Next edition of Thursdays at the Theatre





The dynamics of bringing idea to song to audience is at the heart of the art of Anna Wilson and Monty Powell.

The husband and wife team, dividing their time between homes in Utah and Gulf County, have spent significant time in celebration of the songwriter.

Last year, they released an album of self-written songs with a new group, Troubadour 77, and a mission of celebrating the sound, and songwriting, of the 1970s.

When artists not only wrote their own songs, but wrote them with something to say.

Recalling a time when beats were less important than lyrics.

The couple will soon announce the details of a new festival they will launch this summer in Utah, Troubeliever Fest, dedicated to the singer/songwriter and they will be the next performers in the “Thursdays at the Theatre” series at the historic Port Theatre.

They will take the stage 7 p.m. ET April 26 with a show they crafted, and recorded, several years ago called “Song Tales.”

With Anna on piano and Monty on guitar, the two will bring the audience behind the notes and graphs that comprise a song.

“It is the show we often do at the Bluebird Café,” Anna said of the Nashville monument to music, where Anna and Monty recorded the show. “The (Port) theater is made for it, a small theater.

“We bring the stories behind the songs. How, what inspired a song and how it came about.”

A subject on which they are experts.

Powell, entrenched in Nashville when he and Wilson met, was instrumental in the creation of county group Diamond Rio and has written a slew of chart-topping and award-winning songs with a vast array of artists, most notably Keith Urban.

Wilson, who at one time aspired to be a jazz singer, has found success both in front of and behind the microphone as a songwriter, again, let us remind, an award-winning, chart-topping songwriter, and singer.

They have collaborated on tribute albums to the Eagles and Billy Joel, each featuring a who’s-who of country artists, and Wilson spearheaded a series of albums of duets melding country and Americana music called “Country-politan.”

“The singer songwriter … that is the niche part of the industry we are known for, the creative part that has been very good to us,” Wilson said.

The mission of Song Tales, Wilson said, is to, in a way, break the barrier too often erected between performer and audience.

“You go to a concert and it’s a very one-way performance,” Wilson said. “You don’t get that conversation between performer and audience.

“This show is very much about being in the living room.”

The concert took shape last fall when Wilson and Powell were jamming with some friends on the stage of a local establishment.

One of the owners suggested the couple would be ideal for the Port Theatre and the Thursday concert series.

But, at the time, Wilson and Powell were about to head to their winter home in Utah and work with Troubadour 77.

“I said we’ll have to do it in the spring,” Wilson said. “We were really excited they were revitalizing the theater. We’re looking forward to bringing our Song Tales to that stage.”