“A lot of people think I’m just a bartender.”

Guessed it yet? You’re right, our musical star of the evening this year is Dee Tallon. He may be widely known as half of the heart of Vintage, but his real fans recognize him increasingly more so by the strumming of his guitar. In fact, Dee taught himself to play on the guitar his father gifted him in December of 1987, during his senior year of high-school. A little shy to play in front of a crowd at first, Dee honed his craft on quiet days, behind closed doors. He developed a sound that was an expression of who he was, not only playing songs that reflected his dichotomous love of both the 80’s tunes and the southern folksy sound he grew up with, but also writing his own. Dee has always had a knack for coaxing stories out of the mundane, and anyone who’s been around him can vouch.

Fun fact about Dee: he started his career out at the YMCA, and eventually grew to become the Florence YMCA’s Youth & Adult Sports Director. You’d think that, after his cousin’s band in North Carolina recruited him to open for them, that would be the last you’d hear of Dee managing kids…and he did embrace the music scene as his full-time job for a little while. In fact, Apple Annie’s recruited him to play gigs during the week. However, they quickly realized he had a talent (remember, managing kids?) and he increasingly managed the behind-the-scenes operations of Apple Annie’s until a random guy named Cal Wheeler (who you’ve probably never heard of) recruited him to run a bar called Vintage (which you’ve probably never heard of). That was January 2015—yes, only three years ago, we were blessed with Dee’s smile and efficient recognition of the beer you want as soon as you walk into the door. Dee’s memory is legendary—he remembers the first two tabs he closed on his first night at Vintage—and his kind smile is infectious. That could have been where the music story ended…but of course, it didn’t.

Dee firmly believes that the stories in songs are just as important as the music, and perhaps he’s now surrounded by them more than ever as the right arm of Vintage. He draws inspiration from the people and stories around him and turns this creativity into song. Those of us who are lucky can catch him performing those originals at Vintage some evenings, interspersed with 80’s songs that he strips down to a folksy vibe. Don’t expect him to take requests; Dee knows what he likes to play and plays it well. Luckily, we all fall under the charm anyways.

Somehow, between vivacious evenings managing Vintage with Cal, occasional concert getaways with his sweet wife, and rare downtime being ‘domestic’ in the yard or at the farmer’s market, he agreed to come grace us with his guitar--and we couldn’t be more excited. So, on your way into Evening Under the Oaks 2018, nab a drink and a seat to enjoy the soulful, bluegrass-y sound of Dee Tallon. Grab your tickets today if you haven’t already—if anything, you’ll be enjoying a swell spring evening with a wonderful singer and songwriter!

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