Jim Lauderdale Leads the Pack of NC Songwriters

Stars in the Round Showcases NC’s Songwriters

Jim Lauderdale hosts Stars in the Round at Shakori Hills
Jim Lauderdale hosts Stars in the Round at Shakori Hills

When it isn’t raining, Shakori Hills is a magical place to take in a variety of music, visual art, and dance events. Once a year they host the Stars in the Round, featuring regional songwriters followed by a hootenanny inducing featured artist.

This year’s inducer and Grammy winning host, was endearing and prolific songwriter, Jim Lauderdale. Lauderdale’s tireless dedication to the craft of songwriting is evident through regular coverage in American Songwriter Magazine, and his involvement with Merlefest’s annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, and Swannanoa Gathering’s Contemporary Folk Week.

After an opening set by local blues legend, Ironing Board Sam, the Round commenced in a flurry of heartbreak, murder ballads, protest, storytelling, and mountain songs.

Leading the pack of local songwriters was Laurelyn Dossett, whose song, Leaving Eden, was the title track of the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Grammy winning 2012 Best Folk Album. She also wrote Anna Lee, which was featured on Levon Helm’s emotional Grammy winning comeback album, Dirt Farmer.

Heartbreak master and “smooth as butter” baritone, John Howie Jr. took us to those deep dark places of heartbreak honky tonk, while Allegheny newcomer Daniel Justin Smith’s balanced out the dark with his earnest debut. Brevard’s bewitching sirens, Shannon Whitworth and Nikki Talley dueled out some serious clawhammer banjo songs, enchanting songs of Spring, family, and good ole’ mountain folk.

Lauderdale & Dossett Credit:Justin Catanoso

Lauderdale & Dossett
Credit:Justin Catanoso

Proceeds from the annual Stars in the Round benefit the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center.

“Shakori Hills Community Arts Center was created with the mission to purchase, preserve and enhance the Shakori Hills farmstead for community building through music, dance, arts and education. Our mission has further evolved to provide music education opportunities in schools through our Hopes & Dreams program.” – Shakori’s Mission Statement

 Justin Catanoso

Justin Catanoso

Cool Projects

The Healing Blues, Greensboro artists brings the homeless and music community for a unique collaborative storytelling project.


Aug. 27 Chuck Prophet (FREE!) – Hillsborough

Sept. 4  Chatham County Line (FREE!) – Durham

Sept. 6 The Monti Storytelling is back! –  Carrboro

Sept. 12 Holy Ghost Tent Revival CD Release – Carrboro

Sept. 13 Velcro MC from Puerto Rico – Durham

Sept. 17 – 21 Americana Music Festival – Nasvhille, TN

Sept. 20 Rubblebucket – Raleigh

Planning Ahead

Sept. 13 Farm Aid 2014 is in Raleigh YAWL

Sept. 20-21 CenterFest – Durham

Oct. 3-4 Wide Open Bluegrass – Raleigh

Oct. 9-12 Shakori Hills Grassroots & Dance Festival

More Good Stuff to See and Hear

GR8MUSICROX CALENDAR   Try the Agenda view. I like that best.

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