The Jammin’ In July Festival was held in Camden, South Carolina today, and since I covered the event for the Free Times in neighboring Columbia (Interviewing Webb Wilder, the headliner), I made the trek over with the family to take in the show. Despite the heat, the bugs, and the usual drunk chicks in front of us, it was a pretty good night.
Webb’s set was tasty and cooking in all the right places, but the special moment of the day actually happened a few sets earlier during local guitarist Rusty Davis’ set. You see, his son Patrick was in town and showed up to play a couple songs with Dad.
Patrick’s a pretty fine musician in his own right, and having spent the last six or seven years in Nashville, he’s becoming a pretty fine songwriter, too. Pat Green, in particular, has recorded some of Patrick’s songs, including “Dixie Lullaby,” one of the songs Patrick pulled out to play for the hometown crowd.
Before playing another song, Patrick reminisced with the audience about having not played this particular festival since the first two over a decade ago, when he was still in high school. Then he told them all about how when he was on the road after moving to Nashville, he would tell people he was from Nashville–unless, he said, his younger brother was at the show, which he was pretty regularly, at least in the southeast. Roger would keep him honest, and remark that he wasn’t from Nashville, but little old Camden, South Carolina.
Two weeks prior to this evening’s concert, Roger, Patrick’s younger brother, was involved in a fatal single-car accident, a tragedy that Patrick talks at length about on his Myspace blog. He thanked the community for the show of support they had given the Davis family in the past two weeks, and then he played, “Where I’m From,” a song written about Camden which could apply to a thousand small towns, that will be one of the first two singles from Jason Michael Carroll’s upcoming album. There’s a version of it on Patrick’s Myspace right now, if you haven’t heard it.
After the song, the crowd not only applauded, but gave the town’s favorite son a standing ovation, heartfelt and sincere as only a small town crowd full of people you know can do it. Davis writes the kind of songs that will probably get cut by a lot more singers in the future, but something tells me that no matter where his musical roads take him, they’ll always lead right back home to Camden.