Local songwriters to host concert under the stars
by Matt Shinall
Jul 20, 2011 | 2203 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Acting primarily as a resource tool for aspiring local songwriters, the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange is finding the organization's talent is in high demand. Their next concert will land them at the Clarence Brown Conference Center's outdoor amphitheater.

The Cartersville Songwriters Exchange participated in two benefits for charity last month alone, with more on the docket including community events and public concerts. On Saturday, July 30, some of the group's performers will take the stage for Cartersville Pop, an evening concert at the conference center's Bartow Amphitheater.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic baskets for an intimate gathering of local artists performing original and popular tunes. The concert will feature various artists with different styles from folk and country to easy listening and adult contemporary.

Headlining the show will be Scott Thompson of Peachtree Station along with The Owens Brothers Band, Gavin Powell, Randall Collins and Cindy Smith.

A member of The Owens Brothers Band, Randy Owens and his wife Patricia Owens founded the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange in early 2010 hosting weekly meetings to foster creative and productive relationships between local singers/songwriters.

"I kept meeting local songwriters, and sought out a local writers association to join," Randy Owens said. "Since there was not one, I decided to start the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange."

At their regular meetings, members bounce ideas off one another, share what they're working on and at times collaborate on new songs. The group has increased over the past year and a half from four people meeting in a living room to about 17 active members performing concerts and benefit performances.

The July 30 concert will be the group's first concert at the Clarence Brown Conference Center and the first concert to be held at the amphitheater.

"We're excited, but we're nervous about trying to get the word out because it is a new venue and people aren't use to going there," Patricia Owens said. "A lot of people in Cartersville don't even know it exists."

The venue's first performance, held Saturday, was the StageWorks rendition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Patricia Owens attended the event and felt the outdoor venue offered a welcoming, laid back atmosphere.

"It's so comfortable. In the evening, it got cool. People really enjoyed bringing their picnic baskets, everybody seemed to really enjoy it," she said.

Director of the Clarence Brown Conference Center Melissa Poston, said about 139 people attended their first event and guests were already looking forward to more outdoor entertainment.

"It was really laid back, people brought food and coolers and just kind of sat out there very relaxed," Poston said. "Usually by 8:30 [p.m.], the sun is really going down, you get to kind of watch the sunset. ... And by 9 o'clock, everything has really cooled down."

Poston further described the Bartow Amphitheater atmosphere as "quaint" and hopes the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange concert becomes a regular event.

The Bartow Amphitheater can hold between 250 and 300 guests in tiered rows and in the surrounding grass. In case of rain, the concert will be held inside. Entry for the concert is $5 and is expected to last about three hours. Bar service and concessions will be available from the conference center at the event.

For more information on the Cartersville Songwriters Exchange, visit www.cartersvillesongwriters.org.