(Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series on the 25th Annual Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcase. The first can be read here).
LENOIR, N.C. – Nancy Posey, a musician and former Caldwell County teacher now living in Nashville, will again be the emcee for the Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcase, scheduled here for March 4 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.
It is the 25th Annual Showcase; this year’s theme is Heroes and Friends and will be the last to be hosted by Strictly Clean and Decent, which organized the first show and has hosted it since its inception.The group, composed of Kay and Patrick Crouch and Ron Shuffler, is turning over the reins to Lenoir musician Andrew Massey.
It’s understandable then, that in a recent interview, Posey shared that she is as enthused as ever at the prospects of returning to Lenoir and the Showcase as it reaches the quarter century milestone. She is also hopeful that folks from Caldwell County and beyond will renew their appreciation for the work of Strictly Clean and Decent and all of the musicians that will fill the stage this year and beyond.
When prodded to share why folks should attend the Showcase, Posey first provided a typically ornery response, offering, “Well to come see me of course. If you don’t want to come to see me, that’s your loss.” She quickly turned serious, expressing admiration for Kay and Patrick, sharing, “It feels like a homecoming. Kay and Patrick have touched so many people in the community. If you don’t come this year, you will really miss a good opportunity.”
She added that she’s concerned that some people have taken the Showcase for granted. “They have in their mind that it’s always going to be there. I think people are so used to it because it’s on their doorstep. So, they don’t come.”
As she points out, not attending this year’s Showcase would be a mistake for music lovers. Musicians scheduled to perform include Strictly Clean and Decent; Milan Miller, the 2020 Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year; Tall Paul and Kristie, featuring Paul and Kristie Bobal; and the Jon Boy ‘n Lefty Band whose members are Jonathan Doll, Kent “Lefty” Spears, Coty Robinett, Wes McCall, and Andrew Massey.
Living in Nashville and visiting here to see family and friends is clearly working for Posey, who was a highly-regarded and popular English teacher at South Caldwell High School. “When I left, I didn’t leave my ties,” shares Posey. She explains, “We’re living in a world where we are a little more connected. I keep up with my friends there, what they are playing. I’m keeping up with my students.” Indeed, she considers both places home. When teaching, she says she’ll ask students, “What do you consider home?” She shares, “It can be more than one place. I have a little Tar Heel in my blood.”
And, it is obvious that she is quite at home as emcee of the Showcase. She continues, “I think many people don’t realize how talented the musicians are. It brings a lot of talented people together. They could play any stage and do. I’d love to see the place filled up this year.”
Posey adds, “Half the fun of being in the show is being with Patrick and Kay. If you’d ask me who are my heroes and friends, two who fit both categories are Kay and Patrick. They are so generous. They have been putting this together for the greater good for the community. If they’re your friends, you’ve got friends for life.”
Patrick taught her the mandolin, and she credits both Kay and Patrick for helping her meet singers/songwriters, learn how to play with them and even interview them. “I’m getting a lot of opportunities to talk to singers and songwriters. Kay and Patrick helped me with that.”
She adds, “From the first Showcase, I’ve been sharpening my chops. It’s opened up a lot of doors for me. They’ve never boxed it in. It isn’t one kind of music. That’s something many people don’t know about Caldwell County.” Most notably, she adds, the Showcase is proof that in Caldwell County, “Musicians open doors for other people. Patrick’s got a list a mile long of musicians that influenced him. If you talk to Andrew and others, their list is going to have Patrick and Kay on it. They’re just the real deal.”
To learn more about the 25th Annual Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcase: Heroes and Friends, contact the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center box office at 828-726-2407. Learn more about the meal available before the performance.
© Michael M. Barrick 2023.
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