Five area musicians will be featured in a songwriter showcase at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour. The event is being organized by Seymour’s Crossroads Acoustic Fest team.
The local singers, who will take turns performing original songs in a “round robin” format, are John Whitcomb, Eric O’Daffer, Colt Wienhorst, Franny Hall, and Dwight Hendrix, with Joe Persinger as host.
The show is open to all ages, and there will be no charge for admission; however, donations to help fund operation of the arts center will be accepted. Those attending may bring lawn chairs, and coolers are welcome. Plans are being made to have food trucks at the site. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors at nearby Chateau de Pique Winery.
Seymour native John Whitcomb, who lists alternative, rock, Christian, and blues as his musical genres, has been playing guitar in bands since his high school days. After graduation he played the “honky tonk” circuit for several years and then studied at a guitar institute in California before joining a band in Nashville, Tenn. He eventually returned to Indiana where he has played in a pit band for Broadway musicals, is a member of the popular band Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis, and directs music at St. Paul Methodist Church in Bloomington. His new CD is entitled “Arabelle” and is available on iTunes.
Eric O’Daffer is well known in the area as half of the dynamic oldies duo, Past Tense, with Steve Langlais. They appear frequently at Harmony Park and at Rails Craft Brew and Eatery, Seymour, and the 19th Hole in Brown County as well as a number of other area venues. O’Daffer’s recently released CD, entitled “Bricks,” features 13 of his original songs. He cites influences such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, and The Mavericks.
Colt Wienhorst writes and sings traditional country music and says he was influenced by such artists as Merle Haggard and George Jones. He recently released a CD featuring nine tracks — eight written by Wienhorst and one by another writer. Some titles include “That One Regret,” “Poor Man’s Ways,” and “You Made Your Bed.” He has performed at the Jackson County Fair, at the Thirsty Sportsman in Crothersville, Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg, and festivals in Crothersville and Scottsburg.
Franny Hall has performed at venues across the region, including Louisville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis and received regional exposure as opening act for Grammy Award winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. She also has been featured in a songwriter showcase at the famous Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, Tenn. She recorded an album of original songs entitled “Take You Home” and is planning to record new material in the near future. Her musical influences have included Carol King, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Carly Simon, to name a few.
Growing up in the 1960’s, Dwight Hendrix was influenced by protest songs, folk and country music, James Taylor and John Denver, and harmonizing performers such as the Eagles and Zac Brown Band. He has spent the past 20 years singing, writing, and playing on praise teams and playing Christian music in prisons and for recovery groups around the state. “When I write, I try to tell a story,” Hendrix said. “I’ve found three chords and the absolute truth can be very freeing.”
Joe Persinger began playing guitar and singing during the folk music craze of the early 1960’s and has been influenced by artists such as Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Kris Kristofferson, and John Prine. He has produced four CD’s— “Someone Like You” (which has been reissued as “All the Best”), “He’s Knockin’ at the Door,” “Train Town,” and “Dreams Go By,” which was released earlier this summer. He performs regularly at Brown County’s Story Inn, at Harmony Park in Seymour, and other area venues.