A new live music experience is coming to Seymour.

Tickets are on sale for the first in what organizer Shawn Busby calls a series of singer-songwriter “listening room” concerts to be performed this year in the city.

The first show is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday in the upstairs banquet room at Rails Craft Brew and Eatery, 114 St. Louis Ave., in downtown Seymour.

Matthew Mayfield of Birmingham, Alabama, will headline the show with special guest Brooks Ritter of Louisville, Kentucky. Advance tickets are available for $10 and may be purchased at Rails, the Jackson County Visitor Center or Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Tickets purchased at the door will be $15.

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Two years ago, Busby became involved with the city’s Vision 2025 project, an initiative to get young professionals involved in making positive changes in Seymour.

With an interest in music, especially the singer-songwriter genre and the Americana style, Busby, who has his own radio show, “Americana Made” on 92.7 Nash Icon, took charge of a committee tasked with promoting the arts locally.

In 2015, he and his brother, Shane Busby, attended a three-day songwriter’s festival in Tennessee.

“We were unfamiliar with almost all of the musicians, and I was concerned that we might grow tired of the guy with a guitar presentation, but boy, was I wrong,” Shawn said. “I have been to hundreds of concerts over the past 20 years, and the songwriter’s event was so unique and laid back, we couldn’t get enough.

“When I found out we could create a similar experience right here in Seymour, I had to try it,” he said.

Goals for the live music committee were to create more events for people to attend here and to attract more tourists to the area. Shawn started by organizing private “handpicked house concerts,” which were intimate shows hosted by local residents at their homes.

Shawn is marketing Saturday’s concert as a similar experience with a quiet, “listening room” environment, where people sit and enjoy acoustic performances.

“This is original music performed by world-class musicians in an intimate setting,” he said.

The committee’s ultimate goal is to establish an annual regional singer-songwriter festival in Seymour, similar to those he has attended in Tennessee.

The house concerts have featured professional nationally touring musicians, including Chatham County Line, HoneyHoney, The Steel Wheels, The Sheepdogs, Count This Penny, Goodnight Texas, The Water Liars and others.

Shawn is excited about bringing Mayfield, the former lead singer of the band Moses Mayfield, to Seymour.

Since 2009, Mayfield has released five albums and toured around the world playing with artists like Needtobreathe and Will Hoge. His music is classified as rock.

In 2010, his first full-length studio album, “Now You’re Free,” broke the top-20 charts in the iTunes rock category in the first week. Several tracks were featured on television shows “Teen Mom” on MTV and “Ringer” on The CW.

In May 2012, Mayfield released his second full-length studio album, “A Banquet for Ghosts,” with the help of crowd funding from his fans. In February 2015, he released his third full-length studio album, “Wild Eyes.”

Ritter, the opening act, performs music ranging from soul to roots with a little indie-rock. His newest CD, “Stereo of Steel,” features 10 original songs that follow that pattern.

He began writing songs in 2004 and released his first album, “The Horse Fell Lame,” in 2009. That was followed by “The War” and “Gather Round,” both coming out in 2011.

Ritter has toured with various artists, including Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek, Greg Laswell, Anderson East, Ben Sollee and others.

If you go

What: Live singer-songwriter “listening room” concert, featuring Matthew Mayfield and opening act Brooks Ritter

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Rails Craft Brew and Eatery, 114 St. Louis Ave., in downtown Seymour

Cost: Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Rails, the Jackson County Visitor Center or Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Tickets will be $15 at the door.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.