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Two songwriters close out summer concert series
Kerry Kurt Phillips and Jason Matthews to perform at Brenau Downtown Center
Jason Matthews will perform the final 2015 Summer Songwriter Series concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at Brenau Downtown Center in Gainesville.

Summer Songwriter Series

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8

Where: Brenau Downtown Center, 307 Main St., Gainesville

Cost: $20

More info: 770-710-919 or

Two songwriters with hits such as “Lonely Eyes” by Chris Young and “It’s All the Same to Me” by Billy Ray Cyrus will share those tunes and others in the last concert of the 2015 Summer Songwriter Series.

Kerry Kurt Phillips and Jason Matthews will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Brenau Downtown Center at 301 Main St. in Gainesville. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 each and are available at Greens Groceries on Riverside Drive in Gainesville, by calling 770-710-9191 or purchasing online at

“We are so excited to have Jason and Kerry perform in Gainesville,” said Jody Jackson, executive director of the John Jarrard Foundation. “It’s our last Summer Songwriter show this year and everyone loves these ‘Bluebird Café’ type shows; the stories, the hit songs and of course the beautiful, air-conditioned Brenau Downtown Theater.”

Having grown up in Henderson, Ky., and Vincennes, Ind., Phillips moved to Nashville in 1988 where he became a staff writer for the Larry Gatlin-owned publishing company, Texas Wedge Music.

His first cut came when George Jones recorded the classic, “Where the Tall Grass Grows.” The song was later recorded by Vern Gosdin, Ricky Van Shelton, Tom Wopat and others.

Since then, Phillips’ catalogue of more than 1,000 songs has garnered five No. 1 singles as surveyed by Billboard and Radio & Records. He has been awarded 75 gold records and 36 platinum albums, accounting for certified sales of more than 45 million records. He also  has been called “One of America’s favorite songwriters.”

One of his biggest achievements was winning the TNN/Music City News Song of the Year Award for Cyrus’, “It’s All The Same To Me.” Some of his notable songs include “Almost Home” by Craig Morgan, “Down on the Farm” by Tim McGraw and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” by George Jones.

Matthews was born in Harrell’s Store, N.C. At age 15, he saw Eric Clapton on television and became obsessed with writing songs. He became a roadie and in-house writer for legendary musical comedy team Pinkard and Bowden. After a year, he settled in Nashville to pursue his dream of becoming a hit songwriter.

In 2006, he landed his first No. 1 hit with Billy Currington’s version of his song, “Must Be Doin’ Something Right.” This earned him the coveted Music Row Magazine Breakthrough Writer Of The Year award and several American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards.

Matthews writes for Warner/Chappell Music and is an artist with Valhalla Music Group. His songwriting credits include “Break Down Here” by Julie Roberts and “Country Man” by Luke Bryan.

Founded in 2000, the John Jarrard Foundation honors the memory of the Gainesville native and pre-eminent country music songwriter who penned dozens of hit songs, including 12 No. 1 country hits. He battled diabetes before his death in 2001. Jarrard was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

During the past 13 years, the foundation has grown from an annual concert to a regionally recognized organization supporting songwriters. The proceeds go to a permanent endowment fund in Jarrard’s name established at the North Georgia Community Foundation. The money benefits charities, such as the Good News Clinics, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fund and Good News at Noon Shelter.

The organization’s largest concert of the year, the 14th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert, will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, on the front lawn at Brenau University.

Tickets and table reservations are available at or by calling 770-710-9191.