The Carpenters were inspiration for singer
It takes a lot of heart to perform your art alone on stage with only your voice and a keyboard to fill the room. Alissa Turner has a lot of heart.
You can see and hear for yourself at 7 p.m. April 25 when she performs, along with Eric Jones and Linz Turberville, at Lovesick Ministries, 1107 SW Summit. The limited tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
She's playing on tour for her latest release, "It's Not Over."
"I'm so looking forward to the show next week," Turner said.
Let's learn about this temporal songstress who said her earliest musical inspirations were The Carpenters and old-school Chicago. As a performer, she keeps the stage filled with sparse elements that converge and pack passion in every note.
"Pretty basic, but I do my best to captivate my audience and take them on a journey with me," Turner said. "I sing a lot about the trials and triumphs I've endured in life thus far. It's been a bumpy road, and music, the dreams I have of it and the passion I have of it, has pulled me through. Always."
A listen to her 2008 song "Breathing" will say more than paragraphs. Give it a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLsKzxOvVXk. She has power.
Turner said she wrote the song in her most desperate moment when she was seeking relief from the pain.
"I didn't want to die, but I didn't want to go on living like this," Turner said. "I held onto hope that God was listening and that he somehow was going to make tomorrow better. So I knew I had to keep myself breathing to stay alive, and the only way I could do that is keep myself singing. So I wrote a song."
That's her modus operandi. She's been writing and performing since the age of 11 and, though she admits that a lot of it wasn't worth listening to, it gave her the experience to conquer the basics of how to write a good song.
"When a song can be stripped down to its most basic and raw form and still be great, everything else is just a bonus," she said.
Turner said she takes all that she has endured in life and pours it into her piano ballad-driven melodies with the determination to connect with each member of the audience. She wants to use music to make intimate heart-to-heart connections wherever she goes.
Turner's found success. She's worked with producers Robbie Seay (of the Robbie Seay Band), Don Chaffer (of Waterdeep) and songwriter Cary Barlowe (of Taylor Swift/Carrie Underwood/Lady Antebellum). She has also toured or shared stages, or both, with Brandon Heath, Michael Gungor, Shane Alexander, Tenth Ave. North, and Shane & Shane, just to name a few. Her music was used by Stacey Tookey on the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance," which allowed her to spend two weeks at the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart.
"It truly took blood, sweat, tears and many nights sleeping in the car across this beautiful country to have such wonderful opportunities," Turner said. "The difficulties have made me appreciate even the smallest of successes, like the first time I received an iTunes check, the first time I was paid for a show and the first autograph I ever signed."
Success doesn't mean stinginess. You can download Turner's latest CD for free on Noisetrade right now and her music is available via iTunes and ReverbNation.
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You can find out what a GOSPRA is and celebrate with a production Saturday at Lawton's City Hall, 212 SW 9th, with R&B, traditional, hip hop, contemporary and pop gospel all rocking the same stage for U.N.L.E.A.S.H.E.D.
The gospel opera will be brought to life beginning at 2:35 p.m. in the building's auditorium. Presented by the D.E.S. Gospel Family and Hicks Sounds, what began as a gospel concert featuring local artists turned into much more, said coordinator Jamar Lockhard.
"We wanted to involve all the arts, so we incorporated ballet dancers performing to DES music to tell a story of pain and struggle," Lockhart said. "But with God on our side, there is light at the end. We are trying to reach more than just the churches, but the whole community, because we want all to know there is light at the end, just keep believing and being positive."
Following on the fellowship and community bond as part of We Are Lawton's Project X Festival last year in which he was one of its catalysts, Lockhart said this uplifting event is an attempt to gain an edge with the positive for the community.
"This is the story of life. This is the story of you. This is the story of living a life in desperation, hoping that brighter days are coming," Lockhart said. "Folks, when I tell you this will be one of those can't-miss-out-on events of Easter weekend, I mean it. Join us as we become U.N.L.E.A.S.H.E.D."
Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for children. More info is available at the event's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/601229819956186/.
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All I can say about this next duo, which is returning to local stages while producing the group's first CD is "it's about time."
Amanda Kidd & Company is beginning to make some noise actually it's more descriptive as beautiful music and local listeners will soon benefit. Kidd and her husband/drummer, Jake Bridges, have emerged from time tucked away with music to begin to produce. Kidd said she's been in a creative place lately with her music and has been writing a ton of tunes as well as learning a variety of cover songs from artists like Madonna and Lorde to add to her already eclectic set.
"You can't really plan how your music is going to come to you," Kidd said. "You have spurts of creativity and then dry spells. You have to just roll with it when it comes to you and keep it fun, rather than making it a chore."
Kidd recently made a live video performing an acoustic solo version of "Keep Talking" and shared it on her Facebook page. The feedback inspired her and she said she was very happy with the response. It received several hundred listens the first few days it was posted. She said she plans to post more songs that way.
"You're always taking a chance when you post something of yourself that is so dear to you and makes you so vulnerable for the world to consume," Kidd said. "But you feel compelled to share your art; it's half the process."
After taking time away from the stage, Kidd did a recent three-hour solo show at Chianti Wine Bar.
"It was a really fun night and I got a lot of positive feedback from the crowd," Kidd said. "It was my first time playing there and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The venue is great and the crowd was so receptive. It's a great platform for an artist to give a raw performance in an intimate space."
Bridges, an elite metal drummer since the days of Spill, is also returning to the rowdy rocking stage as he takes over on drums for a revamped version of Some New A**holes. Since Matt Shreve's departure from the live music stage, former drummer Dayton Keel is on guitar and vocals and Jimbo Hochmuth is beating the bass. A fun project filled with cover songs and good times, the band will be among the performers Saturday night at the Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan.
Over the past few months, Kidd and Bridges have been traveling to the ACM studio in Oklahoma City's Bricktown to record a three-song EP. Sebastian Rommel is recording the EP as well as lending some instrumentation to the tracks. They're recording two originals, "Lie to Me" and "Keep Talking," as well as a cover of "House of the Rising Sun."
"I wanted to give people something familiar, but with a twist, so we recorded a cover in addition to some original tunes," Kidd said. "We are in the final stages of recording, laying down vocals, and plan to release the songs digitally in May."
Kidd promised to post detailed info as it's ready to her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/amandakiddandcompany.
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It's going to be another shindig worth the drive to Medicine Park Saturday for the Park Tavern's Annual Crawfish Boil. With more than 100 pounds of the delicious red crustaceans, along with corn and potatoes aplenty, bellies will have ample opportunity to be filled at the free event. The new Americana powerhouse Not Brothers is marking a triumphant return to the hamlet's concert stage from 2-5 p.m. After its set at this year's Park Stomp, it's definitely an act to catch.
William Patty, Park Tavern's proprietor, said "It should be quite a day."
I agree, Bill.