Southern Songwriter Series returns to Beaufort

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In the latest version of Songwriters in the Round, “Big Frank” Waddell brings along two singer/songwriter pals who will be performing in Beaufort for the first time at ARTworks on Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

David Owens performs.
David Owens performs.

Well known to local audiences, “Big Frank” has played the guitar and written songs for over 40 years and performs a repertoire that he describes as “Americana Folk and comedy.” However, he is best known in Beaufort as a “writer in the round” who has traded stories and songs onstage with Carroll Brown, Michael Reno Harrell, and other performers on numerous occasions at ARTworks in Beaufort. This time, though, he is headlining the show, so that he can introduce the talents of “two really great guys that I play with up in Charleston.” Like many of Frank’s friends, those two guys also happen to have long musical careers that include work with some household names.

Ed Hunnicutt has written songs for country luminaries such as Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn and The Oak Ridge Boys and he says that his style is influenced by Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams and James Taylor. Although Ed lives and works in South Carolina, he travels to Nashville frequently. He says, “It wasn’t until I went to Nashville that I understood what separated good songs from great songs. Through several mentors, I learned how to say the same things that have been said over and over in a way that they haven’t been said yet.”

The third member of the group, David Owens, hails from Folly Beach, SC. He best sums up his life as a performer in the lyrics from his original song “Live Like This”: “I’ve traveled many a bumpy road and a dusty mile, and it’s a sight for these sore eyes to see that sweet southern smile.”

David’s 30-year music career, playing at festivals and venues has taken him across the U.S. and back, however his creative home and inspiration is the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Although David’s bread and butter is as a live performer, like Ed he has had a brush with the show business world. As the story goes, David met Mike Rowe, the TV host of “Dirty Jobs” in 2007 when he was in South Carolina filming an episode on shrimping and oystering. One night after filming was over, David says, “they sat on Folly Creek, after a night of oysters and drinking,” jotted down some lyrics and the “official, unofficial Dirty Jobs theme song” was born.

More like a back porch get together with friends than a concert, at this event you can likely expect these three performers to “swap stories and songs, tell tall tales, and generally cut up” onstage, according to Big Frank.

Songwriters in the Round will take place at ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center, 2127 Boundary Street. Tickets are $17 for adults, $12 for students (ages 13+), $7 for children (ages 12 and under), $12 for groups of ten or more. Tickets can be purchased online from artworksinbeaufort.com or by calling 843-379-2787.