Hanging Out With Corey Smith

In early June of last year, I had the pleasure of seeing Corey Smith play in Lexington with some friends. His music, which created a category of its own, resonated in the intimate outdoor arena of Washington and Lee University.  When we arrived at the venue, I began making my way down a dirt path and could already hear his blissful and catchy music. “Are they playing his CD before the show?!” I asked. When I reached the performance area, I was shocked to see him on stage. Never have I heard an artist sound so much like his recordings. In this day and age, every popular artist that we come across has had their voice so mechanically fine-tuned that it doesn’t even sound human. Then we pay an arm and a leg to go to the concert and hear their music sound nothing as we expected. Corey Smith is one-hundred percent all natural — the real deal. He is what we want out of a musical artist – what a musician is supposed to be.

Beyond his voice, Corey’s lyrics are sincere. He sings about “college towns,”“wishing he was 21,” and high school graduation. These are all ideas to which college students can certainly relate. Having a friend in the fraternity that sponsored the concert, my friend Ashley and I were able to hang out with Corey after the concert. He was relaxed and chill to say the least. He didn’t just stand there and take pictures, but mingled with us. We talked about school and life. Answering our questions sincerely and honestly, he, in turn, asked us questions about our interests. Our star-struck fronts came down when we got a chance to hang out with the band, and it was an experience unlike any other.

I can easily see Corey going big places soon and his setting as a semi-known artist is sure to transform. His music is effortlessly relatable and is a class of country-acoustic-alternative that anyone can enjoy. I feel so lucky to see him for a second time here at JMU; it is truly a magical performance. You can bet anything that I’ll be at the Corey Smith concert on February 11. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, January 22 and I hope to see you all their too.  The experience of this genuine artist is one that everyone should have.

– Natalie

We’re Goin’ on a Ghost Hunt

It is a question that every person walking this earth has asked themselves….. What will happen to me when my life ends? Obviously, I cannot give you an answer to this question, but in light of UPB’s event this evening, I can expand on one theory for the afterlife: your spirit can continue to function on earth as an apparition. There are many of picture from gocanada.about.comus out there that do not believe in ghosts. I was among this demographic for the majority of my life, basing my reasoning on what we as a society know to be logical. It just didn’t make any sense to me how anyone could believe in something so fantastic and vague. Why haven’t we seen more of them, and why is it that we can’t prove their existence? Then I took a step back and realized, that I couldn’t prove that these spirits were any more fake than they could prove that ghosts were real.  This epiphany just rocked my world, and I now consider myself open to the idea of souls lingering on after their times.

You all have seen the countless movies, read the numerous accounts, or maybe even had an spectral encounter yourself. Among these sources there are a great number of reasons given why someone’s soul would continue to have a connection to the living – such as unfinished business, a wrongful deed committed in life, or (according to J.K. Rowling) they were just afraid to leave. While we can’t be sure what the reason, one thing I can tell you is that there have been many legends of hauntings around the JMU community.

One story you may not have heard of however is the “thirsty ghost” of JMU. People claim that our former President Samuel Duke Ghost Hunterstill wanders the premises of a Shenandoah Hall on the quad (now the Alumnae Hall). Instead of trying to scare students, his trademark is causing drinks to fall out of the vending machines in the building. It seems that even the ghosts around our school are friendly.

If you are an avid believer or not in ghosts, the ghost hunter coming to campus tonight should offer some thought and sense provoking insights. He will even be more fully exploring the infamous ghost of the Wilson bell tower. Legend has it that an adulterous affair ending in a hanging in our campus’ most recognizable building – and the event tonight has set a goal of delving deeper into this tale. Hope to see you at Festival tonight for a very unique experience.

– Stephen