Jul27

The Village School Songwriter Showcase - WC Handy Festival The event will be held on July 27, 2024 from 4pm to 6:30pm

Set 1: Caleb Elliott (Single Lock Records) and Heath Fogg (former guitarist with The Alabama Shakes).

Set 2: James LeBlanc (staff songwriter and recording artist for Fame enterprises) and Angela Hacker (Nashville Star winner and Warner Brothers recording artist).

Set 3: Pat Huggins with Will McFarlane (session guitarist and Nashville Musicians Hall of Fame inductee) and Jimmy Nutt (owner of The NuttHouse Recording Studio and Grammy and Juno award-winning producer and engineer).

Artist Bios: Angela Hacker was born and raised in LaGrange Alabama. The 4th of 5 children born to Harty and Susan Hacker. She started singing when she was a little girl , using a hairbrush for a microphone . "Growing up in the country , there wasn't much to do, but there were always instruments lying around ." Her father, Harty, was a professional singer and guitar player and her older sisters played and sang as well . Fast forward to 2007 when she auditioned for the TV show "Nashville Star "; she won the talent show and released a record that year on Warner Bros. Records . Since then, she has continued to write, play and sing anywhere and everywhere she can. "I love to perform live! I feel like its what i was born to do! "

Singer-songwriter James LeBlanc was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. James picked up the guitar at age seven , inspired by his father, James Sr. By the time James was 18, he knew he wanted to make a life and living in the music business. After many years of struggles, trials and tribulation, James finally got an opportunity when he was "discovered" by Rick and Rodney Hall. They were and still are the proprietors of FAME enterprises in Muscle Shoals Alabama. James signed a production agreement and publishing contract with FAME. Soon thereafter he began getting songs recorded by the likes of Martina McBride, Bryan White, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Thompson Square, and more. James co-wrote the hit song "Modern day Bonnie and Clyde " for Travis Tritt. He also co-wrote the hit "Relentless" for Jason Aldean and the hit "Learning how to Bend" for and with Gary Allan. James' songs have been on records which have sold over 25 million copies.

Will McFarlane moved to the Muscle Shoals area after over 5 years on the road with Bonnie Raitt and extensive session work in LA. He signed with the publishing company at Muscle Shoals Sound, and became part of the rhythm section, playing with artists as diverse as Bobby “Blue” Bland, Etta James, Toby Keith, and Levon Helm. He was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville as a friend of the Swampers. He lives here with his wife of 48 years, and continues doing sessions and live shows.

Caleb Elliott Like the sprawling branches of a tenured Magnolia, Caleb Elliott’s sophomore album Weed, Wine & Time is beauty and grit personified. There are veins of JJ Cale country, the soul-jazz of Michael Kiwanuka, and the lyric fragility of Sufjan Stevens criss-crossing throughout WW&T. With these songs, Elliott’s mastery of craft and nuance are on full display. Track to track, Elliott confidently paints with the full gamut of emotion. From the Spring lightness of the title track to the wrecking-ball weight of FUBC, Elliott grafts equal amounts of hope and hurt into the root system of WW&T. Elliott’s uncanny ability to marry ear-worm hooks with complex & honest feeling has made WW&T his most impressive album yet. Weed, Wine & Time is an album replete with soothing catharsis and challenging introspection. It does what all great albums do: It invites a listener to fall in love with both the music and the message. Between its joy, heartache, expertise and timeless feel, WW&T is a veritable gumbo of great music. It is a sonic dish carefully prepared with affection and served with the intent to move and to please. WW&T begs you to taste and see. Which is fitting when you consider that Louisiana-born Elliott believes “Nothing says I love you more than making someone a gumbo.” He has done just that, and it is delicious.

Jimmy Nutt: GRAMMY/Juno Award winning Recording/Mixing Engineer, Jimmy Nutt, grew up in Shreveport Louisiana surrounded by musicians steeped in blues and rock. He joined his first band at age 13. Early on, Jimmy was interested in recording and sound. He acquired a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder while still in his teens and started learning how to record a band. In July of 2000, Jimmy moved his family to Muscle Shoals, Al. to work as a staff-recording engineer at FAME Recording Studios. During his time at FAME, he recorded sessions for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Clarence Carter, Heartland, Russell Smith, The Drive-by-Truckers and many more. He worked at FAME for almost 3 years before becoming an independent recording engineer and producer. He was also a staff writer for FAME’s publishing company during this time.

Jimmy is now the owner of The NuttHouse Recording Studio, Inc. located in downtown Sheffield, Alabama. He transformed a bank built in 1955 into a recording studio and has hosted numerous recording sessions in the last 14 years including well known artists; Percy Sledge, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Dead South, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dylan LeBlanc, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jason Isbell, John Paul White, Donna Jean Godchaux, and The SteelDrivers.

In February of 2016, Jimmy won a GRAMMY award for engineering and mixing the “Bluegrass Album of the Year”, The SteelDrivers, “The Muscle Shoals Recordings”.
In June of 2020, Jimmy won the Canadian Juno award for producing and mixing the “Traditional Roots Album of the Year” for The Dead South album “Sugar & Joy”.

Pat Huggins: Huggins bought his first guitar for $5 right after high school. Even before his cheap acquisition, Huggins taste for music was influenced by church in a Southern Baptist setting and his mother’s Elvis (Presley) records where he claims “the seeds were planted.” “My mom actually went to high school with Elvis,” he said. “I could be Elvis’ son, you know,” Huggins quipped. In 1975 he decided to make a living as a musician and in 1984 he sold his house in Huntsville to move to Nashville to “get in the biz up there.” The stay in Music City was short lived. Huggins made the move to Muscle Shoals where a few of his friends stayed and were some worked at Wishbone Recording Studios. Across the street from the studio was an airport. In his "day work" life, Pat is a pilot, and spends his off time at his home recording studio, writing and recording with friends and fellows in the storied Muscle Shoals Music scene. He currently has 5 albums out now, and is always writing more.

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