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Coley among featured songwriters at TAC event

Singer-songwriter John Ford Coley jokes that he has been around such a long time that Moses was not a prophet when he started writing songs.

Coley will be one of three singer-song writers that will be featured in the Troy Arts Council’s “The Heart Behind the Music” Songwriter’s Showcase Friday night at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.

Joining Coley will be Lenny LeBlanc and Marty Raybon, both Alabama residents living in the music-rich part of the state, Muscle Shoals. Conley is home in Nashville.

Coley said writing songs is much like sitting around a campfire, smoking cigars and sharing stories. “Music comes out of that,” he said. 

Coley’s song have been described as the kind of songs that transport listeners to a certain time period or give them a special feeling.

Coley said his music comes from the heart and he enjoys the music of other songwriters and appreciates the opportunity to participate in songwriter’s showcases.

“I like sharing the stories behind my songs and hearing the stories of other songwriters,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being in Troy and on stage with Lenny and Marty who are great singers and songwriters.

“The showcases are a lot of fun and a showcase is always an enjoyable evening. We laugh a lot as we share the stories behind the songs. We joke around and that’s fun for us and the audience, too.

Coley is classically trained. As a classical pianist, that classical element — a bit of Bach and Beethoven–can sometimes be detected in his music.

“I can’t escape it,” he said, laughing. Coley said he always enjoys hanging around after the show and talking with members of the audience.  And, he’s always willing to give a few tips to aspiring songwriters.

“I always like to encourage those who want to write music,” he said. “Writing music does come from the heart. We hope people will stay around for a while. We enjoy that part of the show.”

“The Heart Behind the Music” Songwriter’s Showcase is a great opportunity to hear about the story behind many hit songs and then see the songs performed, plus a chance to meet the artists.

Showtime is 7 p.m. at the Crosby Theater. General admission tickets are $20 and $5 for students with an ID.