Join us as award-winning Nashville songwriter Anne E. DeChant teams up with Alabama author Frye Gaillard for "Watermelon Wine: The Poetry of Americana Music," a unique program of reading and song. In his award-winning book, Watermelon Wine, Gaillard maintains that great songwriters, like DeChant, explore the depths of the human heart with all the subtlety and feeling of our finest novelists and poets. Gaillard will present brief readings from his works, setting the literary context for Anne E's all-acoustic rendition of her songs. DeChant and Gaillard have appeared together at such diverse venues as Belmont University and The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Kimbro's Pickin' Parlor in Franklin, TN, the University of South Alabama, the Hank Williams Boyhood Home and Museum, Moonlight on the Mountain, Birmingham, AL and bookstores and libraries throughout Ohio and the Southeast.
Anne E. DeChant is a Nashville recording artist originally from Cleveland, where she was a five-time Singer-Songwriter of the Year. She has shared the stage with such well-known performers as Stevie Nicks, Norah Jones, Joan Armatrading, and the Indigo Girls, and has played venues ranging from the Bluebird Café to the Clinton White House. Her song, “Girls and Airplanes,” about women breaking down barriers, has been featured on the soundtrack of two different films.“Her songs, enriched by her political consciousness, nail blue-collar grit the way few writers do,” concludes Nashville Scene magazine. And the Cleveland Plain Dealer adds: “Now there’s a woman with fire in her belly.
Frye Gaillard, writer in residence at the University of South Alabama, has written extensively on southern race relations, politics and culture. He is former Southern Editor at The Charlotte Observer, where he covered Charlotte’s landmark school desegregation controversy, the ill-fated ministry of televangelist Jim Bakker, the funeral of Elvis Presley, and the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Gaillard has written or edited more than twenty books, and his award-winning titles include the following: Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America; The Dream Long Deferred: The Landmark Struggle for Desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina; Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music; If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity; Prophet from Plains: Jimmy Carter and His Legacy; and As Long As the Waters Flow: Native Americans in the South and East. Gaillard now lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast with his wife, Nancy, who teaches in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama.