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Karla Davis performed live on NBC’s “The Voice”
on Monday and Tuesday (4/9 & 4/10/2012)

Karla DavisUpdate 4/10/2012 – Karla performed LIVE on “The Voice” this Monday (4/9) and Tuesday (4/10).  

As awesome as she was, the competition was equally awesome, and in the end, it came down to a difficult decision by coach Adam Levine.  Unfortunately, Karla did not advance to the next round, but we are proud of you, Karla, for taking this opportunity and making the most of it!

We are looking forward to a return visit to Lubbock, TX by you and Gabby! 

And a special message to Karla from all your fans in Lubbock – You did great, Karla!  Hope you took it all in and enjoyed it like you did when you performed your house concert here in Lubbock.  We love you and we’re proud of you, Karla!

 

Update 3/26/2012 – Karla Davis wins her “Battle Round” and heads to the Live Shows on NBC’s The Voice!

After making it past the Blind Auditions and landing a spot on Adam Levine’s team, Karla Davis took the next step tonight, winning her “Battle Round” against Orlando Napier tonight on NBC’s “The Voice”!  Singing “Easy Like Sunday Morning”, Karla’s unique voice carried the day.  Way to go, Karla!

See the full video of Karla’s Battle Round win here: http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/orlando-napier-vs-karla-davis-easy/1392788/

Update 2/20/2012 – KARLA DAVIS MAKES ADAM LEVINE’S TEAM ON “THE VOICE”!

Karla Davis, who hosted a HubCityMusic.com house concert here in Lubbock in August (see review near the bottom of this page), has made it past the blind auditions, and is officially on the show!  Appearing on the Blind Auditions episode that aired Monday 2/20, her rendition of “If I Die Young” turned coach Adam Levine’s chair from the first lines of the song.
Congratulations, Karla!

Time constraints did not allow the producers of the show to telecast the full song, so go HERE to The Voice website and click on Karla’s link midway down the page to see her full performance, as well as the coaches’ comments following.  You can also download the song on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/if-i-die-young-voice-performance/id503317260.  The more people that download the song, the more attention Karla will get from the show’s producers, so spend the $1.29 and help Karla!  Less than 24 hours after her audition show aired, Karla already has one of the highest iTunes ratings!

Here’s a link to exclusive footage of Karla and Carson Daly’s interview with her just prior to her audition: http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/behind-the-voice-karla-davis/1386643

Find out more about Karla’s debut on The Voice on her website, www.karladavismusic.com, and at her official The Voice web pagehttp://www.nbc.com/the-voice/artists/karla-davis/ 

For all of the fans still without Karla’s debut album, “Here I Am”, order yours now at www.3chordentertainment.com or download on iTunes.  Her new CD titled “360” will be released imminently, and can be pre-ordered on this website now, along with official Karla Davis t-shirts.

Good Luck throughout the show, and best wishes from all your friends and fans!  We are very proud of you Karla!

Brandon Gwinn with Mark Morgan
Friday April 6, 2012

Brandon Gwinn worship leader at Experience LifeOn April 6th friends of HubCityMusic.com were blessed by a performance by well-known musician and worship leader Brandon Gwinn, who was joined by accomplished guitarist Mark Morgan, who also plays with popular Christian band “A Road Less Traveled”.

They performed a mix of original worship songs and secular covers.  Many of the worship songs were originals written by Brandon, including several new songs he has recently written.

Brandon is well-known to Lubbock music fans from his appearances at the Cactus Theater,  and also as worship leader with the Experience Life worship band.  Mark is also a member of the eLife worship band.

Brandon’s versatility as a musician is completely across the spectrum. As a regular cast member of the Cactus Theater, Brandon has performed shows based on the music of the ’40s, ’60s, and ’70s, plus various “Tribute” shows. (He has said in another interview that his favorite Cactus show, as a performer, was a tribute to The Eagles.)

But what really has Brandon’s full attention now is his role as worship leader at Experience Life church.  Brandon has been leading worship over the last 13 years in both Lubbock and San Antonio. Brandon has been with Experience Life since the official launch of the church on September 9, 2007.

