On this week of Music Spotlight, another fine Franklin County musician and singer stands in the spotlight; meet Mr. Drew Adams.
A Waynesboro native, Drew Adams is a freelance musician who has been part of the live music scene in the area for many years. His axe of choice is the bass guitar. On the other hand, when he is playing solo or with another musician, he can be seen strumming the six strings of his Taylor T5 acoustic electric guitar. Drew has also filled in on drums from time to time for numerous musicians and bands. Currently, Adams plays in the band Sundog Ritual, On Tap Duo, and under the name of Drew Adams Acoustic when performing solo. Back in 2006, Drew also graduated from the AudioWorks Program at the Sheffield Institute for the Recording Arts in Phoenix, MD.
Rock music of the 1990s is the driving force behind Drew’s musical motivations. For him, there was just something about the music and its characteristics during the decade. Rock music was dramatically changing. Punk rock, the grunge movement, and 90s alternative rock were blossoming with unique artists and bands. According to Adams, Weezer, REM, and Harvey Danger are just a handful of the bands that grabbed his attention the most. The most notable influence would be Green Day. Green Day was a band that was redefining punk rock and music composition all throughout the decade and into the early 2000s.
Drew’s musical influences are not limited to the 90s rock movements, however. As a true music lover and cover musician, he very much enjoys music from decades past. He certainly appreciates big hit bands and songs from the late 1970s and early 80s. The Knack is one such band between those time periods that captivated Drew. During a performance from this man, listeners will also catch a few tunes from the 40s, the 50s, and even a few songs from the late 1800s!
What does Drew get out of doing music? According to him, “music is a great release from the stresses and day-to-day concerns endured every day. It’s also a healthy way to take one’s mind off things that usually end up being not as big of a day as we thought they were.” Sometimes he will be minding his business in public and then the perfect song comes on somewhere around him. Immediately afterwards, all weight upon his shoulders gently slides right off and onto the ground. That situation is what Drew hopes to provide to those listening to his performances. For him, leaving a gig and receiving praise and “thank yous” from listeners is more than fulfilling. Ultimately, to be able to perform for a living is a dream. It also keeps him busy between carrying out marketing tasks and goals as well as focusing on music production and editing. It’s a never ending cycle of imagination and creativity.
At the moment, Drew Adams is working on building his YouTube page. For the time being, he can be found on Facebook by searching “Drew Adams” where he posts gig updates and all things music related!
Contributed by Evan Crider
There is a new group building a reputation in the area! This particular group was also one of 2020 A’Cappella Unplugged’s contestant groups.
Pyxus is brother-duo out of Mechanicsburg, PA. When it comes to singing, both brothers Jake and Robert Myers share the role of vocals. The difference between the two is their instrumental roles in the duo. Robert Myers utilizes the high-pitched, twangy, and folky sound of the Mandolin whereas his brother Jake plays a flat top acoustic guitar. Together, the brothers of Pyxus have begun developing their sound and style.
According to Robert, he says they are trying to carve out their spot in the world of Newgrass. Newgrass is a genre of bluegrass that acquires influence from crossing genres like rock and roll and blues music with a touch of jam-band for added flavor. Pyxus’ sound is also heavily defined by the progressive folk movement. Covers will sound familiar to the listener but tends to be slightly altered with style by the band. As they progress in defining their sound and branching out from their comfort zones, the two brothers also hope it will evolve ultimately evolve folk music and bluegrass collectively.
For the brothers of Pyxus, a variety of bands and musicians from the bluegrass and folk world play into the sculpting of their sound. Two soloist composers worth mentioning would be Chris Thile and Molly Tuttle. Chris Thile also played in a group named Punch Brothers who are a notable influence. Other notable groups would be the Kruger Brothers, The Arcadian Wild, Mumford and Sons, Porch Dawg Revival, and the Jeff Little Trio.
To the brothers of Pyxus, playing music is fulfilling. They love seeing the looks of appreciation on the faces of audience members. To them, the connection between musician and listener is pure satisfaction. It ignites the fire to their dedication and determination to their craft.
To learn more about Pyxus, consider checking them out on facebook and give them a like! Go to the desired search engine and search www.facebook.com/pyxusmusic. Most video posts and event updates are posted on that page. But for a little taste, here they are performing their tune “Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder” check it out here.
Contributed by Evan Crider
Music Spotlight presents a unique Gettysburg-native musician and songwriter. Like so many of the previous features, music resonates with her on an emotional and sacred level. Introducing: Bekah Foster.
Bekah grew up in a musical family. The music that flowed from her family surrounded her and enthralled her. At a young age, watching live performances was commonplace. It awakened something in her. Amongst all of the instruments and parts making up the performance, the voice is what caught her attention. She fell in love with singing. She says, “I’ve always loved to sing, ever since I can remember.” However, it was not until she started performing in front of audiences that things changed. Performing live deeply resonated with her and truly began sculpting her voice and refining her songwriting.
Bekah Foster’s playing and writing style resides mostly in the world of jazz. She incorporates intricately voiced chords into her song composition. Her instrument of choice is a classical guitar as the nylon and nickel strings offer and project a more warm, ear-pleasing sound that pairs well with her soulful, soft, yet powerfully controlled voice. Finger picking also plays a large part in defining her style as it allows her to creatively pick through notes within her chords of choice. Bekah pulls influence Andy Mckee, The Reign of Kindo, Corinne Bailey Rae, Josh Groban, Melody Gardot, Bebel Gilberto, and Dario Marianell, all of which are worth a listen. Through all of these influences as well as her affinity for songwriting and performing live, Bekah Foster has quite literally developed her own individual sound and style.
