lazer poster

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s college football season. Well, unless you’re a Carolina Gamecocks fan. A host of you have already cleared your Saturday calendars following UNC’s comeback 2 weeks ago.

Just know this: There is more to Saturdays than football. You need to broaden your horizons a little and you can do that next Saturday at Inn on the Square’s private event venue, 118. If that confuses you, just park at the Inn and walk to the building beside it, the one that used to be a dry cleaner operation. It’s been converted into a wonderful facility operated by the Inn folks.

Lazer Lloyd has one performance there that evening, beginning at 9 until about 11:30. Lazer is an entertaining singer/songwriter whose style cannot be pigeon-holed. Americana — all the way from Israel at that — mixed with blues, rock and even a little bit of country.

Tickets are a reasonable $10 a head, but I’d suggest you go to Eventbrite and order them now. The venue is great for a listening room experience, but seating is somewhat limited.

Don’t give me excuses for why you cannot be there. OK, one excuse I’ll accept is that you do not like music of any sort and don’t go to concerts large or small. But if your excuse is college football, try again.

For Carolina fans, the game starts at 3:30. They play Alabama. Do you really want to subject yourself to that? Come hear some good music.

For Clemson fans, it’s a 7:30 p.m. away game at Syracuse. A good many of you won’t be making the trip. Sure, some of you will watch it, but why not just DVR the game and, again, come hear some good music.

You can grab dinner at Inn on the Square, or at home, and then hit the venue at 8 p.m. and grab a seat. There will be a cash bar available too.

Lazer has been touring around the United States a good bit, coming close to Greenwood but never quite making it. Lazer will be in Asheville just before dropping down to Greenwood for the one show.

It was several years ago that Wendy and I caught Lazer quite by accident. We had gone to visit a quaint town, Dahlonega, in northwest Georgia. It used to be a gold mine — literally — and is now more of a historic destination with wonderful inns. Aside from being home to the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega is also home to some fine wineries. Frogtown is the main reason we made that visit.

Anyway, we meandered around the town’s square and found The Crimson Moon, a combination restaurant and bar. They were touting that evening’s performance by an artist we’d never heard of, Lazer Lloyd. Whenever we visit another city or town we seek out a place that has live musicians. We reserved our table for the evening, bought our cover tickets and ventured out for a day of winery tours.

That evening we returned to The Crimson Moon. Dahlonega might not have gold in those hills any longer, but we hit gold in choosing to give Lazer a listen. It was a relatively small venue with people eating, enjoying beverages and some conversation, but largely they were a good listening audience ≠ something we appreciate, having been treated to so many great listening room experiences during Jon Holloway and Nick Hyduke’s Music on Maxwell days.

After the show, we enjoyed meeting and talking with Lazer and his manager, Yocheved Seidman. We discussed the possibility of getting him to Greenwood, perhaps for one of the Greenwood Blues Cruise weekends. While that hasn’t yet worked out — and I hope it will one day, perhaps for the 20th anniversary next year — Yocheved and I have stayed in touch in an effort to get Lazer to Greenwood.

Well, Wendy and I happened to make a return trip to Dahlonega back in March. We were driving around the town’s square when we spotted Lazer and Yo walking toward The Crimson Moon. Sure enough, he was back in town for a show there that night. Some would call that coincidence, but I like to think of it as a divine moment. Meant to be.

You know where we went that night. It was another great show listening to Lazer sing and play his guitar. And he had some new material, songs that are due out on an upcoming CD. We were fortunate enough to get a CD that was a pre-release of the full one. You can hear some of those songs Saturday.

That chance encounter rekindled the effort to bring Lazer to Greenwood, and now that effort has become a reality.

We hope you will join us. There’s only the one show, but you owe it to yourself to check him out. You’ll be able to pick up some of his music. The cover charge is cheap and helps cover the cost of renting the venue. It’s not even a profit-maker for Lazer because he’s donating some of the proceeds to the Food Bank of Greenwood. You’ll understand why. He’s a deeply religious, kind and caring man.

You can give him a listen, visit his Facebook page, see a video and, most importantly, buy a ticket via Eventbrite by visiting the sites listed in the accompanying information box.

Wendy and I hope to see you there.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-2522; email rwhiting@indexjournal.com, or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.