God has definitely grown Brandon in every way over the past few years. Having spent much of his ministry career in smaller congregations, the explosive growth of Experience Life has meant constant challenges and a deepened dependence on the grace of God. Brandon’s heart for worship ministry is centered around encouraging others to grow in their relationship with Him. He spends much time coaching, encouraging, challenging and discipling his praise team members to new levels of intimacy with God. He can also be found at local coffee shops and restaurants playing and singing a mix of original worship songs and popular secular covers.
No matter what the venue, for Brandon, the magic is in the message, and connecting with the audience through the message in the music.

Mark Morgan is an accomplished guitarist and has playing with the Experience Life Worship band for the past couple of years. He is also the lead guitarist for a popular local christian band called “A Road Less Traveled”. Mark spends his days teaching guitar lessons and gigging nights with several different local bands.

HubCityMusic.com made video and audio recordings of the concert, and this concert will be offered on DVD when the video and audio are mixed and produced.  Watch this space for an announcement of the availability of the DVD in perhaps about June!

Mountain Stage NewSong contest regional winner Christopher Williams
February 10, 2012

HubCityMusic.com hosts another Mountain Stage NewSong contest regional winner!

Thanks to Christopher Williams for an awesome HubCityMusic.com house concert on February 10, 2012!  CW was in top form, and he has a way of engaging the audience like no one else.  It was truly an evening to be remembered!

Here is the first video we’ve posted from this concert.  At Paul Johnson’s request, Christopher dusted off an old song that he rarely plays anymore – his own original Hope For Morning.  So, you get to share the magic!

Christopher Williams has recently received several awards and national recognition

It seems that many of our HubCityMusic.com house concert hosts are receiving recognition, and Christopher Williams, February’s HubCityMusic.com house concert host, is among them!

Karla Davis, who hosted in August, won 1st place in the national Country Showdown Finals, is now part of Adam Levine’s (of Maroon 5) team as a contestant on NBC’s hit show “The Voice”.  November host Andy Eppler was on this year’s Grammy ballot, and July host Tori Vasquez had just been named the Southwest Regional Round winner for the prestigious 2010 Mountain Stage NewSong contest, earning her a trip to New York City for the finals.

This year on Friday February 10th, Singer/Songwriter/Percussionist Christopher Williams made a return visit to Lubbock for a repeat HubCityMusic.com house concert, with similar honors under his belt. Last fall, Christopher earned accolades as the Southeast Regional Round winner for the 2011 Mountain Stage NewSong contest, earning a trip to the finals in New York City’s famous Winter Garden venue.

The Mountain Stage NewSong award certainly opens the door to broader recognition, and is another among many awards and recognition “CW” has received. In 2010 his song “Anything But Fail” won the Independent Music Award for Best New Contemporary Christian Song, and his live CD “Something As Simple” was nominated for Best Live Recording in the Independent Music Awards.

Christopher has just released his 11th CD, “Stone Water Wood Light”, and this concert is part of his CD Release Tour.  He hosted one of our first HubCityMusic.com house concerts last May, and he is excited to be back with this new CD release.

Christopher has toured all over the U.S., opening for, and playing with, noted performers such as Jars of Clay, Arlo Guthrie, Phil Keaggy, David Wilcox, Bebo Norman, and others. Christopher is a songwriter, storyteller, and entertainer – offering songs that are honest and confessional, yet never overbearing; and performances that engage audiences with an appealing mix of intense passion and humor. With “lush guitar work, and sweet soaring vocals,” (Boston Phoenix) punctuated by the percussive vulnerability of a single African djembe hand drum.

Visit CW’s website and hear samples of his many musical styles at: http://www.christopherw.com/

Andy & Jessica Eppler – The Prairie Scholars
November 26, 2011

(After you read this story, be sure not to miss next one – “An Interview With Andy Eppler”)

UPDATE – This just in on Andy’s Facebook page:  “My name is on this Grammy Ballot!  I’m up for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance.  I won’t win but it’s nice to be on the list.”

What a cool thing!  And what a shame if you missed our Thanksgiving weekend HubCityMusic.com house concert featuring Andy and wife Jessica (The Prairie Scholars) up close and personal.  They put on a fantastic show, and everyone who came had a great time! 

