped make the series successful, especially the staff and volunteers of Stokes Arts Council, but others as well.
“It’s the sense of community from these concerts that most warms my heart. It’s a labor of love for me to provide a way for my musician friends to play their songs and take home a little money for it, but the thing I find most satisfying is the way the concerts have become such community events. People come to hear a great show and join their friends in a warm and friendly setting. Everyone has a wonderful time. For me, that makes it all worth it.”
The Danbury Songwriters will be performing on the main stage at the Stokes Stomp on Saturday at 4 p.m. For more information about the musicians or to follow where they will be playing next, visit www.danburysongwriters.org
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.