top of page
Mid Page.png

Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market features renowned folk artist John Emil in August

Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – On Saturday, August 3, 2019, the Chapin Downtown Farmer's Market was held as it is monthly from May through October. It’s always the first Saturday of each month.

During the farmer’s market, a block of Clark Street is closed, and vendors selling everything from fresh grass fed beef and farm fresh eggs, to delicious smoked Boston Butts and exotic flavored snoballs line the curbs. Shoppers stroll with children, pets, as singles,or just holding hands as they move from vendor spot to spot. Some are browsing while others are shopping for wonderful fresh or handmade items. There’s also usually some type of entertainment that’s not intrusive, it just adds the nice ambiance. On August 3rd, the music of John Emil was a delightful backdrop to the chatter of the crowd.

John is a full time performer and professional slide guitarist. As a singer songwriter, he plays Delta blues, American roots music, on an acoustic Hawaiian Lap steel guitar and Dobro. Many of the tunes are his own compositions and unique arrangements of Delta blues and American roots.

John is well traveled and widely known in this genre. He has participated in concerts and performances that include the Preston Community Arts Center in Kingwood, WV, the Carlisle Folk & Blues Club in the UK, the Florida Folk Festival, and many more national and international music clubs and festivals.

He has also appeared or performed for many television programs. According to his website, John has supplied music for NBC's Dateline, The Voice, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, UFC's Ultimate Insider, American Pickers, and several international wildlife and nature documentaries.

The Dobro that John often plays is an American brand of resonator guitar. According to, in the 1920’s and 1930s, musicians didn’t have the benefits of amplification. Guitar players had one very special requirement, they needed to be LOUD to cut through the noise of the people in a crowded saloon. on a street-corner or at parties. That’s why the National Resonator guitar has been closely associated with the blues since that time. These guitars are four times louder than a conventional wooden guitar. With the instruments, you could make yourself heard while performing for a crowd.

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar is played on the lap. The artist plucks the cords instead of strumming them. While plucking, they run a steel bar over the neck of the instrument. It can have a mournful sound, particularly suited to the blues, or a livelier sound when used in American bluegrass or country music.

John is an expert with both these old style instruments. Saturday, he played each and occasionally sang as the people strolled by. It was a beautiful, unique sound that fit perfectly as he sat in front of the old Chapin dispensary, now well over 100 years-old. It just made an already wonderful day a little better still.

Nicholle Burroughs, the Town of Chapin's organizer of this event, said Saturday that she got lucky when John called her and asked if he could attend and perform. Normally, she has to search for just the right performer for the market. She said she did a little research on John and found out just how lucky the community really was to have a musician with talents for the day.

You can review John’s music, video clips, credits, press and TV credits at

Call the Editor
(803) 587-3144

Counter reset on January 30, 2018 with total hits of 966,512 to date

Call Paul Kirby

(803) 587-3144

bottom of page