Much more than just your standard concert, the Sandy Creek Sessions have become one of the most highly anticipated events for Reynolds Members to mark on their calendars.

Held in the intimate, rustic charm of the Sandy Creek Barn, the Sessions feature a weekend of live music from an accomplished lineup of singers, songwriters, and storytellers served along with a carefully curated 3-course plated dinner from Certified Master Chef, Derin Moore.

Since its origination in 2017, the Sessions have featured an impressive collection of talent. Artists such as Adam Wakefield, runner-up on Season 10 of The Voice, Meghan Patrick, CCMA Awards Female Artist of the Year, and Earl Bud Lee, co-songwriter of the iconic Garth Brooks hit song "Friends in Low Places", have graced the stage for Reynolds Members.

Two of the most frequent contributors are local favorites — and current full-time Nashville singers and songwriters — Eric Dodd and Matt Rogers.

A Lake Oconee native whose hit single 'The Reason' has garnered more than three million streams across the various platforms, Dodd helped conceptualize the premise of the Sandy Creek Sessions and was one of its inaugural performers. From a single-night event with Eric and a couple of his songwriter friends, the event took off from there. With popular attendance, the event grew from a single night to a full weekend.

Singer/songwriter Eric Dodd

Dodd says it's gratifying to watch the event grow organically. "The Reynolds team has done an exceptional at capturing the "Nashville Bluebird Cafe" (an iconic Nashville venue) vibe while making the Sessions absolutely unique to the beautiful Sandy Creek Barn. I typically perform 100 shows per year around the southeast and midwest, and the Sessions always stands out for me."

At the Sandy Creek Sessions there's something special in the air, but it’s difficult to describe; as a golfer, it’s like trying to compare Augusta National during Masters Week to any other major golf tournament. Eric Dodd

For Matt Rogers, an Eatonton native and Georgia Country Awards Overall Artist of the Year who's shared the stage with some of country music's biggest names, coming home to the Sandy Creek Barn is always special. "The Sandy Creek Barn is one of the most beautiful locations anywhere to me," he says. "The intimate setting at the barn is absolutely perfect and I don't know of anywhere else that particular experience can be replicated."

With a softly lit stage casting enchanting hues of purple and the natural acoustics of the barn amplifying their rich voices, the acoustic concerts allow for a uniquely personal, high-quality experience. Between stories of their time in the music business and the inspiration behind their songwriting, the artists play their hits and the music of their idols, culminating in a set that few Members — or performers — will ever forget.

"The Members are always so respectful of the singers and songwriters," Rogers says. "They listen attentively and enjoy the music. Afterwards, we've received comments like "it touched my heart", "inspirational", and "unbelievably good", and hearing those words helps inspire us to keep going."

Dodd agrees. "My favorite part is seeing the Members' reaction to all of the songwriters and our stories behind the songs. It's always kind of surreal for any songwriter to have such a captive and attentive audience. This is what we live and work so hard day in and day out for though, and to deliver songs to people such as the Reynolds Members who appreciate great storytelling and melodies through the art of song is definitely something we don't take for granted."

However, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Events and Operations team at Reynolds to improvise. Together, they worked tirelessly to create alternative ways to engage and entertain Members with the same high-level entertainment they'd grown accustomed too. A new platform — MyReynolds.TV — was created that allowed for on-demand virtual streaming of programming. Dubbed 'Living Room Live', a Saturday evening concert series was born. This unique experience treated Members to the same sweet sounds found at the barn, but now coming through their home speakers and televisions.

With the gradual reintroduction of in-person programming, the Events and Operations team has adapted again for the return of the Sandy Creek Sessions to the barn. With proper social distancing protocols that emphasize the health and safety of Members, employees, and performers alike, the Sessions returned with reduced capacity for five nights in January.

To perform in such a beautiful setting with first class sound, lighting and production is kind of “living the dream." Eric Dodd

Matt Rogers (far left) at a 2018 Sandy Creek Sessions performance

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