- Ginny McAfee
- Michele Terry
- Brenda McAfee
- Photo Gallery
To any in the many who have heard the powerful voice of WNC artist Ginny McAfee, you will be pleased to hear that she will be in the studio in 2013 focusing on original material! As she admits and most would agree.. it's about time! Given the fact Ginny has been surrounded by music since the womb and several of the songs to be released were written during her stay there, she feels it is less coincidence and more like fate. Ginny has been her Mothers biggest fan rather naturally. She has always appreciated the good message in her Mom's songs.
Brenda McAfee has been cranking out songs since her teens in the 60's. It has always been her outlet. Her writing and vast appreciation for music in general would be of the hugest influence to Ginny and impact the verstaile musician she is today.
Another influence has been her sister Jacqui, 9 years her senior, and she is also musically inclined. She sings beautifully and plays piano and bass guitar. She was a loyal choral student. A path Ginny would follow and the sisters would both hold huge appreciation for. An understanding of harmony and blending which made for magical three part harmonies that could not be contained by living room walls.
Ginny was raised on 63 acres of wilderness 12 miles from town. It was very necessary to get out of the house and share their gift. Brenda discovered a place in Old Fort at the Rocket Building where the trio would take the stage starting when Ginny was 11. Jacqui married Casey McEntire, a lifelong bluegrass musician she met there and he has been such a wonderful addition to the cosmic mix! They formed a band with a local drummer and for several years they played town festivals, the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration for thousands, and by graduation Ginny was pretty well known locally and her peers who had voted her "most talented" expected to see her name in lights one day.
Ginny began her waitressing career at 15 with a summer job in nearby Chimney Rock making very decent money for her age. After graduation she pursued the guitar and practiced any given opportunity. Even took it to work 3rd shift at the Waffle House and played for lonely truckers at 4 a.m. It was there that she was recruited to sing for the local rock band the Sharkadelics, where she would belt it out for a year and a half and describes it as "a sort of boot camp experience, however she is grateful."
Shortly after that Ginny made a big move to Nashville and spent a year and a half attempting to "play the game" but recurring dreams of pedaling wooden helicopters just over I-40 with her dog Darla along side her seemed a blatant sign to get back to the mountains. She has since then played all over WNC and beyond for any and every occasion imaginable. She has a connection to the mountains and her family. Her roots go deep.
Ginny's most gratifying experience has been the two 6 month seasons performing 7 days a week at the Great Smoky Mtn Railroad for people from all over the world. It was there that she was given the perfect opportunity to perform her Moms music, which is an honest reflection of a way of life here in the mtns. She touched peoples hearts from all walks of life with her Mothers messages. She craves opportunities to play for attentive crowds who appreciate original music. Losing her Father to cancer last year, she has started looking at life through a different perspective. It has reawakened her purpose and her spirit and she feels there are many out there hungry for a real message. One of virtue and truth or simply acknowledgment of a way of life and simplicity to be celebrated through the universal language of music.
Michele Terry was born on February 20, 1975 in Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, NC while her father, Ed "Munch" Terry, was enlisted in the United States Army. Her father went on to release an album with the Bent Creek Band, Treading High Water, in 1984 and toured with the Montana Band opening for Warren Cassell out of Nashville, Tennessee. Her earlier influences in music were listening to her father's band practicing at their house. He also educated her on all different genres of music (Country, Classic Rock, Pop, Disco, Southern Rock and Blues) and allowing her to develop her own style and taste for music.
She began guitar early on and by the age of 18 had switched to drums. She joined her father's band, The Solomon Swift Group, June 1993 and started performing with the group in July of 1993 at local pubs and festivals around Western North Carolina. Since then she has performed with various bands and and local artists around Asheville, North Carolina, such as, Abe Reid, Aaron "Woody" Wood, The Wellhouse Band, Mark Appleford, Seth Shoemaker, Aaron LaFalce, NC63 and many others.
She also recorded (drum and percussion tracks) on the album for Laura Michaels, Words of Wisdom CD, which was released in January 2012. Michele has been performing with Ginny McAfee since July 2010 at local pubs, restaurants, festivals and various events. She is following in her father's footsteps and building relationships with local artists. Michele has continued making a name for herself as an adaptable and passionate drummer/percussionist.
