Music is the Voice of the Soul

Dear Reader:

With so much excitement going on with the Dingle/Turner families …other “going-on’s” with the talented Barbour family have gone quietly unnoticed…until I got an email from Vikki…(my handsome nephew Lee’s  beautiful wife) letting me know about the release of her latest album (Good Life by Vima) and about a performance coming up…tonight! (The venue for the release of the album)

She sent me a write-up from Charleston City paper that I want to share with you…and then add some ‘ rest of the story‘ thoughts behind the music.

FOLK | Vikki Matsis featuring Lee Barbour
w/ Peter Kfoury & Pete Cortese, Ulyana Machneva
World Music Cafe
Fri. July 7
8 p.m.
South of Broadway

As a co-founder of OHM Radio and manager of Spring Street’s Notso Hostel, Vikki Matsis, a.k.a. Vima, knows how important community is to success and growth. On her second EP, Good Life, Matsis worked with her husband, producer, and guitarist Lee Barbour, producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, and other local musicians to help her explore the joys and challenges of her life.

Matsis describes herself as a folk singer at heart, but after taking songwriting classes through Berklee Online, she wanted to push herself to find an authentic voice through different genres. Matsis collaborated with Barbour to write a collection influenced by electronica, country, and R&B. The result is an eclectic mix of songs unified by Matsis’ clear voice and passion for her subject matter.

“I love writing songs that have meaning and are really personal,” Matsis says. From the title track’s serenade for an old oak tree in Matsis’ backyard to a lullaby written by Barbour for their new son, Good Life shows listeners emotional, relatable moments of an always-changing life. Matsis says that playing cover songs is easier than writing such personal songs, but the challenge is worth it.

“It’s so much more fun,” she says. “These songs I feel so good about sharing.” Good Life, recorded at the Space with Zimmerman and featuring Charlton Singleton, Stuart White, Gerald Gregory, and more, will be released this Friday, with the release party happening the same evening as part of the World Music Café series at Park Circle’s South of Broadway Theatre. —Laura Cergol FRIDAY


*For those of you who live in the area….do go see Lee and Vikki perform tonight….you will fall in love with their music and storytelling at its best!

*I got permission from Vikki to share with you the first song on Good Life…It was recorded about a year ago and I was completely ‘smitten’ with the song then…and now.

(A little history of Lee and Vikki from Aunt Becky’s eyes)

Vikki was running a hostel in downtown Charleston after graduating from the College of Charleston when she and Lee started dating. I remember her name first coming up when Lee arrived at my house with some furniture/belongings that he  asked if I could keep (in the back yard garage) that he had in NYC and didn’t have room for until he got settled back in Charleston.

I asked if he needed help with a ride (he had a rental car) or getting back to Charleston but he said that his “friend” Vikki was going to help him during this transition. And guess what…she has been helping him ever since!

For a long time there has been an empty lot next to the hostel Vikki runs (where she, Lee, and Rhodes live now) and in fact Vikki and Lee used this lot to hold their beautiful out-door wedding.

There was a gorgeous old oak tree on this property that Vikki wrote about in her song…using it as a metaphor for their relationship…strong roots and continuously ever-changing .

The property was sold about a year ago or more  and it was this uncertainty for the tree and the property’s future that was the impetus for the creation of the song. I find myself humming or singing the lyrics around the house a lot. Every time I see a beautiful old oak tree now the song immediately pops up in my mind.

Lee and Vikki made a video to go along with the song and asked family and friends to bring their small children to be in it….Mollie took Rutledge and Lachlan…if you look carefully you will see all of them at different points in the video.

*Vikki was expecting with little Rhodes when the video was made…and now that precious child is nine months old with his birthday coming one day before Jake’s and mine in September. (Lee’s lullaby to him that he wrote is unbelievably beautiful and moving…and is on the album)


Here’s the video Aunt Becky:

So until tomorrow…“Where words leave off, music begins.”
―Heinrich Heine

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Found this picture of the first revealing for Mollie and Walsh…this was taken right before they cut the cake revealing  a blue slice of cake….it would turn out to be Mr. Rutledge


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Music is the Voice of the Soul

  1. bcparkison says:

    Nice song and good voice and video. Will the tree remain ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Let me check with Vikki and see what the status is….will let you know. It is a beautiful tree…would hate to see it cut down.


  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Both of them are so talented. Is he Susan and Ben’s son? Musical talent seems to run in his family. Susan was our music teacher at Spann, and she really knew how to turn the children on with music. Obviously, ViKKi has a beautiful voice and is very gifted in music too. They really seem to be made for each other.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes! Lee is Ben and Susan’s son…so he definitely gets the music genes from both sides…Ben still plays in a band occasionally….he is a guitarist and where Lee discovered his love for the instrument. Susan is also so talented….so Lee got very lucky with his heredity. And you are right…they are made for each other.


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