So Friday Night, I’m heading over to Jefferson’s to grab an end of week brew and find a stranger sitting at the bar. When you go as much as me and friends, a new face always stands out. Being one to not meet a new friend, I said hello to Simone Simonton and learned she was in town for the “Unplugged Opelika” singer/songwriter event at the Event Center Downtown. Oh yea, I do tend to talk to pretty girls quicker than others, you caught me! Buddy Redman showed about that time and the two talked about small towns and some of Opelika’s past. He’s old enough to remember after all. Well, you know me, I like singer songwriters after the nearly 10 years of Eighth and Rail bringing them to Opelika. Simone has been in Atlanta for 25 years and is making a move to Nashville in coming months. She’s pretty well connected there already after her own touring band “South 70″, which she played drums has opened for lots of big names like Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, Chris Young and Styx, among others. Before that, as a founding member of Sugarland, she co-wrote the songs Baby Girl, Down In Mississippi, Speed Of Life and Fly Away. We had a pretty interesting conversation about song writing today which gave a look at Inside Nashville. I headed up to the Event Center to catch her performance and was certainly glad I did. I’m a fan and follower now. Her website says this of her writing, “Simone’s songs communicate a rich infusion of her passion for drumming and her gift of storytelling. Her songs are unique, but familiar.” That is spot on!
I know that’s just one story of one song writter at the Friday event that featured some talent from accross the area. Make a note for future Opelika Unplugged’s and try to attend. It’s really great to hear some of the talent that doesn’t make it to mainstream radio today. Well in the case of Simone, you knew her work, but didn’t probably know her!
As a side note to our conversations she mentioned that Eight and Rail was well known and loved in the community of performers and writers. Kudos to Richard Patton for building more than a Brand, but a true destination. It will be missed!