Each Tuesday evening beginning at 7 p.m. folks gather at Cannon’s Auction House in Clarkton to enjoy an evening of southern gospel music and the company of good friends.
Mike Barnes, who serves as organist for New Hope Baptist Church, and friends, Dale Guyton, Michelle Dowless, sing and play southern gospel and “praise” music together to the delight of about 40 Clarkton area residents.
“It got started with us just getting together and having a ‘jam’ session,” said Barnes.
The group has been holding their “jam sessions” since January and are drawing a steady following, according to Barnes.
“We’re not that good, but we have fun,” said Guyton. “A couple of us old ‘has beens’ who played in gospel groups kind of got together and just had a jam session. Then a few people wondered in and heard us and they started wanting to come.”
The reward for Guyton, who has played professionally in gospel groups in the past, isn’t getting to play his music, but getting the satisfaction of seeing the Clarkton area folks coming in and enjoying the music.
Barnes said, initially, it was just he, Cannon, and Guyton, but Dowless learned of their music sessions and decided to join in. The group, who has adopted the name the Auction House Gang, plays southern gospel, but on occasion they will add in a Johnny Cash or Conway Twitty tune. On occasion, they will take requests.
“We play good old southern gospel music. In the churches today, they don’t get to hear those old hymns much anymore,” said Guyton.
“It’s a clean family environment. It’s smoke free, alcohol free,” said Barnes. “Some people bring their children.”
Besides the music, Guyton said the group will hold open mic during the evenings as well.
“People can come up no matter how good, or bad they are and say or talk about whatever,” said Guyton.
Its not formal and its not a concert. They have sing-alongs, as well. It’s just friends and neighbors coming together to talk, laugh and have fun, according to Guyton.
If a member of the group makes a mistake, it’s all in the fun.
“I’ve played in highly polished groups and done the road tours, but this is different,” said Guyton.
Cannon’s Auction House is located on Railroad Street in Clarkton. The group plays from 7 p.m. until about 10:30 p.m.