Songwriters’ Circle brings aspiring musicians to Winchester

Published 11:30 am Friday, July 5, 2024

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For several years, former Robert D. Campbell Junior High School band director Trish Torline has hosted songwriters’ circle events in Clark and Harrison County. 

Recently, upcoming musicians had an opportunity to perform for the citizens of Winchester. 

On Thursday, June 27, The Hall Coffee & Social Club on South Main Street hosted Katie Grace and John Thomas “JT” Moore for a night of live music. 

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It was a special junior’s edition of the HeartStrings Songwriters’ Circle. 

“Our songwriters this evening are 21 and under,” said Torline. “One of the reasons why I started doing [HeartStrings] is…for the young folks to come in and have a platform to share their songs.” 

The HeartStrings’ Songwriters’ Circle typically allows different music acts to perform up to six of their songs. 

As they do so, individuals are welcome to attend as live audience members, with many doing so at The Hall Coffee & Social Club as the night continues. 

Grace, a 16-year-old from Rockcastle County, and Moore, a 21-year-old from Harrodsburg, rotated turns playing original songs. 

Each took turns explaining what motivated their original songs. 

Grace started out playing a song she wrote titled “Pretty is as Pretty Does.” 

“I [was] sitting in my room, and I went downstairs to my mom, and I asked her, “What [are] some old sayings that you used to hear?’” Grace said. “She told me that her grandma would always tell her, ‘Pretty is as pretty does,’ so I wrote a song about it.” 

Grace also played a number of other original songs, such as “Livin’ in Hell,” “I’ve Got the Knife,” “It’s Alright,” “Foolish,” and more. 

In addition to Grace’s playing, Moore had plenty of time on the stage. 

The first song he chose to play was titled “Cornishville.” 

“It’s mostly about a loss of innocence,” he said, noting that the song was inspired following a conversation with his grandmother. “She told me about a conversation she had with a friend of hers at a funeral for another one of their friends. They all grew up together and [said] that they wished that they never came back from the creek because when they were kids, everything was easier.” 

Moore also performed original songs such as “Seventeen,” “Rice Crossing,” “Lyin’ in My Head,” “Running Man,” and more.

Yet, that’s not all. 

Following encouragement from the audience, each candidate played two additional songs popular with listeners. 

Grace played “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. 

One listener compared Moore’s music to that of the classic rock band Nirvana. Moore then followed with his rendition of their well-known hit, “Lithium.” 

While each can be heard at different sites – including Boomplay – Torline offered additional positive news. 

“If you’re a Spotify streamer, HeartStrings has a playlist,” she said. “Once someone does a showcase, then [if] they have songs on Spotify…I take the current release and add it to the playlist.” 

Thus, further opportunities are available to hear from Grace and Moore and many additional musicians. 

The HeartStrings’ Songwriters Circle meets in Winchester at The Hall’s Coffee and Social Club on the fourth Thursday of each month.