Singing River Records artists host EP release party at Makadoo’s

by Andy Thigpen Life Editor

Warm, soothing songs from Noah Myers and Madeleine Frankford contrasted with the bright Funfetti-colored walls of Makadoo’s Fresh Yogurt & Treats in downtown Florence Thursday night.

Myers and Frankford, popularly known as bluebirds, performed at Makadoo’s for their Singing River Records (SRR) EP release, and opinions were mixed—even from the band.

“I think we did okay,” Myers said.

Frankford thought the EP release party was successful.

“I think there was a good turn out,” Frankford said. “The space was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.”

The space for senior James Thigpen, however, was a let down.

“I was a bit upset that it was at Makadoo’s, because I heard that it would be at Billy Reid,” Thigpen said. “I think the atmosphere was lame, but I think they made the most of it.

“The performance was great; they have a good chemistry,” he said.

Even if the space wasn’t – in some opinions – optimal, the students involved with the planning of the show enjoyed the experience.

“I think this experience will help us in the future,” said Alicia Revelle, an entertainment industry major. “We’ll have a good idea of how things are. It’s really good hands-on experience.”

Revelle and senior Jonathan McCoy both want to pursue careers as booking agents. McCoy agrees that this experience will benefit them both as they enter the job market.

“It’s better than just throwing us out there and saying, ‘Ok. Now go,’” McCoy said.

McCoy and Revelle said that the entire SRR staff is geared toward public relations and promotion for the band during the spring semester, leading up to the EP release concert.

“I guess the whole entertainment industry department had a part in it,” McCoy said. “Even when we didn’t work with SRR directly, we still worked behind the scenes.”

Revelle agreed with McCoy.

“This is like the capstone project for the entertainment department,” said Revelle. “You take all the things you are taught and put them in this class.”

Dr. Bob Garfrerick and Janna Malone, the instructors that guide the students involved in SRR, said the students this semester have faced some unique challenges compared to previous years.

“I think (the student’s) have had to be more hands on,” Malone said. “Archie Hubbard (SRR performer last year) was a performer already. The bluebirds came together just for this project. They had to put (bluebirds) together and make them a group, whereas Archie already had that fan base.”

The difficulties are part of the learning experience, and, according to both Malone and Garfrerick, the project is entirely organized by students.

“As long as they are not burning the building down, or screwing up so bad that we can’t retract it, we see it as a learning opportunity,” Garfrerick said. “That’s a lot of pressure, and pressure is good sometimes.”

The project is also highly collaborative, according to the instructors.

“The real world is project-based work,” Garfrerick said. “You have to work with other people, and you don’t always get your way. Very few people work in a vacuum where they don’t have to communicate with other people.”

Myers and Frankford had few words after the concert. What’s clear to them now is the immediate future.

“We’re going to start practicing once a week with the full band and get that built up,” Myers said. “Maybe people will start to listen to the CDs and tell their friends”

For now, they are just happy to be finished with the SRR project.

“I think it was a good milestone to cross,” Frankford said.

“It’s a relief,” Myers added.

Bluebirds’ self-titled EP can be purchased in the Department of Entertainment Industry, and on iTunes.