Harrell to headline TERA concert in Whitmire

Derik Vanderford Staff Writer

October 10, 2013

WHITMIRE — The second concert in the Tyger-Enoree River Association’s Fall Concert Series is slated for this Saturday.

This weekend’s concert — headlined by award-winning songwriter, veteran storyteller and entertainer Michael Reno Harrell — will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Strand Amphitheater in Heritage Park, Whitmire. TERA will host a free concert there each Saturday in October. The events are open to all ages. Food and games will begin at 4 p.m. in the park, and music will begin at 5 p.m.

“The response to the first show (last week) was excellent,” said TERA co-founder Jon Durham. “There is definitely a little buzz around Whitmire and we hope that translates into a good showing for Saturday Night’s event.”

Durham said he is particularly looking forward to Saturday’s featured act, Michael Reno Harrell. Harrell’s recordings top the Americana Music Association charts year after year, and his original songs and stories have been described as “Appalachian grit and wit.” Harrell has toured throughout the British Isles and much of Europe, as well as most of the U.S. He entertains a diverse audience, as his website describes a typical day could include a daytime performance for a 4th grade class followed by an evening performance at a theater or concert hall.

“He has a sharp wit and real down home flavor,” Durham said.

Harrell’s natural knack for storytelling, in print, song and spoken word has earned him praise from not only the music community but from the literary and storytelling worlds as well, having had the honor of being a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and a teller-in-residence at the International Storytelling Center. Along with his performances, Harrell often conducts workshops in songwriting and storytelling as well.

“One of my personal favorites from Michael is a song called ‘The Cotton Dress’ in which Michael describes the unfolding events of a love triangle in an Upcountry mill town,” Durham said.

Durham quoted Harrell’s song “The Cotton Dress.”

“There’s a ruckus broke out on the Pacolet Hill;

and they don’t want no trouble in the Pacolet Mill.

Now the Sheriff’s in the Yard, Deputy at the door;

there’s cotton and lint and blood on the spooling room floor.”

Harrell often performs alongside four-time Grammy winner David Holt.

“Michael Reno Harrell is one of those natural born Southern musicians and storytellers who is filled with wit, charm and surprises,” Holt said. “Whether the story is in song or narrative, Michael will draw you in and entertain you, all the while making you feel right at home.”

Durham said multi-instrumentalist Dusty Singleton will open for Harrell Saturday evening. Durham, who is a musician himself, called Singleton one of the most talented players he knows.

“On guitar, banjo, dobro, mandolin, just about anything with a string on it, Dusty excels,” Durham said.

Each Fall Concert Series event will also include a cornhole tournament with cash prizes. Registration is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event.

Registration forms and rules can be found on on the TERA website — www.tygerenoree.com/Cornhole/cornhole.html

Sponsors for the TERA Fall Concert Series are WNCW 88.7, Roche Pharmacy, and Piggly Wiggly.Visit www.tygerenoree.com or call (803) 271-6701 for more information.