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Concert blends sounds of three singer/songwriters on guitar

Heavily influenced by Mark Knopfler and Richard Thompson, musician Jimmy Galloway will round out the trio of guitarists performing at Center Street Arts on March 16.

Heavily influenced by Mark Knopfler and Richard Thompson, musician Jimmy Galloway will round out the trio of guitarists performing at Center Street Arts on March 16.

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Atlanta singer, songwriter and music educator Jeff Silver will perform at the Songwriters in the Round concert in Conyers on March 16.

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Covington resident Mark Jaynes will add his sound to the evening at the Songwriters in the Round concert on March 16.

The Songwriters in the Round event on Friday, March 16 in Olde Town Conyers not only represents an evening of music that's easy on the ears but it could also provide some new financial resources for the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts.

Conyers native Mark Jaynes, one of the three songwriters whose work will be showcased, said he's friends with Jackie Sprague, executive director of the CRCA, and added he wanted to help the organization, which like many grassroots arts organizations has experienced funding challenges in recent years.

"Jackie and I are in Leadership Rockdale together and I knew that she'd be up for anything that would help the organization," Jaynes said.

"She didn't even know I played guitar, but I told her I'd play for free and I'd try to round up some other folks to join me for a benefit."

Jaynes will be joined by veteran Atlanta-based songwriter Jeff Silver and guitarist-songwriter James Galloway at the concert, which begins at 8 p.m. at Center Street Arts.

Here's a brief look at the artists who will be performing at the Songwriters in the Round:Mark JaynesNow living in Covington, Jaynes has been playing the guitar for roughly 15 years and in the last four or five years has focused on writing songs.

"I started writing songs 10 years ago but wasn't really serious about it," said Jaynes, who works for Ingle Courier Service. "But about four or five years ago, I got serious about it and started learning more about writing. Now I'm trying to sell my songs to country and pop artists."

Jaynes is a member of the metro Atlanta chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (of which Jeff Silver is president) and said the group has been very helpful in his songwriting development.

"NSAI has a service where professional writers hear your stuff through their online song review," said Jaynes, who is also working with country singer Gannon Adams on peddling his tunes.

"These guys don't sugarcoat things for you -- they tell you what they like and what they don't like about your songs. If your song is approved by their organization, they'll play it at one of their 'pitch to publishers' events in Nashville."

Although Jaynes said he played in a band while in college at Jacksonville State in Alabama, he's clearly the youngster among the songwriting trio that will perform in Conyers.

"It's really exciting to be playing with these guys," he said. "I met Jeff through NSAI and his bio is just incredible. It's exciting to see that. I definitely want to talk to him after the show to learn all I can about his songs -- I like his style a lot.

"I'm still young in this, but I know a little bit about how the music business works. I'm sure Jeff can tell me about every angle and what to look out for."

Although Jaynes doesn't have a web site touting his music, he has several performance videos posted on YouTube, including his original songs "Forever Yours," "Friday High" and "Parachute."Jeff SilverWhen it comes to music and entertainment, there's not a lot that Jeff Silver hasn't done.

The son of musical parents, Silver learned the piano at a young age and his first public performance came at the age of 11, when he joined his father and another musician at a concert hosted by the arts association in High Point, N.C., where his father was co-founder and director.

He studied piano and composition at North Carolina-Chapel Hill, attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, went to acting school and audio engineering school, wrote for musical theatre and ran a company that created jingles for commercials.

Silver even spent time in Nashville in pursuit of songwriting work.

"I've been playing music since I was a kid," said Silver, who has lived in Atlanta for the past 15 years. "I first started writing songs in middle school."

Because of his father's background in community arts, Silver said he jumped at the chance to play in Olde Town and enjoys the "songwriter in the round" format.

"It's very enjoyable, especially when you're accustomed to playing solo," said Silver, whose songs have been recorded by country music singer Mark Wills and Chinese vocalist Neko Zhang.

"When you get to sit down and play with other people, they keep you company and there's a great interaction that you don't get by yourself. When we can we'll jump in and add harmonies and we'll interact between and during songs, which brings a little extra for us and the audience."

Silver, who released "Looking Forward/Looking Back" in 2008, said he hopes to record another album this year.

"I'm always writing and I'd like to do more recording," he said. "I've got a lot of material backed up. I don't have a regular schedule of playing out, but I do hope to get some more momentum this year." (http://www.reverbnation.com/jeffsilver)James GallowayA native of Gastonia, N.C., Galloway is proficient in the fingerpicking style of guitar and for years spent some 200 nights a year on the road playing music.

"I don't do much professionally anymore," said Galloway. "I just get to do the fun stuff. When I lived in Nashville, I was always on the road and I just got burned out.

"I've had a priority shift. My wife and I have two kids and two more on the way, so now I do a lot of teaching, workshops and seminars."

A teacher at the Atlanta Institute of Music, a session picker and the owner of a retail pet business, Galloway said his friendship with Jeff Silver was the catalyst in his participation at the songwriters event.

"Jeff and I are friends and we've done a lot of gigs together and admire each other's work," he said. "Jeff is a fantastic writer and singer and he uses a lot of interesting chord changes."

Galloway's influences include Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan, and he said acclaimed British guitarist Richard Thompson is a guiding light.

"I am a huge Richard Thompson fan," he said. "I spread the gospel of RT. Not a lot of people know Richard, but if they know me they know I'm a big fan of his. I've played at several festivals with Richard and he's a very nice gentleman."

In 2008, Galloway recorded the EP "Waiting for the Fall" and this year released "Symbols."

Although he's best known for his instrumental flair, Galloway said he doesn't let his picking get in the way of his songwriting.

"I want to make sure the songs are musical," he said. "The trick is to squeeze some cool stuff in there but still have a good song. It's really hard to do. Richard Thompson and Mark Knopfler can do it, but for just about everybody else, it sounds like you're trying to put fancy stuff in a song that doesn't need it." (http://www.reverbnation.com/jeffsilver)