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New concert series to include dinner, interviews with artists

PLANT CITY The son of country music legends Keith Whitley and Lori Morgan will headline a new concert series at a local restaurant.

Jesse Keith Whitley will be featured Sept. 13 in the inaugural “The Heart of Nashville Live.” The evening includes dinner and a show that includes interviews with host Cliff Brown.

“The artist will talk about the story behind each song,” said Mike Floyd, publisher of Focus Magazine and promoter of the series.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m.

Jesse Keith Whitley, a 26-year-old country singer, was born to Whitley and Morgan during their three-year marriage that ended with Whitley’s 1989 death.

Other concerts are scheduled Oct. 11 and Nov. 8 at the pavillion at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill, 106 State Road 60 East. The restaurant opened in August at the northeast corner of S.R. 60 and James L. Redman Parkway.

Floyd said he and Brown, lead singer for Plant City-based Clemons Road band, came up with the idea for the series after attending a singer-songwriter festival in Key West with a similar format.

The Heart of Nashville events include seating limited to fewer than 100 guests and the question and answer sessions with Brown between songs.

“It will be a very intimate experience where the audience really gets to know the artist. They get to get into the artists’ head,” Floyd said.

Tickets are $300 for a table of eight or $40 for individual seats, which include dinner and nonalcoholic drinks.

There will be a post-concert party that starts about 10 p.m. that includes music by the featured performer and Clemons Road. Those who attend the paid concert are admitted free; others pay $10.

The featured performer on Oct. 11 will be Jaida Dreyer, who recently toured with country singers Eric Church and Luke Bryan, and Chad Warrix, who has mementos relating to his career displayed at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, appears Nov. 8.

Floyd said the monthly series might be extended beyond November if the concerts are well attended.

For information, call Floyd’s office at (813) 707-8783 or go to The Heart of Nashville Live page on Facebook.

The Tampa Tribune, owned by the same parent company as the Plant City Courier, is among the sponsors of The Heart of Nashville Live.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

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