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The Monticello Opera House will host Southern Music Rising this Saturday

Dusk falls on a large red-brick building.
Patrick Sternad
WFSU Public Media
Monticello Opera House

The Monticello Opera House is getting back into the live music business. Some of the area’s top singer-songwriters will be showcasing their individual - and collective - talents on the venerable performance place's stage this Saturday evening.

The idea of tossing a trio of incredible musical creatives onstage with a minimum of preparation just to see what sparks might fly is by no means a new concept. Grant Peeples, one of this weekend’s performers, said that was exactly the format the show’s producer was out to replicate.

“This whole idea came from Cliff Miller, having gone to see a concert at Ruby Diamond 15 years ago. There was Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely and Guy Clark. And he saw the show and said, ‘Man! I want to be able to produce that kind of show very similar to what we talked about: three people getting up there and playing songs, independently, but also together with a great feel. And that’s what Cliff is trying to emulate here. We’ve done 2 of them before and it’s been great, and we’ll have to do another this time.”

Hence the third “Southern Music Rising.”

“My friend Danny Goddard who I’m in the studio with these days - he’s producing my record - we’ll be playing with Dana King who’s from Monticello, at the Monticello Opera House on August 20.”

And, just like that Ruby Diamond concert of long ago, Peeples said the musical flow will divert into multiple main channels and cross currents.

“The three of us will be on stage together. Dana and I will do a couple of songs and duets together. Danny will play with me on a couple of songs that I do and Danny will also play with Dana King on a couple of songs she’s doing.”

The three plan to huddle backstage just minutes ahead of show time to map out a rough plan for how things will go. That approach, said Peeples, will keep the proceedings fresh, spontaneous and maybe just a wee bit risky.

“There’ll be some songs that get played for the first time at this show. I think that’s the them. It’s a breakout, end of summer/beginning of fall and some new songs and collaborations coming out.”

In addition to more than a few uproarious sagas of musical life and lore. The Southern Music Rising Singer-Songwriter show take place this Saturday at the Monticello Opera House. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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