Downtown Sanford will get some national exposure Tuesday morning as three area musicians perform live via Skype on Chicago-based WGN Television’s morning news broadcast Tuesday, the Rant has learned.
Bryan Shaw, Mitra Maraj and Curtis Church, all longtime musicians in the central North Carolina region, will perform as “80s Unplugged” at Karma Boutique and Coffee Bar on Wicker Street beginning at 7 a.m.
“I got an email last Wednesday from Larry Potash, the morning anchor at WGN, and he basically says ‘hey guys, I love 80’s music and came across you guys on YouTube. I was wondering if you would like to be a guest on our morning show and play via Skype?,'” explained Shaw, who said he started the band in 2011 as an acoustic solo project.
“I had always wanted to do an acoustic act that focused on 80’s music. I soon added my drummer Mitra Maraj. He and I had been friends for several years and he just moved back to Fayetteville from Asheville,” continued Shaw, a Fayetteville native who now lives in Sanford. “We played as a duo for about a year before we added Curtis Church. Curtis was playing with me on the road gig I had at the time. We decided that the road gig was not what we wanted to do and concentrated 100 percent on 80’s Unplugged. For the next two years we played full time, like 6 nights a week. We have since slowed down to play as much as we want and absolutely love what we do.”
Shaw said the group will take requests, but didn’t reveal what songs they hoped would be broadcast for WGN – other than to say that Potash, the anchor, had made a couple of specific requests. 80s Unplugged typically performs outside of Sanford, although Shaw said he’s excited to perform in his home city both tomorrow and at a St. Baldrick’s charity event in June.
Locals interested in watching the show will be able to stream it live through the network’s website.
Staff from the nearby Smoke & Barrel will be on hand selling brisket and egg breakfast burritos.