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A Proud Mama’s Tale: Southern Ground, Zac Brown, and Open Mic Finals

By Debbie Kaufman

Tuesday night my husband, my granddaughter, and myself headed off to Senoia, Georgia, the location of the new Southern Ground Social Club. The club is the brain-child of country music star, Zac Brown, bringing together a lot of his ventures, hopes, and dreams.  Atlanta’s Lifestyles Magazine recently wrote a short, descriptive article of it HERE.  It was a fascinating place, uniquely and thoughtfully decorated and packed with people all there to hear their favorite finalist in an open mic competition.  (Check out the Southern Ground Social Club website HERE)

In our case, my older son,  Dave was competing, singing duets with a young lady named Melodie Gonzales.  We ate a modest dinner, enjoyed some fantastic peach cobbler, and waited.  Eventually we were joined by our younger son, Daniel and a couple of his friends.  Have to say, by the way, that the servers were sweet and helpful, despite a few requests I made that were out of their normal routine.

Photo courtesy of

We listened to some awesome talent that night, solo artists, duets, bands, none of them disappointed.  In the end, we heard Dave and Melodie announced as winners and offered the opening slot at a multi-band event in Senoia this Saturday that features Zac Brown and multiple artists and bands from his label.

I’m pretty sure it goes without saying, but…I was a very proud momma!

So, since you couldn’t join me that night, I’ve given you the ability to hear for yourself if you are so inclined.  Keep in mind, there was a large crowd and I had to video from below the stage due to the set-up at Southern Ground.  Bear with it a few seconds and you’ll hear more clearly.  And one last warning, the announcer has a rather unique sense of humor….

They did a total of three songs. I’ve included the first, Flowers in Your Hair, below.  To hear the others, Billie Jean and Little Talks, follow the links below to my YouTube channel.

Listen to  Billie Jean

Listen to Little Talks


Debbie Kaufman is a card-carrying member of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog group.  She writes inspirational historical romance for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line.  The fact that some of her books contain cannibals should be understood as an element of adventurous romance stories and should never misconstrued as a sign of a warped mind.  Debbie insists she is as normal as everyone else.  To decide for yourself, visit Debbie on her WEBSITE or on

Laura Russell - June 13, 2013 - 12:06 am

Hi Proud Mama! How great this moment was. Congrats to your son!

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 12:10 am

Thanks, Laura! Now if someone would only sign them to a label :)

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - June 13, 2013 - 1:16 am

How cool! I guess we’re both proud Mama’s now.

Marilyn Baron - June 13, 2013 - 6:19 am

Wow, Debbie, talent runs in your family. Thanks for sharing the video, very nice.

Dianna Love - June 13, 2013 - 7:22 am

Kudos to Dave and Melodie!! You should be a proud momma. If we weren’t out of town this week we’d love to have been there. I had no idea that was in our backyard. Thanks for sharing and I hope this opens doors for them. :)

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 7:24 am

Thanks, Marilyn! I think we all have our own version of creativity. His is definitely music.

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 7:26 am

Dianna: I started to invite you and then saw the Facebook post about you and the new Lady Jane Salon in Illinois. I was pretty sure that the motorcycle ride back wouldn’t get you there in time, LOL! Hope that the reading went well for you. And yes, I certainly hope this opens some doors for him.

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 7:30 am

Hey Carol, absolutely! I was so excited to read about your son not only getting accepted, but surviving and thriving in the fire academy. All that preparation even before he applied! Hmm, maybe some common elements here: both had lots of training before and both have situations that take nerves of steel. Fortunately for David and Melodie, no one wants to see them in a burning building. On fire metaphorically, maybe, but definitely not putting it out!

Chris Bailey - June 13, 2013 - 7:45 am

I’m so glad you shared! Publishing, the music industry–we have a lot in common, don’t we? Keeping my fingers crossed for your son!

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 9:54 am

Chris, I think you’re right. We all had to hone our craft, learn the business end of things and then network and wait for our break! Say, do you have any publishing news? Email me if you have a chance.

Sandy Elzie - June 13, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Congrats to Dave & Melodie….and congrats to you, Mom…know you were busting your buttons with pride.

It’s always nice to see our kids having fun…and you know he was since he was smiling so much. Talented young man.

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 4:35 pm

Hey Sandy, I know he was a bit nervous beforehand, but did seem like he was in his element once he was on stage!

Susan Carlisle - June 13, 2013 - 5:42 pm

This is official cool. You should be proud. I can’t wait to hear about their star raising.

Linsey Lanier - June 13, 2013 - 7:40 pm

Oh, how fun! Very nice video. I know you’re proud, Debbie. Congrats to Dave and Melodie. Good luck in their new career? :)

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 7:45 pm

I agree, Susan. Thanks, Linsey, yes I am :)

Maxine - June 13, 2013 - 8:45 pm

Congratulations Debbie to you David and Melodie. Fantastic! I did not know that about Senoia. I’ve been throught he “side” of Senoia on my way to Newnan, Carrollton . . . and I’m dying to go see “all” of it including the Southern Ground Social Club. Thanks!

Debbie Kaufman - June 13, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Thanks,Maxine. Senoia is becoming quite the little destination. You’d enjoy it.

Hildie McQueen - June 14, 2013 - 12:30 pm

You should be proud, love the song and love his voice. It’s great when our kids have talent and we can share it with others. He’s a total cutie! Congrats. :musicnote:

Anna Doll - June 14, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Debbie, they are awesome! You should be a proud mama! You’ll need to keep us posted if they are playing in North Georgia!

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