South Charlotte

Benefit will awaken some old memories

When Notre Dame alumnae John and Michael Shea penned the phrase "Wake up the echoes" in 1908, they definitely weren't thinking about Waxhaw.

Nonetheless, the echoes and any other positive spirits slumbering in and around the amphitheatre at the Museum of the Waxhaws are going to be awakened Aug. 13 when Waxhaw's Jan Ringeling, Walter Phillips and the Underground Owls serenade the audience attending the first Jackson Jam dinner and concert fundraiser for the museum.

Six years have passed since the amphitheater's grassy slopes echoed the last bars of "Listen and Remember." Now, some different tunes and lyrics await patrons.

I spoke with featured performer Jan Ringeling to get an idea of what is in store.

Many of you may know Ringeling as a Realtor, or maybe "Mom" to her twins, Luke and Lindsey.

Ringeling began her vocal career when she was 13, singing with her uncles. By the time she was 15, she was the singing conscience for a house band at a club in Atlantic Beach. After college, Ringeling spent a more than a decade in Nashville, Tenn., writing songs, performing and trying to break into the country music scene. She told me music is "part of my soul."

Marriage and children ensued, her family moved to Waxhaw, and Ringeling let her vocal chords rest a bit. Then one night, friends asked her to sing at a karaoke club. Before too many weeks passed, a mutual friend introduced her to the Underground Owls guitarist Steve Mills, drummer Tim Martin and bassist Vernon Chadwick, and she was back on stage.

Like Ravel's "Bolero," the Jackson Jam will be an evening that starts quietly and builds. Museum board member Gay Diller told me "dinner will be served at tables set up in the amphitheater. Careful planning is going into the setup and service so the experience will be unique and memorable for our guests."

While Jam-goers dine on that Southern favorite - fried fish served with hushpuppies and fried pickles, cornbread and slaw - Ringeling and Phillips will serenade them with a mix of songs.

When the moon rises, so will the tempo. The Underground Owls will perform two sets of classic rock 'n' roll hits. If you're the kind who wants to know what you are going to hear before it's sung, you can find more information on Facebook.

The festivities will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person; call the museum at 704-843-1832. The event is supported by several local businesses and organizations, including CMC-Union Hospital and the Union County Arts Council.

The rain date for the concert is the next day, Aug. 14.

There is also a team bean-bag-toss tournament planned for 8 a.m. Aug. 13. For information on the fundraising tournament, contact Brett Diller at 704-488-6582 or; or Tim Giovaniello at 704-962-7639 by Aug. 1.

And now it's midnight Aug. 13. While Creedence's "Joy to the World" merely caused the echoes to turn, Ringeling and the Underground Owls' rendition of "Hot Blooded" roused them from their slumber. The crowd is gone, but in the amphitheater, a faint tune resonates on the night air: "From the birthplace of Jackson, hurrah, hurrah, we come from the red hills of old Waxhaw ..."