Rain and broken pickup can’t stop Strand Sessions

Gabrielle Jansen / The Outlook

Strand Sessions started Thursday with Nashville artist Lily Rose playing for the crowd at Ocie & Belle’s.

A broken guitar pickup and rain did not stop area residents from enjoying the first Strand Sessions of the year Thursday.

Nashville, Tennessee artist Lily Rose performed one song on her guitar when she noticed something was wrong with it and didn’t play again for almost an hour until she could borrow a working instrument. The Lake Martin Young Professionals were able to contact Andy Tucker, owner of Music Depot, who lent Rose a brand new guitar, according to Alexander City Chamber of Commerce vice president of business development Jacob Meacham.

“I want to thank everybody who stuck around while I was dealing with the craziness,” Rose said. “You guys are awesome.”

Due to rain, the concert was held in Ocie & Belle’s. Alexander City Chamber of Meacham said the concert had a good turnout at the start with about 20 people.

“Ocie & Belle’s has a pretty good regular crowd anyway and a lot of people who have come to (Strand Sessions) are very familiar with this establishment, so it’s a natural progression moving from outside to in,” Meacham said. “Luckily we have some good places here, Ocie & Belle’s and Fermenter’s Market that are adjacent to Strand Park.”

Meacham said Rose is “awesome to work with” and was OK with moving her performance indoors.

“She’s played here in downtown a few times at Coffee Corner and they’ve had a few outdoor live music events,” Meacham said. “That’s how we found out about her and we are glad to have her.”

Alexander City resident Marty Cook said she and her husband, Mabry, love attending Strand Sessions.

“It’s great, the whole (arts and) entertainment district has worked (hard) here,” Marty Cook said. “We love it.”

Alexander City resident Ken Jacks said he likes attending the concerts because he already works in downtown at SK Services.

“I don’t have to drive to hear some live music,” Jacks said. “We’re just very appreciative of the (Lake Martin Young Professionals) for doing this. People need to support it if they’re not.”

Meacham said he wants the community to continue supporting Strand Sessions this year.

“We’ve got a good lineup of artists who I think a lot of people are going to like,” Meacham said. “You never know what’s going to happen with the weather, but as I previously mentioned, we got some good backup locations and we’re going to provide the entertainment all spring and summer long and we look forward to seeing everyone.”

The next concert will feature River Bottom Blues Band at 6 p.m. on May 2.

“We love live music and I think the purpose is obviously to create some energy here and get people coming downtown more,” Mabry Cook said. “I love it.”