An intimate night among friends
Friday night, the White Room at Blue 5, in downtown Roanoke held its second “Songwriters in the Round” series. The event featured a juxtaposition of three very different talents who mine their writing material from diverse veins.
Gifted with a voice with stunning range as well as strong musicianship, the Charlottesville-based Erin Lunsford pulls much of her material from the disappointments and frustrations of a young woman on the dating scene, as well as the challenges of trying to lead a band.
Hoppy Vaughan—there couldn’t be a more perfect stage name—bubbles with what he likes to call “blue-eyed soul” to mix humor and rhythm with a southern-fried storytelling that spills forth in infectious grooves. A native of South Carolina, he’s lived and made music in the Roanoke area for the past two decades. Think of James Taylor and a bowl of grits.
Corey Hunley, meanwhile, is the acoustic dean of the Roanoke bar scene and draws much of his writing material from the humor and fun he’s encountered there over the years, as well as from the delights of family life, all of which he has crafted into contemporary country tunes that roll away with splashes of insight, all paced and punctuated by energy and strum thumping guitar licks.
With the three and their very different genres shifting the spotlight back and forth all night long, the show moved right along with nary a thin spot, except perhaps a little too much crowd noise at certain moments from a few folks on the perimeter who seemed intent on treating the event as more of a social hour than a performance. But that was a minor distraction.
Performance it was, with all three participants throwing fine stuff up on the hump. We are fortunate to have a place like Blue 5 that is committed to showcasing the region’s songwriting and musical talent in such a comfortable setting. Here’s hoping that we will get to see more “Songwriters in the Round” series soon.
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