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The original item was published from 8/10/2018 2:43:00 PM to 8/10/2018 2:47:02 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: July 23, 2018

[ARCHIVED] The Storyweavers CD Release- Wednesday, August 15, 6-8 pm

Square Storyweavers

While this ensemble has only been performing as a band for two years, they bring a wealth of songwriting and performance talent to their shows. Band members Sheela Fortner, Linda Gale Poole, Beth Whyle and Jennifer McLaughlin blend Americana, folk, blues and funk into an original soulful sound with music inspired by their life stories. American Sign Language performance artist Jennifer McLaughlin ensures that the message of the Storyweavers can be enjoyed by all.  Be among the first to purchase a copy of their first full-length album, "Fallen Sparrow."  Take a listen!

Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Hampton History Museum.

The Storyweavers story...

The Storyweavers began their journey in January of 2016, after what some would call the winter of discontent.

Sheela Fortner, vocalist/songwriter and former lead vocalist of Mermaids in the Basement (MITB) for over 2 decades had become disenchanted with late-night performances in smoky bar rooms; wailing her soul out over the clanging of beer bottles and, for the most part, to rowdy, half-listening audiences.

Linda Gale Poole, singer, songwriter and guitarist had played “the beach circuit” with a band called Minus Me for many years. She, too, had stepped away from her music when an injury to her wrist left her not knowing if she could ever play again.

When these two women met at a local jam session of mutual friends, they realized they had something sacred in common; the love of music and the need to create. Soon after, they were cranking out songs in the parlor of Linda's Ghent home.

Meanwhile, Beth Whyle, bassist, backup vocals and sound engineer had hung up her bass. She'd bought her dream home on the beach and was seemingly happy to have a break after 23 years of performing as drummer and then bassist for MITB. A couple of years went by before she realized something was missing. When she got the call from Sheela and Linda to sit in on a 'jam,' she never looked back. Music is simply part of who she is.

Jennifer McLaughlin, Deaf Performance Artist, also formerly of MITB, had spent 15 plus years performing on stages all across Coastal Virginia and has performed the National Anthem for the Norfolk Tides and Hampton Roads Pride Festival. Jennifer's powerful delivery of visual music had rightfully garnered her quite a large following so when The Storyweavers began creating music the next natural step was to invite Jennifer to join the new musical tribe.

Bringing in Annie James as the American Sign Language interpreter to assist in translating between the two languages, the group was set to move forward with their vision of telling stories through song to audiences ready to look, listen, and feel.

With everyone on board, they took off and haven’t looked back. The first year saw them perform 34 gigs.

So far, in 2018, they have won FM's Battle of the Bands, been a nominee for Best in Americana from Veer Magazine and are releasing their first full length album entitled Fallen Sparrow. Busier than ever, you can find them on most weekends performing somewhere in Hampton Roads; whether it be a coffee shop, festival, or fundraiser.

The Storyweavers perform all original Americana, folk, blues music and have a faithful following of folks who have dubbed themselves 'the weavers.' The Weavers play an important part in each performance as they have their own shout outs during songs and break into dance and joyous abandon. You really must witness this tribe of folks that relish gathering, singing and dancing.

You can purchase their CD on CDBaby, ITunes and of course at their shows.

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