Event Category: Event
Saturday, June 22nd, 2019
$13 ADV / $15 DOS / ALL AGES / TAVERN
Singer-songwriter Will Varley has come a long way since his early days haunting the open mics of South London and busking around on The Underground. After releasing his 5th studio album in 2018, his largely sold out UK tour drew to a close with a triumphant show at London’s legendary Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
There is a depth to Will’s songwriting that sets him apart, and has propelled his music far and wide. From songs like ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ which tells the heart-wrenching story of an Angolan immigrant attempting to enter the UK, to the hyper-engaging ‘Weddings and Wars’ in which he attempts a history of the world in under four minutes, Varley’s songs seem to transcend themselves, marrying vivid imagery, politics, emotion and surrealism to capture his musings in a way that is quite remarkable.
From performing at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café and Puckett’s to taking the stage at festivals throughout Kansas, Ohio, and Kentucky, Ava Rowland is a talent worth keeping an eye on. The contemporary country music artist cites an eclectic list of artistic inspirations ranging from Carrie Underwood to Lauren Daigle to Selena Quintanilla to Elvis Presley.
Ava is also a featured artist at PCG Universal, “The Science of Artist Development,” an artist development program headed up by long-time music industry veteran Bernard Porter. She says the lessons have been nothing short of invaluable, helping her to become a better-rounded artist.
Her songwriting is in full evidence all over Polaroid Picture, her new release. A great example is the heart-wrenching “My Last Words,” a song that was inspired by the tragic events that unfolded at Parkland High – and the family members left behind.
“My Dad was watching a vigil for the Parkland shooting victims. A father of victim Jamie Guttenberg was saying how he can remember the busyness of the morning and what she was wearing, but he can’t remember if he told her that he loved her. Such a strong statement made me realize that we never know when it’ll be the last time we see someone.”
The EP also contains the title track – Ava’s very first radio single – the upbeat “Polaroid Picture,” of which she says, “It’s about having someone special in your life who is just an original, a classic…just like a Polaroid Picture.”
Ava is currently promoting her new EP, which is produced by well-known Nashville songwriter, Britton Cameron (toured with Toby Keith, Hootie and the Blowfish, Leann Rimes). She says it was a thrill being in the studio with him. “He taught me a lot during recording. It was a truly educational experience, and I feel I am the better for it.” The instrumentation for the album was recorded at Nashville’s Keystone Studio, while the vocals were all tracked at Cameron’s home studio.
The EP is available for streaming and purchase on all major platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.
When she isn’t working on music, Ava can be found advocating “Rachel’s Challenge,” a program about anti-bullying, looking for the best in others and treating them with compassion. The organization was founded in the memory of Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Scott. Her story is one that struck an emotional chord within her.
“I read about Rachel Scott, and found myself so much into her story, how she was compassionate to others, and how she basically died for her faith in God. It’s a program about anti-bullying, looking for the best in others and treating them with compassion. She wrote a paper and it was called, ‘My Ethics, My Codes of Life.’ She challenges the reader to go out of their way to show compassion because if one person goes out of their way, then they start a chain reaction of the same – about being kind to others.” The foundation creates programs which promote positive climates in schools, including Ohio’s Wellington School District, for which Ava raised $5,500 to bring in “Rachel’s Challenge.”
Ava enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her church. When at home, Ava can be found watching TV, or movies such as 8 Seconds and The Notebook. However, she’s hoping to be quite busy promoting her new music. What are her goals? She has set the bar high. “I want to be on tour and on the CMA Awards. That would be nice,” she says with boundless enthusiasm. Whatever her career path, Ava stresses she will never forget where her gifts come from. “All my blessings come from my savior Jesus Christ. I would be nothing without him.”