‘JUST JOSH’: Goforth entertains at Chili Country Christmas

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Just Josh. And that was plenty good enough.

The Brundidge Historical Society presented Josh Goforth in concert at the Chili Country Christmas event Friday and Saturday nights at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge. Goforth, an award-winning musician, singer and storyteller, is no stranger to Pike County. The Grammy nominee has appeared at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and was back piddlin’ in Brundidge by popular demand.
“And no one was disappointed,” said Lawrence Bowden, BHS president. “People had been saying they would like to ‘just see Josh.’ At the end of his performances, people were asking when he was coming back.”

Dr. David Dye of Troy is a regular at the We Piddle Around Theater. He and his wife, Judy, sat front and center at the Friday night performance.

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“It was a glorious evening with Josh, who is a world-renowned player of string instruments,” said Dye, retired dean of communications and fine arts at Troy University. “He held the entire audience in his hand the whole time. I’ve never seen such laughter and so many smiles. People were having a good old time being entertained without watching TV. When you are sitting and looking and listening eye-to-eye, there’s a strong sense of communion that you can’t experience in any other kind of performance.”

Dye said Goforth’s playing and singing were spell-binding.

“I was so caught up in the mood. His performance was like a roller coaster ride. It had its ups and downs, laughing and crying. It was like being at a reunion with family. I think so many of us are yearning for something that is real – for a good feeling to take us on to the next day. Josh gives you that feeling. You don’t know what that next day will bring but this one has been good.”

Dye said he continues to love the We Piddle Around Theater with the sawdust on the floor and the opportunity to sit around a table and pass the bowls.

“You won’t find an entertainment experience like this anywhere else in this part of the country,” he said. “I just don’t know where you would find it.”

There was a good mix of local people and others from as far north as Birmingham and as far south as Mobile, Bowden said.

Mason Corbett and his family made the drive from Auburn to hear Goforth. Corbett is a former 4-H storytelling competitor who advanced to the state level while in high school.

“We came last year when Sheila Kay Adams was at The Emporium,” Corbett said. “We enjoyed her and wanted to come back.”

The Corbetts were not disappointed.

“We made the Chili Country Christmas a Christmas celebration and had a really good time,” Corbett said. “We liked the dinner theater atmosphere and being immersed in Southern culture.”

And, as a storyteller himself, Corbett knows how difficult it can be to capture an audience with nothing more than the spoken word.

“Josh Goforth has a great stage presence and he is an engaging storyteller,” Corbett said. “He is one storyteller that I would drive a long distance to hear. He’s one of the best.”

Martha Ann Williams grew up “out in the sticks” and has heard some of the best front porch storytellers the country has ever known. “But there’s not a one of them that could hold a candle to that young man,” she said. “If he comes back, I’ll be there to hear him if I have to walk barefooted eight miles in the snow, both ways.”