Appalachian soul music planned for “Pickin’ on the Porch”

Community, News
Debra Lynn Rodriguez

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Debra Lynn Rodriguez, a Hiawassee native, will be the featured performer at “Pickin’ on the Porch” of the Old Rock Jail museum this Saturday, Sept. 5,  at 6:30 pm. The event, sponsored by the Towns County Historical Society, is free to the public.

“I am a soul singer, a storyteller, and a stargazer,” Rodriguez, who currently resides in Atlanta, said. ” I am tattooed, often barefoot, and was raised singing in the hills of Appalachia. As a singer, I draw from a deep well of musical tradition. My earliest memories are of singing at my mama’s piano, tambourine in hand. I am heavily influenced by blues, gospel, folk, and rock and roll. It’s those roots along with my own experiences, life in community, and chasing the Big Mystery which most inspire my songwriting.”

Rodriguez released a full-length album of original songs in 2015, followed by a second live album in 2016. The Atlanta-based musician said that a “brand new batch of Appalachian Soul tunes” are due to hit the recording studio later this year.

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Rodriguez strives to inspire others beyond her musical talent, however.

“As a worship leader, I care deeply that worship is about more than a routine visit to temple or synagogue or church, but is a lifestyle which employs and influences every aspect of our human experience,” the singer-song writer continued. “I intentionally engage diverse communities to explore how faith and worship intersect everyday life. I love to witness as people discover faith and spirituality through authentic and personal experiences and I work to help facilitate the opportunity for those discoveries.

“Since 2011, I’ve served as Pastor of Worship and Director of Arts at The Gathering Place Atlanta ( and you can find me leading worship in all kinds of places – people’s homes, on a sidewalk, in the woods, even live on Facebook! In 2016, I started a little project called Glory Tribe, a rag-tag gathering of Mystery-seekers from all over the world. We gather weekly to consider and re-envision our ideas and approaches to worship and community. We’ve embarked on a journey together to learn and teach the art of living worship. I think it’s going pretty well.”

Click to sample Rodriguez’s music

The Towns County Historical Society encourages the community to bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show on the Towns County courthouse campus. In the event of rain, the performance will be held at the Towns County Civic Center.


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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