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Brookhaven local promotes area musicians with Music from the Shady Side

Shaw Furlow, of Brookhaven, has established a media outlet for local artists to be heard and showcased in a way where they would have a larger audience than their front porch or a small coffee shop.

“The whole idea was to introduce up-and-coming artists to a wider public,” said Furlow of Shady Side.”

“We are trying to promote them, but at the same to promote Brookhaven. It’s a great town with a lot offer.”

Furlow said the effort would help the art scene prosper in Brookhaven. As a director of multiple plays at the Brookhaven Little Theater, a pioneer in the initial organization of Brookstock Teens (A junior version f

or younger artists during Brookstock season) and a 41-year veteran of teaching music and instructing students in marching band on high school and college levels, Furlow has cemented his name with promoting youth, art and music in Mississippi.

With his most recent endeavor, what began as an idea developed into a plan and eventually materialized as a series of videos known as Music from the Shady Side. The production features a local musician in each episode and includes an interview along with their original songs.

Furlow, producer and creator of Shady Side said of the production, “I have discovered over the years I am a better promoter than performer. It falls on me to promote the next generation.”

Furlow explained, when he was growing up, there were local places to play, but the number of venues has declined in recent decades. He added such venues are necessary for young artist’s careers to prosper.

“I get a thrill out of helping these kids,” Furlow shared.

The first episode aired recently with musician and songwriter Tony Norton. The episode opens with credits to individual contributors and with music by Furlow’s very own son, Cole Furlow. It exhibits scenes from downtown Brookhaven and pays tribute to local landmarks such as the Mississippi School of the Arts and others. The montage fades out on a smiling Furlow propped against a street sign reading, “Shady Side.” The interviews are filmed casually in Furlow’s living room at his residence on Shady Side Street in downtown.

PHOTO SUBMITTED: Tony Horton

PHOTO SUBMITTED: Tony Horton

In the interview portion of the first episode, Norton shares with Furlow his passion for music and his history playing instruments and singing. Norton demonstrates his capacity for talent by explaining how he manages to play guitar, drums and sings.

Norton also oversees open-mic night at Magnolia Barbeque & Blues in Brookhaven in addition to having a full-time job and maintaining a great relationship with his wife.

“I consider it an honor to be included on the first edition of Music from the Shady Side. I’m in the company of some of the most talented people I know.”

Norton added he is really happy to see what he has teamed up with Furlow to create.

“Theses songs have lived in my head and in my living room for a long time and I am glad for them to see the light of day,” shared Norton.

Norton performs his original songs, “The Kings of Lincoln County,” and “Gasoline House,” along with others in between interview segments of the episode.

Music from the Shady Side will be on YouTube, Tumblr, and other websites to promote their programs.

With Furlow’s so-called “retirement” from Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Wesson campus as band director for 16 years, he is tackling the task of promoting Music from the Shady Side and is the current Executive Director of Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and band representative for Brookhaven Music and Sound.

Furlow said, “I am very happy with it. Over all it’s an “A,” if not at “A+.” He added he hopes the program will gain as much popular attention as possible and even eventually go nationwide if the opportunity is given.

Music from the Shady Side’s future episodes will air soon and will also feature other artists including Andi Cotton, Tyler Bridge, Sam Mooney, and Cole Powell; all local musicians on the rise in small-town Mississippi.