Bekah does have a fully recording album. It can be listened to on her YouTube page. Simply search “Rebekah Foster” and it should be the first profile listed. The name of the album is “Empty Sky”. Here is a little taste of her music. This track is titled after the album name!
Contributed by Evan Crider
This week’s Music Spotlight focuses on a band primarily from the Carlisle area made up of some fathers and a mother. Introducing The Gregorys.
The Gregorys is Brett Rudder, Aaron Lepley, John Hope, and Colleen Hertzler. Like many other parents, these individuals don’t have much time at their disposal. Their lives are composed of the typical parental responsibilities: chauffeuring children around, feeding mouths, mowing lawns (when the season requires it), and fulfilling common home maintenance chores. But when their packed schedules have the slightest window of free time, they are hard at work practicing music and creating. Each member is a songwriter, bringing varying abilities in the to the table. The end result is a group with a truly collaborative nature. This is also supported by their band-held belief that humans were created to create.
The band’s influences vary greatly as well. Artist and band inspirations are spurred by acts like Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, Jars of Clay, Beach Boys, Eagles, Creed, Hank Williams, Pink Floyd, and Hot Jam Factory. The folk and Americana movement, and the “Dad Rock” has been a driving force in shaping the harmony-driven, and acoustic-based sound of The Gregorys. Their music also captures their appreciation for God, love, and the motions of life. A live show will consist of originals with the occasional deep-cut cover with a twist.
In their eyes, they are not studied poets or accomplished musicians. However, for The Gregorys, connecting with the audience is number one. Music is something that affects each individual audience member differently. That connection between audience and creator is an added benefit to expressing themselves. In the words of front man, Brett Rudder, “We’re simple people, with simple lives, sharing our simple songs.” And sometimes, simple is more than enough to provide an excellent and entertaining listening experience.
To follow The Gregorys through their musical journey, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegregorysmusic. Here is a music video to their song “The Pier”.
YouTube Video: “The Pier”
Spotlight contributed by: Evan Crider
This week’s Music Spotlight features a fantastic local musician from Rouzerville, PA as well as a former A’Cappella Unplugged finalist. Enter musician and singer-songwriter, Blaine “Little Toe” Phebus.
Imagine rolling through winding country roads with the windows down. The sun is getting close to setting over the gentle rolling hills. The cool summer air is rushing in through the open windows and of course, there is the relaxing echo of a fuzzy radio playing out music as the car bends around turns, hitting long strides of an open county road. Blaine Phebus would be the source of that music. Between the raspy, twang of his voice and his articulate guitar strumming, Phebus would be the perfect choice for a leisurely drive.
As far as influences, Blaine has gravitated towards numerous groups and songwriters. From heartfelt ballads of John Prine, to the bluesy, soul saturated tunes of Ray Charles, to the 90s rock twang songs from Blind Melon, and so many more, Blaine somehow embodies characteristic from each of his influences. It is truly something one must hear.
For Blaine, music is an outlet. In his words, “Music is an outlet or a door for me. I go in and punch the clock to my tiny world.” Though simple, this statement rings true. It offers him the opportunity to be creative and to do something to test his mind and keep him occupied. It lends him a chance to escape the overwhelming nature of life. Blaine says, “When I’m doing my thing, all the weight from that tiny world is gone. There are no responsibilities. There is nothing at all.” For him it is pure enjoyment. Not to mention, it is rewarding to produce something people appreciate and love.
Blaine is actively playing at venues around the area when the opportunity arises. So be sure to follow him on Facebook for gig updates! Also follow him on YouTube by searching “Blaine Show”. For a little taste, here he is playing one of his original tunes “Way Back There” click here.
Spotlight contributed by: Evan Crider
Hailing from Newport, PA, Holly is a physical therapist by day. She serves the community through her work at UPMC Harrisburg Hospital, specifically in the medical surgical ICU. Through the course of her day, Holly sees much suffering. All of the suffering can build up and overwhelm some one working in the healthcare sector. The way in which frontline healthcare workers cope can vary from person to person. For Holly music provides her a way to cope with the stresses endured throughout the workday.
As far as influences, Holly draws much of her playing and singing style from female rockers throughout music history. Most notably, the band Heart. Heart is a band with not only a front woman, but also a lead guitarist and back up vocalist. Blues music and guitarists also pose a contributing component to her playing and singing style.
Like a few of the other Music Spotlight features, Holly enjoys pressing the envelope with her cover songs. With each song, she makes an honest attempt to put her own signature on each tune she plays. The same idea is applied to her originals. Holly’s originals are the perfect marriage of blues and rock. More specifically, her voice carries the soul-filled nature exhibited through blues music. Then her guitar and playing style carries out that rock n roll rhythm that makes you want to bob your head. Something that sets her apart from the other Music Spotlight features would be her use of the “looper” pedal. The looper pedal is a pedal that records a desired segment of playing and repeats it back to the musician, allowing them to add layer after layer to their performance. This particular piece of equipment has also helped Holly define her sound and pull inspiration to continue making music.
To hear more of Holly Gouse’s work, you can find her on Facebook as well as on YouTube by searching “Holly G”.
Check out her cover of House of the Rising Sun here!
Submitted by: Evan Crider