‘Porch Sessions’ make use of Barefoots’ space for music and relaxation

By Kate Allen

Barefoots Joe will be hosting a new event called “Porch Sessions” throughout the course of the semester.

These acoustic performances will be held on Fridays outside on the new patio attachment. A performer will play from noon to 1 p.m. as students eat lunch, walk to class or just sit to listen and enjoy the weather.

“We want to embrace and celebrate the fall weather and we just got a new porch,” said Zac Settle, junior philosophy and theology major and Barefoots general manager. “We thought a good combination of the two would be to have a mini-concert series.”

Each Porch Session will feature a different artist, either from the student body or from the Jackson community.

This is an opportunity for students and members of the community to showcase their talents for a large audience without a lot of pressure.

“There are a lot of people who request to play at Union, but there are not many outlets for that,” said Joy Moore, director of student services.

Open Mic, an event also held in Barefoots Joe, allows multiple musicians a few minutes to play one or two songs.

This setup gives beginning musicians a feel for live performance without having to play for an extended amount of time, or music veterans a chance to give the audience a glimpse of their musical work.

Porch Sessions offer longer amounts of time for the intermediate musicians who want to have their music heard by a wider audience.

Moore classified these events as an upgraded Open Mic, not a full-blown concert.

The porch, funded in large part by the 2010 graduating class, opened this semester to the Union community.

This area is an attachment to the current patio on the outside of the Student Union Building.

“The new porch is a large space, and we want to use that properly,” Settle said.

The porch offers a casual atmosphere and the opportunity to play for a crowd of students eating lunch and those passing by.

“They would be able to play for a whole different group of people than might come to a Barefoots show on the weekend,” Settle said. “This is a low-pressure setting.”

The Friday afternoon time slot gives the concert a relaxed but exciting feel as students are gearing down for the weekend.  With fall’s cooler weather, many students migrate outside to eat lunch or do homework.

The process of getting selected to play at a Porch Session is similar to that of Open Mic.  Performers either audition or send a CD to Barefoots.  Auditions are open to students and non-students, Moore said.

“We are open to anything as far as genre,” she said.

Posters for this event are easily recognized by the simple but bold type,  and a wood texture similar to the posts on the porch.

The Porch Sessions poster, designed by Rob Alvey, junior art major, will be displayed prior to each performance signaling the return of a Friday afternoon relaxed concert on the porch.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.