It is a privilege, yet a challenge to write a biography for my Mother singer/songwriter Brenda McAfee. I insisted due to her selfless, humble nature in fear she wouldn't emphasize certain aspects that I could given the fact that I am the one delivering them regularly. Mostly the blessings her songs bestow upon those with open ears!
My Mother was born in 1953 and raised in Asheville, North Carolina by Mark and Virginia Smith. He was in the Army and she was a notorious cook in the Candler area. They both like to drink and it was anything but casual. This made for a very unfortunate childhood for her and her siblings. Brenda was the middle child of seven and at a very young age, she found peace and refuge in the woods and in the power of her imagination. When she was 11 years old her brother brought a guitar he had won in a poker match. He never pursued it, but she did. That was the beginning of a lifetime love affair with music. This became a beautiful escape and what she would consider a form of therapy. She would soon become aware aftering having two musical daughters that it is no less than a gift from God. A purpose and an obligation.
At 15 years old she met a boy. He was soon to be a soldier and she married him at 17. She had her first born, Jacqui, and ventured with him overeas to Germany to face the challenges of culture shock, being a Mother, and the wife of a soldier. One of her husbands buddies was an exceptional guitarist from Arizona and they would jam in the service clubs and Coleman Barracks. He taught her a lot and playing on a stage where Elvis Presley had performed was the high light for Mom as he was always the peaches in her eyes as well as many other women her age. As exciting as it was, the military took its toll on the relationship. She headed back to the States to raise her daughter alone. They seperated when he returned a year later.
She struggled the typical single Mom hardships and worked to make ends meet. With the help of her older sister they managed to survive. "She did the best she could with what she had to do it with." A lyric from one of her own songs titled "What She Knows Now" written for her Mother. It is a song that encompasses the cleche, "hindsight is 20/20." Just when she least expected it, she found my Father Ronnie McAfee and they married in 1975. He took her for the "Ride of her Life." Another song describing the heart throb he was in her eyes. The quiet, shy, mechanic, drag racing hunk of her dreams! Together they produced the author of this bio in the fall of 79'.
At this time Jackie was 9 yrs old and skeptical of the new addition but quickly learned to love the little blonde pest I was! Some of my first memories are her singing into a hairbrush acting silly probably in a desperate attempt to make me stop screaming! I also remember going to her Chorus Concerts and how much i enjoyed that. There was always music abounding in our house. Mom has always had a very ecclectic taste in music. Some of the tapes I remember from the stone age are; Neil Diamond, The Little River Band, Jethro Tull, Don Williams, Patsy Cline, Heart, Seals and Crofts, America, James Taylor, Chicago, Kenny Rogers, and the list goes on.
In 1990 Mom discovered a place in Old Fort that was a family oriented musical gathering every Friday nite at the Fire Department. It was called "Old Fort Mtn Music." At the time we lived in Black Mtn so it was just over the mtn and it became a regular weekend event for Mom, Jacqui and I to leave the living room and hit the stage . It was a bluegrass outfit so Mom approached the City Council and started up a Country Music nite there on Saturdays. These were the years that we felt we "paid our dues". It eventually became evident that our family talent together was more than a coincidence, it was fate. Then my sister iced the cake when she fell in love with bluegrass picker, Casey McEntire from Rutherford County. They are happily married to this day. They have a four piece ensemble consisting of Jacqui, Casey and his dad Dennis and younger brother Jared and call themselves Clover. They also record and perform Mom's music. Jacqui and I both have a strong desire and stand behind Mom's messages. Not just because we are her daughter's but because of what a wonderful person she is despite the hardships she has faced. It is clear to me that this is why her songs are so powerful.
Losing Dad to cancer last year, I think we all are in a state of healing and have a different outlook on life. Mom is surely adjusting to the lonliness right now. On the flipside, it is going to allow her to focus on her writing and probably just make for some more great songs written by a lady who has a divine gift in a world where music, virtue and raw talent need to be allowed to flourish and reach the masses. Some of her songs may strike chord in a way that may not be typical for music in our modern day with the restrictions of radio and clearly just the fast paced lifestyle and ever evolving technology. However, it embraces a way of life and a moral obligation to humanity, family and our Mother Earth. From my standpoint and having been performing the songs for 12 years and witnessing the spiritual effect that it has on people first hand, it is an honor to call Brenda McAfee my Mother and I have every intention of seeing that her music is recorded professionally for anyone who may be in search of a blessing!