Tennessee Walt Returns To East Hampton Library August 7 - 27 East

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Tennessee Walt Returns To East Hampton Library August 7

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Tennessee Walt returns to East Hampton on August 7.

Tennessee Walt returns to East Hampton on August 7.

authorStaff Writer on Aug 3, 2021

Among the less-noteworthy casualties of the coronavirus lockdown of 2020 was country singer Tennessee Walt’s annual April visit to the East Hampton Library. Walt was scheduled to present an all-new show called “Tennessee Walt’s Three Chords and the Truth: Country’s Greatest Songwriters” in April 2020.

Of course, that didn’t happen, in April 2020 or April 2021, and that show has been postponed until 2022. But on Saturday, August 7, Tennessee Walt will return to the library — and to live, in-person performing after a gap of almost 17 months — with an all-new, custom-tailored show called “Tennessee Walt’s An Afternoon in the Country.” (For those not comfortable attending live performances, the show will also stream live on Zoom.)

“I hated to see our 2020 East Hampton show go by the boards,” said singer-songwriter Gayden Wren, who performs as Tennessee Walt. “But of course there was nothing to be done about it. I live in Queens, only a mile or two from Elmhurst Hospital, the epicenter of the pandemic in New York, so I understood that many, many people were losing far more than I was.”

That said, he’s delighted to be returning to live performing — and to be doing it in East Hampton.

“This is where it all began for me,” Wren said. “Back in 2015, when I started my Tennessee Walt project, I was a country-singing piano player who, not long before then, had never played the piano and knew nothing about country music. Steve Spataro, the library’s program director, took a chance on me, and I’ve always been grateful for that. I’ve been back to East Hampton many times, but this one will be special, because I’ve missed live audiences more than I can tell you.”

In his enforced vacation from live audiences, Wren (who noted that he and his family have been fully vaccinated for several months) performed nine online shows, two of which were co-hosted by The Grand Ole Opry. Those shows drew thousands of viewers — and forced him to add roughly 100 songs to his performance repertoire, and he’s drawn on those songs for the new show.

“This one is going to be fun,” Wren promised. “I’ve learned all these new songs, and I didn’t want to perform them once and let them go. So this show is 20-plus classic country songs from the 1940s through the 2000s, most that I performed online but some that I’ve never done before, but all of them ones that I particularly enjoy singing and/or playing. We’ve got a couple of songs by Hank Williams, three by Kris Kristofferson and others by Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, Mac Davis, Stoney Edwards, Ferlin Huskey, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Gretchen Peters, Billy Joe Shaver, Hank Snow and some surprises as well.

“I think this one really offers something for everyone,” he concluded. “And, after all those months stuck at home with nothing to do but practice, I honestly think I’m better at this than I’ve ever been.”

“Tennessee Walt’s An Afternoon in the Country” will be presented on Saturday, August 7, at 1 p.m. at the East Hampton Library, 159 Main Street, East Hampton. Admission is free. To attend via Zoom, register at easthamptonlibrary.org. For further information, call 631-324-0222.

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