The Music Plays On with the Next Summer Songwriters Concert Aug. 8

Aug 5, 2015
Brenau Staff

Brenau University and the John Jarrard Foundation welcome songwriting legends Kerry Kurt Phillips and Jason Matthews as they perform in the last concert of the 2015 Summer Songwriters Series Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Theatre on the Square at Brenau University’s Downtown Center, located at 301 Main St. in Gainesville.

“We are so excited to have Jason and Kerry perform in Gainesville,” said John Jarrard Foundation Executive Director Jody Jackson. “It’s our last Summer Songwriter show this year and everyone loves these ‘Bluebird Café’ type shows; the stories, the hit songs and of course the beautiful, air-conditioned Brenau Downtown Theatre.”

The show begins at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each and are available at Greens Groceries on Riverside Dr. in Gainesville, by calling 770-710-9191 or purchasing online at

Kerry Kurt Phillips
Kerry Kurt Phillips

Having grown up in both Henderson, Kentucky, and Vincennes, Indiana – he takes pride in claiming two hometowns as his own – Kerry Kurt Phillips moved to Nashville in 1988 where he became a staff writer for the Larry Gatlin-owned publishing company, Texas Wedge Music. His very first cut came when George Jones recorded the classic, “Where the Tall Grass Grows”. The song was later recorded by Vern Gosdin, Ricky Van Shelton, Tom Wopat and others. Since then, Kerry Kurt’s catalogue of over 1000 songs has garnered five No. 1 singles as surveyed by Billboard, and Radio & Records and have been recorded by country music’s biggest stars. He has been awarded 75 gold records and 36 platinum albums accounting for certified sales of over 45 million records and he has been called “One of America’s favorite songwriters.” One of his biggest achievements was winning the TNN/Music City News Song of the Year Award for Billy Ray Cyrus’s, “It’s All The Same To Me.” Some of his most notable songs include “Almost Home” by Craig Morgan, “Down on the Farm” by Tim McGraw and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” by George Jones.

Jason Matthews
Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews was born in Harrell’s Store, North Carolina. At age 15 he saw Eric Clapton on television and became obsessed with writing songs. His first industry fan, WRFX D.J. Macon in Charlotte, gave Matthews’s demo to legendary musical comedy team Pinkard and Bowden, who subsequently invited Matthews to be their roadie and in-house writer. After a year on the road, he settled in Nashville to pursue his dream of becoming a hit songwriter. In 2006, he landed his first No. 1 hit with Billy Currington’s version of his song, “Must Be Doin’ Something Right.” This earned him the coveted Music Row Magazine Breakthrough Writer Of The Year award and several American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards. Jason is currently writing for Warner/Chappell Music, and is an artist with Valhalla Music Group. His songwriting credits also include “Break Down Here” by Julie Roberts and “Lonely Eyes” by Chris Young.

Founded in 2000, the John Jarrard Foundation honors the memory of the Gainesville native and pre-eminent country music songwriter who penned dozens of hit songs, including 12 No. 1 country hits. He battled diabetes before his death in 2001. Jarrard was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Over the past 13 years, the John Jarrard Foundation has grown from an annual concert to a regionally recognized organization supporting songwriters and many great causes, with the proceeds going to a permanent endowment fund in Jarrard’s name established at the North Georgia Community Foundation. Proceeds benefit local charities, including the Good News Clinics, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fund, and one of John’s favorite causes, Good News at Noon Shelter.

The organization’s largest concert of the year, the 14th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert, will be Saturday, Sept. 12, 6 p.m. on the front lawn at Brenau University. Tickets and table reservations are available at or by calling 770-710-9191.