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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:42

Balsam songwriter series welcomes Miller

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The “Songwriters in the Round” series will continue with Irene Kelley, Milan Miller and Thomm Jutz at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Balsam Mountain Inn.

The inn modeled the series after similar performances at Nashville’s Bluebird Café. Balsam’s performers are most often the Nashville-area songwriters who pen lyrics performed by country and western stars. Many performances feature Grammy and CMA award winners, and all include writers of many top-ranked songs.

• Kelley discovered her flair for songwriting as a teenager and soon found her way to Nashville, 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, she 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 and The Osborne Brothers.

• A Waynesville native, Miller moved to Nashville in pursuit of his music career. He has traveled the world, making appearances at venues ranging from Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater to Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California, and from the Grand Ole Opry to Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra. The fruits of this labor have yielded eight number one bluegrass songs, a steady stream of others that have graced the top twenty, two nominations for “Song of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and nominations for “Songwriter of the Year” by the IBMA and SPBGMA. Miller’s song catalog includes such Balsam Range staples as “Calloway County Flood,” “Burning Georgia Down” (written with Mark Bumgarner), “Caney Fork River,” “Hard Price to Pay,” “The Other Side” and “Papertown,” a song about the resilience of working people in Canton.

• From the Black Forest of Germany, Jutz has won several nationwide competitions as a teenager before studying classical guitar at the University of Stuttgart. At the same time, he played endless gigs all over Germany and the neighboring countries with blues and rock bands, though his true love has always been country, bluegrass and folk music. Jutz produced volumes one and two of “The 1861 Project,” a collection of new songs about the American Civil War. Marquee artists like Marty Stuart, John Anderson, Jerry Douglas, Maura O’Connell, Connie Smith, Chris Jones, Sierra Hull and many more are featured on these records. 

A buffet dinner is included in the $49.50 ticket price, and seating begins at 6 p.m. Live music will follow the dinner. For more information or to make a reservation, click on or call 828.456.9498.

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