Timely News

Dutch Travel Writer Soaks in Athens Music Scene

From The News Courier

Tuesday morning didn’t bring just sunny weather and mild temperatures to Limestone County, but also Marc Stakenburg, a travel writer from the Netherlands.

Marc’s itinerary was packed for his two-day visit. The Delmore Museum and Debbie Delmore, as well as Athens State University, were part of his first-day schedule as he immersed himself in the music heritage and history of Limestone County.

After a two-hour interview and tour with Debbie Delmore, Stakenburg and Tourism Director Teresa Todd returned to the Beaty Street visitor center to end the day with an interview with American Idol contestant, Lillian Glanton.

Stakenburg said he was totally blown away with the personality of the young singer/songwriter and her outlook of where she will be one day.

Day two had interviews starting at High Cotton Arts with managers Bill and Tina Swindell, who are also music artists. Before long, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee Milton Sledge walked through the door and the three men reminisced and discussed all the artists and songs they had in common.

There was a phone interview with Roger Murrah, lunch with Mayor Ronnie Marks at LuVici’s and another phone interview with Atlantic Records’ new artist, Athens native Anderson East.

As he walked through downtown, Stakenburg encountered many Athenians on The Square, who quickly gave their high approval of the Alabama Shakes as being the best and most generous artists to come from Athens. There was a stop at the local music store, Railroad Bazaar, where he said he enjoyed seeing all the musical equipment the store carries.

Marc said the moment that capped his visit was taking time to compose his article at Village Pizza when Zac Cockrell of Alabama Shakes walked in. Marc approached him and Zac agreed to be interviewed for the article on the spot.

Marc said he was thrilled to meet Zac, especially in downtown Athens, and it was the perfect note for his article to be published in the Netherlands.

Before Marc left for Birmingham and his flight home, he toured county architecture and antebellum homes. He walked through the Beaty Historic District, taking photos and enjoying the history lesson provided by Todd.

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