On a crisp November evening, a cozy venue in North Central Florida was the setting for a sold-out concert for John Paul White. The Heartwood Soundstage in Gainesville was the perfect host to White's intimate, acoustic set. The setting featured original woodwork, bathed in soothing lighting transitioning between cool and warm tones. White's voice, a pure musical instrument, mesmerized the audience. You could hear a pin drop as all were transfixed on JPW as he performed for well over an hour.
JPW, with his usual dry humor, made the crowd laugh with his stories about family, musical mentors and life experiences. He also shared a serious story about his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease as he sang, "James." His musical offering displayed the incredible beauty and range in his voice; just a man and his guitar. Any fan knows his songs are a combination of regret, loss, sorrow, love, and longing. He joked with the audience that the songs would just get more depressing as the night moved on, but we were just fine with that. Songs off his albums, Beulah and The Hurting Kind, as well as others, were featured. Towards the end of the set, unannounced, JPW eased into "20 years," a song from his Civil Wars days. The crowd erupted with delight. There was even a sing-along for the favorite, "Barton Hallow." The crowd sang as loud as they could, missing many notes, but John Paul White had a big smile and seemed to enjoy the collaboration. After the show, as he often does, JPW greeted fans and snapped photos at his merch table. He is most definitely someone you should meet as he is always so humble, kind and genuine.
John Paul White will continue his tour at selected venues throughout the United States before going international. If you have a chance to see this impeccable musician, please go! You will not be sorry. Also, keep an eye on the lineup at The Heartwood Sound Stage in Gainesville, FL for an incredible listening room, music experience.