Our Great Balsam Nashville Songwriters in the Round Series continues with an in the round performance by Irene Kelley,
Claire Lynch and Jerry Salley (Jerry Salley – Songwriter-Singer) – all noted performers with multiple SESAC, IBMA and GRAMMY awards among them!
The Great Balsam Nashville Songwriters in the Round Series, begun at Balsam, NC, in 1996 and modeled after similar performances at Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café, is now hosted at the Historic Hazelwood School/Folkmoot Center. The series presents signature in-the-round shows featuring Nashville area songwriters who pen the lyrics performed by country’s biggest stars. Many performances feature Grammy and CMA award winners, and all include writers of many top-ranked songs.
What is an in the round performance? Occasionally duplicated but most often associated with the Bluebird Café, in-the-round performances feature performers seated in a circle with the audience all around. The musicians trade anecdotes about the music industry and sing the songs they’ve written.
Our evening begins with a 6pm – 7pm social with the songwriters, food trucks, beverages and cash bar. Music begins at 7:15. One intermission is scheduled.
About the songwriters:
“As a vocalist, Irene Kelley glows with beauty and expressiveness. As a songwriter, she shines with a luster that few of her peers can match. This is music to cleanse the soul. This is music to raise you up. This is music to touch your heart. This is the music of Irene Kelley.”
~ Robert K. Oermann, Music Historian, Music Row Magazine
Irene Kelley’s signature mix of Bluegrass, Country and Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres. A native of Latrobe, PA, Irene Kelley discovered her flair for songwriting as a teenager and soon found her way to Nashville, TN where her songs were quickly noticed and recorded by Carl Jackson, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White. While recording an album for MCA and independently releasing two more records and touring worldwide, Irene raised two daughters and scored cuts with Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, the Osborne Brothers and others.
But it’s not just her songwriting that has drawn much deserved attention her way. Kelley’s pure and lonesome vocal prowess has endeared her to a score of music lovers for years, making her one of traditional music’s most beloved musical story-tellers.
“Listening to Claire Lynch sing is not something to be undertaken casually. Her songs and stage presence demand the listener’s rapt attention. She’s an intensely soulful singer, whose distinctive voice resonates with power and strength, yet retains an engaging innocence and crystalline purity. She’s also a songwriter of extraordinary ability who can bring listeners to their feet with her buoyant rhythms or to their knees with her sometimes almost unbearably poignant and insightful lyrics.”
~ Dave Higgs, WPLN Nashville
Three-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year, Claire Lynch is an award-winning tunesmith and one of Bluegrass’s most beloved acts. She’s thrice been nominated for a GRAMMY and is the 2012 recipient of the United States Artists Walker Fellowship Award. After seven years as a Music Row songwriter and eighteen years on the Rounder Records label, she co-wrote and recorded “Dear Sister” for Compass Records and garnered IBMA’s 2014 Song of the Year.
Dolly Parton credits Claire with “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Her harmonies have graced the recordings of many stellar musicians. Equally gifted as a writer, her songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others.
“Jerry is not only a friend, in the truest sense of the word, he is also a songwriter’s songwriter – an artist that completely understands the idea of “painting a picture” using the marriage of lyric and rhyme; someone that fully grasps the art of crafting a song, rather than throwing words against the page. His paintbrush is a pen, his canvas a legal pad, and his goal always another masterpiece.”
~ Multi-Grammy award winning producer, musician and songwriter, Carl Jackson
Referred to by Billboard Magazine as “One of Music Row’s greatest veteran tunesmiths,” Jerry Salley has had an incredibly successful songwriting career. The 2018 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Songwriter of the Year and the 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year, Jerry has had over 500 songs recorded in his multi-award winning career. To date Jerry’s songs have sold in excess of 17 million records worldwide and internationally he has penned no less than eight #1 Country hits in Australia. Writing and singing in Nashville since 1982, he has written multiple hits in Country, Bluegrass and Gospel Music and may well be the most successful songwriter to have earned equal recognition from all three genres of music.
Jerry’s songs have been recorded by country artists Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Shenandoah and Toby Keith and bluegrass artists Rhonda Vincent, Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson. His songs have also been recorded by gospel artists Steven Curtis Chapman, The Talleys, Karen Peck and more.