Saturday concert features Charleston singer-songwriter

A house concert featuring singer-songwriter Jeff Seager is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elkins home of Michael and Carrie Kline, 114 Boundary Ave.

Seager describes his style of music as “eclectic folk,” and much of what he plays is music written by people now long gone, adapted to his own vocal and instrumental style.

He is a native West Virginian, born in South Charleston at the numerical peak of America’s postwar baby boom. His mother bought him his first guitar at about age 12 and he’s never been without a guitar since.

Two years after acquiring that guitar, the family moved from Barboursville to Guam.

“I came from a place where I was surrounded by the love of extended family,” he said, “and the people of Guam were very much that way with their families too, while tons of bombs left Guam every day to be dropped in Vietnam. That changed me some. You might say I grew up there in the daily presence of war, though I wasn’t actually in one, while most people of my generation were either in it or out of it, and far away.

“In 10 years on an island in the western Pacific, I learned a lot about what makes us all alike, because what makes us different can be pretty trivial,” Seager said. “If you want a summary description of what I sing, that’s it. My songs have diverse origins and stories and messages, but they’re all about the human condition. They’re all about people who are real in one way or another, people we’ve all known or people we all wished we could be, even people we can be very glad we never met.”

Telling those stories is a family tradition of sorts, too.

“Both my grandfathers told great stories, and I think most of their stories were true. Singing a song is my favorite way to tell a story, and I don’t sing ’em if they’re not true to me.”

All are welcome to the Saturday evening concert. A donation of $10 is suggested, or $5 for students and VISTA or AmeriCorps volunteers. RSVP if possible to or by calling 304-636-5444.