The Prairie Scholars, husband and wife team Andy and Jessica Eppler, perform together blending Andy’s darkly poetic Texas folk with Jessica’s driving and haunting rock melodies.  Honest, aggressive and passionate The Prairie Scholars document in their music a journey out of the flatlands and into the shadowy world in search of a home.  Jessica, a Sweetwater, TX native, moved to Levelland, TX upon enrolling at South Plains College.  She quickly earned the respect of her peers with her captivating songwriting and classically inspired musicality.  While at school she met Andy who had also been making a name for himself as a prolific songwriter by incessant recording and performing in nearby Lubbock, his hometown.  Soon the two were married and began producing material.  Andy released three solo albums (There is No Underground 2007, Dark Places 2008, Disease in the Heartland 2009), which gained him not only a hearty following of keen thinkers and art lovers but also glowing international reviews.
Jessica performed in the band Clandestine Amigo in venues all over the south plains and finally released a live recording in 2009 (Clandestine Amigo). The new album by The Prairie Scholars is titled Strangers in the Modern Era and is available for free as a download at www.prairiescholars.com

An interview with Andy Eppler of The Prairie Scholars

Andy EpplerOne thing to know about Andy Eppler is that he looks at the world through different eyes than most of us.  That unique view of the world and his sharp sense of humor show up clearly in this short interview.  Enjoy!

An Interview with Andy Eppler of The Prairie Scholars, by Paul Johnson with HubCityMusic.com:

Paul: You grew up in Lubbock, and like many native sons, found greener pastures elsewhere. Now that you’ve been away for a while, has your perspective changed any?

Andy: I have not changed in any perceivable way. I certainly haven’t grown either as a person or as an artist. I’m even wearing the same pants and shirts and what not… that’s how little I’ve grown. When I went to get my drivers license renewed the lady at the counter just looked at my old license for my height and then glanced up at me for just a split moment before she said “That looks about right”…. That is how little I’ve grown.

Paul: A lot of people subscribe to some variation of the theory that there is something about Lubbock that seems to inspire musical expression. Do you agree, and why or why not?

Andy: I think, in general, the people in Lubbock are genuinely disinterested in art. This has two effects. First, it builds a stronger feeling of community between the select few people there who really do love art. We treasure these. Second, because the crowds are so uninterested in quality art, it forces the artist to be that much better. The artist ends up getting used to working harder for the most meager attention in Lubbock and so when they go touring they knock everybody dead.

Paul: How has Lubbock influenced you as an artist?

Andy: It made me tough and it taught me to go my own way.

Paul: How do you feel when you come back to visit?

Andy: I feel good. I come for special events and great gigs… and that’s the only time I come to Lubbock. I stay just a little while and see my friends and I leave before I get mad about how they are treated by some college kid who never heard a rock and roll song before. I stay in Lubbock just long enough to remember the good times.

Paul: Is it something you look forward to?

Andy: I love playing at the Buddy Holly Center every year and following it up with a special concert the next night in the Tornado Gallery. It’s always a good combo for us and we always have a great time. All our friends come out and we are usually inspired to play a great show.

Paul: Is there anything you’d like to say to your friends in Lubbock?

The show is intended for adults only. There isn’t much tough language but we would still probably have an “R” rating. Lots of shooting and stuff in the songs.
Beyond that, this show will be best enjoyed by folks who really enjoy a well written song. That’s our focus.

Paul: Anything to say to those who may not be familiar with you?

Andy: Go to http://andyeppler.com and download our album: “Prairie Scholars: Strangers in the Modern Era” for free from our homepage.  That’s the cheapest and simplest way to test the waters.  Plus it makes the $20 ticket seem like a pretty good deal.

Paul: Free music?!  That’s got to be the best deal I’ve ever heard!  So there you have it, folks, go download their album for free, and use the money you save to attend The Prairie Scholars’ HubCityMusic.com house concert on Saturday November 26th!  Click here for concert info or to RSVP.

Cary Banks and Steve ‘Guitar’ Williams
October 22, 2011

Fresh from his recent appearance with the Maines Brothers Band at their sold out reunion concert at the Civic Center Auditorium, Cary Banks brought along his good friend Steve ‘Guitar’ Williams to perform a very special HubCityMusic.com house concert on Saturday October 22nd.  As the saying goes, “A fine time was had by all.”

For a peek at what you missed, we’ve posted a video of Cary and Steve performing their own arrangement of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on YouTube.

