Southern Accent hosts fellowship celebration
For more than half of its 19-year existence, the High Country-based and well-loved bluegrass gospel group known as Southern Accent has hosted an annual celebration that brings its fans and fellow musicians together for an evening of fun, food and fellowship — and, of course, some of the best music found anywhere.
It’s time once again for the gathering, which takes place at the Cove Creek Elementary School Saturday, May 19, from 11:30 a.m. until about 10 p.m.
It’s been a way for the group to “give back and show our appreciation to our fans,” said Paulette Isaacs, one of the group’s founding members, when asked about the event, which is free and open to the public.
Saturday’s Fellowship Celebration marks the 11th annual such event hosted by Southern Accent and starts out with a hearty lunch.
The entertainment line-up follows:
11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Son Road Bluegrass
12:45-1:30 p.m. - Southern Accent
1:45-2:30 p.m. - Liz Hayes
2:45-3:30 p.m. - New Roots
3:45-4:30 p.m. - The Dishman Family
4:45-5:30 p.m. - Greene Grass
5:35-6:05 p.m. - Terri Davis (and supper begins)
6:15-7 p.m. - New Covenant
7:15-7:45 p.m. - Southern Accent
8-8:45 p.m. - Carolina Crossing
9-9:45 p.m. - Slice of Bluegrass
Each year, the fellowship celebration has grown in attendance, which comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with its host group.
Since its early days, Southern Accent has attracted a large fan base when its members decided to blend their love for bluegrass music with traditional and contemporary gospel to praise and honor their Lord, Jesus Christ.
For nearly two decades, the group of “locally grown” musicians has taken its talent to greater heights within the High Country and outside its borders and has been in great demand across Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Sticking to their roots and their decision to perform only in churches and family-oriented atmospheres for more than nearly two decades has paid off, the members agree.
According to Isaacs, spokeswoman for the group, Southern Accent has developed its own unique and easily-recognizable sound through not only the members’ individual love for the Lord and music and their own musical interpretations, but also, she said, “on the rich heritage of music in the area and the legacy of past and present bluegrass artists.”
Isaacs and her husband, Dennis, were among the original members, along with Connie Norris and her brother, Gary Trivette, and Robby Norris.
The Isaacs duo and Norris are currently joined by Leonard Arnold and Mike Murphy.
Dennis Isaacs is a well-respected guitarist who sings lead and harmony parts with the band and helps arrange songs.
Paulette Isaacs learned to play music from her husband and had earlier begun to sing in church at a very young age. She sings lead and harmony and plays an acoustic Kay upright bass with the group.
Norris grew up in a large musically inclined family, plays rhythm guitar, sings and writes many of the group’s songs.
Arnold plays resophonic guitar, and Murphy is on mandolin.
Since 1994, Southern Accent has performed, in addition to churches, festivals, and family-oriented venues, at others, including MerleFest, the Doc Watson Appreciation Days (now called MusicFest ’n Sugar Grove), Todd community festivals, Grayson Highlands Festival, Paramount Theatre in Bristol, the Wayne Henderson Festival, Singing on the Mountain and Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House in Boone.
Southern Accent has performed on the Hometown Opry radio program in Wilkesboro and the former Gospel Melodies on Mountain Television Network in Boone.
They have opened for Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and were invited to play Doc Watson’s 80th birthday celebration. The group has made numerous recordings with different configurations over the years.
Plan to join them on Saturday for their fellowship celebration.