Flagler Beach, FL – It’s not every day your best friend can line up a country star to play your engagement party, but on Saturday evening, that’s exactly what happened.
While coordinating the “Nashville Unplugged” show featuring Keith Burns for the community on Sunday at The Anchor in Flagler Beach, The Foodies Groupies CEO Karen Clair added a special event the night before, as a gift to her best friends Stephanie McDaniel and Ken Beauregard.
“They’ve recently moved to Tennessee but they’re here to have an awesome engagement party with all their friends and Keith here to perform, so it’s something very nice for them,” said Clair.
The intimate acoustic show with Burns, a Georgia native, Nashville songwriter and founding member of the Grammy nominated country super group Trick Pony was perfectly complemented by the transformation of the seafood restaurant’s upper deck interior dining room into a whimsical undersea experience, catered by Flagler Beach sweet treats queen Shannon Willer’s company The Grazing Gypsy.
“I couldn’t be happier or more pleased to have Karen do this wonderful event for us for our engagement party,” said McDaniel. “We just love her so much and we’re so thankful for her.”
Preparing to join the ‘Bo’s Extravaganza Small Town Tour’ with John Schneider and Cody McCarver, along with the release of his upcoming single “Trying Times”, Burns said he enjoyed doing special events like the private party, and playing the smaller shows that allow him to get up close and personal with the audience.
“I’ve played everything from venues like this when I play my acoustic stuff, and it’s really fun for me because I take it all the way back to people who inspired me to get in this business,” he said. “I sing songs that I’ve done in the club back in the day to stuff I wrote that was nominated for a Grammy, and so I play all these things, just me and my guitar, and I enjoy it.”
Playing his new song on Saturday evening he said the song’s inspiration stems from a letter written by a soldier to his wife in 1943, reminding her to stay strong as the world moved through a cycle of challenges that have been repeated throughout history.
“It’s a very positive, uplifting song about, you know what, these trying times ain’t going to get us down, we’ve been through all this before, you think we should know by now, we have faith it give us peace of mind, me and you, we will get through these trying times,” he said quoting the song.
“I’m telling people to snap out of this, we’re going to be fine, because in the end the Good Lord wins, we know what happens.”
Sharing his songwriting secrets – quiet time, long drives and collaborations with creative co-writers, Burns was open about his passion for the craft, and appreciative of audiences who’ve allowed him the opportunity to pursue music, a talent he discovered at the age of 15.
“I started at an early age. I broke my leg playing football, picked up a guitar and started playing. I loved Elvis and Waylon (Jennings) and Waylon got me into country. I moved to Nashville, wrote a couple of hit songs,” he said, modestly. “I thank the Good Lord I’ve been pretty successful at it, and I’m very blessed.”
When not on stage, Burns manages up and coming artists.
The “Nashville Unplugged” shows continue throughout Florida with stops in Orlando, Starke, Jensen Beach and Port St. Lucie, with Burns adding a little time for golfing with friends and songwriting while in the Sunshine State.
This is the second time The Foodies Groupies CEO Karen Clair has brought a big name to the community through her entertainment industry relationships – her first was a collaboration with 90’s pop star Tiffany. Clair said she is happy to help add entertainment options while putting Flagler Beach on the map in a new way.
“I absolutely love it and it is a real big honor to be able to do this for our small beach town,” she said.