Focus Music hosted their quarterly Mount Vernon concert at last night featuring folk legend Kate Campbell and Alexandria local Charles Williams. The intimate concert drew a crowd of Focus supporters from all over the Virginia area who Campbell engaged in playful banter throughout the evening.
“I’m so excited there are so many new people here,” Campbell said, and later joked about the Northern Virginia location. “Now Alexandria is in Virginia, right? But Maryland is not too far away, and I’m not too sure if they consider themselves part of the South. I’ll have to be careful about what I say!”
Campbell entertained the audience with a unique mixture of heartfelt and inspiring storytelling and beautiful folk, country and gospel-style melodies spanning her extensive collection of albums. The dulcimer tones of her acoustic guitar mingled with her throaty, Southern-tinged voice as she wove a comforting blanket of times gone by through lyrical and anecdotal commentary.
After a brief intermission, where Campbell spoke with members of the audience, special guest artist, Charles Williams took the stage. He performed a series of deeply moving songs in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders and moved the audience into singing along with him for several choruses.
Williams' former student Carolyn Waters joined him on stage for a rousing and inspirational song with Campbell, before she finished the second half of her set. Campbell finished out the evening with another half dozen songs before inviting Waters on stage for the final song of the show.
“Whether or not our patrons have heard of the performer that night, they know they can depend on Focus to host entertainers they know they’ll enjoy,” Focus representative Kay Coyte said. “Kate has former ties with St. Aidan’s and we were so happy to have her perform tonight.”
Focus’ next Virginia concert will be on Jan. 15 and will feature James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt. For more information, visit the Focus website.