Traditional music sets tone at Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival

Published 3:00 am Friday, January 18, 2019

Plato said music gives wings to the mind and life to everything.

With that thought, the Brundidge Historical Society made the decision to open its first Pike Piddlers Storytelling in 2007 with music, gospel music, which Mahalia Jackson said is “nothing but good tidings, spreading good news.”

Nationally acclaimed storyteller Donald Davis gave his nod to the pre-show music which he said set the tone and created the right mood for storytelling.

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When the doors of the 13th Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling open next weekend at the We Piddle Around Theater on Friday night and at the Trojan Center Saturday, there will be the sound of music – gospel, country, old-time and maybe even a little hillbilly, said Mernette Bray, a member of the BHS storytelling committee.

“We say and we believe that the music is worth the price of admission,” Bray said. “The preshow music begins 30 minutes prior to each storytelling concert and most people are already in their seats to enjoy the music.”

Bray said three traditional music bands are featured at the storytelling festival, The Benton Brothers and Company, The Lighthouse String Ensemble and The Hendersons.

“The Lighthouse String Ensemble and The Benton Brothers have been with us since the beginning. The Hendersons joined us several years ago,” Bray said. “They are all from Pike County and we like to showcase our local talent. The bands are great additions to our storytelling festival.”

The Lighthouse String Ensemble gets the festival off to a rousing start at 9:30 a.m.

“That’s a little early for Saturday morning but Amanda Smothers, her dad, Mike Benton, and their band are reason to get up and moving early,
Bray said.

“The Benton Brothers have been playing for the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival since the beginning,” Bray said. “They have kind of grown up with us as the house band for the We Piddle Around Theater. The Benton Brothers and Company take the stage at 1:30 p.m.

The Hendersons, like so many gospel bands, are made up of family members, father, brother and son.

They open for the last storytelling concert of 2019 at 6 p.m.

“The Hendersons play and sing the old-time hymns that we all know and love,” Bray said. “They invite the audience to sing along but the invitation comes too late for most people who have been singing from the start.”

Bray said all three bands are well-known throughout the area and bring a special uniqueness to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

For ticket information to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, Saturday, January 26 at the Trojan Center Theater, call 334-685-5524 or 670-6302.