On the first Thursday of every month, patrons at Oddfellas Cantina get to hear the offerings of regional singer/songwriters like Bill Payne and Sonny Campbell (who doesn’t have a website yet). Bill is on the left with his guitar – Sonny is on the right playing his bass.
These two are balladeers in the oldest tradition. We enjoyed hearing them sing and play songs about their personal experiences, about war and a lot of other subjects. They call their music Blue Ridge Americana and it makes for very pleasant listening.
The performance was occasionally uneven, because they do not play together often, but that did not diminish our pleasure in hearing them perform original material. I was impressed enough to buy two of their CDs, Bebop Hoedown and Naughty and Nice .
Listening to them made me realize the vast gulf between skilled performers who smoothly interpret other people’s songs and the unmistakable authenticity of a musician who performs his own compositions. The singer/songwriter delivers the message first-hand and there is no substitute for that heart to heart communication.
Britt Mistele, President of the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association, is the man responsible for booking singer/songwriters into Oddfellas Cantina. You will have a chance to see him and his next group of singer/songwriters on November 3rd. Make it a point to be there.