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Songwriters to sing sets at The Haven

It’s a great time to be a musician in Brookhaven.

Just ask Tyler Bridge, one of the featured artists at the Brookstock Singer-Songwriter Festival, which will be Saturday at The Haven.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Music begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 per person at the door.

“We’ve got a lot of talented folks around here,” Bridge said.

The Brookstock Singer-Songwriter Festival, a.k.a. “Spring Brookstock,” is mostly the brainchild of Bryan Batson, according to Bridge.

For Bridge, the festival has become a time to see old friends and to hear what everyone’s been working on during the previous year. “And to be able to collaborate,” Bridge added. “That’s the biggest thing.”

Batson said in 2016 that he wanted to bring a singer-songwriter forum to Brookhaven.

“We’re all singer-songwriters,” he said. “Let’s do a venue that we’ve written.”

Batson is a featured artist for this year’s show as well. Besides Bridge, he’ll be joined Mike J. Case, Chauncey Bowers, Shaw Furlow, Don Jacobs, Ricky Brown, Virgil Brawley, Ed Tree and Andi Cotton.

Batson tells people, “It’s a party on Bryan.” He said he’s able to foot the bill to get these guys to play together, so he’s happy to do what it takes to get them to Brookhaven, including flying Tree and Bowers in from Los Angeles for the weekend.

More than just an opportunity to play their own original music, for Batson this festival was a chance to get “one more warm fuzzy,” hanging out and playing with guys he considers family – some of whom he started playing with over 50 years ago.

Bridge has played shows with these guys 20 or more times. He’s typically been the rhythm section, he said, the house bass player for everyone else, but when he was offered the opportunity to be a featured artist he couldn’t turn it down.

Bridge has released two gospel music projects, in 2009 and 2010, and has another slated for release this summer. In his “off” time, he plays and produces for other artists. He also owns Brookhaven Music.

The summer’s Brookstock XVII will be preceded by a singer-songwriter night that’s primarily acoustic, with just the single performer on stage. For this coming weekend’s show, each artist will have a full band and full rhythm section at their disposal. The featured artists each will be able to perform three songs they’ve written or co-written, and then all artists will jam together at the end.

Several genres will be showcased.

“There’s rock-and-roll, blues, country, Christian, singer-songwriter folk type music … a little bit of everything,” Bridge said.

This event is just another way to support the arts in Brookhaven. “We’ve got a growing arts community that we didn’t have even five years ago,” he said.