Singing River Presents event debuts at The Smokehouse, features Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil

A foot-stomping, head-bobbing crowd gathered around Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil at the debut Singing River Presents event on Thursday, April 12.

“It’s always a good feeling when you’re playing to a bunch of people who don’t know your music and you look out to see that one foot tapping,” Dailey said during and after the show.

Not only were feet tapping, mouths were singing all the words to his songs—and Dr. Bob Garfrerick, chair of the Department of Entertainment Industry, noticed.

“Doc could’ve played into the wee hours of the morning,” Garfrerick said. “People were really diggin’ what he was doing.”

The show was entirely put on by students in Garfrerick’s Artist Management and Touring class in an effort to launch Singing River Presents—a new program focused on cultivating the skills necessary to put on a successful show—while also promoting the Muscle Shoals Music Association (MSMA), Garfrerick said.

By all accounts, the show was a great success.

“We were more successful than we planned to be,” said Mack Cornwell, project manager. “The excess money that we made will go to a fund to make this happen again.”

“(The students) actually did it: booking a venue, booking artists, publicity, advertising. It was a huge success all the way around,” said Janna Malone, commercial music instructor.

“It was an astounding success as far as we’re concerned,” Garfrerick said. “We made enough to pay our bills and make a small donation to MSMA. It was just a success in every aspect.”

At the entrance to The Smokehouse, MSMA set up a membership sign-up sheet. Not very many students signed up, however, said Jimmy Nutt, president of MSMA. This left him undaunted.

“It’s not a big deal,” Nutt said after the show. “We’re just trying to raise awareness. We’re just trying to bring communication and get support for what we’re doing.

“It’s going to take some time to get the young folks around here plugged into the MSMA.”

Garfrerick said that was exactly the point.

“We primarily were thinking it would be an awareness raiser, and to help (MSMA) brand toward a new crowd,” Garfrerick said.

Dailey was also happy for the attention.

“I think we made a lot of new fans from the college fans that maybe wouldn’t normally be able to see our show,” Dailey said.

Garfrerick said he hoped that would be the case.

“We wanted to do everything we could to make it a positive experience for (the artists), and I think we did,” Garfrerick said.