Musician returns to her roots at The Center of Harmony

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Brooke Annibale's first performance could have ended abruptly.

Somewhat introverted as a teenager, Annibale expressed herself through writing song lyrics and took up the guitar at the start of high school. She then decided to enter a talent show in her sophomore year.

Her mic got cut off during the first half of her song, one she had written herself, but she didn't quit.

“I didn't know what else to do, but my guitar was coming through so I just kept playing,” Annibale, an acoustic singer-songwriter, said. “Eventually the mic came on, and I finished the song.”

Annibale won the talent show.

Ten years later, Annibale, 26, performs her own music across the country and is coming back to her hometown to play for the first time at The Center of Harmony on Nov. 29.

Annibale's music has evolved from pop rock to blues to folk, and now she's incorporating the electric guitar.

“It's always about writing a song about what I'm going through at the time,” Annibale said. “My goal is that it will hopefully reach other people and mean something to them.”

Brooke's talent may be traced back to her grandfather, James Hollowood Sr., who founded Hollowood Music and Sound Inc., in 1965.

Hollowood wanted to teach Brooke how to play the guitar when she was young, but she was more interested in drums.

“That's my clearest memory of us two, sitting down together with a guitar,” Brooke said. “For one Christmas, he gave me drum sticks and a drum practice pad that I still have.”

In college six years ago at Belmont University, Brooke used one of Hollowood's guitar picks, the only time she's ever used one for a performance, for a showcase at The Curb Event Center.

“I decided to play with that pick that night to honor my grandfather and to use his memory as inspiration,” Brooke said. “It was one of those moments I wished he could have seen, because I could just feel how proud he would have been.”

Brooke performed with two of her friends, one on drums and the other on piano, and they were announced the showcase's winners.

“That's my most memorable experience of her career so far,” Susan, Brooke's mom, said. “After they called her name she leaned over to my mother and showed her my father's guitar pick she had used to bring her good luck.”

Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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