HubCityMusic.com House Concerts in Lubbock! Follow us on Twitter @HubCityMusicCom

Tag Archives: Paul Johnson

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