Perseverance is key to success, musicians say

Nov. 25, 2012 @ 02:50 AM

Many area musicians have found success locally and throughout the surrounding region.

Though the different musicians often focus on different genres of music and have different audiences, one thing many seem to have in common is that they kept doing what they loved to do and eventually gained more and more attention as time passed.

RJ Adams for instance is a former Piedmont High School graduate who has performed his music in various locations in and around the area and in other parts of the country.

He first started performing with a group of friends he went to high school with, Adams said.

"After doing that for a while, I was about to give up on it all," he said.

He ran into James Eudy one day, who later became a manager for him and helped him with scheduling performances and putting out a couple of cds. He's currently working on his third album, Adams said.

"It just kind of took off from there," he said.

He has since performed in various areas and continues enjoying his music career today. Eudy does much of the scheduling and booking of the performances, he said.

"The music that we play, we call it feel good music," he said.

Music is a passion of his that he's happy to be able to do. For him, music is like a ministry, which allows him to tell a story. He hopes that he and his music can one day help and inspire others and especially children to maybe one day achieve their dreams. One of the hardest things about his work is having to sometimes travel away from his family but he would encourage others to stay true to themselves and their music and to not give up if they are interested in going into the music business, he said.

While Adams focuses on music full time, Hannah McGuire and others in the group Seventh Vessel function on more of a part-time basis when it comes to music. 

Seventh Vessel consists of McGuire, who sings lead vocals and plays keyboard, her husband Jason McGuire who plays guitar and also sings, Byron Starnes, who plays guitar and sings and Tim Farmer, who plays drums, according to the band's website

McGuire and her husband had performed together for a while before the group was created.

They began performing at Hebrews Coffeehouse in Marshville on Saturday nights before it went out of business. The coffeehouse eventually became interested in starting an outreach ministry and asked her and her husband to play music for it. At the time besides their vocal abilities, she and her husband only had a guitar and a keyboard and wanted to add more to the group. Eventually they got in touch with Starnes and Farmer and Seventh Vessel was created. All of the group's members are residents of the Marshville area. Today they have performed at various locations around Union County and in the Southeast region of the United States, McGuire said.

"We just play all over the region in several different states. We mostly play in the southeast," she said.

Seventh Vessel has been together around two and a half years. In order to get their start performing at different places, they worked to contact as many different people and places as they could, she said.

"The internet's a great source because you find all sorts of stuff and things that have live music and just contact them," she said.

One strategy the group has used to get their name out is to not charge for their performances, which allowed for doors to be open when it comes to finding an audience for their group and getting to perform at certain festivals and events.

"A lot of places, their budget's already tight and they're not going to want to shell out several hundred dollars to a group that they never even heard of," she said.

Each of the group's members has jobs and lives outside of being musicians but focus on music part time since it's something each of them loves. 

"We would love to do full time if it ever got to that, she said.

Her advice for anyone interested in pursuing a music career is to get proper training and practice, she said.

The Village Greene Band has been around for approximately 30 years and is well known around Union County.

Back when the band originally started, Lynn Greene, who still plays with the band today, was working with various groups but was interested in starting his own. He told his brother, Rick Greene, about his idea for starting a band and later added more family members to the group. Some group members have changed since then but the band still performs regularly. Today the group consists of him, his brother, Rick Greene, Tony Helms, Don Brantley and Larry Broom. For him and the other group members, performing in the band is more of a part-time hobby. Each of the members has performed professionally in the past as well but today has other work and jobs to focus on outside of performing together, Greene said.

"The Village Greene Band does a variety of music, country, beach, some of the older top 40, bluegrass and gospel," he said.

The type of music they play usually depends on what the crowd is looking for at an event, he said.

"All of our shows over a period of time is pretty much word of mouth," he said.

The very first show the band ever played was a wedding party for the daughter of former governor Jim Martin. Since then, word spread about the band and they've continued to be booked at other events over the years. To him, what has kept the group going so long is that people enjoy their music, the band's teamwork, its harmony and professionalism. In the past the group has put out records and cassette tapes but hasn't had a chance to get into the studio lately to record since band members have been busy with performing and other work. His advice to others interested in going into the music business is to play and perform music you enjoy, he said.

"I would say perform what you like best, what really strikes your fancy and what you really feel good about," he said.

Other Business News:

What: Ribbon Cutting at 100 Main Beef and Barbeque

When: Nov. 27, 11 a.m.

Where: 100 Main Street, Monroe

Note: The event is hosted by the Union County Chamber of Commerce. For more information visit www.unioncountycoc.com.