Tuesday, December 6 2022

Songwriters shine at Woodbury’s Moonshine Music Festival

Mark Crawford Williams performing at the 2014 Moonshine Music Festival in Woodbury, Tennessee on September 20, 2014. Photo by John Connor Coulston, MTSU Sidelines Lifestyles Editor

The first annual Moonshine Music Festival was held  at Woodbury, Tennessee’s Short Mountain Distillery Saturday afternoon.

The show featured performances from seven country singer-songwriters in an intimate outdoor setting.

The afternoon began with sets from the Myers Brothers and Mark Crawford Williams, who hail from Texas and North Carolina, respectively.

Third on the bill was Nashville singer-songwriter Kathy Von, who performed track off her album Pray. Accompanied by only acoustic guitars, bass and minimal percussion, Von played a relaxed set with strong songs. However, towards the end of the set, her performance was interrupted by a power outage. With the outage being an issue across the area and no sign of it being restored any time soon, Von and her band thought on their feet and moved the show to the distillery’s deck where they finished their set without amplification.

Not wanting the audience to be displeased, the emcee for the event, Shaun Cavanaugh, killed time during the power outage by improvising a short set on a borrowed acoustic guitar. The unplanned performance, which featured novelty tracks like “I’m My Own Grandpa” and “Happy Birthday,”  was a enjoyable, humorous break to keep the audience engaged.

The next songwriter on the bill was Franklin, Tennessee native Cole Washburn. The Americana songwriter adjusted to the powerless venue and followed suit with an acoustic set on the deck. Accompanied by Nashville-newcomer Maggie Delone on mandolin and backing vocals, WMTS Murfreesboro on-air personality Justin Reed on washboards and two percussionists on wooden crates, Washburn delivered the best set of the evening with performances of tracks on his Traveller’s Moon EP. He and DeLone broke through the limitations of the acoustic setting and provided concert-goers an entertaining, engaging set.

Power was restored to Short Mountain just in time for Texas artist Don Woods, who delivered a set of George Jones and George Strait inspired cuts with a southern rock edge.

The closing act of the festival was North Carolina native Erin McLendon. McLendon’s upbeat personality, powerful vocals and strong stage presence made her performance a fan favorite of the night.


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To contact Lifestyles editor John Connor Coulston, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com

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