As a member of the Maines Brothers Band, Cary toured the country at the height of their success and popularity, appearing with Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Reba, Barbara Mandrell, Dr. Hook, The Judds, Brooks & Dunn, Steve Wariner, Jerry Jeff Walker and a many more.  He was inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame and has performed on stage with such well known artists as the Dixie Chicks, Tom T Hall, Pat Green, Richie McDonald, Bo Diddley, Joe Ely , Terry Allen, Terry McBride and many others.
As a performer, Cary always stands out as the
individual on stage who seems to be having
the most fun!

Cary is also a prolific songwriter, and his songs have been recorded by The Maines Brothers Band, Jerry Jordan, Floyd Brown, Cheyenne Ward, Jeremy Crady, and many others. His song “Lay It Down” won first place in a Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase Song contest. He was awarded a Silver Telly Video Award as artist and co-host of the Public Broadcasting Television Series “Story Tellers & Music Makers”, and has appeared on Austin City Limits, Texas Connection, E! Entertainment TV television.

Cary is currently Chairman of the Creative Arts Department at South Plains College where he has taught and mentored many of today’s popular artists, including Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, Heath Wright of Ricochet, Matt Jenkins, Jedd Hughes and Megan Laurie.

 

Karla Davis – August 6, 2011

Thanks for a wonderful concert, Karla!  You really connected with everyone there.  Best of luck in your audition for The Voice!  You could be the next Javier!

“Best New Act in Country Music” (January 14, 2010)
Country Showdown 1st place National Final Winner

It’s one thing to be recognized in one way or another as an up-and-coming talent, but Karla Davis has run a gauntlet of talent competitions.  From a national pool of as many as 50,000 entrants, Karla advanced as the winner in local, then state, and then regional competitions, culminating in the Texaco Country Showdown National Finals (hosted by Lee Ann Rimes) in Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on January 14th, 2010.  There, facing other talented musicians who had advanced through the same local, state, and regional gauntlet, Karla Davis was chosen as the winner of the $100,000 first prize, and was named “Best New Act in Country Music”.  (The Showdown has opened many doors for artists throughout its long-running history, including notables Garth Brooks, Sara Evans, and Miranda Lambert.)

Originally from Monroe, North Carolina, Karla now calls Nashville home, although “home” is a place she sees only occasionally these days, with her busy touring schedule.  Her HubCityMusic.com concert marks a swing through Texas, as she finishes June/July’s West Coast Ride Tour that Karla is headlining along with Whisky Row.

Karla has now released her debut CD, appropriately titled “Here I Am”.
And Karla is not just a “Country” artist.  You’ll find elements of Rock, Soul, and Folk in her music as well.   She counts among her influences such notables as Eva Cassidy, Otis Redding, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Joss Stone, Bobbi Gentry, Etta James, John Legend, Bonnie Raitt, James Morrison, Jason Mraz, Carrie Underwood, Carole King, Sugarland, and James Taylor.  As such diversity might suggest, Karla resists being categorized as just a Country act.  She says, “I like being very unique and I don’t want to lose my individuality… I don’t want to sound like anyone but myself.”  A review published in Knoxville’s Metro Post says she “shuffles through the dark territory where old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, country, and folk come together.”

Although recognition is coming fast and furious for her, Karla remains down to earth and accessible.  Being true to her values is important to her.  For example, instead of signing with a big label after her Country Showdown success, she took her prize money and, along with British producer John Eden and manager Gabrielle DiMora, formed their own label, 3 Chord Entertainment.  Although this indie approach may be a longer, harder path, it gives Karla autonomy and control that she could never have had she chosen the conventional route.

That approach is consistent with Karla’s values.  One of her favorite quotes comes from Ghandi;  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Karla sums her philosophy up this way; “Music can change lives… I know it!  I think everyone is here for a reason, and I’m more sure than ever that I am supposed to use music to help people.  It can happen, and I will spend every day of my life, God-willing, to make a difference.”

Visit Karla’s website:
www.KarlaDavisMusic.com

Here’s a video story about Karla and her music (Thanks William Kerns for providing this!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsD1C-0ExVU&feature=player_embedded

Tori Vasquez with special guests
Micah Vasquez and Kenny Harris
July 15, 2011

Here’s a genuine TREAT for those of you who were not able to attend Tori’s July 15, 2011  HubCityMusic.com house concert.  This is a video of her consummate and moving cover of Eva Cassidy’s Autumn Leaves.  Her vocal on this track is emotion-evoking and technically flawless.  And the interplay between Micah’s bass and her guitar is beautiful!  To hear this, listen with good speakers if possible! (on a laptop, use headphones or earbuds.)

