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Dalton WoodSongs Coffeehouse Gets New Director

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Paul Byrum Paul Byrum, the director of the WoodSongs Dalton Chapter since 2009 has announed that he will be leaving. During his time there, the Dalton WoodSongs Coffeehouse has been a major force in charitable bluegrass activity. From the ever popular Bluegrass Bands Helping Hands program and albums to support those impacted by the economic down turn to the concert series benefitting the Providence Ministries Rescue Mission and more, Paul has taken the Dalton WoodSongs Coffeehouse to new and greater heights. Tom Brown will assume the director responsibilities beginning in January 2014.

Paul says, "After 4 years of being the director of the Dalton WoodSongs Coffeehouse concert series, I will be stepping down in December to pursue other interests. As of now, the "other interests" remain unPauldefined. I still love playing music and helping people. I guess that these two passions will continue to find a way to surface into my future projects. I have really enjoyed my tenure leading the Woodsongs Coffeehouse Dalton Chapter. Early on, we adopted the motto "it's music that matters" and that means so much at many different levels. Always it's core was great music. We began by presenting locally the best musical entertainment. We embraced helping our community become a destination for arts and music by presenting respected and award winning musical performers. Finally, we reached out to help Dalton area non-profits by partnering to raise awareness and funds to help members of our community that benefit directly from these organizations. I can honestly say that in everyway we attempted to make music that really matters."

Paul adds, "On December 7th, it will be my pleasure to present our first Christmas concert. Donna Ulisse and The Poor Mountain Boys return to Dalton to present a very special musical story of Christmas. We have limited seating available and I would encourage those planning to attend to reserve their tickets in advance. Also, this will be one of the last times to see the Earl Brackin Band perform in Dalton before their bluegrass musical mission to Sochi Russia during the Winter Olympics. I am so proud to have Earl Brackin as a friend . The band will be wonderful ambassadors for Dalton during their musical journey."

Paul gives thanks to those who helped him along the way, "I am grateful of the support received each year from our sponsors , friends and season ticket holders. It would be impossible to produce our show without their financial underwriting."

He continued, "I am very thankful for the support and encouragement from Debby Long of the Dalton Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Veronica Rollins of the Downtown Dalton Development Authority. I really don't know if the chapter would have continued past the first year without their involvement behind the scenes. I would also wish to publically thank David Aft for his role in making each show sound wonderful. It is truly an art to help a great performer sound great during a live concert. Lastly, I wish to thank Jan Byrum for her love and support to help make each show very special for the volunteers, performers and guests.

"Thank you Dalton for supporting 'music that matters'."

Tom BrownBeginning in January, Tom Brown will take the reins of the WoodSongs Dalton Chapter. Tom says, "I am really looking forward to continuing what Paul started, bringing quality acoustic music to Dalton as well as benefiting Providence Missions," says Brown, adding "Providence provides many services to the greater Dalton area and has touched many lives. Paul has done an awesome job and I know I have some mighty big shoes to fill."

Tom, a teacher with the Whitfield County School system, is no stranger to the world of acoustic music. A 2010 participant in Leadership Bluegrass sponsored by the IBMA, he has played with several bluegrass bands over the years and is a founding member of the north Georgia based band Spatial Effects. Brown has also received recognition for his song writing efforts, having a handful of his songs recorded and he has been selected four times for the ASCAP Sponsored Songwriter Showcase at the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass.

In addition to performing and songwriting he co-wrote the two act bluegrass musical comedy Fat Shirley's: A Trailer Park Opera with David Crawford. The musical has been performed at numerous community theaters in the southeast United States and two theater companies took it on tour in the United Kingdom. He has also produced numerous music events in the area and has served as coordinator for song writer workshops.

When asked about his plans for the 2014 concert series Brown stated, "I plan to continue bringing in established and up and coming talent that is family friendly. With my love of bluegrass I know that we will feature a few bluegrass bands, but I also have been talking with several blues and indy Americana artists about playing here next year."

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