Kingsport Times News Friday, August 28, 2015

Museum brews up new year of music

January 6th, 2012 4:07 am by Staff Report

Ron Short, the creative force behind the internationally known Roadside Theater, will open a new year of Saturday night Community Coffeehouses at the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap this weekend.

During the museum’s Community Coffeehouses, held the first Saturday of each month, artists perform an open-mic program in a family-friendly environment.

Short will perform at 7 p.m., Saturday. Admission is free. Coffee, soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Short has written a dozen plays and has co-written another half-dozen more in collaboration with groups as diverse as the Pueblo Zuni in New Mexico, and Puerto Rican jazz musicians from New York City and Nashville. His plays have been produced and performed around the world, and he has toured and performed in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Though he has traveled all over the world, he has never strayed far from the music of his home in the mountains of Appalachia. His work is steeped in the traditions of Baptist singing, storytelling, family bands and joyous musical family gatherings. He has performed on, produced or written the music for a dozen albums, but it is live performance that he truly loves — where all these elements of culture, story and music come together.

“I am really looking forward to hosting the Coffeehouse because that means I get to invite people to perform and I have invited some really great area musicians,” Short said. “There are so many families in this area who play music and so I had this idea to invite husband and wife duos who perform togethe .

“There are some great ones starting with my own band, The Possum Playboys. Aaron and Lisa Davis are great singers, and I love performing with them, so I am very happy that they will be helping out.”

Also performing will be If Birds Could Fly, founded in early 2010 by vocalist Brittany Ashley and guitarist Andrew Carter. The duo started playing anywhere from street corners to dive bars to festivals. Now that the band’s sound has been rounded out by bassist Casey Cockrum and its debut album is complete, If Birds Could Fly looks to take its sound to anyone willing to listen.

“I am hoping that other husband and wife duos that I have invited will accept and I invite everyone who would like to be part of the evening to please come and join us,” Short said. “I think that it will be an exciting, fun evening

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