Tori Vasquez
Tori Vasquez has also played at House of Blues in both Dallas and Houston

It’s one thing to come from a musical family, but Tori Vasquez seems to have channeled all of that multi-generational talent into one little body, and the result is astounding!  Seeing her for the first time is like watching an episode of America’s Got Talent/The Voice/American Idol/Name-Your-Favorite-Talent-Search-Show, and when you see this pretty, unassuming, shy woman walk up to the microphone, you are suddenly amazed at the mature, textured, bigger-than-life voice that comes out.  Even more impressive is the fact that this woman is singing her own original songs, and these songs are so good that they feel instantly familiar and relevant, reflecting a wisdom with words beyond her years, and tunes that quickly hook your ears.

Actually, many of Tori’s songs are co-written with dylanesque Kenny Harris, and this is a combination that really seems to work well, with Tori pulling Harris toward broader appeal, and Harris adding an edge to the collaboration.

Last year Tori released an EP, produced by Clif Magness, with five songs.  That EP earned Tori a shot at the national Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, in which she was named a national finalist as the Southwest Regional winner, and earning her a trip to New York for the finals.  See the video of her New York performance on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8hdGPQ_28k

Since last year’s EP release, Tori and Harris have been continuing to fruitfully collaborate.  The result is a new EP coming out this fall.  This new release (entitled “I Remember Well”) is being produced by Jon Taylor, and the new EP will reflect a maturing Tori Vasquez.  Tori speaks of becoming “more musical”, and says “I write more through my music than I do lyrics.”  Thus the value of a talented lyricist like Harris.  Six new original songs are planned for this new EP, and the production will be simpler than her first EP, to better showcase the fundamental qualities of her voice and songs.

Tori performed songs from both EPs at this HubCityMusic.com house concert on Friday July 15th.  Also performing with her was bassist extraordinaire, Micah Vasquez, and friend & collaborator Kenny Harris joined her in several songs, as well.

As with all our HubCityMusic.com house concerts, admission is $20, and 100% of all proceeds goes to our guest musicians.  Advance RSVP is requested and appreciated, but not required. Last minute guests welcome! BYOB. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Listen to Tori’s music and visit her website at
www.torivasquez.com
www.myspace.com/torivasquez

Here are Tori and Micah performing her original “I Love the Night” on YouTube

View Tori’s appearance at the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest here:

Junior Vasquez Debuts All-new Original Songs
June 17, 2011

What an amazing concert this was!  Junior and Mickey set the most intimate mood,
and the songs were amazing!  Even the most loyal Junior Vasquez fans have never
heard a concert like this one!

Junior VasquezWell-known musician Junior Vasquez has spent the past year or so writing a cache of all-new original music.  Before considering a second CD of all-original music, Junior has been looking for just the right venue to introduce this all-new original music to his fans.

So for Junior Vasquez, HubCityMusic.com’s House Concert format is just the right environment at just the right time.

“It’s a musician’s dream,” Junior says, “an intimate environment without the smoky, noisy distractions of the bar scene.  A place where both the audience and musician can be comfortable.”

Junior will be introducing not only all-new original music in his June 17th house concert in Paul Johnson’s home, he will also be performing original tunes from his first CD, “It’ll Turn Around”.  (available on iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/itll-turn-around/id359346482)
He will also be sharing the back-story behind each song.  It’s an opportunity to get to know Junior at a personal level, to hear the life-stories that have brought him to this new musical beginning, after having traveled such a long and winding road to get here.  For Junior Vasquez, these original songs have come from a fresh creativity and enthusiasm, and mark a contrast to the homogenous “standards” that the usual venues in the Lubbock scene seem to demand.

Of course, with two sets to fill, there will still be a place in this concert for some of Junior’s favorite covers to be woven in with his original songs.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to introduce this new, original music in this environment,” says Junior.  “This will be the first time this music has been played in public, so not only is this a great opportunity for me, it’s a great opportunity for people to hear my new music for the first time.”

BYOB – complimentary Hors D’oeuvres will served between sets.

Go to Junior’s website at www.myspace.com/therealjuniorvasquez