Rhythm & Roots, an event born out of Thomasville Center for the Arts’ Due South Festival, has taken a life of its own by turning into a seasonal series. The evening showcases singer songwriters in an intimate setting, where the artist not only sings, but shares the backstory on songs — both hits and personal favorites alike.
This September, Rhythm & Roots is bringing two artists hailing from Nashville, Tony Arata and Greg Barnhill. Presented by Flowers AutoGroup in partnership with Thomasville Center for the Arts (TCA), this duo will grace the TCA stage Thursday, Sept. 12 and it will be an evening not to miss.
Arata is a fellow Georgian and grew up along the Tybee Island coast. His songwriting career began in high school and transitioned into college as he played in bands while attending Georgia Southern University. He was discovered at a night club in Atlanta and ultimately, his path took him to Nashville, where he worked with Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood and more.
His most famous song, “The Dance,” sung by Garth Brooks, hit No. 1 and was the first song he penned after arriving in Nashville. He credits the movies "It’s a Wonderful Life" and "Peggy Sue Got Married" as the chart topper’s inspiration and the gateway for opportunities to write more songs. He was inducted in the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Barnhill is a high demand songwriter, producer and performer. Originally from New Orleans, Barnhill’s work leans to soulful, rhythm and blues style music, which he credits to his hometown. He got his foothold in the industry with “Walkway Joe,” originally recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley, and he earned a Grammy nomination with this song.
Since then, he has worked with Martina McBride, Etta James, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, Jessica Simpson, Leona Lewis and more. He crossed over into the pop genre with the hit “House of Love” sung by Amy Grant and Vince Gill and he has crossed over many times commercially by writing Emmy nominated jingles, like “It’s a New Day” and “Your Day is Today” for the Today Show and the 2009 NASCAR theme “Be There.”
“Rhythm & Roots brings us the opportunity to get to know not only the feelings behind the songs we love but also the artist themselves. This event became so popular with Due South that it warranted its own series. We are thrilled that it is taking a life of its own and that we get to bring more singer songwriters to our region," said Mariam Mirabzadeh with TCA.
Tickets are $30 and guests will have access to a cash bar. There is also a Roadie ticket at $55, with up close VIP seating and two complimentary drinks. Both are available at thomasvillearts.org or call TCA at (229) 226-0588 for more information.